WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana on his long run with the company, whether Jesse Ventura calling him "Chico" bothered him, upcoming IWF benefit show in New Jersey
Shining Wizards Podcast with Tito Santana
Hosts: Tony Z, Eddie, and Matt
Interview available at Shiningwizards.com
On being one of few stars who only worked for WWE: It's been memorable and wrestling fans still remember Tito Santana and that's because of The WWF(E). I was there when it all started and getting big. I was there on the first nine WrestleManias and to see the growth, and to be part of it and one of the reasons why professional wrestling is so successful now, it's like I continue to live a dream.
On his "contract" negotiations: There was never a doubt that The WWF was the number one wrestling organization and once it started getting bigger it blew everyone else off the map. When I was with the WWF, it's not like it is now where guys sign contracts. We didn't have any contracts. We just had to work hard to be able to stay with one organization. When I was there, I was with the WWF longer than any other wrestler had been from my era. After I left, of course, Bret Hart had a pretty long career; longer than mine afterwards and Taker was there forever, but in my time, you could say I had the longest run consecutively with the WWF.
On Jesse Ventura's racially infused commentary: No, I was never aware, but what people don't understand is that this an entertainment business and actually, Jesse The Body was very fond of me and he was over so strong that whenever he would knock me, it would get me over that much more. In reality, he was actually doing me a favor. He knew that the more he got on me, the more people would like Tito Santana. It was funny because I've never been a wrestling fan and I never watched old tapes even when I was wrestling so I never knew what Jesse was saying but I would get to a different arena and people would call me 'Chico,' and first I would get upset because I thought they were insulting me, but then I realized it was Jesse that kept calling me 'Chico.' It took me a while to put it all together, but I never felt offended. As a matter of fact, Jesse would tell everybody, if you had a choice of getting into the ring against anybody, it would be Tito Santana. He really enjoyed having matches against me.
On IWF's Event on April 12th benefiting The American Cancer Society in Nutley, NJ: I've known Kevin Knight for quite a while and I think he's a straight up guy and it amazes me that he never got a bigger break in the business than what he got. I think he had a lot of potential, but he's a good man and is involved in a good cause (The Cancer Fundraiser). This is my third year and the fans that show up at night and the support that we get is unbelievable. It's just so nice to see so many fans that come out and support the cause and wrestlers. They have one on one conversations with us and talk about their memories and things they never forget. You never get tired of hearing stories like that from the them, and you realize the impact you've had on the wrestling fans.
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