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Interview Highlights: Konnan talks about Hogan, Luger, Bischoff, Nash

Oct 1, 2003, 21:14

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Show: The Interactive Interview
Guest: Konnan
Date: 1st October 2003
Your Hosts: Daniel Edler & James Walsh
Recap by: James Walsh

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

Mexican wrestling legend and current NWA-TNA superstar Konnan joins us for 45 minutes of a shoot style interview to end all shoot style interviews!

Konnan speaks on racism in wrestling, growing up how he did, and becoming a superstar globally, plus much more!


Konnan

-- In terms of children that had a rough childhood, as Konnan had, he gives the following advice. He says he was thrown out of schools and it came back to haunt him and it haunted him because he had trouble getting jobs. He says try to maintain your grades so you can get in a good college.

-- He went to Mexico and saw how a show there compared to America. He loved the capes and costumes and how "cool" it was. The next day, he started training.

-- He was trained by Rey Mysterio Sr, Eddie Guerrero, Negro Casas and Super Astro.

-- The difference between Mexican and American wrestling is Mexican is faster, more high fly, more into submission moves, but doesn't have as much psychology so the American fans can't understand it. But, he likes Mexican wrestling more.

-- Max Moon was his idea. It was a robot design he had seen in Japan. It was to have hidden tubes that shot fire and confetti. Vince invested $13,000 in the costume. But, it was the "steroid era" as Konnan puts it and he was small compared to Hogan, Road Warriors, Kerry Von Erich, Warrior, and people like that so he wasn't taken on the road very much. Konnan wanted a guaranteed contract and at the time, Hogan and Warrior were the only two that had it.

-- They were constantly trying to modify the gimmick. But, Konnan was making money in Mexico with a guarantee. So, when Paul Diamond asked to take over the gimmick, Konnan was let go.

-- He has heat with Vince but not over Max Moon. He feels his tendency to speak his mind is what keeps him from going back to WWE. Konnan can't believe that the Max Moon problems is the only reason why he hasn't been brought back.

-- Konnan feels Paul Heyman really revolutionized the business. He feels Paul brought in and gave the smaller guys an opportunity and that sparked what you have today, more small guys than ever. He also says that Steve Austin used a lot of The Sandman's character when he went to the WWE fresh off of ECW. So, ECW's style was a style he liked and it changed the business.

-- He went to WCW because he felt he did everything he could do in Mexico. He had done commercials, soap operas, won every title there was to win, booked for several years and every year was profitable, and beat Jake "The Snake" Roberts in a hair match. He felt he had to go to WCW because nobody knew him outside of Mexico. He says the key is to make it in the United States, be it in movies, music, or spots. So, WCW was big.

-- WCW wanted to sign Konnan because when Lucha went to California, they drew more people than the WWF or WCW did. So, WCW wanted him to deliver the Latino fans. He feels once he went there, that wasn't what they did.

-- Winning the US title the first time was bitter sweet. One Man Gang didn't want to put Konnan over and he was very stiff with him.

-- He was 100 percent responsible for the lucha invasion to WCW. When Rey Mysterio walked in, people said "Oh, I didn't know we had midgets today." He told Rey to go in there and prove himself to everyone. In his time in WCW, he saw two matches get a standing ovation. That first match that Rey Mysterio had with Dean Malenko and Rey Mysterio against Eddie Guerrero at Halloween Havoc 1997.

-- Working with Ric Flair was different than anything he had done because Flair called the matches in the ring. He feels that is very old school and he had never done it because he usually calls his matches in the back but he felt it was cool doing the improvisational wrestling with Flair. Then, when he went to Puerto Rico, he wrestled Carlos Colon and Carlos wrestles that style. So, he had to learn it and feels that by the time he left Puerto Rico, he was a master at it. He feels some of his best matches were done improvisational.

-- At the time of the Wolfpack, they were mad at Kevin Nash, Lex Luger, and himself. He feels they really stepped on the Wolfpack and prevented them from reaching their full potential.

-- Hogan and Nash had a problem and Eric Bischoff was on Hogan's side. Luger was helping "stir the shit" in the locker room with Nash, and Konnan was lumped with them because they hung out together at the time. Plus, Konnan still wrestled in Mexico behind Bischoff's back.

-- In terms of merchandising, the Wolfpack was number two next to Goldberg and Konnan himself was number three. "Eric {Bischoff} was really good at getting back at people if he was mad at them."

-- He got along with Lex Luger at first, but at the end of the Wolfpack he became a jerk.

-- Beating Chris Jericho for the TV title was fun. He had been friends with Chris Jericho since Jericho wrestled in Mexico but he had no idea how good of a ring general Jericho was until he had that match with him.

-- The Master P. stuff was well received by the fans but WCW didn't want it to succeed. Bischoff, Nash, and Sullivan were three white guys that didn't understand rap music. He feels Kevin Sullivan booked it as though the West Texas Rednecks were the faces and they were the heels.

-- At one point, Konnan had a chance to sign a million dollar contract with a rap label but Bischoff refused, again, because he was mad at him. He feels Bischoff let his anger stand in the way of business.

-- He liked both the Wolfpack and the Filthy Animals but he liked the Filthy Animals more. That was created because "Well f*ck, if they're going to bury us, bury us together."

-- He liked Vince Russo in WCW. He says he gets a lot of flack but he feels Vince was always very passionate about the product. He also feels that if you watch TNA now, you can see that he can write a good wrestling show. He feels TNA's show is simply better than the WWE's show.

-- Rick Steiner was very stiff with him in one match. Shane Douglas was supposed to make the save for him and he never got the call to come out, Rick got angry and started taking it out on Konnan. Konnan didn't fight back because at the time Bischoff was supposed to be buying the company and Rick was a friend of Bischoff so he felt he could get fired if he reacted. But, he talked to Rick about it recently and Rick apologized and Konnan feels that is good enough.

-- He was surprised to see WCW sold to Vince. He feels it was a huge negative if you just look at numbers. Plus, there are a lot of people out of work because of it. He says now there are only two games in town and that's just not enough.

-- He feels racism is a big issue in wrestling because it is not like sports where if you don't like one organization or team you can go to another one. He feels everyone in charge of WCW was white and as such some blacks and Latinos didn't get a fair shake. He says people can say they're tired of hearing about it, but it's fact.

-- He feels the weekly pay per views are working. He feels it is hard to keep people buying because you can watch the WWE for free every week but he says people do buy it because it is just a better show and that can't be argued.

-- He talks about hating the business when working with WCW and feels that BG James lost his love for the business at one point as well but now is starting to feel it again.

-- The original Radicals group was Konnan, Shane Douglas, Billy Kidman, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn, and Dean Malenko. They were all in the office together. When they left the room, Shane decided to stay because he made more money with WCW than he would've made in the WWE. Kidman was talked into staying by being told "if you stay, we'll do something with you." Konnan stayed because they wouldn't let Rey or Juvi go. But, Bill Busch suspended him for three months as punishment.

-- Konnan doesn't like the Internet's role in professional wrestling. He feels a lot of the guys on the Internet are too negative. He feels a lot of the people are fans since kids and that's fine but they get into their personal lives. He also talks about someone saying who the Easter Bunny was at a recent pay per view and says, "who gives a damn?" He feels these guys should go out and try to get girls rather than spending all day night on the Internet.

-- "Jim Duggan Sucks" is a quote Konnan pulls from an Internet column. He says wrestling is entertainment. The bottom line is "Did you like it or didn't you like it," He feels Duggan made you feel it and he can connect with the people so that's all that matters in this business.

-- He had a problem with Vampiro at one time, but now he gets along with him. He feels Vampiro is now constantly trying to work him. He said he's a worker in and out of the ring. He's a very intelligent guy in and out of the ring.

-- He dislikes women's wrestling. He feels TNA has Trinity and that she is exposed when she wrestles because she's not ready yet.

-- There is a chance he could go to the WWE in the future with Rey Mysterio but he really can't talk about it now.

Plus, WORD ASSOCIATIONS! One early highlight of these is:

-- Brad Siegel: "A f*cking asshole. If I ever see him, I'll punch his lights out."

Plus, Rey Mysterio Jr, Eric Bischoff, Vince McMahon, and a very behind the scenes story about his past with Mil Mascaras.

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