WWE

Interviews from WWE, WWF, and WWWF stars.

IN THE ROOM with Former WCW and WWE Referee Mickie Jay Henson

@intheroomshow w #mickiejayhenson. @bradyhicks @thestro @kathyfitzpatrick @jordanjgarber

Former WCW and WWE referee Mickie Jay Henson joined the IN THE ROOM podcast this past Tuesday, July 7, 2015, with Brady Hicks, former WCW wrestler The Stro, Kathie Fitzpatrick, Derrick McDonald, and Jordan Garber. This show can be downloaded at both vocnation.com and thebradyhicks.com. Check it out as Mickie Jay steps off his fishing boat to discuss his time with Championship Wrestling from Florida, WCW, and WWE, and compares each. He also talks about the bout with cancer that sidelined him from WWE, mentoring under Dusty Rhodes, and WCW having “too many chiefs, not enough indians,” Other points of interest include being a WCW guy in the WWE locker room; his brief wrestling career; the art of refereeing; WWE’s ECW and Vince McMahon’s dislike of Paul Heyman; and how WWE is positioned moving forward as its leadership changes hands.
Here are some highlights:
On Eric Bischoff’s Attitude Regarding Vince McMahon:
They took it pretty legitimately as far as a war with Vince … I remember the time when  … we were in Norfolk, Virginia at The Scope doing Nitro, and [D-X] showed up across the street with a big tank … Eric actually thought that they were going to come in and interrupt the show. And it was at that same time that I remember Eric actually challenged Vince McMahon to a fight. We had a pass made up for him to come in, an all-area access pass. I was assigned to referee that “match” if it took place. I remember asking Bischoff, “Well, what are we going to do?” And he said to me, “If he shows up, call it as you see it. And if he doesn’t show up, ring the bell and count to 10.” So of course that’s what happened … I know Bischoff is supposedly a big karate guy, but I’m pretty sure Vince would have whooped him … Eric Bischoff is almost like a mark in certain ways.
On WCW Favoring Surprises Over Promotion:
Some of [WCW’s] ideas didn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Eric’s big thing was the element of surprise. For instance, we had James Brown appear on on of the pay-per-views … He didn’t advertise it. He didn’t tell anybody. So why would anybody tune in? … If you’re going to have one of the biggest superstars in the world like James Brown on your show, wouldn’t you tell somebody? … It just didn’t make any sense to me, and it still doesn’t … The object of the whole thing was to gain viewership, and to make your ratings go up. By announcing a James Brown or whoever you’re going to have on your show, it sure couldn’t have hurt.
Comparing Vince McMahon and Dusty Rhodes as Bookers:
Vince does things the way he wants them to go, and they go his way. If they don’t, you’re not there … Dusty would call you on something. If you didn’t do it right, he would let you know. He had such a way of letting you know that you remembered. It wasn’t like he’d just bring you into the office and curse you out. He would bring you in, sit you down, and explain to you what you did wrong, and why – if you ever do it wrong again – you won’t be here to do it wrong again.
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 FitzDerrick McDonald, and Jordan Garber as they run down all that’s going on in wrestling, and sit down with some of wrestling’s top stars.

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 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.

IN THE ROOM with Dan “The Beast” Severn

@intheroomshow on @vocnation.com with @bradyhicks, @thestro, and @deathbysaigon interviewing @danbeastsevern

This week’s IN THE ROOM – with Brady Hicks, The Stro (WCW’s Maestro), Kathie Fitz, Derrick McDonald, and independent wrestler Matt Saigon – features a special, 70+ minute sitdown interview with former WWE and UFC star Dan “The Beast” Severn. Plus, WrestleMania season heats up with lots of predictions, scenarios, and live calls. All that, and so … much … more. Thanks, as always for the support!

Here are some highlights:
On the WWE Locker Room Fearing Him:The first few weeks, as I’m kind of watching things unfold before me, I’m watching the talent greeting each other. And as they’re greeting each other, they either refer to one another by their first names or by their worker names. It’d be “Hey, Steve,” or “Hey, Rock” … But then each time that they’re coming [into] contact with me, it was like “How are you today, Mr. Severn?” It was always Mr. Severn. And I kept thinking … maybe they’re just kind of ribbing on me or whatever …. Eventually after a few weeks of this I finally asked one of them one day when they were by themselves … He says, “You scare us. We’re afraid that you’re going to wig out in one of our matches.”

On WWE’s Backstage Climate:
[It was a] very impressive operation there, but what really struck me after just a few days of being at the different events, I looked at it as a glorified babysitting job for [WWE] … They wanted you to arrive so early, because I think they wanted to find out who was going to turn up missing in action, who was going to turn up under the influence of who knows that … I’m not trying to say something bad about the whole entire roster, but as a broad statement, I would say that this is true.

On The Royal Rumble “Controversy”:
[One of the WWE agents] said “We could have you start losing matches.” And I said, “You could ask me to lose a match, but where does it say in my contract that I have to lose to anybody? What if I take your wacky world of fantasy, and I turn it into reality? Which one of your stars stands a snowball’s chance in hell against me?” His eyes just got so big. The Royal Rumble was coming around the corner, and it even crossed my mind, what if I approached Ted Turner [and] Eric Bischoff, and said “Hey guys, I’m going to be in the Royal Rumble. It’s a live pay-per-view … And when it comes time for me to have to exit the ring, [what if] I turn fantasy into reality and I clear the ring … and all I have to do is wait every 90 seconds for [WWE] to send me some fresh meat?”

Plus, The Beast offers his thoughts on Brock Lesnar’s choice to re-sign with WWE, compares the effects on the body of MMA and wrestling, explains his decision to pursue a career in both, and ponders how he would fare in today’s UFC. He also talks his leverage in WWE (being able to leave for WCW at any time), clashes with WWE creative, hanging with Stu Hart, having Bill Goldberg thank him, people being afraid of him on the street, and emerging from the fighting world with his health and looks. Plus, Dan Severn offers his thoughts on the Brawl for All tournament (and not being allowed in / competing in / being pulled).

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 FitzMatt 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.

 

IN THE ROOM with Tough Enough’s Greg Whitmoyer

Check back for description.

IN THE ROOM with B Brian Blair and ECWA’s Coach Jim Shorts

@intheroomshow on @vocnation with @bradyhicks, @thestro, #kathiefitz, and #derrickmcdonald talking with #wwe’s #BBrianBlair and @ecwawrestling1967’s #coachjimshorts

This week’s IN THE ROOM features a special, sitdown interview with B Brian Blair. Check it out to hear Brian’s close involvement with the fantastic Cauliflower Alley Club, plus comparing politics to wrestling, comparing Rock n Wrestling to the Attitude Era (and today), and all the ins and outs of his great career. Plus, ECWA’s Coach Jim Shorts calls in to talk about his shocking betrayal of Meisure Ooh La La at ECWA Toys for Tots in December, and Brady Hicks, The Stro, Kathie Fitz, and Derrick McDonald talk the Macho Man in the WWE Hall of Fame, if his family should go in, and WWE’s re-airing of Tough Enough on the WWE Network. All that, and so … much … more! Thanks, as always, for the support!

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