The Inner Circle came together on today’s episode of Talk Is Jericho where they discussed the behind the scenes details of Stadium Stampede 2. Ortiz talked about his and Santana’s scene with FTR and what they were going for in their vision.
“We just wanted to show a contrast. We had many different ideas going into it,” Ortiz stated. “With the music, we wanted to kind of set up the world. Originally, we wanted a country song playing in the background so it’s kind of FTR’s scene. Bam, here we come busting through the doors. There’s a shift change with Konnan changing the music and then hip hop is playing. So that was our idea where it shows a contrast between us because FTR and us are very much alike in a sense, but we’re from different worlds, and we wanted to kind of portray that in the scene. And I think it came across like so.”
Chris Jericho then revealed the licensed music they wanted to get for that scene. He also revealed other licensed music he tried to get in the past and how much it would cost him.
“The dichotomy of that was so great, and the original idea was, Max mentioned we should try and get DMX,” Jericho revealed. “So to kind of talk about the music for a bit, first of all, we tried to get Van Halen ‘Running with the Devil’ when Max and I teamed that one time. They came back and said for one time use is $500,000, which is basically a nice way of saying go f**k your ass. Frank Sinatra was a lot cheaper, but it was really hard to get, ‘Me and My Shadow’. This is a big time guy.
“He didn’t write the song, but it’s the publishers who own it. Even like for ‘Judas’, when I want to use ‘Judas’, I can’t just use it. Sony, who owns our publishing, has to approve. So DMX was the idea, and I thought, well, there’s no way, so I asked Mega, who’s, as Konnan would call, the AEW legal girl. She kind of does this. That’s kind of one of her forte’s for the NFL to get licensing for songs. They came back and said yes, for ‘X Gon’ Give It to Ya’, and it was for not Van Halen money and not Frank Sinatra money, which is 15 grand but somewhere lower than that where it was affordable. I even said I’ll go half. Let’s just get this.
“So then a couple days before, poor Darrell, one of our production managers, he’s on the field with us during the Stampede, you got the guys in the truck, and you got us and he’s the middleman. He tells me, ‘So I heard that we don’t have DMX.’ I’m like ‘What are you talking about?’ So then this domino effect goes to where we were originally given permission, but the family has to sign off on it, and they didn’t sign off. So that I have to break the news like, oh man, we don’t have DMX.”
Santana then discussed the other back-up options they looked for once DMX became unavailable.
“I was trying to reach out to some of my friends that are part of Griselda Records, which is this popular hip hop group now with Westside Gunn, and Benny the Butcher and Conway the Machine,” Santana said. “Then I reached out to my other friend Smoke DZA, so I was just trying to reach out to all the guys that I knew that are popular, and have a really big following and enjoy wrestling. It’s funny because I messaged Westside Gunn the day before when we were trying to figure things out, and he didn’t see the message until Monday. And then Monday he responds, ‘I’m so pissed that I missed this message. The next time you ever want to use anything, you have my sign off any time.'”
Jericho also revealed the other back-up options that were looked at.
“We’re looking to try and find anybody with a certain vibe to it, and once DMX was out, I was like, what are we gonna do? We were offered Kurtis Blow ‘The Breaks’,” Jericho recalled. “I listened to it, and I go, this thing is way too happy. It needs to be dirtier and vibe, and then she came up with a couple others. God bless her, she was working hard, trying. We just couldn’t get anybody. My hip hop knowledge is limited, so I was asking you guys.
“I had Eddie Kingston come in. I know he’s from the streets. A lot of his ideas are the same as yours, and we just couldn’t find anything. So then I asked Mikey Ruckus, ‘Can you make X Gon’ Give It to Ya but just not where we’re gonna get sued.’ He came back with one, and Mega said, ‘You gotta change the horns or whatever.’ And he came up with one that was pretty close. He got some rappers from Atlanta that came in.
“Mikey Rukus, he’s an unsung hero because he said, ‘How much time do I got?’ I said, ‘You get 24 hours, find some rappers and do it.’ So he really did, and it came through in the clutch for that for us. The last thing I’ll say is we originally tried the country music, but I was like, okay, this doesn’t fit at all because this is lit like a club. It feels like a club. Everyone’s dressed like a club, and Konnan’s the DJ. He would never put on country music.”
Jericho later gave his thoughts on the country music that was looked at for FTR.
“The funny thing is because we’ve just gone through all this stuff on DMX and the library music where they had this country music, it was really bad,” Jericho admitted. “I’m like, well, FTR wouldn’t hang out in a place like this. Just find some really shi**y EDM and they used that, and then when the transition came to the hip hop, I thought it really worked.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.