by Brian Schenk
Off the Top Rope Radio Program
BRIAN SCHENK: I've got a huge superstar here on the phone with me. It's been hard tracking down this guy. He's been busy every weekend. He's been in the WCW, WWF, Japan. Please welcome Mr. Sid Vicious. How have you been?
SID VICIOUS: I've been doing good, man. Laying back. Working weekends. A few independent things. Getting ready to play a little softball. Getting ready to sign a deal with a company in Japan that Doug Gilbert brings in Americans for. Other than that, just training. I get up early. I train about twice a day. I run every day. I'm just hanging out and doing the fine things in life, like fishing.
BS: And spending time with your family. I know you're a big family man.
SV: I have a couple of boys who play baseball, and I spend a lot of time with my oldest one. It seems like you never have enough time to do things like that.
BS: I understand you had a pretty bad injury to your neck not too long ago.
SV: What happened was that me and a few guys were on the road from Montreal to Ottawa and we had a car wreck. Well, after the car wreck, I was experiencing numbness on the complete left side of my body. So they did all these tests on me. At first it seemed like I had symptoms of a stroke. I had short breathing and the numbness. So I was monitored to a machine at a hospital for almost 24 hours. And they said, "No, it's not that. We can't figure out what it is." So they took all these X-rays and all this blood work. I mean everything. They checked every kind of disease and virus I could have gotten. So after that, I went home for a few days and nothing got better. It was just like completely numb. I didn't suffer any real paralysis, so I didn't think it had anything to do with my neck. So I went a couple of weeks like that and it started to get better, and I went up for a TV taping on Raw. I made an appearance there in San Antonio. And I passed out because it was so hot, and I couldn't breathe on top of it. The next day I got back home and they sent me to a neurologist, and they started taking X-rays of my neck. They thought my 5th vertebrae going down was crushed and pinching against my spinal cord. And the thing about it was, if somebody had slapped me real hard in the back of the head, I would have been paralyzed. I didn't even know about it.
BS: Well, I'm sure glad you're healthy once again.
SV: The great thing about it is because of medical technology, they took a bone out of my hip, which is actually a stronger bone, and they put it in through the front of my neck. You can't even see the scar, whereas in the past you'd have hideous scars through the back. The doctors explained to me in layman's terms it's like when you break a piece of iron and you weld it. It would actually be the last thing to break since now it's stronger than the original piece of metal. So I now have a stronger bone in my vertebrae, and my neck is stronger than it's ever been. If it ever were to break, it would break in a different spot, but my neck is great now, and I'm probably bigger, leaner, and stronger than I've ever been. Everybody who knows me personally knows that I like to work out a lot, and that's what I've been doing.
BS: You mentioned your friends. Who are some of your friends in the wrestling business? I know when you were doing the bodyguard gimmick with Shawn Michaels that you and he were pretty decent friends.
SV: When I first broke into the business with Continental, one of the first people I did road trips with was Robert Fuller. He's been successful for years and years. He taught me a lot about this business.
BS: For those of you who don't know Robert Fuller, he's now in the WWF as Tennessee Lee, managing Jeff Jarrett.
SV: And I gave him the Colonel Parker gimmick.
BS: He actually managed you for a while at WCW. . . .
SV: He was going to just introduce me in WCW. He wasn't going to always be out there with me. What you try to do in the wrestling business is establish as many people as you can. My idea was this. I would establish Robert Fuller as Colonel Parker, not as a wrestling manager, but as the world's greatest promoter. I taught him how to talk. I even went out and bought him his first suit! Everything. The idea was to make him better than any other manager . . . different. He was going to introduce me as the greatest wrestler to ever step foot in the ring. I wanted him to look like a real powerful figure in the world, not just in wrestling. Being friends with the Governor of Louisiana and things like that. It would have been great, but a lot of it got squashed. I couldn't believe it. I know there's a little competition within the boys. But I know where I stand. To me, there's never any competition, and I don't care where anyone else stands.
BS: When you won the title in the WWF from Shawn Michaels, you were playing the killer heel. A lot of people turned against Shawn Michaels in his babyface role. You had so many fans on your side when you won the title. Was that a great feeling for you?
SV: Yes. Vince McMahon is really prideful of the talent he brings up and produces. He uses the term, "I make them out of this huge machine called Titan Sports." This was something Vince never had the luxury of doing this with me. He didn't create me or do me over. I was already over when I came to the WWF. I got over in WCW because a lot of the people taught me how to get over. Ole Anderson. Dusty Rhodes gave me a lot of help. Magnum T.A. Eddie Gilbert. Eddie Gilbert and Jim Barnett were the two that really gave me my big break.
BS: So you were good friends with Eddie?
SV: When you say good friends, it's hard to determine that. Eddie was such a busy guy, it was hard to be a friend with Eddie. I knew Eddie real well. We were in Continental together. Then we went to WCW together. We never had time to party. The thing about it is, my lifestyle was different than everyone else's, anyway. Usually I woke up early, worked out, got to bed as early as I could. So you don't have a lot of friends, but you see a lot of them in the locker room. You have locker room friends. You have a lot of acquaintances. You don't have a lot of friends. It's just hard because you live so far apart. My friends are the people I go fishing with, work out with, go hunting with. Those are my friends. I've made some good friends in the business, but not more than four or five.
BS: I want to throw out about five names to you. Give me a sentence or two really quick on your opinion on that person. Ric Flair. . . .
SV: One night, someone said something to me one day about my boots being really nice or something like that. I said, "Man, I'm in real trouble if walking out to the ring the people are looking at my boots." You can say the same thing about him. People knock him because of his age, or he looks horrible, but the thing is when that man's in the ring, you never have the time to focus in on that. He gives you so much action and has so much talent, and in my opinion, out of all the people I've met all over the world, he's the most polished man in this business.
BS: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
SV: I don't know him that well. Met him inside the locker room. I think he's a fairly good wrestler. Pretty much does the same thing. Punch. Kick. Anybody can do a suplex. I think Vince McMahon has taken a middle of the card type of guy and made him into what he would call a product of Titan Sports. But he won't last long.
BS: Bret Hart.
SV: I think he's one of the better guys I've worked with over the years. He's always been very accommodating to me. A real gentleman. We're always accommodating each other's style. I think he's a good guy all around.
BS: Thank you very much for appearing on Off The Top Radio. . . .
SV: Well, I just want everyone to know one thing. Every day I'm looking forward, and one day I will make it back to the top. . . .