Former WWE, ECW and TNA star and current Extreme Rising star Stevie Richards joined Kayfabe Wrestling Radio Tuesday Night. In a nearly 55 minute interview, he talked about the latest tech news, his views on the Extreme Rising management and their efforts on events so far, if groups like ROH or Extreme Rising offer a true alternative to the WWE, using the ‘Stevie’ kick and people possibly no-selling the move, using social media in wrestling today, his thoughts on Shane Douglas and Raven in terms of the Extreme Rising event, the fans giving these guys a pass as part of nostalgia and ECW, the weirdest item they’ve ever had to sign for a fan and more.
Assigning a letter grade on how the Extreme Rising management has done: “Wow, that’s tough. It’s just so young and so new and there was so much stuff that went on that was out of Shane’s (Douglas) control but somewhat in his control because, you know, certain people were booked that they repeated their behavior and certain things happened. Shane was a part of that too, by getting in the ring and trying to promote and trying to have too many hands in the pot and he overextended himself. And he was in incredibly bad shape for the show and I don’t know if it’s going to be different this Saturday but I just feel like if you’re going to perform in the ring, you have to look a certain way, you have to be ready a certain way. If you’re going to promote, you should really; Promoting is harder than wrestling, (wrestling) you only have to do that 10, 15, 20 minutes. Promoting takes weeks and months; it’s a much harder job to take on. So, I don’t know why Shane feels the incredible need to still be in the ring. Is that a letter grade; I can’t give a letter grade. It’s just tough.”
His use of the superkick or ‘Stevie’ kick and people no-selling moves: “I’ll tell you, there’s a thought that runs through my head, and it’s never happened to me; actually it happened with Dr. Death (Steve Williams), and that’s because it’s Dr. Death. It took three Stevie kicks to put him down or actually keep him down; he bumped for me. But, if I super kick somebody, or ‘Stevie’ kick, if I want to mark for myself like Shane Douglas; if I want to ‘Stevie’ kick someone and they stand there and do the Japanese ‘Arrrrrg’ and flex, I mean, Michael Manna might come out and it might turn into the fucking Ultimate Fighter or something. You’re going to stand there and no-sell my finish? Ok, whatever.”
His thought of using social media to advance wrestling today, and if it is necessary and doing her video about Extreme Rising: “Yeah, I think it is. I think social media in some ways has jumped the shark; there needs to be something fresh out there, but I‘ve really ingrained in it for many years with all the stuff I do outside of wrestling. I mean social media is a great tool to use, but also it’s also something that there’s so much noise out there it can get lost so you really have to have ‘What time did I post this, when do I post it, where do I post it? What are my followers?’ It’s really more complicated than just tweeting something controversial or anything like that. I did the video; I want to talk about the video because I had to stay quiet, if you noticed… Luke Hawx had been cutting all these promos, Shane has, even Matt Hardy had a couple of those, and other people; but I stayed quiet because I didn’t know what to make of all this, since April when it all came back and it was a very long video because I had a lot of stuff to cover and it was really all me. It wasn’t edited, a couple of times I was flubbing around because I was just speaking straight from my heart, how I felt about things and really getting a lot off of my chest. And That’s the only way I would do it; they said ‘Hey, cut a promo for Extreme Rising’ and I go ‘I’m not going to cut a promo. I’m going to talk about how I feel. I’m going to be Michael Manna, as me, as a person, not as this character ‘Stevie Richards’. I’m going to talk about how I feel’ And there’s a couple of people, including the one who told me to do the promo, that’s not going to like what I have to say. Because, this is a guy, like I said in the video; Shane hates Ric Flair. He hated Ric Flair for so long because Ric Flair was in a position of power, and that’s my guess because I wasn’t there so I don’t know. I just heard from people who worked there; that Ric Flair was in a position of power and put himself on top. You know, Dusty Rhodes used to do that; other people used to do that. But, Shane hated the fact that Ric Flair did that. But now, this Saturday, Shane has the opportunity, in my estimation, to be the leader and through his promoting because he made this mistake on the first show; of promoting and doing that main event match against Scorpio. And now, he’s repeating his own mistake from that time. And the fact he put himself on top in his hometown; he can say whatever he wants, but perception is reality; it looks really, really suspicious. And Luke Hawx, who, like I said, I have a personal issue with him… He’s right, he’s absolutely right. Shane is just feeding his ego, Shane is just putting himself on top, thinking that he’s going to draw this crowd and god I hope he does, cause we’d all make more money if he does. And it’s the age old problem that he bitched about for so many years of keeping the young guys down, of not giving opportunities, of the old guys not wanting to let go of their spots. I mean, what does it look like to you guys? I’m friends with Shane too, but this is a business. There’s no time for stroking egos and that’s the problem with the business. Stroking egos, not wanting to hurt feelings; we’re all big boys, we’re all adults. Hurt our freakin’ feelings and tell us the truth. I can handle criticism, I can improve from that, but it seems like my biggest fear about this is all these mistakes are going to repeat themselves and all I can do is control the part of the show that I’m going to perform on. I can’t do anything more than that.”
His thoughts on Raven being a part of the show: “Raven’s the other part; why would Shane book Raven again? Yeah, and Raven, to a degree I think it’s real, laughs at the fans, he works them and thinks he’s some sort of wrestling god; that everybody should bow to him. I’ve been around the guy for so many years, so I know him. He has a huge ego and he thinks that he’s just the king of everything. So, what does he do? Any five year old child will know, ‘Hey, if I touch the stove and no one corrects me, I can touch the stove as much as I want; no matter how much it burns me and the people around me gets upset and has to take me to the hospital, I can do whatever I want.’ Raven can go sit in the corner and watch a bunch of indy guys bump for Gary Wolf, and bring a guy in the ring called ‘Cripple H’ and have the Sandman cane him just for his own entertainment; and then guess what? I’m still booked. Isn’t that great? I didn’t do a damn bit of work and guess what I’m going to do a second time? Not a damn bit of work is my guess. And I’m friends with Raven too, this is the thin; I’m friends with both these guys but until someone speaks honestly, like a Luke Hawx or finally me, this is never going to change.”
Are things like Extreme Rising, Crossfire and ROH offering the ‘revolution’ to the WWE and offering a difference to the monopoly of the WWE: “No, absolutely not; not even close. WWE still monopolizes and dominates; TNA is the most distant second you can ever imagine (and then some), and what these are are just independents. You know, to a degree, TNA is just an Indy with TV; that’s all they really are. They pay their wrestlers like that; they take care of their wrestlers like that; most of them, most of them, not their top guys. And, I can speak from experience; so if anyone doubts me, I can show you my paychecks. That’s it, it’s WWE or nothing. There’s still kids watching TV; no kid there is watching TV and saying ‘Man, I want to go to TNA’. No, they might say, ‘Hey, I want to go to a place like ECW’ or what they all say is what we said, ‘I want to go to WWF, WWE one day. I wanna wrestle Hulk Hogan or the Ultimate Warrior, Triple H.’ All the guys on top; they don’t say anything else.”
The audio interview is available here.