The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with MVP
Hosts: John and Chad
Interview available at Tmptow.podomatic.com
Excitement over making his MLW debut and expectations on the revival of the promotion: “It is funny that you say that because I don’t think there is any expectations to look to simply because every individual that you’ve named so far on the roster, it doesn’t matter what promotion it is because when they lace the boots up and climb into the ring they have the highest expectations of themselves and I think that everybody on the roster would have no problem with me speaking for them in that regard. As far as MLW goes they do have the history of providing very eclectic shows. The first time I ever saw Kojima LIVE was in Ft. Lauderdale for MLW. I remember I saw a match with Sabu and LA Parka that to that point without question was one of the greatest matches I’d ever seen and add to it LA Parka and Sabu were a little edgy towards each other and it turned out to be a phenomenal match. MLW going back to its origins and to the shows that I saw always put out the best talent from all over the world even before it was cool. They were ground breaking in that regard. Once again in Orlando they put together what I always think wrestling should be and that is a buffet with a little bit of this and a little bit of that.”
The roster in place thus far and his match with Sami Callihan: “You’ve got Jeff Cobb and Tom Lawlor who will take care of the technical grappling aspect and not to mention that phenomenal athleticism of Jeff Cobb, I think he is going to suprise a lot of people who have never seen him before. You’ve got me and Sally.. (I mean Sami) Callihan, tell him I called him “Sally”. “Sally Callihan” we are just going to beat the f*ck out of each other and that is not going to be pleasant and it is not going to be pretty and it is not going to technical or high flying it will be painful. You’ve got phenomenal Ariel acrobatic style of Ricochet and Stickland. I think overall the card in general is stacked from top to bottom and nobody is going to come away dissatisfied.”
How independent wrestling promotions have influenced WWE: “I think you have to recognize that there has been a philosophy shift at the top of WWE. Once upon a time they refused to acknowledge that wrestling existed outside of their universe and now they are actually embracing the fact that wrestling exists outside of the WWE Universe and with the popularity of NXT and allowing guys to keep their identity and not hijacking a guy’s identities like they were so known to do. The popularity of social media and YouTube it is an amazing time for the business like we’ve never seen before because and I’ve said this before on my own podcast ‘The VIP Lounge’ it is phenomenal that now a guy from England can show up at PWG Guerrilla in Los Angeles and wrestle in ‘The Battle of Los Angeles’ and everybody there already knows who he is. As far as WWE recognizing that fan base, I think they realized that they had to change their business model in some way because you can’t just continue to deny that there is a boom of wrestling going on in England and that New Japan is blowing up and all of these independent wrestling companies popping up (some are awful) and some are very good. I don’t know who was responsible for taking this new course of action at WWE but it behooves them to recognize that there is a lot going on and there is talent outside of their main roster and as far as the fans are concerned I am happy for the fans.”
His time wrestling for New Japan Pro Wrestling: For me it was easy and I never missed a step because my dream was to wrestle in Japan. WWE for me was the goal and is the top company in the world and that is where you want to go when you lace up your boots but for me it was my dream to wrestle at Korakuen Hall and in the Tokyo Dome. People ask me do I still get nervous or what match did I get nervous for and it wasn’t WrestleMania, it wasn’t WrestleKingdom, it wasn’t Bound For Glory it was my very first match in Korakuen Hall. To me that place is ECW Arena and Madison Square Garden rolled into one and the fans that go there know wrestling extremely well and they won’t hesitate to let you know you are sh*t and the fact that I was able to get an “MVP” chant going in Korakuen Hall from Japanese fans meant more to me than I can really express. Leaving the sports entertainment style of WWE to go to the hard hitting and strong style of New Japan was a very easy transition for me because it was what I always wanted to do.”
How the MVP character was created: “I had numerous tryouts and I roped Johnny (Ace) off one day and asked him if I could get five minutes and he said he was busy. I asked can I get two minutes? Can I get thirty seconds? He finally stopped and said you’ve got thirty seconds and I said for him to tell me what the f*ck I’ve got to do for you to hire me? I think Johnny was pleasantly taken aback by that because who the f*ck talks to Johnny Ace like that? He said we like you but don’t have anything for you and to come up with a more character based personality and something we don’t already have. I was pissed off because I felt he had written me off again but at that time I was working down on South Beach doing nightclub work and bodyguard work and I’d see these self-absorbed and pompous overpaid pro athletes show up feeling like the world owed them something. I remember guys like Shaq or Barry Sanders or Dr. J all established legends would come through and stop, shake hands and talk and were very humble and I’d see guys who were first round draft picks busts who would show up with entourages like the world owed them something and being rude and disrespectful and I thought that hadn’t been done in wrestling yet. This was a relatively new phenomenon because every time you turned on Sports Center there is another pro athlete getting into trouble saying or doing something stupid so I put together a package that to this day if you ask Court (Bauer) he will tell you it is one of the most impressive things he has seen because they had never received anything quite like it.