I just conducted this interview Gangrel for IMetAWrestler.com. We touched on several different topics in the near 30 minute chat, and here some highlights.
What he's doing these days: "I'm on Twitter, and people will write me and go "Oh, you're still alive?!" or "You're still wrestling?!" but I've been super busy. After WWE, I went straight over to Europe and I worked for a promotion over there. I was living almost six months of the year over there, bouncing back and forth, and that went on for six years or so. Then, I moved out west to California and I've started up with a wrestling school, Knox Pro Academy, out here in California and that led into working for Territory League."
What Is Territory League?: "We've taken it so that wrestling is no longer an individual deal, you know, wrestler on wrestler. We have eight or nine teams, I'm on the LA Templars, and there's four teams going into this Final. You have a Heavyweight, a Cruiser, a Lucha and a tag team. So these five members, whoever is battling that day, will come to the ring as a team and go from the ring to the crowd, where there are cages, like MMA cages, which is your locker room, much like a hockey bench or a dugout. Then each wrestler will come out and win or lose for his team, and the team with the most wins that night, gets the win...and will go on to battle for the Rodney Anoa'i Cup, and one will leave as champion that night."
On Yokozuna: "I was more friends with Afa and Sika, Junior and Samu. Yoko, when I was around there, I knew him but he was the man on top, so I never tried to go and bother him. Yoko was the top cheese at the time and I never really ran with his posse or anything like that. I did know him and I did respect him...he was a great man and it was a sad loss, but what a great way to honor him with the inaugural Rodney Anoa'i Cup."
On new wrestlers breaking in and looking for work: "The Las Vegas High Rollers have got Rikishi, they've got The Pimpfather [Charles "Godfather" Wright], the Hooligans have Gene Snitsky. There's gonna be stars there and the guys are grooming these young kids. What's really cool about this is that there's an experienced guy on each team grooming the young guys, so there's a lot of opportunity for young wrestlers to get work and get on these teams. We're expanding and we're gonna pick up three Midwest teams going into Season Two. So it's a really exciting time for wrestlers themselves too because there's a lot of work for young guys, especially for the ones saying they can't get in. They should follow the Territory League site."
On his new Fangin' and Bangin' Youtube Show: "It just started out to show a different, lighter side of me, you know. Everybody thinks I run around as a vampire with blood hanging around my neck and biting people while living in the darkness, you know. But there's a lot more to me and I like to give fans of the character a different glimpse of who I really am.
Working with current WWE Stars when they were rookies: "I wrestled Sheamus, Wade Barrett when he was Stu Sanders, Drew Galloway (Drew McIntyre), I wrestled them when they all came in young. I promise you, I was covering up a few times with Sheamus so I didn't ended up with a bloody nose, and hoping Wade didn't trip on me and all this stuff, as they were a bit clumsy back then. But they've turned into great talents, haven't they?"
On the WWE Style: "I love to wrestle, but people don't see that. I get stereotyped. At WWE, all they saw were a bunch of suplexes and thrusts to the throat, some punching and kicking, but I actually do enjoy wrestling. That's what's so great about the wrestling school, I get to get in there and wrestle. I was a wrestler before I was a gimmick."
Why people remember the Gangrel character: "I think it was that bad-ass ring music and that entrance. That entrance was make or break. Steve Austin said to me once, "What do you like best about your entrance music?" and I said "I can walk to it." Steve said "Yeah, that's the secret." You gotta have something where, once that music hits, it just draws the people in...I've been blessed by that character, but at the same time, I can never get away from it. People are like "C'mon, you're Gangrel, you can't be anything else."
The famous Gangrel theme music: "The music was awesome. [Jim Johnston] put a lot of work into that, and although he came up with it quick, there's some little subliminal stuff in it. People talk about that breathing at the beginning, but it's not breathing. If you can get on a machine and you're capable and have the equipment, go on there and play it backwards and see what comes up.
On Edge going into the Hall of Fame: "Edge is a champion and a great talent, but I didn't see it coming so soon. I personally thought it would come later on, but I guess it was WWE's decision or someone in the corporate office to put him in, but I definitely know that he deserves to be in there. I just didn't think it would come so soon. I'm stoked for him, I think it's awesome, and I wish I could've been there to induct him or something. I'll be down there that weekend but nobody's contacted me or anything like that."
Why we may not ever see him back in WWE: "I have a good relationship with Vince and WWE itself, but I think it comes down to the name 'Gangrel'. They don't own that name, they leased it for five years and somebody in corporate made a mistake, and they didn't realize the copyrights on that name and they had to lease it. It was nothing but a thorn in my side later on, because a company named White Wolf had it, and then they sold the company to somebody else. Then when I came back for the Raw 15th Anniversary Show, they tried to sue WWE over using that name for millions. WWE doesn't want to do anything too much that involves the name because they don't end it and it always... (Continues on next page)