On the latest episode of Dropkick DiSKussions former WWE Superstar Stevie Richards opened up about where he did his best work.
Coming into WWE in 1999, Richards believes his best work was undoubtedly in ECW under the tutelage of now RAW executive director Paul Heyman.
“ECW – week in, week out – I was used to the full extent of my potential,” Richards explained. “I was young, didn’t know, but they accentuated my strengths and hid my many weaknesses.”
The conversation then turned to some highlights in his career, Richards is fond of one period in particular which didn’t occur in ECW.
“People think it’s Right To Censor, people think it’s bWo, but I really think it’s Stevie Night Heat because that’s really where I was really truly allowed to do what I could do without being hindered, handcuffed.
“I wasn’t noticed either because they weren’t paying attention but Coach, myself, Al Snow, and then the people that were involved – we were all booking the show. They didn’t care. That went on for about six or seven months until they found out.
“Then you hear the stories. Stephanie walking in, seeing me with an apron on, “Kiss the GM,” chocolate pie on Victoria’s face, Johnny Ace denying he knew anything about it – absolutely true.”
Later on, the subject of underused talent came up. Richards spoke about how even though talent may not be in a prominent spot and it may seem like they’re being underused, sometimes it’s about putting new talent over, but it can be very frustrating and he relates to it.
“Those guys and girls, no matter who they are, what they do,” Richards said. Whether they work or not they take the same flights, they get in the same rental cars, they have the same lack of sleep, they have to find gyms, they have to eat right and then after all that sacrifice, to sit down and watch everyone get to play or perform. You don’t want to sit there and waste away, and that’s kind of what I felt at times.
“It wasn’t so much the losing so many matches because the responsibility for me was, when new talent came in, to make them comfortable in the company and get them over so it was a huge responsibility and a great spot. People didn’t see it that way, but I’d already been on the road with a Batista or a Randy Orton for a couple of weeks on house shows to get them ready.
“What it always came down to for me was getting booked, making money, hopefully having some merchandise or video game money and trying to save as much as I can because, when you’re hired in wrestling, you’re one day closer to being fired each day that you’re there. It’s the nature of the business.
“I’m not saying it’s hopeless because I still showed up in the best shape I could, I still had the best matches I could in the time they would give me, but I say today, Curt Hawkins, great example, great guy, same with Zack Ryder, other guys it’s unfortunate that your value and your sacrifices as a human being are always tempered as less important if you are lower on an imaginary, subjective card which is really what it is.
“It’s funny, because when I wasn’t frustrated, they thought, I didn’t care enough to want to get pushed, but when I complained, I had a bad attitude. It was a very, very thin line that, quite frankly, I’m so glad I’m out of it and doing my own thing because that’s very mentally and emotionally taxing after nine and a half years in WWE. But it’s cool, I chose to be there. I could have asked for my release at any time and I didn’t, I stuck it out, so it’s on me as much as it would be on them.”
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