Rhino Talks Time With TNA & His Departure, Extreme Rising, Learning From Flair, WWE One Night Stand

WrestlingINC: With Extreme Rising, when they had their first show with Extreme Reunion, it seems like Shane Douglas kind of had a better idea of how to book former ECW talent. I think one of the biggest complaints or criticisms you hear is that WWE or TNA never fully knew what to do with your characters like Paul Heyman did. They don't really know how to push talent that they didn't create like Rob Van Dam or Sabu.

Rhino: Yeah, Paul Heyman I think knew my character better than I did. Paul, Tommy, Shane, Jim Cornette -- Jim Cornette actually got me a tryout for WWE in 1998. He saw my tape and still to this date if he reads it, I'll have to confess it to him. But, in my tryout match with WWE and because I work with Ring Of Honor, too, Cornette would say 'You're an animal. Just go out there and beat people up and you can work, too. Then, slowly build to the matches where you can go out there and have a 50/50 match with someone.'

But, here's a little bit of history for you. I used to do a top rope splash, right? And I still do, every once in a while I'll bust it out. But, in 1998 I had a dark match against this kid and we actually worked before several times. I forget what I did right before and I go up to splash him and he's three quarters across the ring. I'm like 'Oh, s--t. I'll never be able to hit this splash.' [Laughs.] So, I'm thinking that I better do a diving headbutt to his mid-section because I was working his mid-section. He's three quarters across the ring and WWE's ring is big, it's like 20 feet.

So, I hit a headbutt to his mid-section. So, I get back and Cornette's like 'Wow, that was the greatest thing. A diving headbutt three quarters across the ring.' I didn't have the heart to tell him that it was supposed to be a splash but he was too far away. As I was climbing up, I was just 'Oh, s--t. Well, I guess I'll do a diving headbutt.' I used to do a headbutt off the second rope and I used to fall forward. So, I was like 'I gotta really jump for this one.' At that time, I was every bit of 300 pounds.

But, those four guys know my character and the character can evolve when it's on TV to different things because I'd like to do funny things. Some funny stuff, some dramatic things and more entertaining. Because as you get older, you want to be more of an entertainer and less of a bump taker. [Laughs.]

WrestlingINC: You weren't a part of the first Extreme Rising shows. Were you asked?

Rhino: Yeah. Actually, we got a little mixed up with booking. I was already booked and committed to other shows. Which was sad because I really wanted to be a part of it from day one. But it just didn't work out. Now, I'm going to be the first Extreme Rising champion.

WrestlingINC: Yeah, what are your thoughts on last month's show where you defeated Homicide in the tournament?

Rhino: It was packed. I'd never worked that building and I was actually happy to. I'd seen footage from that building that was really cool. And Homicide, he's tough. He's the real deal.

WrestlingINC: Yeah. At first, a lot of people initially just looked at this as just an ECW reunion tour. It seems like it's evolved into kind of it's own thing as opposed to just an ECW reunion thing.

Rhino: It's definitely grown into its own animal. Obviously, it's got the good mixture and you have that younger talent with that good mixture with older talent. Good booking. All the signs are there for success. Obviously, the first few shows were very successful as far as drawing and in-ring work and all that stuff.

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