SI.com’s Wrestling Week in Review is published every Wednesday and provides beneath the surface coverage of the business of pro wrestling.
Kevin Nash on the NWO turning 20 & the WWE brand extension
This past Thursday, the NWO celebrated its twentieth birthday.
Kevin Nash remains extremely proud of the faction’s legacy and its contributions to the business.
“Whether people say the NWO grew too fast or it didn’t grow fast enough, all I know is that it was pretty much an angle for three years,” said Nash. “Right now, the programming–with no competition–has a hard time going three months with any kind of an angle.”
Nash spoke to Sports Illustrated after an appearance with the Worcester Bravehearts. Worcester, Massachusetts is also the site of the live Smackdown on Tuesday, July 19–which is the night of the brand extension draft. Nash does not expect to return as the general manager for either Raw or Smackdown.
“I haven’t heard anything,” said Nash. “I think they know I don’t want to work every week.”
Nash expressed concern over a lack of roster depth, which is necessary for the brand extension to succeed.
“There’s just not a lot of depth,” explained Nash. “We did the split in ‘02, but they’ve had a rash of injuries. A lot of guys are coming back now, but when you start splitting things up, it just shows the lack of depth there is all the way through.”
Despite concerns over the brand extension, Nash remains a fan of the product. He even gave The Club–AJ Styles, Luke “Doc” Gallows, and Karl Anderson–his blessing to use the “Kliq sign.”
“If you’re over enough to use that and the people don’t sh-- on you, you’re over,” said Nash. “I don’t mind it at all. I just didn’t like them bringing in Doc and Anderson, then having that six-man elimination match [against Roman Reigns and The Uso’s]. There is no reason to beat those two guys coming in the door. You’re missing heel talent and you’re going to beat these two guys? But they corrected it.
“It’s almost like, ‘No one can get over you except us,’ even though you were over someplace else. They make the reference to AJ like he was a Japan guy–he was a TNA guy. He was in Japan for like a year. And the thing is, he’s tearing the TV up.”
Nash also predicts a bright future for the WWE with Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns leading the company.
“I think all those Shield guys are really talented,” said Nash. “Name three guys that made more of an impact than those three guys coming in the door for that company. They’re three huge talents, and three huge talents they’re going to have [in WWE] for another ten years.”
Naturally, there are connections between Nash and Reigns–including similar booking when Nash was Diesel.
“Someone photoshopped his head and put it on Diesel and put my head on his body–and it looked good,” said Nash. “When I was Diesel, I bet you I hadn’t worked even 250 matches when I was champ. I broke in as Master Blaster and had maybe thirty matches with that character. They sh--canned that, I came back as Oz. I had twenty or thirty matches with that character, mostly in Japan, and then they sh--canned that. I came back as Vinnie Vegas and worked 75 matches that year as Vinnie Vegas. I came in as Shawn’s bodyguard and didn’t work anything that first year. Toward the end of the year, we worked a couple tag matches and six-man’s. What kind of pushed me in was somebody gimmicked Shawn’s drink and it came back positive for stanozolol. Shawn wasn’t even going to the gym, let alone taking stanozolol. It was ridiculous, but he got suspended–and then he got pissed when he got suspended, and I got thrown into that spot. I started working with Scott as the Razor Ramon character then, but I knew I was green even when I was champion.
“My whole thing was–nothing against the guys they put me with on the house–but they put me with [King Kong] Bundy and [Bob] Backlund, two very limited guys to a big man that’s not exactly a luchador. So I was limited and they put me with limited guys, and finally they had to bring Double J [Jeff Jarrett] in off the B-loop so I could work with him and Road Dogg [Jesse James] because they could bump and feed, and we could have a fast-paced match. I don’t think they did me any favors–my first pay per view was Royal Rumble against Bret [Hart]. We had a 30-minute draw with 95 run-ins, so it wasn’t like they passed the torch to me. They can say what they want to about the Diesel character, but when you look back at what they did with it–and not what I did with it–it sure is funny how once I lost the championship to Bret and turned back to having some edge, the character again became popular.”
Nash’s edge was a necessary ingredient in his success. That is not necessarily the case, he explained, for Roman Reigns.
“I’ve always said there are two kinds of people in this world,” said Nash. “There is somebody who gets you down in a fight and is putting the boots to you, and the guy on the floor says, ‘Hey, I’ve had enough,’ and you stop. Or you’re me, and I’ll break my shin open to try to kick you as you climb underneath the car because I’ll tell you when you’ve had enough. You either have that or you don’t–you’re either a prick or you’re not, and I’m a prick. I think that shows. If you’re not, you’re not. I’m glad he’s not. Every time I talk to him, he seems like a really well-adjusted, very nice gentleman. I think he’s got a great look, I think he’s very athletic, I think things will work out for him. It’s just a bad time for him right now, but he’ll be a big star for that company.”
Nash’s willingness to give back to the business–in WWE and beyond–is an integral part of his legacy. Ring of Honor world champion Jay Lethal, former IWGP champ Tetsuya Naito, and the Young Bucks all credit Nash with helping turn them into the stars they are today.
“I remember one time after a match–I was working with Creed [Xavier Woods] in TNA–and one of the higher ups pulled me aside and said, ‘I thought you gave him too much.’ I said, ‘F--- man, don’t you think I’ve gotten mine? Me beating him means nothing. Him beating me means something. People sit up and go, ‘Woah.’” Look at those Bucks–they have good s---. They do so many cool double things. I bounced around for them like a rubber ball. That’s the fun part of the business. That’s the sports entertainment–you can go out and entertain people. You could go out there and club somebody like a baby seal for six minutes and then hit your finish, but why would I want to watch that?”
Nash credits this philosophy to the education he received during his time in the most influential group in professional wrestling history–the Kliq, which, along with Nash, included Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman and Paul “Triple H” Levesque.
“Scott, Sean and Shawn were all [Curt] Hennig disciples. I was basically a disciple of Scott and HBK because I watched them from ringside every night, so my psychology was basically tailored to what they were doing every night. And then when Paul came in, he was in that same mode. When we talked business, everybody was on the same page. There were so many times in the car when we talked about things and angles that didn’t involve anybody in the car. ‘Taker was always a really hard guy to book. You can’t beat him. You could get heat on him, but you can’t beat him. So you’ve got to use talent smartly around him. If he was ever going to get beat [at a WrestleMania], Lesnar is the guy to do it. I wouldn’t bet against Lesnar if it was a shoot.”
Levesque continues to amaze Nash with his intelligence and ability to forecast the future of the business, which is why he believes wrestling rests in extremely good hands.
“Signing [Bin Wang] and starting to put a deal together in China, then having Cena speak in Mandarin–that’s some very James Bond s--- right there,” said Nash. “That’s knowing how important that market is and making sure you carve a niche in it. That’s where I’m proudest of WWE–it’s not a wrestling company, it’s an entertainment company–but it’s an incredibly well run business.
“NXT right now is one of the hottest tickets in the world as far as sports entertainment. I love NXT. I was just down at the Performance Center, and there are some horses down there. There are some 6’9”, some 7-foot guys, and there is some size coming down the pike. There are some very brilliant people that are involved in it, and it just so happens that my friend, Paul, is one of them. There are some very, very brilliant people in many different facets of that company, especially the global expansion.”
News of the Week
Brock Lesnar’s performance at UFC 200 surely made the WWE regret its silence over the fight.
Instead of promoting the fight each week on Raw–and capitalizing on a potential victory–the WWE played it safe, fearing a knockout loss and being unwilling to promote a competitor’s event. The first mention of the fight was this past Monday on Raw, missing a major opportunity to further enhance Lesnar’s image.
Lesnar was beast-like in his domination of a top ten UFC heavyweight in Mark Hunt. There is a considerable talent gap between a top ten contender and fighters in the top five, so although Lesnar is not quite ready for UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, he showcased his undeniable talent after a five-year layoff from the Octagon. Lesnar was able to go three rounds, which critics said would not occur. He also controlled the fight by forcefully taking Hunt to the ground and never allowed Hunt to develop any sustained offense.
Lesnar is all but guaranteed to fight again for UFC, but first, he returns to the squared circle to battle Randy Orton next month at SummerSlam. With his return to the UFC a certainty after SummerSlam, it is worth revisiting WWE’s official statement regarding the Lesnar-Hunt fight:
“Brock Lesnar remains under contract to WWE, however, he has been granted a one-off opportunity to compete at UFC 200. Following this milestone event on July 9, Brock will return to WWE for SummerSlam on Sunday, August 21 live on WWE Network.”
Lesnar rarely loses cleanly, but in order to build up a rematch–or two–it is highly possible that 12-time world champion Randy Orton scores the upset at SummerSlam.
Very rarely does WWE ever receive criticism for copying TNA, but that is exactly what is happening after The New Day visited the Wyatt Family’s compound a week after the match between Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy on the…Hardy compound.
Wrestling, however, has a history of repeating ideas–TNA has been applauded for the Hardys’ angle, but that storyline and camerawork was heavily influenced by Lucha Underground. TNA is capitalizing on the buzz, but it will be very interesting to see how the Hardy feud–and characters–progress from here.
In other news…
• The feud between WWE champion Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins is the best in the business. The two are set to meet next Monday on Raw in a main event worthy of SummerSlam. If the title match ends with a questionable finish, that will open the door for two separate world heavyweight champions beginning the following night during the brand extension draft on Smackdown.
• My predictions? Shane McMahon chooses Daniel Bryan to be the General Manager of Smackdown, while Stephanie McMahon picks Paul Heyman to be the GM on Raw.
• Moose debuted on TNA last night, ending speculation that he was headed to WWE. Quinn “Moose” Ojinnaka was on a fast track to NXT until the company soured on him due to a 2009 domestic abuse arrest that cost the former NFL linebacker a one-game suspension. Moose debuted as a heel and served as the muscle for “The Miracle” Mike Bennett.
• Ken Shamrock announced to Sports Illustrated that he would like to return to the WWE: “My wrestling career was really special,” said Shamrock. “I absolutely would go back and wrestle again. There is still some unfinished business that I haven’t completed. I’ve been King of the Ring, Intercontinental champion, tag team champion, so I’d love to have a run with the belt. And I’d love the opportunity to wrestle Brock Lesnar. Some of the moves that I have and the submission moves that I possess really work against bigger and slower guys. I’d jump on that opportunity in a heartbeat.”
• For anyone who subscribes to the WWE Network, tonight’s NXT is appointment viewing as we see Finn Balor wrestle Shinsuke Nakamura.
• Although Zack Ryder is unlikely to dethrone Rusev for the United States title, and Darren Young is a major underdog against The Miz for the Intercontinental championship, I’m enjoying both old-school feuds.
• Ring of Honor returns to Philadelphia as part of the “Aftershock Tour” this Saturday at the old ECW Arena. The card, which features a main event for the ROH world title between Jay Lethal and Colt Cabana, will help build toward next month’s Death Before Dishonor PPV and will also be covered live on Twitter by yours truly (@JustinBarrasso) and starts at 6pm ET.
• Also this Saturday–pro wrestling returns to SI’s Facebook Live with a live interview with New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Rocky Romero and Trent Barretta at 4:30pm ET. Romero and Barretta, known as Roppongi Vice, will be wrestling at the Ring of Honor show, and we will be discussing NJPW, Bullet Club, The Club and Ring of Honor, as well as taking questions from anyone watching.
The Shoot: Jessie Godderz
“Mr. PEC-Tacular” Jessie Godderz is a former two-time TNA world tag team champion and also appeared on CBS’ Big Brother. Godderz, in his own words, explains his journey into pro wrestling.
I always knew that I wanted to become a pro wrestler but just didn’t know how to get my foot in the door. It all seemed like a pipe dream back then.
How does a kid basically growing up in the middle of nowhere try to become a success in the world of wrestling? I honestly had no idea. I didn’t have any relatives in the sport. I was from modest means. I didn’t have any advantages whatsoever. I just kept my fingers crossed and hoped for the best. But that’s all it was.
Upon graduation from high school, I went to the local college, but instead of continuing to wrestle, I actually took my first detour into the sport of bodybuilding. I also started hitting the gym frequently because I wasn’t into partying and drinking like most everybody else who went to my school. And that’s when I fell in love with working out.
I saw relatively dramatic results in a short period of time and I was ecstatic. That was the positive. The negative was that because I started gaining size so easily, other students (the ones who were partying and drinking and were jealous of my “transformation”) accused me of taking steroids to improve my physique. What they didn’t realize is that I have never ever taken a single steroid or any other illegal substance of any kind...and never will.
Anyway, to prove them wrong, I decided to enter a North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation show, and I became the youngest natural pro bodybuilder in the WNBF, a record I still hold to this day. That accomplishment alone gave me a tremendous sense of self-confidence that I never had before. I then decided the time was right to channel that confidence into my pursuit of my lifelong dream... becoming a pro wrestler. But I still didn’t know how I was going to make that happen.
The only thing I had to go on was that I had heard that you have to either be in New York or LA to make those kind of dreams come true... since I loved the beach, I thought, ‘Well, I’m gonna move to LA!’ So after my freshman year of college, I decided to take a job at the local train station as a train conductor to save up enough money to make the move to LA. I worked there for a year and a half and then decided the time was right to make the big move. So I left college, packed my bags, said goodbye to my family and friends in Iowa and drove to California, not knowing a single soul, and with no idea of what the future had to hold.
Shortly after I arrived in California, things started happening very, very quickly. While still trying to figure out how to get my foot in the door in the pro wrestling industry, I joined a modeling agency and went on casting calls. The modeling agency sent me to a casting call for my favorite television show of all time... CBS’ Big Brother, which really changed my life forever. I literally became a household name overnight because of the show. I truly owe Big Brother my entire career.
Once the Big Brother season ended, I was at a crossroads. I ended up going back to Iowa to enter the WNBF Mr. Natural Iowa competition in 2008...and lo and behold, I won that one, too. After that win, I returned to California with hopes of finally making the transition to pro wrestling. And it was then that I would finally get my first big break and it was by sheer luck. I decided to train at Gold’s Gym in Venice one day when I spotted of all people...the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
I got the courage to walk up to him, introduced myself, told him that I had a tremendous amount of respect for him...and wanted to follow in his footsteps and become a pro wrestler. Fortunately, he was an unbelievably nice guy and was incredibly helpful. He advised me to move to Orlando, Florida and enroll in a school called Florida Championship Wrestling to learn basic skills (that school, by the way, would later become NXT). So of course I took Ric’s advice, moved to Orlando, and enrolled in FCW. The class lasted three months and was an invaluable learning experience.
Then, just as I was about to start looking for opportunities as a pro wrestler, I was contacted by the casting department of Big Brother to return to California for a chance to be on Big Brother 11. So I got on a plane and went straight back to California. That season ended up being even more important to me than the previous season. During my first day back on Big Brother on CBS, I decided to announce to the world that my lifelong dream was to become a pro wrestler. In an incredible surprise, I was contacted out of the blue by the head of Talent Development at TNA at the time, Terry Taylor, to see if I wanted to have a tryout to be on the show. He told me that TNA President Dixie Carter and the Carter family had known me from Big Brother.
Upon hearing the news, I immediately returned to Orlando, got a tryout at the TNA IMPACT Zone, and I was excited beyond belief when TNA decided to sign me to a contract. It was the ultimate dream come true in every sense of the word. Immediately after my contract signing, TNA sent me to Team 3D Academy in Orlando (owned by Bully Ray and D-Von) to hone my wrestling skills. The Team 3D Academy is the best in the business and it was a true privilege being mentored by two of the most successful legends in the history of the industry.
Then, once TNA teamed up with Ohio Valley Wrestling, I was asked to move to Louisville to become the inaugural member of TNA’s Developmental Program to hone my skills even further. The trainers were awesome at OVW and I especially want to thank Al Snow, Danny Davis, Nick Dinsmore, Frank Miller and Rip Rogers for all that they taught me during my tenure there. Al Snow, in particular, took me under his wing and helped make me into the athlete I am today. I am very, very grateful.
Then on the night of October 14, 2012, everything I had worked so hard for years for finally came true–I got called up to TNA to debut at their biggest PPV of the year, Bound For Glory, as The Hollywood Boyfriend of Tara (Lisa Marie Varon). Later, I was paired up with Robbie E, and we formed the BroMans. Robbie and I are truly like brothers and best friends and I trust him completely. He’s ridiculously talented. And like myself, Robbie’s also a former CBS reality show star (having been on CBS’ The Amazing Race a couple of years ago and almost winning the whole competition).
I wanted to send out a special thank you to Dixie Carter, John Gaburick (Big), Billy Corgan, Matt Conway, Dave Lagana, Josh Mathews, The Pope, Bob Ryder, Eric Barnes, Rafael Morffi, and all the agents, producers, entire locker room, and to everyone in the TNA family... who have made me feel like family during my whole TNA career.
My next goal?
To help make The BroMans become three-time tag team champions and then to ultimately become TNA WORLD CHAMP!
You know, ever since I entered TNA, many fans have compared my look, personality and charisma to that of John Cena so I also hope to become the John Cena of IMPACT Wrestling. In the meantime though, I just want to send a huge THANK YOU to all the fans for sticking with me through the years.
What an incredible journey it’s been–and I’m only getting started.
Starting July 21, Godderz and TNA Impact Wrestling move to Thursday nights at a new time of 8/7 CT on Pop TV.
Weekly Top 10
1.) Brock Lesnar, WWE
The “Beast Incarnate” does not even need to appear on WWE television to regain the top spot. His domination of Mark Hunt only enhances his image as the baddest man on the planet.
2.) AJ Styles, WWE
Styles is the consummate heel, and he and The Club threatening to beat up John Cena at the ESPYs was a great line.
3.) Dean Ambrose, WWE
The WWE champion cut another fantastic promo on Monday, and is finally beginning to assert himself on the mic as champion.
4.) Seth Rollins, WWE
Although “The Rollins Report” was a bust, Rollins receives his opportunity to reclaim his WWE heavyweight title next week on Raw.
5.) Kevin Owens, WWE
Owens defeated Cesaro on Raw, but all of his focus is on the feud with Sami Zayn.
6.) John Cena, WWE
Cena receives quite an honor by hosting the ESPYs tonight on ESPN.
7.) Kenny Omega, New Japan Pro Wrestling
8.) Kazuchika Okada, New Japan Pro Wrestling
Okada finished the weekend with a victory in six-man action in Singapore.
9.) Bobby Lashley, TNA
Lashley fought Eddie Edwards in an entertaining title bout but the match was a no-decision after Lashley was laid out by the newly-debuted Moose.
10.) Matt Hardy, TNA
The “Broken One” mocked his brother Jeff on TNA’s Impact Zone last week–but how will Jeff respond?
Test Your Wrestling IQ
Five Questions with… Chavo Guerrero
Chavo Guerrero is a third generation pro wrestler with successful stints in WWE, WCW, and TNA. He is currently working as a wrestler and producer for Lucha Underground, runs his own clothing line and serves as creator of the Warriors Creed comic book. The nephew of the late, great Eddie Guerrero took some time to speak with Sports Illustrated about Lucha Underground, his uncle Eddie, memories of WCW and WWE and the history of the Guerrero family.
SI.com: Just like Lucha Underground today, the cruiserweight division in WCW–which included your matches with Norman Smiley and the Latino World Order–was different and unique. How much of your time in WCW is still embedded in your wrestling philosophy, and what do you think of WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic?
Guerrero: WCW had a huge impact on me. The cruiserweights in WCW changed wrestling. I was just a young guy going in with Eddie, Dean [Malenko], Chris [Jericho], Steve Regal, Fit Finlay, Curt Hennig–there were so many teachers there, and I was like a sponge. I learned so much in a short period of time from the best of all time, and hopefully it rubbed off a little bit.
I was kind of like, ‘What are they doing? Really?’ The Cruiserweight Classic? They’re about twenty years too late. The only thing they have going for them is that Lucha Underground is not broadcast to a bigger audience, but soon, hopefully, it will. Once that happens, I don’t think anybody can compete with us. We are so different and so cutting edge, and actually treat wrestling like a movie. We film it like a show.
Traditionally, wrestling has always been a live event company. The WWE was a live event company, and that’s where they made their money. They used their TV show to supersize you–sell you to the live event, sell you to the pay per view, sell you to the Network. We, at Lucha Underground, use the TV show to sell you to the next TV show–and then the next week’s show. That’s it. We’re putting a TV show together, and that’s what people are loving. We’re producing it like a TV show, we’re filming backstage segments like a TV show with directors and lighting and cameras. It’s finally something different. As far as the wrestling, I don’t think anybody can touch us. I’ve seen what’s out there–and I’m a big fan of wrestling, I love it–but we are the best thing going right now. It’s almost like Breaking Bad with wrestling.
SI.com: If Eddie Guerrero were alive today at the age of 48, do you think he would be wrestling? How would he have evolved as a wrestler and performer?
Guerrero: If Eddie were alive, he would be out of the ring. I’m not saying he would have been a general manager figure or something like that, which he would have been so good at, but you get to the age where your body starts breaking down and, you love it, but you can’t do it the way you could have done it back then. Eddie was so knowledgeable in wrestling–he was a wrestling genius. He had such great instincts that he would definitely be in wrestling somewhere–producing or being an agent–because his ideas and mind for the business was excellent. If he could see what we are doing at Lucha Underground, he would love to be here. My mom first saw the show and said, ‘This is what your grandfather, Gory, tried to do. This is his vision. This is his.’
SI.com: How did your Warriors Creed comic book–which just released its second issue–come together?
Guerrero: Before, when you were wrestling for the other organization–I don’t even need to mention them–your time was consumed by wrestling. You had no time to do anything else, it was only wrestling, wrestling, wrestling–and I was fine with that. When you leave, you kind of need to reinvent yourself a little bit. Since then, I’ve become a producer for Lucha Underground, an actor, getting ready to launch my clothing brand, and I’m diversifying myself and not putting all my eggs in one basket any more. [Warriors Creed] came about after meeting with Lion Force Comics. We decided it would be a great partnership to touch on the Guerrero heritage in wrestling. Even though it has wrestling background, it’s not a wrestling comic book. It’s written by Fabian Nicieza, who created Deadpool, and illustrated by Eddie Nunez, who is pretty big in the comic book world. I had some input in it, but they ran with it. I was always into old school comics–Superman, Spiderman and the X-Men. Comics have morphed, and now they can be digitally downloaded, and it’s really changed a lot. I’ve been a fan, and it’s really cool to have my own.
SI.com: Was there ever extra weight carrying the Guerrero name into professional wrestling? And were you taught by your family to work a certain style?
Guerrero: Wrestling has been in our family for over 75 years, so growing up, that’s all I ever knew. We grew up wrestling. I grew up with a wrestling ring in the backyard, and I’m a third generation pro wrestler. There was no real pressure–I became a wrestler, and then I started realizing all the backstage wrestling stuff. It’s not just getting in the ring and performing, it’s political. You have to play the game a little bit, and it’s not always the best wrestlers that are the ones getting the push. Once you realize it’s a business, that’s when you start having to think like a businessman. But as far as carrying the name, you get the opportunity easier but, at the same time, you have to live up to a whole lot more much faster, too. You have some big shoes to fill, and my family was great about telling me, ‘Chavo Jr. is Chavo Jr. He is great and there is no one like him, and he can’t be like anyone else.’ There are always the haters out there–the same ones who told my dad he wasn’t as good as my grandfather, the same ones who told Eddie he wasn’t going to be as good as my dad, and the same ones who told me I wouldn’t be as good as Eddie. Everybody is their own entity. There is only one Eddie Guerrero, only one Gory Guerrero, only one Chavo Guerrero, only one Hector Guerrero, only one Marndo Guerrero, and there is only one Chavo Jr. Once you realize that, you stop trying to please everybody, and try to please yourself–be confident in your talent, and the cream will rise to the top.
In the ring, I was always taught the Ric Flair mentality–you make yourself so good that you can wrestle anybody, and you can make anybody look good. We’ve learned, as small guys in this business, to be so diversified and so good at our craft that we can wrestle with big guys, we can brawl, we can wrestle lucha style, we can mat wrestle, we can be good guys or bad guys, singles or tag team partners. Once you can do all of that, it keeps your options open. You can wrestle anywhere, with anybody at any style. We’ve been taught that. If I could only do head scissors and flips, I’d be limiting myself because a good high flyer is only as good as his base is–if I didn’t make my talents broader, my opportunities would be limited, and that’s what I was always taught.
SI.com: Will there be a future generation for the Guerrero family in wrestling? And, at 45 years old, what does the future hold in store for you?
Guerrero: I’ve got two boys–a sixteen-year-old and a thirteen-year-old. I always tell them–once you show me a degree, then I’ll help to train you. You have to have something to fall back on in this business–there is no guarantee. I’ve seen a lot of third and fourth generations wrestlers not make it. It’s a business that is great for a young guy–not married, no family. You travel the world, make some money, get your name out there, but remember, there is a means to an end. You’re doing this for a reason–you’re not on the road just to party, you’re on the road to further yourself in life. So if they want to follow in the footsteps, I’ll help them, but it’s a hard life and it’s not an easy road.
I’ll always be part of wrestling, but my time to be a total full-time wrestler is over. You need to know your role, and it’s my time to help the young guys achieve their goals. I really enjoy the opportunity at Lucha to be able to produce the show. I’m involved in everything, and when I get there at 9am, I don’t stop hustling until 9pm. But it’s something that I like and was born to do, and I’m just blessed to have the opportunity.
Tweet of the Week
Mark July 12, 2016 as the date when Matt Hardy, Bray Wyatt and Senor Benjamin all interacted with one another on Twitter. Once again, only in pro wrestling.
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.