INTERVIEW WITH GARY MICHAEL CAPETTA

Posted February 14th, 2017 by Bill Apter

On the night of February 11, 2017 – I took the time to interview a well-known ring announcer from the 80s and 90s. He is known as the World’s Most Dangerous Announcer – none other than, Gary Michael Cappetta. He had a few things to say regarding a dream match, his experience in the Bahamas and his upcoming events. He even surprised me with a pop quiz. Below is the transcript version of the interview.

Lisa The Poet: Hi! I’m Lisa the Poet from 1Wrestling.com – here with Gary Michael Cappetta. He is known as “The World’s Most Dangerous Announcer” from WWF, WCW. And I’m here with him for an interview, and he has an upcoming event next Sunday in Philadelphia, Hi Gary! How are you?

Gary Cappetta: I’m doing great! Philadelphia – the 19th. It’s the first of my tour. I’ll be on the road for two months, and I’ll be hitting a lot of different cities. But yeah, you’re right. Philadelphia is the first stop of the tour.

Lisa The Poet: So the name of this event is called Beyond Bodyslams.

Gary Cappetta: Right.

Lisa The Poet: Tell me more about this event.

Gary Cappetta: Well…specifically, I’m going to be talking about a lot of the stories that I wrote about in Bodyslam. And then, go beyond that and talk about things that I couldn’t put in the book, that I didn’t have room to put in the book. I’m going to be telling stories. I’m going to be showing giant screen videos of backstage and on the road happenings while I was in the different organizations. There’s music. There’s stage props. There’s hits. You know what – it’s like a wrestling match because I know the points that I want to hit but it’s not fully scripted. So I need to get from point A to point B, and how I do that, I’ll find out as I do it. Sometimes I’ll leave the audience interactive so I’ll be talking to the fans. It’s going to be kind of zany because people don’t know a whole lot about me personally. They know me as a ring announcer. And you don’t have an opportunity to show your personality. So they don’t know – I think a lot of people just look at me as being Mr. Serious, and there’s more to me than that. So this a show that I had developed years ago. But now I’ve updated it, and I’m going to bringing it to 8 cities – Philadelphia, Scranton, Worcester, Massachusetts, Indianapolis, Chicago, Greensboro, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and I wind up in Orlando at Wrestlecon for Wrestlemania weekend. So I’m looking forward to it.

Lisa The Poet: Oh okay. So is this a one-man show or are there other participants in the show?

Gary Cappetta: There are no partici- other participants planned.

Lisa The Poet: Okay.

Gary Cappetta: But there could be surprises. Also, in all of the cities where I’m going, I’ve invited local wrestling organizations to come on out and to be in a lobby, to interact with the fans, to sign autographs. For instance, in Philadelphia, the Monster Factory is going to be there. You will be able to learn about their training camp which happens to be that next weekend. Backbreaker Training Facility in Scranton – will be in Scranton with me. Grandslam Wrestling is also there in Scranton. Chaotic Wrestling up in Massachusetts will be in Worcester with me. NWA Supreme will be in Indianapolis…Chicago. AML in Greensboro. And IWC, International Wrestling Cartel, in Pittsburgh. So in each in the cities, the fans in the area can come on out, and they can interact with their local wrestling stars and enjoy the show. That’s all. There’s a bit of unpredictability in it all, and that’s what makes it exciting.

Lisa The Poet: Okay. Now, I’m just curious. How did you get the name-

Gary Cappetta: Uh-oh…

Lisa The Poet: (laughs) How did you -

Gary Cappetta: Uh-oh…

Lisa The Poet: – get the name “The World’s Most Dangerous Announcer?”

Gary Cappetta: You know what, that’s so weird. That actually came from Jim Cornette -

Lisa The Poet: Okay.

Gary Cappetta: – when he was doing the commentating. And I think the joke of it is I’m anything but. I’m just the opposite of, you know, being dangerous. But the phrase came from wrestling in the Midwest. It was Dick the Bruiser who was the World’s Most Dangerous Wrestler.

Lisa The Poet: Okay

Gary Cappetta: And David Letterman was a big wrestling fan in Indiana, and when he came on the air, he named his band The World’s Most Dangerous Band. So it had this lineage.

Lisa The Poet: Yeah.

Cary Cappetta: And I just think that Jim Cornett thought it was kind of cute, it was kind of funny because I’m so – I appear to be so serious and, you know, with dressed up in tuxedo all the time when we were on the air – that to call me dangerous in the middle of all the craziness of wrestling. It’s kind of like – he just thought it was funny. And it stuck. I don’t know why it stuck – but it just stuck.

Lisa The Poet: (laughs) Okay. Now, you mentioned about in the craziness of wrestling. Now what is the most craziest moment you experienced in your career?

Gary Cappetta: Oh boy. I’m going to equate crazy with dangerous. In the Bahamas, at the Nassau Stadium, it was so dangerous in that area and with those fans that the entire ring, including the entrance way, was covered with fishnet. So that when, not if, but when people threw things, we didn’t get hurt.

Lisa The Poet: Right, right.

Gary Cappetta: I think that was probably the most dangerous place. I never felt…even though when you’re in the middle of 20,000 people…it could – you know, you could get hurt. Anything can happen. And really, what’s most dangerous isn’t if somebody is going to throw something large at you…but if they throw like a quarter or like a coin from up above – because I can’t see that coming at me. And if that hit me in the eye, you know, obviously, there’ll be damage.

Lisa The Poet: Right.

Gary Cappetta: And people threw like – and I’m not recommending anyone to do this at all. But if anyone threw…I can see like I have – like a peripheral vision, and very often, I would get something thrown at me, and I would just like snatch it out of the air before it got to me. But it’s something that small that you can’t see that’s really, really dangerous because that coin has a velocity because it’s so light, and it’s made out of metal, so on impact, you know, it could do damage.

Lisa The Poet: Right

Gary Cappetta: But anyway, to answer your question, I would say the Bahamas at the Nassau Stadium was the only, really only time I felt danger.

Lisa The Poet: I gotcha. Okay, now let’s talk about something a little more positive.

Gary Cappetta: (laughs) Because I’m Mr. Positive.

Lisa The Poet: What would be…what would be like the most fun moment that you experienced in your career?

Gary Cappetta: You know what…

Lisa The Poet: That you would do it again and again?

Cary Cappetta: You know we’re talking forty years. (laughs) So to get the most, you know, the best, the worst, the least, it’s really difficult to come up with that. When I – the eleven years that I was with the WWF, now WWE, that was exciting because it was the first – my first time on TV. It was my first time in any – like being a public person.

Lisa The Poet: Right.

Gary Cappetta: WCW was exciting because it was my first opportunity to travel internationally. And when we did the European tours in England, in Ireland, in Germany, that was exciting, you know, because we were on tour buses, and it was like “the life”, you know, the rock star kind of life – so that was, that was really neat.

Lisa The Poet: Right.

Gary Cappetta: When I worked with Ring Of Honor, that was exciting for a whole different reason because I had an opportunity to do backstage interviews and help guys with interviews who were young, super talented in the ring. And now ten years later, to see where some of these guys have gone. And I’m talking CM Punk when I was in Ring Of Honor, doing the backstage interviews…Colt Cabana, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan. So this is just – that was just ten years ago…ten, eleven years ago. That was exciting because anytime I have an opportunity to give back and support local wrestling, I am a firm, firm believer in that.

Lisa The Poet: I see that one of your upcoming events is going to happen in Orlando, the home of Wrestlemania 33. So what do you – I mean I know it’s probably too early to tell. What do you expect will happen at Wrestlemania 33?

Gary Cappetta: Oh I’m not really up on – you mean with the WWE?

Lisa The Poet: Yes.

Gary Cappetta: I’m not up on – I watch the product. Like I dip into it for 20 minutes for Raw or you know so I do, for instance, I’ve said it over and over again. I’m very impressed with the women that are wrestling – the Charlotte, Sasha. I just think that they are so, so talented. And there are so many talented wrestlers on, you know, on the roster. But I don’t follow like the storylines so I couldn’t tell you about any predictions of any of their upcoming events.

Lisa The Poet: Okay.

Gary Cappetta: I’m sorry.

Lisa The Poet: No, really, it’s alright. Well, could you answer me this then? Is there a dream match you would like to see – or if you had the opportunity to ring announce a match, a dream match, what would it be?

Gary Cappetta: Wow, I’ve never been asked that question before. You know, I think I have been so fortunate to have, for instance, highlights of great matches that I brought to the ring, just taking them by organizations, like decades. You just think about it – Philadelphia Spectrum, three months in a row…19,500 people, sold out – to see Bruno Samartino return for his title and he wrestles Superstar Billy Graham. That was a happening in Philly. That wasn’t just a happening in wrestling. That was a happening in the city. Then, you fast-forward to WCW. Another three match series. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. You know,like – how could you get better than this? I think I lived my dream, to tell you the truth. Yeah, I just been fortunate.

Lisa The Poet: Okay.

Gary Cappetta: Good question. No one ever asked me that question. And that’s saying something because I’ve done a lot of these.

Lisa The Poet: Oh yeah. (laughs) So are there any upcoming events other than your Beyond Bodyslams tour that you look forward to?

Gary Cappetta: Yes, when I’m in the mid-west, I’m in Indianapolis on March 4th and Chicago on March 5th. And I’m going to go in a couple days early because on Friday, March 3rd, I’m going to go to Hamilton, Ohio, and I’m going to donate my services to announce a Main Event for a Christian Wrestling organization.

Lisa The Poet: Okay.

Gary Cappetta: And Christian Wrestling Association International, I think that’s what it was. CWAI. So I’m really looking forward to – Cody Hawk is the trainer there.

Lisa The Poet: Yes.

Gary Cappetta: And of course, Cody Hawk trained? (Pause) Come on, that’s my question for you. Who did he train?

Lisa The Poet: Oh well, that’s an easy answer. Dean Ambrose! (laughs)

Gary Cappetta: Woah! There you go! So I’m really looking forward to it. It’s the home of Dean Ambrose and where he was trained, and I’m really thrilled to be able to go to Hamilton on March 3rd. You know, I’ll be there to meet the fans. And the plan is, I don’t do a whole lot of ring announcing anymore – but the plan is for me to ring announce the main event that night. So that’s pretty cool.

Lisa The Poet: Alright. A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of visiting his training camp. And I just, you know, love how he trained his students. He worked very well with them. And I haven’t had the opportunity to watch a wrestling event over there – but I did, you know, check out his camp and – a great place to check out. And I have a lot of love and respect for Cody for what he does for his students.

Gary Cappetta: Yeah. What’s nice, from my understanding, is that there are other Christian groups in the area that this wrestling organization supports them. They support the wrestling organization. And also, there are wrestling groups, independent wrestling groups have worked together at times in the area. And the promoter, the owner of the group is really well-respected. You can talk to promoters in other parts of Ohio and Indiana, and they only have the best to say about that promoter and that group. So there’s magic happening down there – so I want to go check it out.

Lisa The Poet: Okay. Is there anything you want to bring up? Any upcoming events other than that? You know, anything you want to plug?

Gary Cappetta: Yeah, You know, other than my Bodyslam shows. That’s my focused. I will be at Wrestlecon on Wrestlemania weekend. I’ll have a booth. I will be doing, probably a part of the show or talking about the show with a big screen because it’s not going to be a convention that has signing. It’s going to be a real convention – where they may have wrestling at a certain time in the building.They’ll have a stage set up for people like myself or a book presenter. So they asked me if I would do 20 to 30 minutes. But I will be there March 31st and April 1st in Orlando at Wrestlecon. And that’s a really cool event because one minute you’re talking to someone from Germany. And then, another person from Israel is sharing their memories of seeing you on TV from when they were a kid, and then someone from Topeka, Kansas, and then, it blows your mind. I did their first Wrestlecon four years ago, and I was just amazed at the distance people travel to come to that weekend. So I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of new people.

Lisa The Poet: Oh, that’s great. Gary, I want to thank you so much for joining me in this interview. Folks in Philadelphia, check out Gary’s show, February the 19th – that’s Beyond Bodyslams. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an awesome show.

Gary Cappetta: Thank you.

Lisa The Poet: Thank you so much for doing this interview with me. I greatly appreciate it.

Below are upcoming events that Gary Michael Cappetta will appear.

Sunday, February 19th, 2017 – Beyond Bodyslams! @ the CSz Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA
Friday, February 24th, 2017 – Beyond Bodyslams! @ Providence Playhouse in Scranton, PA
Saturday, February 25th, 2017 – Beyond Bodyslams! @ Clark University in Worcester, MA.
For more events, go to Facebook.com/gmc4real

Gary Cappetta will also be at the CWAI’s Warehouse Wars event on March 3rd in Hamilton, Ohio. For information, go to Facebook.com/CWAInternational.

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