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COMMENT





Everybody wants to know ...
Q&A with Austin, Jericho, Edge and more
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun


If you could meet your favourite wrestler and ask them just one question, what would it be?

That's the theme of an exclusive new series of articles in which wrestling stars will be faced with a single question.

The question could be about the business. It could be deeply personal. It may be deathly serious or it could be light and fluffy. Much like spandex singlets and pleather chaps, each query will be custom-made for each grappler. The mood is informal and the conversation casual, but make no mistake about it -- there are no holds barred.

Wrestlers of the WWE, everybody wants to know...

Chris Jericho, the undertone of all your recent storylines is that you're losing interest in the wrestling business. On an episode of Raw, you even said that a recent shot at the world title may be your last, because of your commitments to Fozzy. Is it all just part of the show, or is there some reality to that direction?

Jericho: "I hope it wasn't really my last shot at the title, because I didn't get it. No, it's just part of the show. Things are going really well with the band, but wrestling is my day job, so to speak, and, I'd like to think I'm not finished yet.

"I have a lot more to do, especially with all the experience that I've had. I'm 34 years old, wrestling for 15 years around the world, and I'm one of the seasoned vets in the locker room now. There's a lot of guys who don't have a clue what they're doing, and I do. I know how to relate to the fans, I know how to get the fans interested in what I am doing and it's a part of what has given me longevity for so many years. Hopefully things continue on that road."

Christian, your rise to the top of the card doesn't feel like something that was planned out by WWE Creative. Is it safe to say this is one of those cases where the fans decided the direction?

Christian: "That's what I think it should be all about. The fans are the ones we're there to entertain. They decide if they want to cheer for me or want to boo. They were just ready to see me in that light and I feel like I'm ready to step up. It's about capitalising on the opportunity when it's put in front of you, and I've done that."

Eric Bischoff, your wife was in Playboy. How cool is that?

Bischoff: "Now that it's out, I have no problem talking about it, but this is something she did on her own, not because she's my wife. She wanted it to be something she got on her own. She didn't want it to be something that was cross promotional, or feel they chose her because they thought they could sell more magazines. She's 43 years old and she's so hot. She was the oldest one in the 'Desperate Housewives' spread, and I daresay the most attractive."

Edge, you gotta be at least semi-curious about seeing the new generation of wrestlers, or even just watching your former colleagues in action. Honest truth -- Do you ever watch TNA?

Edge: "Honestly, I don't get a chance to check out TNA. I don't really have an opportunity to really see anything. With our schedule, it's pretty tough to keep up with our product, let alone the new generation of guys. Besides, to me the new generation would be like a Shelton Benjamin, who I can watch.

"When it comes to the indie scene, I'm so far removed from it now. When you start hitting the road, doing tours and promotions, you fall out of touch with that whole scene you came from. That was almost 13 years ago for me now, so I'd like to say I knew everything that was going on then, but I don't anymore."

Steve Austin, the accepted maximum is one wrestler cameo per movie. I doubt you guys offered a group rate, so why were so many wrestlers cast in The Longest Yard?

Austin: "That's pretty easy. If you're gonna do a football movie, you're looking for some big bodies. They went to the NFL and they went to pro wrestling. They got myself, Kevin Nash, Goldberg, Bob Sapp, and of course football guys like Brian Bosworth. So you're looking for some big bodies and people with some recognisable faces. They drummed all of us up and we had a blast doing it."

Rob Van Dam, there's been a lot of talk on the 'net about why you chose to get surgery when you did and how long it's going to take before you're back full-time. What's the real deal with your injury?

Van Dam: "My knee has been shot for a long time, three or four years. I was just sucking it up and not telling anybody. Only those in my real tight circle knew that my knee was bad. I did a great job of proving I could keep going and wanted to prove you can't take the fight out of me. But on January 26th, I went too far and had some tissue that folded into my kneecap. I wasn't able to continue and I had to get surgery on my knee. I got my ACL and my meniscus repaired, which takes quite a bit of time.

"I had it done, I've been in therapy rehabbing ever since. I'm doing some amazing stuff, a lot of things that I will add to my pre-match warm-up ritual. The knee is feeling fine and I'm expecting to be cleared by the doctors to wrestle soon. I've been saying August for the past few months."

Catch the WWE Smackdown! stars at the Great American Bash, July 24th on pay-per-view.

T.J. Madigan writes a weekly pro wrestling column for the Calgary Sun, which appears every Saturday. This column is exclusive for SLAM! Wrestling, and will run every two weeks.




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