At 51, Pierre Carl Ouellet is proving age is but a number, entertaining fans young and old in Ring of Honor. The proud Canadian reinvented himself, you could say reborn as a Frankenstein come back to life. The 300-pounder's high-risk moves and effortless mobility leave audiences thinking, "PCO is not human!"
Now the former WWE tag team champion is looking to get his first taste of ROH gold challenging the Briscoes for the tag titles with one of his Villain Enterprises brothers Brody King at the 17th Anniversary event 9 p.m., March 15 on Pay-Per-View and through HonorClub. Before the big match, PCO talks to Wrestling Inc. about his current run and how past experiences got him here.
You've had this career resurgence the last couple of years. Trace back your motivations for returning to the ring and what fueled these motivations? Has this exceeded your expectations of the fan response you've been getting?
That's exactly what my expectations were. Always was impacted by Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock. Always wanted to impact this business and industry as much as those guys. I was just waiting for the right opportunity and for it all to fall into place. Finally, the pieces of the puzzle came together. It has been since 2017, 2018 and now 2019, it has been exactly what I always wanted as goals in my life and the wrestling business.
Comparing to when you started around 30 years ago to now, how would you say your approach to the business has changed as the landscape of the business has changed?
My approach to the business has changed mostly to the psychology end. The way I approach it in my life and the way I react. I'm more proactive about what might happen. A lot of failures. I did fail a lot in order to succeed. Sometimes when I had my failures, I knew I had to accept this as something of a learning experience in order to succeed. Also, to keep the vision that things will finally work in my favor instead of working against me.
Things that are happening in my life. It has been a tremendous amount of work on myself as a human being in order to succeed. As far as the business itself, it is pretty much the same. The backstage is pretty much the same. But what has changed is the pace is faster with more combos and psychology in the ring has changed a lot, so I had to evolve with the new style of wrestling. I always embraced changes in life. It was alright for me to embrace that path. It has been pretty cool. I've had some hard times and wasn't sure at one point if things would happen the way I would want them to happen. As late as it might happen, I'm very happy with the end result. I'm enjoying where I'm at right now.
You mentioned certain changes. When you were starting out in the first part of your career, there was this whole rock star lifestyle. A lot of your coworkers have passed away and experienced their own hard times. What have you noticed with the locker rooms that you have been going to with the young stars today and what they are doing? How has the atmosphere changed in your eyes?
I think I'm the first one to change first. By changing my way and my perceptions of things, it's hard to change how I was. I fell into a lot of, like you said, the fame, the glory, the money, there is a lot of out there when you're a youngster. You're at 23, 24, 25 and soon you're making tons of money, and you're all over TV, people recognize you wherever you go. It creates this reality in your life. Without knowing it, you start being less humble and start being thinking you're more important than others. You start taking things for granted and forget you're just as important as other human beings. All the things I went through when I was younger, I was traveling with people and at a bar with other boys. They weren't happy with who was the champ, who was getting a push or who were they investing money on. You're sitting with this group and starting to hear b---hing and moaning about other guys, you fall into that trap. You start to hate them and start to give them as much hate as they give you. It's a back and forth. It creates a lot of lost energy where you lose your focus and drift away from your goals. That is what happened when I was younger. I drifted away from my goals. Getting caught in different traps. This time around I'm trying to stay focused on my goals. I don't hang out too much with the guys. I may hang out for a quick meal at a restaurant. But I'm not going to stay out. I don't want to get to involved in conversations. I'm trying to focus on what I have to do. That's basically the difference.
How has your training regimen changed? The way you move in the ring is incredible. Anyone who goes to shows sees the things you do, you create this electricity with the audience. How are you able to maintain this pace?
The way I train is I get up early. When I'm not on the road and some days I'm not wrestling, I'm going to hit the wrestling ring. I'm going to hit the mats. I'm going hit the gym. I'm going to get up at six in the morning and work out hard. Just get out of my comfort zone and train in the cold. Do different training. I don't really train weightlifting. A lot of solid workouts. I mix up a lot of things to increase my speed, my agility and my core. I'm working a lot of different aspects of my physique that are important to make a top performance in the ring. It's going to the extra mile, the extra moves,. I go to a trampoline park, so it's extra, extra, extra. I work my ass off.
Did you say you go to a trampoline park?
Yeah. I try to go once a week to work on different things. I try to do a jumping back-flip to land on my feet. Maybe 25, 30 moonsaults up in the air. Third rope, stage I lay a mattress or foam cubes. I just keep moving always. Also, trying different moves. I practice things I haven't done in the ring yet that I'm practicing because my goal is to improve every year. I want to do things I wasn't doing two months ago, so there is always that increasing pace and increasing the work rate in the ring as well. I'm working at it. I'm not saying it will show Pay-Per-View to Pay-Per-View, TV taping to TV taping. Maybe you will see it six or eight months from now. You will see a difference.
You created quite a buzz for yourself last year. Before you decided to sign with Ring of Honor, did you get any other offers whether it was from WWE, Impact Wrestling or others? What made you sign with ROH?
I've been approached by many companies. It wasn't just Ring of Honor in the race. I don't want to name the other companies because I want to be respectful to those companies and don't brag about that. What made me choose Ring of Honor was there approach, professionalism. The way they approached me. They presented something I believed in with Villain Enterprises. I thought it was a cool faction, a cool idea. I knew Marty Scrull when I was in England in 2008. I knew Brody King from my 2018 run where I feuded with him in MLW and worked with him in PWG. I felt we had pretty good chemistry. When those names were brought up to me, it felt it would be good chemistry. I think it was ROH and Marty's idea. I thought it was really cool the way everything kind of manifested in my life.
I love the dynamic you have with Villain Enterprises. Talk about this bond you have outside the ring. Do you have collaboration sessions? Do you hang out?
We hang out a lot when we are on the road. Sometimes we text each other and talk on the phone. We hang out a lot after shows. We like to eat together. It's three guys who are pretty straightedge guys. None of us party really or go crazy. Myself is a straightedge guy. I think Brody is for the most part and Marty is a quiet guy with his lifestyle…We create a different dynamic and perfect blend and perfect mix. That is why we are having so much fun.
You're having your big match against the Briscoes coming up. This is a big-time match for you returning to Pay-Per-View. Maybe fans who have never seen you before will get a chance to witness what you do. For someone who maybe hasn't seen you before and knowing the Briscoes, what can fans expect with the tag titles on the line?
I think it will be a pretty wild match. The few times we have met, it has been pretty wild. At the end of Tag Wars in Texas, it was chaos. I think we are on that path where the unexpected is expected. I think it's going to be pretty crazy.
Looking at Ring of Honor, which has a partnership with New Japan as well, do you have an opponent you want to face?
It's pretty cool every arena we've been with Ring of Honor has been great arenas and location. Going to Vegas and going to sell out MSG in New York. 20,000 tickets sold in 20 minutes. HonorClub memberships increasing all the time. There are more new fans attracted to Ring of Honor all the time. It's a great atmosphere. The fans are great. We're producing great shows all the time. The goal is the same for me. Reaching the highest honor I the company and keep selling out other buildings like Madison Square Garden. That's the goal. I'm pretty much on path. Everything is looking good.
Did you have a dream opponent at this point?
There are so many. A lot of people have names up. Whoever they put in front of me. I don't have a real dream opponent match. I'm going to let Ring of Honor match makers and New Japan match makers do their job. I'm going to make the best performance out of it and make it special.
How long are you committed to Ring of Honor?
It is for a year. I signed December 1, so until December 1. Both parties wanted it that way. We're constantly talking and having discussions. It might extend. We are talking all the time. It's a great company because creative and their talent works hand-in-hand. They are not trying to get something out of you that is not you. They want you to feel comfortable with what is going to happen in the ring. They want their talent comfortable with what they have to do. They are not going to ask them which is out of their personality and what they believe in. I think it's a great mindset, company culture. One of the greatest companies I've worked for with that culture. We are all working together. It's awesome.
Lastly, you've worked in Madison Square Garden plenty of times in your WWE career over the years. How is this time going to be different for you being a part of Ring of Honor compared to those times?
It's my first one with Ring of Honor. That's special to me. Going back to one of my favorite buildings and matches working with Bret Hart, winning the tag team titles there before. It's a very historic building, very prestigious building. A lot of artists, comedians, singers, all kinds of people who are so popular. They mark the history big time performed there. To have the opportunity to perform there in front of the ring of Honor crowd and fans, it's going to be crazy. I'm really pumped to give my all like I do on every show. It's going to be great.
The full audio for PCO's exclusive Wrestling Inc interview was included in a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard in the embedded player below.
You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.