X-Pac 1,2,360 – Episode 54
Release Date: September 13, 2017
Recap By: Chris Gaspare, PWPodcasts.com Specialist
Top Newsworthy Items
– X-Pac doesn’t understand why WWE doesn’t think the women deserve their own show
– Rip Rogers is so focused on the bumps young wrestlers take because he’s worried about their health
– Rogers says Randy Savage only broke character once, in or out of the ring, in his years knowing him
– Rogers doesn’t see the independents as the territories coming back
– OVW is having a benefit show to help trainer/former Tough Enough winner, Matt Cappotelli with medical bills incurred from his brain tumor
The group talks about the Mae Young Classic and the Vince McMahon/Kevin Owens segment
X-Pac was booked last week in a ten-man tag match for Bar Wrestling in a show pretty exclusively devoted to highlighting female talent. He said he was glad to get back in the ring. He also mentioned that a man at ringside was holding up pictures that used to belong to X-Pac and hung up on his wall at his old apartment more than a decade ago. He explained that during this period he was still using heavily and had left the apartment, and its belongings, behind. The man didn’t know this story and had bought them at a garage sale. X-Pac signed them for the guy anyway.
The group moved onto breaking down their thoughts on the Mae Young Classic now that it’s finished. X-Pac wished the match between Kairi Sane and Shaynae Baszler was longer. Most of the crew, outside X-Pac seemingly, thought Baszler would win.
Bill Hanstock thought the crowd seemed fuller than usual during a 205 Live taping, and he thought it was a positive sign. They also praised the crowd’s energy, especially the female wrestlers at ringside. Bill thought there should have been an attraction match before the finals. He also said that there’s a lot of potential stars coming out of the Classic, so many that there’s not enough room for them. X-Pac mentioned how HHH recently said on a conference call that there were no plans for a women’s show, which doesn’t make any sense to him: “So the cruiserweights have 205 Live,” but the women don’t get a show? He said they should have one because “they deserve it.”
Next, they moved onto talking about the Kevin Owens beat down of Vince McMahon on Smackdown. X-Pac was asked what Vince would have been saying to Owens before the headbutt, and he said it probably would have been something like, “When you headbutt me, you better headbutt the s**t out of me.” X-Pac said that Shane McMahon used to do the same to him – hype him up to make it look more legitimate.
Hanstock was impressed and also a little flabbergasted by the segment being “so violent,” especially involving a 72-year-old. He said no one can guarantee blood from a headbutt, to which X-Pac replied that there’s still “some secrets.” X-Pac countered that Vince is 72, but he’s in great shape still.
Rip Rogers on his times in Florida Championship Wrestling and Waltman’s 18th birthday party
Rogers was working in Georgia Championship Wrestling, Ole Anderson’s promotion, when Jim Crockett absorbed the company and some of its stars. They didn’t keep him on, so he went to Florida Championship which was being booked by Wahoo McDaniel at the time. He loved Wahoo because he was “a normal guy.” Wahoo booked him against Bugsy McGraw a lot because Rogers was only 210 pounds.
Wahoo didn’t want to book him against the bigger wrestlers, such as Rick Rude and Billy Jack Haynes, because of his size. Rogers told him that he would be working with the bigger wrestlers soon because he was going to make the fans hate him more than anybody else. On one super show held in Miami, he noticed that all the matches had color in them except for his match. He thought that was a slight against him, and on the next show, he wasn’t booked. He went to Wahoo about it and quit.
At first, Wahoo insinuated that it wasn’t his fault about the booking and that Dusty Rhodes was behind Rogers not being booked. Wahoo then tried to assuage him with money and rectifying the situation, but Rogers said he was young and arrogant, so he quit.
Rogers said that he never took steroids to maintain his physique. He said that he worked out for three-and-a-half hours per day and still does. He was obsessive compulsive about his workout because he grew up overweight. He said the years in the ring and the exercise kept him in shape but ruined his joints to the point he has a hard time getting off the toilet. However, he accepts his joint problems as payment “for all the evil” he’s done in his life. He said that nobody is perfect, especially in wrestling, and nobody should want to meet their favorite wrestler because wrestlers are human and bound to disappoint.
X-Pac commends Rogers for imparting his knowledge and wisdom to younger people through the years and recalls at his 18th birthday party, which the wrestlers held for him at a nearby motor lodge, that Rogers sat by the pool and dispensed wisdom and advice to anyone that would listen. Rogers remembers X-Pac being shy and always looking at the ground, so he always tried to help him out to show him that he belonged.
Rogers on whether territories are coming back and living with Randy Savage
Rogers talked about all the territories he worked in over the years. He started out in the Poffos’ outlaw promotion, International Championship Wrestling, then toured overseas in Puerto Rico with the Cuban Assassin, but his favorite was probably working for Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling in Calgary. He was put in a hotel five minutes from the arena. At first, he wasn’t accepted by the boys there because when an American came in, it meant a Canadian lost a job. However, after two weeks, he had integrated and was the leader of the heels.
Rogers was asked if he thought the independents were a new territory system forming. He replied that he thought the independents were “a joke” compared to the territories and thinks it is all a matter of perspective. He said that he was in one territory that had 13 television markets and were putting on shows twice per day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, which when compared to the modern independent is nowhere near the same thing. He then returned to a common lament throughout the show where he said that wrestling is “the greatest worst sport in the world.” He explained that the road trips, the culture, and shows were so much fun, but it ruined so many people through alcoholism, drugs, and depression.
Rip was asked about training with the Poffos. He said that he learned everything from Angelo and Randy Poffo/Savage. He even lived with Savage for a long time. He was asked how Randy was outside the ring, and he laughed and said, “The same.” He recalled one time seeing Randy Savage break character. Savage had a little dog that died of parvo, and when he died, he saw tears come down Savage’s face. Then it was over. Savage had a plaque made for the dog and put that, along with the dog’s leash, on the wall, then bought a “replacement” dog. He said that Savage also helped him out by giving him a lot of secondhand robes and boots.
Rogers on young wrestlers taking bumps, their training, and Matt Cappotelli’s brain tumor
Rogers briefly told a story about a time where Barry Windham was defecating in the locker room and accidentally drop his keys in the toilet. Windham was disgusted and wouldn’t fish them out. He left the locker room to find a spare or replacement key. Rogers, who had a lot of dogs living in his home, wasn’t as disgusted by the idea and got the key and washed them for Windham, who was so grateful that he gave him all the money he had in his wallet, which was $51.
Rogers was asked if he could name any positives about today. He said he was amazed because “the guys are so athletic” now. He followed with, “Anything they do today is not their fault.” He said that the wrestlers today didn’t have the opportunities and training that his generation did. They aren’t getting into a ring with an experienced 40-year-old. Because of this, they are just copying what they are seeing and seems to push a little plan onto WWE and Vince: “Vince makes the rules. If he didn’t want flips, there wouldn’t be flips.” His main concern for these younger wrestlers is their health as there’s “only so many bumps on [their] bump card.”
Rip recalled working with Randy Orton’s grandfather and they didn’t even get off their feet in a match. Now everyone is “trying to get their s**t in” and consequently taking too many bumps. Rogers said training is important to him and that’s why he does it. He said he was and is socially inept except for sports and when he started he didn’t follow the rules of wrestling and nobody told him what they were and how to fulfill them, so he tries to do that for others.
Former wrestler Tough Enough winner-turned-OVW trainer Matt Cappotelli’s brain tumor has returned after having defeated it once about ten years ago. Rogers praised Cappotelli as such a nice, humble, easygoing person. In the past, WWE helped Cappotelli out as OVW was under the WWE banner. This time around with the tumor, his insurance is used up, so he has a GoFundMe now and OVW is putting on a special benefit show for him on September 23, 2017. No matches are confirmed, but Jim Cornette will be there and donating items to sell. He also plans on contacting Road Dogg soon to see if he can help with WWE airing something on television.
Younger talent was brought up again. Rogers said that he’s against some of the things such as Joey Ryan’s penis spots or wrestling little girls, although he acknowledges that it’s opinion-based. He simply isn’t “as vocal” about it as Cornette is, but he said that “Jimmy could have a heart attack over a yellow light turning red.” Rip hasn’t watched television wrestling, he claims, since about 2002. He gets angry over bad wrestling fundamentals and he can’t get angry if he doesn’t watch. He is still teaching seminars beyond his regular training, but most guys in the seminars want to hear stories, and he obliges. He will usually have them do a high spot and work on them with their timing and spacing for it.
Score and Review (8/10)
This was a good episode of the show. The group only focused on the major stories of the week and consequently had more in-depth, meaningful discussions about them. The Rip Rogers interview was a little stilted because Rogers can be long-winded and go off on tangents, but the interview was handled well by everyone considering they were more proactive about trying to keep him on-topic. Rogers has lots of stories, as he always claims, and his history in the business is undeniable. For anyone who likes hearing about the territory days, the first part of the interview, which covers Florida Championship, working in Stampede with the Harts, and the outlaw promotion ICW with the Poffos, is definitely worth a listen.
00:00: The group talks about the Mae Young Classic and the Vince McMahon/Kevin Owens segment
21:42: Rip Rogers on his times in Florida Championship Wrestling and Waltman’s 18th birthday party
37:03: Rogers on whether territories are coming back and living with Randy Savage
48:13: Rogers on young wrestlers taking bumps, their training, and Matt Cappotelli’s brain tumor
Chris Gaspare is a teacher from Maryland who has been watching wrestling since 1989 when he saw his first WCW Saturday Night 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.
For more, check out our archive of X-Pac 1,2,360.