One quick plug before we get underway. Thanks to marking smart for
providing me with this tape. You can visit his site
here. Ryan, you can thank me
Another small note: The first 30 minutes of the tape is in pretty bad shape so if I miss something we know who to blame.
We open with a small video of Shawn coming to the ring to referee a match in FMW between H and "Hayabusa." Thanks for the info, Shaddax. :P
Rob Feinstein's questions/statements in is.
How did you get into the wrestling business?
Shawn says that the story that the WWF told for WrestleMania 12 was actually his story. He was 12 living in San Antonio and saw Southwest Championship Wrestling for the fist time and he realized that's what he wanted to do. Shawn said for his senior talent shows that he and his buddy would put on wrestling shows. Shawn said that after he graduated, people were wondering what he was going to be. He knew that he still wanted to be a wrestler. Shawn said that at that time there was this local promoter by the name of Fred Barrett. He says that Barrett is in jail now for being a bond king. So Shawn and his dad look for Barrett. Shawn says that in Texas, there's a commission that you have to be 18 to wrestle so Barrett and his dad agree that Shawn should go to college and get an education. He says that he went to Southwest Texas for two semisters and didn't do anything but learn how to drink. Shawn says that he told his dad that he didn't want to waist his money. So Shawn quits school and goes back to see Barrett. Shawn is now 18 and Barrett intoduces Shawn to Jose Lothario. He says that he trained with Jose for 2 months and Lothario told him that he had the basics down and the only thing left was to go ahead and do it. Shawn says that Jose sent him down to Bill Watts' Mid South and just went from there.
What was Bill Watts like?
Shawn says that he was incredibly strict, but he was new in the business didn't have anything to compare it to. He says he was fine until his second week in the business. On the booking sheet, if you're new and scheduled for tv that week it has your name down. But if you're a regular part of the company you're supposed to be at tv every week. Shawn didn't know that and the next week when he saw that his name wasn't down, he didn't show up. The next day after the tv he met the Rock And Roll Express at a Popeye's Chicken. They asked him where he was for tv and he said he didn't see his name and didn't show up. Shawn picked up his paycheck and was fined 50 dollars. He went to Watts and said that he just broke into the business and he didn't know. Watts told him that now he did and he never missed a tv again. Shawn said that he thought Bill was strict but fair. Bill is what you would call a negative motivator and if you had to compare him to anybody it would be Bobby Knight.
And from there, you went to Texas All-Star?
Shawn says he went to Kansas City to Central States where he met Marty Janetty and worked for Bob Geigel (sp?) and then back down to Texas All-Star.
Where you formed American Force with Paul Diamond and Nick Kiniski?
Shawn says that Paul and Nick were the original American Force and he was scheduled to be the next big singles star since he was from San Antonio. Shawn says that Chavo Guerrero was booking and told him that he was gonna put him over big. Chavo and Shawn had a 30 minute match and the next day Chavo told him that he didn't think it would work out and what they needed was a big Hispanic star. So Chavo turned himself face and put Shawn in a tag team. He stayed there for 8 months and then went to work for the AWA.
What was Verne Gagne like?
Shawn says that because this was the time the wrestling business was changing and Vince McMahon was taking over, Verne was an old timer and he didn't understand where the business was going. The first meeting Shawn and Marty had with Verne, Verne asked them if they had a tag team name. They said that they wanted to be called the Midnight Rockers. Shawn said that Verne asked them if the fans would recognize "Rockers" as rock and roll or "do you think they'll mean like rocking chairs." Shawn said trust me, they'll know. Shawn said that Verne wasn't around that much and (his son) Greg mostly handled everything. He said that he was just happy to be wrestling and since they were on cable it was great.
You guys had some great matches with Playboy Buddy Rose and Doug Sommers.
Shawn said that in the two years they spent there, they worked with them almost the entire time. He says that whatever Buddy lacks in other aspects of life, he was a great teacher.
What are your memories from the match from New Year's Eve? The Bloodbath?
Shawn says that was the match that put the Rockers on the map as a tag team.They had alot of matches and Shawn said that the reason that one got all the recognition was because there was blood.
You went to Memphis and worked with Lawler?
Shawn said that that was when they came around the second time. They went from the AWA to the WWF and lasted a day.
What was that about? I heard it was some kind of rib?
Shawn says that it wasn't a rib, that someone just lied. They had a thing in Buffalo and Rochester the next day. They didn't have a match in Buffalo and they just went around and met everybody. Shawn says that He and Marty were in a seperate hotel because they had a reputation for being partiers and they wanted to stay away. One of the agents tried to get them to go over to the hotel. Shawn said that they knew that they had that rep and they kept a low profile. Shawn then recalls a story of how a drunk Jimmy Jack Funk got them in trouble with Vince McMahon. Shawn says that he had a pair of cowboy boots on that day and when they met Vince he said to them, "Nice Boots. You know what they're made for, don'cha. Walking!" Vince then called them into his office where he fired them.
What were your initial impressions of Vince?
Scary. Larger than life. Probably the impression everybody has when you first meet Vince McMahon. Very aweinspiring. So after they got fired they went all the way down to Continental Wrestling with the Fullers. Then they went to Memphis and alternated between there and the AWA. It took them almost a year to get back to the WWF.
Some of your first WWF matches were with Jim Neidhart and Bret Hart. What were some of your memories of them?
Great matches. Shawn says that he thnks that he and Marty were very innovative and had matches just about anybody.
One match that stands out is Saturday Night's Main Event with Tully (Blanchard) and Arn (Anderson). That was incredible.
Shawn says that they had good matches with the Powers of Pain, Barbarian and Haku, and Bossman and Akeem. He likes to think thay had good matches with just about anybody. Shawn says the WWF had no intention on putting the belts on the Rockers, but sooner or later the Rockers got so over that the WWF had no choice. He says that they were going to do a 2 out of 3 falls match with the Hart Foundation. During the match the top ring broke. Shawn had Bret in a headlock and Bret said let's just stay in this position until the ring crew can come out and fix it and we can edit it out later. But the ring crew never came. So they work this match with only two ropes which was extremely difficult. They finish the match and win the belts and Vince calls them a few days later and says that there's no way they'll be able to air the match. So Shawn and Marty give the belts back and Marty takes it very hard. Vince promises to put the belts on them another time, but at that time word got out and it would have been too obvious and the impact wouldn't nearly have been the same.
What was Hulk Hogan like in the locker room?
Shawn says that he wasn't in their locker room because he had his own locker room. He says that his honest opinion of him is that he thought he was a worker right off the bat. Not much that came out of his mouth was the truth. He always had an agenda to everything he did.
Did you and Marty always get along as a tag team?
Shawn says that there was a little friction, but for the most part of seven years they got along great and had a good time. Shawn says that he and Marty weren't like some of these teams that didn't travel together. They traveled together, lived together, and did everything together. They were together 24 hours a day. 7 days a week.
What lead to the breakup of the team?
Shawn says that they were at this cereal box photo shoot with The Road Warriors, Brutus Beefcake and 2 other singles stars. Everybody got 5 grand but the tag teams had to split the five. The Warriors, however got $5,000 a piece which made Marty mad. Shawn recieves a call from Vince saying that he's sorry that they're leaving. Shawn asks Vince what he's talking about. Vince says that Marty called and that they are upset. Shawn says that they are and Vince offers to give them an extra $2,500 a piece. Shawn says that's fine with him because he didn't want to leave anyway. Vince told Shawn that if you wanted to go, that's fine, but you always have a singles career in the WWF. Shawn says that the whole thing with Marty was like the last straw and he thought it was time to break up the team. Shawn says that he calls Dusty Rhodes and Dusty sets him up with Magnum T.A.who tells him that he can only give him $75,000 maybe $105,000. Shawn said that they made twice that much already. Shawn says that he talks to Marty and he confesses that he really didn't speak to anybody at WCW. So Shawn tells Marty that it maybe time to run that angle that they always talked about. Shawn says that Marty was upset and that he was the prick for doing it, but Shawn was always the prick for speaking up. Shawn said that the Barber Shop idea was one he had for he and Marty to use against the Nasty Boys but he used it for he and Marty instead.
What was it like working with Sherri Martel?
Shawn says Sherri was very cool. She was very protective because he was a just starting out as a singles and it was a time when the old guys were still there and they didn't want to put him over and worked stiff with him.She'd see that they were working stiff and she would tell Shawn to throw them to her and she'd kick them and scratch them. Shawn says that because she was with Randy Savage, Sherri was very smart and she would always look out for guys that wouldn't sell or guys that were too stiff and were being pricks to him backstage. Shawn said that all that made him angry which in turn was the reason he "stuffed it back in everyones face."
What was your thoughts on your matches with the British Bulldog?
Shawn says that they were very good. The only thing that he didn't like was that neither of the two got credit for the work that they did until later. Shawn says that he always wanted to work a long angle with Davey. He says that he was one of these guys that you do one match with and that's it.
(At this point my audio goes out. I fast forward to...)
Shawn says that the match with Marty was good. He talks about how it was in the Manhattan Center and what a great place it was. He said that he and Marty knew each other like the back of their hand. The timing was there and they did things that they didn't have to talk about. You could just go.
You had the (IC) belt for 6 weeks and then you left.
Shawn said that he got a call one day that said he failed the drug test and was on steroids. Shawn says you can accuse him of a lot of things but being on steroids wasn't one of them. Plus, he says, that he was fat because it was the time when Scott and Kevin were there and he did a lot of drinking.
(audio goes out again..)
Shawn says that he was given the ultimatum of confessing to the steroids or being suspended for 6 weeks. He took the 6 weeks. Shawn says that he felt that this was Vince's way of testing him because after that incident, Vince never gave Shawn another ultimatum.
What are your views on steroids?
Shawn says that they will always be there. He says that he was never a big steroid guy but he did take his share of perscription pills. Shawn says that there isn't anybody that could tell him that he didn't have a good reason to take them because he beat himself up night after night. He says that they're a big part of the business and you would have a better chance of "pissing in the wind and trying not to get wet" than trying to rid the business of them. He says the best thing they can do is try to contain them, which they did that with the drug testing.
Was Vince really strict with that?
Shawn sas that Vince was really strict. He says that at one time his priorities were different, but now that he's trying to make money, the steroids aren't an important part of that.
Then around that time you started your program with Scott Hall?
Shawn said that after he took the 6 weeks off, came back and went to WrestleMania and had the match that made him famous.He says that in his opinion that was the match that made the World Wrestling Federation. He said that it was great that he could go out there with his buddy and do the match that nobody was sure about on a card that wasn't set up to be spectacular. He said that at the end of the night that was the only match that anybody remembered. (My note - Bret/Owen? Nah, I don't remember that one.)
What was the biggest misconception about the Clique?
Shawn says that the biggest misconception about the Clique was the power. He says that he loved to read the dirt sheets and see his name and power together. He says that in the wrestling business, power is someone who goes to the boss and make suggestions. He says that he had a suggestion for the ladder match with Scott but nobody claimed that he had power than because at that time he wasn't over. Shawn says that all that power talk comes when you get on top. He said that he used to make suggestions for people all the time. He says that he used to make suggestions for Chris Candido all the time and he couldn't stand it.
He says that you guys ran him out?
Shawn said that Chris, Shane (Douglas), and even Bret were all paranoid. He said that it's not being able to look at yourself and saying that you don't have it. It wasn't anything that the Clique did because it was all Vince's decision. Shawn says that Vince used to call him and ask him for ideas and there even was a time before the Clique when Shawn was in offices in Stamford writing the Raws. And nobody said that he had power because he wasn't on top and didn't have his buddies with him. Shawn says that Lex Luger was the person who gave them the Clique name. Shawn says that he just thought that it was he and his buddies going to the boss and making suggestions. He says that this business has the biggest denial rate of any business around and nobody wants to admit that there not talented. He says that all he, Kevin, and Scott did was eat, sleep, and drink the wrestling business, and because they were never home they had to do extra stuff and they talked about the wrestling business because it controlled their life.
We did one of these with Shane Douglas and he said that he had a match with Scott and he went out of his way to make him look bad.
Shawn said that he heard about that while they were over in Europe because he wasn't over there. Shawn says that Shane's a smart guy. He says that Shane would work with Scott and then claim that Scott buried him. He then would use Shawn's name because Scott Hall wasn't a big enough name in the wrestling business and because Shawn was closer to Vince. Shawn said that Scott wouldn't have a bad match on purpose because it would bury him in the process. Shawn said that whatever Shane had in ECW, he didn't have in the WWF. He wasn't good. Shawn says that he didn't know what Shane had, but he watched old tapes of Shane and the only thing he did was curse. He says that doesn't make a good interview and throwing people through tables doesn't make you a good worker. Shawn says that what put the nail in Shane's coffin was the time that he didn't want to work Madison Square Garden because his bad back was hurting a little bit. He said that Vince told him that he couldn't believe that Shane didn't want to work the Garden. Shawn says that's what seperates the men from the boys. The men want it and the boys don't. Shawn says that he and Hunter even tried to help him. He says that Hunter tried to draw Shane up a few good ideas. Shawn said that while Shane was working with the 1-2-3 Kid, Waltman would come up to him and tell him that he didn't get it. Sean had heard so much about him and nothing's working. Shawn says that he didn't know if Shane was having trouble getting the gimmick to work, but in all due respect, he stunk.
What caused Vince to start coming to all the house shows?
Shawn says that it was in Indianapolis, and the boys just asked Vince to come down. He says that he thought that all the storylines and all the angles were wrong. They needed to go in a different direction. Shawn says that eveybody sat down in the hotel and went through the entire roster to see what was working and what wasn't. He says that nobody got fired and nobody got hired. Vince just wanted an idea. Shawn said that most of the guys that didn't like them (The Clique) were not fit to work. Shawn says that Vince didn't originally want to come. He said that for years Vince did all that on his own because he liked it. Shawn says that Vince used to have these guys that were making a lot of money, but they were lazy. Guys like Hogan and Beefcake who were all busy doing their thing and making a lot of money in the process. Shawn says that now, for the first time, that Vince had a group of young guys that were hungry and were scared of him. Shawn says that Vince used to call him and say that nobody tells him anything. He finds out about things 3-4 months later. Shawn says that he became the guy that told Vince the truth. If something stunk, he told him about it. Shawn says that he remembers Vince fining him $10,000 because he stuffed gauze down his shorts before a Raw. He says that afterwards, he had a long conversation with Vince, and elxplains to him how that's funny. Vince takes back the fine and says that we're going there and "going there" eventually became the WWF Attitude. Shawn says that Vince liked that fact that he had guys that would go into a house show and tell him the truth.
What was it like working with Flair?
Shawn says that he worked with Flair twice, but whe he worked with him, he was a Rocker. He didn't feel that he had come into his own yet, but it was good to say that he wrestled Ric Flair. Shawn says that what he'd really liked to have done was to do was wrestle Flair when they were both in their prime.
Later on you worked with Sid. What are your views on him as a worker?
Shawn says that Sid's not a good worker, but he was always a good promo man and a money maker. Shawn says that he had some decent matches with Sid. He wasn't that great, but Sid would be the first person to tell you that. He's not a denial guy. Shawn said that he just worked around his style. He said that after Sid turned face in MSG (at Survivor Series 1996) that he could remember reading about how it said that Shawn was supposedly hot and Shawn thought that was a riot.
Next Rob asked about Shawn's promo from Thursday RAW Thursday where he dropped the belt
Some of your critics say that you didn't want to job to Bret?
Shawn says that he was never asked to job to Bret. He says that the only time he was asked to job to Bret was at Survivor Series '92 when he gave up to the Sharpshooter. Shawn said that he had a conversation the night before Bret left and that he believed that Vince may have told Shawn one thing and told Bret another. Shawn said that he thought that things between he and Bret was motivated by the front office. Anyway, back on topic. Shawn says that the week before, he was at the Meadowlands and his knee was bothering him. He went to a doctor in San Antonio who told him that he was done. Shawn said that he was scared because he thought it really was over. He tells Vince who sends him to Dr. Andrews who tells Shawn that he's gonna have to take some time off. Shawn tells Vince who says to go out there and relinquish the belt. Shawn says that the crying in the promo was real, because at that time he actually thought his career was "going down the drain." Shawn says that he and Austin went through rehab at the same time. He says that he can remember Steve asking him if he was going to Wrestlemania. Shawn said no because they didn't have anybidy for me to wrestle. Shawn said that Vince was torn going back and forth between Bret and Undertaker foe him to wrestle. Shawn says that he thought the reason behind that was because theydidn't know how to handle the situation between Bret and Shawn. Shawn said that he and Bret always rose to the occasion when they wrestled each other, but the office put the thiughts in his hea that Bret was going to mess Shawn up whenever they got into the ring. Shawn said that he wasn't going to wrestlemania not being ready to go. He wasn't going out there at less than 100 percent with a guy that could potentially injure him further. Shawn said that he could care less to all the critics that said that he didn't want to do a job. He said that he wasn't going out there with a guy that didn't like him and the finish wasn't going out there to put Bret over which would have made Bret even more upset.
Many of your critics say that you pretended to be hurt and then you go out and have a great match. What do you say to that?
Shawn says that he had great matches all the time and he was hurt all the time. Shawn says that his match with Austin at Wrestlemania was great even though he could barely walk. To quote Shawn, "I'm fuckin' Superman. I was when I wrestled. Once I got out there I could do anything." Shawn said that he gave it 100 percent all the time even on house shows. He says that's one of the things that messed him up is that he never showed any reserve and took care of himself. (My Note - Shawn's a humble guy, isn't he?)
Would you change anything?
Not a chance.
Then you had a backstage fight with Bret. What happened there?
Shawn says that Bret came up to him a few weeks prior to WrestleMania 12 and tells him that he want's to work everybody. So Bret tells Shawn not to worry if he says anything bad about him. Shawn agrees and it's now WrestleMania weekend. Shawn says that he tries to get up with Bret but he can't. He says that he figures that it's part of the plan because Bret's can be a little different at times. Shawn says that hey have the match and he goes backstage to tell him thank you and Bret's gone. Shawn say that he tries to et in touch with him later that night but he can't find him. He says that at that point they were still buddies. Shawn says that he's going on the run with the belt when all this stuff from Bret starts coming in. Shawn says that Bret's at the Calgary Sun talking about his family and calling Shawn gay. Shawn said that kinda rubbed him the wrong way. He said that you can talk about him all that you want, but don't talk about his family. Shawn said that in his eyes Bret "drew first blood" with those remarks. Then Bret starts to have contract negotiations with Vince and could be going to WCW. Shawn says that if he was going to leave, why was he still bashing him? Why was he still working that angle? Shawn says that now the front office and all the boys are worried. Shawn says the he reassured them that it was just an angle to work the dirt sheets. He says at that point the sheets were biting on it saying that there were problems even before there were any. Shawn says that one of the boys said that Bret just said that just so he could "dog the shit out of ya. Have you seen where you say bad things about him anywhere?" Shawn says that to this day he hasn't said anything bad about him anywhere but on live tv. Shawn says that now the guys have that seed planted in his head now. Shawn says that Bret is a smart guy. He says that the first thing Bret did was apologize for saying those things about Shawn's parents. Shawn says that now Bret is back but a lot of things have changed. For the first time, Vince has a single champion that is never at home and will do anything Vince tells him to do. He says that Bret had a problem with that. He says that now Bret is back in the locker room, but he doesn't talk to Shawn that much. Shawn says that all the stuff in the Calgary Sun and the dirt sheets were brutal, but Bret is all goody-good to his face which irritates Shawn. He says that he can tolerate somebody talking bad about him to his face, but he doesn't like someone being good in front of him and talking bad behind his back. Shawn recalls the time on Raw when Bret was supposed to run down Shawn and he was supposed to give Bret the superkick. He says that earlier that day Bret came up to him and said that the had to talk. They both agree that things are getting out of hand, but Shawn points out that he never said anything in response to all the things Bret said. Shawn said that he was tired of it. He said that before WM12, he thought he was below Bret, but now he sees himself as Bret's equal and wants to be treated as such. He says that if he's not treated that way, he's going to start unloading on Bret. Bret agrees and they go out to do the show and Bret burys Shawn until they go off the air. Bret apologizes but Shawn doesn't have any of it. He says that nobody that has been in the business for 18 years would do something like that. Shawn tells Bret that he doesn't know what he's gonna do, but Bret will find out. So Shawn hits Bret with the "Sunny Days" comment. He said that he said it just to be funny which Shawn says it wasn't. it was just him being a smartass. Shawn says that Bret didn't like that because "nobody does likes the truth." Shawn says that now they don't talk for three months. He says that because they are both in the same locker room, that the tension is white hot and everybody is walking on egg shells. Shawn says that Bret is politicking to get everyody that he wants on his side. He says that he really isn't worried because he has his five buddiesand mainly because this is childish and because this is the wrestling business.
(I'm going to transcribe this next part because my summary wouldn't do it justice.)
Shawn: So, three months later in Hartford, Conneticut finally he comes up to me. "Shawn?" I say, "What?" I said "Fuck you." I said,"You haven't talked to me for three months. Now that, now that you've decided that it's time for us to talk. Well guess what? I don't want to talk to you." And I walked away. Now I'm sitting here in my bag, my bag's facing the corner like that nad he comes and pushed me from behind. I fall forward a little way and I hit the wall and turn around. He goes, "You want to talk about my fucking family?" I said, "What?" "You want to talk about my fucking family?" And I said, "Give it a rest." And he goes for a swing and I go like this [dodges backwards] and it went past me and, uh, and what made it worse was that he went like this [swings his fist] and I sorta went haha and chuckled a little bit because again I've heard these stories."I'm gonna kick your fucking ass!" I was like, y'know it won't be the first time. But he does this swing and I just chuckled because I thought it was funny. He goes and double leg dive me, I sorta hook him and we go to this partition, where, uh, the things they have on the interview room to keep all the sound in. We go through that into the shower. So we've both got each other in a front face lock and he's got a hold of me right there. [points to hair] I mean you can still see where he pulled it out. He just grabs that son of a bitch [grabs hair] and that's the fight, by the way, we're just holding each other. Everybody comes in and breaks it up and he just [pulls at hair] takes that hunk out. Ohh [grabs head] I'd rather you punched me. So he goes "Your fucking with my family!" and I say "How?" and he goes, "Your fucking with my family!" and say, "How?" "You know, your fucking with my family!" and I say, "How is that?" "What's with the 'Sunny Days' comment?" And I said,"What, your blaming me because you fucked Sunny?""You Son of a bitch!" And they held him back and that was the end of it. Uh, excuse me, but that's what I said. This is supposed to be a shoot, right? That is what I said. So then I just went up to Vince and said, "You know what, yo gotta learn how to (unintelligable) in there. You call me when get all this shit worked out. You've obviously got him worked into a frenzy, or someone has, so I'll see ya later" So I grabbed PJ and said, "Would you mind giving me a ride to the hotel?" He said, "Well, you're supposed to be on tonight" Well, not anymore."
Shawn talks about Hell In A Cell! Montreal! His final days in the WWF! The TWA!! And much more! Join me, won't you?