I look back, and I wish I’d appreciated the time I was with TNA a little more because I was frustrated when I was there with some things. I wrote a blog about it about a year ago, partially because I wanted to set the standard that this is how I felt about the company. I should’ve appreciated it for what it was, instead of trying to make it what I thought it should be, and I had the freedom to just have a really good time out there. There were some times when I would judge the success of my appearance by whether or not I could get Jeremy Borash to laugh. There were times when I would look over, and JB would have tears streaming down his face.
On how he improved his promos:
When I really started making gains as a promo guy was when I stopped worrying about looking foolish. It sounds odd to say, but it was really during that time when I was with Herb Abrams’ UWF before ECW where I was like, ‘OK, I’m no longer going to feel funny.’ It wasn’t a conscious thing, but I realized, ‘OK, I no longer feel funny. There’s a director here and a camera guy and a sound guy; I’m just going for it.’ I started making immediate strides … the trick in wrestling was to make the promo as good in the ring as it is at 3 a.m. as I’m going down the highway. I’m specifically thinking when I came back in 2004 and was doing those Randy Orton promos. It was like, ‘If I could just make this as good in that ring as it is in my head in this car, it’s going to be [great].’
On John Cena:
I realized he was going to make it, I mean really truly make it, the moment that he threw his shirt out at the Hammerstein. When that shirt came back to him and he laughed and played it off, [I knew he was going to make it] … Even the guys who’ve left there, you don’t really hear anybody bad mouth John. He’s almost like the exception.
On what his role will be at Raw’s 1000th episode:
I don’t know. I’m at the show, I know I’ve got the plane ticket, but that doesn’t mean when they put the show together … You know, I’m sure they’ll find a way that I’ll be on it, whether it’s in the background [or something else]. Honestly, I’m not as tough to please as I used to be. I’ve just been really flattered that I think I’ve appeared in three of those ‘Raw’s Greatest Moments.’ I usually watch the show with the kids because I could get a feel for what was working based on what my kids were talking about, whose action figure they wanted, who they wanted to meet, and inevitably that would be the guy who would end up getting over six months later.
On his relationship with WWE:
Even when I was estranged from WWE, I realized I could either be bitter and miss out on these four hours a week that my kids loved to watch, or I could join in and watch the show. Not only could I appreciate how good it was and see how well things were done there, but I could really enjoy the show, especially when they would throw my name around. One time it was in a clip about two years ago, and then of course that moment when they brought up my book was when I went from if a question came up about a Hall of Fame slot down the road I’d go, ‘I don’t know. It’s a big deal to my kids, I guess I’d do it,’ and then I was like, ‘Yeah, I’d do it. If they asked me I’d do it, no questions asked. I don’t care if I went on first, second, third, or fourth.’
On if CM Punk can lead the company:
Yeah, I think he can. I think in a way, he has. That was a year ago he did that stunning [promo], and there was a part of me that said, ‘Hey, they may have dropped the ball.’ I wish he’d sat out about five or six months, and I wish he’d done ROH shows as WWE champion, but the guy is money and he’s different.
I was on WBAB in Long Island and there was a guy who had just tuned in and he said, ‘What’s with this CM Punk? I don’t get it.’ But the connection is more legitimate because he’s not a guy who strikes you right away. You see the standard bearers of the company over the years and you go, ‘OK, that guy’s a wrestler, I completely get it.’ You have to absorb Punk a little bit and get it, and I think … was it Kimmel he did? It was Kimmel, but he also did Jimmy Fallon and he was really good on Fallon and if he gets that reputation as a guy who does well on these shows, he can become that mainstream guy.
On Heath Slater and legends returning to Raw:
I have to tell you, a few weeks ago I got this distinct feeling: I’m like, ‘My goodness, Heath Slater is actually getting over with this legend thing.’ And as bad as some people thought the thing with Cyndi Lauper was, I thought it was priceless. Cyndi was walking away from the hard camera, Layla had to grab her by the hand, and you had the real emotion when Cyndi got choked up talking about Captain Lou. Roddy’s been money every time he’s been back the last few years, and Heath Slater got busted open by Cyndi Lauper. In the PG Era, Heath Slater was busted wide!
On if WWE can move away from the PG Era and the Lesnar-Cena match at Extreme Rules:
You know, I think they can occasionally. I remarked about that match Cena and Brock had, and we watch a lot of the pay-per-views and I’ve never seen an atmosphere like that. Hughie was really fascinated with Brock Lesnar and he goes, ‘Dad, would you be able to beat Brock Lesnar?’ I said, ‘Brock Lesnar would kill me,’ and he got really disappointed and he went, ‘But what if there was barbed wire?’ I said, ‘He’d still kill me.’
I wish it had been stopped five minutes in and that wound was so bad, the side of the scalp; it was nasty. I was thinking, ‘Man, they’re going to stop this thing.’ It reminded me of watching The Deer Hunter in the 70s when I had to listen to my relatives talk about how much they didn’t like that movie for five days, but they were talking about the movie for five days. And that was a match that was very uncomfortable to watch as a fan, but I watched. [My son] Dewey’s in the house and he’s going, ‘This isn’t f—–g wrestling. What is he f—–g doing?’ and I’ve never seen a crowd like that.