We kick off “Headbangers Week” today on The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling as we welcome Glenn Ruth otherwise known as Headbanger Thrasher to episode #255. Promoting The Headbangers upcoming appearance in Leesburg, VA for Primal Conflict Wrestling (www.primalconflictwrestling.com) and their Flashpoint event on April 8, 2017. Thrasher dives deep into The Headbangers return to the WWE in 2016 as part of the Smackdown Live tag team scene as well as relive some of the biggest moments from the Headbanger’s 20 year run as a tag team. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.
Where did the Headbanger gimmick originate from:
“We actually didn’t come up with it. We were working as The Spiders under masks. We did time in USWA, we did our time out in Arkansas for Bert Prentice and then we finally contacted Jim Cornette. Cornette is the most honest person and if you don’t want to know the answer, don’t ask Jim Cornette the question. He will tell you the honest and the most blunt way possible. If you are not thick skinned you may not want to ask Jimmy the question.”
“Cornette had said that he loved our work but he hated our masks. He hated the hoods. This is when the Gangstas (New Jack and Mustafa) were down running things in Smoky Mountain. When they were finishing up, Cornette called us and said he had the perfect idea for us. He said: “I went to a concert the other night (and you have to picture Jim Cornette at this concert) he said “I went to a Glenn Danzig concert and saw all these guys out there with tattoos and piercings and slam-dancing each other and spitting on each other.” He said he came up with an idea for us that we are going to be the Headbangers, Mosh and Slasher. We thought really? There is already a guy named Slash in a heavy metal band so he said lets go with Thrasher. He said that we could really push this (gimmick) to the limit and really push the envelope.”
Transitioning up to the WWF from Smoky Mountain Wrestling:
“We worked down for Cornette until Smoky Mountain closed and I’ll tell you that when Smoky Mountain was in the process of closing Cornette was still up with the WWF and he said to us that he was going to try and get everybody hired up there. It was at a time when Vince was trying to transition from the jobber matches to the more competitive (star vs. a guy who could possibly win) because before it was just the star versus this one little guy in the ring who was going to get his ass kicked. So we went up there and tried out for a potential part time position and we were just doing TVs and it was actually Shane McMahon who loved us. We didn’t change anything and pretty much got hired right there at a TV with part time contracts and (back then) those part time contracts were sweet.”
Coming full circle and returning to WWE in 2016:
“It was unbelievable. I was sitting in the gym and Chaz called me and said you will never guess who I just got off the phone with? He asked did I get the email? I thought what email? He said Talent Relations from WWE has contacted me and Road Dog is messaging me and asking if we were available for Smackdown. After all this time that they don’t even mention our names ( I don’t know why) and it’s like we are the red-headed step child nobody wanted. It was just so out of the blue.
“Here is something interesting that happened. We were actually supposed to be on the week before we actually showed up. For some reason they were in Connecticut and you need a special license for wrestling in that building they were in, I don’t know why but I think it was a casino. Road Dog checked to see if he could push us back a week and tell the story a little more. I’m going to be honest, it was the first time I watched Smackdown in a very long time and I saw Slater come out and do the whole contract thing and I heard Daniel and Shane say they were going to put him in a tag team tournament and as soon as I heard that I knew they were able to push it back a week and were going to be that mystery secret opponent and I flipped out. It was like I got the call to come back up all over again. It was unbelievable.”
The response from the locker room and comparison to past years:
“I had heard all these stories about how the locker room was and how it is so business oriented and how the guys aren’t like what it used to be so I was a little bit worried about how we were going to be accepted into their locker room. It is their house now and they built what they had today and it is their locker room.”
“The very first person that got up to come over to us was John Cena. John Cena got up and stopped what he was doing and came over and welcomed us back, thanked us for coming in and it was super-reassuring. The welcome we got up there from the guys that they have up their now was really good and it took us back and they accepted us into their house, their locker room and their company. It really set our minds at ease about hearing all the bulls–t rumors about how it was because it is very business oriented. You have to wear a business shirt and nice pants and nice shoes when you are walking into the building because that is the atmosphere that they want to create so you have to respect them for treating it like a business because it is a business. Outside of the pranks we used to play their the locker room is just like how it was during the “Attitude Era” because the joking around with each other and the brotherhood and the family is all still there today.”
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