IYH Interview: Larry Zbyszko
By Neal Jones
TNA’s DOA Larry Zbyszko was the first guest this week on http://www.inyourheadonline.com. Which can be heard live every Wednesday at 6:00 PM with Jack, OneInchBiceps and Barbie Richards.
The hosts welcomed Larry to IYH, and mentioned the upcoming TNA PPV Lock Down April 23rd, for more information please visit http://www.tnawrestling.com.
Larry started in about the new time slot. He says he would have preferred 9 PM instead of 11, which he doesn’t consider prime time. Larry would like a 2 hour live prime time show. Larry says TNA ahs to take it one step at a time, the Saturday show is doing well so he thinks they will get a better time and more time.
Jack asks the benefits of a longer show. Larry says it gives the guys more time, and more guys to be seen. Larry puts over the talent in TNA, including the new guys coming in and out such as Sting Scott Steiner and possibly Goldberg.
Jack asks if they need the mix of established names and young talent. Larry says the big names bring in the fans to see the new talent. Larry compares his feud with Bruno putting him on the map to what TNA needs to do, have the young stars have conflicts with the big names so they become big names themselves.
Larry says he will be on the PPV, but will not be wrestling anyone. Jack asks Larry about the Sting army vs Jarrett army lockdown match. Larry said he hated doing War Games matches. Jack asks if it will be too cluttered having so many guys in a cage match with one ring not 2, Larry says that just adds more excitement.
OIB asks what the dying days of AWA were like. Larry says the AWA was one of the last true territories. He says it was sad to see it go, but you could see it coming and should have closed a few years before. LArry says it was the way the world was going, territories were a thing of the past and Verne didn’t want to let go.
Jack asks if Larry watched Verne inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Larry said he wouldn’t donate one penny to WWE so he didn’t see it.
Barbie asks what Larry thought of WWE owning the AWA footage. LArry says at least someone will own it, and long after he and Vince are dead other generations will get to see the footage. Jack asks how he feels that WWE sells DVD’s with him on it. Larry says he would like to see a check. Larry says the contracts with WCW had releases signed, but the old days there were no TV rights or releases signed. Larry says Vince will get a bill some day.
OIB asks what he thinks of the HOF with no Bruno Sammartino. Larry says if it wasn’t for Bruno WWWF/WWF would have been bankrupt a few times. Larry says Bruno will never do it, but everyone can read about the Bruno vs WWF feuds, and their Shea Stadium match stories etc in his upcoming Biography, which comes out this Fall. LArry says he wants to include a free DVD with the book, and promote it on TNA TV.
Jack asks about Larry’s move from wrestler to commentator. Larry said Bill Watts didn’t want any guys over 40, but really only pushed his son Erik Watts. Larry decided to get his knee scoped while Watts was in control, and WCW asked him to do some broadcasting. WCW loved it and offered him a job, and it was just the right time for him to make the move. And gave him 10 more years in the business.
Larry talks about the TNA commentators. Larry says Mike Tenay is the professor, and really knows his stuff. At first he didn’t know about Don West, but he is a nice guy and is catching on. Larry and Jack compare Don’s shiny shirts to Larry’s Big Dog Hawaiian style shirts.
OIB asks what Larry thought of the Western States Heritage title. Larry says it was alright at the time, but it is more popular now than ever. Larry tells a story of after he won the belt, Baby Doll was supposed to give Dusty the “kiss of death” on TV, but her husband Sam Houston wouldn’t let her. So both got fired. Larry talks about the belt, and he still has it stored away somewhere.
Larry talks about being on Big Break Sr Golf tour, and that the gold channel has been in contact with him.
Jack asks what Larry thinks of the X Division being he was known for his stalling. Larry says the X Division is very exciting to watch, and impressed by their moves but will be surprised if any of them make it to 40 in the business.
Larry talks about being lucky and not having a lot of injuries. One of the factors he says is he never did steroids, steroids lead to muscle tears and injuries. He also never did any crazy moves.
Jack asks if the Steroids test in WWE will be legit. Larry says no, they will just test the guys they don’t need or want. Larry says it will be the usual farce, and asks “Is Vince going to test himself ?”. Jack asks if its good for Wrestling if they do. Larry says it wouldn’t change wrestling but it would be good for the boys. Larry doesn’t know why a 220 pound guy has to gas up to 240 he still won’t be a big guy, and a 280 pound guy gassed up to 310 makes no difference he is still big. Larry says look at some of the guys his age, they are crumbling and brings up all the health problems of Billy Graham.
OIB asks Larry about the numchucks. Larry says he taught himself a lot, and a friend shoed him some more. He says he would carry them to beat up the marks who would chase him down, one day Verne saw Larry practicing with them backstage and said that has to be on TV. Next thing Larry knew he was using them on AWA and had the Super Ninja with him.
Jobber in the chat room asks Larry about ring rats and ribs. Larry said he was married in WCW so he wasn’t involved in ring rats. Larry says the current generation has too many weird diseases, in his days they just ahd fun. Larry says he kayfabes the rats.
Jack asks what Larry thinks of the fans using words like Ring Rats, heels, faces etc. Larry says it was just a matter of time and doesn’t matter. Larry says Jabroni was Italian for carpenter, and enhancement talent were guys who laid the foundation which is how the name started. Larry says he got into wrestling because he was a fan first. Larry says they need to get new fans into wrestling not the ones who already know all the terms.
Larry talks about the guys he enjoys watching in TNA now. Larry brings up Samoa Joe first. He also likes Abyss, Mitchell, AJ Styles, Daniels and many more. Larry thinks they need more time to slow it down and let them show their personality more.
Jack asks if he would get into the ring with Samoa, Larry answers hell no. Larry talks about the wrestling business should be about money. The young guys need to do things to make a name so they can make money
Larry addresses the Goldberg rumors. Larry says he likes Bill and would be good for TNA and good interest. He’d like to see Goldberg vs Samoa Joe. Jack asks if he knew Goldberg would get so big in WCW. Larry says not at first, but he had the look and the power, and you could tell soon it was a big deal. Larry says it should have been much bigger, but the upper management changes screwed it all up.
Jack asks what the downfall of WCW was. Larry said lots of things. WCW went through too many managements. Bischoff hustled his way in, did some good things but didn’t know what to do after a while. Larry says Russo was just a cancer and horrible for the business.
Larry says it was more fun and exciting to be a heel than a babyface. When he was younger it was really him, the unlikable guy. Larry says he had to tone it down when doing broadcasting, Larry doesn’t enjoy the super heel commentators.
OIB asks Larry what it was like working with Paul Heyman in the Dangerous Alliance. Larry says he was alright for him, Paul used to follow him around since he was a little kid. Larry enjoyed being a singles more than part of a group.
Jack asks about Steve Austin and if he saw him as being a huge deal someday. Larry said Steve ahd great ability in the ring, was hard working but had no character. Larry says he was like a balding Ric Flair as Stunning Steve Austin. Larry says he was in the right time right place, he came around as the first character who could say ass on TV and talk different than guys before him.
Larry says he would have liked to work with Hogan once, but doesn’t think he can work anymore. Jack says Hogan will wrestle until he can’t walk, Larry says “oh no he’s another Ric Flair”. Larry asks if Flair is going to wrestle until he is a complete mummy. Barbie says that won’t stop him. Larry says he doesn’t watch WWE but he feels sorry the idiot (Flair) is broke, and it’s embarrassing that he wrestles every week doing the same old match every time. Larry says he should be used as a manager and to do novelty matches now and then. Larry says Flair was stale 10 years ago.
Jack asks Larry about ECW. Larry says he never watched it and wasn’t into that style, he thought it was stupid.
Larry says he never wanted to train guys. Plus he wouldn’t want to be responsible for getting guys into the business. To make money they would have to be a freaky giant, or kill their bodies to be noticed. Larry says if he knew a guy could make it and had the connection to get him he might.
Jack asks what would he tell young guys the one thing they would need to work on. Larry says it’s everything, Charisma can’t be taught, but one advice would be take it serious and to be something different.
Larry plugs the TNA Lock Down PPV. And tells everyone to watch TNA, that it is something new instead of the same old WWE. For more information please visit http://www.tnawrestling.com.