X-Pac 1,2,360 (Episode 35)
Guest: Johnny Mundo
Date: May 3, 2017
Recap by: Christopher Gaspare
Top Newsworthy Items
-X-Pac tells the story of his arrest and says “the meth” was nothing more than yeast infection medication.
-John Morrison has a movie coming out called Boone: They Bounty Hunter.
-Morrison would possibly return to WWE after his Lucha contract expires.
00:00: Show and staff introductions
02:39: The crew discusses the weekly news including Billy Corgan buying the NWA and the possible redemption of Hulk Hogan
19:31: X-Pac explains his arrest over the weekend
56:15: Sponsor Ad
56:49: John Morrison talks injuries and action movies
1:10:42: Morrison talks his new movie, Boone: The Bounty Hunter and learning to make movies
1:18:54: Morrison and X-Pac discuss producing wrestling shows versus television and movies
1:28:39: Morrison and X-Pac discuss the television filming and production of WWE and Lucha
1:39:49: Morrison talks about creative control in WWE and Lucha
1:46:35: Morrison and X-Pac discuss wrestling in Mexico and Jack Evans
1:55:31: Morrison and X-Pac discuss returning to WWE and life after wrestling
2:04:21: Morrison talks working with DDP, advice for budding filmmakers, and odds & ends
2:22:10: Sponsor Ads
2:22:27: Show End
Show introduction and staff introductions
X-Pac welcomed everyone to the show and introduces his co-hosts Mark, Jimbo, and TK Trinidad. He also has Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet on the show to ask him questions about his arrest at the airport this weekend.
The crew discusses the weekly news including Billy Corgan buying NWA and the possible redemption of Hulk Hogan
The first news item of the week revolved around Billy Corgan purchasing the rights to the NWA name. X-Pac said he loves Billy and knows Billy loves wrestling but he “question[s] the purchase.” X-Pac said sometimes reaching back into the past isn’t wise and that promoters need to “stay in the present.” Next, Hulk Hogan is brought up. Apparently, this week he was asked if he would like to be in The Bullet Club and said he would. This turned into a discussion of whether the public reaction to Hogan has changed recently, and it seemed unclear if it has.
X-Pac explains his arrest over the weekend
Next up, X-Pac addressed what happened over the weekend with his arrest with Ryan Satin asking questions along the way. He took the dog that he most recently rescued, Lula, to the vet then stopped at a local marijuana dispensary where he bought “medicaps” – THC pills, basically – and a couple candy bars. At the airport, he checked in about two hours early and “chilled” after he “had one of the candy bars.” The pills, remaining bar, and two vape cartridges were in his fanny pack. When he got to the gate, a buzzer went off. X-Pac said that he “got the distinct impression they were waiting for me.” He showed his medical marijuana card, but the agents deemed the amount more than allotted for personal use. He spent hours in the customs area as they went through his belongings.
At this point, X-Pac explains that he is still on probation for his last trial, and he hasn’t completely fulfilled his conditions. He is required to get an evaluation, but he was having a hard time finding a place to do so because all the places expect to send the person to in-patient treatment. He also mentioned that he had a warrant that he didn’t know about in Pennsylvania. When he was still with Chyna, they got drunk one night and he drove and “hit” another car. He left the scene, went to the grocery store, and on the way back, was stopped by a cop and arrested for both a DUI and hit-and-run. He said he didn’t fulfill all the conditions of that trial, which is why there is a warrant.
Back to this weekend, X-Pac said he overheard the agent in charge say, “We gotta make this look good” and that the agent “jumped up and down” when they were going to be able to charge him. He was arrested for the marijuana possession and methamphetamine possession. He said that meth charge is due to yeast infection medication he had in his bag. He ended up in jail downtown for two days. He was going to be extradited to Pennsylvania, but he posted bail before then. He plans on getting a hair follicle test and polygraph test completed this week, and his trial is on May 25, 2017. He said, “I can understand [even friends] having doubts” about the story and his sobriety, but he is clean and healthy right now.
John Morrison talks injuries and action movies
Morrison and X-Pac begin by discussing all the different names they used in the business, then move to talking about injuries. Morrison said he has been “relatively lucky” in terms of injuries. The worst he has was an MCL tear in 2006 although he does say that he needed his knees scoped twice, once in high school and once in college. The second scope cut his collegiate wrestling career short. At that point, he went into gymnastics and jiu-jitsu while he was still in college as a film major. He said everyone must “have enough dreams to carry [them] to the next thing.” They turn to discussing movies, specifically action movies. Some of Morrison’s favorites are Bloodsport, Terminator, and Predator. He is also a huge fan of Jackie Chan, and he and X-Pac discussed how Chan and other Chinese action stars were all orphans that trained and learned discipline in the Chinese Opera School.
Morrison talks his new movie, Boone: The Bounty Hunter and learning to make movies
Morrison talked about the movie he has made, Boone: The Bounty Hunter, which he wrote, produced, and starred in. The movie is about a bounty hunter who hits it big with a television show, but once it gets canceled, he must help some friends collect a bounty in a corrupt Mexican town. Other stars include Rampage Jackson, Corbin Bernsen, Lorenzo Lamas, Quentin Tarantino, and others. This has been a four and a half year project for Morrison since he started writing the script. He also mentioned that Lucha Underground executives attended a screening of the movie. When they saw Lorenzo Lamas in the film, it led them to offer him the role he currently has on the show. Morrison had made some movies in school that were “pretty bad” and has had a number of small roles in television and movies in recent years. One of the major things he has learned is the importance to only take on one role (writer, producer, actor, etc.) at a time rather than trying to perform all roles at once.
Morrison and X-Pac discuss producing wrestling shows versus television and movies
X-Pac asked Morrison if he had produced a wrestling show before and asked him what the biggest difference was between producing wrestling and producing movies. Morrison said he had only produced one wrestling show, a charity Lucha show. He said one big difference is the time and money invested. For instance, Morrison ended up selling his house to help produce Boone. The other is that in wrestling “promotion is on the front end” only while the promotion of the movie is before and long after the movie is made. X-Pac said he has been in a few movies, one of them called Crossing the Bridge, he has always felt that inefficiency was the biggest problem with movies and television and also the biggest difference with wrestling.
Morrison agreed and equated the inefficiency with money. He mentioned being in fifteen low budget movies and recently doing three episodes of a higher-budget TNT show called The Last Ship. He said in one scene there were thirty extras, a fifty person crew, trailers, and transportation only for a two-person fight scene. To solve this problem, he said he tried to integrate a lot of elements of wrestling into his movie’s fights scenes and tried to do more in one take when possible.
Morrison and X-Pac discuss the television filming and production of WWE and Lucha
X-Pac moved into talking about filming wrestling specifically. He said after a while he refused to do more than one take in backstage fights because by the second or third take a wrestler’s energy and desire to make it looks real goes. Morrison said he should start refusing as well. He said Lucha shoots the matches like television with multiple cameras and coverage. They film the matches over two days live in front of the audience, and the other five days of the week they film the vignettes and other scenes. They will do multiple takes of the weekday shoots, but only one take of the matches themselves. They edit the matches, but they do not do reshoots. The editing can occasionally be frustrating, he claimed. For instance, one time he did a knee flip spiral tap off the top of the cage, but it was cut out in editing and it hurt the flow of the match. The editors have to make “impossible decisions” sometimes to cut down to 42 minutes and some also don’t understand the importance of psychology in wrestling. Morrison is asked if El Rey will promote Boone. He said it’s a definite possibility and that he’s open to hosting more for movies on El Rey like he did recently in hosting the movie, Roadhouse. He also praised famed producer Mark Burnett for his commitment to Lucha and put him over saying that he’s “not sitting at home thinking about how he can be World Champion.” Instead, he gives them a stage and lets “the players play the hands,” which leads to inspiration for the wrestlers.
Morrison talks about creative control in WWE and Lucha
Morrison has “almost 100 percent creative autonomy within Lucha to do what I want.” He said he’s learned a lot about wrestling psychology over the years and has simplified. He thinks “what story are we talking, what’s the best way to tell that story, who are the people in the match, [and] how are they gonna interact.” However, he still sees a place for agents in wrestling. In WWE, he needed agents or veterans to tell him not to things that didn’t make sense because he was young. For instance, he had an idea where he wanted to head spin on someone’s stomach as a move. Nobody would allow him to do it until Jeff Hardy did and sold for him. When he went backstage, Arn Anderson told him, “First I don’t know how you did that, but second, I don’t know why you did that.” Morrison said that Chavo Guerrero Jr., Paul London, and Vampiro are serving as people in Lucha to help the younger wrestlers with those dilemmas. He also claimed he left WWE because he didn’t feel he was being listened to when he pitched ideas. For instance, he pitched a tanning bed match to Vince where the loser would be put in a tanning bed for too long. In Lucha, he has more control although he said everything in every endeavor is collaborative.
Morrison and X-Pac discuss wrestling in Mexico and Jack Evans
X-Pac mentioned how he lived in Mexico with Jack Evans, who is a crazy guy. Morrison said that he saw Jack Evans smoke a cigarette through half a match in Chicago recently. X-Pac expressed shock at how Evans smokes four packs per day and doesn’t blow up in the ring. The two discuss the positives and negatives of working in Mexico. Morrison likes that his gimmick, an American who does Lucha before than Lucha wrestlers, is “built-in” heat for him in Mexico. X-Pac liked that he had to work to get over in Mexico because not everyone knew who he was. He said that many families in Mexico can’t afford cable or WWE house show tickets so they don’t automatically know the stars here. He recalled being told to do ridiculous things to get heat like when he was handed flour tortillas and told to throw them at the crowd. Morrison told a story about causing a near-riot one night when a fan in the front row threw a beer can at him and he threw it back and hit the fan in the face. The guy’s friends jumped the guard rail, and the match had to be called off. He liked that “real heat” that one could never get in WWE because they would be thrown out of the arena. They also briefly discuss the locker rooms – there were no showers after the match, no water to drink, everyone smoked, and there was beer and tequila everywhere.
Morrison and X-Pac discuss returning to WWE and life after wrestling
Morrison said, “I feel like I’m in my prime” right now. He said not having the WWE travel schedule allows him to train and rest so he can have the energy to learn new things. Still, he would be open to going back to WWE. He said he felt the urge during WrestleMania weekend to want to be there again. X-Pac asks about his Lucha contract, and Morrison said they are for no specific length of time and he is doing season four. The two men start to discuss why they became performers and what’s left after wrestling. Morrison wonders if he was drawn to be a performer because “there was some part of me that didn’t like me” and “needed [to be a performer.” X-Pac said he spent most of his life “carrying around this s**t” and only now is happy. “I never felt like this.” But he laments that others in the business, once retired, cannot find the same. He said it’s like many are simply “waiting to die” after retirement. Morrison said he explored some of these themes in Boone, namely is the performer and the person the same thing. He said, “The best performers are being [themselves]…when you’re out of the limelight, then it takes its biggest toll when you’re yourself and put 100 percent out there and [that response from performing isn’t] there.” Consequently, he said the performers lose a part of themselves.
Morrison talks working with DDP, advice for budding filmmakers, and odds & ends
Morrison is going to go to DDP’s compound soon to work on a yoga video, maybe with a tie-in to Boone. He recently filmed a movie called Gods and Secrets where DDP plays a Batman-esque character called Nighthawk. It should be out this year. His advice to filmmakers is two-fold. First, he said that monetarily movies are always bad investments. For instance, he sold his house, which probably wasn’t wise. Second, however, is that unless you are willing to sell your house, the movie isn’t going to get made. Morrison also talked action figures for a couple minutes here, specifically, the Randy Savage two-pack, and X-Pac and Morrison discussed briefly how all indy promotions are hot right now, especially in the United Kingdom.
X-Pac and Jimbo discuss the interview with Morrison, and X-Pac talks about his latest rescue, Lula, before they plug social media and upcoming shows to end.
Score and Review (8/10)
This is yet another solid interview this week from the podcast. As usual, the weekly new items aren’t very interesting as the conversation meanders. Although nothing that hasn’t been reported elsewhere was revealed, it was still good to hear X-Pac tell the story of his arrest in his own words and the detail he goes into about the jail is intense. The Morrison interview also delivered. Morrison talks some professional wrestling but mostly in the context of the filmmaking aspect and some about psychology. What was pleasant about this interview was that it sounded like listing to a conversation as X-Pac would chime in with his thoughts at times, which created a nice back-and-forth that made the interview easy to listen to and, ultimately, got more out of Morrison than a standard question-answer format might have. Both Morrison and X-Pac have a lot of interesting insights into the filming of television in the podcast. X-Pac keeps improving as an interviewer with each guest. If you are looking for WWE or Lucha discussion particularly, you might want to skip this, but if you are interested in-ring psychology, filmmaking and producing, or action movies, this is worth the time.
Chris Gaspare is teacher from Maryland who has been watching wrestling since 1989 when he saw his first WCW SaturdayNight episode and quickly rented as many NWA and WWF VHS tapes he could find in local stores. He also attended Tri-State Wrestling Alliance and early ECW shows in Philadelphia, which really kicked his fandom into high gear. He lapsed in the mid-2000s, but returned to the wrestling fold a few years ago.