Interviews with former ECW-original stars.

IN THE ROOM with “Hitman” Tony Stetson

tonyhitmanclassic@intheroomshow on @vocnation w #ECW’s #HitmanTonyStetson & @combatzone’s #ChrisBehringer. Plus #PWI’s @bradyhicks, former #WCW star @TheStro, @kathyfitzpatick @jordanjgarber #derrickmcdonald

Bessler, Mike. “ECW Original: ‘If I Saw Paul Heyman On The Street, I’d Probably Knife Him.” October 22, 2015.

IN THE ROOM returns this week with an awesome interview with early-on ECW and Tri-State Wrestling Alliance star “Hitman” Tony Stetson. What are Tony’s opinions on hardcore wrestling and the role that he played, having a “job for life” in ECW, and training under Bam Bam Bigelow? All that, in addition to Tony’s thoughts on today’s wrestlers, wrestling feeling real, and a whole lot more. Then, the crew is joined by CZW’s Chris Behringer, who is instrumental in the Maven Bentley Association’s “Memory Remains” charity show this Sunday in Woodbury Heights! Plus, PWI’s Brady Hicks, The Stro (WCW’s Maestro), Kathie Fitz, Derrick McDonald, and Jordan Garber take calls for two hours and talk WWE Hell in a Cell and so … much … more. Thanks, as always, for the support!

Bessler, Mike. “ECW Original: ‘If I Saw Paul Heyman On The Street, I’d Probably Knife Him.” October 22, 2015.

IN THE ROOM with Joel Gertner

logo@intheroomshow on @vocnation w #ECW original #JoelGertner @MXWwrestling, plus #PWI’s @bradyhicks, #WCW’s @TheStro, @kathyfitzpatick, @jordanjgarber, and #derrickmcdonald.

IN THE ROOM is proud to welcome former ECW star “The Quintessential Studmuffin” Joel Gertner to the program. Check it out as Joel talks the origins of his sonnets, facing creative roadblocks (and overflows), and how close he actually came to a WWE jump. Plus, Brady Hicks, The Stro, Kathie Fitzpatrick, Jordan Garber, and Derrick McDonald talk Sting’s legacy, New Day, and the October 11th South Jersey Wrestle-Fest in Woodbury Heights, New Jersey. Plus open lines for two full hours, and so … much … more! Thanks, as always, for the support!

The Inquisitr has posted a lengthy piece covering this interview:

Mike Bessler

ECW Original Joel Gertner was the featured guest on the most recent episode of the In the Roompodcast on VOC Nation. Interviewed by Pro Wrestling Illustrated contributor Brady Hicks and his panel of co-hosts, Gertner discussed his work in the heyday of one of pro wrestling’s most celebrated promotions, serving as a manager for the Dudley Boyz and as a commentator during the latter part of his run.

Gertner noted that he is still a fan of WWE and that he is extremely pleased with the WWE Network these days, adding that the company recently added a huge cache of vintage ECW material to the network in recent weeks. He enthusiastically pointed out that much of the newly added shows are from 1997 and 1998 and they include some of his best work with the Dudleyz. Joel also advised that he was recently tapped to contribute to WWE’s forthcoming ECW DVD retrospectives.

“I was up in Stamford a week or two ago,” Gertner said. They have two different home video releases coming out next year, the first of which they interviewed me for, would be a Dudley Boyz compilation and then the other one [is] OMG: 50 Craziest Moments In ECW History. That’s going to be coming out in the latter part of next year. So I contributed towards that.”

Wrestling DVD Network confirmed the release of the above-noted DVD projects earlier this month. The site did not have details to indicate whether or not the Dudley Boyz DVD will be a documentary or a compilation of matches, but Gertner’s participation in the project strongly suggests some sort of documentary or narrative component. Regarding the OMG compilation, in addition to Joel Gertner, ECW Originals Tazz and Tommy Dreamer will also be featured in the countdown-style production. This collection will be the third installment in WWE’s OMG series.

In the Room Host Brady Hicks asked Joel if he had ever gotten the chance to jump to WWE when some of ECW’s biggest names were leaving the small promotion for bigger opportunities. Gertner briefly discussed his talks with WWE, noting that although he had the chance to leave ECW, he couldn’t make the offer work at the time.

“I can tell you that there was at least one opportunity,” Gertner said. “There was a time before TNN, so before I was on a contract… and I spoke with one of the [agents] and we talked and I was given an indication of kind of a range of what the compensation might be and then creatively what I would be brought in for and I considered it. You know, at the end of the day, I was really loyal to ECW and things just kind of timed out in a certain way…and it made sense for me to take the ECW deal that was put in front of me. Yeah, there were definitely a couple of opportunities.”

Joel said that he was more than happy to stay with ECW during their deal with TNN, advising that he had a strong sense of loyalty to Paul Heyman. He also said that he enjoyed working with Rick Rude as a commentator on the TNN shows and said he had no regrets about his career choices in hindsight.

Joel Gertner told the In the Room hosts that he currently teaches math at a “retail education center” and does part time financial services work on the side. He is also seeking voiceover work and has his own podcast on iTunes, entitled 69 Minute Eargasm. He made brief appearances with TNA after the demise of ECW and also appeared on WWE’s ECW One Night Stand pay per view in 2005.

IN THE ROOM with “The New F’n Show” Jerry Lynn

logo@intheroomshow on @vocnation w @jerrylynntna Plus #pwi @bradyhicks #wcw @thestro @kathyfitzpatick @jordanjgarber #derrickmcdonald

Former ECW, WWE, TNA, WCW, and ROH star Jerry Lynn steps IN THE ROOM this week for a special one-hour interview. Check out Jerry’s thoughts on his recent surgery and health situation, his time spent in ECW with Rob Van Dam, never quite catching on in WWE, and being a mentor to the young stars of today. Plus, Brady Hicks, The Stro, Kathie Fitz, Derrick McDonald, and Jordan Garber talk WWE Night of Champions, Seth Rollins’ girlfriend Zahra Schreiber, horses diving into water in Atlantic City, and black movies and hip hop music. Plus open phone lines for two full hours, and so … much … more! Thanks, as always, for the support!

Check out Mike Bessler’s extensive coverage of the interview for The Inquisitr:


Jerry Lynn was the featured guest on this week’s In The Room podcast. During an extensive, hour long interview, the 52 year-old wrestler discussed his work as a performer in the original ECW. WWE, WCW and independent work were also discussed by the now-retired wrestler as well as his celebrated in-ring rivalry with Rob Van Dam and Lynn’s recent health issues and surgery. As reported by E Wrestling News and other sources, Lynn underwent neck surgery in early August. The procedure was complicated due to a number of bone spurs in the wrestler’s neck. An online crowd funding campaign to help Jerry with his medical expenses raised almost $18,000.

Brady Hicks, a contributing writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and host of In the Room asked Lynn about his recent neck surgery and Lynn indicated he is recovering well but noted he will need back surgery after he is fully healed from the aforementioned procedure. Jerry expressed appreciation for all of those who contributed towards his medical expenses, noting that he has always paid for his family’s health concerns prior to his latest surgery.
Co-host Jordan Garber asked Jerry how he became interested in becoming a pro wrestler and Lynn shared his early impressions of the industry.

“It never really was my dream to become a wrestler,” Lynn explained. “I grew up — ever since I was six — watching wrestling. I was always a fan of it. But years ago back then — when I first started watching it was 1969 — the majority of the wrestlers were monsters. Especially in the ’80s. Everyone was well over six feet tall and 250 plus, you know? So I never even gave it a second thought of even trying it and then I met a wrestler one day and went to go watch him on an indy show and after seeing some of the matches, I thought, ‘My brother and I beat each other up better than this in the front yard.’ So I talked to [the wrestler] about it…and he said, ‘Well, why don’t you try it?’ I said, ‘I’m too small.’ And he introduced me to a promoter. That’s how I found out how you break into the business.”

Lynn went on to explain that he didn’t feel like he was ready for the business at first but he eventually became comfortable and confident enough to move ahead. Jerry did note that he was not always warmly welcomed by bigger guys in the gym when he first started in the business. Later in the interview, Lynn recalled that one of his first jobs as a grappler was losing in “squash matches” in the now defunct American Wrestling Association.

Discussing his work with Rob Van Dam in the original ECW, Lynn explained that his initial outing against the high flyer made an impression on a lot of people, from the fans at that show all the way up to ECW owner Paul Heyman.

“I think after the first time [Heyman] saw Rob and I wrestle each other, he knew there was something there, so he just kept putting us together,” said Lynn. “As far as the ‘New F’n Show’ thing, that was all the fans. At the Living Dangerously pay-per-view in Asbury Park there was a whole series of spots…All of the sudden one corner of the building started chanting ‘New F’n Show!’ and it just took off on its own from there. That was kind of cool because the fans gave me the name.”

Jerry Lynn and RVD went on to clash many more times in ECW. WWE hosted a bout between the two in 2001 for the company’s Hardcore Championship and the men met in a Full Metal Mayhem match for TNA wrestling in 2011.

Comparing work environments, Jerry Lynn said he most enjoyed the fans and atmosphere of ECW. WWE, however, was another story. Lynn expressed some frustration in the lack of direction he was subject to during his stint in WWE. Brady Hicks asked if Jerry was bothered by the fact that he never had a noteworthy run in WWE and the wrestler responded with candor.

“Yeah, it bothered me…When I was there, nothing they did with me made any sense,” Lynn recalled. They had me come in and then right away, they go: ‘Okay, you’re a heel now.’ And I’m thinking, the majority of my career, I’ve been a babyface; Why are you going to all of the sudden say, ‘Here’s Jerry and he’s a bad guy now?’…So it was already an uphill battle. And I didn’t say anything because I was just doing what I was told. And then my first TV, they had me win the belt off of Crash Holly, which didn’t make any sense to me…I cheated, I pulled the tights to win and the crowd still popped…After that they just had me doing time-killer matches…And after that, they just had me doing dark matches for try outs. And I’m going, “Wow, this isn’t going the way I had hoped’.”

Lynn said he was released from WWE while he was recovering from knee surgery. He noted that doctors had told him he needed six months to recover but WWE wanted him to wrestle after only three months. After telling WWE staff that he needed the full time to recover, Lynn received his release papers just two weeks later.

Closing out the interview, Jerry Lynn encouraged the new generation of wrestlers to “get up and go get it” when it comes to making it in the business. Having logged full-time stints in WWE, ECW, and WCW, Lynn also praised the work of independent grapplers who work as “weekend warriors.” Lynn noted that those men and women, just like the stars at the top of the business, are living their dreams in today’s wrestling scene.

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 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:


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

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 ( / 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 Mikey Whipwreck and Matt Saigon

@intheroomshow on @vocnation w @bradyhicks and @thestro

This week, IN THE ROOM‘s Brady Hicks, The Stro, and Kathie Fitz welcome former ECW star Mikey Whipwreck, as well as ECWA competitor Matt Saigon. All that, plus so … much … more. Thanks, as always, for the support!

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