Everybody wants to know ...
Q&A with Michaels, Shark Boy, Edge and more
TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun
Should Shark Boy be grateful for all the free press? How long 'till HBK calls it quits? And who is actually on Sylvain Grenier's side?
Wrestlers get the third degree, without the ability to plead the fifth.
Everybody wants to know....
Shark Boy, ever since you filed the lawsuit against the makers of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, TNA has seemingly given you a bigger push and you've received a ton of publicity. Do you think the situation may actually have been a good thing for your career?
Shark Boy: "Other than the media attention, I don't think it's positively affected my career in any way. With the TNA crowd, I was already getting great reactions before this, so no, I don't think so. I always had the following, and it's what got me signed with WCW, the fact that the fans were so into the character.
"As for TNA, when the movie got press, maybe they wanted to highlight me a little bit. But they featured me as one of their main characters before all this too. In the win/loss category, I don't always shine as much as other wrestlers, but that's the nature of the character.
"What makes things uncertain now is the idea that some people may show up and say I am a rip off and that I stole the name from the movie. That is what is damaging my career and it's definitely affected what I do."
Shawn Michaels, people have been saying your career is near its end for years. You've always risen to occasion and proved them wrong, but how much more have you actually got left in you?
Michaels: "I want to perform at a level that is tolerable to me as a fan. As long as I can do that, I'll keep doing this. The travel is harder and it's more emotional being away from my family, but I still enjoy wrestling and want to keep it up."
Eric Bischoff, what went wrong with Mat Rats? You obviously saw enough potential in the project to get involved.
Bischoff: "Mat Rats was a very short-lived initiative. It was about young athletes who all had a very high-flying, very aggressive, very dynamic style. It's great to be able to do a lot of high-flying gravity defying moves, but at the same time, you need to be able to bring it on other levels. How can you captivate an audience's imagination?
"For the guys who worked Mat Rats, my advice would be to study guys like Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and Triple H and Ric Flair. Look at guys who took a long time to really know how to tell a story in the ring and aren't totally dependant on doing things that defy gravity."
Sylvain Grenier, who are your friends in the locker room?
Grenier: "Because I worked with him all the time, Rob (Conway) is a friend. In terms of long term friendship, it's hard, because anybody will move you out of the way in a second to get a better spot. Friendship is a big word, but I'm sure it's the same thing as you. If you have another journalist trying to get your job, what will happen? We all work for the same job, and it is always about business."
Edge, you were in your late twenties when you wrote and published your memoirs. A little young to be reflecting on your life's work, don't you think?
Edge: "To be perfectly honest, I probably only have a few years left in me, so why not do it now? Initially I just wrote it for eventual kids and grandkids to read. Then it became one of those things. I was doing my column every week on wwe.com and it was pretty entertaining. They asked if I'd like to do a book and I said yeah, but only if I could write it myself.
"I talked to Steve Austin and asked if it was too early to write this, and he said 'Hell no, look what you've already been through.' I've got a story to tell. People think I only appeared in 1998, but they don't know the story leading up to that. You have people like The Rock and Kurt Angle who have been in the business a lot less than me, and done it with a ghostwriter. I've been in the business 13 years, and I did it myself."
You can catch the WWE wrestlers on pay-per-view each month. Next up is Unforgiven on Sep 18.
Shark Boy can be seen on Impact each week at www.tnawrestling.com and in October on Spike TV.
TJ Madigan is a sports writer for the Calgary Sun. His unique Q & A sessions with the big names in wrestling can be read exclusively on SLAM! Wrestling.