Mike Bucci, who was known as Nova and Simon Dean throughout his wrestling career, was recently interviewed by The Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling Podcast. You can see highlights below courtesy of Chad & John, and the full interview at this link.
The atmosphere of the ECW locker room and the perception everyone was into something:
“No, Stevie (Richards) didn’t, Danny Doring didn’t and Devon didn’t. There was a lot of guys who didn’t. Dreamer wasn’t a drug addict. It was just one of those things where yeah I guess some of that was prevalent in the ECW locker room. I am not and idiot you walk into one corner there are guys smoking weed, another corner it’s a bunch of guys taking pills, there are some guys in another corner doing rats and you didn’t know what the hell you were going to see there but I will say this. I’ll be damned if none of those guys never forced anything on everybody and when it came time to go, everybody went. They all busted their asses and it was a brotherhood.”
Picking the roles for the bWo:
“Stevie wanted to be Big Stevie Cool and Meanie almost instantly wanted to do Razor because he was a Razor mark too. So we were tossing it around and originally Stevie wanted me to be Virgil and Raven said he can’t be Virgil he’s got to be Hogan. There was talk that if I was going to be Hogan then it would look like I was the leader of the nWo/bWo but everyone thought that was bulls–t. I tried to do it to the best of my ability. Hogan is the Godfather. I always see people trying to take pot-shots and bury him but at the end of the day he”s HULK god-damn HOGAN and without him there is none of this.”
Hulk Hogan’s thoughts on his Hollywood Nova persona:
“It’s one of the biggest regrets of my career that when we brought back the BWO for a short time in WWE (which was kind of a flop and I don’t know why we did it and it was stupid) but we did a Great American Bash Pay Per View against The Mexi-cools and I’m walking around the back and have my blue and white boa and all my Hogan s–t..and I walk into the locker room with all my s–t on and there is Hogan with all his s–t on and it was the first time it was just me and him there and I looked at him and he looked at me and he said “nice look brother”. I said Hulk, I’ve always tried to do this with the ut-most respect and he said I know you are and keep working brother. I kick myself in the ass to this day that I didn’t say hey could I get a picture because that would be blown up on my wall. That might actually be a wall in my house.”
His transition to becoming the head of Talent Relations:
“It was okay. I was looking to get out because I didn’t mind being on RAW but when I went to Smackdown I didn’t like it as much. The guys were cool but there was just some people that I didn’t really like, just think that when you hear the usual suspects of people who were assholes back in the day that nobody likes, I didn’t like those guys either and I was just kind of over it at that point.”
“Dreamer was leaving to go re-launch ECW and Vince McMahon and Johnny Ace handpicked me. They said you’ve been through the system, you’ve been around the world and paid your dues, have a good eye for talent. I had my finger on the pulse of all the independents in the Unites States and I knew everybody. I took a lot of pride in it. The best thing in the world was calling someone to hire them and oppositely the worst thing in the world was calling someone when you had to let them go. It was a different world, I had to leave Louisville to go up to Connecticut to live there and there was so much shifting and even though at that point you don’t think the snakes are going to rear their ugly head but as soon as I got into the office position within a matter of weeks the old wrestling bulls–t starts and this guy is jealous and how did you get this job? And all of the other nonsense that you have to deal with and it just sucked and it lasted about a year.”
Bucci also discusses training with Iron Mike Sharpe and the infamous Iron Mike Sharpe training school, breaking into ECW, meeting Raven, 20 years of the bWo, being named a legendary faction by WWE and much more.