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WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: X-Pac 1,2,360 w/ Johnny Mundo on the future of Lucha Underground, his thoughts on joining Impact, spending $10,000 on ring gear (Ep. 59)

X-Pac 1-2-360 – Episode 59

Guest:  Johnny Mundo

Release Date:  October 18, 2017

Recap by: Sean McGraw

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

Top Newsworthy Items:

  • X-Pac revealed that all WWE employees go through media training.
  • Johnny Mundo believes Lucha Underground will begin taping episodes in January of 2018.
  • Mundo and Vampiro have smoothed everything over and are going to work together because it’s best for business.
  • Mundo is excited about working with Impact because he believes they are striving to change things in a unique way.
  • Mundo once paid $10k for ring gear.

Recap:

They start off the show announcing Johnny Mundo and Taya Valkyrie are going to be the guests on this week (It ends up only being Mundo. No explanation for why Taya wasn’t there). X-Pac then clarifies his statements from last week. He said after saying Triple H s**t all over the idea of Sami Zayn turning heel – he went back to check the texts he sent and says he remembers the interaction way different than it actually happened. He texted Triple H “Think about turning Sami Zayn heel” and the response he got back was “LOL I’ll tell Vince your thoughts.”

X-Pac says he’s run so many hair-brained ideas past Triple H that he can’t remember all of the ones Hunder actually did s**t on clearly. He still maintains the heel turn was his idea.

X-Pac then recaps his appearances from the previous weekend. He got to hang out with Kevin Von Erich and his kids. He saw Ted DiBiase and Ted will tentatively be next week’s guest on the show to talk about the new DiBiase documentary that X-Pac will be a part of. He mentions a few other names he saw, including Rick and Scott Steiner and Eric Bischoff. After this short little discussion they get right into the news.

News:

Jimmy Jacobs fired from WWE for taking selfie with The Bullet Club during the RAW Invasion. X-Pac is not surprised in the least and echoes what Jericho said about the situation almost verbatim. “He’s not so dumb that he didn’t understand what the consequences might be for taking that picture and posting it.” Pac is asked if there is a formal rules of conduct or if it’s more of a “don’t do this with opposing organization.”

X-Pac reveals WWE has mandatory media training for its employees. He wanted to have Dominic Dijak on the show and asked WWE and they said yes, but he hasn’t gone through the media training yet. Everyone goes through media training. That includes social media, interviews etc. They never had anything like then when Pac was there. He doesn’t think there is a no-compete with writers. He thinks if they aren’t getting paid for those 90 days they are free to do what they want. X-Pac says that unless Jacobs refuses, he will be back with WWE at some point. WWE will struggle to come up with something creatively or they’ll need some fresh ideas so they’ll reach out.

They react to reports that Nia Jax has been granted a leave of absence for personal reasons. X-Pac says they are all just speculating here. It could be that she’s upset with something at work; it could be a personal health situation or a family situation. He just hopes it’s not a health or family issue, and that she comes back because she brings a lot to the show.

Kane has been added to the TLC match. X-Pac wishes it would have been Kane with the old-school outfit. Other than that he was happy to see this. (I agree –nostalgia is at an all-time high right now. I would have been so much more entertained if he came back in the classic outfit, especially since it was so close to the 20th anniversary of his original debut.) The Kane coming for revenge against Roman for “retiring” Taker at WrestleMania seems like a good story. X-Pac is not convinced that Taker is done. Fan speculation of a Taker and Kane vs. The Shield at Survivor Series matchup is intriguing to X-pac. He says Taker doesn’t have to depend on just himself and one opponent to carry a whole match. A month is enough time to get the word out on that match.

18:39  – Johnny Mundo

They joke about how many names John has had. It’s Johnny, and then whatever he wants to put after it. Since Johnny is the first return guest, he jokingly dubs himself as Johnny Two-Times.

They start talking about Boone the Bounty Hunter. Mundo says the movie has been responded so well that it should recoup its cost of production and should continue to earn money for the next five years. X-Pac liked the movie. He would have turned it off if it wasn’t any good.

Mundo thinks there will be a Boone 2 but he is waiting for the first one to recoup its money. The budget is the biggest detail that has yet to be ironed out. The reaction to Boone was what Mundo expected. In a couple of cities that he wrestled in they also set up screenings of the film after the show. This was super fun because the fans would chant things like “holy s**t!” and “this is awesome” during the movie. He jokingly added they luckily didn’t get the “you f***ed up!” or “you suck!” chants.

The instant feedback from the fans at the screenings was great because of how long it normally takes movies to determine if they did a good job or not. Mundo turned down a Netflix deal for the movie because it would be hard to get domestic DVD rights through Dollar General and Walmart during the first window of exploitation. He said they’ll go back to Netflix hopefully some time in 2018.

Boone was a very personal project for Mundo because it was kind of a metaphor for life as a wrestler. He does have a treatment – not an entire script – for Boone 2. Mundo says that sex scenes in movies are not fun because of being in front of the camera and everybody watching makes it awkward. X-Pac started to say that he can’t even imagine what that’s like with everybody watching and then recalls his own personal history and said, “well actually I can.” This got a big laugh from everybody.

Mundo describes shooting the stunts in a very guerilla style because of budgetary concerns. He did most of his own stunts. He says he didn’t really get injured – he cracked his patella, sprained his ankle and his wrist and banged his head a couple times and “got some color” (I winced because I would consider those some significant injuries myself). Mundo was asked if he got called for GLOW 2. He says he knows they are training for GLOW 2 right now and he hasn’t gotten called as of yet but he would love to. The cast and crew of the show were all cool. They didn’t have to be because of their status in Hollywood, but they were. Mundo has gotten a lot of positive feedback from people in the film industry for Boone, but it hasn’t led to any big time offers for roles in other projects.

Lucha Underground

The conversation then transitions to more wrestling. Mundo is asked if he has heard anything about Lucha Underground season four. Mundo said he’s starting the rumor they are shooting Season Four in January. He doesn’t know for sure but that’s what he thinks. Everybody at El Rey is excited about Lucha and he says they really want to keep it going. Everybody involved with the project was irked by the big mid-season hiatus the show took.

It’s been 16 months since filming and getting paychecks from the project. They’ve been told they are going to be filming more Lucha three different times so they need to clear their schedules, only for them to be told they are delaying it again. Everybody is getting antsy to film more and he believes they are going to do it in January. Because the show taped seasons 2 and 3 back-to-back, there has been a delay, they have so much programming content that they haven’t needed any more for a long time.  

Mundo says that now it’s up to El Rey to renew it, and he’s speculating they will end up doing so. There are a lot of cooks in the kitchen in terms of production and distribution and its taking awhile for everybody to get on the same page. He hopes it stays in the same location because he feels like the temple and the building have become a character in and of themselves in the show. It’s got a “lucha-hipstery” vibe.

Ricky Mundo is not a member of Worldwide underground.  He is more like a vampire’s “familiar.” He just changed his name on his own, he never got full permission to use it. Benji is not even close to a member of Worldwide underground. You have to be pretty accomplished in the ring to be a full-fledged member – kind of like DX. X-Pac compared it to WWE wanting to add Val Venis to DX and DX shot it down. You can hang out and have matches, but it doesn’t mean that you are actual members of the group.

Mundo and X-Pac said you have to keep groups exclusive. When you say the names of these groups you want to be able to tell who’s in it. Mundo says “Who is in the Bullet Club? It feels like there’s 20 people over there. I don’t know who’s who.” (This part of the conversation was a little tongue-in-cheek.  I didn’t take it as them being overly critical).

X-Pac asks Mundo if he’s still working for AAA and how is that going. Mundo chuckled and said it was great. He has their heavyweight title and the next matchup is in Juarez. X-Pac says of course he does – he has the belt in every promotion he’s in. X-Pac can’t imagine anyone better to put it on. Mundo says that’s why he comes on this podcast, for little moments like this, which gets a laugh.

Mundo vs. Dr. Wagner for the title is on November 19th. X-pac says he worked with Dr. Wagner in 1991, and since he lost the mask he likes the silver beard look. Without the beard X-Pac would have said to keep the mask on because there’s nothing special about him without the mask. “Decent looking guy but plain looking as F.” They go on to put over Wagner as a worker and that he’s in better shape now than he was in ’91. He looks better than the whole AAA roster and Mundo said he could probably put most of the WWE Roster to shame as well when it comes to a pose-down.

Vampiro

Mundo is asked about the whole situation with Vampiro and Valkyrie and the belt. He says that it’s a complicated question and in pro wrestling life imitates art and vice versa. There are a lot of complexities he doesn’t want to delve into because of things that are in the works, but basically working things out was ultimately best for business for everybody involved. X-Pac agreed to that type of thinking.

Bound For Glory

Mundo is asked what’s going on with Impact. Mundo is excited for his Bound for Glory Match against Eli Drake. X-Pac and Mundo put over how much they are impressed with Drake. He’s doing a really good job of carrying the Impact brand on his shoulders right now. Mundo doesn’t have a ton of information other than he’s going to BFG for the tapings in Ottawa.

X-Pac says he’d like to work in Canada but he can’t get into the country because of his past legal issues. Mundo brings up he just needs to find a Canadian to marry and suggests TK Trinidad help him out (she must be from Canada? That’s the sense that I got from it because everybody was laughing and she jokingly wanted to change the subject). Mundo just likes the idea of moving the location because of how long wrestling companies have traditionally shot in the same location of Orlando. He praises the management of Impact for trying to change things up and do things different. “Any time there’s an organization hell-bent on change, it usually works for the best, as long as they don’t try to jump outside their means. And those guys all seem like pretty astute businessmen who aren’t just throwing money around. They’re trying to make Impact better.”

X-Pac then brings up some of Impact’s past money making decisions, penny pinching in some places and then turning around and paying Jonny Fairplay $300,000. Mundo is asked to elaborate on the changing of the style of wrestling in Impact. He says the “standard” way that matches are set up can be outdated. The crowds aren’t responding to them in the same way they were 10 years ago. X-Pac agrees there is way too much “routineness” in the way that matches are built. Mundo agrees and says that while he’s there, he is trying to do things that aren’t “routine” and they are outside of the box (I think this is a tremendous approach from a company like mpact. A company like that needs to capitalize on being an alternative to WWE. It’s where they really faltered when they tried to go head-to-head with WWE when Hogan and Bischoff came in. They lost a lot of what made them unique, so to hear from Mundo that they are trying to get back to doing things different makes them intriguing). They both praise NJPW psychology for being different.

Mundo is asked about being approached to work for Japanese promotions. He hasn’t, but he would like to. He was there when he was with WWE. He tells a funny story of how when he was a heel with WWE he would write inappropriate things for kids asking him for autographs because they couldn’t read them.

X-Pac asks Mundo about teaming with Mercury again. He says it was super fun and they picked up right where they left off. X-Pac asks if Mundo still has the old MNM ring gear. He isn’t sure if he still has some because he sold a lot of it. Mundo is then asked between him and Taya Valkyrie – who has the more expensive gear. He does. Taya is thriftier with her gear because of all the time she spent coming up in Mexico.

Mundo once paid 10K for a coat and a pair of tights (I wish I had that kind of money). They go more into depth about Mundo’s ring gear situation while he was in WWE. He has had to cut back on studs and things in his gear because they would cut his opponents in the face when he kicked them. Julie is the best seamstress in the WWE and X-Pac laments that they didn’t have a seamstress in WCW while he was there. Julie was making ring gear for Nash and Hall still while they were in WCW. Mundo reveals he is signed with AAA and he is working with Impact through the AAA-Impact relationship.

The conversation switches to talking about some bad movie fights and Mundo is asked about traveling with the Boogeyman. Mundo said it was amazing. He is a big fan of the Boogeyman both in and out of the ring. There were times when MNM would ride with Boogeyman and Bobby Lashley. Boogey also used to split a room with Paul London and London would tell stories of how Boogey wouldn’t sleep on the bed because he was really living the gimmick and a few times in the middle of the night for no reason he would bust out in a loud maniacal laugh (I laughed out loud just picturing it in my mind). He is actually a really different person than he seems and that gets lost sometimes because of the outlandish gimmick. X-Pac agrees and wants him on the podcast. He said that Boogeyman has a really interesting story but it’s Boogey’s to tell.

They start talking about Mundo’s mix of training methods with his in-ring work, parkour, etc. Mundo has also started writing again and wrote a show that El Rey has optioned. It’s like The Expendables but it’s called The Availables. (It sounds pretty amusing. I would be interested to check it out.) They end with a congratulations to Mundo and Valkyrie on their upcoming wedding in June and they all go through their round of plugs.

Rating: 7.5/10

This week was an interesting conversation. It’s good that they can talk about other things besides wrestling and I enjoy a nice change of pace. They went really long on the Boone the Bounty Hunter talk in the beginning and if you haven’t seen the movie (I haven’t) it could come across as a little too inside baseball. That being said, I am interested in watching the movie now. As far as Lucha Underground goes, it’s cool to hear Mundo is pretty positive about its chances, especially since a lot of what I’ve read is the opposite. It was also fun to hear Mundo’s perspective on wrestling and that he is embracing more “outside of the box” thinking to be an alternative to what could be considered a more “standard” WWE method.  It made me interested in trying to catch an episode of Impact. In terms of AAA, I was a tad disappointed that Mundo couldn’t go a little more in-depth into the recent controversy but I understand the reasons why. It was also cool to briefly hear about some of the WWE stories that Mundo had.  I enjoyed the episode and I’ll be interested to listen when “Johnny 3 Times” comes back on X-Pac 1, 2, 360.

Timestamps:

00:00 – 17:00 Intros and News Discussion
16:59 – 18:38 Ad Break
18:39 – 1:18:29 Johnny Mundo Interview
1:18:30 – 1:21:18 Wrap Up/Plugs

For more, check out our archives of X-Pac 1,2,360.

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