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11-11-2011, 05:09 PM #1
The Honky Tonk Man On The Current Direction Of Wrestling & Lack Of Superstars
The Honky Tonk Man appeared on Busted Open, which airs every Monday and Wednesday on Sirius 92 and XM 207 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Highlights from the interview are as follows:
Direction of wrestling: "I think what WWE has done, and I donít mention what TNA a lot because sometimes I donít even know if theyíre still in business. Anyway, theyíre so ratings-driven right now, and they have been for a couple of years. Theyíre so afraid that if someone picks up that remote control, and clicks to another channel, the person might not come back and watch the show. And the wrestlers today; they are not fans of wrestling.
"Theyíre not wrestling historians, and the fans themselves, and the wrestlers. I say it: Theyíre fans of a TV show called, 'Raw.' I think it had a lot to do with it. It started there, and then of course it went into this hardcore level, and then to the x-rated level, and...For somewhere down along the line...Well, look at this past Wrestlemania. The biggest feud they had, and the longest feud they had was between the TV commentators. I mean, when you have to dig that deep in the barrel, and believe me, TV commentators, and referees do not sell tickets!"
Intercontinental Title/Feuds: "It was a catalyst to move me from mid-upper card status to main event status. Of course it was...The belt meant that, it meant that much...and you hit the nail on the head. These belts have been so devalued. They mean absolutely nothing. No one knows who...Well they got like 4, 5 different World Champions, they finally brought Tag-Team Champions back now, and, they had European and Hardcore, and they dropped those and, and for sometimes a guy like not so long ago, he was World Champion for one day.
"And these feuds went on for, I was with The Ultimate Warrior for 6 months, 7 months. I was with Randy for almost a year. I was with Jake for 6 or 7 months. So, during that course of time, you have a chance then to, like you said, develop this character, work on it, make it work with your opponent, so that it creates interest for the fans. Listen, if the fans are not interested, theyíre going to stay home. I really think the slow burn will always work, and to me itís like a movie: If you kill The Terminator in the first 10 minutes of the movie, why would you stay for the next 2 hours? Itís one of those things where if Hollywood hasnít forgotten how to do it, they still can do it."
On the lack of superstars: "I think because they donít give the young fellows enough time to develop. To take emí down, and say itís a minor league in Florida, and have emí down there for 2 years, and theyíre self-contained being somewhat brain-washed I guess to do just WWE-style wrestling, and learn how to read a script, and practice reading a script, and memorizing it. Thatís not really how you become a Superstar or thatís not how you learn this business. Itís a hands-on type thing that you have to practice and do, day-after-day, night-after-night, different parts of the country, riding the cars with different guys. Learn different points-of-views, learn different styles. And then you put it all together and after about 5 years, you say, "Gosh, Iíve been doing this all wrong, and then you start to understand how to be a star.
"And thatís the point I was trying to make, that these young fellas...Nothing against them, theyíre obviously good talents, and they could be Superstars, if given the right time and opportunity. Not just to be thrown in the ring, or thrown on the Raw or Smackdown show, and , I would...myself personally; I would hate to have to try to start over the way the business is structured today. Because I donít know that I could do it. I donít know that..If they only gave me 1 shot at it, could I make it work or give me 2 Raw shows, and then cut me or send me back to the minors? Thatís a very difficult situation.
"The independent scene is my bread, and butter, but they are so cut-throat to each other, that itís like, I might be in 1 town 100-miles away, thereís a show the next night, and they fly in a whole new talent. Itís like, 'No, weíre not gonnaí use that guyís talent because we donít like him, and his promotion,' or, 'Heís trying to run in our back yard,' and itís not just in America, itís around the world I see this because I travel everywhere. But if they would get together, and they said, 'Look, letís 3 of us guys, promoters, get together, and run 3 shows straight in a row of Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Friday, Saturday, Sunday,' and use these guys this way, I think it would work.
"What I donít understand is with WWE; with the amount of money they have behind them, and the size of the bank account, why donít they just open up a territory themselves, and say, 'OK. Weíre going to run all of the state of Texas for the next year. Then weíre going to move out to California to do that,..,' I mean I think it would be cost-effective for them. And they could develop some real stars. You could see a star start to develop. Believe me, you cannot, like I said, go out there, spend two years out in a training camp, or a year out in a training camp, and all of a sudden be thrown out there on TV, and say, 'OK, make it or break it!' This it canít be done!"
11-15-2011, 03:01 AM #2