Do you think today’s style of wrestling is responsible for so many neck injuries or do you think its just the strength of the wrestlers today? I know you guys are supposed to look after each other , it seems to happen often—–Neck injuries have always been an issue. Don’t forget wrestlers like Paul Orndorf or Dean Malenko or Arn Anderson. Taking bumps is so brutal on the body. Today’s reckless style does add to it. My advice to young wrestlers: “limit your bumps. You only have so many. Then your career is over”. Neck injuries are part of the sport unfortunately. I’ve been very blessed to bounce back from them. Most can not come back to what they were prior to the injury.
What is your all time favorite movie and why? I love inspirational movies and Christian movies. My fave has to be Rocky. Doesn’t get any more inspirational than that. And my theme music at the Olympic Games was the Rocky theme song. It felt great coming out to that music knowing I was the underdog.
Going to miss you wrestling, in time are you going to wrestle again? My time is coming to an end, but not yet. My last matches with TNA are in January. I will miss wrestling there. So many great talents. I will take a little break and decide how I want to officially retire. Most likely in 2017.
Is it true that the Undertaker choked you out when you were messing with Vince? Yes. And no. Taker choked me but not to the point of making me tap or pass out. It was more of a warning to “take care of the boss or I’m gonna choke you out”. Vince and I were going at it pretty hard and Taker wanted to make sure Vince was ok. Vince is crazy. He will fight Mike Tyson in a boxing match just to know what it feels like to get knocked out. Vince wanted to “try” the olympic gold medalist that night. Lol.
Describe the experience of working with the Hulkster. You hear stories of guys who politic in the biz and Hogan had that rep, but I didn’t see it. We wrestled. We had an incredible match. Hogan tapped out. We hugged and moved on. But make no mistake. I knew who I was in the ring with. The Hulkster!!!! He’s the biggest name in pro wrestling history. It was an honor to work with him.
When you had your King of the Ring match with Shane McMahon did you actually break your tailbone? Yes. I had a concussion also. Don’t know when I got it. I wrestled 3 times that night. Each match got more exciting. Shane is a rare talent that wrestles occasionally but always seems to steal the show. We did that night as well.
How easy was it setting up your angle slam against bigger guys like Show or Henry compared to the smaller guys and did it put a strain on your neck? Angle slamming Show or Henry was quite a chore. But those guys are phenomenal athletes for their size. They jumped for me a bit and took amazing bumps. Loved working with both of them.
Whats your thoughts on the current scene for Olympic wrestling? How you would fit into today’s crop of Olympic wrestlers? Thanks. Things are different today, but they also remain the same. Take Dan Gable for instance. You don’t think he would still dominate today? Of course he would. He would adapt and conquer. I am no different. Wrestling will always be about athleticism, conditioning and technique. The rules change but in the end it remains the same.
What is your favorite Neil Diamond song? You kidding? Coming to America. That’s my song. Everybody Loves Neil Diamond. Some won’t admit it. Lol.
What is your best memory wrestling at Clarion? Tippin gym. The duel meets Clarion wrestling had there. 4000 people in that small gym. Those were the days!
What’s your favorite children’s movie to watch with your kids? Let’s see…. Wreck it Ralph. Toy Story 1,2,3. Snow White. Tangled. Cinderella. Maleficent. But the one that rises above the others is…. Frozen. I love it more than they do!