As part of their promotion for the documentary, “Nail in the Coffin: The Fall and Rise of Vampiro”, director Michael Paszt and former WCW star Vampiro joined Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman on The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast. Throughout the interview, Vampiro opened up about his health issues that stemmed from a toxic drug culture in WCW. Vampiro elaborated on what the WCW locker room was like.
“It was bad because that’s when I was starting with my situation. My main injury came during WCW, but I was already injured before that,” Vamprio revealed. “I’m educated different. I grew up in wrestling different, but I’m also very religious. I’m very sensitive. I have nothing to do with my image, the way I look physically. I’m easily affected by people who are bullies and people who suffer. So WCW was a locker room of desperate men on the verge of suicide. There was like, I don’t know, 50 or 60 of them that did commit suicide or drug overdoses.
“The political situation behind the scenes, the manipulation the lying [and] the cheating and you have a group of guys who are overly insecure, full of prescription drugs. I don’t mean one or two pain pills. I mean 70-80 pain pills an hour every hour every day, major, major, major major doses of anabolic steroids plus all the injuries and the mental health stuff. Then, ‘Who’s doing this? Who’s getting paid that? This guy said this?’ It was almost as if somebody did it on purpose so that we would all kill ourselves, you know as an experiment. It was horrid. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.”
Vampiro was unapologetic when it came to how he described the WCW locker room and the overall culture at WCW. He admits that that culture almost killed him.
“You’re a product of your environment,” Vampiro noted. “So you have to live with these guys and some guys have different versions of it. And yeah, I made good friends, and I loved my experience with the fans. But hey, I don’t give a s–t what those guys say, I was there and after 39 years in the business, I have every right to tell you because I started before wrestling had television. Now, I’m producing TV shows. So I know what I’m talking about.
“So a lot of the a– kissers. ‘Oh, no, it was great,’ and they’re still trying to hang on and get that one last indie booking. I can say a bunch of names, but f–k those guys. The reality of the situation is, they were as much a part of the problem as the guilty ones work because they didn’t speak up. They didn’t have the f–king balls to stand up. They just want that paycheck. It’s like prostitution is what it’s like man. I didn’t spend my life being an athlete at a high level: hockey, football, basketball [and] pro wrestling.
“I was Vampiro for 12 years in Japan, Europe [and] Mexico before I even mention WCW. F–k WCW. I didn’t need WCW, but it was the natural progression in my career. I’ve been in all these places. I got to go there and dominate, and they said I’m never going to get a shot and I f–king schooled it. I don’t care what you say. It is what it is. So yeah, it almost killed me. It really did.”
Hausman asked if Eric Bischoff had tried to reign people in, and Vampiro, who said he’s a fan of Bischoff, was sympathetic to what Bischoff had to deal with citing the types of things that would be said at WCW by dozens of people at the same time. Vampiro also cited that Bischoff was seen as an outsider that made it a constant battle between the old guard and everyone else that made it hard for everyone.
“Poor Eric Bischoff man,” Vampiro said. “A lot of people don’t like Eric Bischoff, but I do. Look, he’s a man. He’s a human being. What are you supposed to do when you got 80 guys and every one of them is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to pro wrestling. If it wasn’t for those guys, there would be no industry. Up his a– 24/7. ‘Sleep with my wife. Take these drugs. Here’s half my money, put me on TV.’ What the f–k are you supposed to do? And that’s what it was like.
“I mean, hey, it ain’t ballet, and we’re not innocent. You know what I’m saying? I wasn’t this unicorn going in there. I mean I was a f–king guy from the street, and I would rob you before you can blink your eyes. I mean, that’s how I grew up, and I was looking at these guys in the dressing room like, ‘motherf–ker,’ you know what I’m saying?
“Like management was hands-on, but that’s ‘the good old boys club,’ and they didn’t like Eric Bischoff because he was an outsider. There was never harmony. It was just a constant battle. So you walk into that and you’re like, ‘what the f–k am I doing here?’ For me, it was very hard, very hard.”
“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.