SLAM! Wrestling: Quizzing the Canadian Crippler
How often do you get back to Canada? (He lives in Atlanta)
Where time permits, really. Occasionally I'll get up there
for three or
four days. Say for instance we're up in Denver. I'll fly home for a few
days and visit my
parents and friends and that. And then fly back down to Atlanta. We're
pretty busy week
after week so I gotta pick my spots. It gets hectic at times.
You were born in Edmonton, right?
Can you tell me a little about growing up there. Some of your
memories of the
Well, just born in Edmonton. Raised and grew up in
following Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling at a very young age. Just had
aspirations to wrestle pretty well my whole life. So when the opportunity
arose I jumped at
Who were some of the stars of Stampede that you remember
watching as a
Ahhh. A lot of them. Junkyard Dog. Back then the
through there. Dynamite Kid. Davey Boy Smith. Watched Bret, all them.
How did it come about that you went off to Stu Hart's wrestling
I just followed wrestling pretty well all of my life. I
went to cards that
Stu Hart put on and started talking to the wrestlers and got to know
them. I must have
been like 13 or 14 when I started talking to them. I always wanted to do
told me I'd better finish high school before they'd even consider me. I
started training for
wrestling at about 17, 17 1/2. Had my first match when I was 18 1/2.
Do you remember who it was against, and did you win?
Yeah! It was me and Rick Patterson against Karl Moffat and
Hammer in Calgary.
We got a lot of questions about the Hart Foundation and the
developments in the WWF. What are your thoughts on the reuniting of the
Well it's good to see that. There's a strong wrestling
having been trained by Stu Hart and gone through the Dungeon -- I should
the Dungeon -- I'm glad to see that they're doing so well. To be honest
with you, I don't
follow WWF very much because of my schedule and just trying to keep up
happening in WCW. It's hard to keep up with what's going on in the WWF
but I can
imagine the team that they have just with that family alone. Must be
there's a lot of wrestling talent there.
Of course this leads to the next question that a lot of people
want to know too.
They see you as a logical addition to the Hart Foundation. What are your
thoughts on that?
To be a part of something like that ... I mean it's a great
wrestlers put together. Right now I'm part of the Four Horsemen in WCW
and that's been
a long-time dream come true. Right now I'm very focused on what I'm doing
I've got a lot of unanswered challenges and a lot of goals that I've yet
to attain here in
WCW. I don't even think I can consider anything like that, really.
What are some of the goals that you're trying to accomplish in
Basically right now it's to get through this thing with
this feud that I'm in with Kevin Sullivan. After that my biggest goal is
to establish myself
in the United States. Stu Hart broke me in. I wrestled for about five
months in Calgary
then I went off to Japan and trained for a year. Came back to Calgary,
wrestled a couple of
years there, and I've been in Japan for the last eight, nine years of my
career. So basically I
want to establish a name for myself in the United States. I've only
really had exposure here
for the last two years. It takes quite a while to establish yourself in
Where do you see yourself fitting into the WCW title picture?
Right now I haven't really considered going after a title.
intense and focused in everything that I do. I try to have tunnel vision.
When I have a goal
I try to have tunnel vision to that goal. Right now basically I want to
get Kevin Sullivan
and prove something that I want to prove not only to the fans, but to
myself. That I can
beat him one on one, man to man.
It seems that a lot of your fans were excited about the
possibility of a young
Horsemen group forming -- rumors of it anyway. The Apocalypse. Where did
you see that
going and what happened to it.
Well, in pro wrestling, one thing about it is that there
are a heck of a lot
of rumors going around. I mean I've wrestled with Dean Malenko for six,
seven years in
Japan. I've known Steve Regal for about five years. Bunch of the younger
wrestlers of my
generation that were considering getting together to form a new group was
just that. That
was a rumor. We've got a lot of respect for each other. That's mutual.
We're friends with
each other outside the ring as well as inside the ring. But in terms of
forming a new group,
they were just unfounded rumors.
Do you see it going towards more gang warfare in wrestling
these days? You
have the Horsemen, the NWO, the Hart Foundation, the Nation of
Domination. Is that the
way wrestling is headed?
It appears to be that way. I mean right here in WCW what
it off was the coming of the NWO. Their attacks on the Horsemen, and the
the whole WCW -- there's only one way to combat that and that's being
where I've seen that come from. As far as the WWF, like I said, I really
don't get much
opportunity to watch any of their shows or keep up with anything that's
really going on. I
keep in touch with the odd wrestler up there through friendships and
that. I really don't
follow what they're doing.
One of the questions we were sent in. What are some of the
you've received over the years in wrestling? What are the worst ones,
what are some of the
minor nagging ones that just occur?
The worst one I ever had was I broke my foot in Calgary.
That was a
long time ago. I forget even what year that happened in. In terms of
nagging injuries, I
mean every time I step in the ring, every time you walk out of that ring
you have an injury.
It's a tough sport. It's a physical sport. It takes a lot of athletic
ability as well as a lot of
talent. A lot of people sit at home and they watch what we do and they
say 'God I could do
that. That's easy.' It's a different ballgame once you're in there. It's
very physical. And
usually there's something that gets injured out of every match. Knock on
wood, I've been
fortunate enough not to receive any career-threatening or career-ending
Do you think that's partly you're style? You're not quite the
some of the Mexicans coming in but yet your style is more risky than,
say, Kevin Sullivan.
Is that something that concerns you down the road -- that you're going to
slow down a
Well I think it's all due to how you take care of yourself
outside of the
ring. I try to get to a gym at least five days a week. Sometimes I'm in
there seven days a
week. I try to eat as good as I can. I take a lot of supplements. I
really try to watch my
health. A lot of it is preventive medicine and training.
Is that the kind of advice you'd give anyone who wants to get
started in pro
Oh for sure. Definitely. When I first wanted to get into
it, a lot of people
told me 'you're too small', 'you can't do it'. A lot of people put me
down. I dreamed my
dream. It came true. No matter what you do in life, there's always people
that'll put you
down. If you really want it bad enough, I believe that you can have
accomplish anything you want to.
So what unfinished goals do you have?
When I first started wrestling ... I've surpassed every
dream that I had. I
never really thought that I'd go this far when I first started. So right
now it's like, whew.
My main goal is to establish myself in North America and I really haven't
opportunity because I've been over in Japan for the last eight years.
I've only been in here
for the last two years.
Have you found there to be a little bit of culture shock
actually coming back to
North America after so much time in Japan and Mexico?
Wrestling-wise yeah because the styles are so different. I
mean from the
United States into Mexico into Japan, the styles are so different it's
Especially when you go down to Mexico. A lot of people have seen the
contingent here in the WCW and what they do. It's a real shock.
Do you have a favorite style of the bunch?
Not really. I enjoy going to each country and getting into
because it's a real challenge. When I go over to Japan, it takes me about
three or four days
to change my mindset and get into that style. It's almost as if have to
shift gears. You can
go down to Mexico, or even when you go over to Europe because the
wrestling in Europe
is so different also. It's run by rounds, so you have five, three-minute
rounds and you'll be
in the middle of something and the bell will ring and you'll have to go
back to your corner.
It's really different, it's really challenging. That's what I like about
wrestling is everyone
has a different style so that every time you go to the ring you're faced
with a different
challenge. And I love new challenges. It's really something you have to
stay on top of and
prepare yourself for.
Speaking of new challenges, is there anyone out there in the
who you have not wrestled that you would like to wrestle?
I'd like to wrestle everyone. It's very challenging. From
you're in there with Dean Malenko, you're down on the mat trying to
Next week you're in there with Meng and it's just a toe-to-toe,
nose-to-nose brawl. It's just
so challenging. I welcome every opponent because it's a new challenge and
it's almost as if
you're constantly shifting gears here in the States also.
Do you have a favorite opponent, someone you feel your style
It depends what kind of match. Sometimes I enjoy going into
and having technical matches where you just try to out-wrestle each
other. I've had those
kind of matches with Dean Malenko and with Steve Regal and at times with
Guerrero. And there's other times when I just want to go in there and
brawl. I get that
through Kevin Sullivan and most of the Dungeon of Doom. It depends on
what you want
to do. I like going back and forth. I like getting in there sometimes
with some of the
Mexican wrestlers and doing some high-flying stuff. It depends on what
you're looking for
and what challenge you want to face.
There was a time when you were with ECW. There's a lot of ECW
yours on the web, both from then and now.
I'm an ECW fan.
What do you remember from your time in ECW and what were the
The whole part of it was great. I'd been in Japan for quite
a while, a few
years, and that was my first taste of the American wrestling scene. It
was incredible. It was
a good experience. Good atmosphere. There's some great talent there. I
had a good time. I
have good memories of ECW.
What was your relationship like with Paul Heyman [Paul E.
Very good. I still talk to him from time to time.
I've got a specific questions from a specific day in your life.
Ransom, he asks 'you said after your Super J Cup win in 1994 that you
"couldn't go any
higher than that and that was the greatest honor you've ever had." Do you
still feel that
Well at that time it was. At that time I felt that I
couldn't go any higher
than that. At that time it was the greatest honor. Since then there's
been a lot of new doors
opening up. I've paved a lot of roads since then. At that time it was
though. At that time I
felt that I had reached my peak.
How exhausting was a one-night tournament like that?
Extremely. Extremely. There was a few tournaments that were
exhausting. I don't know exactly which one he's talking about. I mean
there was one of
them where I wrestled three times in one night and after that last match
I came out of the
ring and I just wanted to cry. I was just mentally and physically
drained. I was totally
What's your favorite finishing maneuver?
Right now the Crippler Crossface. I call it the CCF that
I'm using in
WCW. But I enjoy the Flying Headbutt and I enjoy the Dragon Suplex. I
like to keep a lot
of my maneuvers open. I really don't want to stick to one maneuver. But
right now I'm
having a lot of success with that CCF.
What did it feel like to be in the finishing hold there at
Slamboree a couple of
weeks ago against Meng?
Well once you know that you're in it, you know you don't
time left. Meng is one of the toughest wrestlers both inside and outside
the ring. If you ask
any of the wrestlers in WCW or WWF or ECW, he's got a reputation. He's
got the respect
of a lot of people.
At this point my tape recorder stopped, having twisted the tape. Here
from the rest, taken from my notes.
Do you surf the Net?
No, I don't really have the time. I've got hundreds of
things going ...
Friends print things out for me.
What is your relationship with Woman?
We're very, very good friends.
You've progressed in your interviews considerably from your
I'm no master ... or even close to where I can be
I'm to understand you and your wife just had a baby. [Thanks to
for that question!]
Yes ... last Monday [May 26] ... her name is Megan.
And finally with a little chit-chat, I ended my conversation with
Chris Benoit. I'd
welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org