Mixed martial artist Ken Shamrock appeared as a guest on Busted Open Radio, hosted by Doug Mortman and Dave LaGreca (Busted Open Radio airs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sirius 94 and XM 208), where he discussed a number of WWE-related topics, including Triple H’s influence on the product. Highlights from the interview are as follows:
Having every show being perfect: “If there was a WCW and if there was someone watching the ratings like when we were in it, there was not one time when you went on the show that the ratings were not sky high and that it wasn’t action packed. The reason why you don’t have shows that are action packed is because you have a changing in the guards now. Vince McMahon was a genius, he was an absolute genius. Then you got a guy that has a huge ego in Triple H who needs to have the spotlight on him and that’s why the shows aren’t going well there because he doesn’t see past himself. You have to be able to bring in all the other talents.
“How many people do they have on the roster? How do you not have every show action packed? How do you have the shows leading up to a big show with all the people you have at your disposal and not be able to put on a good show? If there was a competition out there with another organization, I promise you wouldn’t have these weak ass shows because that means you lost the ratings that week! Knowing Vince McMahon, he hates to lose, he hates to have anyone go over on him and he will be working day and night to make sure that every single one of those shows were a knockout and a home run because you do not have any room for a mistake.
“But since there is no competition and because there is no body pushing them, Vince is kind of laying back and allowing someone who has too big of an ego to run the show because he was actually a talent on the show and he was so hungry to be famous that he would do anything to do that which he has and now he’s in position to control the show and now that’s all you see is him and that’s the problem. You can’t let someone who has that big of an ego run the show.”
Having the current storyline getting Triple H over: “I promise you that Triple H wants to be Vince McMahon, he wants that charisma, he wants that control, and he wants that respect but the only way you going to get the respect by putting yourself a side and pushing other people. Now the only way anyone is going to get pushed is if Triple H has something to do with them, period. That right there is a problem. You can’t start an organization when you’re actually going to be running it and putting yourself in the limelight. Vince McMahon did not do that. Vince McMahon put over (Hulk)Hogan, McMahon put over Andre the Giant, and he was nowhere to be seen. Right now, you got a guy that’s pretty questionable on why he is there and then he makes it even more of a problem by putting himself in the limelight and everybody is going: “See, I told you so.'”
Triple H’s influence in the product and going back to the basis of the Attitude Era: “How long did it take him to do that? He had to listen to other people. He didn’t come up with this great idea on his own. It’s the fans screaming about it. It was when I came up and said, these guys are really soft and it’s not them personally. It’s the storyline. I’m sure these guys can do whatever you ask them to do but it’s the storylines and the direction that the company is going and if you get enough people screaming about it and then all of a sudden he goes: ‘Oh yeah, let me follow it.’
“That’s not the way Vince McMahon would do it. Vince McMahon would have already done it and he would not have to listen to what everybody is telling him to do, he would have already know what to do because he has his ear to the ground and he’s listening and watching to what everything is going on around him in the world, what people are looking at, what people are following, what peoples trends are and he would move the company in that direction before the fans start chanting: ‘Hey! We need more aggressiveness, we need guys to step up, we need the guys to start fighting, we need blood, etc.’ He’s behind the eight ball. How hard is it when you’re sitting at that position and you get enough people to scream and yell at you when you need to start making those changes. That’s not going to work. We need someone that’s going to watch everything that’s going on in the world and move that company in that direction knowing that this is what the people are looking for and that’s not what’s happening. It’s like you have to be instructed by what the fans are screaming for and you need to pay attention before you give the fans what they want before they know they want it.”
Relationship with Vince McMahon: “Obviously, I don’t know how he feels about me. I know we had our arguments but he has had his arguments with everybody that was with the WWF that was on the big stage with him. I don’t hold any personal grudges with him. I think Vince also puts up and he doesn’t just run his mouth. He is a genuinely tough guy and if he had to, he would stand his ground. I respect Vince McMahon for everything that he is but on the other hand with Triple H, it’s the opposite. I think he runs his mouth all the time and not necessarily in the public’s eye because they don’t get to see that part of it but he does behind the scenes and he can’t back it up.
“He followed the game plan and he got where he needed to be. He is where he’s at and there is no doubt that I’m not taking anything away from Triple H, he got to where he is because he’s a great talent. He got to the WWE because he is good at what he does, no question. Not taking anything away from this guy but to be in the position that he is in right now and being able to run something as big as the WWE, I don’t think he is ready for that yet. It’s too soon to be throwing yourself in there like your Vince McMahon.”
Today’s MMA guys in pro wrestling: “It’s fortunate for me because when I got there (WWE), I was one of their top guys. I was blessed in that sense where I can understand the difference whereas a lot of these guys that are just coming in, the first couple years are going to be an education. You got to understand that these pro wrestlers when they come in, you really need to check your attitude at the door. You have to bring it in because that’s who you are but you got to keep it out of the locker room and out of your work. It’s hard to do because you have to bring that attitude and person that you are to the people that you know as. In the ring and those guys across from you got to know that you are not going to kill them. It’s a hard adjustment and it’s not an easy one to do and in time, you’re going to see a little bit more of a cross over, I think people will get more of an understanding of how that business works and its ok to have an attitude but you have to make sure when you’re in the locker room, everybody knows who you are and what your there for.”
Go back to the WWE?: “In a heartbeat. The only problem with that is I don’t think Triple H wants me there but it is what it is. It’s sad because you got a big organization like that the fans would love to see me go back, love to have me in there and yet, I’m not allowed to go back there but not necessarily go back there but nobody talking to me about going back to the organization. It’s says a whole lot about what they feel about the fans and what the fans want and they are not looking at that. That’s when I tell you about ‘Having your ear to the ground. Listen to what the fans wants before they know they want it.’
“That’s what’s missing right now is that they have the opportunity to bring guys in, not just myself, but to bring guys in that give them that edge like Vince did. He brought me in and the single thought was to change pro wrestling and bring some realness to it and he got me to referee the I Quit Match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13 which was tremendous. Those guys beat the crap out of each other. That whole scenario and being the referee and the match they put together that gave the Vince the opportunity and Vince had the vision. It’s not like Vince flipped the card over and said: ‘Ok, this is what we are going to go with.’ Vince had this in his mind. Vince was a genius to turn things around and he did that and they were getting killed in the ratings. All of their big stars went to WCW and all of the sudden all of these ratings wars were going on and Vince said: ‘This MMA is really taking off, I wonder if we can get someone in here that can give us that realness’ and they went out and got me and brought me in and really took a chance and who know if I could have worked or not.”