Air Paris on getting into WCW, the end of the company, working with Doc Gallows, whether he’s interested in returning to the ring

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

The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with Air Paris
Host: JP John Poz
Twitter: @TwoManPowerTrip
Website: www.tmptempire.com
Interview available at Tmptow.podomatic.com

Getting into WCW: “Oh yeah, it [WCW contract] was for three [years] initially. But it was very, very low money. I don’t wanna quote the numbers but I think it was probably the lowest contract they’d ever offered anybody. I think someone selling popcorn in the arena would have probably been making more than us but — but hey still, it was a piece of paper with my name and the WCW logo on it so, I mean, I was ready to sign it right away. Soon as I opened the FedEx, I was ready to start slinging ink on it.”

The End of WCW: “Oh, of course, yeah [WCW closing was a shock]. I mean we knew… we knew that stuff wasn’t great but nobody — and I was so far down the ladder as far as company hierarchy. Nobody owed me An explanation or anything on the situation and I didn’t ask for anything. We had heard that the most likely situation was — and this is actually coming I believe from Shane [McMahon] — that the company was gonna go dark for about six months and that Eric [Bischoff] was buying the company, we were gonna go completely dark and start doing house shows just to build, I guess suspense or intrigue or just buzz back around the product. Just go around doing house shows without needing TV to support, to get back interested in WCW and then it was gonna relaunch. Of course, we all know that didn’t happen and you know, WWE bought the company so…”

Retirement from the ring or making a return: “No! Gosh no [I’m not thinking about wrestling again]. I’m thinking I wanna see my kids grow up. I’ll tell you, the weird thing about me was I was in a retail job and I looked up and I was weighing 249 pounds, me. Basically I didn’t hit 250 but I was 249 pounds and I said, you know, ‘We gotta figure something out’ because I was at the point where blood pressure was getting a little bit weird. I had seen DDP and he patted me on my gut and he’s like, ‘What are we gonna do about this?’ And I said, ‘Man, I like to drink some beers.’ He said, ‘You better start earning them’ and I said, ‘Yes sir.’ So, man I just looked at my little girls and I thought, ‘Man, you know what? If I don’t do something and I don’t change –’ I mean that was the heaviest I’d ever been.

“I didn’t realize because it’s so gradual how miserable I was carrying all that extra weight around. Tying your shoes is a chore with that. For me it was at that point and so I just honestly — just one day, I told my wife, I said, ‘Hey, I’m gonna build a gym in our building out back’ and I ordered a bunch of stuff and started training two days a week and then it was three days a week then it was four days a week then we got to six days a week and then the next thing you know, I was 198 pounds and had abs in the first time in life even though I was 145 pounds back in the day and went to the doctor and she’s like, ‘Man, everything’s great’ so it’s just one of those things where I’d gotten so far out of shape physically now, that’s why I ended up getting in shape at that point.”

Talk ‘N Shop A-Mania in the BonerYard Match between Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson: “During COVID, Luke Gallows reached out to me about doing a match at Talk ‘N Shop A-Mania 1 about doing a cameo. I think I was the first cameo for their spoof of the Boneyard match with him and Karl Anderson. I did that and he said, ‘Dude, you look great, we should wrestle.’ I said, ‘You’re an idiot. You’re insane.’ What I love about him is he’s the ultimate optimist. He’s always happy and ‘there’s nothing that can’t be done.’ That’s one of the reasons those guys have been successful after their initial release from WWE. He said, ‘come do this match with me, we’ll do a Hacksaw Jim Duggan match, it’ll be super slow like a WCW Saturday Night match.’ I’m like, ‘okay, we can do it.’

“We get ready for the match and day of, he’s like, ‘don’t worry about it,’ No Way Jose had just gotten released and he said we would do a tag match, ‘you and Aleksandr Koloff vs. me and No Way Jose.’ I hadn’t looked at boots in almost a year and a half, two years, I hadn’t looked at a wrestling ring either. I looked at my wife and said, ‘who in the world takes two years off and then goes and does an IMPACT Plus taping against two just released WWE guys?’ She said, ‘I guess you do.’ I went and did it, had fun with those guys, and have done several shows with Lariato. It’s always something easy and safe and I know I’ll get to go home and not get hurt. If I can do those kind of things, I will, but anything serious where I have to take a lot of chances, my kids mean more to me than the chance to wrestle does.”

His relationship with Luke Gallows: “I know Gallows would never put me in anything that is unsafe or that I wouldn’t be uncomfortable with. I’m up for anything, it’s just, you have guys on these shows like John Skyler or Rich Swann. All those guys that Gallows uses, there is no way I can keep up with those guys. It’s funny for me to say it at 42, but I’m a nostalgia act. The people who do remember me, I can’t do a 20 minute Broadway and all those false finishes that I used to do, but we can certainly find a way to do things.”

Other topics include NWA Wildside, his entire WCW run, AJ Styles, Air Raid, WCW Cruiserweight tag division, Eric Bischoff, Rey Mysterio, and more. h/t to Fightful and Post Wrestling for the transcription.

You can listen to other shows apart of the TMPT Empire including Shane Douglas’ Triple Threat Podcast, Taking You to School with Dr. Tom Prichard, Talking Tough with Rick Bassman, Taskmaster Talks with Kevin Sullivan, Pro Wrestling 101 with Justin Credible and the University of Dutch with Dutch Mantell.


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