Former WWE star Gangrel recently appeared on the Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling Podcast. Here are the highlights.
Admiring his place in the Attitude Era & being an identifiable persona associated with it:
I do because the WWF was never a “goal-goal”. It was always cool because I was with Luna and she would always say you want to go there, but there were other places like Japan. I really love Japan. At the same time I had a choice to stay with All Japan and do a year contract with Baba in 98 or go with WWF and Luna talked me into it and into going with the WWF one and in the long run that was probably the best move because the Attitude Era blew up in 98 and that’s probably why if it wasn’t for Japan I probably wouldn’t be wrestling today. But the Attitude Era has kept me flowing and was just so huge that a lot of the guys out there aren’t working anymore so the few guys that can work get out there and work because there is so much work for us.
The short amount of time Gangrel had on WWE TV and leaving behind quite the memorable impact:
It really was a short amount of time for me because technically I probably only had a year run of TV matches because when I went out with my neck injury (with a broken neck) I was out a year. It really was a short run but it was amazing and I never really until you said it sat back and thought that I leave a footprint. I always thought I was just very blessed to be working.
How much influence did he have on the overall character (entrance, music, etc):
Well they told me and Vince McMahon himself told me that they would never use a vampire character and that “I’m not using a vampire character”. It was Vince Russo that somehow got a little bit of control and slid it in there. When they signed me they told me don’t get upset because we are going to send you home and you are probably going to sit at home for about a year and don’t worry. I was under contract for like a week and they called me up and said can I still do the vampire thing. He (Vince Russo) came up with that entrance. It all happened on a Friday night and it debuted on a Sunday or that Monday, it happened over a weekend. They came up with the lift and the fire and what I had influence over was the outfit, the goblet, the spraying of the blood but the entrance with the ring and the fire was all Vince Russo. It’s because we are all KISS fans and it’s kind of a tribute to KISS (laughing).
Did the Bloodbath also originate with the creative team:
No, that was me and Edge sitting around and talking one day. We both had watched the movie Blade and there was thing where the lights are flashing and there is like a rave and it’s a bloodbath. That was all me and Edge just ripping that out of the movie Blade.
Bringing together The Brood with an underrated talent like Christian and a soon to be mega star Edge:
Edge was their man from the get-go. They basically told me they to make sure everyone liked him and to guide him along. Christian, slid in there and Christian is underrated. I wasn’t always a Christian fan but I was always a fan of that he could put a match together like no other. He could take a match and make anybody look good and still get his stuff in. He’s a little smaller and he questioned everything but it was to question it because that is who he was. They knew with Edge he was their guy before he had any character and they didn’t know what to do with him and that basically the vampire thing was there and the Brood was born out of that.
The name Gangrel and subsequent legal troubles WWE ran into over the license from White Wolf Publishing:
They messed up when they put that name on me and it was copyright written with White Wolf (a role playing game). So they had to lease the name from them for five years. So when the lease was up, I was up. Mentioning the Raw 15th Anniversary when I went back to do that it sparked a big thing where White Wolf had sold the name to somebody else and they tried to sue WWE for five million dollars for the 15th Anniversary show. When it all went to court it turned out when the judge hit the gavel he said that the guy who has been wrestling as Gangrel for the last fifth-teen years, he’s Gangrel. There are so many different licenses that WWE won’t touch the name Gangrel or mention it. You will see in the WWE Encyclopedia they changed the name to David Heath.
Anytime they mention doing something it takes two weeks of lawyers to run things through. That’s why you won’t see me doing Legends contracts. I don’t know how THQ got me in that game a few years back and maybe because they knew they were going out of business and they were going bankrupt anyway that they didn’t care because the company was folding. It was like their one off “FU” to everybody.
You can listen to the entire interview here.