Former WWE personality Kevin Kelly was recently interviewed by Andy Malnoske of WrestlingInc.com. A former commentator for WWE and Ring Of Honor and now New Japan Pro Wrestling, Kelly discussed many different things during their conversation.
Probably the most memorable angle Kelly was involved in was in 1996 when he interviewed Brian Pillman. Pillman had been engaged in a feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Kelly traveled to his home to speak to him. Upon hearing that Austin was on his way to their location, Pillman revealed a loaded gun and Kelly delivered the now-famous line, “Pillman’s got a gun!” Gunshots went off as the camera feed faded to black. The WWE eventually had to apologize for the angle. Kelly explained the angle from his perspective, saying the initial intention wasn’t for it to become as infamous as it is now.
“It certainly didn’t start out that way. I went to Cincinnati, Ohio, just outside of Cincinnati, to interview Brian Pillman, who was recovering from the leg injury caused by Stone Cold Steve Austin. Of course, Austin had said he was going to interrupt the proceeds, show up, and Pillman decided to arm himself to make sure safety first,” Kelly said. “Well, of course the lights go off and gunshots are ringing out through the house, I’m panic-stricken and I’m diving under chairs. We got into a lot of trouble with that with USA (Network), but it was a lot of fun in hindsight. In the moment, I was scared to death. But the fact that, now over 20 years later people still remember that and talk about it, I guess it really did have a big impact on a lot of folks. It was a wild time, though, no doubt.”
During his run with WWE from 1996-2003, Kelly was also well-known for his interactions with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The Rock would constantly make fun of him and even nicknamed him “Hermie” after calling him an “ugly hermaphrodite.” Kelly said he enjoyed his interactions with The Rock and took credit for Johnson’s current success as a movie star.
“It’s like the Pillman thing. My interaction with The Rock, it’s just iconic moments. Now I see he’s making about $20 million a picture, I helped get him over. It was because of me,” Kelly said facetiously. “I went into every interview with The Rock, we were friends, we knew each other before he started because I was friends with his father in Florida and we both sort of came up together. I was there from his first match in WWF on to the heights of becoming the champion and everything that he’s done. It’s just so fun to be remembered like that. Now, my kids who were not alive when that was going on, I go back and show them YouTube clips like here’s what dad did. ‘Wait that’s Dwayne Johnson?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah! That’s my pal, that’s my guy.'”