Working for WCW: I did two matches for WCW, for Saturday Night and for WorldWide. Scott D’Amore was booking the extra talent. I remember I was really torn about it. I was like hmm… I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to just be an extra guy. I want so much more than that, but I was flat broke and it was 500 bucks. So I thought well, maybe I should do it. Maybe they’ll see me and think oh, we have to hire this kid. There’s always that chance too, right? So it was the first time that I met Rhino. I drove through Detroit, I picked up Rhino, and then him and I drove down to Florida together. We became best friends from that point forward.
That was the thing I so quickly learned [how crazy WCW was]. I walked in and I was like, oh, this locker room doesn’t feel good. You’d see the guys that you could go to, and I remember talking to Chris [Benoit]. He knew I was Canadian, he found out I was Canadian so he pulled me aside and he was like just be careful here. I was like oh, okay. It was about 95, 96. He said don’t trust anybody here. I was like okay, got it.
You quickly realized that [how bad it was]. I mean, you know? But I got that from being there for two shows and I worked twice. I worked Meng, or Haku. He was super sweet, great guy. He actually gave me some stuff too. We had a bit of a competitive match. Then I worked Kevin Sullivan. It was brutal. It was what it was, it was what I was down there to do. I think more than anything it was a vehicle for Show, Big Show, because he was at ringside with Sullivan, and it was on that rotating wooden stage. I think a lot of it was, and I think Sullivan was booking at the time too, or was one of the bookers, he can go over on this kid that’s about 6’4″, I was a little heavier, I was about 250 at that point. Oh okay, I’ll beat that kid. He’s got a good look. I think that was the mentality. I took a chokeslam on the floor. Yep, got it. Yep, I’ll take that chokeslam, sure. It was brutal. I mean, Show took care of me, but there’s no good way to take that.
How wrestlers are trained today: It’s much more pressure. It is, and also, just the pressures of how do you deal with all of that so fast? That’s the biggest thing. Suddenly you’re making six figures, well you have to pay taxes and you’ve never had to worry about that before. Okay, well there’s that. Suddenly you have to look into getting a mortgage or pay rent. All of these things are coming while you’re trying to figure out being famous and being on TV and trying to make headway within the company without experience. To me, the best part of coming up in that, kind of the last era before it went that way with the FCWs or NXTs, kind of the farm system, is that, you know, wrestling Jimmy Valiant in front of 10 people in Cleveland. We didn’t touch. I think we did two things, but we were out there for 20 minutes. It’s like, okay, I can take things from this and I can learn from it. Now, if I’m in there as a kid with a guy whose got the same kind of experience as me, what am I going to learn? We’re just going to run through what everybody else does and the danger is it ends up being a conveyor belt of everybody just being there.