Raw Magazine-July 1998
Conducted with Kevin Kelly

So much has changed for Sean Waltman since his first appearance in the World Wrestling Federation on Monday Night RAW in 1993. A lot of people said the "kid" didn't even belong in the business, but his friendship with the Kliq - Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall - changed that perception. He found a place for himself in the group and more important, people he could count on. My mid-1996, Sean was in drug rehab, the friends split apart and Waltman soon followed Nash and Hall to WCW. He was dealt a great deal of punishment under his now-former employer, which resulted in a well-documented rocky relationship with Eric Bischoff. Soon after suffering a neck injury, he was out of a job. Sean returned to the World Wrestling Federation on March 30, 1998, the night following WrestleMania XIV, and found a comfortable spot in D-Generation X among his friends again. His career has come full-circle - X-Pac is finally home. This is his story...

KK: How does it feel to be back in the World Wrestling Federation?
X-PAC: A lot of people ask me that question. It feels like I went on a trip and now I just came back home - part of the trip was fun, and part of the trip was the pits. Now I'm back home where I belong. It fits like a glove...what can I say?

KK: What's the biggest difference between the first time you were here and now?
X-PAC: [Laughing] I think my lifestyle has changed. I don't abuse my body like I did before. I'm not @#$%ed up on drugs anymore. I've grown up as a man, as a person I should say. I've evolved professionally as a talent. I think that's just stuff a person has to go through. I've gone through those things and I have a lot more to go through.

KK: Do you think that the time away was a good thing for you?
X-PAC: Yes. It was a good thing for me and for the World Wrestling Federation. At the time when I left the Federation, there was nothing for me. I capitalized on an opportunity I had down south and obviously it paid off for me, but at that time...yes, I think it was the right thing to do. I had to leave.

KK: What differences do you see in the company since you were here before? What has changed in the World Wrestling Federation? X-PAC: I think, to be perfectly honest, when I worked here before the office and agents were like a Gestapo and SS troops for Christ's sakes. The "boys" were treated a little differently, and rightly so because there was a lot of heat coming down from the government at that particular time. I think you can't go about things the way things were going. People weren't happy. The boys weren't happy. Guys weren't at home ever. I don't know, there's a lot of things. And as far as administrative stuff, the Federation today is light years away from the Federation before. From what my lawyer has told me, the addition of [attorney] Ed Kaufman to the Federation has really made a huge difference - on a corporate level, not a talent level.

KK: Do you think there are creative differences now?
X-PAC: Yes. If you have an idea, throw it out there! That's the attitude here now. There's not just one right way to do things, and Vince McMahon realizes that. And I think because he realizes that, Vince McMahon and the Federation are on top again. And we are @#$%ing on top again!

KK: What type of role do you think D-Generation X plays in the wrestling business? Is DX the most influencial group in the business?
X-PAC: I think so. That's just my humble opinion. I think we transcend what people like to call "babyfaces" or "heel" groups. I think it's above that. We just go out there and have a good time. We'll mess with Steve Austin and we'll mess with anybody. It doesn't matter. Hell, a lot of people like us. Yeah, some people hate us, but those people always hate guys like me. We're not trying to go out there and impress anybody. We're just having a hell of a time.

KK: As far as DX is concerned and your role in DX, you seem to be having a good time out there.
X-PAC: You know, that's basically what it's all about. The people know when you're having a good time. They also know when you're not having a good time and when you're not really into it. And then people just don't take to them. We have good chemistry with the crew we have right now. You know, Shawn's not here right now, but obviously he's Kliq and we all stick together. I've always gotten along great with Road Dogg and Billy. And Hunter...obviously that speaks for itself.

KK: He has really stepped up in the time you were away. Can you tell us about some of the differences in Triple H?
X-PAC: He's always had a quality about him - you could just tell he was special. He's just had the time to mature and to be seasoned. Hunter's kind of had to do it in a shorter period of time, but, hell, he took the challenge and he did it.

KK: In a two-part interview in the February and March 1998 issues of RAW Magazine, Hunter spoke in-depth about the night that Kevin Nash and Scott Hall said goodbye to the World Wrestling Federation. The heat he took for that incident was certainly a make-or-break point for the Kliq and for the World Wrestling Federation. What are your thoughts about that night?
X-PAC: I was in rehab at the time. I heard about what happened at the Garden that night, and how everybody did the curtain call at the end. Hunter took a lot of shit for that and he was punished for quite a while. I thought it was bullshit to be quite honest with you. I think there were other people involved who should have been punished, too, if he was punished. I don't think anybody should have been punished! What they did was not a big deal.

KK: How did the fans react to it?
X-PAC: Well, some seemed to love it. I know a lot of the "boys" thought it was bullshit. But it really hurt things.

KK: You've been in both major influence-changing groups in wrestling. Can you compare D-Generation X to the nWo?
X-PAC: It's different, way different. DX is a group, and nWo turned into a big schmazz. You get lost in the shuffle there. That's why Scott, Kevin and I were the Wolfpac. Everyone else could get lost in the shuffle if they wanted to, but we were going to do our own deal. They did their best to break it up, and they finally did. They can call Kev's faction to Wolfpac over there all they want, but the real Wolfpac is Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman. The main difference, in my eyes? DX is a group that's going to be kept small. What we have right now is about all we need.

KK: As far as chemistry is concerned, everything seems to be clicking with DX. Does Chyna play a big but silent role in the group? Does she have a calming influence and a lot of motivational influence?
X-PAC: Yeah, there have been talks about trying to get her out of DX and putting her somewhere else...but that's just not going to happen. Some people may not see this, but Chyna is just as important a part of DX as anybody else. She's a huge star. I mean she's very recognizable, and I can't say enough about her. She's dedicated, let me tell you, man. I for one don't want to be a part of it if she's not in on it.

KK: Chyna has been a big factor in keeping Hunter focused and guided. Is it safe to assume that when you get back on the road full-time you'll fall under that umbrella as well?
X-PAC: Chyna is great. She trains right along with us, too. There's stuff she does in the gym that I can't. I'm not afraid to admit it. There's shit she does that half the guys in the Federation can't do. She's unbelievable.

KK: Is it a coincidence that the Federation's ratings have increased since your return?
X-PAC: [Laughing] Well, I don't know. I can't take credit for that. I'll tell you what, though, I can take partial credit just for showing up. It gives the perception that WCW isn't the only place to be. People do want to come back to the Federation. As a matter of fact, half the locker room down there wants to come to the Federation right now. The ratings have increased because WrestleMania XIV was a great show; they've worked hard; the storylines are compelling - they're not erratic. You can miss a week and come back and not feel lost and know what's going on. To me, Stone Cold Steve Austin is the number one reason. He's on top of the reasons we're winning again. Not to be cocky, but as fast as the momentum changes, it can change back around and change back around again.

KK: Does that have to do with the creative atmosphere now?
X-PAC: That's right.

KK: Do you think Nash and Hall will someday return to the World Wrestling Federation?
X-PAC: I think so. I think they'd like to finish out their careers in the Federation. But you can't fault them for the decision they made. It was the right one for them to make at the time.

KK: What's it like to be fired by FedEx?
X-PAC: I don't know. It wasn't a big deal. Nobody likes to be fired, though. I mean, it's not like I was saying, "Oh, my God, what am I going to do, how am I going to pay the bills?" It was just a matter of that son of a bitch firing me for no @#$%ing reason. I don't have a whole lot of respect for a guy like that. I don't have any actually.

KK: It seemed to be a rocky road for you down there your last few months. Your relationship with Eric Bischoff seemed to run very hot and cold. Did you take the heat for a lot of things that were done by other guys?
X-PAC: Yes, I did take a lot of heat for shit that they thought they couldn't get on Kevin and Scott, so they dumped it all on me. You know, that's the way it goes. The three of us are in it together and you take the good with the bad. I enjoyed a lot of the perks of being part of the Wolfpac, too. I'm not bitchin' about that. My bitch was that I was used for main event spots, and I wasn't being treated appropriately. I'm not going to let somebody treat me like that. I don't care who it is. I came back to the Federation where I knew at least because of what I do business-wise Vince McMahon would treat me like a human being. No matter what anybody says about Vince, he has a reputation of being a man who treats people well.

KK: Who were some of your professional influences? Who inspired you to get started in the business?
X-PAC: There are a lot of guys I grew up with in Florida. When I was growing up, Dusty Rhodes was huge. Billy Jack was a big star in Florida and he was a really good guy. I actually got to know him. Terry Funk was a big inspiration for me right before I got into the business. As I started to know a lot more about the business, I realized what a great wrestler he was - one of the greatest ever. Dynamite Kid, too.

KK: Who were you trained by?
X-PAC: I was trained by Boris Malenko and his sons, Joe and Dean, and also Karl Gotch's son-in-law (who unfortunately passed away).

KK: Early in your career you were into the high-flying style and a real innovator. You have certainly adapted your style over time and it's a blend of a lot of different styles. Who do you look up to professionally now?
X-PAC: Well, always Terry Funk...I put him on a pedestal. As a matter of fact, outside of what we do on camera, if I ever saw anyone disrespecting Terry Funk I don't know what I'd do, but I'd be pretty pissed. He's an icon, a true icon, and he deserves to be treated as such. There's Shawn Michaels and my friends Kevin, Scott and Hunter obviously. There are so many guys I look up to.

KK: It seems that a lot of guys watch the monitors and kind of check out what everyone else is doing, recognizing if something is done well and almost correcting it if it's not.
X-PAC: We used to get heat for doing that! We'd sit around and if someone screwed up, we'd make a big commotion and bust 'em. And in the same breath, when we were out there, we weren't immune to that. When I screwed up, I can guarantee that someone in the back watching the monitor was busting me. That's just the way it is; it's not a hateful thing. You go out there and bust your ass because you know the "boys" are watching, too.

KK: What are your personal goals now?
X-PAC: To be a good person.

KK: How about professionally?
X-PAC: Well, considering that I wasn't supposed to make it in the wrestling business in the first place, I think I've pretty much surpassed my original goal, which was just to be in the business. But you constantly make new goals. Obviously as we're talking I haven't wrestled again yet because of my surgery. I suppose for now my goal is to come back and be as good or better than I was before. I'll be 26 years old in July.

KK: Do you subscribe to the philosophy that "whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger"?
X-PAC: Up to a certain point, but then you get to a point where you need to back off on yourself a little bit. You're gonna burn yourself out if you have that philosophy constantly throughout your career. You have to be smart, too, because we're businessmen as well as athletes. It's not good business to abuse yourself. The main thing is that I have two children.

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