Legendary wrestling trainer Les Thatcher spoke to the Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling Podcast this week about WWE, MTV, and organizing the Pillman Memorial shows. You can check out highlights below, and the full podcast at this link.
The development of Rapid Delivery Rory Fox on the MTV True Life special:
"The business, because its a work is subjective and there is a young man who was a hell of a worker and a good solid hand and should probably have had a contract or at least a short run with a major company and just never did. He was good people, but the guys ribbed him about the "paperboy" and the guys were telling him that Les was going to make you ride a bicycle from the dressing room to the ring and throw newspapers. He thought that it may be kind of hokey but it got over and I'll never forget that he came to me and he said that he had met Justin Credible and he went up to introduce himself and he (Justin) said "you're the Paperboy Rory Fox". You see, you got over after all didn't you? That was a great time for all of us."
Pitching the infamous "Paperboy" gimmick:
"Every kid that has come through my place has an idea or that it's this music or that music, let's wait to see who you really are before we decide what to do with you. Rory always thought that he should do some big power moves and I sat him down one day and said; Go look in the mirror and step on a scale and you will notice that you are not King Kong, so we have got to make you a different type of worker. I just thought he was from a small Iowa town and I thought that with the Paperboy thing we'd use the John Mellencamp song "Small-town" and it got over."
Frustration over his trainees not getting developmental deals:
"I'll tell you the truth. I've loved all my kids, some of them were a pain in the ass at times but I cared about them all and to me it's a shame that a lot of them should have had contracts but never got them for whatever reason I couldn't even begin to think. We've had a lot of talent and guys who if I mention there name, you would say well who the hell is that but they were as talented as the guys who had contracts."
Organizing the Brian Pillman Memorial Shows & Chris Benoit vs. William Regal:
"The Pillman shows were special. There was always something about having and being the only company in the world that had ECW, WCW & WWF wrestlers all under the same roof and in the same night. I was so honored that these companies trusted us to do that. One of the great things in it and if you don't watch it then you are not a wrestling fan and it's the Benoit/Regal match from Pillman 2000 and which is on the Benoit DVD, I use it in training. It was an amazing match and they had 2,000 people on there feet at the end and we would have brought it back for the fourth Pillman show and in fact we had the title Pillman 2001: Regal/Benoit: The Return but Chris broke his neck and had neck surgery so we couldn't do that. Honestly, Regal called me and said there is only one other guy in the world that I feel like I can have that particular match with and I wouldn't want to short change the fans nor insult Chris by trying to do it with someone else. That match is friggin' amazing and if you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it."
Les Thatcher also covers many aspects of his over 50 year career including working alongside Jim Cornette in Smoky Mountain, breaking into the business, teaching how to work in all aspects of wrestling and where he see's the business heading.