Carl De Marco Q & A: January 28, 1998
SLAM! Wrestling is proud that WWF Canada President Carl De Marco
will be fielding questions from our readers, hopefully every week.
Below are Part Two of the questions and answers for this week.
I was just curious, with Bret "the Hitman" Hart leaving the WWF the way
he did, I personally have noticed that the WWF popularity in Canada
seems to have fallen off a bit. How are you going to help the WWF regain
its popularity despite the WCW's eventual coming to Canada and to
"His assumption that the WWF has dropped in popularity is inaccurate. First of all, our ratings gone up everywhere -- on our syndicated television and TSN. They're still continuing to climb. Right now the WWF in Canada averages 2.5 to 3 million viewers totally watching WWF in Canada every week. We're really proud of that because nobody comes even close to that in Canada with wrestling. That's something that we're very happy about. Those are fans tuning in at least once a week to watch any one of our programs across Canada. Those are huge numbers. I welcome anyone to compare that to hockey, baseball, basketball or even the CFL. We're very proud of that. That just shows how strong the WWF fans are in Canada. We see even more tremendous growth with the WWF in Canada. Our pay-per-view buyrates have increased since Bret left. Now again, I don't want to take away from Bret Hart, but that is a fact. ...
This whole Mike Tyson thing regarding WrestleMania has been an unbelievable success story already. It has boosted up our ratings, we've done really well with it. We've had more media coverage in Canada than we have had for anything else in the history of the WWF. We've been in every single newspaper, radio station, every single news program on television across Canada. We're expecting a huge, huge success story out of WrestleMania. WrestleMania looks like it will be the biggest PPV in the history of the World Wrestling Federation. We're really excited about that. "
Do you still keep in contact with Bret Hart?
"I haven't spoken to him in a long time. I've been very busy over here working with the WWF. We've been really busy with Mike Tyson. I'm sure we'll bump into each other sooner or later, or have a chance to talk to each other on the phone. I'm sure he's busy with WCW also. But we're still friends."
Due to the recent JUMP of FORMER WWF Superstars Bret "The Hitman" Hart
Jim "The Anvil" Knight Hart and the British Bulldog to WCW, how has the
World Wrestling Federation been doing in Canada. Also how has the World
Wrestling Federation been trying to keep up with WCW in the efforts to
WIN the ratings EVERY Monday, Get MORE Talent, and bring MORE excitement
to the WWF Fans?
"I think I've already answered that question."
When will Toronto be getting a pay per view event?
"Real good question. My dream is to bring back a major PPV into Canada and Toronto, to me, is a very good candidate for that. Don't be surprised in the next year, year-and-a-half if we bring the biggest one of all to Toronto ... Toronto's my hometown. We've had nothing but great success in Toronto and they've got great fans here in Toronto. It's definitely on our list of things to do."
I just wanted to know about Ron Hutchison's wrestling school in the
Toronto area. I've heard it's a very well respected school and I've
also heard that you're affiliated with it in some way. What graduates
have come from the school? And is there a mailing address for it you
could pass along?
"I met Ron Hutchison once. I don't know what type of students he's put out. I think people have to be careful when they go to any wrestling school. We're not endorsing any wrestling school at all. I see some schools -- and I'm not saying Ron Hutchison is doing this or anything -- in the U.S. that try to charge money to people that they know damn well that don't have the ability and they know will never make it. So they'll take the money. You've got to be careful of that. There's a lot of sharks out there in the water. Compared to the old days, it's very difficult to get a foot in the water. There used to be a lot of independent promoters out there that helped people break into the business. ... They're great to have as a farm league. And unfortunately that doesn't exist any more. And that's something that we're trying to correct. We're trying to assist independent promoters in Canada by supplying them potential stars like Glenn Kulka, Adam Copeland and Rodney Blackbeard. So help them to survive a little bit and give these guys a little training ground. But be very cautious about the wrestling schools out there, and I don't want to endorse any. "
I have been a WWF fan since the early 80s and was always loyal to the WWF,
but since the incident with bret hart at survivor series the WWF has shown
a total lack of respect for the canadian fans. Does your boss vince mcmann
realize what a ass he is? what are your feelings on what took place? it was
obvious that mc mann called for the bell he showed how petty he was. also
is there any way owen hart can get out of his contract to join his brother
in the WCW, where people still hold the old values of wrestling. my last
comment is a wish that the WWF falls flat on its face and ends up like
"First of all, his question about Owen Hart. Owen Hart does not want to leave the WWF, I will tell you that personally. He has told me that personally. He's quite happy here. He's not in that different situation than I am. He's looking forward to his future here in the WWF. He's looking at this as a great opportunity to shine. Owen has great ability and I think you'll see that happen. I think we've already seen his star power increase since Bret has left. I think there's some great things for Owen happening in the WWF. ...
"I think once people have the opportunity to hear Vince McMahon, I think they'll understand. Right now they haven't heard."
Who is your favorite wrestler?
Brian Pszeniczny london On
"They all are. I don't want to pick a favortie wrestler and I'll tell you why. A lot of these guys are friends of mine. And they all have great ability and I have respect for all of the wrestlers because all of these guys have a tough job. They're on the road 250 days of the year around the world to entertain our fans. That's from Stone Cold to Shawn Michaels to Undertaker, all those guys. To me, I can't say which is my favorite because they're all my favorite for really committing to fans all around the world. Really their life is on the road entertaining WWF fans. Sometimes they don't get enough credit for that. "
Is there a place that you have to go to get scouted to become a pro-wrestler or do scouts come to see you? Also I want to be a pro-wrestler more than anything else, so were is the
best place to start because I was planning on going to the Hart Bro's training camp in Calgary.
"I'm not endorsing or putting down any training school. My suggestion is that you do your homework and I also would suggest to always have a backup career ready. Make sure you have a great education. Don't give up school whatever you do."
Yes, i would like to know what is going on with Tiger Ali Singh..
I have not seen Tiger Ali Singh on WWF for the longest time...I once saw
on the internet that Tiger Ali Singh went to ECW...if so, when will
Tiger Ali Singh return to the WWF. Tiger Ali Singh posses the right
characteristcs to become the next WWF champion....he has the perfect
body..and also has very powerful moves....
"Tiger is around. I just talked to him not that long ago. He's doing really well. We had a great training camp with a few select individuals that we believe could be great WWF superstars. Adam Copeland was there, Rodney Blackbeard was there, Tiger Ali Singh was there. The reports I have gotten were that he did phenomenally well. This was a training camp that went on 10-14 days, at least. It was on every day. Training in the gym, training in the ring. It was led by Pat Patterson and Dory Funk Jr. and Tom Pritchard. All three of those guys are great trainers and you can't get better training than those three put together. I've heard nothing but rave reviews over what came out of that training camp. I think it's really going to have an impact on our business long term. When you've got guys like Pat Patterson ... I don't know if any one's met Pat Patterson, but he's the smartest guy when it comes to this business, when it comes to performance in the ring. I have so much respect for Pat Patterson. Our company is very lucky to have a guy like Pat Patterson around the wrestler. ... I think a lot of wrestlers owe their due to Vince McMahon and Pat Patterson for helping them with their abilities in the ring. You'll be seeing Tiger on TV. He's got the look. He's got the charisma. And he's got the ability. And he's a young guy."
Dear Mr. DeMarco, I would like to see the Power Bomb used more in the WWF now
that WCW has banned it. Would you encourage WWF wrestlers to start using the
Power Bomb more?
-John Ramos (NYC)
"I can't encourage a wrestler to use a Power Bomb. It's up to the wrestler what moves they want to use or not. Everyone has their own style."
What is with the WWF/ECW deal, is that gonna happen anytime in 1998?
"From what I'm to understand we have a great, on-going relationship with ECW and I'm sure that will continue. "
How are the deals with All Japan going?
"Yeah, there are some going on, and I think you'll see a lot more down the road. It's a great market and you can count on the WWF being there."
I have been a wrestling fan for the past 21 years, and a fan of the WWF
since the pre-Hulkamania days, and I have seen some really good and really
bad gimmicks and booking angles over the years. One thing which I feel the
WWF terribly mishandled was the Kerry Von Erich tragedy. Kerry, a former
NWA World and WWF Intercontinental Champ, was on the verge of superstardom
when drug, alcohol and marital problems led to his early retirement and
untimely death. Unlike the Brian Pillman tragedy, the WWF turned a blind
eye to the Texas Tornado, and has never mentioned his name or death since.
Although his WWF stay was short, Kerry Von Erich finished his career there,
and he should be made an honorary member of the WWF Hall Of Fame.
"Stunning" Steve Dicker
"I will pass that note on to Vince McMahon. But I will tell you something -- and this is before my time -- but when he did die, I think they did mention it on television. ... Unfortunately we can't induct 30,000 wrestlers at one time, but over the years you'll see that happen."
I would like to know what you think of the WWF's and Vince McMahon's treatment
of Bret Hart? I think it was the most discussing act of betrayal that I have
ever seen. Bret was so loyal to that bunch of morans. He was their meal
ticket. I feel that I am Bret's biggest and most loyal fan, I have not had
any part of the WWF since Nov. 9. I have not watched any Broadcasts, no more
PPV's, no more live events, no more merchandise, Cancelled my subscription to
their magazine, etc. You get the picture. I got to know my idol on the
cruise, last July, and he will always be my superhero. He is kind, shy, soft
spoken, and just a nice guy. If the WWF didn't know what they had in Bret,
I'm sure the WCW does. I was never a WCW fan before but I've switched
alliance to them because of Bret Hitman Hart. I know that they will treat him
with the total respect that he deserves.
"I've already answered this. I hope I answered it good. I really cherish my friendship with Bret and I hope that will never change. I'm really proud being the WWF President in Canada and I'm very thankful to Vince McMahon for giving me the opportunity to work in a dream job. I don't want to take sides on this."
Will the Hulkster return to the WWF during WrestleMania?
"Not that I know of. I don't think so."
How would you address that the WWF has rarely had a black or African
American role model. With Mark Henry automatically turning heel and the
Nation of Domination being an obvious imitation of a gang, are there any
plans to make one of these athletes a star rather than a stereotype ?
"First of all, we've got a lot of great black athletes in the WWF. This comment that we don't have any -- he's not watching the TV very carefully. ... Amhed Johnson's great. Faarooq's great. Rocky's great right now. Mark Henry's going to be great. There's a lot of great stars. And it hasn't just started now. Look at Rocky Maivia's father, Rocky Johnson. First WWF black tag team championships was Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas. That's something we're very proud of. There has been a great history there."
Part one of the January 28, 1998 interview
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