Wednesday PWTorch Livecast with Pat McNeill
Special Guest: Justin Credible (P.J. Polaco)
Aired Live: October 15, 2015
Recap by Dominic DeAngelo
HOT TOPICS IN THE SHOW
– Current State of WWE
– The Importance of Veteran Leadership
– ESPN & WWE Discussion
– Justin Credible’s Retirement Match
(2:00) Pat McNeill Intro
(3:30) Justin Credible Introduction
(4:00) Justin discusses his retirement on Nov. 20
(7:40) Dismal Raw ratings
(11:15) Has Justin ever been in a match where the wrong person wins/loses?
(13:45) Mob involvement in pro wrestling
(16:15) What was McMahon’s biggest mistake in relaunching ECW?
(23:00) PWTorch Poll: Who should host a return of Tuesday Night Titans
(24:50) How were the accommodations for Justin when he worked in WWE?
(27:00) What’s with all the Roman Reigns hate?
(32:00) Veteran leadership
(35:10) What’s Justin’s status on his action figure?
(39:00) How did Justin get involved with the Scott Hall E:60 documentary?
(39:50) Has Vince made it harder on Triple H & Stephanie to take over?
(43:50) Do pro wrestlers make more money with or without an agent?
(45:30) ESPN doing a weekly WWE segment on SportsCenter
(52:00) Justin’s schedule until retirement match
(54:20) Where did Justin’s catchphrase come from?
(56:15) Follow Justin on social media
(57:40) What advice would Justin give to someone starting an indy promotion?
– Justin’s final match is November 20 at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey against Tommy Dreamer.
– Justin turns 42 on Friday. Opportunities to keep working and making money in wrestling are lacking and he has three kids to support so he’s looking to go back to school soon. He’s not ruling out a return sometime down the line, but as of right now he’s changing lifestyles. He says it’s hard to do, but the income fluctuates and it’s a necessary move.
– What are Justin’s thoughts on the poor Raw ratings? Three hours has a lot to do with it, but not just that. There’s great athleticism, but what’s holding WWE back is themselves. It’s very vanilla. Tough to watch Raw and he hasn’t watched Smackdown in a year. Everyone is getting the same show every week. Lack of creativity, and performers are scared to step on anybody’s toes. Everybody’s a good solider. Not “must see” TV anymore. Combination of creative and the sign of the times.
– Has Justin ever been in a match where the wrong person won/lost? He was with Al Snow in 1995 in a try-out tag match against the Headhunters. During the last segment of the match, they did a set of dives to the floor, but the team refused to get back in the ring, so instead of pinfall, they won by count-out. The Headhunters didn’t get the job because of that.
– Was the Mafia pretty prevalent in wrestling? Justin says maybe in the ’50s & ’60s. He always jokes that “he knows where the bodies are buried in Stanford,” but honestly he doesn’t have enough knowledge to give an appropriate answer. Pat clarifies that this is in Jess McMahon’s day. Tex Rickard, who Jess worked for, may have had mafia ties with boxing, but it’s all speculation.
– What was McMahon’s biggest mistake in relaunching ECW? Justin says it was bound to fail because the original ECW was counter-culture and WWE is the exact opposite. He believes if it was done better it could have been much like NXT is today. Pat also adds that Kevin Dunn would complain about the ECW logo being in the TV corner rather than the WWE logo. Justin brings up One Night Stand, and says how great of a show that was (if you’re into the ECW brand). After that, WWE tried to make it theirs and that’s not what fans wanted. Justin says they could have used new talent to get the brand over, but WWE made it about themselves.
– The Miz is currently winning the Livecast Poll: Who Should Host a New Tuesday Night Titans.
– The accommodations when working for WWE are up to the individual. WWE does pay their airfare, but everything else is up to the wrestler. That’s why the Klique started riding together. He remembers them all renting a Super 8 motel room in Pittsburgh. Justin also attributes this to him being apart of the Kilque. WWE did take care of International events, though. High-class, too!
– An emailer hates how the crowd hasn’t accepted Roman Reigns yet. Pat attributes this to WWE making him too corporate and Justin agrees. He thinks Roman has all the potential, and he doesn’t think Roman deserves all the hate, but he’s going to have to fight through all the little battles he’ll have to face. The WWE fanbase is also divided (kids and older male demographic). Justin also thinks the problem is way the product is structured and lack of veteran leadership. Plus, missing diversity and Kevin Dunn are also a problem. If there is ever a time for a change, Justin thinks the time is now.
– Mike from Brooklyn calls in and agrees with the veteran leadership. Bringing in Samoa Joe and James Storm could really contribute. They’re also killing Seth Rollins’s credibility as champion. Justin says when he got into the business in 1992, you didn’t get a big time push until you were older. You need that blend of young guys and veterans. It’s a subtle change for viewers. Pat says you used to use the older guys to get the younger guys over – more stuff like that would help.
– Justin’s action figure should be coming out around Christmas.
– Mike thinks Justin would be beneficial to the young guys, too, much like Rhyno is in NXT. Today’s product is not cool and that’s where Paul Heyman succeeds. Veteran leadership does matter. He mentions him going on a house show tour with Randy Orton in OVW. He notices that a lot of the young performers today aren’t protecting one another and they can’t listen to a crowd. Not a lot of guys can have a true pro wrestling match and he thinks it shows.
– Chat Room asks Justin how he got involved with the E:60 segment on Scott Hall – Justin says that ESPN reached out to him via social media. He thinks it was a great piece and they did their research. He also lives right around the corner.
– Has Vince made it harder on Triple H and Stephanie to succeed after he is gone? Pat thinks it could be, but WWE has a strong base, and after several months when Triple H and Steph take over we’ll get a good idea if they know what they’re doing. Justin says that Vince and everyone want to succeed, but sometimes they’re their own worst enemies. Vince will never leave, he’s an alpha male. Times are changing, and there is too much content for not enough excitement (not too mention competition). Plus, like Mike from Brooklyn said, it’s not cool anymore. He barely sees a wrestling shirt nowadays.
– Having an agent today does not help a performer. There’s no marketplace so there’s no need for an agent, unless you’re a big star.
– What are Justin’s thoughts on ESPN doing a weekly Raw segment on SportsCenter? Justin thinks it’s great. For a long time Vince shut his doors to anyone else, but now it’s different. He says it’s almost like Dana White followed Vince McMahon’s model and now Vince is kind of following Dana’s UFC model with a move like this. He’d like to see ESPN keep a balance of kayfabe and reality with these segments. He says there are very few legends anymore and the problem with that is creating stars that are larger in life. Pat thinks that’s the problem with their handling of the current roster (if Triple H was booked like Seth Rollins is, then he would have never gotten over). Justin says it’s clear they still need Undertaker, who said he was talking about retiring even in 1996. Wrestling never passed the torch properly and that’s where a lot of the mistakes went wrong. This is where having legends would benefit.
– Justin is doing a signing on November 25 for Brooklyn promotion House of Glory and has a few other signings scheduled, but that’s it besides his November 20 retirement match.
– Justin makes a point to mention that they spoke the entire show speaking of WWE and how big of a problem that is. It’s something that we take into consideration with how the business is changing. He says we somehow need to revitalize the business. He mentions again how important having a veteran presence is.
– Caller asks where Justin’s catchphrase come from – he says it was a “Paul Heyman Special.” He says his gimmick at first was trying to find himself but Paul came up with the name and everything.
– Follow Justin on Twitter and Instagram @pjpolanco. Like him on Facebook at Peter Polanco, follow his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/polacopeter73, visit his website justincredbile.com
– What advice would Justin give to someone starting an indy promotion? Justin says have five or six veterans and fill out the rest of the roster with younger talent. Make your announcers, referees, and staff all look professional. Terry Funk once told Justin he liked it when the marks were on the other side of the fence. Trainers are getting too greedy and are letting everyone in. Everybody thinks they’re a worker now. Too many people have too much accessibility and influence. It’s a deterioration of what today’s indy scene is. Pat also says you have guys training people who should have no business training.
– Justin’s first professional match was on October 16, 1992 (23 years ago!). He says it was a wonderful experience, and maybe someday he’ll write a book.
SCORE & REVIEW
8.5: Justin always lives up to his last name in these interviews His legacy appeals to the Attitude Era fanbase and he’s able to use his knowledge to comment on the state of the industry today. Although he’s retiring from in-ring competition, he clearly still has a passion for wrestling and that shines through in this interview. He expresses the importance of utilizing older talent to help the younger talent get over and that alone makes this conversation worth your time. Some of the questions asked were clunky and out of place, but most added to the conversation. A good example of this was when Justin was asked about the ECW relaunch and he was able to relate it to what’s currently problematic today for WWE. “What’s wrong with wrestling” is a topic that’s covered in nearly every single wrestling podcast, but P.J.’s insight and passion make it fresh and healthy. Always a Torch favorite, Justin Credible is someone you should be hearing.