By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
PWMania interview with guest Shawn Stasiak
Interview conducted by Lewis Carlan
Interview available at PWMania.com
Kurt Angle’s recent comments about him lacking confidence: “Everything’s so blown out of context in today’s day and world with clickbait. I saw the headlines, and there were a couple of headlines that I was just like, ‘oh, really,’ man, like, I need to go back and watch Kurt’s actual episode and watch the context in which, you know, he shared his thoughts on that, you know, he put me over seemed to me, you know, he thought I had all the talent and raw ability and tools and accolades, but he said, I lacked confidence. And when I, when I saw that I was kind of you know, it’s not the greatest feeling. And he’s not he’s probably not wrong, either in the sense that I think we all to some degree, we questioned second guess ourselves. We have doubts. I had, I had lost my Dad not too long prior to that, I think for me back then I tried too hard. You know, I put too much pressure on myself. I wanted to make my dad proud. I wanted to make the stage get our name, proud, man.”
Kurt Angle saying he derailed his career because of a hair transplant: “I was in Memphis Tennessee at the time, I was working with Jerry Lawler and was in a great storyline angle. It was so much fun looking back at those times, the king of course the legend so it was an honor for me to work with him. I was a young man, great body, full of piss and vinegar want to take on the world and here I am the WWE, and I’m in these training camps with guys like Test Andrew Martin, Christian, and Edge with these beautiful long flowing locks of blonde hair and I’m losing my hair, right I’m going I gotta do something about this man, this sucks, you know? And I’m thinking and what are my options? Shave it? Buzz it?
“I looked into that procedure and I went to one of the best places if not the best place in the world in Toronto and inquired, did a little consultation, and I got back to WWE, and I said listen, you guys were about to call me up I think soon and that was the word right? And I consulted with them. I said I just think this would help improve my image give me some youth back give me some years back you know, and they say hey, by all means, if it improves your image and feel it helps your confidence and it gives you some youth and improves your image then by all means because we want to bring you in as kind of like, stay in shape, keep your abs and they were they weren’t telling me what the character was going to be as my rookie character we’d soon find out that after that, but I just decided to get that done. I don’t know where that story came from. I don’t know where Kurt conjured up that story in his mind.
“I don’t know if he [Kurt Angle] heard something from someone in the office. I don’t know maybe he was a little loopy that day, I don’t what he was thinking, but that’s a bullsh*t story. I never would have called the WWE, and said ‘hey guys listen, I’m getting my hair done, you’re got to hold off my debut for a couple.’ Are you kidding me? None of that happened. I spoke with them and consulted. They said yes, by all means get it done, but get it done now, because there’s a little bit of a period of recovery, for about a month or so. And they said, just do it now, and then we should be fine. So I did.
“And then for about a month, I would travel to Monday Night Raw TV, thinking I was gonna make my debut, but they keep postponing this and next week, then next week, and then next week. And then finally, I made my debut, and I remember that night Lewis specifically, of course, you always think when did you make your actual debut? And I was in the arena, it was Grand Rapids, Michigan, it was in 1999 of course, and I’m in the arena, and I’m looking at the crowd through the curtains, I’m get ready to make my run and jump Tiger Ali Singh and walk off with Terry and Jackie introducing the Meat character.”
Challenging Kurt Angle to one final match: “That’s up to WWE and that’s up to Kurt Angle. I’ll just say this look just like in the tweet like I said, love Kurt, respect Kurt but it all started with me, why not ended with me Kurt, full circle. WrestleMania 40, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, your home state, right? You want to end your career? Let’s do it. Forget it. What’s his name? Corbin?
“Baron Corbin, right, Baron Corbin, forget that man. Let’s get back to the Attitude Era. Let’s let’s finish it where it all began. I was your second match, you know? And plus, that’s in Philadelphia. That’s the city of brotherly love. That’s where Stan the Man Stasiak, my father became the fifth wrestler in the history of the WWE become champion. So why not there? I think it makes sense. He’s got new knees, his neck is I think repaired, he’s in great shape, he’s in a happy place, he looks great. I’m in great shape. I’m open to it.”
His WWE release and feeling no love and support from the company: “I am grateful that I got the opportunity that I did have. Hey look, I screwed up, I made some mistakes I had labeled myself, you know, for various reasons. I never had any wrongful intent ever. You know, of course, I got released from that company. Because the tape recorder incident. I’m sure you’ve heard of that. But in some ways, it was a blessing because WCW hired me and actually did something with me and gave me more of an opportunity. I wish WWE would have done that. But I think in the long term it put a stigma to my name.
“Jim Ross and Eric Bishoff made references to that. How can you trust somebody in the locker room with a whole tape recorder thing? It’s like, honest to God, I have I’ve shared this story many, many times over the years, there was absolutely no wrongful intent. It was a rib gone wrong. It was stupid. It was a dumb mistake. I was just being me, I was just being Shawn, and I think that bit me in the ass in the long run where I don’t think I ever recovered from that with WWE in the minds of the of the decision makers. And who knows, its a shark eat shark world, you know, Vince probably had people in his ear about I don’t know, I don’t know if political backstage knows, right.
“But I just have never been able to feel the love and support of that company. I’ve never really received invites to WrestleMania is when they’re here in Dallas. Although I did go to last year’s WrestleMania with a business partner of mine and friend. And it was amazing. I felt like I’d never left all the fans thought I was there to do something to show I was going to do a run and I just was there as a fan. You know to take pictures, autographs, it was so fun.
His father’s 24-second WWE Hall of Fame induction and calling Vince McMahon: “I learned about my Dad get inducted the Hall of Fame through fans on Twitter. And I realized that I went, ‘oh my god,’ the things tomorrow night or the next day. And I knew right away what they were doing. You know, they were gonna put him in some video package. I had seen this legends wing for a couple years. And I used to get nervous watching because I think ‘oh, man, don’t put him in there.’ Don’t let him show up in that, you know, nothing, no offense or no disrespect to the other legends. I just think my dad deserved a little bit more acknowledgement man. And to do it right. I would think some of the people that have been inducted in this Hall of Fame, you would think that Stan Stasiak, one of the original WWE champions would have would have been done right and called upon that his only son, you know, at least that I know of, his only son to induct his father into the WWE Hall of Fame.
“And I think we made history. I think he’s the first WWE champion that never got a real induction. It was just, here’s a video package. And here’s 20 whatever seconds. And that’s it. I was heartbroken. I was pissed off. I called Vince McMahon, I dialed the digits, man. I knew he wouldn’t pick up, it was WrestleMania. We’ve had a couple conversations over, you know, over the years. But I text him I said, ‘Please don’t do this. Don’t put him in like this. Let’s wait till next year.’ I would encourage that you’re going to be in the New York New Jersey area, that MetLife Stadium and that was the next year’s WrestleMania he was kind of known to be in the East Coast anyway. And I thought it’d be more appropriate to just give me five minutes to just do it right. But I wasn’t I was even invited to the arena, which is a New Orleans I’m in Dallas as a short flight, you would think I did at least invite me to the show my respects to be there in the building. So there’s, there’s something going on. I must be hated so bad, so much and so disregarded that you’re gonna you know, I don’t know. And so it hurt me, man. It really did.”
Stasiak also commented more on Kurt Angle’s comments about him, if he’d be open to returning to WWE as a talent or backstage role, the differences between WWE and WCW, his future, and more.
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