Posts Tagged ‘ric flair’

WWE Divas Champ Charlotte Talks WrestleMania, Dream Match with Stephanie McMahon

March 31, 2016

WWE Divas Champion Charlotte (WWE)

In the evolution of professional wrestling, certain performers are credited with ushering in new movements. Hulk Hogan brought us “Rock and Wrestling,” “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is considered the father of the “The Attitude Era,” and WWE Divas Champion Charlotte (along with her WrestleMania competition Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch) are at the forefront of “The Divas Revolution.”

This revolution will take an important step forward this Sunday when three of the division’s most talented performers will square off in a Triple Threat match in front of one of the largest crowds in WWE history.

I spoke with the reigning Divas champ in the days leading up to her WrestleMania title defense and asked her about the upcoming match, the Four Horsewomen, and the difficulties of transporting a championship belt through airport security…

Any questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

(A WWE Representative introduces Charlotte as the “WWE Divas Champion”)
Gordon Holmes: Oh man, I wish whenever someone introduced me they had to say I was the champion of something.
Charlotte: (Laughs) It’s not too bad.
Holmes: Although, I understand it’s a hassle to carry the championship through airport security.
Charlotte: I’m not going to lie, sometimes I like showing it off. (Laughs)
Holmes: In that case, I’d wear it all the time.
Charlotte: I just lift it up and I’m like, “Hey, guys!”
Holmes: Just the Divas champion of the world. No big deal.
Charlotte: That’s it. No big deal.

Holmes: You are a member of the Four Horsewomen. Being a Flair, I’d assume you’re the Ric Flair of this group. Who is the Arn Anderson?
Charlotte: Hmm…Becky Lynch is the Arn, although she has the capability to talk like Ric Flair.
Holmes: Who’s the Tully Blanchard?
Charlotte: Oh…hmm…
Holmes: There are no wrong answers here, Charlotte.
Charlotte: (Laughs) I know, but it’s stressful because we all…I don’t know…
Holmes: I was thinking Sasha Banks is kind of flashy.
Charlotte: Yeah, I guess she’s Tully, Becky is Arn, I’m Ric, and you’ve got Bayley.
Holmes: She’s the Barry Windham? She’s the Ole Anderson?
Charlotte: Barry.
Holmes: I had no idea Barry Windham was a hugger.
Charlotte: (Laughs)

Holmes: WrestleMania is right around the corner. Do you have any kind of special entrance or attire planned?
Charlotte: I have special attire, but you’ll just have to wait and see.
Holmes: You can’t give us a hint?
Charlotte: Umm…WrestleMania 24.
Holmes: OK…I remember someone’s retirement happening there. Are you going to break out the rarely-seen figure-twelve leg lock?
Charlotte: I’ll start working on that in my free time.

Holmes: Your unofficial WrestleMania debut was at WrestleMania 30 as one of Triple H’s escorts during his entrance. How does that tiny taste of the main stage compare to going in as part of a featured match?
Charlotte: I was so fresh, I’m still pretty young to the business, but I was two years under contract and I hadn’t even won the NXT Women’s Championship yet. So, just to be a part of Hunter’s entrance and be there representing NXT, it was completely different. I couldn’t envision myself walking out on the ramp as a competitor for WrestleMania. Not even as a champion. And to think that today I can picture myself on that stage as the Divas Champion and defending my title. I can envision that, then I couldn’t.

Holmes: Is this your first time wrestling in a stadium?
Charlotte: Yes.
Holmes: Has your father given you any advice on how that might be different?
Charlotte:  When you wrestle in smaller venues, you can actually make eye contact or see the audience. When it’s that big it’s like a sea of people. It all blends together. And the noise, there’s a delayed response. So, you have to wait a little bit. So, if there’s a big move, say you go to chop someone and they “Woo.” It’s not instant. There’s a ringing effect, the tempo is different. He said it’s a lot different and to not let that intimidate us.

Holmes: This Triple Threat feels like it would be your dream match. You’re defending your title against two of the most talented Divas on the roster. Two women you’re very close with. This one aside, are there any other dream matches you’re looking forward to?
Charlotte: Stephanie McMahon. (Laughs) But yeah, this is my dream match. We started together, we debuted together, we’ve had a lot of firsts together. To think that we weren’t even on the card last year and now we’re going to go out there and steal the show. It’s pretty exciting.
Holmes: The end of the Divas Championship at WrestleMania…you’ve made either Becky Lynch or Sasha Banks tap out to the Figure 8. What goals remain after that?
Charlotte: I really want to main event a pay per view on the main roster. And I want to bring back or update a championship.
Holmes: Does that mean a Divas Tag Team Championship or bringing back the Women’s Title?
Charlotte: You know, whether it’s the Women’s Championship or a Tag Title it means more storylines. It means more opportunity, debuting more girls. It makes our division stronger, with more depth.

Holmes: Roman Reigns will be facing Triple H for the WWE Championship. What are your thoughts on that one?
Charlotte: Huge opportunity for Roman. No one better that Triple H. And I think they’re going to surprise a lot of people. I think it’s going to be a great match.
Holmes: It seems like the relationship between Triple H and the NXT talent is really special. What has your experience been like?
Charlotte: How could it not be? I’m just going to speak for the women in terms of his relationship with us. If it hadn’t been for him believing in us, we wouldn’t have gotten more time, more storylines, more opportunities. And look at where we are today. It’s because we continue to deliver. He saw what an impact and how well we were doing in NXT from the get-go. And, over the last two and a half years he has believed in the NXT women and he’s given us the platform to show the world what we can do.

Holmes:  Any thoughts on Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker?
Charlotte: I’m just glad Shane is back. Nobody knew that Monday that he was coming back. The talent is just as excited as the fans were.
Holmes: It took me a second to recognize his music, but as soon as I figured it out I became giddy. The audience reaction was amazing. What was going on behind the curtain?
Charlotte:  I just thought it was cool. But a lot of the talent were like kids again. They were like, “No way!” I think he’s a great addition and it’s going to add a lot to WrestleMania. And it’s been forever. Nobody expected it. He’s such a wild card. Usually you can expect what’s going to happen, like the big players coming back for Mania. But, it was great. And him with Undertaker is going to be awesome.

Holmes: They’re going to be in Hell in a Cell. We saw in Bayley and Sasha Banks in an Ironman Match in NXT. Are there any specialty matches that you’re hoping to participate in?
Charlotte: A submission match, maybe.
Holmes: That’s hardly fair, your finisher is a submission hold.
Charlotte: Yeah. (Laughs) A cage match would be awesome. Or even to bring back mixed tag.
Holmes: You want a cage match so you can do a moonsault off of the top?
Charlotte: Absolutely.
Holmes: You’re an insane person.
Charlotte: (Laughs) That’s the first thing I was thinking!
Holmes: That seems very dangerous, Charlotte.
Charlotte: Awww…it’ll be OK.

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WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson on CM Punk, Ric Flair, and the Next Big Star

July 31, 2012

Arn Anderson (WWE)

To older wrestling fans, Arn Anderson is best known as the enforcer of the elite stable known as The Four Horsemen. If any young up-and-comer got too close to Ric Flair’s World Heavyweight Championship, it was Anderson job to stomp them down.

Today Anderson does the exact opposite. In his role as a producer, it’s his responsibility to help guide the next generation of WWE Superstars…

“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from Arn, he said, ‘The WWE is not going to give you anything. The only way you’re going to get anything is if you can get these people behind you.’ And I feel like that’s been very true in my run. If you can’t get these people behind you, then you won’t be able to get to that next level.” – Daniel Bryan

I spoke with “Double A” at the 2012 San Diego Comic Con and had a chance to ask him about today’s young talent, his recent Hall of Fame induction, and the one match he wishes he had on tape…

Gordon Holmes: You seem like an old-school, no-nonsense kind of guy. What do you make of all of this Comic Con business?
Arn Anderson: You know what? It’s different. But what’s so peculiar about the deal is we just had a signing downstairs and I had a lot of dads bringing their kids to introduce them to my era. And the kids are all schooled in it, so apparently the YouTube and all this social media has caught them up to guys from my era. And I think that’s pretty cool.

Holmes: Now you’re a producer behind-the-scenes with the WWE. What does that job entail?
Anderson: It involves everything from in the afternoon still getting into the ring with these young guys. I can’t go full-speed anymore, but I can teach them enough about psychology and actual mechanics to help some of the kids. I also produce television, run live events, run international events, help creative write the shows. A little bit of everything, probably.
Holmes: C.M. Punk, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, they’re all stepping forward as the next crop of main-event names. Who else should we be looking out for?
Anderson: Those three guys are your future. Kofi Kingston, keep your eye on Kofi Kingston, he’s getting over the old-fashioned way, slowly but surely. People like Kofi. Daniel Bryan has as much talent as anybody out there. Punk has taken a leadership role. Sheamus is a bulldozer. All of those guys. But, if it was going to be someone on the horizon that hasn’t been seen…keep your eye on Mike Rotundo’s kids, both of them.
Holmes: So “The Captain” makes good wrestlers?
Anderson: They’ve got good genetics. They’re as different as night and day. They perform differently. Bo Rotundo is going to make a hell of a babyface. And the older one, who used to be Husky Harris, what he ends up being called won’t matter. You’ve got another Sheamus on your hands.

Holmes: What’s the one piece of advice that you’re sick of having to repeat?
Anderson: Have passion about this. Live it, breathe it, sweat it. Guys get in this industry too easy these days. It’s not something they’ve wanted to do their whole lives It’s kind of given to them. And I don’t mean this in all cases. I just wish people loved it as much as people from my generation that were successful did. And that’s something that I can’t instill, or coach, or force feed.

Holmes: I recently watched your Hall of Fame speech and you and Edge said something similar in that you both got out of the business due to injuries, and you both guessed that you had made the right decision. However, neither one of you seemed terribly convinced. My question is; what is it about wrestling that’s so addictive?
Anderson: If you do it for the love of what you do, and let me clarify, the money’s good. The perks are great. Getting a great table at a restaurant is a wonderful thing. But the biggest perk of all is going through that curtain, taking out your maestro stick, and waving a crowd through a 45-minute match, and taking them anywhere you want to take them. And coming back through that curtain with them totally exhausted as well as you, and know without asking anyone how it was, know that you had a great match. You know you and your dancing partner tore the joint down. There’s no feeling like that on Earth. Alcohol can’t provide it, I’d suggest drugs can’t provide it, a woman can’t provide it. It’s something you’ve got to experience. It’s a high that’s like no other.

Holmes: I spoke with Punk before the Survivor Series and asked him if he could work any territory, which would it be. He said, “I would’ve loved to work for the Crocketts.”
Anderson: He would’ve done great, as Daniel Bryan would as well. Those two guys have shown that having years of independent work and paying your dues and learning the business the hard way is important. Those guys could have wrestled during any era.
Holmes: Now my question for you is; would Punk have been the fifth man on the Horsemen’s War Games team or would you guys have been jumping him in a parking lot?
Anderson: He would’ve been on the other side. He’d be one of those guys selling tickets. He would’ve been somewhere underneath Dusty Rhodes and right at or above the Rock and Roll Express level.

Holmes: One of these Mattel action figures looks a heck of a lot like you.
Anderson: I just found out about this today.
Holmes: (Laughs) Just today?
Anderson: Well, the way they came about it was by a vote online. And to still be relevant in 2012 when I retired in 97, that means they chose you. It’s an honor and I’m just thankful to be around.
Holmes: Did they get it just right?
Anderson: No, I think the swoop on the thighs should be a little bigger, the abs could be a little cleaner. But other than that, pretty close.

Holmes: Heard from Ric Flair lately?
Anderson: Nope, Ric and I haven’t really kept in contact probably for the last several years. He kind of does his own thing and when I come home off the road I kind of cocoon myself with my family. But Ric’s a survivor. He’s like a roach.
Holmes: All that’ll be left are Twinkies and the Nature Boy.
Anderson: He’ll be around when the rest of us are dead.

Holmes: If you had to pick a single match that told people everything they needed to know about Arn Anderson the wrestler, what would that match be?
Anderson: Wow…
Holmes: I didn’t fly all the way from Philadelphia to ask easy questions.
Anderson: No you didn’t, and I respect you for that. Arn Anderson with Bobby Eaton as a partner against Ricky Steamboat and Dustin Rhodes, in the Omni…Sunday night, I don’t remember the year…it would’ve been around…
Holmes: Probably 91/92 if you were teaming with Bobby Eaton.
Anderson: We went 59 minutes and 20 seconds. And buddy, I almost died. And I saw three other guys that I respect as much as anybody I’ve ever been in the ring with almost die with me. It’s one of those things where we literally gave everything we possibly had. And I don’t have it on tape anywhere, but I wish I did. It was one of the most exhausting mentally and physically matches I’ve ever been in and one of the most satisfying as well. We left it all out there.

Don’t miss WWE Summerslam – Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on Pay Per View.

Why This Cardinals Fan Is Cool with Albert Pujols’s Decision

December 8, 2011

Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan were the leaders of their respective wrestling organizations in the ‘80s. However, both peddled their wares in very different ways.

Ric Flair’s job was to be the NWA’s top bad guy and make the local heroes look like a million bucks. He’d accomplish this by putting on breathtaking, five-star, hour-long, time-limit draws. The fans would go home thinking their guy was *this-close* to winning the title. They’d be sure to come back next month when a no-time-limit match was booked. A month later they’d watch their hero dominate only to see Flair get himself disqualified to win. This would lead to a no-disqualification match the next month. And on and on until a new local star would get a shot.

(more…)

Wrestling Posters

August 31, 2011

I snagged a Wacom for my birthday and I’ve been obsessed with it. As in, I sit down on the couch with it when I get home after work, then crawl up to bed seven hours later. So, here are some of my early efforts…

CM Punk Promo Poster Wrestlemania X-Seven Poster Wrestle War '89 Poster

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