The Wrestling Inc. Daily welcomed promoter Dave Herro onto a recent episode of the podcast where he and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman chatted about Hell In A Cell and WWE’s current programming strategy. Herro theorized that WWE is currently marketing their product to keep the networks happy, and he also called WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns “the Thanos of WWE” that is collecting his “Infinity Samoans”.
“I think they’re trying to create something to keep the network happy,” Herro admitted. “I really do because you know FOX is looking at that billion-dollar contract and saying, ‘oof, these aren’t the numbers we were paying for.’ So who knows, maybe there’s some wrestling fan at FOX that is a decision maker that says, ‘hey, I want to be a part of this also.’ I thought the Jey Uso-Roman Reigns match was fantastic, and if you want to make Roman Reigns as the guy that collects all the other Samoans on the roster–I love Roman Reigns and Jey Uso, what they’re doing.
“I like it where Roman Reigns has almost become the Thanos of WWE where he’s going to be collecting all of his ‘Infinity Samoans’ to become the most powerful guy, and then hopefully, The Rock can be Iron Man and show up and save the day and put all the ‘Infinity Samoans’ back where they belong. I think that’s the big payoff because right now, no one’s going to beat Roman Reigns at the rate he’s going.
“He’s focused. He’s vicious. When he was crying during that match, I was like, ‘this is so good’ because it just shows how evil he has become, just that evil emperor right now where he doesn’t care about anybody, and he just sucked everybody in and just vicious.
Herro also spoke on the current state of the WWE women’s division. He noted that while the division’s top stars are currently out of action, WWE has kept the division busy, and he gave his thoughts on the finish of the Sasha Banks and Bayley match.
“I think considering they’ve lost Charlotte [Flair], they’ve lost Ronda [Rousey] and they’ve lost Becky [Lynch], I think they’ve done a pretty good job of keeping all the girls busy,” Herro noted. “Sasha and Bayley, it’s a completely different level. For me, if I would have booked that, I would have had Bayley beat Sasha within an inch of her life, take her off TV, you question if Bayley really is a good human or not, bring Sasha back at The Rumble, hopefully in front of people, have a huge pop, have her win at The Rumble and then beat Bayley at WrestleMania.
“I just think that would have been more emotional than what they did. It’s just interesting how they’re using all of them in just different pieces. It seems like they don’t know what direction they want to go on with most of them, but they’re all getting TV time, which is something that we can’t always say. And it was two different matches because Roman and Jey was more psychology, and the girls’ was way more physical with a lot more props to it. So it was two different matches, two different stories [and] two good stories that were told by all four good people.”
Herro also talked about his start in pro wrestling where he was able to bring in wrestlers to his autograph and memorabilia store with the help of Kimberly Page. He noted that he almost had Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in his store, but he did have The Rock in after paying him $3,000 for his appearance that brought in over a thousand people to his store.
“At the time, it was a sports, card and memorabilia store, so it was Bucks, Brewers, Packers, baseball cards, jerseys, starting lineup figures, prints [and] autographs like that,” Herro recalled. “Thanks to Kimberly Page. She’s the one that opened the door for me back when she was on America Online as WCWKim10. I used to bring in the Packers’ Don Beebe, Gilbert Brown [and] William Henderson back then, and then I got in Dallas Page and the Road Warriors and Vader all the way up until I got The Rock in my store, 1999, ‘The Peoples Champ’ Rock.
“I was about to do an appearance with Triple H, and that’s when he started dating Stephanie. And I don’t think back then, the guys wanted to do private signings with the boss’s daughter around. So yeah that kind of came to a screeching halt, but I brought The Rock in 1999, and I think I paid him three grand for a three-hour appearance. We had over a thousand people show up that day at $30 an autograph. It was insane.”
Herro also recalled when he started as a wrestling promoter. He noted that Cactus Jack, Mick Foley, wrestled on one of his shows before he started his iconic feud against Stone Cole Steve Austin.
“My first store I opened up was in ’94. I took a year and a half break, went into the corporate world,” Herro stated. “I worked for American Family Insurance and did real estate, and then I went back into the retail end of everything. It was a ’97, and it’s when I had my first show headlined by The Brooklyn Brawler of all people. My first big Blizzard Brawl, I think, was in 2005, and that was supposed to be a tribute show for The Crusher after he passed.
“But my first big super show was a ’98 when I brought in Cactus Jack, who was wrestling on Monday Night RAW at the time, and he became the GLCW Heavyweight Champion on that show. It was one of his very last two independent dates because after that match, he went on to have that big program with Stone Cold Steve Austin.”
Dave Herro and Dameon Nelson host the Pro Wrestling Report every Thursday night, 7/6c, on FITE.tv. It is FREE to stream. Herro’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.