Prime Time With Sean Mooney
Episode 86: Pete Gas
Release Date: January 30, 2019
Recap by: Jeff Rush, PWPodcasts.com Assistant Editor
-Pete opens by off-handedly mentioning he’s now in “outside sales,” which seems so perfect.
-Pete is scrambling to remember someones name at the start of the interview and jokes (I think) that he’s taken too many chair shots to the head by JBL.
-Pete would show up to the McMahon’s house for the holidays as a teenager and bring Vince scotch, except it was nasty cheap scotch. Vince would allow the teens to drink, but not allow them to leave. Vince McMahon. Cool dad.
-Another cool dad moment – Vince went on a beer run for Pete and Shane one day while they were all hanging out at his pool. When he came back, Vince was with Hulk Hogan, who handed the kids their beer. That’s a fun story for Pete to recall from his perspective, but I’m doing the math, thinking, that puts this story in the mid-to-late 80’s. Why did Vince meet with Hogan on a casual beer run and what were they discussing? This was totally a steroid thing, right?
-Pete loves the McMahon family to this day. Says they’re the exact opposite of what you see on TV. Except, Vince isn’t Matt Damon in the Departed. He’s playing a role, but he created that role. It’s funny to me when people talk about how opposite Vince is in real life from the role he plays on television. HE CREATED HIS TV PERSONA. He’s so awesome and normal but he’s still the guy that directs Eric Bischoff to make out with his daughter and aggressively kiss his wife.
-Pete says Vince was a big Redskins fan back then and specifically remembers watching a playoff game at his house between the Redskins and the Lions. Those two teams met in the NFC Championship game in 1992. So now I’m wondering if poor Pete is conflating two different era’s with his stories, because 1992 is going to come up again. So maybe Vince wasn’t as much of an underage enabler as Pete makes him sound?
-Just like Dusty Rhodes, Pete was the son of a plumber. He says Rodney’s family was blue collar as well. Neither were cut from the same high society cloth as Shane. Pete was an offensive lineman on his schools football team.
-Pete, Shane and their friends would get egg sandwiches while hungover on Sundays at the same place Ron Howard went to.
-Pete literally knew a kid in college named Will Hunting.
-Shane doesn’t come off sounding all that great here. Pete is telling stories about Shane buying all the rounds at the bar and getting out of traffic tickets, even though he’s aggressively approaching the officer that pulled them over, because of the name on his ID. To hear Pete tell it, he’s like “Shane was the best,” but Shane comes off sounding like the epitome of privilege.
-So right after they discuss that, Mooney pivots to discussing Vince the disciplinarian. Pete pretty much says Vince used to beat Shane up. “I’ve seen Vince use Shane’s head to open up the front door. And I’m not lying about that one. That’s the truth,” he says. This was in regards to a time Shane took a motorcycle ride Vince didn’t want him to. Vince saw Shane on the bike and told Pete and his friends it was time for them to go. He then opened his front door using Shane’s head.
-How the Mean Street Posse came to be is pretty fascinating. Pete says his father passed away when he was 22. Shortly after that, he visited Shane at his office (Shane had an office when he was 22) and told him he wanted to be a wrestler, it’s always been his dream, what does he have to do? Knowing Pete, and his family not having a ton of money, Shane told Pete he didn’t want to do it. He’d be wrestling in Memphis for Jerry Lawler for $25 a day. It wasn’t worth it. So, looking at wwfoldschool.com to get an idea of what USWA performers 22 year old Shane was looking down on in 1992, notable names include: Brian Christopher, of course, and Jeff Jarrett. But they were obviously headlining, so let’s look at some undercard names. You got The Fat Boys (Meat & Potatoes), Ron & Don Harris, and then everyone’s favorite, Ken Raper. Maybe I agree with Shane in this instance.
-So fast forward seven years, Pete’s at home and gets a call from Shane telling him and Rodney to wear preppy clothes and head over to the WWF studios and record themselves telling stories of their escapades with Shane when they were younger. Pete says he and Rodney were nervous and split a 12-pack for beer before heading in for the shoot.
-He notes that they were completely untrained, but were told by Vince not to get hurt and not to hurt his guys and to go out there and have fun.
-They were eventually sent back to Memphis anyway and were trained by Tom Prichard, Bobby Eaton and William Regal.
-Pete points out that there were five members of the Mean Street Posse when they debuted at WrestleMania, but he and Rodney were the only two to make the long-term cut. He says there are still hard feelings to this day over the fact that they stuck around and the other guys didn’t.
-Pete says Vince didn’t want them traveling with Shane as he didn’t want anyone thinking there was favoritism. He adds that that is a book in and of itself.
-Vince told Pete he was proud of the job he did in the ring when they first started and Pete then gets choked up talking about it.
-Following what was supposed to be their one off, Pete says there was a change in the climate of the locker room when they became regular performers and appeared as butlers for Stephanie and Triple H and got a match against Too Cool. Shockingly, you’ll never guess who he mentions as two guys who had a problem with this situation – JBL and Bob Holly.
-He then adds that, at different times, both of them told him he’d earned their respect through taking their senseless, reckless abuse and not complaining about it.
-He talks about working through injuries and concussions out of fear of having their spots taken away from them, which is NOT something that comes to mind when you recall the story of the Mean Street Posse. Pete says Mick Foley approached him at baggage claim to ask if he was alright, since he apparently looked totally out of it. Foley told him that not a single chair shot he took from the Rock at Royal Rumble ’99 was as stiff as the one Bradshaw hit Pete with. But Bradshaw wrote the forward to Pete’s book, so it’s all good!
-Seeing that the Posse was facing the Acolytes on Raw shortly after the JBL chair shot, Jericho advised Pete not to take another shot to the head that night. Pete says the writers also dictated as much to Bradshaw. So Bradshaw only gave Pete a shot to the back that that, opting instead to waffle the crap out of Rodney with a head shot.
-The Posse was told they’d be rejoining Shane following the WCW buy out. In preparation for that, Pete and Rodney worked in Memphis on developing their own characters so they could stand alone on the new show. Pete was then sent to Puerto Rico to work on becoming a high flyer, which he was confused by. A short time later, he got a call from Joey Abs saying Joey had just been cut and that Rodney was being met with at that moment. Pete got the call the following day, getting the same news and he says that was the end of his wrestling career.
-Pete made good with Shane following his release and thanked him for the best three years of his life. He says Rodney didn’t feel the same way and would not talk to Shane for years. By the time he realized he was in the wrong, he then couldn’t get Shane to return his calls. Pete says Rodney and Shane were the closest from their days growing up and, to this day, they no longer speak to one another.
-Pete and Shane are still close, though they don’t keep in touch as much these days. Pete says he had a heart to heart with Shane a few years back following Shane’s departure from WWE and that his heart breaks for Shane in some ways without getting more specific. He says he thinks Shane feels he has something to prove to this day, which is reflected in his in-ring style.
-Pete is still an avid wrestling fan, reads newsletters and listens to podcasts. He says criticism of Shane bothers him, that people say Shane’s matches will suck and they’re still often very good. I don’t think the critique of Shane’s matches is that they’ll suck. It’s that he takes unnecessary risks, endangering himself and his opponents and showing up other wrestlers on the card through taking one huge bump and then resting for eight months before doing it again, a luxury most wrestlers don’t have.
Recap: This was awesome. It probably sounds like I hated it with all the Shane talk, but I thought the interview was good and the stories, especially of Vince the dad, were so unique. It’s not a perspective you hear all that often, or ever. Insight on the Posse’s run with the WWF was also great. If you watched Attitude Era wrestling, definitely check this out. Rating: 9/10
Jeff lives in Brooklyn and raises his two year old son while running a small business and listening to a lot of pro wrestling podcasts. He’s a huge fan of women’s wrestling, independent wrestling and Prime Time Wrestling and is hoping the main event of WrestleMania will be the one-on-one match we all know it should be. You can catch him each week on The Pull Apart: The Pro Wrestling Podcast Podcast and on Twitter @jefflikesstuff.