Legendary wrestling trainer Les Thatcher joined Inside The Ropes this past week to talk about his illustrious career. Here are some highlights of his chat:
Importance of guys being a role player in wrestling: "The thing a lot of the younger guys don't learn now is to be a role player. Now when I say a role player, it's to be versatile enough to do whatever a promotion needs of you. Probably the best example of that, at a high level right now, would be Chris Jericho. You know, he can work with a new guy, get him over without killing himself, because he's just that talented and of course, he can be a top guy. He can be a babyface or he can be a heel, he can work tags. Theres nothing that he can't do. He cuts good promos either heel or babyface, so there's really nothing he can't do which makes him that much more valuable to a promotion."
Memories of working with Dean Ambrose during his training: "Jon [Moxley] is a good hand. I'm happy to see him get the break. I've been watching him from the beginning. He was in a tag team and the gimmick was he and his partner would come out in football gear, they were like two college football players, and that's when I first saw him. I saw the potential in Jon, started working with him, more to refine him. Visit Wrestling Inc. I got him his first dark match (with WWE). I'm glad to see him doing well, he's a natural talent and the other thing was, when I sold the HWA that's when Jon was there and I got him his tryout. I'd go over to help out some of their guys and some of them would come once or twice but Jon was always there and always eager to learn."
Does he keep up to date with TNA: "Not as much as I did, I sort of lost interest. There's some good guys there, some guys I know but I just, truthfully, my honest feeling on TNA... and I wish them well and wish there were ten more like them, but I think TNA exactly where they are today is where they'll be in ten years if they're still around by then. They've cried wolf so many times, they are what they are. I don't seem them getting any better or maybe even any worse. The trouble is they're just WWE-Lite."
Angles in TNA being copied from WWE: "Well, the Dixie Carter thing, she doesn't do a bad heel promo. But strike one is Stephanie McMahon is doing the exact same thing. Now I don't care if Dixie came up with this three years ago, now would still have been a bad time to implement it, it just looks like a bad copy regardless. Check out Wrestling Inc. The AJ Styles angle, it's the same thing. The network is obviously not that strong. There are people that don't know TNA exists. I did some personal training at a gym here a few years ago and people would talk to me about WWE and I'd mention TNA and they'd say, 'What's that?' I know Mick Foley makes a joke about when he was there people would ask him why he wasn't wrestling anymore even though he was but they just didn't know about TNA."
Source: Inside The Ropes