Former WWE road agent and trainer Bill DeMott recently spoke with PWMania.com’s T.J. Stephens for an in-depth exclusive interview covering all things pro wrestling.
During the discussion, DeMott opened up about Vince McMahon’s WWE departure and Triple H taking over the new WWE regime. DeMott also spoke about the AEW situation regarding CM Punk and The Elite, the King of the ISPW tournament and more. You can check out the complete interview below:
You’re doing the King of the ISPW tournament. You have been chosen to hand out the crown at the end. And when I look over this card, Danny Morrison, Bull James who we’ve seen in NXT before “Samoan Storm” Afa JR., LSG, Traxx, Michael Mars, Shawn Donovan, and Rick Recon. What led you to this event here this weekend in New Jersey?
“Well, first I have to say that and I know we’ll touch on in a minute with the training part, but it all comes down to me. New Jersey is where I’m born and raised. This is where I cut my teeth. I think for a lot of people who don’t know and those who do know, I trained across the bridge in Brooklyn with Johnny Rodz, but New Jersey’s home. And I’m not only a big fan of ISPW, but Tommy the man who runs the whole show. I’ve known him since he was a kid, and there has to be something said about I’ve been around this business for a long time. I’m 57 years old and I’ve had a few years in the ring and a lot of people use the word passion. And this is what all I want to do, and passion. But Tommy Fierro has a passion for this business and all these cats. And when I say cats, I mean men and women that are getting involved in this business from 1988. And I know you have to Google to find out what 1988 was for all the youngsters in the business. But there’s always been that passion, that drive, and a young Tommy Fierro, a young Crowbar, a young Ace, all these young kids at the time have stayed and kept this business alive in New Jersey. There’s something to be said about loyalty. There’s something to said about passion for this business. And I’m a Jersey guy through and through. And when I get an opportunity to come up and not only see a show, but to be part of it. And then when I was asked if I would crown the champion, I always look at it and maybe this is my one shot back in the ring. And maybe I’ll just crown myself. I mean, naturally, if the robe is big enough, I might just crown myself the winner of the whole thing. But I’m a fan of Bull James. I’m a fan of all these Recon and all these guys. I’m a big fan, and Dave Lagreca is a friend of mine, and I just want to any time I can be around it, that’s my five hour energy, to be around these guys and know what they’ve been doing. ISPW has been doing great stuff, and Tommy just leads the way with his passion and love for the business, and it leads into what I have going on with my daughter’s foundation. So just tied into the weekend working out, and I’m able to be up here, and I get to spend the night with the ISPW family and fans and get to be a little part and get to say hello to a lot of people haven’t seen in quite a while.”
Why don’t we talk a little about your daughter’s foundation?
“Yeah. I have three children. My middle daughter Carrie Ann was taken from us in 2015 by a multiple DUI offender. She was killed by a drunk driver. I stopped everything else I was doing, and as her father and knowing. In what she wanted to do in life, and she was a junior at UCF, and she wanted to help families and people. So we started the foundation in her name and her honor. And now we traveled the country speaking with students and law enforcement.
“We work with organizations, safety events, youth groups, all kinds of things. And we talk about decisions and how they affect other people. And it gives me an opportunity to get out in front of the people and introduce my daughter, share her story and remind everyone who’s listening like every decision we make affects more people than we know.
“It goes back to what I said about loyalty. Tommy and I have always had a great relationship, and Tommy reached out years ago and just said anything he could ever do to help me. And I thought, wow, that’s amazing, because it’s not about wrestling, it’s about relationships, and it’s about those bonds you make in this business and out of this business. So when Tommy said, hey, if you’re going to be up here, would you be part of the event and let’s promote the foundation as well. That’s what it comes down to. For me, man, it sounds cheesy at times when people say there’s a brotherhood and there’s a connection, but there truly is, and people need to know that, that there’s a lot of good people out there doing good things. And it’s just an honor to be cliche when the boys call you to say, how can we help? But I consider Tommy and his crew and his family part of my family, and so I’m going to get to say hello to a lot of people. Be part of ISPW, hopefully introduced foundation to some new ears and eyes and hopefully just do some good things in the community.”
I know that this must be difficult to share but I do want to thank you because I do think that is a worthy message to share.
“It’s my job as a dad right? That’s the way I look at it everyday when I wake up is that it’s my job as a dad, not only for my daughter but I don’t want anyone else’s family members to become a statistic so we go out there and we plug along, we’ve been very blessed to open a chapter here in New Jersey, so we now have chapters in Florida and New Jersey and we do quite a lot of traveling. I spent 17 hours in my truck yesterday driving up to make sure I was up here for the ISPW Tournament and then our event on Saturday, so we’re always on the road, it never quits.
“I have my Cadillac. It’s a 2003 Escalade… and it’s big enough to hold me. The whole truck is wrapped with foundation and my daughter on it, so it’s our billboard, and it sparks up a lot of conversations along the way. So as we travel the country, we stop at stoplights and gas stops and things like that. It lets us introduce my daughter and the foundation to a lot of people, and it helps me meet some new faces.”
You trained over half of this card. What names for people who want to watch this, what names would you say, “you need to look out for this person”? Either he’s on the rise, or I can’t believe they’ve been passed up this long. Who on this list is?
“I think you could take everybody on that card and say one, I can say just the guys that you mentioned. A lot of people here, well, they’ve been doing this five years, 10 years, 20 years. These guys are pros at what they do, and there’s a lot of guys and gals, I think that want to get involved in the business and try and realize is it’s not for them or it’s not what they expected, and they move on. These cats are lifers.
“There is talent in this card that could be on AEW, WWE Impact, Ring of Honor, they should be in Japan, they should be everywhere they can go. And I think this is the beauty of what Tommy’s doing, he’s bringing more light to this, because it doesn’t, in this day and age doesn’t matter how much you’re in the ring, you need that social media presence, you need word of mouth, you need all the things that you used to need back in the day, minus the VHS tapes that you would send everybody. But it’s just getting out in front. And, and these guys are still at the top of their game and to hear that, to hear that they’re there. 26 years, there’s still kids in the business, you know, they’re and the reason I say their kids is because they’re untapped talent.
“There’s so much talent in this card. Like, I’m, my wife is afraid that I’m gonna go there tomorrow night, watch these guys and gals do their thing, and I’m gonna get in the ring and start taking bumps. And that’s how excited I am about it. Because I know the passionate Bull James has like, I haven’t been able to claim him on my taxes, but I believe he’s my he got to be one of my illegitimate kids. I think you know, and I don’t have any illegitimate kids. So everybody don’t, don’t get that started. I’ve been all kinds of other mess. But you know, and then let’s not forget, you got Maven who creeps around all the time. And you got, I mean, they got like LaGrecca involved, but this Recon, this Recon should be elsewhere.”
Rick Recon is the child here, he is only seven years in the business.
“It’s crazy, right. But it you know, for people that pay attention to other than your main companies. He’s a name in the business. And I wish there was more more places, you know, I think a lot of people say, you know, when a territory days was a lot more opportunities, so I’m not sure the opportunities that have been put in front of him. But I know there should be more opportunities given to him. And that’s the beauty of what Tommy’s (Fierro) doing.
“It just constantly making sure that these guys are working and getting out there. And they’re good at what they do, man. I mean, what if you can draw an old fart in like me, because I want to see it up close and personal, I’m sure I’m gonna get to say hi to a lot of people but I’m going for the wrestling man and, and I’m going in my coach’s hat is going to be on I’m going to be watching it. And I’m going to be moving like I do in front of the TV when I watch the program because there’s just so much there’s that word passion and just the love for what they’re doing. And there’s a lot of talent in New Jersey, there always has been. And it goes back to you know, I can’t sing his praises enough, but Tommy Fierro making sure that people who really want to do this are having an opportunity to do it. And, and he’s, he’s still living his dream, you know what I mean? I got lucky in this business, I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity. These and I say kids respectfully, but they were kids when they were 14 for crying out loud. And they want to do something in this business so bad and be a part of it, and they loved it. And they’ll know more about this business than I could ever forget.
“So I look forward to seeing everybody I look forward to just being able to be in the back and be able to just josh and catch up and see how everybody’s doing before the physicality starts. But when that physicality starts, man, I’m always looking to see who the next big thing is and where they are. And I’m pretty sure I’m leaving tomorrow night with notes on my phone and I’m going to be sending them out to the people that I still talk to.”
If you were to show us the inside of your suitcase right now, is there a single and boots in it?
“There are there are pads there are knee pads in there. There are shooter shoes in there. I cannot help it. I can’t change, it’s like that, you know, when you go into plane, I still make sure I have those things with me. And I know I’m 99% sure I’m never putting on my spandex again. But it’s always it’s always at the call.
“So tomorrow night my wife is going to make sure I don’t bring my bag. It’s nowhere in the truck. But I have no problem going in there to pair sneakers and you know, I’m not sure, I’m sure I can take the bump, I’m just not sure if I can get back up from it anymore. So, but it’s always there. And these kinds of shows and, and with this group of talent and this company here, it just gives me the itch and reminds me why I love what I’ve been doing for 30 plus years.”
Obviously, the big shake-up Vince McMahon out, Triple H is in… you know, Triple H very well. What should we expect to see from the WWE here moving forward with Triple H at the helm, but also Shawn Michaels leading the way for NXT?
“I mean, it’s funny, I read something last week, and you know, somebody and I think it was on Twitter, where someone how two guys who were on a tank trying to break into WCW back in the day. Now, all of a sudden, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Road Dogg are all executives and running the you know, running the show. And for those who know. It’s because one, I think talent knows talent. And if you’ve been doing it long enough, you have an idea of what should be done. But you know, Paul, or Hunter, Triple H whatever we want to call him, he had a vision he sat explained that vision to me years ago. And I was all in. And a lot of people, I think knew when the time came, that he was the heir apparent to, you know, then steer the ship.
“I don’t think anybody saw it coming the way it happened. But first of all glad that, that Paul’s healthy and feeling good where he can now, this is his journey, there’s that word passion, like this guy is wrestling. And his best interest is in the business and in the WWE. So I think we’re going to keep seeing the the building of the company, but I don’t think the structure is going to change, I think, you know, Vince laid out a format that if anybody’s been with him long enough, could follow it and improve on it. And I think that’s what Hunter is doing. I think he’s taking the vision that he had, and we were working with in developmental at the time and building the PC and building the NXT brand, and the opportunities that are that were happening, you’re going to see a lot more of that. And then you’re going to see an opportunity for some of the guys and girls that haven’t been featured to now step up. And I think that’s the biggest thing.
“There’s gonna be opportunities now, especially with Shawn, running the Performance Center and part of talent and all that and Brian and everybody else who’s there, Matt Bloom and everyone else there. That’s the biggest thing that is going to happen. There’s been a lot of talk about, well, you, there’s opportunity to grab the brass ring, and you’ve heard a lot of people say that brass ring doesn’t exist. Well, I think Paul found it. He’s put it in front of everybody’s face, and he’s gonna give everyone an opportunity. And it’s just, I think, I hope it goes back to when you had to prove yourself and get things done. And I think the beauty part is you don’t have to prove yourself in one night and be judged by that you’re gonna get an opportunity to not just deal with the numbers or the ratings, but let’s see who you are, what you can do and how you can relate to this new product, but I think I’m excited. I was excited that Paul was the person taking over. I wasn’t excited to hear how it happened.
“That whole thing with Vince, I’ve said it before, none of my business. Vince was always good to me. Vince was good to a lot of people. And it’s a moral issue that’s with Vince to deal with and you know, whatever it is, but wrestling keeps going no matter what, no matter who you are, no matter what falls in front of the tracks, but I’m excited to see what Paul does. I’m really excited to see what Shawn does because Shawn said it before like he you know if you had to bet I think Shawn would be the first one to take the bet he’d never be a corporate guy. But talent knows talent and you surround yourself with good people who help you along the way, and it’s going to be a success.
“So I think there’s a lot of good things coming. I think a lot of people will get over the honeymoon stage of this, and before you know it on social media, somebody be bashing Triple H for a decision or whatever else because wrestling fans have a tremendous voice that they use. But for as far as the business goes, I think we’re on an upswing.”
I would agree and to your point, I’ve been watching wrestling since 1989. And it’s funny to me how fast the fans demand things move now. We need it right now. I want to go back and show them footage of like The Ringmaster and tell them, “We had to do this first before we got to Stone Cold Steve Austin.” Even the Undertaker was “Mean” Mark Callous, you know, you started off in the Dungeon of Doom. Yeah, that last word was apt. Because that was not the best faction of ever. But I mean, all these things take time, you just have to let… eventually, if they are meant to be there, the talent will come out when the personality comes.
“Yeah. And I think the harder thing is keeping the fans at bay, more than the wrestlers or the talent. You know, I think talent understands that. But you know, we’re in an age of social media and instant gratification, and people will get sour very quickly on something they don’t understand or want to understand. They you know, I want my cheesecake before I eat my dinner. That’s the kind of mentality that there is.”
The situation AEW between the EVPs and CM Punk…. you’ve been backstage a long time. This is not the first time this has happened. It’s just the most glowing, you know, brightest example of it lately. How do you see this playing out, with AEW in the following months?
“I’ve always been under the the thought process of the boys shouldn’t be in charge. And if you’re the Booker and the old adages someone says, Well, if I become the booker I do things different. If someone becomes the Booker, and there’s an EVP or something like that, and they’re still an in ring talent, I think there’s a there’s conflict of interest there.
“First of all, that’s just my and I know, I’ll get you know, a little bit of heat and guff for that, but I think that’s that’s a big issue. The other thing is, I never understood the press conference thing, the whole the media scrum anyway, because now you’re just you’re just inviting drama. The the biggest part is AEW was the golden child, and for a lot of it, some of the talent there and people that aren’t out there always bashed the way WWE treated people and talk to people and did things and all of a sudden boom it’s right in front of us. But it’s with AEW with Tony Khan sitting right next to you know Punk not taking control and so then all of a sudden you had the WWE haters now sticking up for WWE saying that would never happen.
“You have the AEW, people asking for heads to be chopped off and people will be fired and I just I just think it opens doors for a lot of opinions to come in. But I don’t think that ever should have happened in the first place. I think it could have been shut down earlier, but also the thing is now you’ve let people in so now this is gonna this is gonna play out I don’t I don’t know if it’s gonna be favorable for the company I think to your point someone has to go. What’s your investment? What’s your you know? I think I just I for me I personally hate it for everybody because it just makes everybody look unprofessional, I mean, and don’t get me wrong like I’m no I’m a social media darling people hate me on social media. But you have you saw that live happen. And the things that were said and done and the backstage brawl and third parties coming in and police and all that you put it out there public so now you’re airing your own dirty laundry, so I don’t think it’s the end of it. I’m sure there’ll be more coming from it.
“I do think they’re doing their best to kind of put it to the side and move forward. Again, good product is a lot of great talent, and I think there’s a lot of other issues that need to be cleared up, and from a backstage perspective that need for that company to run, the way it could run or the way that Tony Khan wants it to run, I think there’s got to be a point when he goes separate yourself from being part of it, and running the company. It’s always that you know, and I don’t know Tony Khan, per se, I’ve met him a couple of times, but I just think when you become too personable, and too involved, and when these things happen, now, you have to make some really tough decisions, and they shouldn’t be business decisions on what’s best for the business and for the company.
“So I think it gave an opportunity for WWE to now look even better with this new direction. And I think it shed a little light on the grass isn’t greener on any side, there’s, there’s always these things in wrestling, it’s, it’s gonna happen and you know, our ROH and it hasn’t happened, you know, out publicly in Impact, but I’m sure if it garnered more views or got more social media talk, we’re gonna see something happen and Impact as well. So I’m not sure if it was something that was planned or talked about but it definitely is blown up in the wrong direction.”
Tonight, September 23, the King of the ISPW tournament at the ISPW Arena in Totowa, New Jersey, doors open at 630 EST, Bell Rings at 730EST. Bill DeMott here will be handing out the crown of the tournament winner. We also have I should mention the main event matches as well. There is a tornado tag match between “The Now” vs. “The Birds of the Sun”. And Justin Corino with Maven will be defending his world title against HC Loc with TJ Epixx. You’ll be joined also by Dave LaGreca. Miss Deville, and “Agent to the Stars” Nicky Benz. Bill, I want to thank you for your time today. And we’ll see you in New Jersey.