PCO on WWE’s Brawl For All, returning to the ring after taking five years away, signing with Ring of Honor

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

In Your Head Radio with PCO
Hosts: Jack and One Inch Biceps
Recap by Vic Schiavone
Show available at IYHwrestling.com

On retiring in 2011 and making the decision to return five years later: “Well, I never actually fully retired. I never had a retirement match or I never tried to promote my retirement or saying that I was retired; I was just in a very bad position. I had quit my job on RDS which I was doing commentary for three years for TNA…I certainly wanted to be a world champion with a major federation, that was my goal since I was 14 years old, and I was not going to achieve that doing commentary…That was about in 2008…I went to England…and my thought was that I was going to be busy wrestling every night, so when the WWE came to England I was going to show up…

“So I got a couple of tryouts in England during that year that I was there, and I had another one over in the States…I met with John Laurinaitis, and he said I would get a good chance, just choose any Raw and Smackdown that I wanted to. Everything went wrong, and after I had my match on Raw, they said just don’t come to Smackdown, just drive the car back to the Montreal airport and we’ll pay for everything. So that’s why in 2011 when I was on a radio show and the host asked me what was going on with my wrestling career…

“I had been over in Europe, I had done three or four tryouts with the WWE…so I just said I don’t know, I don’t see any openings right now so I think I might just retire. I said I think I’m pretty much done. So, everybody put that on the Wikipedia; that I retired in 2011. I said I didn’t think I was going to come back to wrestling, but just by serendipity I guess the thing worked out in a way that I did not expect and the business kind of pulled me back…basically it just happened out of nowhere…It’s so crazy the way everything unfolded; it was super nice and crazy. It’s a fairy tale basically.”

On ending up in Ring of Honor: “Well, I did a few Indy shows in the province of Quebec, and then eventually because I was on YouTube with a big channel (Hannibal TV)…Michael Bennett out of Indiana asked me if I wanted to go there and work. I went there on January 13, 2018, and to just give you a name that really helped me out, that night I had a match against ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page and we totally killed it; we had such a great match. Joey Janela was sitting in the stands…and on the way back to the hotel Joey asked me if I wanted to be part of Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2 against Walter for WrestleMania weekend, and I said yeah, of course…

“So I drove there, and I just knew that that match was going to turn my career around; I just had such an instinct and gut feeling that was so strong and powerful because just the way that everything had happened up until then…So I wrestled Walter, and we had such an awesome match…After that my phone was ringing off the hook; I became the poster boy for every Indy promotion over the United States in 2018…I was part of…all the major tournaments in Indy wrestling, all the major promotions, did the ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin podcast; it was just great, making good money…Eventually I decided to meet with Ring of Honor…and they offered me one of the greatest deals.”

On whether he was approached about being on Vice TV’s “Dark Side of the Ring” episode on the WWF Brawl for All: “No. I wish I had been on that episode; I’ve got a lot of stories I could have come up with things that I went through. I went through a lot. This tournament, I feel it was so unfair to a lot of the guys. I don’t know how everybody was approached for it, but I just had a week notice. I was put in a position where I felt like I was almost trapped, like they sold me an idea that was not what they really said on the phone…

Bruce (Prichard) called me and said…Vince (McMahon) has got a great idea for you…it’s something like a shoot fight tournament with takedowns and real punches…and they sold it to me like Vince had it just for me. My thinking on that is I had so much of a grudge back then against Shawn (Michaels) and Diesel I think I was put against the guy who was supposed to win the whole thing (‘Dr. Death’ Steve Williams) just to be taught a lesson or to test me (to see) if I was going to have the balls to do it or if was I just all talk and no go…I just said yeah, no problem; I’ll do it. And so many guys, for them to find 16 guys it probably took 50 guys; everybody was turning it down. Most of the guys, they said no. I know that (Ken) Shamrock didn’t want to have anything to do with it; he said there was no way he was going to throw punches with 300-pound guys.

“And (Dan) Severn was in, but he was doing amateur wrestling and he was not throwing punches, so they thought those matches were boring. In that episode, they said he didn’t want to be there, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think he wanted to continue. I think he had the confidence that he could win the whole thing because he knew what to do, but those matches were so boring because it was just about winning, not about the show, so they took him off the tournament and just replaced him with someone else.

“There were things done out of the blue; there were no defined rules…the referees were wrestling referees, so they didn’t know what they were doing. And they were mic’d up with the Gorilla Position, so basically they were getting orders from the back. So, for me, it was a shoot that was such a work in the meantime. They were trying to work a shoot, which is impossible to do so of course nothing went the way that they planned it. They didn’t have the winners that they wanted to have…The whole thing had no structure; I think it’s true that it was one of the worst ideas in wrestling history.”

Other topics discussed include his process of becoming the character PCO, whether he has any personal favorite vignettes whether he got hurt in any of them, why was his run in TNA so short-lived, his thoughts on Vince Russo.


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