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?
BA: 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 ROHWrestling.com. 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.