TALK ‘N’ SHOP #65
HOSTS: ROCKY ROMERO, KARL ANDERSON, DOC GALLOWS
GUEST: MVP (pt. 2)
Report by Dan Tomlinson, PWPodcasts.com Reporter
TOPICS COVERED (w/TIME STAMPS)
00:20 – Introductory plugs pre-recorded by Karl Anderson; intro by Rocky Romero
01:56 – Official start of the recording
02:31 – Doc Gallows’ weekly David Penzer/Gary Michael Cappetta introduction.
03:31 – The gang take an email.
05:54 – How good is Randy Orton?; Sex Furgusen chimes in.
08:05 – The process in MVP getting called up to SmackDown; who was MVP’s inspiration to wrestle?; wrestling idols becoming friends.
12:55 – Who came up with MVP’s WWE entrance?; Big plans unlike Braden Walker plans; how Deep South was ran.
15:43 – What does MVP think about Bill DeMott?; the story of how Bill almost got MVP fired from WWE.
20:51 – What is Johnny Ace up to now?; Rocky begins to ask MVP about Chris Benoit.
22:15 – The topic of Chris Benoit. What does MVP think about it?; What was Benoit like as a friend?; Mental health.
26:48 – Concussions; comedown from the Benoit topic; how stiff was “Imposter Kane” Luke Gallows?
30:38 – MVP’s early days on SmackDown; Eric Escobar; The wrap-up.
SUMMARY OF CONVERSATION
– 01:56 – The podcast opens up precisely where the previous week’s edition ended: Karl Anderson welcomes us back to the podcast, introducing us to the panel consisting of himself, Doc Gallows, Rocky Romero and this week’s guest again, Montel Vontavious Porter. Karl jokes that Part 1 last week may not even count as a first part because of how dysfunctional it was, to which Doc adds “it may not even air” (but it definitely did).
– 02:26 – Doc mixes things up this week, as he does an impression of former WCW ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta to introduce MVP to the podcast. The sound of a beer cracking open establishes that these guys are here to have a good time. Karl tells “David Penzer” to get out of the podcast, another running gag being the mixup between Cappetta and Penzer’s ring announcing. Everybody chimes in talking over each other, with MVP talking about how much he hated David Penzer when he met him. Karl meanwhile alludes to how AJ Styles even said he hated Penzer in the past as well. “He’s a piece of s–t”.
– 03:22 – Rocky recommends that the panel take an email from the listeners since they haven’t done that in a while. A little back and forth from the hosts to Porter, noting that they only take emails from listeners whenever producer Romero is around. The email praised everyone in attendance, the listener stating his belief that Rocky improves from age throughout his career in NJPW. They also mentioned how whenever New Japan is on TV and Gallows is wrestling, the listener’s girlfriend knows of him as “Sex Furgusen” – Doc’s alter ego of a sleazy territory veteran. They also praise Karl’s work throughout the G1 Climax this summer. MVP agrees regarding Karl, saying he always enjoys Anderson’s work. To say Karl is modest would be a lie.
– 05:54 – The conversation shifts to how good Randy Orton is, Karl claiming that he doesn’t think anybody is as good as Orton. “I think Randy Orton is unbelieveable”. MVP agreed, saying he absolutely loved watching him work. Karl brings up MVP’s history with spending time in jail. Gallows meanwhile shifts to his Sex Furgesen gimmick, joking that MVP was meant to be the next Harlem Heat member. “They tried to make him the next Stevie Ray, he said no, then he went to the WWF”. The conversation escalates back to Mikey Nicholls, a previous guest on the Talk’n Shop who apparently cannot look at vodka anymore after partying with the boys. And just like that – the panel POP as MVP spills a beer.
– 08:05 – Karl brings us back to asking MVP about how he wound up in jail for the ninetieth time over the past two podcasts. But yet again, the conversation goes off to Pro Wrestling Tees, who Gallows jokingly calls them “d—heads”, claiming that they overprice things. The topic turns to how MVP got signed, as Karl tells a story about living with Rocky Romero at the time MVP got onto WWE television in 2006, and how he told Rocky that MVP was his favourite guy to watch. MVP mentioned how he and Chris Benoit used to have private-practice workout sessions in Deep South Wrestling just before MVP got called up, and that’s when Dusty Rhodes decided he was going to call MVP up to the SmackDown brand. Cue MVP’s impression of the American Dream – and he mentioned how Michael Hayes was annoyed by Dusty doing this because Hayes wanted him called up to RAW instead. So whilst Dusty was getting MVP ready for SmackDown, he, Dusty and Chris Benoit (who was off after neck surgery) would have workout sessions. Gallows brings up how rare that is, given how Benoit was MVP’s inspiration to be a wrestler in the first place. MVP said it was surreal to be there with him – the same to be said about a previous hangout over lunch with Masahiro Chono – a guy he used to watch on video tapes.
– 12:55 – Continuing with the private-practice workouts prior to MVP’s debut, going over his entrance with Dusty: “yeah, I’m gonna come out like the Miami Hurricanes, smoke everywhere, coming out the tunnel” – and Dusty recommends adding cheerleaders to the mix. MVP claims he was joking at the time of this happening, but it turned out to be a reality. Porter said that he didn’t realize that creative had big plans for him. “Yeah like you were gonna be Festus” joked Gallows, cracking up the whole room. Also unlike when Paul Heyman would come out in ECW 2006 with the security guards dressed with helmets on. “Not like Mordecai plans”, added Anderson. They go through a run of mid-2000s guys who ended up being flops in the WWE, from Braden Walker to Kizarny. MVP details the divisions in developmental, how Dave Taylor had one class and Bill DeMott had the other. “I was a Taylor Guy”, says MVP. He was originally a DeMott Guy, until he was booted out of the circle.
– 15:43 – “What do you think about Bill?” asked Karl, to which MVP responded that Bill’s pendulum swings both ways: sometimes he was one of the coolest guys to be around, then others where he’d say “this is the most miserable f—ing p—k I’ve ever seen”. He said he’d say this to his face as well. One day, MVP got a call from John Laurinaitis when he was at his apartment. Cue MVP’s Johnny Ace impression. “Hey kid what the f—‘s your problem?” DeMott had told Johnny that MVP was refusing to practice. Laurinaitis cussed Porter out saying the WWE had plans for him but had a bad attitude. So MVP went to see Bill, who seemed unknowing, and then when asked about it started firing up. “I’m sick of catching heat because of you guys!” yelled Bill. Porter said DeMott came at him aggressively, so he responded aggressively. “I’ve learned more from you in the last five minutes than the last six months”, Porter said during the war of words. Porter clarified that if he saw Bill now he’d give him a handshake and they’d drink together – but at the time DeMott had tried to get him fired. He returned to his apartment and got another phone call from John Laurinaitis, who asked him this time if he was stupid enough to go and pick a fight with his boss! Laurinaitis threatened MVP, asking if he was a betting man. He said he’d call Bill, and that if DeMott had said things went differently to how MVP told John, he would be fired! Thankfully, Bill was more honest with Big Johnny.
– 20:51 – Romero chimed in congratulating John Laurinaitis on getting engaged to the Bella Twins’ mother, which is when MVP was in total disbelief over that. Rocky asked MVP if he could ask him some questions, bringing up Chris Benoit again. “I’m gonna go there”, he said. Knowing Benoit as a person and a peer, before and after how opinions of him have changed: where is MVP on this stance? The tone really changes, going to an unheard-of scene of seriousness on the Talk’n Shop.
– 22:15 – “I knew Chris very well. He was my friend, he was my mentor. I’ve been to his house, I knew his wife, his kid. I was his project. He took a personal interest in me, to train me and help me. I will never forget the day he said “son, thank me with your success”. MVP takes us back to when he pitched the character to Chris, and WWE management wanted Porter to send pictures of him suits – and Benoit gave him $700 to buy a suit – which MVP turned down whilst thanking him. “I’ve gotta do this by myself”, he said. Later Chris told him that it was at that moment in his eyes, his respect for MVP elevated. On the topic of mental health: “In the States, if someone has cancer, we feel sorry for them. But if somebody has a mental illness, they’re shunned. People with a mental illness have a fear of being ostrasized”. MVP said he didn’t know what happened in that house, but when Chris brought son Daniel to training, he saw how they were inseperable together. They rode together and confided to each other. He mentioned Chris said about how Nancy Benoit had messed with him about the kids, and how his ex-wife with mess with him about the kid. “The Chris Benoit that did that wasn’t my friend, wasn’t my mentor. Something happened psychologically in his head”. Every day people in the United States, we see people snap and shoot up a school, but we forget how fragile the human mind can be. He spoke about Benoit’s brain damage that came up in the autopsy report, and backtracked to their matches together where Chris would have to be reminded about spots to do.
– 26:48 – Karl brought up the sad part about it is this could happen to anybody in the business – anyone in this hotel room. The room had fallen silent. “But we are the ones that chose to do this.” MVP said about how he read an article recently about how scientists had re-defined what a concussion was: that any minor even unnoticeable trauma to the brain is classed as a concussion. “Between the four of us, we’ve had hundreds of concussions!” spoke Porter. Moving to a more upbeat topic, MVP began to tell one of his favourite stories when he was in Deep South. When Gallows was there learning to be the Imposter Kane, MVP was brought in to the private workouts to bump for him. From across the room, Gallows shouted that he was worse than the Great Khali which Romero then clarified for the listeners. “The Great Khali is the worst person I have ever been in the ring with” claimed Porter. Back to the story, Gallows said he was so green back during the Imposter Kane days – and he hammered MVP back when he was learning. On the contrary, MVP’s first rivalry on SmackDown was with Kane – who didn’t hurt at all to be in the ring with!
– 30:30 – Gallows tells a story about how somebody called MVP a “jobber to the stars” whilst being on national television wrestling a bunch of the top guys. Who said that? Eric Escobar, who was on WWE television as Vickie Guerrero’s boyfriend for a few weeks and then got fired. At this point the podcast was wrapping up, and Doc Gallows brought the podcast to a close with plugs for the panel.
SCORE & REVIEW
8 out of 10: Well, what a step-up from last week. We went from guys just hanging out and going off-topic last week, all the way to the end of the first-half of this week’s episode. But this was groundbreaking for the podcast in terms of newsworthiness – from the topic of MVP almost getting fired because of Bill DeMott, to the story of MVP’s relationship with Chris Benoit – MVP is a fantastic speaker and storyteller. There is a lot that comes to mind when the idea of anybody in the industry potentially winding up like Benoit, and it’s a truly serious topic to consider thinking about. Like always, this was a fun listen with a lot of fun parts and some deep subjects touched upon. But forget last week’s podcast, this one is a must-listen.