Joshua Modaberi of Wrestling 101 recently interviewed Devon. Here are some highlights from the interview.
Wrestling for WWE during a peak era for tag team wrestling with The Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian: “That was another amazing time in my career; to be able to be in the ring with five other guys and to steal the show at WrestleMania two years in a row was awesome. The TLC matches were matches that had never really been seen before; the closest thing to a TLC match was just a ladder match that was performed by Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels. We then added the tables and the chairs into the mix and made it what it is today and it was just great to go out there and entertain throughout that whole attitude era.
“Everywhere we go out of all the matches we’ve had, the TLC matches seem to be the one that pretty much everybody still talks about today.”
Comparing Paul Heyman, Vince McMahon and Dixie Carter: “Well you’ve got Doctor Frankenstein, Paul Heyman who was kind of a rebel and definitely a guy that loved to play some mind games but in a good way. He would play mind games with you so you would understand the business and know what this business is about.
“Then you’ve got Vince McMahon and he is the grandfather of them all, being with him was really a challenge, my biggest thing was and I tell my students at our school in Orlando, Florida, if you go out and perform in front of Vince McMahon and not have any fear then you are going to make it in this business, because if anybody has an aura about them and can install fear in you by just walking in a room it is Vince.
“With TNA it kind of like out of all three bosses I’ve got to say Dixie Carter is the best looking one (laughs) no offense to Vince and Paul but if I’m going to put a ring on anybodies finger it’s going to be Dixie.”
Why Team 3D split: “The singles career was something that I needed, Bubba was always into the tag matches and he never really wanted to break up and I understood that because he is more of a tag team guy. I was as well but I wanted to separate that little bit more, we actually separated in 2002 with the Reverend Devon angle in WWE and I remember feeling like I never really got my just due and six months later we were put back together.
“It always bothered me that I could not leave this business without having another shot at being a singles competitor and I remember saying it I wanted it so bad but I knew there was more for Bubba and I to accomplish as a tag team. We had to go over to Japan and take over from where the Road Warriors left off, we conquered that, we conquered in making the tag team titles very prestigious in TNA and all of the organisations we were in.
“We did our jobs in that sense but now was the time to move on and I was very happy about that because it is something that I have always wanted. I loved teaming with Bubba and creating history but there was a little bit of a selfish side to me that wanted that singles career just a little bit more. Now that I’ve got it and now that it’s here I’m proving those critics that said I couldn’t do it, let me change that we’re proving those critics that said we couldn’t do it, we’re proving them wrong.”
If he’s enjoying his run as a singles wrestler: “I’m extremely happy he’s doing well on his own and I’m extremely happy I’m doing well on my own, and I’m glad I’ve won two titles before he has (laughs) but in all seriousness I’m happy for both of us because we’ve worked so hard to have been in this business as long as we have and you get the critics that say, they’re old and they’re washed up.
“Well I remember a time back in the day when the business was hot, back when Hogan, Andre, Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes were in there primes and you weren’t anything in this business until you got to your mid-thirties going into your forties. If you were younger than that you were just considered a young boy and you got your ass kicked and handed to you, but now the business has changed and everybody thinks when your aged thirty you should be the one that’s on top.
“Listen I’m old school and if it isn’t broke don’t fix it because when your 34 or 35-years-old you are still learning a lot more, by that time you should be almost polished up but when your that age that is when it all kicks in. I’m in better shape now than I was when I was 25-years-old and my knowledge for the business is better now than it has ever been and I’m very happy about that.”