The Interactive Interview With Special Guest Mike Shaw (aka Bastion Booger)
    Submitted by Sudeep Popat on Thursday, February 12, 2004 at 2:07 PM EST

    Show: The Interactive Interview (Courtesy of ProWrestling.com)
    Guest: Mike Shaw
    Date: 8th February
    Your Hosts: Daniel Edler & James Walsh
    Recap by: James Walsh

    [NOTE: You need the Real One Player to hear the show, which you can download by Clicking Here]

    The Interactive Interview is proud and honored to bring you an interview with one of the unsung heroes of professional wrestling. You knew and loved him as Norman the Lunatic! You hated him as Mukahn Singh! You were confused by Bastion Booger! But, The Interactive Interview brings you the class act of a man behind all those different personas, Mike Shaw!

    Mike gives us 50 minutes of his time for this interview. True wrestling fans will love to download this show and listen over and over. It truly is one of a kind and one of our best!

    And remember… our one year anniversary show is coming up later this month. We go over two hours with the one and only, ‘Franchise’ Shane Douglas! Bookmark theinteractiveinterview.com for updates etc on that.


    Mike Shaw

    -- Mike left wrestling a year after his final WWF stint. He now is living in Michigan not far from the Canadian border. He is the "Area Manager" for the state of Michigan. He enjoys spending time with his family. He has a wife and two kids so that takes up most of his time.

    -- Mike would put the tin foil on the rabbit ears when he got older. When he did that, he could catch the AWA.

    -- Mike played professional Softball. A few guys talked to him about pro wrestling but after they kept on him, he went to Boston and was trained by Killer Kowalski.

    -- Killer treated him well. After about six months of training, he was able to participate in some WWWF shows. Vince Sr. would have Killer bring some guys and Mike was one of them. So, he wrestled in Boston Garden and a few other big venues on the East Coast.

    -- Mike was a professional boxer in Michigan. They just ran a story in the paper in Michigan about Michigan based athletes that held both boxing and wrestling licenses Himself and Joe Louis were the two he mentions by name. Mike's boxing was mostly pulmonary and there was not enough money in it for him so he didn't explore it. But, he still enjoys watching boxing and appreciates it.

    -- Mike was an amateur wrestler. He wrestled all through high school and was a wrestling coach for a few years as well. He was a Great Lakes area amateur wrestling champion. "I had a pretty good run as an amateur wrestler but I didn't follow it through in school," said Mike. " He added, "Once you get out of something like that, it's pretty hard to get back in."

    -- Mike's debut match was with Ricky Sexton in Rhode Island. That was his first match in 5,000 career total matches but Ricky had a "fantastic ego" and told Mike it was the best match he'd ever have. Killer was nearby and told him "I sure hope it's not the best match you ever have."

    -- Farmer Bill was the guy who kept on Mike to try professional wrestling. Farmer Bill was working at a car dealership in Florida, where the softball league was, and Mike was working at a different dealership. Mike had to go to this guy for parts. He was trying to get Mike to hook up with the Grahams. Mike opted for Killer.

    -- After working for Killer, Mike moved to Pacific North West Wrestling run by Gene Kiniski and Al Tomko. Don Owens, out of Portland, was involved in that group of promoters as well but they all eventually "broke up." So, Gene was leaving the company at that time or at least on his way out. But, every time that company had something going, Al Tomko came out of retirement and decided he wanted to beat everybody. Mike says, "His ego basically killed that promotion as far as I'm concerned." But, that television exposure got him booked in Calgary which was one of his most fun places to work.

    -- "Big Ben" came from after a tour of Europe. Bull Heffer, who Mike credits as the tied for best promoter he's ever worked for, thought there would be confusion from the African crowd if there were two wrestlers named Mike. So, Bull asked where Mike had flown in from and he told him London. Bull said, "That's perfect! Your name now is Big Ben!"

    -- When asked about working for Ole Anderson, Mike said, "I hated every minute of it." Mike says the WCW booking team was a "revolving door." Ric Flair and Ole Anderson revolved a lot. Mike Shaw was associated with Terry Funk. At the time, Norman was the number 2 most popular wrestler character in the country according to some of the magazines but when Ole Anderson was in charge, Ole did not want the character to work. Mike feels Ole was afraid Terry Funk would take his job. So, "Trucker Norman" and "ridiculous characters" were born.

    -- Wrestling in Mexico was different for Mike because of all the smaller wrestlers and high flying moves. Mike had a tag partner, Solomon Grundy, who was another large man. Grundy wanted to stay a "monster" and the Mexican talent was not fond of him. Because he was Grundy's partner, Mike himself was caught up in the mix.

    -- Mike speaks on his stay with Georgia Championship Wrestling and the ESPN based Global Wrestling Federation that stemmed from it. Mike feels wrestling in the South is odd because you have odd atmospheres for wrestling. "One night you're in a bingo hall, one night you're in a bar, one night you're outside. When they talk about raslin', that's what they mean. It wasn't one of my greatest experiences."

    -- Mike went to Calgary in 1980 initially for a Battle Royal. But, they liked him and he liked working there so he stayed there. Mike returned to Vancouver, where he had been working in Canada, for a few special matches, but Calgary became his full time focus.

    -- Mike wrestled Owen Hart about 300 or 400 times. "He was the youngest one of the boys and the smallest one of the boys. He was supposed to wrestle another character by the name of Kerry Brown. Kerry refused to wrestle him {Owen} or didn't want to do what they wanted to do so I {Mike} was thrown in. I guess it's true, you're lucky to be in the right place at the right time sometimes." Mike says they got years of good TV and matches out of his work with Owen Hart. He even tells us his promo tape, which is 15 minutes long, is 12 minutes of just him against Owen.

    -- Mike loved his matches with Owen Hart. Mike said Owen worked in a way that allowed a guy of his {Mike's} size to work 30 or more minute matches. "I think it just came from a trust. I knew him up there as a young kid. What's ironic about that is everybody looks at Bret as being the best wrestler. Bret and I could never have a good match. It just goes to show you, some guys mesh and some guys don't."

    -- Makhan Singh came from Gamma Singh. He was from Africa. Makhan is the African word for Michael and Singh was the "Sir" name. "It got a tremendous amount of heat up there. My wife and I would try to walk down the street and someone would stop and throw a full can of pop at us," Miike said.

    -- "Stampede Wrestling was ahead of it's time," said Mike. Mike feels Stampede was doing Hardcore style of wrestling well before ECW came to be. He says there were times the Canadian stations threatened to pull the show because of the violence and blood but it was very popular. Mike says, "Coal Miners Glove, Chains, 10 and 12 man cage matches. The hardcore matches up there were just unbelievable! We had chairs, ladders, tables, there was fire. It was unbelievable."

    -- The odd thing about being in Calgary was how the fans eventually learned to "take" him. He would wrestle like a wild man and do all these violent acts but when he had a free day, he'd be at any Charity in the area working for them. So, Mike feels the fans probably were saying, "Wow, this guy's a maniac when he's in the ring but outside of it, he's not such a bad guy."

    -- Vulcan Singh, also known as Gary Albright, had a bright future ahead of him in the business, said Mike. "His time came too soon," Mike says. Mike also shares a few thoughts on Gary available to hear in the audio.

    -- Mike did not wrestle Chris Benoit much. "Calgary was a perfect fit for him. You had Dynamite, Owen, Gamma Singh ... They were all around that 200-210 weight, somewhere around there. Calgary had always been a big man territory but these guys took off," said Mike.

    -- Mike enjoyed being an announcer in Canada. He thinks it gave a good avenue to the strange commentary as opposed to the straight style of commentary that was going on there.

    -- Mike feels Mukahn Sing as a heel and the Norman character were his best. As Norman, Mike got several hundred Teddy Bears from the fans a night. Mike was donating them all to Children's hospitals.

    -- Jim Ross is to credit for a lot of the Norman character. When Mike went from Calgary down to WCW, he was placed with Teddy Long. WCW wanted to keep the character heel but no matter what they did with it, the fans liked it. Mike isn't sure if they found it funny or if the felt sorry for him but he enjoyed the face run. But, that brings us back to Ole Anderson and the end of the Norman character. Ole was "bringing it back to wrestling."

    -- Of all people, Sting and Lex Luger defended the Norman character backstage. Luger told Jim Herd that Norman got a better reaction than either of them in some towns and they were the "biggest stars in the company." The end result was Jim, "who knows absolutely nothing about wrestling," just told them Ole was in charge of the wrestling. Mike had no idea Lex nor Sting was going to do this.

    -- Mike then went to the WWF under the name "The Mad Monk" Friar Ferguson. That character lasted for such a short time because, as Mike had heard but Vince never told him, Vince {McMahon} had been getting negative feedback on the character from the Catholic Church and the media in the New York area. Many didn't find the character appropriate.

    -- When asked for his thoughts on the Bastion Booger character, "I didn't care for it. They had a good idea for it towards the end. The kids liked it. They liked saying booger. I guess they thought they were getting away with saying a swear word. But, they were going to switch it babyface. He was going to slip in to half a Norman character and see how it worked. Mike went in to a TV after that, another in three weeks went by and I got my notice," said Mike.

    -- Mike actually filmed a clip backstage where he was throwing up in a toilet during the Royal Rumble 1994. The idea was to tease that Bret was hurt earlier in the night and was not to come out by having that empty space in the Rumble match. But, the clip never made TV.

    -- "As far as me getting my release from the WWF, I have heard Shawn Michaels had a dislike for me and he had gotten in Vince's ear. He told him I shouldn't be around in the WWF and that I should be let go. I guess after hearing that enough, Vince finally got rid of me."

    -- Mike never hung out with Shawn Michaels. From what he understands, Mike made a remark while clowning around about a Razor Ramon against Shawn Michaels match along the lines of, "Wow, those guys are working hard." Mike doesn't recall it but he probably said something along those lines. Shawn Michaels heard about it from someone and was vindictive enough to get him fired over it.

    -- Bret Hart and a few others are who told him of why he {Mike} was released.

    -- Working for Emile Dupree was interesting. Mike kept a diary one time he worked there and worked 128 days in a row and several times that he wrestled a few times a night. "If you didn't rock the boat, you could stay there forever." Mike met his wife while there and his kids were born there as well.

    -- Mike was running a wrestling school a few years ago in conjunction with a kick boxing club in the area. Mike sat down with his wife after doing it for a while and decided he didn't want to do it anymore. Mike said he had to be some of the guys' "baby-sitter" and just wrapped up training the last batch of guys and stopped doing it.

    -- "I probably haven't watched 5 minutes of wrestling in the past 10 years," said Mike.

    -- We then roll into Word Associations with names like Ric Flair, Eddie Gilbert, Nitron, Sting, Lex Luger, Shawn Michaels, and others! This was one of our best versions of Word Associations to date!

    ***We at The Interactive Interview are very keen to know if readers enjoy the product we, and this website, provide you with in these regular interviews. We also like feedback on each individual interview and what bits you liked and didn’t like or felt could’ve been added. Thus, please send through feedback (positive or negative) to us at daniel@theinteractiveinterview.com & tiikingofnoise@hotmail.com.

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