Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hit the Ropes went three on one with Ring of Honor star Brent Albright on the latest edition of our weekly radio show this past Wednesday. Go downloa

Hit the Ropes went three on one with Ring of Honor star Brent Albright on the latest edition of our weekly radio show this past Wednesday. Go download the archives to hear the whole show in its entirety.

But Hit the Ropes Radio gave “The Shooter” Brent Albright a call to find out what he was up to and where he’s been. Check out his thoughts on WCW and WWE growing up, his idea of where ROH is headed and his battles with CM Punk and Adam Pearce.

Hit the Ropes Radio:
We’re here with Ring of Honor’s Brent Albright, Brent how ya doing?

Bent Albright: Oh I’m doing great, how are you guys?

HTR: We’re doing great. Now we want to catch up those who aren’t as familiar with ROH, tell us a little about yourself.

BA: I’m from Tulsa, OK. I’ve been working with Ring of Honor for about three years now; I’ve been wrestling for 11 years. If you’re wondering about my style, my style is a mat based style, technical style, ground and pound style, with a little areal mixed in.

Like I said, I’ve been wrestling for ROH, Japan, OVW for three years, Smackdown for three months, and the Indys in the Midwest. And that’s me in a nutshell.

HTR: You’ve been around for a while, wrestled in a lot of organizations, and our poll question for today is at “what year did TNA break away from the NWA?” And you know a little about the NWA as you feuded over the NWA heavyweight title. Can you tell us a little about that?

BA: Yeah, I feuded over that belt with Adam Pearce. We’ve feuded since Sept. 1, 2007 down in Puerto Rico. And in Aug. 2, 2008 we feuded in New York City over the NWA title. It was an incredible match and we tore the house down. It was something I’ll never forget, it was awesome.

HTR: It sounds awesome. Now you say you have a technical base, which has allowed you to go with any style. And you’ve pretty much have gone against everyone. Down in your days of OVW you faced a list of who’s who of up and comers, who was your favorite to face off with?

BA: Other than Adam Pearce, it has to be CM Punk. We had the same kind of chemistry as Adam Pearce and I. We just tore the house down and left matches that people remember. One of the highlights of my career has been being able to work with him.

HTR: Right. Now you’re talking about great matches, and that’s what ROH’s known for. You don’t have the costume and people dressed up in funny suites…

BA: Now wait, we do have people dressed up in funny suites. We have El Generico. We’ve got Rhett Titus, I mean the man wears a bow tie to the ring and wrestles. We’ve got funny characters. H*ll, we’ve got a 5’2” lumberjack so come on. We’ve got some characters.

HTR: Yes that you do. But I was referring to the technical wrestling that ROH is known for and the great matches that have been displayed for years. And finally ya’ll have your TV show, what’s the atmosphere like in ROH right now? You’re about to blow up.

BA: With the transition of powers, the new regime as some like to call it, and the new booking… morale is up, morale is higher than it’s been in a while.

Especially with the debut of our TV show, with the tapings being in Philadelphia at the old ECW arena. I mean the atmosphere in the locker room is awesome.

Everyone has seen with the WWE has to offer, what TNA has to offer, and now they’ll be able to see ROH in three weeks when the tapings are done. Right off the bat into 17 million homes.

And hopefully with the network that we’re on (HDNet) they’re only gonna get bigger and we’re gonna get bigger. I just expect great things coming out of it.

HTR: ROH is on the up and up. Where do you see the company in five years? With the TV show, do you think they will get on a broadcast network or what?

BA: That’s hard to say. I know HDNet is growing going into 17 million homes, and hopefully 70 million homes next year, and in the next two years maybe even 100 million homes.

That in itself will be a network. More people are having access to HD channels so who knows. The sky’s the limit in the next 5 years.

HTR: I checked out the matches, the action is great and the fans are crazy. Give the listeners an idea what’s it like to go to a ROH show.

BA: For me, when my music hits, especially in NYC. I walk through the curtain in front of 2,000 people, their banging on the guard rails. Their starting all the chanting, “Kick his *ss” and all that. The atmosphere is electric. Fans are used to a high impact, high flying show, and that’s what we try to deliver every time.

You got some fans that will say, “I didn’t like this or I didn’t like that” but for one or two that say that you have two or 300 hundred that say it’s awesome. And even those who say otherwise, they still come back and buy tickets, so they must be liking something.

HTR: It’s so surprising how ROH has been able to hold on so long without TV. You hear about them mostly through trading DVDs, but now you’ve got “Rise Above” PPV on the Dish Network and the TV show on HDNet. For those who don’t know, who are you feuding with right now?

BA: Right now I’ve got a little rivalry with Claudia Casanova. When we met in Detroit I had him in a submission and he tapped out. But his foot was in the ropes and the ref says a rope break trumps a tap out.

In my book it’s the other way around. I got DQ’d but we’re gonna meet again in Danbury, Connecticut, so just like last time I’m gonna make him tap out. Only this time it’ll be in the middle of the ring.

HTR: That match in on the 27th?

BA: Yeah, Friday the 27th. Then we tape our TV show in Philadelphia on Saturday, followed up again at the old ECW arena for a show on Sunday.

HTR: How was it wrestling in the ECW arena?

BA: I had never wrestled in the ECW arena until six months ago, and I thought it was awesome wrestling in an arena that had so much history. And it was funny I was wrestling as the NWA champion, in an NWA title match, in the same building where the belt got thrown into the trash can.

In that regard I thought it was really unique and I’d get a chance to do the NWA title proud.

HTR: Since you brought the NWA title. A lot of greats have held that title over the decades. How does it feel to hold a title that was held by Flair, Rhodes and other greats?

BA: It’s awesome. Even though the NWA doesn’t get as much press that it did back in the ‘70s and ‘80s but it means a lot to me. Just to be a part of the NWA and NWA history and having my name go in the history books as a champ, it’s definitely a highlight of my career.

Especially to win it in NYC, in a state that the title has never been defended in, never been won in, it was awesome. To have the kind of match that Adam Pearce and I’ve had, a match that I’ll be able to tell my kids about is great.

HTR: Sticking with the whole NWA, who from the past NWA organization would you go one on one with if you could?

BA: Man, I think there’s a couple. Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, Rick Steamboat. There’s a lot that I would love to work with.

HTR:Did you grow up on the NWA or are you one of those guys who were pulled into wrestling later?

BA: I caught in on wrestling in the late '80s, ’88 or ’89. WCW on TBS, I think Crockett was running it still back then. But of course I remembered Hulk Hogan, Big Boss Man and the Junk Yard Dog from the WWF. I can remember seeing Sting and Arn Anderson for the first time.

All the guys from WCW. I remember seeing the WWF as more colorful and cartoonish while WCW was more… it was real, it was wrestling. And I enjoyed that different feel from it. So that’s what I grew up on.

But I started really getting into wrestling with Monday Night Raw. But you had wrestling on TBS, WCW Saturday Night, where they did the taping from the Orlando Studios, with the rotating ring. Man that was awesome.

I remember seeing Regal on there, Bobby Eaton, Triple H a few times as Terror Ryzing. It was awesome.

HTR: You’ve been on the fan side, and obviously the wrestling side, what is your reaction when fans come up to you? Cause it seems that when people hit it big they forget about when they were watching WCW Saturday night, and when they were a fan. How do you react when someone comes up to you?

You know what? As long as they’re polite and ask and don’t demand, because there is a difference you know, as long as they’re polite I’ll give them an autograph. I don’t care. It’s part of the job.

But if you come up to me and you think I owe it to you to give an autograph, I’ll tell you to piss off. I’m human just like everyone else. I don’t owe anybody anything. But if you want to be cordial or polite, I’ll give you autographs all day.

HTR: Well we definitely thank you for coming on. We want to make sure we tell all the fans to check out ROHWrestling.comso all the fans can check out Brent Albright and the rest of the Ring of Honor stars. Once again Brent, it’s been a pleasure and we hope you’ll come back on once the TV show’s done taping.

BA: Hey, anytime guys. Don’t forget to check out ROH’s TV show on HDNet, the PPV Rising Above on the Dish Network and Check it out it’s good stuff.

To find out more, listen in to Hit the Ropes Radio. This week's special guests: Former WWE Tough Enough Winner Daniel Puder and Gustavo Mendoza of Booker T's PWA.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chuck Palumbo Interview

Hit the Ropes Radio threw no punches with our exclusive interview with former WCW and WWE superstar Chuck Palumbo. And to our pleasant surprise, that was okay with Chuck because he didn't duck anything.

Hit the Ropes Radio: Chuck, Why don’t you gives a little run down of what you’ve been up to since we last saw you on TV.
Chuck Palumbo: Well right after my last match on TV I had surgery on my shoulder. And the day I got released from my rehabbing from my surgery, I got released from the WWE.

HTR: Now your last gimmick in the WWE was the biker gimmick. Now we’ve seen the surfer guy, the Bill and Chuck, the grease monkey. Out of all those gimmicks, which most represents you as a person?
CP: The bike thing was going okay at first, and then they had me doing this gimmick with Noble, which really wasn’t of any help to me. Then they had me beating on girls, which I didn’t dig. So I do what I’m told to do. It’s a job and I’ll do what you pay me to do.

HTR: Chuck, since you brought this up what would your perfect gimmick be if you were able to book your character?
CP: If I were to book my character, that’s a tough one man. I think any of the characters were okay if they could see my real personality. It probably on the face side. I’m an easy laid back kinda guy. Most of the guys in the back know that. But on TV they played me off to be a d*ck, possibly gay, to be a trouble maker. Nothing that was me.

So I’d say a babyface, someone who could put me in jeopardy. Someone big and who can actually get some heat on me. A real heel, you know? I don’t know if that answer your question guys?

HTR: Right, definitely. I want to talk about the Billy, er, Bill and Chuck situation. Who’s idea was that?
CP: I thing that was Sarge, Sarge Slaughter’s idea. Originally it was supposed to be a flamboyant tag team, something going back to the Hollywood Blondes. And then Vince jumped on the bandwagon knowing ratings week was coming up in the future, he wanted to do something crazy for ratings week. To the ratings for that Smackdown show, which he did, that was what that was for.

Now did they think it was going to get over like it did? I didn’t think so. But it started to get over and it was pretty good publicity for a while. But I played the part. Some people want to say it was a gay character or whatever, but I don’t have anything against gay people. That’s fine. I was just playing a character. Billy and I talk about it even now. It was a great time and we laugh our @sses off thinking about it.

HTR: Now that you’re off TV, do you still watch the show? If so, what brands do you watch?
CP: To be honest I don’t really watch. When my buddies are on I watch. When Rey’s on, or Chavo (Guerrero), Dave (Batista), Randy (Orton), Taker when those I guys are on I watch. Otherwise I don’t really watch it to tell you the truth.

HTR: Chuck you mention some of the guys you watch, I saw on your website (for bikes) that you built bikes for a couple of those guys, which of those have the biggest baddest bike? I saw Rey was on there, Batista was on there, who has the best bike?
CP: They’re all good bikes actually, but if you wanna go big, bad, aggressive I’d would have to say Dave’s. I try to build bikes that go along with their personality, so I’d have to say Dave’s is pretty aggressive. That’s the way Dave portrays himself in the ring. Outside the ring the guy’s laid back as heck. But I think it fits him.

HTR: Great. Now when you’re not building bikes or crossing the country in the name of the troops, are you wrestling? I know you said you had your injury, are you 100%?
CP: Yeah I’m a 100%. I’ve actually have my first Jiu Jitsu completion on the 28th in Westminster, California . I’ve been taking Jiu Jitsu just to keep my wind up, keep in ring shape, and I’m ready to go. I’ve been talking with TNA, trying to figure out in the creative department something. But as soon as that happens I’ll have more news for you. That’s all I can say now. We’re talking about the creative side of it right now.

I’d love to go down there right now because all the guys I started with are down there. All the guys that helped me from the beginning are there. Sting, Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner, Booker. All those guys are down there and it would be a nice to get a chance to work with those guys. It’ll be nice to work with the younger guys. They’ve got a lot of exciting talent who I think are underrated, you know?

HTR: That’s something we’ve all agreed on. TNA is chopped full of talent. So what do you think they need to do to get on that level where WCW was at to rival the WWE?
CP: Oh, gosh. Well number one they need time. They need time in that two hour time slot. Time will boost their publicity. As far as talent, they’ve got the talent. Talent is not an issue. They just need the marketing machine behind them. I think they’re on their way. If you look at from where they started, they started they had the one hour time slot. Now they’ve got the two, obviously that means they’ve got the bigger sponsors coming in. Which means more money for the boys. I think it’s just time now. They’re not lacking talent, they’re not lacking writers, they’re not lacking management. I think they’ve got everything, they just need a little time.

HTR: Who are you most looking forward to stepping into the ring with once this deal gets worked out?
CP: Gosh, that’s a real good question. I don’t know. I’d love to work with the older guys who are there because it brings back memories . Because I was green as grass when I was first there and I learned while I was on TV. So it would be great to go back and work with these guys now, but I’d love to work with these young guys. I’d love to help these young guys out. I may not have had the super push or gotten over like a lot of these guys but I’ve got the experience as far as working in the ring and I can really help put these young guys over, you know?

HTR: Now you said you went to wrestling straight after basketball, now have you always watched wrestling? Or are you one of those guys who were working out in the gym who some other big guy comes in and says. “you’re big, you should wrestle.”
CP: No, I watched wrestling. Not every week, but from time to time. In the early 80s I watched it a lot, with the Saturday morning deals with the WWF you know. I was crazy about it back then. But I watched it once and a while. But at that point I never even lifted a weight. I wasn’t into the weights.

I was actually watching WCW Nitro and they had an ad on TV. You remember that cat Lodi? They had him in the crowd, it was back when he was doing that sign thing. He had a sign that said “Want to Wrestle” and then it had a number with a 404 area code, and I didn’t even know what that was. I tried to write the number down, but I missed it. So I watched the next week and I taped it. So I called and the number was the WCW Power Plant. So I called them, and spoke with Jody Hamilton, the original Assassin. And he said “Hey kid. What do you look like? Are you an athlete?” and I was like yeah, yeah, yeah. So he said to get a physical and come down, and he gave me a tryout date.

So I took the physical, scrounged up $350 and went there with a plane ticket. I think my tryout cost me $250 and 30 of us tried out. By the third day I was the only one left, everyone else either quit or got hurt. Ask anyone about those WCW tryouts. Dave Batista tried out and he only lasted about an hour. I was there, you can ask him. He puked, they make him take his shirt off his back, and then he had to put the shirt back on and then kicked him in the @ss and out the door.

HTR: Wow
CP: I’m not saying that was cool, I’m just saying it was a weeding out process. They wanted guys to really want it. They didn’t teach you anything about wrestling in the beginning. They just beat you up and if you hung in after three days you’d get an opportunity to go to the camp.

So I got the opportunity to go to camp. So I went back to San Diego, sold my belongings, everything I had. Got my two year old daughter, drove cross country with her and show up at the Power Plant. I get to the Power Plant with a Uhaul on my truck and guys are laughing at me ‘cause no one ever made it out of the Power Plant. So my wife was working full time to support my training and that was it.

HTR: You made through the ranks pretty quick. What do you think attributed to that?
CP: JJ Dillion came down to the Power Plant and noticed there was a bunch of guys on there and said that they had to do something with these guys. It was starting to be sort of a scam down there, they were taking in a bunch of people off the street who were paying but not going on TV.

So Bischoff told JJ to take the guys you think are worth something and we’re going to start a new Power Plant. So they put Orndorf in charge and got rid of Hamilton and called Jimmy Hart, who’s a sweetheart by the way, down who was booking Saturday Night at the time. So he took a few of us and mixed us with the veterans and we were up and running. Then Vince Russo came in and put us on TV. And anyone who saw, saw I was green as grass. I didn’t get the opportunity to work the Indy ranks.

HTR: And that’s the issue with a lot of guys now. No experience, they’re thrown on TV, and we’re left saying what happened to so and so.
CP: Right. If you notice there was a period of time where OVW were stacked with people who can work. And the guys now, no knock on them, but they don’t have the time in front of people. The only problem is there’s nowhere for them to work. Now people are just trying to make a buck. Ex football players, WWE brings them in right away and they can’t carry a work. No knock on the WWE, the talent isn’t there because there are no territories for them to work.

HTR: Right, there’s Ring of Honor and Booker T’s PWA but that’s about it.
CP: And I’ve noticed the wrestlers are getting younger these days.

HTR: Yeah and speaking with Kurt Angle, they don’t quite know what they’re doing yet. They’re jumping out of the ring just to jump back into the ring. Things just don’t make sense.
CP: Yeah, but that will change. We all did that when we were young, trying to get the spots.

HTR: Well, you’ve been in the WWE and WCW, which one has the bigger power pull?
CP: The locker room’s not bad. The boys are all pretty cool with each other for the most part. Some people can blame the politics for some stuff but it’s not that bad. I know this though, when I first came over from WCW, JR said we all share the same locker room and there are no superstars or that b.s. That’s a bunch of horsesh*t. The WWE and WCW are no different.

HTR: We’re out of time, but thank you very much for stopping by.
CP: Thanks guys and I hoped I answered all your questions.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Brand New Wrestling Radio Show

Hit the Ropes Radio Show
What up B/R. Shane, Demetrus and Myself want all of you to check out our online radio show.

Our first guest will be former WWE and WCW superstar Chuck Palumbo. We'll be discussing his time in WCW, WWE, his motorcycle shop and what he's up to now.

And if you have any questions you want us to ask him, leave it here or call and ask him yourself.

In my last article, I teased someone who's jumping promotions, that's still in the works. But right now our guest is the 4 time WCW World Tag Champ and 2 time WWE World Tag Champ, Chuck Palumbo.

Our Radio Show:

Show Name: Hit the Ropes Radio

When: Wednesday

Time: 6:00 -7:00pm


Number: (646) 929-2442 (Call in let us know what you think about the world of wrestling today)

You can also click to talk if you have a mic, or use the live chat room

Next week's guest, the stars from Booker T's PWA wrestling. We will also have Booker T calling in sometime in the next few weeks. When? You have to tune in to see.