As promised, Drew and I spent the better part of a perfectly good weekend texting back and forth, all while I managed to do the dishes and wash bottles multiple times, attend my brothers graduation, play with my daughter, watch a movie with my wife, prepare and teach a lesson in church, hang out with family, eat, run, shower, etc. Text messaging may be the best invention since Gutenberg's printing press. Anyway, here it is...
POp! (11:09am): Welcome! Thanks for taking the time to be my 1st "Celebrity" text interview. Take as much time as you need to answer; you're a busy man so no rush. That's the beauty of text messaging.
Drew (11:14am): Great to be here.
POp! (11:15am): You are six months older than I am. Why did you have chest hair and 6 pack abs by the time you were 12, yet I didn't hit puberty until 10 years later?
Drew (11:17am): To answer your fist question I would have to say it was your steady diet of penny candies from Scott's Market that delayed your growth spurt. My chest hairs are, of course, due to the Italian genes in me and the six pack just showed up one day when I woke up... scared the hell outta me at first.
POp! (11:22am): If Scott wouldn't have had one foot in the grave and the other foot on a banana peel already way back then I'd be suing his polyester pants off right now.
POp! (11:22am): By the time we were 7 or 8 years old we were already die hard wrasslin fans. If you were born in, say, 1992 and were an 8 year old today, do you think you would be a wrestling fan?
Drew (12:07pm): The only way I could be born in 1992 and be eight now was if i had the ship from Flight of the Navigator, but if I was a kid now.. I want to say yes. Probably not as die hard though. I think we were growing up at the same time as wrestling. When we were little the big names were all guys that were larger than life. It was like a comic book playing out in front of us. We had super heroes like Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior fighting for good. That's when wrestling came more into the spotlight, during our generation. So as we got older wrestling had to, as well, to keep the fan base it had gotten in the 80's.
Enter the "attitude era." The time of super heroes was over, now we were punk kids looking to rebel and throw the middle finger at any and every authority that was around us. This gave rise to the great stars of the 90's: Stone Cold, DX, and the Rock to name a few. Good & bad was no longer black & white. I think wrestling these days appeals to an older audience and leaves little room for children like it did in the 80's. We probably would still be die hard fans, just not until our teens.
POp!(12:14): Ah, I should try to bankrupt a casino because I am a "ra-tard." Thanks for reading between the lines and making sense of my math. Obviously I meant 2002.
POp! (12:16pm): That kind of leads me into my next question. I know Hulk Vs. Warrior is way up there on my list. What's on your list of favorite wrestling moment or moments of all time?
Drew (12:27pm): Warrior vs. Hogan is up there. First time you put the two biggest "faces" in the ring together, split the fans in two... genius! Hogan slamming Andre the Giant was epic, Hogan becoming a "heel" and the whole nWo story line... Well the first few months of it. Macho Man and Elizabeth getting back together was awesome. When Yokozuna killed Jake the Snake's snake. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon first ladder match. Just to name a few.
POp! (12:34pm): Was it Yokozuna's fat ace or Earthquake that killed Damien? I think it was Earthquake, no?
Drew (12:36pm): You are right it was Earthquake. I even pictured it.. no idea why I said Yokozuna.
POp!(12:38pm): So to piggyback on your comment about the "attitude era," who would you give the most credit for starting that era of wrestling? Possibly Stone Cold Steve Austin and everyone else including The Rock just hopped on the bandwagon?
Drew (12:41pm): I would give the credit to Stone Cold, DX (Degeneration X), and The Rock. Stone Cold was meant to be the ultimate heel and people just latched onto him. The Rock tried the baby face routine and it didn't get him far so he became a heel by joining up with Vince McMahon and becoming the Corporate Champ. I would honestly give DX most of the credit because they were already bringing their crude and smart ass routine in when the others were starting to get big.
POp! (12:44pm): I never thought of it as the fans deserving the credit and not a certain wrestler. So the fans just latched on to the idea and it was a generational thing, not so much a well marketed idea by a wrestler or the wrestling brass?
Drew (12:45pm): Oh no, it was well marketed alright. They just realized that teenagers and college students had money to spend and they grew with their fans.
POp! (12:46pm): Okay, your most overrated and most underrated wrestlers?
Drew (12:52pm): Overrated I would have to say Sgt. Slaughter. I will never forget his foot stomp off the second rope into a front turn.. I still laugh about it. Underrated would go to Mr. Perfect Curt Henning. Bret Hart was probably the only wrestler in history that could match Curt henning in the ring for technical ability. He made such a great heel. You just loved to hate the guy. He should have had a lot more spotlight in my opinion.
POp! (1:04pm): I totally forgot about the Sgt. Slaughter boot stomp turn. Freaking classic. I have to agree with Mr. Perfect Curt Henning as top on the underrated list. I was too young to understand how hilarious he and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan were together. Add his technical ability, along with the fact that I am almost positive he was the first to wear the overall/shorts style tights that Rob Van Dam and other guys are wearing now.
POp! (1:05pm): Where does Ravishing Rick Rude fit on your underrated list?
Drew (1:07pm): That was actually the other person I thought of. Toss up between the two.
POp! (1:15pm): Speaking of Bobby "The Brain"... Taking everything into consideration, who is on your list of best managers of all time? Don't look past Mr. Fuji and his cane.
Drew (1:21pm): Bobby "The Brain," Paul Bearer, and the "Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart. Jimmy Hart would be number one though, with Heenan a close second.
POp! (1:28pm): Since we've been talking about Mr. Perfect and Rick Rude, have you seen any of the dead wrestler memorial video's on Youtube? Also what are your thoughts and reaction to all the young dead wrestlers?
Drew (1:31pm): Yeah, its sad. They live a really hard lifestyle: on the road over 300 days a year, not to mention the pounding you get in the ring daily. Throw steroids into the mix and your heart just isn't going to last you through the years. Wrestling may be choreographed but it sure as hell isn't fake.
POp! (1:34pm): How much of the blame and criticism should go to Vince Mcmahon for all the deaths?
Drew (2:40pm): I would say partial blame for sure. Even if he didn't hand them the pills, he created and enviorment that made these guys strive for perfection while hammering their bodies and not having a strict policy against substance abuse.
POp! (2:47pm): Would you say that fans were as much to blame?
Drew (2:58pm): I don't thinks so. The fans were a different breed back then. We cheered for characters, not (just) the biggest or strongest.
POp! (3:04pm): Do you still follow wrestling? If so how closely?
Drew (3:06pm): Not really, more of a passing interest now and then. I watch the Hall of Fame induction each year, but that's about it.
POp! (3:08pm): Top 3 wrestlers then, and top 3 now?
Drew (3:22pm): Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart, in that order. Now is Undertaker, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels.. Take your pick on the order of the second and third place. Taker is first though, no doubt.
POp! (3:41pm): You were in the wrestling circuit. Is it the life on the road that made you quit the business?
(Legend Superfly Jimmy Snuka & Drew after he won the US Title)
Drew (3:47pm): No. For me it was the politics of a new promoter that came around. He wanted all the wrestlers to sign a contract that basically gave him rights to any money you ever made in the wrestling business.
POp! (3:50pm): Last year we met at the Broadway theatre in downtown SLC to watch the film, The Wrestler. As a former wrestler what did you think?
Drew (4:01pm): Very, very well done and accurate. I met a lot of my childhood heroes while wrestling and while it was really cool to meet them it was an eye opener to see guys that have sold out Madison Square Garden now being paid to wrestle in warehouses and high school gyms.
POp! (4:09pm): Speaking of wrestling movies, is there a better opening scene to any movie than the opening scene in No Holds Barred (55 seconds into the video). The doors open and all you see is a grunting Hulk Hogan's hair, sweat, and spit flying for a a few solid seconds. Classic.
Drew (4:16pm): Awesome opening scene, no denying it.
POp! (4:24pm): Have you ever watched So You Think You Can Dance? What do you think of my wife's controversial analogy?
Drew (4:59pm): No I haven't... Nor will I. Her analogy was OK... but she forgot to lump in The bachelor, The Hills, and Dancing With the Stars. 3 to 1 odds in their favor if you ask me.
POp! (6:16pm): Well said. How crazy is it that the Iron Shiek's out-of-the-ring legacy has surpassed his in-the-ring legacy? My favorite Shiek story has to be the Marty Jannetty video that has since been removed off of Youtube.
Drew (6:37pm): Its Awesome! I love hearing Sheik Stories.
POp! (6:41pm): Okay its come the much anticipated time to select the ugliest outfits in the history of pro wrestling. So do we want to do this Vegas poker rules like usual or a reverse draft style saving the best picks for last?
Drew (7:15pm): I kind of like the idea of a draft.
POp! (8:56pm): For the first round I select Koko B. Ware. For being one of the few black men in wrestling at the time, the "Bird Man" sure brought alot of the wrong kind of attention to himself.
Drew (9:02pm): Yes he did. My first round pick will also be a black man... I choose Mabel and his lovely garbage bag outfit. Add to that the bleached white hair, white eye contact and you've got a whole recipe for wrongness.
POp! (9:15pm): I Just started laughing here in the cereal isle. For the second round I select Bob "Spark Plug" Holly and his childrens racing pajamas meets Freddy Mercury unitard with built in knee pads. Gentlemen start your gag reflex.
Drew (9:30pm): I had to pull over from laughing too hard. Excellent pick. In keeping with the car theme, my next choice will be the Repo Man and his roadkill inspired treads.. I mean threads.
POp! (9:44pm): For the third round I am going to the tag team division and selecting The New Hart Foundation/ High Energy. If a 50's malt shop diner and an 80's music video got together and had a baby it would come out of the womb wearing these.
The next day...
Drew (12:16pm): Both of the tag teams that I'm thinking are ones that have members that already made our list. I would have to say Men on a Mission because my other pick is too similar to yours.
POp! (12:29pm): Okay, for the 4th round I'm going with the "American Dream" Dusty Rhoades and his equally offensive arm candy Sapphire.
Drew (12:34): No explanation needed for this next pick: Crush.
POp! (12:58): Does his hair count as part of his attire?! For my fifth round selection I choose Randy "Macho Man" Savage. It's like he couldn't decide on one ugly outfit scheme so instead decided to combine all 12 into one outfit. "OH YEAH these are ugly!"
Drew (9:13pm): The Giant Gonzalez. Thats right. Drawn on muscles with accompanied fur.
THE FINAL ROUND
POp! (9:15pm): Final pick: "Double J" Jeff Jarrett. I have a few questions. Was there not more room to fit anymore sets of his initials on his body?! I'm still unsure of what his initials are. How did the 12 thread suspenders that connect at the neck not catch on to other wrestlers and the general public?! If you were to ask me what I think Satan & Adolf Hitler wear on casual fridays I think it has to be these.
Drew (9:20pm): After much deliberation and a day of fasting and prayer, I have found my final pick. As my last selection I choose Mantaur.
POp! (9:31pm): I am adding Harlem Heat and Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake to the draft as my honorable mention.
This 90's match includes two of the top ugliest outfits of all time, many in attendance are now blind. This picture may be the Mona Lisa of ugly wrestling outfits.
Drew (2:31pm): I wanted to make my final last minute pick who simaultaneously had a horrendous outfit and probably the worst gimmick in wrestling history: Bastion Booger.
POp! (2:45pm): With that final pick, it's over and done with. I may never be able to eat again. I speak for all when I say thank you for joining me for the first of many "Celebrity" Text Interviews to come. Any final comments?
Drew (3:01pm): Thank you for the great conversation. I would just like to say that I hope the WWE goes into another Attitude Era soon so that another generation of kids can have the great memories that we grew up with. Good luck with watching your wife's favorite show ;)
This interview reminds me how little I actually get to talk to my closest friends like Drew & the Fancy Lads, DJ, Mike or the Davenport Sisters. One of the hard things about growing up is how difficult it is to stay close; its one of the few things parents don't warn you about. Friends you saw almost everyday from the time you were five you start to see less frequently and slowly loose contact as school, work, dating, marriage, and family & kids all come into the picture and take priority. Things like text messaging, Facebook and blogs have all made it easier to stay connected with the limited time you have as an adult, but you start to finally realize it will never be quite the same as it once was. I love my friends and in a lot of ways they have become my family. I think close lifetime friends are the family you actually get to choose.