Q&A: Ex-WWE wrestler Pete Gas relives ‘the best three years of my life’
Pete Gas is best known for his time alongside Rodney and Joey Abs in the Mean Street Posse. He is a childhood friend of Shane McMahon, and he enjoyed a run with the WWE from 1999-2001 during the peak of the “Attitude Era”. Gas detailed his career in his new book, Looking at the Lights, and connected with SI.com to discuss his memories of the business.
SI.com: You share some incredible stories in Looking at the Lights. Just for clarity’s sake, what, exactly, is your infamous “puke story”?
Gas: When I first started in the business, I was 285 pounds. I was built like the offensive lineman I had been in college, but I wanted to drop weight and make myself more marketable. I was dieting pretty hard, and there was one night where I cheated on my diet. It was after a Monday Night Raw in Cleveland, Ohio, and Rodney and I went into a Denny’s. If I were eating healthy, Rodney would eat healthy, but if I were eating badly, Rodney would eat badly, too. We were eating badly that night, and I was feeling guilty about eating so much. I told Rodney, ‘I’m going outside to puke it out.’ You didn’t need to twist Rodney’s arm, and he said he’d puke too, and so did Joey Abs. We go out to the parking lot, and I thought it would be a good idea to puke on the hood of the car and see whose pile of puke lasted the longest on the hood. So we all puked on the hood of the car. As we were laughing about it, out walked Matt and Jeff Hardy, Christian and Edge, Prince Albert, Val Venus, and Test.
Jeff Hardy asked us what we were doing, so we told him. Jeff then sticks his finger in Joey Abs’ pile of throw-up and tasted it. That caused a chain reaction of dry-heaving, and Christian ran into the bushes and started throwing up himself just because the whole thought and sight of it was absolutely horrible.
Then we got in the car, and we started driving and had a contest to see whose pile of throw-up could last the longest. We got about a mile when the throw-up splashed all over the windshield. It was on the roof, it was all over the car, and we were all laughing until we got pulled over.
I said to the officer, ‘You’re not going to believe this. We wrestle for the WWF and we are bad guys. We are hated so bad that the fans in Cleveland actually puked on our car.’ The officer showed mercy and let us go, but the joke was on us. We couldn’t show up in Columbus, Ohio to the arena with a throw-up car, so we had to go to a car wash. By then, the throw-up was frozen to the car and we were the ones who had to wash it off.
SI.com: You grew up as a close friend of Shane McMahon. Can you describe the level of competition between Vince and Shane?
Gas: Competition is just in their nature and the chemicals that make them up. They always want to be the best, and that goes for anyone in the McMahon family. They love each other very much and they’ll do anything for each other, but when it comes to competitiveness, that’s who they are.
SI.com: How do you assess your own career?
Gas: Looking back, it’s surreal. I wrote the book because I was constantly asked about my wrestling stories. I thought the story should be told because it is unique. Vince took two guys, Rodney and me, and put us with the best in the business. It’s an honor to wrestle in WWE, and to this day I still get fan mail. It blows me away because it shows we did our job.
Vince literally took two guys with no experience and no training and put us in the ring with the best in the business. If Vince saw nothing in us, he wouldn’t have kept us around just because we were Shane’s buddies. We were able to get a reaction from the crowd, and that’s why we were able to stick around – and gain respect in the locker room. The wrestling locker room is all about respect, and if you don’t have it, you’re a dead man.
SI.com: Speaking of the locker room, stories circulate that “Wrestlers’ Court” was in existence during your time in WWE. What exactly is Wrestlers’ Court? And were you ever involved?
Gas: Wrestlers’ Court existed, and this was the one and only time I was at Wrestlers’ Court.
Undertaker was out with an injury, so Triple H was the judge because he was the next in seniority. The Godfather, who was also my dominos partner backstage, played the role of the bailiff. The Acolytes were suing Teddy Long for the charge of ‘being a cheap motherf----’. The charges included Teddy starting to dig his own pockets to pay a toll after all four tires already passed the toll booth, and Teddy was also charged with acquiring Viagra from his doctor and selling it to the guys instead of giving it out. There were a lot of charges. Hunter hears the charges and says, ‘Teddy, you’re pretty much f-----. Is there anything you’d like to say for yourself?’
Teddy replies, ‘Your honor, I would like to call up a character witness.’ The place gets quiet, and he says, ‘Mae Young, please come up.’
Mae Young, God bless her, actually comes up to the defense table, and she says, ‘I don’t understand all you wrestlers with your big dicks needing this Niagara.’ I thought the roof was going to come off the place with laughter. I was standing next to Kurt Angle and we were holding each other up, tears coming out of our eyes crying, and it was one of the funniest things we’d ever seen.
So Triple H sees blood in the water and he has to run with it. He said, ‘Sometimes, Mae, sometimes Niagara is needed to give the extra enhancement, that Niagara.’ He keeps saying Niagara and it’s making everyone pop even louder.
The end result was Teddy Long was found guilty on all charges. He had to, not only pay all the tolls that month, but he also had to provide the Acolytes with a case of beer and a bucket of chicken after TV on Tuesday nights. That was his punishment, and it was easily one of the funniest moments of my career.
SI.com: You have always been grateful for the support from fans, and you mentioned their support was part of the reason you wrote Looking at the Lights. Why did you decide to write this book?
Gas: Being grateful, that’s the way I was brought up. As soon as I got released, I went straight to Shane’s office. I extended my hand and said, ‘Thank you for the best three years of my life. I could never repay you for this.’ We had a great run. My glass is always half-full when it comes to WWE and the wrestling business. I’m always willing to talk about the business, and that’s why people are going to like the book. I’m really excited about the feedback so far, it covers the best three years of my life, and I’m still reaping the benefits now.