August 8, 2008
Sandman shoot reveals hardcore tales
By MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling
It's hard to tell if The Sandman is staying in character in his YouShoot interview from Kayfabe Commentaries, but as the shoot goes on, you quickly realize that there is very little difference in the real-life Sandman and his on-screen persona.
Of course, Sandman appears totally blitzed (never lights his one cigarette, but kills a six-pack) over this two-hour shoot moderated by Kayfabe Commentaries co-owner Sean Oliver. As in the YouShoot series, all topics are questions sent in by fans.
Surprisingly, Sandman admits he's not a great wrestler, but is a great entertainer and even mentions the fact he was ECW champion five times and lost 80 percent of his matches. This much is true. He also mentions his old valet from Tri-State Wrestling Alliance and the original ECW, Peaches, was his wife. Most people I think know this.
Not surprisingly, Sandman's memory leaves him at certain points, like when he says a powder mixture as a foreign object is three-quarters powder, half salt and half sugar. That's a potent mixture.
Sandman's feud from way back in the days of Eastern Championship Wrestling with Tommy Cairo is bandied about and in reminiscing, Sandman cracks a handful of smiles.
Drug use during the original ECW gets some chatter as Sandman says he used to get hydro from Hawaii for $600 an ounce, not like today "where you can grow it in your closet" and all his cocaine use. He then said that he would drink 6-8 beers on the way to the ring and the other wrestlers would make him drive home from the matches. Just the way Sandman uses certain words in looking back on these infamous times is classic Sandman. Many times he rambles on completely off topic before asking Oliver what the original question was or loses his train of thought. He even asks Oliver if it's 2008 in another spot towards the end of the shoot and in another part, says Kevin Sullivan gave him three tips to make it in wrestling, but Sandman can only remember two of them. Yeah, beer does that to a man.
Other topics brought up by Sandman are the controversial crucifixion angle in ECW, Paul Heyman's idea to use Macaulay Culkin as Sandman's son in the angle (and Sandman's response to Heyman of "shut the f--- up!"), not remembering his match with Sabu at November 2 Remember '97, his experience in Canada from 2000 and his numerous ECW injuries.
The chapter devoted to rats and sex is, depending on your threshold for being appalled, either hilarious or ghastly. Sandman says he wasn't big on rats as he always had Peaches with him and it'd be better to ask guys like Chris Chetti or Danny Doring about rats. It's in this segment that he notes 2 Cold Scorpio was packing "a yard and a half." Talking about Missy Hyatt gets Sandman going and he compares her to Jenna Jameson. He tells of his "premature" conquest with Missy and later apologizes to her. Yikes. Calling Tammy Sytch out as a former druggie is another "Whoa!" moment.
Sandman describes how New Jack would "exploit" women and would come up with the hottest blondes in every city. When you're high, I assume all look hot and blonde. Sandman also brings up times with Joel Gertner's wife.
In one very eyebrow-raising segment, Sandman tells the viewer how to get a ring rat by drugging her and taking advantage of her. And we wonder why this DVD is labeled for mature audiences.
At one serious point, Sandman seems to almost break down in talking about Nancy Benoit. Most people do, Sandman.
Drinking and drugs gets its own chapter and stories of cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy get their, uh, due. Money also gets a few takes from Sandman and he talks about how we was getting paid by both WCW and ECW and took home $9,000 a week from 1999-2001. Sandman also touches on the businesses he owns and it's here that we kind of see that he's been smart with his wrestling income what with five kids and one on the way. His WrestleMania 23 payday of $40,000 is also noted.
Not to be left out, the WWE's version of ECW gets some comments from Sandman. He says he did it to just "give it a shot" and immediately asked for his release when he was drafted from ECW to Monday Night Raw in June 2007. He was let go last September. Sandman adds Vince McMahon was always cool with him. One fan asks him if he would go back to TNA and his response is "I hate Jeff Jarrett."
Sandman's heat with New Jack gets detailed and he also denies he was fired from WWE for having an argument with Ricky Steamboat. Some topics towards the end of the disc are how Sandman perceives fans (very positive), whose idea it was to enter the ring to Metallica's Enter Sandman (his) and if he feels his gimmick inspired Steve Austin's "Stone Cold" gimmick (a vehement yes!).
By the end of this DVD, Sandman looks ready to fall asleep right in his chair and after the cameras stopped rolling, he may very well have done just that. Telling his stories in a forum like YouShoot is unique and even if some of the stories have made their way around wrestling circles and Internet sites, hearing him tell them makes them even more intriguing.
That being said, however, from watching this interview and seeing the state of The Sandman, it's actually amazing Sandman is still alive and I'm being 100 percent serious.
But then again, if he wasn't alive, this shoot wouldn't have been produced for us to be driven into sheer shock.
Matt Mackinder has never had a ring rat, nor will he ever as he is happily married to his wife, Stephanie. Email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.