The Steve Austin Show
Release Date: March 1st, 2018
Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo
0:00 – Intro (The podcast actually starts at 2:57. The first 2:56 are sponsor reads)
We are at 317 Gimmick Street once again and on today’s show is Ian Hodgkinson aka Vampiro who is in LA for the Lucha Underground TV tapings. They’ll be talking about a number of topics on the show.
Steve announces he will be making a personal appearance on WrestleMania 34 weekend (Sunday April 8th) from 9:00am to 3:00pm central time at the Sheraton New Orleans hotel with Highspots. For more info check out www.highspots.com.
8:26 – Vampiro
Vampiro is in at the studio and is doing well. They started filming a new season of Lucha Underground two weeks ago and says it’s fun this time. Steve asks why it’s fun this time as opposed to last time. Vampiro says it’s tough to talk about the industry and not give away things you’re not supposed to give away however says the last time, the attitude in the dressing room was intense and there were too many cliques. This seasons, they are re-establishing people, getting rid of people and introducing new characters which he says is fun.
Steve talks about some of the cliques when he first came to the WWE and asks about the cliques in Lucha Underground and if there’s any animosity. Vampiro says people you ride or go to the gym with are a healthy clique because they are your road family but when you have cliques that are power hungry or have their own agenda, that ruins you as a person and is the reason Vampiro is sour on the WCW. When he first got to WCW and went to say hi to Sting and Lex Luger, they turned their backs on him which he wasn’t expecting. He also talks about being the first of the newer generation to work with Ric Flair and being told by Arn Anderson that it was the first time in 10 or 15 years they had let a new guy into the clique, which Vampiro didn’t understand at the time.
Vampiro makes mention of Kevin Nash and Scott Hall making life hard for some people and says seeing that can break your spirit in the business (he doesn’t actually say their names but it was obvious who he was referencing). Steve says his issues with WCW was the booking as they did not have anything for him. But, he says there weren’t too many cliques when he was there.
Steve talks about watching EMLL while filming Broken Skull Challenge and says the wrestlers were very salty, aggressive and technical but now, the action is on steroids and asks where they are trying to take the business and how much further can they go with the action. Vampiro has wondered who is responsible for the ‘insanity’ of today’s wrestling and thinks it’s the culture of the fans. Because wrestling is so accessible through different mediums such as streaming or digital, the fans are expecting everyone to step it up in the ring which can be healthy to a point until someone gets seriously injured. When Vampiro is helping talent put together matches, he will tell wrestlers to slow down and sell big moves so they don’t have to do so many moves but the talent will still want to do the big moves at which point, Vampiro just says ‘go ahead brother’.
Steve asks about Pentagon Jr (16:01 into the podcast). Vampiro says Pentagon Jr is great but is getting a little pudgy which he attributes to Pentagon working a lot of indie shows and not dieting well or going to the gym as much.
This segues into a discussion about La Parka. Vampiro says there are two La Parkas. The one who was in WCW was the original. Vampiro says the original La Parka is still wrestling and is one of the last ‘old school’ indie guys. The second version of La Parka is in Mexico working for AAA and main-eventing. The original La Parka is salty, mean and bitter. Before he became La Parka, he had a rough time coming up in the business and never forgot the people who gave him a hard time. Vampiro said he was very tough to work with and is willing to throw down.
Steve asks about Mark Jindrak. Vampiro says he’s done well and does the odd soap opera. Vampiro read in an interview that Mark is ready to come back to the States. Steve says Mark came into the WWE with a good look along with Sean O’Haire and thinks he could have found success in the States. Vampiro says it was easier for Mark to make it in Mexico as he was a good looking kid with a good body. Plus, Mexico has easy ‘access to excess’ and it is not difficult to get used to the lifestyle.
Vampiro went back to school and got a degree in corporate wellness and tries to tell the younger generation to find other streams of income as you can’t rely on the business to make a living like you used to. He says he is a creative person and is getting into producing TV, his paranormal show, and a music project as he tries to step away from wrestling.
They get into a discussion about wrestling organizations in Mexico (24:00 into the podcast). There is CMLL (which used to be EMLL) and AAA. Vampiro says AAA has quadrupled in size over the last two months and due to a number of Latino streaming services and outlets they have gone live with their show on a weekly basis. They do shows for two different audiences which Vampiro has a hand in writing, editing and producing. He also does the live events which average 9000 to 14,000 people every night. Vampiro has been with AAA for 26 years however, has only been working as a writer/producer for 3 years.
In Lucha Underground, he was promoted to executive producer of the live shows. Vampiro compares AAA and Lucha Underground style and says for the most part, they are the same show except one is in English (Lucha Underground). Eighty percent of the wrestlers in Lucha Underground are from AAA however, he says the work and action is much crazier in Mexico than in the States because in Mexico you’re working a tougher schedule compared to Lucha Underground where you only work on the weekend. Vampiro says if an American were trying to make a living in Mexico, you wouldn’t be able to do it. However, if you worked in Mexico and decided to live in Mexico, you could have a comfortable lifestyle.
Steve asks about wrestling training in Mexico (28:11 into the podcast). Vampiro says there are a ton of wrestling schools throughout the country. Vampiro’s company (he didn’t specify which one but I think he was talking about AAA), holds local matches at TV shows which get judged. Wrestlers who make it get sent to a gym to work with professional trainers. However, before they even get into the ring, they coached about being on the road and how to cope with stress or how to reconnect with their families after being on the road.
Additionally, Vampiro will work with the trainers to teach the wrestlers what they need to work on for TV. Vampiro says they are trying to prepare the wrestlers to avoid the pitfalls in wrestling before they get into the business and guiding them for what they need for TV.
Steve brings up that he never worked for the hard camera. He was too busy worrying about other things such as what he was going to do in the ring and listening to the crowd. Vampiro agrees with Steve and say he likes the spontaneity. He also talks about how he is not a fan of the WWE system. He feels it’s wrong that an agent is telling a wrestler what to do with their character which is a reason why Vampiro didn’t want to go to the WWE.
Vampiro tells his guys to look at the hard camera for 4 seconds so the announcers can talk about them. During the match, they don’t necessarily work towards the hard camera and while they roadmap matches, they don’t map out the A, B, C to the letter match. He talks about how chaotic it can be during a TV show and his role in the show. Steve asks if Lucha Underground tapings are live or if they go to post. Vampiro says they have only done two reshoots and have a very ECW mentality. What happens in the ring, goes on TV. (this part of the podcast was all over the place and it did sound like they spliced together some parts but this was actually a pretty good part of the podcast which happens about 30:19 into the podcast).
Steve put a call out to his Twitter followers to submit questions for Vampiro and one was asking about his take on the Sexy Star incident (33:56 into the podcast). Vampiro thinks Sexy Star didn’t shoot on Rosemary but did lose her temper. He feels her opponents were beating up Sexy Star and thinks Sexy Star lost her cool. He also doesn’t think Sexy Star popped the elbow but did think it was on a bit too snug and also says Rosemary relaxed too much and was naive. Vampiro says the locker room was pretty tense after the incident. Vampiro says she’s done some boxing as her husband is a pro boxer. Vampiro tried to tell Sexy Star it was not a good idea for her to get into boxing but that’s the last he spoke to her. Steve asks about Rosemary. Vampiro says he doesn’t know but every time she works, she gets hurt. He also thinks Rosemary is a great girl.
Steve asks about opportunities for women’s wrestling in AAA and Lucha Underground. Vampiro would like their to be more however, Mexico still has a male oriented mindset and there isn’t a lot of opportunity for women’s wrestling. They have 3 women on coming up through their system but unlike the WWE they can’t provide a contract or the same opportunities which is shame because there are a lot of young women out there who want to be wrestlers. Additionally, promoters don’t ask for women wrestlers so it’s hard for them to make a living.
Question from the fan (38:36 into the podcast): Does Vampiro still have the Wrestling Society X Championship?
Vampiro has no idea where the championship is. He wanted to steal it himself but he thinks someone in the office grabbed the belt. Wrestling Society X was something MTV did and was similar to Lucha Underground as it was done in a warehouse and heavily post produced. It was very harcore oriented and matches had some crazy match stips such as Piranhas in a Fishtank and you had to slam your opponent in (and I really hope that’s a rib). Vampiro met Zakk Wylde there which is his best memory of WSX. A number of bands would play at the show then the musicians would sit in the announce booth and call matches with the announcers. Vampiro thinks the product was ahead of its time.
Question (40:47 into the podcast): Will Lucha Underground ever have a developmental program.
Vampiro doesn’t think they will have a development system but they do have tryouts. This year there were about 20 guys and girls there for the tryouts. Vampiro says in Lucha Underground it’s more about being in the right place at the right time. It’s not about your talent but your desire and if you’re willing to have fun and understand this isn’t a full time gig, you’ll probably get a shot. Steve says you have to have some talent and Vampiro says charisma more than talent.
Steve talks about working with Ric Flair who was about 235lbs at the time. They went for a suplex and Steve thought it would be easy to suplex Ric. When Steve did the suplex he was surprised at how heavy Ric was even though Ric wasn’t sandbagging him. Vampiro had a similar story working with Lex Luger who couldn’t lift Vampiro up for a slam. Luger was mad at Vampiro during the match but Vampiro couldn’t understand why. And Vampiro was not sandbagging Lex either.
Question (44:24 into the podcast): Some of the most popular wrestlers in AAA have left the company on bad terms in the past year. How does this affect the working relationships during the tapings and the future of these Luchadores.
Vampiro says it’s like kids becoming teenagers and fighting with their parents but once they finish college everyone loves each other again. Wrestling is the only business that forgives the sinners. Vampiro thinks that the wrestlers who left Mexico will come around and it will all work out. He cites Jeff Jarrett as an example of someone he never thought would be welcomed back.
Steve asks how Vampiro liked working with Sting when he came to WCW (48:27 into the podcast). Vampiro said he was disappointed to hear Sting said some bad things about him, however, Vampiro has nothing bad to say about Sting. Sting took the time to talk to Vampiro and smartened him up to a lot of things when it came to working in America and while they are not the best of friends, Vampiro is grateful to Sting for teaching him.
Steve talks about a wrestler who was in Tough Enough in 2011 who is now working in Mexico as Marty The Moth (49:10 into the podcast). When Marty came to Mexico, Vampiro told him to base his character off Jim Carrey’s character in the Cable Guy, an insane guy who is too intelligent for his own good. He is a big boy and a good kid. Vampiro thinks he can do well in the business and thinks he could make it to WWE.
Steve asks if AAA or Lucha Underground brand themselves as pro wrestling or sports entertainment. Vampiro says he is old school and they are pro wrestling. It’s certainly entertaining but at the end of the day, it’s pro wrestling.
Steve mentions their mutual friend Zakk Wylde and asks Vampiro what he’s doing musically these days. Vampiro has a few bands one punk band and one rockabilly plan. He’s part of a project called Trackster (he said the link was tracster.com but I think the actual site is www.gotrackster.com). They have over 2,800 studios worldwide with professional musicians including some famous musicians. If you hum notes into a microphone and submit it to Trackster, they will send back 5 versions professionally produced and radio ready. If the song goes big, they get a small percentage. Vampiro got involved through a friend he used to play in a band with. This friend became an exec in the financial industry, invested in an amplifier company and the Trackster concept progressed from that. It allows musicians who do not have the money to make a great sounding music.
Steve asks if Vampiro plays guitar and who his influences were (53:31 into the podcast). Vampiro says he was a Ramones guy and also cites any pre-psychedelic rock band like the Who, The New York Dolls, Sex Pistols, Social Distortion or any of that punk/Rockabilly type sound is his thing. He still listens to these bands to this day. Vampiro talks about his Rockabilly band and they talk about his gear. He uses Gretsch guitars and Marshall amps (as a guitarist, I marked out for that). He also talks about his punk band and how he tries to stay out of the spotlight. He’s just the guitarist playing in the back.
Steve brings the conversation back to Lucha Underground. Vampiro says they have been taping the show for a few weeks and have three more weeks of taping to go. They are taping 3 shows a week and plan to do 26 episodes. They still have the same writers from last season while Vampiro is the ‘go to’ guy when it comes to producing, writing, editing and agenting plus announcing. Vampiro says he used to think you could make it in wrestling on in-ring talent alone but now realizes if a wrestler is not edited right, if they don’t shoot you right, if the commentators don’t have the right verbiage or your storylines aren’t right you will not make it regardless of your talent.
Steve asks how the current Lucha Underground writers have evolved over the four seasons. Vampiro says the writing has changed and it’s a two way street. On one hand you get into a groove because you know what your audience will expect but you also want to give them something new. Because Lucha Underground is shot in a short period of time, they don’t have the luxury of getting comfortable and feel they have to shock the people.
Steve asks about Ivelisse and what she is up to (1:01:14 into the podcast). Vampiro says she is great but a pain in the butt in a good way. The reason she is so good is because she doesn’t back down especially when she believes in something. She is talented and will fight you tooth and nail. She is also blunt and will tell you what she thinks. Steve agrees and says he loved her while she was on Tough Enough 2011.
Vampiro talks about one of the best lessons he learned from Mick Foley. When Sting was working with Mick in WCW, Sting originally wanted to squash Mick. Mick said “let me do something so it looks like you’re beating somebody.” Vampiro says he uses this all the time. You need to construct the logic behind the violence. If Ivelisse is convinced something in her match has to be done a certain way, she will not back down from that stance. Vampiro says the most important talent is to believe in yourself so much that you can convince him because they you also have to convince the fans.
At this point (1:04:39 into the podcast), they shotgun a bunch of topics which include:
- The difference between Thunder Bay, Guadalajara and Los Angeles
- Vampiro doesn’t know what being a Vampire means
- A crazy trailer Vampiro was in that Steve really enjoyed
- What Matt Stryker is up to and that he’s the ultimate Kayfabe artist and should be announcing baseball because he’s that good.
- Bands they know
- How Vampiro became a Vegan
Before signing off, Vampiro pushes a plant based diet and says everyone should give it a try as it could make a difference in your life. His website www.vampirotv.com will be up at the end of April and will have an online pro wrestling school where wrestlers can send him their stuff and he will speak with them and give them a plan to refine their game. Two of the things he stresses are eating and getting an education. Vampiro’s twitter handle is @vampiro_vampiro. Steve thanks him for being on the show and they sign off.
Show Wrap – 1:31:11
Steve once again thanks Vampiro for coming by the crib and shooting the breeze. He wishes Vampiro the best of luck for this season and suggests watching Lucha Underground Holy Sh*t moments on youtube to check out some of their stuff. He pushes his upcoming appearance in New Orleans during Wrestlemania weekend and is looking forward to being there. He thanks the sponsors and that is a wrap.
To start, I wasn’t sure about this podcast. I remembered Vampiro’s podcast with Austin a few years ago and it was OK but it sound like Vampiro was BS-ing about certain things in that podcast. On this podcast, he sounds like he’s matured a lot and came across as humble and intelligent. This is a tale of two ratings. The first hour I had it at a 9/10 as they were talking a lot about wrestling and specifically wrestling in Mexico. I didn’t know a lot about that so learning about it was really interesting. However, the last 30 minutes or so they kind of lost me and I had that part at a 7/10 which is why I settled on an overall of 8. That said, definitely recommend this pod.
0:00 – Intro
8:26 – Vampiro
16:01 – Pentagon Jr
24:00 – CMLL and AAA
28:11 – Wrestling Training in Mexico
30:19 – Working TV in Mexico
33:56 – Fan Question: Sexy Starr Incident with Rosemary
38:36 – Fan Question: Wrestling Society X
40:47 – Fan Question: Will Lucha Underground have a developmental system
44:24 – Fan Question: AAA wrestlers working in Lucha Underground
48:27 – Working with Sting
49:10 – Marty the Moth
53:31 – Vampiro’s Guitar Influences
1:01:14 – Ivelisse
1:04:39 – A bunch of topics
1:31:11 – Show Wrap
Joe lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife and two boys. He’s been watching wrestling for about 40 years (give or take) but don’t consider himself any sort of expert. He just likes wrestling. Check him out on twitter and instagram @ja113.