Stevie Richards On Working With WWE, Today’s Wrestling Scene
Recap of Stevie Richards on In Your Head Wrestling Radio, 05/30/2012
by Vic Schiavone
Hosts Jack E. Jones and One Inch Biceps welcomed Big Stevie Cool, Stevie Richards, to IYH Wrestling Radio. The interview immediately kicked off with a discussion about Stevie’s upcoming participation in two shows for the Extreme Rising promotion on June 29th (Queens, NY) and June 30th (Philadelphia, PA) (for information go to http://www.ExtremeReunion.net). Jack asked Stevie if he was happy that the promotions name was being changed from Extreme Reunion to Extreme Rising, and Stevie said he would prefer to leave extreme out of the name and create a whole new brand that was not seen as just a revival of the old ECW.
Jack agreed that having extreme in the name limited them because they probably didn’t want to be known as the extreme wrestling company. Stevie agreed and said that the wrestling business is all about passing on to the younger generation, and in the old ECW veterans such as Terry Funk and Raven were used to get the new guys over. He said he recognizes that is a part of his job with the new promotion, and he welcomes that opportunity, but he also said he could still perform at a high level because he is fitter and healthier than at any time in his career.
Stevie was asked if it was fun to put on the BWO colors again at Extreme Reunion, and he said while it was a great nostalgic moment he got in the business to be a main-eventer and felt there was so much more he could have done during the show especially considering the problems that came up. Stevie talked about his upcoming Extreme Rising matches with Luke Hawx, and he realized that Luke was talking a lot of stuff on YouTube to create a buzz and looking to make a name for himself. Stevie added, however, that it all comes down to being a good wrestler, and he hopes Luke is concentrating on that as much as he does running his mouth.
Jack made mention that what Luke Hawx is doing is memorable of the kind of stuff that Matt Hardy has done in the past, and asked what kind of reaction he thinks Matt will get at the Extreme Rising shows. Stevie said it could be varied depending on the flow of the match, but added that he hopes that Matt is concentrating on getting his life together and is able to put his past troubles behind him. Stevie told a story about sending a tape to the old OMEGA promotion when Matt was involved with it, which led Jack to ask if Extreme Rising would be like OMEGA in that it would provide young guys with less experience a chance to shine by working with more experienced wrestlers. Stevie said that too much is being made about the concept of younger or older wrestlers, and Jack agreed that the important thing is to be entertaining. Stevie said that at this time in the business, there aren’t a lot of guys who are entertaining.
He said that wrestlers are not being given the freedom to be themselves and to succeed or fail on their own, and that was due to the constraints of doing a TV show that doesn’t a lot of room for improvisation. Stevie said that if you are working for a wrestling company, you’re going to do what they because thats your job and you don’t want to jeopardize that. He said that management doesn’t allow you to be yourself and micromanages you, and that is frustrating because you have less of a chance of getting yourself over.
He talked about working for Paul Heyman and that one of the things he enjoyed was that Paul listened to what his workers suggested and took chances, and that in the major feds today you’re not allowed to do that. Jack made the comment that if Extreme Rising took one thing from the old ECW it should be the ability to build characters and storylines that people could become emotionally attached to. Stevie agreed and said that he doesn’t understand why the WWE doesn’t take the time to do this because TNA is no competition for them.
Stevie then took the time to answer a few questions:
When the WWE did their throat surgery angle with him, was there anything else planned? Stevie said he had no idea and that even though he was talking about his life, the words weren’t his. He said he was basically told he had 45 seconds to get himself over or he wasn’t worth the trouble. Stevie said he felt that he could have been a good face given his positive lifestyle but he felt like he never got the chance.
Did you enjoy the Right to Censor angle? Stevie said that at the time of the angle he was in the worst shape of his life so he didn’t enjoy it as much as he could have. He said that the writer of the angle left the company and the angle ended abruptly after that.
Whose idea was the Dr. Stevie character? Stevie said that was his idea and he patterned the character after the Patrick Bateman character in American Psycho. He said he wanted the character to be a guy who looked and acted normal but in reality was crazier than his patients.
The interview closed with another mention of the Extreme Rising shows on June 29th in Queens, NY and June 30th in Philadelphia, PA.
The interview is available here.