Mike Modest on the Beyond the Mat film, blowing off a WWE referee’s cue to end a match, signing with WCW and nearly winning the cruiserweight title, working for Pro Wrestling NOAH, not getting a WWE contract


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 the Beyond the Mat film:  When Barry Blaustein hit me up to do that, the film and to do the tryout, I was already convinced that WWE didn’t want anything to do with me. And so at first I was like, no, I’m, I’m really not interested, but they really wanted me in this spot. So I basically said, well, the only way I’ll do it is if I’m guaranteed ten minutes, because the typical way a tryout would go is you’re told you have ten minutes. Then, a few minutes before you go out there, they’re telling you, you’ve got five. Then in the Gorilla room they’re telling you, you got three. And then when you get on the ring, they’re telling you go home in a minute and a half, you know? It makes it really hard sometimes to build a story, which that’s, that’s what I do. I was never the fancy, flashy kind of wrestler. I’m much more a storyteller and so it takes a moment to educate the people on what’s happening in the story, you know? So, I wanted that ten minutes and, and I was told by everyone, Barry Blaustein, Jim Cornette, and higher ups, I was told that I had that ten minutes. So Tony and I get out there and then, I don’t even know when it was, but it was very quick into the match. I would say within a minute to a minute and a half, the referee was calling ‘go home’ and I just looked at him and I was like, nope, not doing that. And the reason why is it was my last tryout. Anyways, I’d been to this dance before and this time I was gonna finish the song.”

Getting signed by WCW: Kevin Sullivan and Bob Mould and Ed Ferrara were all very high on me, and they were going to put the cruiserweight belt – that Prince Iaukea was wearing at the time or The Artist – and so they were gonna put that belt on me. And then what happened was when I showed up at, at South Padre Island, Mike Graham and Terry Taylor informed me that Kevin Sullivan had been fired and that basically… (Eric) Bischoff and (Vince) Russo were coming back, and they put a freeze on all title changes. So briefly, I was gonna do the job for The Artist, and then within a half an hour someone came to me, both Terry Taylor and Mike Graham came to me and said, actually, it’s been changed. You’re gonna go over on him still, but it’s gonna be a non-title match. So that’s what the way it was explained to me going into it. But on live TV, they really didn’t do a very good job explaining it. And there was a little bit of confusion at first, um, as to, you know, did I win the belt or not?

Working for Pro Wrestling NOAH: NOAH was to me, the NWA of Japan at that time, and I liked the concept of what they did. The idea of taking different styles and having lucha, having smaller guys, having big guys, you know, all kinds of different styles… One of the things that I thought was really interesting was, and I learned this very quickly, when guys go to Japan, they think what they want is a person that wrestles their style and that really isn’t what they want. They’ve got a whole bunch of people there that wrestle their style. The reason they’re bringing you in is for flavor. They’re bringing you in for international flavor. They want you to do your thing. They want you to do your style. And I got very popular with the Modesto Smile, just doing a big thumbs up with a real cheesy smile.

On not getting a contract from WWE/WWF: “ An interesting thing about that movie is it was pretty close to reality, but that was not my first WWE tryout. That was like, gosh, that was my last, which is interesting. It was portrayed as my first, but it was actually my last and that is interesting. I had a whole bunch of tryouts with them, and I think the overall feeling was that I was just not big enough. I wasn’t what they were looking for. I mean, for goodness sakes, I was smaller than Koko B. Ware. I remember when I got into the wrestling industry, I thought, you know what, at least I’m taller than Koko B. Ware. And it turned out I was just a touch shorter than him. So I just wasn’t what they were looking for, especially at the time. Shortly after, they were looking for smaller guys. I was just the wrong size at the wrong time.”

Other topics include breaking into the business, getting into WCW, Eric Bischoff, Christopher Daniels, WWF, Vince McMahon, Beyond the Mat, Tony Jones, Donovan Morgan, ROH, NOAH, Misawa, and more.


Readers Comments (1)

  1. He was never gonna be a star, he’s boring and not that great in the ring. It’s one of the reasons he only had 2 matches in WCW. And I guarantee that the moment he ignored the ref in his tryout match, that killed any chances of getting signed. Some no-name wrestler who NO FAN had even heard of going into business’ for himself? No wonder he’s had a failure of a career

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