Interviews

Sorted by decade(s) spanned by career!

This Week’s IN THE ROOM with Joel Goodhart

@intheroomshow featuring #JoelGoodhart, former #twa promoter and @ecwawrestling67 manager. @bradyhicks @thestro @kathyfitzpatrick @jordanjgarber

IN THE ROOM this week features Joel Goodhart, the legendary promoter of the old Tri-State Wrestling Alliance and the former host of Rasslin’ Radio on WIP in Philadelphia. Check it out as Joel, now a manager with the ECWA, offers his thoughts on the TWA’s growth, Rasslin’ Radio, his flawless record of zero no-shows, and his current association with the East Coast Wrestling Association. Plus, Joel dispenses advice for aspiring promoters, and offers his memories working with Abdullah The Butcher, The Sheik, Bruiser Brody, Eddie Gilbert, Cactus Jack, and the late Buddy Landell. Plus, Brady Hicks, The Stro, Kathie Fitzpatrick, Derrick McDonald, and Jordan Garber talk WWE’s MVP for the first half of 2015, New Day, and Buddy Landell, and also take callers for two full hours. All that, plus so … much … more. Thanks, as always, for the support.

Here are some highlights:

The Tri-State Wrestling Alliance Legacy:
We wanted to bring in some of the best talent from across the country, develop some young talent at the local level … There’s all stories about why I had these supercards … The reality was we created something that really ran about 2-1/2 years. To this day … 23 years later, we’re still talking about some of the matches that we had. We created something that ultimately became the ECW, that ultimately became the Attitude Era. All I simply did was take the best of what was out there. I took Memphis Wrestling, I took World Class Wrestling, I took Pacific Northwest, I took the old Georgia wrestling, the old Florida wrestling, and brought to the Philadelphia area the best of the best … One of the sayings that we had as an organization was that everyone who came to our show, at some point during the card, got a front-row seat. I think that’s kind of where the business evolved. Where the ring was no longer holding people and the action was outside the ring versus inside the ring.

On Wrestlers’ Size Being a Detriment:
The one thing that I’ve learned about the independent wrestling community is a lot of these guys are just phenomenal athletes, phenomenal wrestlers, but unfortunately they’re not 6’4″, they don’t have a television look, so they never get the push that they deserve … There’s a lot of guys with a tremendous amount of talent that will never get the television push because the gene pool wasn’t there for them. It doesn’t make them bad wrestlers. They’re phenomenal wrestlers. I can watch these guys … do things that are just phenomenal, but they’ll never get the push they deserve.

On How Independent Wrestling Should Be Viewed:
When you look at the business of professional wrestling … These [indie] shows are phenomenal. The talent is phenomenal. These guys and girls are busting their butt. They don’t get paid a whole lot of money. It’s more for the love of the sport. But everyone who claims that they love professional wrestling, they will only go if there’s 2,000 people in the building [or] it’s the return of some wrestler from 15 years ago. There’s a lot of people who aren’t into the sport of professional wrestling. They’re into a specific wrestler, they’re into a specific style of wrestling. This whole concept of Family Friendly doesn’t mean that the show isn’t good. In fact, I would actually argue that some of these Family Friendly shows are better than some of the shows we did … The professional wrestling fan who doesn’t come to the professional wrestling shows, quite frankly they’re not the kind of fans that they think they are.

IN THE ROOM with Maria Kanellis

@intheroomshow featuring former #wwe #diva and @ringofhonor star @marialkanellis. With @bradyhicks @thestro @kathyfitzpatrick @jordanjgarber

IN THE ROOM this week features a special sitdown interview with former WWE Diva and Ring of Honor “First Lady of Wrestling” Maria Kanellis. Check it out for Maria’s thoughts on ROH on Destination America, comparing the ROH and WWE locker rooms, and navigating politics in wrestling. Plus, the former Diva talks her famous red hair, Donald Trump, The Kingdom, and what she found so attractive about the man we all now hate: Mike Bennett.

Plus, Brady Hicks, The Stro, Kathie Fitzpatrick, and Jordan Garber talk WWE Money in the Bank, Raw, Brock Lesnar’s return, and Dusty Rhodes. Plus, open lines for two full hours and so … much … more. Thanks, as always, for the support!

Here are some highlights:

On Her Initial Reaction Being Released by WWE:
I was caught off guard … I know what was going on behind the scenes, and that I was trying to accomplish other things. I think that WWE looked at it like I wasn’t as interested in wrestling because I wanted to do more. I think that they got the wrong impression of what I was trying to do, as well as I got the wrong impression of what they were trying to do. Looking back on it, now five years removed, I would have done things differently. I would have stayed the course. I would have shed a light on women’s wrestling back then, if I would have had the time. And that was being on a mainstream television show and also being in WWE. I think that we were just going in two completely different directions, and it takes time and maturity to be able to see those types of things, and now being removed from them, I definitely would have done things differently. But, at the same time, I’m very thankful that they did release me.

On Being the Bad Girl:
It was fun. It definitely came from a place of wanting to try something different. We joke about it now [that we're] big in Japan, [and] boo’ed in the USA. In Japan we’re good guys. In the US, we’re bad guys. It’s all about performance. It’s all about messing with the crowd and really enjoying that … [And] the Kingdom is such a strong group because we’re all friends. We have that backstory … and that’s what works. These are all guys that go out together, and we all hang out together, and it’s so much fun that we get to perform together.

On Never Winning a Title:
I’ve been told on many, many occasions that championships don’t make or break a talent. So I don’t think of it like that. I think of it like how much of an impact can I make in women’s wrestling, whether I have a title or not. I think that right now, with going to New Japan and being the first female to wrestle against another female in New Japan, we’re breaking down boundaries. If somebody wants to give me a title for that, then that’s great. But at the same time, I don’t need that to define my career. Would it be cool to go back to WWE and win a title at some point? Yeah, sure. But at the same time, if I can accomplish more in Ring of Honor with Destination America, if I can accomplish more in New Japan, then it’s not high on my list.

IN THE ROOM with Diana Hart Smith

@intheroomshow on @vocnation with Diana Hart Smith. Featuring @bradyhicks @thestro @kathyfitzpatrick @rayITR

IN THE ROOM this week features the wife of the late “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, sister to Bret “Hitman” Hart, and mother of former WWE star Harry Smith … Diana Smith! Check it out as Diana talks her new book, “Cauliflower Heart,” and talks the legacy of Davey Boy, Owen, Bret, and the entire Hart family, great ribs and pranks by Davey Boy and Owen, tragedies in wrestling, Owen in the WWE Hall of Fame, and the famed SummerSlam ’92 match at Wembley Stadium! Plus, lots of talk about the Legends of the Ring convention from this past weekend, and open lines for two full hours. All that, and so … much … more. Thanks, as always, for the support! 

Check it out as Diana talks her new book “Cauliflower Heart,” Davey’s own thoughts on never winning the WWE title, legendary Owen and Davey ribs (especially involving Lex Luger), comparing Harry to his father, and wrestling being “fake.” Plus, lots of talk about Hart family tragedies, the staff infection that almost killed Davey before SummerSlam ’92, and more. Here are some highlights from the interview:

Owen in the WWE Hall of Fame:
I sure hope [Owen goes in]. I think the fans deserve it because they loved Owen. I know Martha [Hart] and her family have their reasons, but the ones who suffer in all of this are the fans. Regardless of Martha’s animosity for the WWE … With WWE putting Owen in the Hall of Fame, I don’t think they’re trying to disrespect Martha. I think that they’re trying to do the right thing. Martha has her feelings and – like all of us – we’re heartbroken when we lost Owen. We all did lose Owen. Not just one person or one family. We all lost Owen. I know it means a lot to the Owen Hart fans … I know Martha has her reasons [but] I really don’t know what the holdup is … I don’t think it’s tit-for-tat, I believe it’s a lot more complex than that … It has to be a melting on both sides. For a long time, I thought it was one side holding back and not the other, but I think that both sides need to work it out and do it for Owen’s fans. But I understand Martha’s position on it. There are things that need to be addressed before she’s ready to give it her blessing.

On The Bret-Davey IC Match Main-Eventing SummerSlam:
I think a lot of people were mad, not at all Vince McMahon or the people promoting the show. I thinks some of the wrestlers were mad that the Intercontinental belt was being showcased as the main event. I will go to my grave saying that … the main event was Davey and Bret. That’s why they put them as the main event. And part of the reason they broke the record … of selling over 80,000 seats in less than 11 hours was Davey and Bret … I think if you did a poll or a survey [asking] who are your favorites in 1992 at that time, it’s not Ric Flair, it wasn’t Curt Hennig, it wasn’t The Ultimate Warrior, it wasn’t the Legion of Doom … it was perfectly right to have Bret and Davey as the main event for that show. Even though it wasn’t a world championship match.

On Wrestling Dominating Her Life:
It’s overwhelming when I’m not in wrestling. I’m a part of it in pretty much every exponent you could think. I’m a daughter of it, a sister, a wife, a mother, and I do a little bit of it myself. I didn’t wrestle [but] I … did the managing with Davey and Owen … I pretty well covered every aspect of it … I was really involved in it, and now I’m overwhelmed by what is the real world for other people. Sometimes I feel like I … can’t do anything outside of wrestling. I struggle with what is considered the normal life, trying to work a 9-to-5 job, work in an office, I just feel like I’m so far out of my element.

IN THE ROOM with CZW’s Drew Gulak and Rob Dimension

@intheroomshow on @vocnation featuring @combatzone @DrewGulak and @robdimension. @bradyhicks @thestro @rayITR @kathyfitzpatrick

CZW takes over IN THE ROOM this week as former champion – and CZW school trainer – Drew Gulak, as well as backstage worker Rob Dimension, join the show to talk about the CZW “buffet,” how the company is perceived, how it actually is, and what it would take to become more mainstream. Plus, Drew and Rob talk the future of the wrestling industry via CZW’s dojo, which has produced numerous top wrestling stars over the years. In addition, Brady Hicks is joined by former WCW star The Stro, Kathie Fitzpatrick, former Bleacher Report Editor Ray Bogusz, and Derrick McDonald in talking Kevin Owens, the John Cena-cancer kid “controversy,” and the IMPACT Ring of Honor could make with Destination America. Plus, open phone lines for two full hours! All that … and so much more! Thanks, as always, for the support.

IN THE ROOM with Referee Fred Richards

@intheroomshow featuring legendary referee Fred Richards, with #pwi @bradyhicks, #wcw @thestro, @rayITR, @kathyfitzpatric, and Derrick McDonald.

This week’s IN THE ROOM includes a special interview with legendary referee Fred Richards, who is NWA-sanctioned and has worked all around the world. What are Richards’ thoughts on the current state of “fast food” wrestling, character development, and what the fans really want? Tune in to find out! Plus, Brady Hicks is joined by former WCW star The Stro, Kathie Fitz, former Bleacher Report Editor Ray Bogusz and Derrick McDonald in talking WWE Payback, previewing WWE Elimination Chamber, and bantering about New Day (clap clap). Plus, what wrestling t-shirts are socially acceptable to wear in public, and open lines for 2-1/2 hours! All that, and so … much … more! Thanks, as always, for the support!

IN THE ROOM with Bull Pain

@intheroomshow on @vocnation w #ECW #BullPain. Featuring @bradyhicks #WCW @TheStro @RayITR @kathyfitzpatric

This week’s IN THE ROOM has former ECW, WCW, and IWA MidSouth star Bull Pain! Plus, Brady Hicks, The Stro, Kathie Fitz, Ray Bogusz, and Derrick McDonald talk WWE Elimination Chamber, the death of a friend and great referee, Daniel Bryan’s injury, and WWE Payback this Sunday! Plus, open phone lines for two full hours, and so … much … more. Thanks, as always, for the support!

 

IN THE ROOM with Devon Dudley (WWE’s D-Von Dudley)

@intheroomshow on @vonation w @testifydevon interview. @bradyhicks, @thestro, @rayITR

This week’s IN THE ROOM has a special interview with former WWE, TNA, and ECW star Devon Dudley (WWE’s D-Von Dudley). Plus, Brady Hicks, former WCW star The Stro, former Bleacher Report Editor Ray Bogusz, and Kathie Fitz and Derrick McDonal talk WWE King of the Ring, NFL, and so much more. Plus listener calls! Please also check out the ITR Pre-Show with Dustin and John from Rhode Island in the archives above! Thanks, as always, for the support!

Check it out as Devon talks the Team 3D Academy wrestling school, his sons wrestling, the Bill DeMott controversy, life off the road, ECW, being influenced by Steve Austin, Internet wrestling fans, politics, this year’s Royal Rumble non-invite, and being referred to as a “WWE Guy.” Here are some highlights from the interview:

JUST A POINT OF CLARIFICATION, PER DEVON’S REQUEST: HIS COMMENTS BELOW REGARDING PERCEPTIONS OF HIS WEIGHT, AGE, ETC. IN COMPARISON TO BULLY RAY WERE LEVIED BY WRESTLING WRITERS, NOT WWE, ECW, OR TNA CREATIVE TEAM WRITERS.

On Being Compared to Bully Ray:
It always seemed to me – and even Bubba admitted sometimes – … that [wrestling journalists] put one [Dudley] over the other … It was never like that. So I couldn’t understand it. Then it got to the point where certain things were said [such as] “Devon needs to lose weight.” … Then all of a sudden “Devon needs to stay out of the gym … he’s getting too big.” Something like that. I don’t remember … And then it went from those two things to “Well Devon is reaching 40 now.” And I’m like, “I can’t catch a break.” … I was starting to have a complex.

On Avoiding Substance Abuse:
It’s just one of those things where you take care of your body and your body will take care of you. I don’t do drugs. I’m an occasional wine drinker. I love my wine, but that’s about it. For me to go out there and say I’m doing heavy drugs, pills, cocaine, or whatever the crap they’re doing out there, pill popping, I don’t do that. And I think that Bubba and I are one of the guys that can honestly say that. We didn’t participate in that crap.

On Rejoining WWE:
Whether we’re going in there and taking over where we left off, whether we’re helping out the younger generation to get them to where they need to be … you’ve got to pass the torch … Every generation does that … We’re doing the wrestling school now, the Team 3D Wrestling Academy, we’re doing that with our students. We’re passing the torch, we’re passing the knowledge … To be able to go back to WWE and to be able to do that on that level, that would be a great thing for us to be able to do that. To help those young guys out, to help the tag team division thrive again. That’s what our goal would be.

 

IN THE ROOM with Vito LoGrasso

@intheroomshow featuring @vitolograsso, with @bradyhick @thestro @rayITR

This week’s IN THE ROOM features former WWE/WCW/ECW/TNA star “Big” Vito LoGrasso, who checks in with Brady Hicks, The Stro, Ray Bogusz, Derrick McDonald, and Kathie Fitz to talk his lawsuit with WWE, wearing a dress, and so … much … more. Plus Dustin Wilson calls in with his “backstage” WWE report, The Stro talks Cauliflower Alley Club, and the group previews WWE Extreme Rules. Thanks, as always, for the support!

 

On Suing WWE:
You weren’t allowed to be hurt … You had to suck it up and take it. If you got rocked, you couldn’t say nothing … When I go back and look at things now, a little bit older … physically speaking, I do have some issues … I look back at it sometimes after I go to a doctor visit [and see what] I did to myself that I didn’t know because I wasn’t educated … A lot of people have their opinions about this lawsuit, but do you know how much guts it takes to stand up for what you believe in and to have the integrity to stand up and say “Hey, this is what happened.” … People who are in the business who say they’re with you, they’ll knock it because they’re all wanting one more chance. If Vince hasn’t called you in five years, he’s not going to.

On Wearing Dresses:
I’d been an Italian tough guy for so long. They wanted to do something different. They said, “You have this mean, killer look like Adrian Adonis, but you’re a very handsome man. How about if you wear a dress?” And I said, “Ok. I could deal with that.” … There is nothing that anybody could do to hurt me. So I did it. It took a lot of cajones, a lot of guts, but it took a lot of self confidence in who you were as a man.

On How Other Wrestlers Perceive Him Now:
I have a lot more friends. As soon as people don’t have to compete with me … and [can] like me for me and not what’s in front of them. I let people in my world. Before, I never let anybody [get] close to me. I never let anybody near me. For the first time in my life, I started to let people in, and they’d say, “Hey man, you’re really funny.” And I’d be like, “I’ve been funny my whole life.”

IN THE ROOM with Tracy Smothers

@intheroomshow w #pwi’s @bradyhicks interviewing Tracy Smothers. @TheStro is off at the #CAC. Plus @rayITR, Kathie, and Derrick.

The “Wide-Eyed Southern Boy” Tracy Smothers steps IN THE ROOM this week to talk about his career spanning WCW, ECW, WWE, Smokey Mountain, and the USWA! Check it out [highlights below]. Plus, Brady and the gang talk lots of wrestling – including Neville, Daniel Bryan, and future stars – and take calls once again. Plus a hearty discussion of the Dustin/Seth Rollins stuff from last week’s show, and a few New Jack stories. All that and so … much … more. Thanks, as always, for the support!

Check it out as the self-professed “utility guy” talks riling up southern crowds, having fun as a Full Blooded Italian in ECW, mentoring young wrestlers, working with the Armstrongs, and being recognized while working as a bounty hunter! Here are some highlights from the interview:

On Not Catching On Better in WWE:
It was a lot of politics … I think I could have done better there as a heel at that stage. But that’s up to them … some people clip your wings and just kill you off. It was really political … It started out like an underdog thing and they gave me a couple wins. And then [when] a couple top guys don’t like it, they kind of squash it. That’s pretty much what happened … It wasn’t just me, it was a lot of guys that it happened to.

On Working Through Severe Injuries:
I had a broken ankle … [I] came down off of the ropes and I went on top of Brian [Lee]‘s foot and my foot just went awkward and I snapped it. I kept ice on it and two braces on it and did a little isometrics. I had a few weeks … [of] shows around that [time] too, and I had a few-week Japan tour. You know how it is: if you don’t work [then] you don’t get paid. I worked about three months with a broken ankle. That’s what people don’t realize. How you can get hurt – and the freakish ways you can – and you have to keep going … Athletes in other professional sports, they’re out a few games, weeks, a year, or their whole career. Some of the guys in our business work hurt like that every night … Oh God it’s hard.

IN THE ROOM with Brooke Tessmacher (Brooke Adams), Papadon, and Mike Bessler

@intheroomshow w @impactwrestling’s @realbrookeadams #DESTINATIONIMPACT #RIPJawz, @greekgodpapadon, and #pwi @wrestlinginc writer #MikeBessler. Starring @bradyhicks, @thestro, @rayITR, @mattsaigon.

IN THE ROOM on VOC Nation this week was on the air for three full hours, and features a special sitdown interview with Brooke Tessmacher (Brooke Adams) from Impact Wrestling, huge independent star “The Greek God” Papadon, and PWI and WrestlingInc writer Mike Bessler. All that, plus Brady Hicks, The Stro, Kathie Fitz, Derrick McDonald, Ray Bogusz, and Matt Saigon talk WrestleMania and the post-WrestleMania Raw, talk UFC/WWE crossover appeal, and take listener calls. Plus, Papadon and Matt Saigon debate the value of men taking selfies. All that and so … much … more. Thanks, as always, for the support!

Note: On March 15th, Brooke’s beloved dog Jawz was run over by a car and sustained severe injuries. In attempting to save Jawz’s life (he was sadly later put down), Adams set up an account to collect money toward his $15,000 in veterinary bills. To donate to this cause – and potentially help save other animals in similar situations – visit http://www.youcaring.com/pet-expenses/help-jawz-fight-for-his-life-/325997#.VRSLVJtaE2U

Here are some highlights from the interview:

On Fighting The Perception of Just Being “Hot”:
I had to give them that, because I [didn't] know how to wrestle. So I have to at least be the sexy person with the big [butt] that bounces around with a pretty face. And now I have to go in and do double work to prove that I’m not only that. That’s what people want to see, because I’ve given them that, but it also tarnishes who I am as a wrestler.

On Her First Impressions Wrestling in TNA:
In the beginning … I had no idea what I was doing … I was so scared. I didn’t do this in WWE. I’m afraid I’m messing up and then getting fired. I was just so nervous. Even coming from such a big company and already going through it once, it helped me a little bit, but I didn’t have the wrestling down behind me to back it up so it just made me very insecure as a wrestler.

Winning the Title:
I think at the time they were like “Wow. She cares. She’s got some heart” … [Apart from] the few matches I had in the beginning, I came back and I was learning how to wrestle on my own and I was paying this guy to help me … I think they saw that and they wanted to give me a chance to flourish. And it happened to be a perfect time when we were going to be in Texas, my home state, so it all just worked out perfectly … They just saw that I wanted it. I was so hungry. I wasn’t tarnished at all from the business and being like “I’m old and grizzled. I don’t want to put [in] the workout.” I was like “You want me to jump off what?! What do you want me to do?! I’ll do it!”

All that, plus Brooke talks her disappointment from being taken off of TNA’s TV briefly; getting heat in WWE for Jawz making too much noise backstage; learning from TNA’s incredible women’s roster; being in Extreme Expose; and presenting more of a fun-loving character rather than being so serious.

IN THE ROOM airs live, weekly, Tuesday nights at 9 PM ET on the VOC Nation Radio Network (vocnation.com / thebradyhicks.com). Join Brady Hicks (Pro Wrestling Illustrated contributing writer), as well as The Stro (WCW’s Maestro), Kathie Fitz, Matt Saigon (independent wrestler), Ray Bogusz (former Bleacher Report editor), and Derrick McDonald as they run down all that’s going on in wrestling, and sit down with some of wrestling’s top stars.

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