April 27, 2000
by Larry "Smokey" Genta
I heard a bit of your interview on WCW Live a couple weeks ago, and I
thought your interview should have cleared up any misconceptions. Are
you aware that there are still a few rumors out there that you might still
want out and that you are still in Bischoff’s doghouse.
I think that the first week that it was official that Eric was back, and
before it was announced that he and Vince were going to work together
there may have been some talk. I had heard a rumor that there was talk
that I was being grouped with Konnan and Shane Douglas as a ‘disgruntled
wrestler’s team. Since I was still unsure about what I wanted, and had
asked for my release under the old regime, I said in a few interviews
that I wasn’t happy and I still wanted out. At the time I thought that
if there was any truth to the rumor that they wanted me to work as a mad
employee, it couldn’t do any harm if I said I was…
Had you met with Bischoff at that point?
No, in fact it was Page who said that I should wait and see what developed. You know one the biggest problems that WCW had in the past six months
was a total lack of morale in the back.
And after sitting down with Eric I knew he was upset about that
and the fact that I had said things publicly that were negative before
talking with him. Page had a valid point and he explained to me why it
was important for me to be positive and to be a part of the effort to
turn it around in the back, and at least be positive enough to see that
we could win again as a team.
That must have been a switch, from being totally overlooked by the last
regime and then hearing Eric Bischoff look at you as one of the factors
in turning the attitude around in a troubled locker room. Before Eric
and Russo came back did you really think WCW could win again?
You know it really did feel good that Eric had said that I was an important
part of the new beginning since I was so down and had wanted out in the
last few months…and no, I knew that it still could get worse. I didn’t
see us winning again.
Even though you weren’t part of the “Filthy Animals” your name had been
added to some lists that had included Konnan, Douglas, and Kidman along
with Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko and Saturn who wound up defecting.
Did you ever meet with either those guys or management as part
of any group that was asking for releases?
CK: It was a timing deal. There had been talk and
a lot of phone calls between me and a few of those guys on that Friday
before Superbrawl in San Francisco. Many of those guys and others had
legitimate concerns and complaints about what the future looked like at
that time. I knew there was to be a meeting at the PPV
out in San Francisco, but I wasn’t on that PPV and not scheduled for that
road trip…so I wasn’t at any of those meetings.
Q: What put you over the edge to ask for your release?
I had thought about it before, and was close to it a couple of times but
you know Smoke, I really haven’t made too many decisions in my recent
wrestling career without talking to Page first.
I don’t what might have happened if I had been out at that PPV,
but I know that Page…really being …“Positively Page” had always made it
easier for me to deal with the stress and frustration of it all.
He has helped so many other guys, in so many ways, way more than
the ones that are mentioned in Positively Page. But all that being said,
the day after Page blew his back out in a house show, I had never seen
him so down. Most of it was due
to the injury but all the stress and tension of the back room and the
ratings just added to everyone’s disappoint. To see Page out of action,
and his spirit gone made me feel like morale had reached new depths.
If Page was down…it had to be bad.
I had spoken to Bill Bush about wanting to leave
and I told him that I really didn’t see WCW winning again with him in
that top spot and with the people they (WCW) had in place at the time.
I told him that for the first time wrestling wasn’t fun for me anymore,
but after I realized it was WCW that wasn’t fun…not wrestling. He offered me more money…but honestly in never was about money…it
was about not feeling like I had a future in WCW. The only thing that Bill Bush ever said to me that made any sense
was when he asked me, “Why would you want to jump to a team that was winning
when you can be part of turning a team into a winner?” It was a great point, and it sounded good…but
Bush wasn’t the guy to do it. Now,
it’s fun and I think we can win.