Among the topics Heyman will discuss with Michael:
- Steve Austin walking out on the WWE. - What led up to Steve bailing on Vince. - What Vince thought of how Steve walked out. - What HHH said on Confidential about not bringing Austin back. - The fans turning their back on The Rock and how Paul would handle his comeback. - How to book for a publicly traded company. - How to fight with Vince McMahon and get booking ideas through. - The HHH/ Steph issue on RAW. - The process of putting Smackdown! together. - If Paul thinks the WWE should push the envelope more - What he thought of Eric Bischoff while he ran WCW and what he thinks of him now. - What Paul thought of Chris Jericho when he first saw him and if he was given a fair shot at being the top guy in the company. - Why RVD isnít the main guy on RAW. - How Paul would book RVD. - Who is the biggest disappointment in the WWE. - Who are the next breakthrough stars. - The relationship between Hulk Hogan and Vince - Word association with the names Jim Cornette, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Ric Flair and Bret Hart offered up. - There is also a big surprise announcement in the fourth block, which should make for some interesting TV down the road.
It's all on Off the Record on TSN, with the encore video that can be seen on TSN.ca!
- - -
Looks like another classic episode of OTR. The ones with wrestling stars are great. The one-on-one shows with wrestling stars are even better. Landsberg is a wrestling fanatic himself, so he always gives these guys the utmost of respect when dealing with them - and when throwing them hardball questions. The guy is a putz, but at least he doesn't back down from asking tough questions.
I'm going to leech chill's to intro the various segments. Great interview. Not quite to the level of Bret Hart's or Mick Foley's appearances, but still great.
>Steve Austin walking out on the WWE.
Had more to do with Steve wanting to work with Brock than job. It had been brewing for a while, and he could have lived off the interest in the bank and not touching the original funds. There were some controversies over how Debra was used as well. Paul didn't elaborate on that one. When Landsberg tried to be devil's advocate for Austin, Paul says he had no problems with Austin, and doesn't know if his concerns were legitimate. Paul did wonder where to go with the character after a 4-5 year run.
>What HHH said on Confidential about not bringing Austin >back.
HHH wouldn't bring Austin back, as per Confidential. Paul recalls his ECW appearance. Paul swallowed a lot of shit for business. He believes the fans want Austin back, and now it is up to Vince to believe that Austin can make money. Vince would put his ego aside, including bringing Bret back, if it was good for business. Paul refered to his departure as "the most insulting".
>The fans turning their back on The Rock and how Paul would >handle his comeback.
Paul thinks Rock would be an incredible heel, based on the "I have to make another movie, and am just here for a couple days" gimmick. Rock wouldn't work as a babyface, except for the first night.
>How to book for a publicly traded company.
He likens it to the advice given by the various "Secretaries" advising the U.S. President. Are the hands tied for the writers? He doesn't think so, and anybody who doesn't like it could jump off the ship.
>How to fight with Vince McMahon and get booking ideas >through.
He says he enjoy arguing with Vince. He doesn't push Vince to push the envelope. He doubts that it was the answer. He likes to have different views on the staff. Paul co-ordinates ideas from the Smackdown staff, then pitches them to Vince. It can be changed, killed, or whatever.
>The HHH/ Steph issue on RAW
Their influence is dependent on what Vince giving the ideas his blessing. Vince will take the blame if need be. Is there a conflict? You'd have to ask Vince. Paul doesn't know how much influence they have. He says being Vince's daughter is both a blessing and a hardship, because Vince expects more from her.
Quirky fact: Paul started his wrestling career as a wrestling photographer for PWI.
>What he thought of Eric Bischoff while he ran WCW and what >he thinks of him now.
Paul hated his guts. He was brutal to ECW, and he hated him for that. He doesn't mind dealing with him now. They both got their asses kicked as the time.
>What Paul thought of Chris Jericho when he first saw him >and if he was given a fair shot at being the top guy in >the company
Jericho blew him away the first time he saw him. Chris Benoit recommended him, and he looked to sign him after watching a match against Ultimo Dragon. Paul doesn't know if he received a fair shot, because there were lots of politics at the time (Pissed-off Austin, the NWO's arrival).
>Why RVD isnít the main guy on RAW
At this point, RVD's strengths aren't as apparent to the WWF as to ECW. Paul refers to being able to hide RVDs flaws, and he would accentuate his matches more as opposed to anything else, and his toughness. Rob's passion comes out in the ring. He could make people that were good look great, and people that were great would look like the greatest.
>Who is the biggest disappointment in the WWE
He doesn't really know.
>Who are the next breakthrough stars
Booker T and Rob Van Dam.
>The relationship between Hulk Hogan and Vince
He's sure they don't see eye-to-eye right now.
>Word association with the names Jim Cornette,
"Who wrote these questions. Never seen eye-to-eye."
Interesting guy. Gave him his first break from WCW. Denied being fired by Ross.
I took his spot and did better than he did.
Loves the business, and loves being in the ring.
A tragic story.
>There is also a big surprise announcement in the fourth >block, which should make for some interesting TV down the >road
Hulk Hogan will be making two half hour appearances on an upcoming series of shows. No dates yet.