Mike Mondo on WWE writers thinking the Spirit Squad was a new act when they returned to television, working with Triple H and Shawn Michaels, being released by WWE, creative plans for a post Spirit Squad run

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

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

On his WWE run with Spirit Squad: “We knew it was gonna get pushed to the moon. You know, we knew the engine was gonna be behind it, so to speak. And that’s exactly what happened, because when we went to TV, we were kind of thrown in the main events right away. We were working with Kane and Big Show two months after our debut. We were winning the tag belts the day after WrestleMania 22. And then from there we went to working main events with DX. And then [Ric] Flair would get in the mix, you know, and when, when Hunter or Shawn would have the day off on the weekend, you know, Flair would take their place. So we’re constantly just, it’s like in like a rotation of these great top guys that drew money and everything like that. And here we are just rolling with it, doing the best we can, trying to freaking run with the ball, and it was great. It was really great. And, you know, after that we had the run with The Highlanders, Cryme Tyme, and then we kind went back to the main events again when we worked with the legends, with Roddy Piper, Flair, Dusty [Rhodes], Sarge [Sgt. Slaughtger), Ron Simmons. So, uh, a lot, lot of great experience. A lot of great experience.”

Working with HBK and Triple H: “We needed to beat them on TV at least one time or two times, you know? And I think because we never got a chance to beat them on TV, that when we did the house shows, cuz that’s what the TV is, the TV’s an advertisement for your house shows, you know. It was just one of those things where they just kind of knew the end. They knew the finish before really the finish even happened, you know? And part of that’s a little bit our fault from the beginning because at the very beginning of our run, we were very high energy, kind of goofy, not so serious, doing the cheers, cocky, arrogant, you know.

“And Shawn pulled me aside and he’s like, ‘You know, you’re one of my favorite cheerleaders, but I I’m letting you know, you gotta smarten up the other guys, when it’s time to get your heat, you gotta get your heat, because if you get in the ring with a guy like me, I got no problem turning all five of your heads and kick, kick, kick, kick, kick.’ And I kind of said to myself, it’s like, okay, well I, now I get that, you know, and I’m glad he said something because if we’re not credible, if our heat is not being taken seriously, then when we get in the ring with say like a Shawn Michaels or a Triple H or Ric Flair, no one’s gonna believe that we’re ever gonna beat them.”

On his WWE release: I remember, even when the Squad ended. We waited outside Vince’s office, after TV, for a good five, ten minutes. He opened the door and we pitched this idea, it was like the frat pack, kind of like a spinoff of the Squad or a little bit more serious. But the people will be familiar with us, you know, and kind of like a little spinoff from what we did. And Vince, he shook our hands. He’s like, let’s do it. Sounds great. You know, it works. It’s like, all right, so we kind of left, we got everything we needed to get, as far as what the frat pack needed to get. And next week our flight got canceled. And that’s something again, I wish I could go back and change, is I wish that I would’ve kind of, me and [Dolph] Ziggler both wished that we would’ve bought our own flights and went to TV, you know, and just kind of showed up. You know, they weren’t gonna kick us out. I mean, cuz Vince shook our hands, so let’s do it, you know, let’s do this idea. But anyway, we were like, okay, our flights got canceled, we’ll be going to TV next week. And unfortunately it was one of those things, we never got called back to TV.”

On his return to Smackdown: “That came out of nowhere. I got a phone call. I remember I was in a baby shower, Ziggler texted me. He’s like, kayfabe, but, office is gonna call you to come to TV. And I’m just like, what?Like, talk about, not even like a hint, you know? Sure enough, the office called, it was supposed to be a one-off, long story short, it was supposed to be a one-off, but it got such a good reaction that the writers there at the time didn’t even know we had the run prior. They thought we were just brand new. This is like how like, I guess outta touch they were, you know? And they were like, yeah, we really like you guys. and Vince liked it, liked the way it went over. And then he brought us back the next week and then we came back to the pay-per-view.

“And then we had a really big moment, a false finish at the end, which kind of really made that match that much better. And that was like, okay, well maybe we can do something with Heath and Rhino now. It wasn’t really known for non-contract guys to be on TV at that time, because I mean, they put a live microphone in our hands… we’re not signed. We could have said anything we wanted to say. So they had trust in us, you know, and uh, obviously we wouldn’t do something like that, but I’m just saying it’s very abnormal, a couple non-contract guys to kind of go in and get that opportunity week after week after week of live TV and stuff. So really in essence, we turned the one off into about three months.”

Other topics include breaking into the business, WWE, Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels, the Spirit Squad, Triple H, getting signed, OVW, Jim Cornette, Paul Heyman, training wrestlers today, and more.


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