The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with Mike Bucci
Hosts: John and Chad
Interview available at Tmptow.podomatic.com
Thoughts on Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten and the lifestyle of wrestling: I like John Rechner and Brian Knight (Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten) I like both of them. I will say if it wasn’t for the world of professional wrestling that I would have never met either one of those guys because very rarely (probably) in the sport of wrestling there hasn’t been too many different individuals than me and those guys. If you have ever spent any time around me, I’ve never taken a drop of alcohol in my life, I never took marijuana, pills or any of that sh*t. I wasn’t out of control, I didn’t mess with the rats, I wasn’t a party guy. I was a guy who went to bed earlier so I could wake up the next morning and work out. I’ve always believed in the business that this business has never forced (and this gets a lot of heat and I am sorry) but the business has never forced anyone to make a decision one way or the other when it comes to personal life choices. I am even going back to ECW when it came to violence. The chairs and tables or whatever the hell else somebody did, everybody did that shit willingly. I wasn’t a table or chair guy but I was there for five years and I wrestled every night and I was a high-flying innovative offense guy and took shit loads of bumps and put my body through just as much wear and tear as anybody else. It’s addiction that is a real thing. It is. Addiction is real and there are people who can’t beat addiction and I don’t know if that is what happened with John’s case (I don’t know if the verdict is out) and Axl never beat his addiction and so many of his other friends passed away from addiction and drugs and abuse that I’m actually glad (and I’ve said this before and am vocal about it) that this generation of current wrestlers and the big complaint from a lot of the old timers is that all these guys do is play their video games all night and they go to bed early. Well you know what? I would rather have that and in fifth teen-twenty years from now I’m not reading about John Morrison or Kofi Kingston and Xavier (Woods) and Miz and Aaron Steven (Damian Sandow) I’m not reading about them OD’ing on drugs because they picked up a lifestyle habit when they were still in the “rasslin” business, brother. WWE has made amazing strides. They pay for rehab, they pay for guys health, they have all the testing. It’s not the businesses fault. I am a product of the wrestling industry. Everything I have in life; my confidence, my success and whatever I have managed to pull off has been because of wrestling. So I will not shit on it and poo-poo on it because unfortunately people make bad choices and addiction beat them and they passed away, that sucks because they left behind families and children.
The atmosphere of the ECW locker room and the perception everyone was into something: No, Stevie (Richards) didn’t, Danny Doring didn’t and Devon didn’t. There was a lot of guys who didn’t. Dreamer wasn’t a drug addict. It was just one of those things where yeah I guess some of that was prevalent in the ECW locker room. I am not and idiot you walk into one corner there are guys smoking weed, another corner it’s a bunch of guys taking pills, there are some guys in another corner doing rats and you didn’t know what the hell you were going to see there but I will say this. I’ll be damned if none of those guys never forced anything on everybody and when it came time to go, everybody went. They all busted their asses and it was a brotherhood.
Picking the roles for the BWO: Stevie wanted to be Big Stevie Cool and Meanie almost instantly wanted to do Razor because he was a Razor mark too. So we were tossing it around and originally Stevie wanted me to be Virgil and Raven said he can’t be Virgil he’s got to be Hogan. There was talk that if I was going to be Hogan then it would look like I was the leader of the nWo/bWo but everyone thought that was bullshit. I tried to do it to the best of my ability. Hogan is the Godfather. I always see people trying to take pot-shots and bury him but at the end of the day he”s HULK god-damn HOGAN and without him there is none of this.
Hulk Hogan’s thoughts on his Hollywood Nova persona: It’s one of the biggest regrets of my career that when we brought back the BWO for a short time in WWE (which was kind of a flop and I don’t know why we did it and it was stupid) but we did a Great American Bash Pay Per View against The Mexi-cools and I’m walking around the back and have my blue and white boa and all my Hogan shit..and I walk into the locker room with all my shit on and there is Hogan with all his shit on and it was the first time it was just me and him there and I looked at him and he looked at me and he said “nice look brother”. I said Hulk, I’ve always tried to do this with the utmost respect and he said I know you are and keep working brother. I kick myself in the ass to this day that I didn’t say hey could I get a picture because that would be blown up on my wall. That might actually be a wall in my house.
His transition to Talent Relations: It was okay. I was looking to get out because I didn’t mind being on Raw but when I went to Smackdown I didn’t like it as much. The guys were cool but there was just some people that I didn’t really like, just think that when you hear the usual suspects of people who were assholes back in the day that nobody likes, I didn’t like those guys either and I was just kind of over it at that point. Dreamer was leaving to go re-launch ECW and Vince McMahon and Johnny Ace handpicked me. They said you’ve been through the system, you’ve been around the world and paid your dues, have a good eye for talent. I had my finger on the pulse of all the independents in the Unites States and I knew everybody. I took a lot of pride in it. The best thing in the world was calling someone to hire them and oppositely the worst thing in the world was calling someone when you had to let them go. It was a different world, I had to leave Louisville to go up to Connecticut to live there and there was so much shifting and even though at that point you don’t think the snakes are going to rear their ugly head but as soon as I got into the office position within a matter of weeks the old wrestling bullshit starts and this guy is jealous and how did you get this job? And all of the other nonsense that you have to deal with and it just sucked and it lasted about a year.
Bucci also discusses training with Iron Mike Sharpe, breaking into ECW, meeting Raven, 20 years of the BWO, being named a legendary faction by WWE, and more.