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  April 13, 2000



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

SLAM! Wrestling Chat - Powell & Oliver


Thursday,
Moderator: We'll get going in just a second. There are quite a few questions, but John & Greg are the patient sorts, and will do their best to answer most of them.

Sheldon MacLean: How do you view the state of independent wrestling in Canada? Will it continue to improve in the year 2000?

Response : GREG: Independent wrestling is in pretty good shape right now in Canada. There's wrestling in at least every province, which is pretty cool. Obviously there's a huge void with the WWF only hitting the big cities, and WCW rarely coming north. Indy promotions will continue to be their own worst enemies however. Petty rivalries, small-minded thinking, greed and egos will continue to get in the way of what's best for the fans -- like one strong promotion in a town rather than three or four weak ones.

STEO76: I have an on-going bet with my friends. They say Booker T. and Stevie Ray are brothers. I say they aren't. What do you guys say?

Response : GREG: From all that I know and have learned, both of their last names are Huffman. I believe that they are brothers. Hopefully we'll interview them one day...

Derek Ho: What were your worst and best interviews?

Response : GREG: My best interview. Hmm, that's tough. Having dinner with Terry Funk was awesome. His off-the-record stories were better than the stuff that Chris Gramlich wrote about. I love meeting and interviewing the old guys -- Killer Kowalski, Don Leo Jonathon, Verne Gagne (coming next week!). Bad interviews? Sable was a 'cow' to use a simple word. Got blown off by Shane McMahon in Anaheim at WrestleMania a couple of weeks ago.

Response : John - The best for me was when I spoke to were Raven, Mick Foley and Owen Hart. All were very down to earth and personable. They were themselves and open and honest. The worst would have to be anyone that stays in character and refuses to be themselves. That would be people like The Undertaker.

Barry White: Will Matt Gardner be brought back into the fold soon?

Response : GREG: Matt was dismissed from his duties at SLAM! Wrestling because of believed plagarism.

D-Crew.: How do you think the USA - WWF - Viacom deal will work out?

Response : John - My sources at ONE of the network's involved says it's pretty much a done deal that WWF will be heading to TNN in the fall. But, that was before yesterday's news of USA countering ViaCom's offer and taking the WWF to court over contract rights. It is way too early to tell how things will shape up. Like everyone else, we are going to have to wait and see how this situation resolves itself. It should be known though that the relationship between TNN and ECW has suffered because of this.

Aaron Kramer: Why was Easy E asking Sid where his scissors were on Nitro this week? It didn't make any sense to me. Great work on the site! You guys rock!

Response : GREG: There was an incident years ago in England where Sid got into a scissors fight with Arn Anderson. Mucho bad blood there. Glad you like our site. Tell your friends!

ECWMark: Who do you think Awesome will drop the belt to?

Response : John - ECW is sure keeping it a secret as to who Awesome will drop the belt to tonight. I have a feeling Paul Heyman will choose someone he can trust. Someone who is loyal to the company. I would bet on Tommy Dreamer simply because he has been with ECW from Day One and is Heyman's second in command. Dreamer is trustworthy and stable. ECW needs someone like that now after what happened this week.

AZURE BONDS: Are you planning on doing any more of those fan-vote tournaments things?

Response : GREG: Yep. We're planning a tag tourney and another jobber tournament at least. Likely in conjunction with the good folks at The LAW too. They are a lot of work behind-the-scenes though. John & I both have real jobs, you know!

HBK FAN: Can someone at SLAM! Wrestling please tell me what happened to Shawn Michaels? How did he get hurt and is he coming back to wrestle in the WWF?

Response : John - Remember that match a few years ago when the Undertaker fought Shawn Michaels in a Casket Match? Well, there was a spot in it where Michaels was backdropped onto the coffin by the Undertaker. Michaels landed the wrong way on his back and injured one of his disks. He had to have surgery to repair the damage. Though he did have that match last week, Michaels is in no shape to wrestle as he once did. One bad bump taken the wrong way and he could end up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He has a wife and a baby now. I doubt that in his mind a return to the ring is worth sacrificing those important things in his life.

StoneCold: If you could fire any two guys from the WWF and WCW, who would you can?

Response : GREG: In the WWF, I'd make Big Bossman a road agent -- he's liked and respected, but past his time. In WCW, there's any number of guys who shouldn't be wrestling, like Hacksaw Duggan. But again, I'd hope that there's a job for them in the company.

SlapNutz: What did you guys watch more of this week? Nitro or Raw?

Response : John - To be honest, I was more interested in Nitro than Raw. My finger very rarely hit the Fast Forward button when Nitro was on. McMahon's insistence on running with the McMahon Screws The Rock storyline (a recycled McMahon versus Foley, McMahon versus Austin plot) is boring me to tears. I wish it weren't so but it is. We've seen all of these twists and turns before just with different players. McMahon has known to be stubborn in the past, refusing to drop angles that are his own. If he continues with this one and Russo, Bischoff charge ahead on Nitro, the WWF could be in serious trouble in a few months.

Rasslin' Joe: Greg: Has your overall views of Wrestlemania changed after going to WM 2000 and being behind the scenes and stuff? If so, how?

Response : GREG: I don't think my thoughts have changed. It's still a tough sell to convince them that we're legit -- ie. that CANOE and SLAM! Sports deserve the same treatment that a newspaper, magazine or radio station should get. They see as a web site, and competition to their web site. It's ridiculous. Does NFL.com keep CNNSI.com from sending reporter to a game? Of course not.

Mike Simpson: How do you guys do your regular jobs when you have so much wrestling stuff to do?

Response : GREG: For those who don't know, Mike is the Executive Producer of all CANOE. He's just jealous because of all the traffic that wrestling generates. Think 'Powers That Be', except that he's about twice the size of Vince Russo. (Used to play basketball, dontcha know)

Eric Nebraska: What was your favorite Pay-per-view from the past year? All-time?

Response : John - My fav this year has to be The Royal Rumble. It had everything a fan could want, good matches, plenty of twists and some good humour as well. In my mind, it was waaay better than WrestleMania. (Yeah. I STILL think this year's WrestleMania stunk!) The best of all time is WrestleMania 4. It is very rare when I can't predict what's going to happen on a pay-per-view. WrestleMania 4 really threw me for a loop especially when Hogan and Andre lost in the second round of the tournament. There are so many that I like and have on tape at home it is hard to choose.

Elroy Jetson: Who shot JR?

Response : John - That was Kirstin, Sue Ellen's sister in Dallas. Nice try! We are the Powers That Be. We know all. Well, at least lame-o television trivia. We do watch other things when wrestling isn't on.

Dr. Evil: With all the stories on Ivory as of late, I'm starting to think Greg has a thing for her? True?

Response : GREG: Ivory was a great interview, and overlooked in the WWF. Plus she's a pro -- and was more than happy to do an interview. I had never met her until the Tuesday at Smackdown!

Erik: Just wondering what your thoughts were on the Lance Storm situation? Do you think he will (or for that matter, 'should) re-sign with ECW? With one of the Big Two?

Response : John - As we all know, Lance has signed a 30 day deal with ECW. I think his reasoning behind that is he wants to compare what ECW and WCW will offer him. Then, he will decide what is best for him. What should he do? I don't know. When you have a wife and children at home, sometimes they factor into any decision you make. If you had asked me your question before Russo and Bischoff returned, I would have said that Lane was nuts because all they would do is bury him. Now that Bischoff and Russo are back, it's a whole new ball game. He might get a rise in status like Vampiro or Jarrett. Men who have always been great workers but were never appreciated. If I was a betting man, I would say he's gone. However, in this business, anything is possible.

Fidel Castro: Any good interviews in the upcoming weeks?

Response : GREG: I've got a big interview with Verne Gagne coming. John Molinaro's got a feature on the media and wrestling coming. There's a Canadian Hall of Fame bio & interview coming on Gerry Morrow. And we're supposed to get someone tomorrow from WCW to promote the PPV. (Fingers crossed.) To be honest, if we had more time, we'd do more. Right now, a lot of the work is done on our own time - ie. at home. We all have families and lives to live (such as they are).

Choke on that Slapnuts!: Are you guys going to put mainstream ads in wrestling magazines like Wrestleline does?

Response : GREG: That'll be up to our marketing department. I'll raise the suggestion!

Joe Veer: Who do you think is behind G-TV

Response : GREG: We're waiting to find out just like you. Not sure the WWF knows yet.

Response : John - Word is that ECW is VERY interested in Rhino and Lance Storm. Rhino has signed a three year deal, so he is out of the picture or is he? Mike Awesome had a contract too and look what happened there. WCW has seen ECW charge ahead. They are looking to regain their position not just in the business world but in the minds of fans too. Is WCW's raiding over? For ECW's sake, I hope so. Mind you, who else would WCW want? They already had and wasted Sandman, Raven and Mikey Whipwreck. We'll have to wait and see.

Paul Peller: Hi guys. Do you think that WCW is content to stop with Mike Awesome, or will they try to lure other top ECW talent as well? If so, who are the most likely candidates?

Moderator: Please excuse the previous screw-up. We were imitating Thunder last night with the Sting screw-up.

Erik Dingley: How long do you think the Hardy boyz's careers will last, judging by the bumps they take? Also, Do you think they'll tone down their performance and few years due to injuries, fatigue, etc?

Response : John - Are they still wrestling? I thought they were in an intensive card ward somewhere in East L.A. :) Truthfully, I am very concerned about Jeff Hardy. I used to be a big fan of the Boyz. Not so, anymore. That's mostly because of Jeff Hardy's shift in attitude. He showboats more. He plays to the female portion of the crowd more leaving Matt in the shadows. I don't think that's how you should treat your tag team partner. If Matt doesn't tone it down, he'll be another Mick Foley...retired before the age of forty. As for the future of the Hardys, let's just say...remember The Rockers? There is a split coming. Partly because Jeff keeps stealing the spotlight for himself.

Shane-O Mac: Do you guys pay Bret Hart for his column ever week or does that come out of someone else's pocket?

Response : GREG: Bret has an arrangement with the Calgary Sun. Because the Sun is owned by the same company as CANOE (Quebecor, the world's largest commercial printer), we can run his column. I honestly don't know what $$ (if any) changes hands.

Dan Titus: Who's the all-time best writer for SLAM!?

Response : Gee, Dan. It's always the guy that does our RAW report.

Killgore: Who do you think will win the WCW title at Spring Stampede?

Response : GREG: We'll have the regular SLAM! Wrestling Countdown to Spring Stampede on Friday. Check back then. (slick attempt to get more hits, eh?)

HITMANAOL: I keep hearing different things. When is Bret Hart coming back to the ring and how did his injury happen in the first place?

Response : John - Goldberg mistakenly kicked Bret in the head during a match. Bret suffered a concussion. I spoke with his assistant a couple weeks ago. She says that the doctors told Bret that he is to do NOTHING until July. No working out. No wrestling. No nothing. In July, they will check him over again and see how well he has healed. At that time Bret will decide what is best. Bret knows it was an accident. He hold no grudge against Goldberg.

Joe Veer: Do you think KANE will ever show his face

Response : GREG: Kane does show his face. He walked around the hotel in Anaheim at WM2000 without being noticed. Why would he want that to change? But seriously, I doubt it.

Good Ol' JR: Did Mark Madden play Bastion Booger in the mid-90's WWF?

Response : GREG: Nope. That was Mike Shaw, aka Makhan Singh (See my interview: http://www.canoe.ca/SlamWrestlingBios/shaw_mike.html

Response : John - It's about time someone sent in a Macho Man question. Oh. Yeah! Your favorite wrestler and mine is waiting until the dust settles this fall. All those Network problems and such. At least, that's what I hear.

Virgil or was that Vincent?: How long is the chat going to last? Are you going to have more with guys like Eric Benner, John Molinaro, Cyrus, Mark Gardner, and Nick Tylwalk?

Response : GREG: We'll try to answer most of the questions. We've offered Benner, Molinaro and Cyrus the chance.

Steve Evenden: What is the current situation regarding Randy Savage? I'd heard rumours to the effect that he'd signed with the WWF in November, but nothing came of it.

dl63: no one can answer this question !!! What happened to Yokozuna of WWF. Where is he now ?

Response : GREG: Yokozuna still wrestles on occasion, usually for a promotion out of Las Vegas. He was also on that Legends of Wrestling PPV.

Johnny B. Badd: If you hate Sable so much why is there a link to a gallery on the front page?

Response : GREG: She wasn't my favourite interview. Very full of herself. But hey, a gallery gets hits.

The Big Shot: Are you guys going to interview Kurt Angle?

Response : GREG: He was the top of my request list at WM2000, but he was doing those funny segments where he was looking for a tag team partner and couldn't fit into my schedule. One day we will interview him. It's true, it's true!

Sinister Minister: How can you NOT waste Mikey Whipwreck? I mean, look at him!

Response : John - Huh? What are you smoking, dude? Mikey Whipwreck rocks. He is a solid worker. Maybe you just haven't seen his previous work in ECW with such people as Cactus Jack and others. Trust me. Mikey is very talented. He just needs to be given another chance to shine. I admit that Dungeon Master - Heavy Metal shirt he wears has got to go but man, give old Mikey a break. He deserves it!

Joe Veer: What is your favourite song on the WWF Aggression cd

Response : John - None! Don't you remember what Curt Hennig said? Raaaap Is Crap! Just joking, dude.

Josh C.: Who's the most underrated wrestler in the big three?

Response : John - Man, there are so many. I'd have to say someone like Tajiri. Like Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle, he looks like he is having so much fun out there. He reminds me a lot of the Great Muta in his style and ring presence. Others would be Little Guido, Chris Candido...and Mikey Whipwreck.

Slam! Reporter: What's your stance on wrestling and all the crossover stuff they do (soundtracks, motion pictures, etc.) - do you think it takes away from the wrestling, or does it actually help the product?

Response : GREG: When you look at how successful the soundtracks, video tapes, books, and video games are, there's no doubt that it works and helps to promote their product(s).

John Pollock: Who were your favorite wrestlers growing up?

Response : John - The Undertaker. Macho Man. Cactus Jack. Bret Hart. BlackJack Mulligan. The Masked Superstar. The Road Warriors. Ric Flair. Mostly many of the heels. Greg - Jimmy Garvin and Rick Rude.

Dr. Evil: Truth time now guys: Who do you REALLY think is the most electrifying man is sports entertainment?

Response : GREG: The Rock. For sure. He's waaaay over.

JIM K: To anyone, when do you ask ECW in have shows in Canada? And can you answer why there have only been House Shows lately in the Toronto area (NO TV what's so ever)?

Response : GREG: Fact. The Canadian dollar sucks. Why would a company promote here, draw the same amount of people as an American show, and take home much less money. The WWF has tradition here, and will continue to show up on occasion. WCW and ECW don't have ties here. TV is expensive to produce too. That's a lot of extra bodies you need to bring north to produce the show.

Casimir: I am a big fan of Shane Douglas how do you see his new feud with Flair faring?

Response : John - That Douglas versus Taz match - you know the one in which the fans begged Douglas not to leave ECW? - was one of the most emotional matches I have seen in years. I honestly can't believe WCW is airing that real life feud. If you've heard or read the shoot comments Douglas has made about Flair, you'd understand what I am saying. WCW is looking to put Douglas over BIG TIME! Why else would they put him against Flair? I think Douglas will be getting the most out of this angle. It seems that WCW is prepping him for a main event spot.

Aries: Do you think Chris Jericho will get the push this year?

Response : GREG: Jericho's the star of the Backlash ads. That's a pretty big push. He's over with the crowds. Now, can they elevate him into a feud with HHH when Rock's off doing The Mummy. I sure hope so.

John Pollock: Which company deserves to be the 2nd best company WCW or ECW?

Response : GREG: WCW will be #2 (or maybe #1 again) until AOL-TIme Warner shuts them down. Being part of a huge corporation has its advantages.

Zak: When is the McMahon story line going to end? Doesn't the WWF know they are boring us?

Response : John - It will never, e-e-e-eever end! You'll see Mr. MAC-Mahon three times a week and you'll like it! :) McMahon is notorious for not willing to admit he has made a mistake, especially when the ideas being criticized are his. I, like everyone else, would love for this recycled storyline to go the way of Scott Hall's career. There's no chance of that though now that McMahon has made HIMSELF the star of his own wrestling federation. I see no end in sight until the ratings start to drop REAL badly.

Questionman: This is a question for both John and Greg: Who do you think is the most techically sound wrestler these day?

Response : GREG: Technically sound doesn't apply to today's crash & bang style of wrestling. Kurt Angle I guess if I had to choose. He's legit, in case you haven't heard him say. Dan Severn deserves mention.

Response : John - His name is Rob Van Dam!

SlapNutz: Do you think Mike Tyson will ever wrestle again? What about Malone or Rodman?

Response : GREG: For the right payday, I'm sure any of them would.

Wayne: Gentlemen, I can't help to think when I see the violence and sexism in "wrestling" today that it has absolutely no redeeming qualities. If the sport were directed at adults, it may tolerable. But it is clearly directed at kids. What effect do you truly believe it has on kids??

Response : GREG: The short answer is yes, it affects kids. Many things do. It's the parents' job to explain things in wrestling. Just as they have to when a grandparent dies or a newspaper talks about a child being brutally murdered. All in all, wrestling is not the worst of the world's evils.

John Pollock: How did you get involved with SLAM and what subjects did you pursue in school?

Response : John - I am not really a sports guy at all. I don't follow hockey or baseball or anything. Yet, I have always been a fan of pro wrestling since I was very young. Working the night shift, Greg and I began talking and realized that we shared a common life-long passion. We pitch the idea of creating a wrestling page to our bosses, with them knowing that we'd take full responsibility for it. Due to the support of our loyal readers, the rest is history. My background...I have always been a writer so I took journalism at Humber College here in Toronto, dropped out for a couple of years and then resumed my studies at Centennial College in East York. I came to work at CANOE about a couple of months after they launched. My primary job is one of the Online News Editors in CNEWS.

Response : GREG: I did a newsletter in high school called the Canadian Wrestling Report. I also worked part-time at the Kitchener-Waterloo Record. Then it was on to Ryerson for journalism. I got a job at the Toronto Sun as a summer student in the library. When CANOE started up, I jumped. John did most of the convincing for the site with the bigwigs. I was the one with the experience and connections. We make a good tag team -- even better now that John Molinaro is here with his international knowledge. And that Alex Ristic guy, who works for Autonet.ca, isn't that bad either.

Casimir: Out of the four Radicals that went to WWF Saturn is my favourite yet he is the only one without a belt, what is Vince's problem?

Response : GREG: Not to give much away, but watch Smackdown! tonight.

Big Addie Cool: What do you think Vince McMahon will do to counter the recent creative surge from WCW?

Response : John - One week is not a "surge". Yes, WCW is on the right track and if they continue like they did this week, they will be more than a threat to the WWF's current position. Until McMahon sees a drastic change in the ratings, probably not much as McMahon tends to be lazy when he and his company are in the lead.

Min: What do you guys think of Tazz? and where do u think he will be a main eventer in the WWF?

Response : John - Tazz is being wasted in the WWF! He should never have left ECW in the first place. Look, they had him tagging with Rikishi this week! Good Gawd! McMahon likes big, he-men wrestlers. I don't expect Taz to go far in the WWF. I wish I didn't feel that way as I like Taz a lot but I do. His upcoming feud with Saturn looks interesting though.

WWF megafan: What do you think of the Big Show's new angle?

Response : John - I don't think much of it at all. It's just a rip-off of what Stevie Richards was doing just a short time ago. Funny how the fans didn't like hi before. Now that he dances and whatnot, they love him. Crazy business that. Dress him up any way you like, he's still the Big SLOW to me.

Tom Ruff: Which is the best indy promotion in Canada right now and why? What would you do if you were made Ontario Athletic Commissioner?

Response : GREG: I can't really comment on indies across Canada being stuck in Toronto without a car and all. ECCW in BC runs regular shows, ICW in BC has TV in Washington State, Stampede has TV, the CWF in Winnipeg just bought River City, the AWF and HWF in Ontario run regular shows. Scott D'Amore has his Border City shows. There's a bunch of indies in Quebec, but the NCW is the most regular. And Emile Dupre is bringing back Grand Prix this summer. We try to cover them all. At least that's the idea of the Canadian shows page. If I was commissioner ... I'd loosen the rules a bit. BUT, since I'm not, people should follow the LAWS that are there.

Jeff: What ever happened to Ken Shamrock?

Response : John - We wish we knew. He was supposed to be going back to Ultimate Fighting and then returning to the WWF. That never happened. Who knows. One gets the feeling he wasn't a big wrestling fan to begin with.

realman: What do you think the Starrcade main event will be?

Response : John - Who knows? Since they are planning to bring Goldberg back..perhaps Goldberg against...whomever.

A Mark: Is Jerry Lawler really related to Grand Master Sexay?

Response : GREG: Yes. The King is Brian Christopher's father. See my Audience with the King story from WrestleMania XV.

Moderator: NOTE: We're going to wrap this up at 6pm ET. Greg & John are getting tired, hungry and irritable. Not a good sign...

DTC: With Bischoff and Russo back in charge of WCW, what do you think will happen with the luchadores?

Response : John - Didn't they fire the lWo? Well, it looks like they will be incorporated into part of the New Blood. So, those talented guys will be buried like usual. Screw Bischoff and Russo if they don't see the amazing talent that is The Villanos!!!

Joe: What do you think about pay-per views being every month? Most of them are not worth the price that you pay for them.

Response : John - You are correct. Since there isn't any time to build anything up people's expectations are lower. I think it's a shame. I used to be we watched epic battles on pay-per-view where storylines that matured over months and months came to a grand conclusion. Maybe when the eventual bust happens (as it always does), we will see them offering a better product that is worth spending your hard-earned money on. The point is at now, I think the feds are soaking the fans. It isn't fair.

Joe Veer: When is Stone Cold coming back

Response : GREG: Stone Cold will be back. But why would he hurry? I expect him back by SummerSlam on TV, wrestling by RoyalRumble and peaking at WrestleMania next year.

Jeff: Other than the weak dollar, does the government hurt independent wrestling in Ontario?

Response : GREG: Well, define 'hurt'. To promote in Ontario, you have to get a license, and insurance. Is that a bad thing? It protects the fans from shady promoters too. Is there a lot of paper work, and is it more complicated that it probably needs to be? Sure. But show me anything that has to do with any level of government that isn't.

Van Dam Express: Who's currently your favorite female in wrestling?

Response : John - Miss Elizabeth and Dawn Marie. For purely all the wrong reasons. :)

Darren: Have you heard anything definite on Sportsnet possibly showing Smackdown in the fall?

Response : GREG: As Canadians, we have to get away from the dream of more wrestling on the sports channels. Remember, in the U.S. wrestling is huge -- but it's on ENTERTAINMENT stations. Truthfully, that's where it belongs. Maybe something like CHUM's Star! channel, currently available only on digital, would be smart to pick up Smackdown!

B Mark: Are Jeff Jarrett and NASCAR's Dale Jarrett related?

Response : John - They are not related at all.

Ryan Pike: Do you believe that the WWF has really changed the landscape of wrestling, or would it have changed naturally to fit society?

Response : John - By its creativity in the 80's, the WWF really brought wrestling into the mainstream. Nowadays, all they are doing (just like the WCW) is borrowing their material from ECW. "WWF attitude' is nothing but what ECW has been doing since they started six years ago. Of course, the WWF banks on the fact that MOST (not all) of their audience has never seen ECW and therefore wouldn't know how much the have "borrowed" from them. I still enjoy the WWF though their product isn't as unique as it once was.

Moderator: Alas, we're out of time. And Greg & John are out of energy. Continue the discussion in the WrestleTalk section if you like.

Response : GREG: Thanks to everyone for the questions. We'll probably answer some of the others that were submitted 'off-line'. We'll definitely do this again. Molinaro and Benner will have to practice typing too!

Response : John - I wish to thank everyone for joining us today. It was a pleasure to answer your questions more directly in this manner. We appreciate your interest and look forward to doing this again. It was fun and a privilege. Thanks for putting up with more poor spelling too! It may be cliche to say but...I don't care...you the readers are the reason for our success. Thanks!