On today’s episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman sat down with Talking Tough host Rick Bassman. The last time Bassman was on the podcast, he and Hausman talked about how he discovered Sting. On his latest appearance, he gave his thoughts on Sting in AEW and if he thinks Sting will have a match in AEW.
“On the matches, I’ll just get that out of the way first. I don’t think so,” Bassman said. “If he were to do a match, it would have to be really really carefully constructed. Sting, Steve, is a really intelligent guy. He’s been smart about how he’s taken care of himself health-wise and financially both. I don’t think his financial well-being is at risk.
“If anything, it’s further bolstered by what he’s doing at AEW right now, but I think he’s too smart to put his health at risk. Why would he? He doesn’t need to. A lot of the guys will tell you, a lot of the guys in the business, even at the top, they’ll tell you they’re still marks for themselves. And that’s not a bad thing necessarily. It means that they feel the need to be in there. They need to perform. They need to do a match. They need to get that buzz from the fans. Sting just doesn’t have that, man. He loves it. He loves the business.
“He respects it, but I don’t see him putting himself at risk. I don’t know why he would do that. Here’s the thing, you and I both know, we’ve been around this business for a long time, you don’t necessarily have to get in the ring and do a match to have a huge impact and to help move the needle. And I think if stuff is written for him properly and executed properly, he can be a very significant player there without having to be in the ring. [On how he would book Sting] I haven’t thought that through. I don’t have an off-the-cuff answer.”
Bassman also gave his thoughts on how well AEW has done so far. He said that while AEW is not a “threat” to WWE, they are still doing well and are a benefit for the talent in the industry as it gives them another place to go to.
“I don’t think they’re a threat by definition of that word, as we might perceive it,” Bassman stated. “I think that they established a solid foothold in this industry, and I think that’s great. If they’re beating NXT — I know NXT doesn’t want to get beaten. Hunter (Triple H) doesn’t want that certainly, but at the end of the day, WWE still has RAW. They still have SmackDown.
“Still, making it a sound like it’s a secondary thing. It’s not. They’re huge successful brands, and I don’t think any company will ever come along in the pro wrestling world that will, back to the word threat, that will threaten WWE in so far as the idea of WWE’s business being at risk. They’re always going to be solid. They’re always going to do what they’re doing. Hopefully, they’ll always find better ways to do it. I’m not the first person that’s going to say the following. There are thousands that will say it. I think it’s great when there’s more than one player out there because it gives the boys and the girls another another place to go.
“I know someone on their way to NXT right now that was able, I wouldn’t say to negotiate their deal, but to leverage it a little bit and do a little better than they would have had there not been another company out there that was vying for their services. You’ve heard a million people say it. I’m only one more. It’s great for the talent. It’s great to have to have more than one choice out there, and I don’t think it hurts WWE in the least. That may sound a little Pollyannaish, but that’s how I look at it.”
Bassman also discussed his podcast Talking Tough and how it has helped him throughout the pandemic. He said the podcast has helped him stay connected with people and helped him connect with others as well.
“It’s helped me personally, absolutely, in a lot of ways through connectivity,” Bassman described. “I’ve stayed connected with so many people I know through Talking Tough or an adjunct to it one sort or another, and I’ll explain that in a moment. I’ve renewed contacts with people because of it. I’ve made new contacts because of it. Guys and girls both, women, that have become friends that I think and hope will remain so for a long time. So personally, it’s been really really fulfilling. It’s also fun. From a business side, it’s taking off. Talking Tough is turning into a little enterprise, and I think has some promise for the future, God willing. We’ll see, but it’s been a blast.”
Bassman then discussed an idea that he has introduced on the show recently where he pairs together an MMA icon with a pro wrestling icon. He talked about how that dynamic provides for an interesting conversation and show.
“I came up with this idea a while ago. Most ideas that are good are not mine,” Bassman noted. “This one does happen to be mine, and I think it’s a good idea. I was a fan of the Brave and the Bold comic books when Batman would team up with another superhero. And prior to Batman, it was just the random teaming like Metamorpho. the Element Man. I love these random superhero team ups. So I came up with a concept to team an MMA icon or legend with a pro wrestling icon or legend. Last week, we had Dallas Page and Bas Rutten on together.
“In that case, they do know each other, but I actually find the dynamic is really interesting and sometimes a lot more fun and a lot more revealing when they don’t know each other. Guy Mezger is very well aware of Chavo Guerrero, and Chavo said last night. He been a fan forever of Guy Mezger’s, but they never even met before. So that was cool. I had Rob Van Dam on with Cabbage [and Doc] Gallows with Don Frye, and in all these cases, these guys have not known each other. And it makes for an interesting show.”
Rick Bassman hosts the podcast Talking Tough which can be found on all major podcast platforms. You can follow him on Twitter @Rick_Bassman. Bassman’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.