[Credit: ECWA1@aol.com and ECWA Newsletter]
Renttek Productions Presents. . .
It's An East Coast Thing!!!
INTERVIEW SPECIAL ISSUE #7
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"The King of Swing" DANCIN' STEVIE RICHARDS
From Raven's Lackey, to "Big Stevie Cool" to "The Superstar," Stevie Richards, wrestling's Original "King of Swing" has played just about every role possible throughout his six year pro-wrestling career. The former two-time ECW Tag Team Champion recalls admiring the athleticism and charisma of "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels and the hero like stature of "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan while growing up in wrestling's boom period, the eighties.
He has been a follower, a leader, but overall, just a darn good wrestler. That's the one constant about Richards' career. His God given athletic ability and courage have always stood out above everything else. This is a man who has lived out his dreams time and time again, winning a World Tag Title, wrestling against "The Hardcore Legend" Terry Funk, but this is also a man who overcame insurmountable odds to get back to where he is today.
After surgery for his broken neck, Stevie was barely able to walk and talk. These days, he is back in the wrestling ring, where many believe he belongs. But unlike the Stevie Richards of old, this Richards is more focused towards real life. He more closely resembles Michael Manna, the man who "The King of Swing" is when he is out of the arenas. His "one day at a time" attitude is sure to get him places again in not only just the wrestling business, but in life in general. In this very special Interview Special, a man on the verge of paralyzation talks about his wrestling career, his new outlook on life and speculates on just what the future may hold for him. We invite you to sit back, relax, put up your feet, and enjoy "Stevie Richards: The King of Courage."
CR: What wrestlers did you admire growing up?
SR: I admired a lot of wrestlers growing up, but mostly wrestlers like Shawn Michaels, who I try to emulate his style as much as possible. Of course, the Ric Flairs and the Hulk Hogans, since I grew up in the wrestling boom in the mid-80s. That's when I was really young, about your age probably. And, ya know. . . but basically Shawn Michaels. And it shows in my work. He's been the person that I've most tried to emulate throughout my career. Not really him personally, but basically his wrestling style, because he's a helluva wrestler.
CR: How did you get your start in the pro-wrestling business?
SR: I started out with Joel Goodhart's Tri-State Wrestling Alliance back in 1991. There was guys like, ya know, it was actually ECW before it was ECW. Tod Gordon was the money man there. Then, after Joel Goodhart went backrupt, Tod Gordon started ECW, which started in the Sports Bar down in Philadelphia. I happened to be the first match with Jimmy Jannetty, and I'd like to say that I started ECW.
CR: In 1995, along with Raven, you captured the ECW Tag Team Titles on two occasions. What do those title reigns, you first major ones in the business, mean to you looking back?
SR: Well, anybody becoming a professional wrestler or thinking about becoming a professional wrestler obviously thinks they want to be a World Champion. So that was my first World Championship ever in my career. So it meant a lot. Plus, it finally put me in a position where people actually started to take notice. They didn't, maybe, take me seriously, but they thought Stevie Richards was one half of the tag team champions. And, ya know, I was hated before that, and after we won the belts from Public Enemy, who were the ECW top baby faces, we were like the most hated people in the whole company. So it was great. That was like in the middle of the glory period of ECW, 1995-96.
CR: What was it like wrestling on ECW's very first PPV from the Arena in the 3 Way Dance for a shot at the Heavyweight title?
SR: You mean what was it like emotionally or physically?
CR: Let's do both.
SR: OK. Emotionally, it was probably the greatest match I've ever wrestled in my life. Physically, it was probably one of the most painful ordeals I've had to go through because I basically got beat up for real by Sandman and Terry Funk. And, a lot of people don't know, at that point, my neck was injured from November 2, 1996, until, and it kept building up until that faithful night in Buffalo, May 17th, 1997. But when I went on that PPV, my neck was hurt, and it was actually further injured in that PPV match. It's just that they didn't want to make a big deal out of my neck injury all along until it finally got so serious that they couldn't avoid making it public.
CR: In 1997, Raven leaves ECW. You finally have a chance to step out of his shadow. We have all heard the stories about your departure from ECW. But the one question on everyone's mind is this: Just exactly how close was Stevie Richards from winning the ECW World Heavyweight Title at the time when your neck injury got so serious that you were physically unable to wrestle?
SR: Well, I wanted to wrestle that match. I wanted to wrestle June 7 against Terry Funk. And, actually they did me a favor by pulling me of that match, because if I wrestled that match, I probably would've been a lot worse off then I am right now. How close was I? There's no way to know, because it's professional wrestling. I mean they could. . . I mean anything can change from day to day. Ya never know what's going to happen. Everyone thinks it's so predictable. But actually, it's the most unpredictable thing, figuring out who's going to win and who's going to lose. I have no idea how close I was to winning. The belt didn't mean that much to me, honestly. Wrestling Terry Funk and learning and basically feeling like I was on top of the world meant more to me than anything at the time. So, yeah, how bad did you want it? I mean it depends on how bad everyone wanted me to win the title. It seems like there was a lot of emotion, a lot of momentum going into that match where people actually believed that I was gonna be the World Champion. Maybe a little more than I did actually.
CR: Tell me about your brief stay and subsequent departure from World Championship Wrestling. Does anything or anyone stand out?
SR: Well, a lot of people stand out negatively in WCW. I sat in those locker rooms, and I've watched, and I've seen things go down, but the only person I can see anything positive out of in that locker room in a power position would be Terry Taylor. Terry Taylor is one of the most honest, straight shooters that I know in wrestling, which is hard to come by. There's a lot of dishonest, lying, conniving, weasely people in this business. And Terry Taylor struck me as really being a straight shooter. And leaving WCW is actually one of the things I really regret. I overreacted, and I left WCW. And a lot of details, a lot of personal things between me and Scott Levy, but, ya know, I really shouldn't have left. WCW really did treat me well.
CR: Vince McMahon stated on America On-Line that he has talked to you, but your neck injury worries him. What are your thoughts?
SR: He should stop worrying about me, and sign me to a million dollar a year contract. No, Vince has been pretty cool with me. I've talked to them. I've been up to Titan Towers like six or seven times. I really look forward to working for the World Wrestling Federation if the chance comes along. However, I'm not going to be put in a position like I was in ECW where I'm going to kill myself, or I'm going to break my neck again. I'm glad Vince is worried about my neck. It at least shows that he has some sort of. . . maybe it's because he wants to protect his company and not have some sort of lawsuit, but who cares? At least he's thinking of my injury. There's promoters out there who wouldn't even think of that twice.
CR: Tonight, you step in the ring in ECWA for the first time vs. "Superstar" Lance Diamond. Many feel this match will tear the house down. How do you feel about your ECWA debut?
SR: "Superstar" Lance Diamond. Ahh, that gimmick sounds familiar. I had that for about four days, didn't I? Lance Diamond's a helluva talent. Lance Diamond has a lot of experience behind him. Lance Diamond can work his @$$ off. I've seen him. I wrestled him last night in Salisbury, Maryland. I'll be honest with you. We had a helluva match. Fifteen, twenty minute match. And he's tough. He's hard to, ya know, get into a position to beat. But, out here, we should tear the house down. I'm going to do my damnedest, and I'm sure Lance will too. But that's not to say every match on the card tonight isn't going to do the same exact thing.
CR: What are your thoughts on ECWA Promoter Jim Kettner?
SR: I don't know him well enough. I've known him actually, or of him, for a few years. Everything he's promised me coming into here has been pretty much, ya know. . . He's been on the mark with everything. He gave me the money he promised me. He gave it to me at the time he said he was going to give it to me. Hell, I got two vouchers to get food out there. That's more you get from most promoters. No, but he's a good guy, and he seems like a pretty straight shooter. And, he strikes me as the type of person that would rather run one quality show a month and sell the place out and promote it right, rather than crappy shows every week just to put on shows, and draw maybe 100 people. He'd rather do the one show right, which I got to admire because he can make a lot more money on shows, selling them to people and doing things the sleezy way, but it seems like he's doing things an honest way.
CR: How have you been treated in your dealings with the ECWA? Well, we just answered that one.
SR: I just got here.
CR: What does Stevie Richards' future hold for him?
SR: I don't know. What does your future hold for you? Does anybody really know?
CR: Not really.
SR: I don't know. I mean, God forbid, I hope I don't break my neck again. I hope the future doesn't hold that. I don't think I could go through another one of those injuries. No, I'll tell you what. Basically, I'm not worried about where Stevie Richards is going, as far as a wrestler or anything like that. Whatever happens, happens. The person Michael Manna, who I really am, not Stevie Richards. . . When I leave here, I'm Michael Manna. That's my real name. That's who I really am. I'm thankful that I'm walking and talking and even living a life to be able to be in some sort of shape to get into the ring and wrestle. I'm not worried about the future anymore. I'm worried about right now. And, ya know, just basically, I don't know. I'm loving life. One time, I spent the past six years of my wrestling career worrying about this, worrying about that. Ya know, having an ulcer over this. Who likes me? And who's going to push me? And who's going to give me this belt? Now I just sit back and enjoy the ride.
CR: Thanks a lot.
SR: Alright. Cool.
The East Coast Wrestling Association would like to sincerely thank Dancin' Stevie Richards for taking the time to be this month's Interview Special. He is a great young talented asset to this sport, who most definitely has even greater things ahead of him in the future in this great sport, and we were happy to have this opportunity to learn about his career.
Copyright 1998. East Coast Wrestling Association/Renttek Productions. All Rights Reserved.
Wrestling Historian Gazette
Please credit Wrestling Historian and Lordsofpain.net when using this news.
Paul Heyman Chat 4/29/98
[ECW Owner/Promoter Paul Heyman was our guest for chat tonight (4/29/98). Questions were posed to him from members by our own Tom Robson and Rob Newland and the chat lasted roughly and hour and a half. The Chat set an all-time attendance record for Grandstand Chats. The Grandstand would like to thank the ECW for their continuing efforts in bringing ECW On-Line in the Grandstand. Hats off to all.]
Question: I have heard rumblings of a so called explosion match here in the states like one that was done in Japan. Is this going to happen and where are we leaning towards staging such a ground breaking event? (Resurgance)
Paul Heyman: I would love to an FMW style explosion match here in the states. Obviously, to the largest possible audience that I can reach Atsushi Onita, the owner/operator of FMW and ZEN, will be coming to the US in June to discuss with me the possibility, the feasibility and the marketability of doing and FMW style explosion match in the states this year.
Question: There is some talk of ECW leaving the Arena ... Are these rumors true? In my opinion, that is the worst thing that could happen to ECW, since the Arena, since the beginning, HAS BEEN ECW, to a certain extent. Thanks. (Sting40920)
Paul Heyman: Despite the advice of lawyers, despite the advice of advisors, despite the advice of accountants, Despite the advice of associates, I have absolutely, positively, NO desire to leave the ECW Arena. I will admit that we can draw far more people at a more centrally located venue in Philadelphia, make far more money, playing to a far larger audience. But the Arena is home to us, despite constant problems and despite constant interference against our running there. Until the ECW Arena pushes us into a corner to a point where we could no longer run there, I don't ever see myself making the concious decision to abandon the place that we call home.
Question: Is it true you stopped the PITBULLS from appearing on RAW against DOA in the chain match? (PiRanHa168)
Paul Heyman: That's a stupid rumor. #1 I have absolutely no pull at TitanSports. #2 I like Anthony and Gary. They are friends of mine And I would give them nothing but the highest letter of recommendation to any prospective employer.
Question: Some decent talent is out there looking for a break, namely Reckless Youth,The Misfits (who are almost tailor made for every thing ECW is),and Jake Lawless( who was trained in ECW's Philly school). Are you aware of their skills, and have or will you approach them in the future? (MariTomRob)
Paul Heyman: I am more than aware of their skills, I am more than aware of their talent, and I am more than aware of their ability to work hard and I know which one of these athletes wish to make the move ability to work hard and I know which one of these athletes wish to make the move. I personally approached Reckless Youth at a Jersey All Pro show, and he would be, amongst others, a welcome hard working addition to the ECW roster
Question: I am a huge ECW fan from nyc and I was wondering in your opinion who do you believe is the best all around wrestler currently in ECW? (Ladysuplex)
Paul Heyman: I think anyone that doesn't acknowledge the extrodinary athletic ability and ever growing persona of Rob Van Dam is missing the boat. I think anyone that doesn't understand just how hard working and how much Sabu epitomizes ECW would be missing the boat. I think anyone that doesn't look at Shane Douglas and see without question THE Franchise player of ECW is missing the boat. I think anyone that watches Taz and doesn't marvel at how serious he takes this game doesn't understand just how good he is as well. There are many, many great performers who have yet to even begin to hit their stride. And whose work in the next year, two years, three years and so on is gonna blow everybody's mind. As a producer, as a talent coordinator, I am indescribably excited about motivating, publicizing and furthering the work rate of Van Dam, Sabu, Shane, Taz and the entire crew of individuals under the ECW umnbrella.
Question: Are there plans for any type of expansion with ECW as far as reaching new audiences across the nation, with shows and/or television contracts? (Bigassmarc)
Paul Heyman: Yes, we are at the end of May going into New Orleans and Baton Rouge for two shows. We will be going into Ohio for the first time in May, in Cleveland. And we are days away from signing a new TV deal in Chicago. I am always, always, always looking for new places and new markets to show the audiences, and the potential audiences, what we got here.
Question: How do you feel about Soul City Wrestling in the ECW Arena? (WSchloman)
Paul Heyman: From what I understand, from what has been told to me, this is an event designed to take kids off the street. How could I have anything but positive comments towards a program designed to help inner-city kids getting off the street? I myself have devoted countless hours to organization like the Starlight Foundation, and the founder of this company, Tod Gordon, has served as both the chairman and the president of the children's charity the Variety Club in Philadelphia for many years. With that type of legacy handed down to me, how could I ever under any circumstances, criticize a program designed to help kids?
Question: My one question is why has Kronus become a glorified jobber? The Eliminators were indeed the best tag team in the world. Have you given any thought to creating a new Eliminators or letting Kronus' talents show in singles? (JHilchin)
Paul Heyman: I don't see how we have not provided John Kronus with the best opportunity to ply his trade in ECW. To create a new Eliminators would be a slap in the face to what Saturn and Kronus were and that is as we billed them, the best tag team in the world. To then just take the name and prostitute it out, even with the blessing of Kronus, even with the blessing of Saturn, would be the equivalent of Jimmy Cornette whoring out the almost sacred name of the Midnight Express
Question: Will Chris Jericho, Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, or Eddie Guerrerro be returning when their contracts with WCW are up? I know some of them were at the Orlando house show.
Paul Heyman: You'd have to ask them. They are certainly some of my favorite performers in the game and I would certainly welcome home any of those incredible performers should they ever decide to want to perform in ECW again
Question: What have been your favorite angle/angles? (XXGreenXX)
Paul Heyman: The Tommy Dreamer-Raven match which ended their feud; accentuated Rob Van Dam; started the Sandman- Sabu feud; brought Jerry Lawler into ECW; led into the Taz-Sabu rematch; and climaxed with Taz beating Shane Douglas in an impromptu match for the ECW World TV Title. That one hour of nonstop action, that one hour of progressing all of our storylines, that one hour of highlighting so many of our top pieces of talent, that one hour was as exhilirating as any hour I have been privileged to experience in this company
Question: Why did ECW break away from the NWA? If ECW was still part of the NWA today what do you think it would be like? (Mattgtroma)
Paul Heyman: We broke away from the NWA because the National Wrestling Alliance was old-school when old-school wasn't hip anymore. We wanted to set our mark, we wanted to breakaway from the pack, we wanted to let the world know that we weren't just some independent promotion. And we knew that the NWA in its form in 1994 was a relic, was an artifact, and trying to promote that name in 1994 was doing an injustice to the history of a once-great organization. Just look at what a joke the attempted resurrection of the NWA has been on Raw
Question: Is Shane Douglas on the injured list for Wrestlepalooza? If so then who is Al Snow going to wrestle? (WuTangWu36)
Paul Heyman: Shane Douglas is on the injured list, but will be wrestling at Wrestlepalooza, and is determined to put on a performance that will allow those who believe, and convince those who don't that he truly is the Franchise That may sound like a lot of hype, that may sound like typical promoter BS, but watch how gutsy of a performance he pulls out on Sunday. Watch how Shane Douglas defies the injuries that have stricken him. Watch how Shane Douglas pulls out a courageous and hopefully great performance in his match with a tremendous performer in Al Snow, this Sunday Literally, my money's on Shane.
Question: If you had to describe your days with WCW in one word or a short phrase, what would that word, or phrase be? (AllBet)
Paul Heyman: A necessary experience to get me where I am today.
Question: Paul what is your reaction to the Ric Flair incident? (AMogolov)
Paul Heyman: My reaction is that obviously Eric Bischoff doesn't want Ric Flair on Raw. I could also surmise that he really doesn't want Flair on Nitro Since it is a crime to not let Flair do his thing at this stage in the game nd since obviously he and Bischoff have reached an impasse, perhaps Mr. Bischoff would like to send Ric Flair to ECW where he won't tilt the ratings war by appearing for Vince and at least those who want to see Flair would have the opportunity to do so.
Question: You might think this is a dumb question, but will there ever be an ECW video game? (Camacho13)
Paul Heyman: There is a video game already being designed by a group called Sculptured Software, Who are pioneers in the video game industry, And it should be released sometime next year.
Question: Ever since HH '97, I've been waiting for the return of the killa clownz from Detroit, but they are nowhere to be found. Just tell me, is ICP ever going to show up in ECW again? (XICP4LifeX)
Paul Heyman: It depends on their schedule. They are obviously huge wrestling fans and have had the good taste to perform on ECW programs. I have no problem using ICP on future ECW events, and would even go so far as to suggest to you that if their schedule would get a little more flexible, that we would exploit their talents a little more prominently
Question: Why isn't Bubba Ray's attitude problem curbed by ECW Management? I'm not talking about his "heel" persona. I'm talking of his threats to the "sign guy", his spitting on fans, and his pie-facing fans. Case in point, at a recent indie show for some Northeast group, he actually made physical contact with a fan (who wasn't like the drunk idiots on most Monday night shows), pie-facing him.
Paul Heyman: If any wrestler makes unwarranted physical contact with a fan Even if that wrestler works for me, I encourage that fan to immediately call the police and file charges. If you feel that Bubba Ray Dudley's victimized someone, without any provocation whatsoever, And when I say provocation, I don't mean fans acting like fans, but if Bubba assaulted someone Then that person should press charges. I am not aware of the incident at an indy show, but certainly if what you say is accurate then action should be taken.
Question: Why haven't I seen the Blue Meanie around? (BigJDudley)
Paul Heyman: You haven't been looking hard enough
Question: Do you ever intend on bringing back Masato Tanaka? (ChicagoM0B)
Paul Heyman: Masato Tanaka should be reappearing on a fulltime basis in ECW, beginning at the end of June and the beginning of July, he is a phenominal talent and I am very much looking forward to working with him.
Question: Paul do you see ECW getting a network deal so it can be seen nationwide? (RRitter72)
Paul Heyman: I hope so, and would like to encourage any viewer or even potential viewer to write, fax, call, and e-mail any national network,be it E!, be it Fox sportsnet, be it FX, I don't care if it's The Family Channel, one look at Beulah or Francine, might make a man want to start a family after all, and ask those networks to carry, or at least consider carrying ECW. This type of campaign helped us get on PPV, it definitely scored us Cablevision. It kept us on America One, It got us back on Sunshine and with no corporate sponsorships, and no big name advertisers, we quite frankly need your support. And we're not so big and we're not so arrogant that we feel its beneath us to ask for your support. When you work with the group of guys that I am privileged to work with, you understand the value of humility. So I have no problem admitting that we rely on the support, indeed the agressive support, of our audience.
Question: What happened between you and Kimona and Missy? Did they leave on bad terms? (BM9640)
Paul Heyman: I'd be more interested finding out what happened between Kimona and Missy. I think it creates a far more interesting scenario.
Question: What are your feeling towards Tod Gordon after you found out about what he had been doing? and What are your current feelings towards him? (TavaruaBOS)
Paul Heyman: What am I supposed to do here? Knock a man that gave me the job that I have today? Criticize a man that has been my friend for over five years? Say something bad about a man who, when he needed a booker, didn't turn to Terry Funk, and didn't turn to Kevin Sullivan, But turned to this unproven commodity, this wild card, that everyone told him was not ready to be the booker yet? I'm sorry if it disappoints people, I'm sorry if it goes against my F you and F the world attitude. But for me to say anything, ANYTHING, ANYTHING that is not beyond flattering about Tod Gordon, would have to be prefaced by a five-hour discussion of how great a man Tod Gordon was and is. So since I don't have the time allotted to me to discuss All the things that Tod Gordon has done for me, for this company and for the entire wrestling landscape Let alone the personal aspect of the conversation, I prefer to rather long-windedly, avoid your question.
Question: Do you have any plans to return to managing and/or reform The Dangerous Alliance as ECW's version of DX or NWO? (FreebirdKP)
Paul Heyman: I could not even begin to compete as a performer with the managers that are employed by ECW today. No plans to ever manage again, no desire to ever manage again. I'm extrodinarily exstatic about the creative fulfillment my job brings.
Question: Who do you think are ECW's stars of the future? (Kingkurl)
Paul Heyman: The obvious answer is to name Chris Chetti, Danny Doring, Roadkill, Joel Gertner, Lance Storm, and other young upwardly mobile performers. But if you talk about the future, how could you not analyze the situation and come to the conclusion that Rob Van Dam, 28 years old, Sabu, 33 years old, Shane Douglas, 33 years old, Taz, 30 years old, Tommy Dreamer, 27, The Dudleys, both 25, that these guys have yet to even begin to hit their stride? These guys are the future of ECW. And we have only begun to scratch the surface when it comes to motivating and marketing phenominal talents like them.
Question: Who was supposed to do the national anthem @ Nov 2 Rem 1997? (AmIEvil013)
Paul Heyman: Slash.
Question: Are you guys going to keep returning to Florida on a regular basis? (Diamond711)
Paul Heyman: Of course.
Question: Why can't we see more of the best talent in ECW, Super Nova. He already can work the crowd & he is over. Put him on a pay per view so us non-ECW getting on TV people a chance to see him sometimes. (Corn316)
Paul Heyman: Thank you for your opinion. It will most certainly be taken into consideration, and it is always a pleasure to hear from you, Nova.
Question: How do you feel when Raven says that he spent "3 years in barbed wire city and 3 years in a freak show" (Amadeus46)
Paul Heyman: I wish he'd identify the product. There are millions and millions of viewers every week that could at least hear the name ECW, that are not hearing the name because for some reason either Raven or the powers that be choose not to identify the barbed-wire-freak-show hell that he describes. And I find it ironic that the one day holder of the United States Heavyweight Championship would not want to publicize the organization that had enough faith in him to give him the opportunity to carry the WORLD title for a year and a half. Things that make you go "Hmmmm".
Question: Paul just wondering if you could give us some info on what ECW's plans are for Massachusetts? And please bring a Pay Per View to Boston, cause if you ever been to the shows in Mass. Paul you know they are wild. (Jay1187)
Paul Heyman: I have been to every single, solitary ECW event, bar none since I became the booker on Sept. 18, 1993. I am fully aware of the crowds in Massachusetts, and am trying to find larger buildings for us to run there. In our continued attempt to expand in that market.
Question: Considering the sizable turn out and the crowd response why isn't Buffalo mentioned as a PPV site? (LUV2WRESTL)
Paul Heyman: It is a potential pay-per-view site, and although Queens Elks Lodge is in some ways my favorite building for sheer atmosphere, and the ECW Arena is the building from which we built our television reputation, in many way the Burt Flichenger center in Buffalo is my favorite television building for us because of a: the major league feel the building has
b: the size of the crowd that we draw in Buffalo and c: the great response the crowds in Buffalo have given our product.
Question: I was just wondering if ECW will ever make it up here to Canada, more specifically Toronto, Ontario. And will ECW ever be on Canadian tv channels. (KingKewlKC)
Paul Heyman: Please contact whatever station you would like to see us on and advise them that there is a product you would tune into their station to see If we get response from the TV show I can assure you we'll play the market.
Question: Im a big ECW fan and was wondering if you guys are ever going to come out west? (ECW2099)
Paul Heyman: I'd love to, see the previous question and answer.
Question: Where do you see ECW being in 5 years? And do you know all? (cactusb)
Paul Heyman: I obviously don't know all, because I have no idea where we will be in five years.
Question: Will you please BRING BACK a PPV to the ECW Arena? (RecklessY)
Paul Heyman: It's not out of the question, but in some ways it's just like I will never name another show Barely Legal. That was our first, it was special, and nothing that we do should ever take away from the enormity of that event. Although I'm not sure of this answer, I would certainly admit that there is merit to the argument that doing another PPV from the Arena would create a situation in which the emotion and the overall, all-encompassing, night that our fantasies came true at Barely Legal might be deminished
Question: What are your thoughts on the following people: Eric Bischoff, Vince McMahon, Blue Meanie and Bill Apter? (ImaPlaz)
Paul Heyman: I've known Bill Apter since he and George Napolitano gave me a break by buying my pictures when I was thirteen years old I like Bill. I think the editors at his magazine are imbeciles for not furthering the ECW movement but why ruin a compliment towards Bill Apter by bringing up those tra-la-la-goon-diers.
In order of importance, Eric Bischoff seems to be a genius by the way that he interfaced with the entire Turner empire. Bischoff accomplished at that company what no one else before him even dared to dream Anything else I have to say about the man I would love the opportunity to say to his face Criticizing someone without giving them the forum to criticize back is a chicken-s way of doing business.
Vince McMahon is without question teh single greatest heel performer in the history of professional wrestling on television If he ever wants a job as the lead heel manager in ECW, he's hired.
And as for the Meanie, he is obviously the most powerful man on the planet not just in professional wrestling, but is the next heavyweight champion of the world the heir to the White House throne and quite possibly, a man with way too many friends on the interent.
Question: What is the one thing you would do differently if you had the chance?
Paul Heyman: I would answer fewer in-depth, psychoanalytical questions like this.
Rob Newland, Question guy: Ok folks that's all the time we have tonight. I'd like to thank Paul E very much for being with us tonight. It's much appreciated.
Paul Heyman: Thank you for your support, we're gonna do everything in our power to give the best show possible this Sunday at Wrestlepalooza
James M. Finch, Area Manager The Grandstand: . . . And I want to thank Paul E. for being here, we set an all time attendance record for Grandstand chats. Hats off to the ECW, to our fans and staff. Great show all!
Joey Styles Chat Transcript
Give Credit to WrestleZone and Sleeper316 when using this news please!
Credit - PRODIGY
littledragon (Prodigy Member) joey what are the matches for sunday
Joey Styles (Speaker) The matches for Sunday....Shane Douglas defends the World Heavyweight title against Al Snow, Rob Van Dam defends the World TV Title against Sabu, Axl Rotten & Balls Mahoney will challenge Candido & Storm for the World Tag Team Title belts, Mikey Whipwreck vs Justin Credible, Bam Bam Bigelow vs New Jack, Tommy Dreamer and Sandman vs the Dudley Boys. We will add one more before we go on the air.
The Real AD (Prodigy Member) Will you be getting the Reckless Youth in ECW?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I'd like to see that, and he'll be chatting here tomorrow night. Why not ask him there. I think he's a very bright and talented young man, and I'd like to add him to the ECW roster.
MarvelousMN (Prodigy Member) Would you ever go to WWF or WCW?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I'm surprised, usually this is the first question. I have considered it, but I believe it would be a bad career move. ECW is about to explode. We just cleared the entire PPV universe, and I'm the only announcer we have.
The Real AD (Prodigy Member) Are you glad for the success of guys like Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris jericho or do you want them back in ECW?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Both. I'm happy for them, but I hear they aren't that happy. They're telling anyone and everyone they aren't happy, so yes...I'd like to see them back in ECW.
Joe Styles (Prodigy Member) Did Raven leave ECW on bad terms?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Not with me. I think he ruffled a few feathers before he left, but not with me. I'm very happy for Scotty, and I think his character is working very well in WCW. I wish him a long and healthy reign as United States...OOPS
Plushman 21 (Prodigy Member) Hi Mr. Styles, My name's Greg Pinney from Pensacola, FL. My question is the fact that there's the real name/Wrestler's names listed on the internet.. Anyways, how did you come up with the name "Joey Styles"?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I was originally a heel color man, and I wanted to be a manager...the next Paul E Dangerously. I have a love of suits. It's not a gimmick, I love shopping for suits and ties. Joey Styles sounded obnoxious, and Paul E met me and said I could be a play by play man and last forever. Not to mention that my real name is too damn long and not real catchy.
SLOTHsellout (Prodigy Member) Joey first off thanks for coming tonight, I was wondering how the company feals about soul city wrestling coming to the ECW areana and if that affects the chances of the arena returning to ppv sometime down the line?
Joey Styles (Speaker) The Arena will not host another PPV, because number one it is too small, and number two it doesn't have enough power. As a matter of fact, about 30 seconds after we went off the air for Barely Legal, the power crashed. As far as Soul City at the Arena....we don't have an exclusive with the Arena, although we probably should have. Although Paul doesn't want to, I've been a proponent of moving on to the Spectrum for 6 months now.
Tasmagoria (Prodigy Member) Joey, do you think the Rick Flair lawsuit is an angle, with Bishoff copying the WWF angle with Mamahon and austin. We all know how he likes to rip off ECW and the WWF.
Joey Styles (Speaker) I'm not sure. I'm not convinced either way, but if somebody put a gun to my head (not that I'm suggesting that), and forced me to make a call....I would say it's a shoot. For the record, I think Eric Bischoff is wrong.
NewJackBF (Prodigy Member) Hey Joey, thanks for joining us. Just like to mark out and say your the best commentator in wrestling today, and how are things going with you in the ECW at this point? Any problems with the management?
Joey Styles (Speaker) No. The only management is Paul E, and right now we are getting along....although that hasn't always been the case. Thanks for your comment about being the best commentator in wrestling...although I don't know if it's true yet. I'm only 26 and have many years to live up to that.
Tasmagoria (Prodigy Member) Do you forsee anymore swapping of wrestlers between ECW and the WWF, like Too Cold Scorpio is doing now?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I don't know anything about the relationship between Vince McMahon and Paul E, except that I don't want to get in the middle of it. I'd like to have more WWF wrestlers, and I'm sure they would like to have more ECW wrestlers.
Tasmagoria (Prodigy Member) What happened to the ECW/WWF angle that involved Van Damn and Jerry the King as well as others?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I'm not privy to the relationship. The angle kind of went away. I think the NWA/WWF relationship pretty much squashed the on camera relationship between ECW and WWF.
NewJackBF (Prodigy Member) Ever think about going to the WWF?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I've thought about it, but it would be a very bad career move for me right now. We have just cleared the entire universe of 35,000,000 homes, and I fully expect we will have a national television clearance by the end of the year. I'm the only announcer, so it would be pretty silly of me to walk away from that position.
lnsane Clown (Prodigy Member) Will there be more than 4 PPV's a year soon?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I don't know. I don't think we will ever do one a month. That's overkill, and it's more work than we're prepared to do with our limited intrastructure. I wouldn't be opposed to doing one every other month...if we had a national television clearance to push the PPV's.
Tasmagoria (Prodigy Member) Joey, do you think Eric Bishoff is a loser or does he just play one on TV?
Joey Styles (Speaker) How could you call Eric Bischoff a loser. He saved a company that was dead. WCW was a failure before he took it over. I'm not saying it takes genius to spend Ted Turner's money on names like Hogan, Savage, Piper, and Hart, but he still had the balls to do it. It was a tremendous risk. He's doubled the ratings of WCW's television programs, and right now they are dominating the wrestling war with the WWF. For the record, I don't like the character he plays on television. I thought he was a
Joey Styles (Speaker) better interviewer and segment host than Gene Okerland. I thought he was the next Gene Okerland.
lnsane Clown (Prodigy Member) If you could have any one wrestler from each of the Big Two, who would they be and why?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Steve Austin from the WWF, and Bret Hart from WCW. Money money money.
Tasmagoria (Prodigy Member) Joey, does Chris Candino work for ECW or is he still under contract to the WWF?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Chris Candido is under contract to ECW. His fiance, Sunny, is under contract to the WWF.
CKurrgan (Prodigy Member) Joey,What would you do if you where stranded on a deserted island with Joel Gertner with no hope of getting off the island?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Kill him, cook him, and have enough meat to live on for the rest of my life.
lnsane Clown (Prodigy Member) Is there any type of match that is too extreme for ECW?
Joey Styles (Speaker) For ECW, no. For me, yes. I thought the matchup between the Sandman and Sabu in the Stairway to Hell show was extremely distasteful. I don't enjoy seeing wrestlers nearly fall to their death or bleed until they're dizzy.
FreeFlair GH (Prodigy Member) Any chance of an Inferno Match between yourself and Michael Kole?
Joey Styles (Speaker) How much money will you guarantee me?
CKurrgan (Prodigy Member) Joey,how does it feel going Head to head against Paul Heyman...with him doing an online interview also tonight?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I believe I started an hour earlier. He'll still be going long after I go to bed, because he can't shut up. I dare you to get a yes or no answer from Paul Heyman to a yes or no question. I don't mean that in a disrespectful way, it's just Paul. He has to give you a 10 minute dialogue, usually involving women, to any question you throw at him, which is why I never ask him anything in front of my wife.
DoubleJob (Prodigy Member) Joey what do you think about definatly being a better PBP man than Lee Marshall, but he gets the WCW job which pays more money??
Joey Styles (Speaker) What makes you think Lee Marshall makes much more money than I do?
Chaz18 (Prodigy Member) Hey Joey, what is Taz going to be doing at the PPV?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Being pissed off that he can't wrestle....making everyone else around him miserable.
CKurrgan (Prodigy Member) Joey,If you had a choice of any person to be a color man for you,Who would it be?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Paul E Dangerously, and no...I'm not kissing up to the boss. I believe if Paul ever wanted to become Paul E Dangerously again, he and I could be the best wrestling broadcast team in the history of the business.
POOGE (Prodigy Member) Joey, Give us your thoughts on the Ric Flair situation in WCW
Joey Styles (Speaker) I don't know the truth as to whether or not Flair asked for the day off to see his son wrestle months in advance, but being that WCW certainly isn't successful because of carefully planned out storyline...it is ridiculous to say that they couldn't delay the formation of the 4Horsemen until the next Monday. It's more ridiculous to say Flair cost them $2Million. I've still never gotten over the fact that Eric Bischoff stated that Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Roddy Piper were the only wrestlers
Joey Styles (Speaker) in WCW who ever put asses in seats...and he made that comment with Ric Flair in the room. He has stated publically that he is going to sue Ric Flair into bankruptcy. Ric Flair has a wife and children, and I don't know how anyone could be that callous, but I've been told before that I'm too nice a guy to be in this business.
CKurrgan (Prodigy Member) Joey,Will the Sandman be able to work the PPV?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Somehow, by some miracle, the Sandman will be in that matchup....although to what extent he will actually be involved in the matchup, I do not know.
KissMyAssBF (Prodigy Member) Why doesn't ECW have Jess McGrath or someone be your color man on ECW Saturday Night?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Jess...Is that you?
PFWA Brian (Prodigy Member) Joey, do you ever feel that by the year 2000, ECW will be on national TV?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Yes
Joey Styles (Speaker) I think it will happen in 1999
POOGE (Prodigy Member) Did you witness the incident with Scott Hall in Florida, and if so give us your account of what happened.
Joey Styles (Speaker) I did not witness the incident, but I have...from first hand sources, that Scott Hall was told to leave the building in a not so polite manner by Shane Douglas, who was backed by Chris Candido and Bam Bam Bigelow.
POOGE (Prodigy Member) What do you have to say to those who say that you need a color man on PPV broadcasts?
Joey Styles (Speaker) My first question is, to those people, Did they see Barely Legal. If they did, and they thought I didn't carry that broadcast by myself, then I can never convince those people. I've heard nothing but "Joey needs a colorman on these live PPV broadcasts" since Living Dangerously, and this Sunday night, I hope to deliver the best performance of my career.
ILuvSickBoy (Prodigy Member) Mr Styles, do you think that the Loss of Saturn and Raven Hurt ECW??
Joey Styles (Speaker) It hasn't hurt our business...but I think we lost two great talents.
Joey Styles (Speaker) I like both of them personally.
itman0000 (Prodigy Member) What are the chances of getting ECW TV in the Chicagoland are?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Pretty good.
SHovanJEP (Prodigy Member) Sometimes a 2nd color man is needed I mean even the BEST need someone to fall back on. Would you be upset if you got a 2nd color man?
Joey Styles (Speaker) On the weekly TV show, yes. Because, it's only an hour long, and it's so heavily edited that I don't even announce the entire show. On a three hour live PPV broadcast, a color man would make my job much easier, but only if it's the right color man, or woman for that matter.
POOGE (Prodigy Member) Joey, Public Enemy has been invisible in WCW lately especially since Eric Bischoff pretty much eliminated the tag team division. Is an ECW return in the works?
Joey Styles (Speaker) No
Joey Styles (Speaker) And boy...did they make a horrible career decision.
GrossardBT (Prodigy Member) Hey Joey. Thanks for answering our questions n' all.... What happend to Jenna Jameson?/Are there any other plans to add someone to the ECW broadcast team?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I don't know much about Jenna Jameson's situation. I was one of the few people in the locker room never to be introduced to her. I'm not a big fan of what she does for a living. I don't know of any new additions to the ECW broadcast team. Do we have a broadcast team???
SLOTHsellout (Prodigy Member) Is ECW looking for a new bigger home in philly?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Paul loves the ECW Arena. While I will admit that I'm fond of it too...I would love to run a show at the Spectrum.
PFWA Brian (Prodigy Member) Joey, I am hearing that ECW will be having some type of an explosion match this summer. Who will it most likely be against, and what type of explosion match?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I've seen the Exploding Ring match, which I think is what Paul wants to do. I'm sure Onita would love to do the match against an ECW wrestler...perhaps the Blue Meanie.
EnisEnvyTP (Prodigy Member) Nice to have you here Joey- Just one Question for you. Where do you get your material? Do you just come up with it, or is it a little recycled?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I take notes on the wrestlers' athletic background before a live PPV. Everything else that comes out of my mouth is completely spontaneous.
PFWA Brian (Prodigy Member) Joey, how was the honeymoon?
Joey Styles (Speaker) OH MY GOD
FreeFlair GH (Prodigy Member) Do you just shake your head in pity when you see the matches of Curt Hennig and British Bulldog in WCW?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I'm not a wrestler....and therefore, I have no right to judge the performance of wrestlers.
GrossardBT (Prodigy Member) Any chance of you managing somebody in the near future?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I am not a manager. I am a professional wrestling play by play television announcer.
PFWA Brian (Prodigy Member) Joey, do you know of the talks between Reckless Youth and ECW, and how would you feel if Reckless came to ECW?
CKurrgan (Prodigy Member) Joey,who is fatter?Eric Cartman or Joel Gertner?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I think Joel Gertner IS Eric Cartman
Plushman 21 (Prodigy Member) Signing Wrestlers to join ECW, what do you look for in an ECW Wrestler regardless of past fighting experiences?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I can't answer that question, the only one that can is Paul Heyman.
Joey Styles (Speaker) I think Paul is the greatest booker in the history of the business. He has a phenomenal eye for talent....especially talent that others were silly enough to pass over. Like Shane Douglas, Chris Candido, Taz, Al Snow, Rob Van Dam, and 95% of the ECW lockerroom, including me.
FreeFlair GH (Prodigy Member) Will you join the Free Ric Flair campaign?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Yes.
Joey Styles (Speaker) Either free him....or put him back on television and treat him with all the respect he has earned.
SLOTHsellout (Prodigy Member) What are your feelings on wrestlers who have tried other places not done anything worth while come to ecw for a stint make a name for themselves and then move on to where the money is?
Joey Styles (Speaker) As long as we make money on them while they're with us...that's business.
cyber 4 fun (Prodigy Member) do you really think the sabu terry funk barb-wire match was that great
Joey Styles (Speaker) I thought it was disgusting. I don't enjoy watching those matches. I don't enjoy calling those matches. I appreciate the courage it takes to wrestle one of those matches, but I will never understand why they do it.
SLOTHsellout (Prodigy Member) What would you say was the most exciting match you ever called and what made it that way?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Wow. I thought the 3Way Dance at Barely Legal between Terry Funk, the Sandman, and Stevie Richards, leading into the Terry Funk vs Raven match was the most exciting. It was our first PPV, it was our first live broadcast, and it was the second greatest day of my life, following only my wedding day.
Plushman 21 (Prodigy Member) Name the MOST EXTREME match in the History of ECW.
Joey Styles (Speaker) Tommy Dreamer vs Brian Lee at High Incident.
CKurrgan (Prodigy Member) Joey,What are you going to do after the PPV?
Joey Styles (Speaker) I've never been to Atlanta before. I'd love to go out after the show.
lnsane Clown (Prodigy Member) Which person do you think has done the most to help pro wrestling?
Joey Styles (Speaker) Vincent K McMahon Jr. Inarguably, and without question, made professional wrestling what it is today. Don't you watch the A&E Network?
SatanicBlade (Prodigy Member) Hi Joey,you are one of the best announcers I have heard.I was wondering where you got your start.
Joey Styles (Speaker) I started for a small independent promotion called the North American Wrestling Alliance that lasted 6 glorious weeks.
Whining EG (Prodigy Member) Here's a question I've had for you for awhile...why is there like a 2 second delay between a crazy spot happening and you going "Oh My God!" =>
Joey Styles (Speaker) Because I don't want to talk over the crowd reaction to the crazy spot. Welcome to Professional Wrestling Announcing 101. Other announcers may want to enroll in this class.
Plushman 21 (Prodigy Member) Tommy Dreamer and Sandman since I started watching ECW in '96, turned into the biggest "Extreme ICONS" in the ECW. They also at times seem to make an explosive team in the ring and out. Do you know any kind of history between the two?
Joey Styles (Speaker) There is none. They never met before ECW, and they are two very different people. Tommy Dreamer doesn't drink, doesn't smoke....doesn't even like to take aspirin. All they share is a love to fight.
Joey Styles (Speaker) That's all the time I have for tonight. In closing, ECW was built on the support of our fans...and I hope all of our fans, and some new fans, will support us this Sunday night...live on PPV, for Wrestlepalooza 98, which will be carried by all satellite companies, Cablevision, Time Warner, Request, and my new favorite the bestest most wonderful cable television service in the whole world....Viewers Choice PPV!
One last thing....the only reason I have Prodigy is to support Bob Ryder....who has helped ECW in ways too numerous to list here. I hope Prodigy realizes how much Bob Ryder is truly worth to them, and how many subscribers they have because of his connections to the wrestling industry.
Al Snow Chat Transcript 3/31/98
[ECW Wrestler Al Snow took questions in the Grandstand's Special Events tonight. Questions were submitted by AOL members and asked by Hosts GSTDTomMR and GSTDLaret. The Grandstand would like to thank Al and the ECW for the chat and we look forward to working with them again in the future.]
Question: How does it feel to be welcomed and accepted in ECW, after being misued in the WWF? (From BRIAN DX)
Al Snow: It was good to be back in a company that I felt like I was actually apart of.
Question: ViolentChk and ChAiNz316 ask - Where did you first meet "Head"? Would you care to tell us exactly what you hear from the "Head"?
Al Snow: Excuse the typing the head distracts me!
Al Snow: When I was a child.......
Al Snow: I hear everything like you would if you were to talk to another person
Question: DLGuy781 wants to know if there is any truth to the rumor that you are returning to active WWF competition?
Al Snow: I am still under contract to the WWF but I don't at this time plan on returning to the WWF actively.
Question: JT Saturn and GregECW ask - What move has hurt you the most in wrestling? What is the most difficult move to execute?
Al Snow: That is a hard question to answer but I will try. The move which hurt the worst was a gord buster. That dislocated my shoulder and the most difficult move would have to be a shooting star press