Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman welcomed former WCW star Vampiro (Ian Hodgkinson) and director Michael Paszt on The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast to talk about “Nail In The Coffin: The Fall and Rise Of Vampiro”. Vampiro not only opened up about his health issues over the years, but also about the toxic environment of WCW.
However, Vampiro never made the jump to WWE during The Invasion angle. Vampiro said before that Bruce Prichard had told him that WWE had nothing for his character, and that WWE didn’t need him, but he holds no hard feelings over their decision.
“I don’t really remember,” Vampiro admitted. “Everybody has their version, but I’ll say it like this, if WWE wanted Vampiro, Vampiro would be there. There’s a reason I’m not there. Everybody might say you missed your opportunity. No, that’s not true. I had an amazing career. Every single place I went, I was in the main event. I had great story lines. I had great interactions with the fans for the last 39 years. This is my 39th year. I have nothing bad to say.
“If I was that good and that important, WWE would have signed me on the spot. It’s that simple, so it wasn’t meant to be, and I was going through divorce. I was injured, and I didn’t know what was going on. My daughter was just born, and I had an offer to go to Japan and I was trying to save my marriage. The last thing on my mind was the WWE, and again, if they wanted me, of course I’d be there, but I didn’t make the cut. It’s that plain and simple. It just wasn’t my time. They didn’t need me. That’s that. No big deal.”
The goal for this documentary for Vampiro was to use his story to help others battling addiction and mental health. Hausman asked Paszt if there were ever moments he felt like intervening while filming the documentary.
“No, it’s a great question because when you’re making a documentary, you’re a fly on the wall,” Paszt described. “You try not to intervene, and you just kind of have to let things kind of let the chips fall where they’d be. I think the one thing though is that Ian was hiding a lot. There’s a lot of times where I couldn’t get him out to come out to things, and I knew there was stuff going on.
“There was fighting at times like that. There’s some intense moments trying to get him out. I remember a couple times when we were down in Mexico during Christmas time, he wouldn’t come out to meet up at all, and I knew something was wrong then.”
Paszt then talked about one of his favorite parts of the documentary when Vampiro has a sit-down with his daughter and they are able to open up to each other. Paszt explained why there were issues filming that scene but then seeing the two open up really opened his eyes to how serious the subject matter was.
“Even when we’re back in Thunder Bay with his daughter Dasha, one of my favorite parts in the film is when they’re in the restaurant,” Paszt revealed. “They’re talking and that day was an especially difficult day because he wouldn’t leave the house, and I was talking to Dasha. I’m like, we got to do this this stuff. Your supposed to be having lunch and all this, and he’s not coming out. He’s not feeling well. I’m like, yeah, whatever, and I start calling you. I said, ‘I don’t care man. You got to get out here,’ and I was like, ‘we gotta to film this.’ He came out and when I saw him with the legs and the limping, that was first time for me because he’d been hiding it, and then I saw that and I was like, holy crap.
“And then he sat down, and they had lunch and they were there. I knew that this was a moment for Dasha because she wanted to ask questions, and I said to her, ‘you can ask him anything you want and confront him about some things and all that.’ And I said, ‘he’s not going to get away’ because he can’t leave the booth at that moment. We were like, ‘do that, ask him,’ and we tucked away in the corner and we just filmed it. We filmed about two hours of their lunch, and they just forgot about us and they just started talking and doing their thing. So it’s a really special moment, but then when he left the place, it really hit me. It was like, ‘wow, this is pretty serious stuff.'”
“Nail In The Coffin: The Fall and Rise Of Vampiro” is now available on VOD and Digital platforms. Vampiro’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.