Interview With Glacier
Date: January 29, 1997
I met Glacier (Ray Lloyd) at the Nitro event in Knoxville, Tennessee and we spent a lot of time talking. He had heard of the work I had done online and we decided to tape an interview. This is the first extensive interview Glacier has done since joining WCW. Fans have not gotten a chance to find out much about him, and I hope I can help change that.
Please feel free to E-Mail me comments since he is very interested in hearing from his fans. He isnt online yet, but we hope to change that sometime soon. At the end of the phone interview, I logged into the Efnet #wrestling chat room and the Turner #WCW chat room and took questions from fans which Ray responded to. Even though some fans were critical, Glacier enjoyed the time and hope to do it again. He wants to make his harshest critics change their tune.
Rich: Glacier, what kind of impact do you hope to make on the sport of professional wrestling?
Glacier : There are a lot of wrestlers in the sport who use some martial art moves attacks, I hope show that martial arts can be used to a much greater extent in this sport. As a martial artist and a wrestler, I cant help but notice that there are things in the rules of wrestling that can give me an advantage. For example, a closed fist is not allowed in wrestling, but in traditional martial arts many blows are open handed and can be much more damaging than a normal closed fist. Many wrestlers throughout the decades have used martial arts moves in their matches, but we hope to integrate those moves into the match to a greater degree.
I are trying to bring a different perspective to wrestling and combine a lot of new elements and styles that people have never seen before. A lot of kids today have given up on wrestling and moved on to things like video games, comic books, etc. and a lot of older fans want to see stiffer action and more genuine fighting. I want to combine those elements and bring some things to this sport that havent been seen before.
Rich: Many fans probably dont know that you have been a wrestler for years prior to your WCW debut. Can you tell us about your wrestling background?
Glacier: Sure. Before I came to WCW, I wrestled on the independent circuit in the Southeast several years with a tag team partner, who I actually played college football with. About three years ago, I started traveling to Japan to work with the UWFI. The UWFI is a shoot-wrestling group that concentrates on submission wrestling. I got a lot of great experience there working with Japanese and American talent. One of the guys who I would like to mention, who is now one of my best friends in Atlanta, is Steve Day. Steve is a former Olympic alternate and has won a bronze, silver, and a gold medal in the World Games. He has introduced me to several new martial arts styles, such as Sambo, a more combative style of wrestling.
Rich: Lets talk about your martial arts form?
Glacier : The form I have studied most since I was fourteen is Kung Fu, a Chinese style. The actual style is Hungar, which is the southern form, there is a southern and a northern style. I have tried to learn a lot from other styles as well. My style typically concentrates on kicks to the lower half of the body and a lot of hand techniques. To round out my attacks, I have worked with forms that emphasize higher kicks, such as Tae Kwon Do and Kempo.
Rich: Who taught you martial arts?
Glacier: I cant really give their names. Two men owned the school I attended. The lead instructor was a government agent and his assistant was a U.S. Marshall. Both of these men taught combat skills for their respective careers in the service. The lead instructor spent years protecting dignitaries, ambassadors and presidents. He encouraged me to also join his branch of the service. The assistant served fifteen years in the Dade County Vice department. The Miami Vice series was based on his career and he was an advisor on that show. He also pioneered much of the United States Anti-Terrorism efforts. I feel very close to both of my instructors. They gave me a chance to be an instructor in their kwan when I was just 18, but soon after that their respective employers had them close the school to the public.
Rich: What do they think of your current career?
Glacier: They really support me and, next to me, they are my harshest critics. I know that no matter how good I think I can be, they can always take me to the mat and humble me.
Rich: When we talked at Nitro, you had mentioned that you had been a martial arts champion Can you tell me what federation or title? I am not even sure of the correct terminology here.
Glacier: When I was in college, I fought full contact Karate. In the latter part of 1983, I won the Southeastern Super Heavyweight title. I defended that successfully for quite some time. I ended up retiring from full contact Karate simply because I had my college football career. I fought for the WKA, which is the World Karate Association, and I only fought on amateur status because at that time collegiate athletics would not allow me to fight professionally. That may have changed since then.
The pivotal point that made me leave full contact Karate was in 1985. At that time, the federation changed their rules to allow kicks from the knee up, when before kicks were only allowed from the waist up. Since I relied on my football scholarship to get through college, I couldnt risk a knee injury and had to officially retire.
In my entire career, I had only lost one match, and that was my very first match. The guy who beat me was named Raymond Horsey, who went on to win the USA Heavyweight title when he turned professional and challenged for the World Title. It was my first match and I lost on a technicality. I was nervous and got called for stalling I was basically covering up too much, they called it, and I got disqualified. In my whole career, though, I was never knocked out or even knocked down.
Rich: What school did you play football for?
Glacier: Valvosta State. I played all four years with Jesse Tuggle, who is now an All-Pro linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons. He and I still are good friends.
Rich: You also come from a family with a long tradition in law enforcement. Did you ever go into law enforcement yourself?
Glacier: No, actually I never did. My father was a commander with the Georgia State Patrol and retired after 28 years. He passed away a year and a half ago from a severe stroke. I was very, very, very close to him. Even though I didnt pursue the same career as he did, it was always a dream of his to see me make it to one of the big federations. It is kind of bitter sweet for me to have made it to WCW, and not be able to have him share it with me. If people pay close attention to my armor when I go to the ring, they will notice that I have my dads badge number, 126, carved into the chest plate. Thats kind of my silent tribute to him.
Rich: Tell me more about your family. They are obviously important to you.
Glacier: Well, I have a twin brother. Were fraternal twins, not identical, so we dont look that much alike. Hes a Georgia State trooper. He actually became a trooper about a month before my dad retired. My dad pulled some strings and presented him with his badge number, so now my brother wears our dads original badge with his uniform. Its a way of carrying on the family tradition.
As Mike Tenay has mentioned, my mom is the highest ranking female in the state. She works in the Georgia Drivers License division, which is a division of the Georgia State Patrol. Its a family affair except for me.
Rich: Since you didnt follow the rest of the family into law enforcement, what path did you follow before coming to WCW?
Glacier: In college, I earned my Masters degree in Education, and I taught public school for seven years.
Rich: What courses did you teach?
Glacier: Health and Physical Education.
Rich: So, you could have been some fans gym coach and they may not even know it?
Glacier: (* Laughs *) Yeah, I probably was.
Rich : And then your brother could have pulled them over on the way home from practice?
Glacier: (* Laughs again *) Yeah .he probably did. I never thought about it like that.
Rich: So, how did you get involved with WCW and become part of Blood Runs Cold?
Glacier: Actually, I was trying to find a way to get a break for years. I had decided to spend another year or two trying to break in, and if I didnt I would move on and chalk it up to having had a decent run. Then out of nowhere, I was approached by someone who was looking for wrestlers with a legitimate martial arts background. They gave me the chance to try something really new in this sport and take some risks. I know I have made some mistakes, but that is to be expected whenever you break new territory. I am working as hard as I can to integrate wrestling and the martial arts into a new form that will combine the best of both.
Rich : I was talking to some of the other guys backstage at Nitro. Many of them have seen your outfit and are now wondering when its their turn to get fitted. I talked to Andre (the designer) and I noticed Sting has started wearing his new outfit, and there is more coming.
Glacier : One thing that I want to mention is that one of my goals will make the wrestlers more conscious of their outfits and make them realize the more dramatic a costume is, the better chance the audience will respond to it. Whether people want to admit it or not, the fans expect more nowadays. I think the days of just having trunks and boots are not altogether gone. Guys like Arn Anderson, Lex Luger, Ric Flair can pull that off because they are established, but anybody new coming into the business stands a better chance of getting over with an eye catching outfit. Take Rey Mysterio Jr. - not only are his moves phenomenal, but he has a whole bunch of outfits that really catch the attention of the fans. You see a lot more of that kind of costuming in the Japanese and Lucha styles, and I think you will see more of it in the US.
You know, I didnt put this outfit together in my basement or something. WCW has a professional effects guy who does this work for us. His name is Andre and he has done some wild stuff for museums, movies and stuff. He is going to make a huge impact here. (** Note from Rich : You can check out Andres web site at http://slaughter.net/AFX/ **)
Rich: I know there has been a lot of delays in the launch of Blood Runs Cold and I know it isnt something you are exactly thrilled with
Rich: I have heard that your debut was delayed to prevent you from having to compete with all the controversy surrounding Hogans joining the nWo. Can you confirm that without getting yourself into too much trouble?
Glacier: Well, probably not, but let me try anyhow. Hulk Hogan shocked the world when turned heel. Nobody could have anticipted the event, or the impact it would have. I understand the logic behind delaying my debut until the heat from this event had cooled off, but I was still impatient to try to get out and live up to all the hype that had been given to me.
Rich: I understand that you are changing your approach to your matches?
Glacier: My philosophy now is when I wrestle the more conventional wrestlers, I have to wrestle more. Whenever I wrestle more martial arts oriented wrestler, guys like Syxx, Chris Jericho, or Alex Wright who use a lot of different kicks, I would use more martial arts attacks.
I want people to know that when I am out there, I am there to display a different style of wrestling, but not to say that my new style is superior to everything else out there.
Rich: I assume that you have done a fair amount of work at the Power Plant to train for all this?
Glacier: Oh, yeah.
Rich: What do you think of the facility, and who are the guys who have helped train you and bring you along?
Glacier: The Power Plant is a big surprise to people. You would never guess what the Power Plant was unless you knew it was there. It is in an older industrial part of Atlanta. Once you get beyond the front door, you know you are going to sweat when you get in there. It reminds me of a conventional, old style gym, a hard working gym. They keep the temperature set so that once you start moving around, you know you are going to sweat. The guys in charge of it do an excellent job.
Rich: Who runs it?
Glacier: The main guy is Jody Hamilton, who fans will remember as The Assassin a man who I have ultimate respect for. If I can accomplish a fraction of what he has, I will consider myself a success. Jody is one of the legends of the sport, in my book, and its incredible to see someone of his stature take the time to build the next generation of talent in this sport.
The other guys are Pez Whatley, Buddy Lee Parker, and Mike Winner. I have nothing but great things to say about everyone. I have been a big fan of Pez long before I ever met him. I loved watching him when he was on TV. I think he helped open the door for black athletes in wrestling.
Dwayne (Buddy Lee Parker) I have the utmost respect for. He is one of, if not the, hardest working guy in this business. He is one guy who has unconditionally given his heart and soul to WCW, and he would do anything for this company...and would fight anybody who says anything bad about it.
Mike Winner could be a teacher in any field, because he has such incredible patience. He will stay in the ring with one guy, and work on just one thing all day if he has to. There is a lot of people who know wrestling, but there are only a few who can actually teach it. Mike has the talent and persistence to teach the greenest guy who doesnt know anything what he needs to survive in this sport.
Mike and Dwayne both helped hone my skills as a wrestler. I faced both in the ring recently and won. They are both accomplished wrestlers, but my style adds a new dimension, with the martial arts emphasis, that is hard for most of my opponents to defend against.
Rich: I know there are some stars who dont work in the Power Plant, but who are known for helping the new talent. I know there are some people who have guided you and mentored you. Can you tell us about some of them?
Glacier: One of the guys who has helped me tremendously is a guy I faced in the ring once, Pat Tanaka. Actually, it wasnt until after we wrestled each other that he started helping me. Anyone who has been connected with the business knows Pat by his reputation. He probably takes the best bump in the business definitely the fastest bump. He has made a career of being a martial arts oriented wrestler. He has been able to give me some great pointers on ring presence.
Another person who has been of help to me is Diamond Dallas Page, and he probably doesnt even know it. I have seen Page on the Power Plant over the past year as he has been moving up in the ranks of WCW. I have watched a lot of what he does from the shadows and have studied a lot of his matches and interviews on tape.
Someone who has really helped me a lot, he isnt in the wrestling business, is an accomplished martial artist named Kelly McClung. He is an up and coming martial arts/action film actor. He just finished his first starring role in a feature film and is in Miami working on in his second film. He has helped all of us with our techniques and out characters.
Rich: Who are some of your friends in WCW?
Glacier: I used to room with Scotty Riggs, and he and I are still close. Rey Mysterio Jr. is a traveling buddy of mine, and he is an absolute riot. When I traveled in Germany on tour, I got to know and respect Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit. I dont get a chance to travel mush with them now, but anytime I get a free moment to spend with them, I do. They are both ultimate professionals and just being able to sit and talk with them lets me learn so much. They are just great guys.
Rich: Is it me or does Chris Benoit seem pretty quiet and shy? I didnt expect that when I met him.
Glacier: He does, he is a quiet person. A thing I want to say is that some people mistake that for a cold, even cocky, attitude, and nothing could be further from the truth. He is normally just a quiet mannered person.
Rich: I noticed you havent got much interview time on WCW. Do you anticipate that changing?
Glacier: Yeah this is pretty much my first in-depth interview, and I havent gotten much mike time, but that will change in the upcoming weeks. On the nWo Souled Out Pay Per View this past Saturday, Eric made a mention about Syxxs technique was not fake like Glaciers technique. Im not sure where he is going with that, but maybe that will lead to some interview time, maybe with Eric.
Rich: I think you could take Eric.
Glacier: (* Laughs *) Well, a lot of people dont know that Eric is a very accomplished martial artist. I guess that is one of the things that helped get me in the door at WCW. Once he talked to me, he realized I was a legitimate martial artist. Of course, it seems that his opinion on that, and a lot of other things, have changed since he decided to join the nWo.
Rich: I noticed at Nitro that you were showing some kids others different moves. You have done a lot of work with kids, havent you?
Glacier: Ive taught martial arts to children, and I am working with a guy here in Atlanta who is forming a kids team. I am going to help train them to compete in tournaments. I also worked with kids a lot when I taught public school for seven years. Three of those years, I spent teaching Special Ed and Adaptive P.E. (Physical Education) classes for severe mentally and physically handicapped kids. I felt fortunate to be able to work with those kids, and the high I got from that sense of accomplishment is something I will never forget. The improvement was often gradual, but even the slightest improvement could be a big step for that kid and his family. Seeing that and being part of it is a feeling that no amount of money in the world that can replace.
Rich: I would think that the whole WCW/Glacier concept has a lot of potential to reach kids.
Glacier: Ill tell you what. As far as this goes, I want to be able to communicate with kids and their families. Kids have a lot of things competing for their attention today. If I can capture a kids attention because of the character, and then maybe talk to them outside of wrestling, maybe I can make an impact. I have worked with kids in schools and in gyms for years, I see no reason to end that very rewarding aspect of my life in this new role.
Rich: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me tonight. I hope I can convince you to get online soon.
Glacier: My pleasure. You know, if I ever finish moving into my new house I want to get a computer and get on the Internet. The guys in WCW who are online are always telling me about it.