ECW personality Lou D’Angeli (aka Sign Guy Dudley and Lou E. Dangerously) recently took some time to take part in a Q&A exclusively with PWMania.com. D’Angeli spoke on a number of topics from if he is a Paul Heyman guy to his thoughts on John Cena, the Attitude Era, ECW, WWE, TNA and more. Here is part one of PWMania’s exclusive Q&A with Lou D’Angeli:
Are you a Paul Heyman guy?
100%…I am also a Tommy Dreamer guy….a Raven guy….and a Taz guy….with the 4 of them I would have never caught break in the wrestling business.
Who was your favorite wrestler growing up?
I always liked the heels. In WWF it was “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and as I got older, Shawn Michaels. Piper could whip a crowd up into a frenzy by just walking to the ring…he was and is amazing. Shawn could make paint drying look like a million bucks…he had/has it all…incredible talker…insane work ethic…amazing charisma…really one of the, if not the, best there is ever was. In the NWA I was all about Flair, Tully, The Andersons, Eddie Gilbert, The Freebirds…again all the heels. Growing up in Philadelphia I was exposed to virtually every wrestling group there was…and honestly I found myself loving the NWA and their show at the Philadelphia Civic Center more than anything. The nights at the Civic Center, going with my Dad, are some of the best memories I have from youth…
What is your favorite ECW match?
My favorite one to be part of was when the Dudley’s broke Beulah’s neck in New Orleans. The heat in the building that night was insane…I thought we were going to get killed. It set-up about 6 months of matches with some incarnation of Bubba, D-Von, Dick, Dreamer, Jack Victory, Sandman, Spike, and New Jack battling it out. The Summer of “98 in ECW was the best year there was IMO…we killed it and had a blast doing it. The angles we did to keep things fresh was awesome…there was always something happening and we always kept people guessing.
What are your thoughts about John Cena?
John is a great guy. Having worked with him in WWE I know first-hand what he does for that company and the dedication and drive he has to get it done. His contributions to Make-A-Wish are second to none. I can honestly say Cena is the perfect role-model in the business right now.
What are your thoughts on Bully Ray as TNA World Champion?
Bubba is the total package…and he deserves that spot as someone who broke out of the most popular\and decorated tag-team ever to become a singles wrestler. He could have been in a tag forever and the fact that he took the chance to re-package himself is admirable. I often believe Bubba is misunderstood…I worked with him for years and just because he is direct don’t mean he is a bad person.
Who’s your favorite current WWE and TNA wrestler?
In WWE I enjoy watching Punk…again…having worked with him in WWE and well before I know the drive he has and the no-nonsense attitude he brings to the business. I am not familiar enough with TNA honestly…but I always loved watching Mickie James! It’s not a “fun” answer if I say Bubba and D-Von.
Going back and into your old ECW days, is there anybody who surprised you by how big they blew up when they left for a bigger promotion, or on the flip side, somebody who you thought might be a star but never made it in WCW or WWE?
That’s a good question. The core ECW guys that made in WWE didn’t surprise me…The Dudley’s…Taz…RVD…Dreamer…Raven…those are guys I knew had it. Honestly, and I think this sucks, but Sabu never got the credit he deserved. Sabu innovated the business…he deserves more in my opinion. I can’t tell you how much he helped me personally…I wish he was in that list of guys who made enough $ to be set for life…he should have.
Had ECW survived a few months and outlasted WCW would ECW still be in business? Do you think they would have taken advantage of some of WCW stars?
Tough question. Given we know what we know about WWE’s involvement with ECW the only way it would have survived is if Vince wanted ECW to be that competition…Honestly….I think ECW had some good years left….we would have seen an influx of new talent but at the same time…at some point…the style catches-up to everyone and therefore while ECW may have clung to life there was no way it could have been the same product….if Heyman was the booker the storylines would be killer so that could have carried it…who knows…it’s a hard answer to dissect.
When you think back, how much of WWE’s Attitude Era is owed to what you guys were already doing in ECW?
A lot of it…and due to the popularity of shoot interviews, etc…it’s a fact and not a theory you know? People saw what we were doing and brought it to national TV before we could. The “Attitude Era” for WWE was insanely popular obviously…and given they still continue to bring some of the main-event guys from that time back into the fold now…they must feel the same way.
Do you feel like it was time for the “Hardcore Era” to end as it was supposedly about to? If so what direction would the company have gone in, in your opinion?
Yes, like I said earlier there comes a time when you need to evolve past what you are doing to try to stay relevant…I mean…I had my knee replaced last April from injuries in wrestling and I was a manager! So, the guys who worked every night had it a lot harder than me…there is no way we could have kept it up…again…if Heyman or Dreamer were the bookers I feel the company would have stayed relevant through storylines and character development and a touch of hardcore. It’s like Metallica…they have to play the new stuff to keep moving and they have to play the old stuff to keep their fans from the beginning…it’s all about a balance.
Part two of PWMania’s exclusive Q&A with Lou D’Angeli where he gives his thoughts on WWE PG, if Hardcore Wrestling has a place in the world today, his regrets, comparing ECW to WWE and more is available below. You can follow D’Angeli on Twitter @LDANGELI and Facebook: Lou E. Dangerously.