Jerry Lynn Interview
Jerry Lynn is just returning from an injury that has kept him on the shelf since this winter. Known to ECW fans as “The New F’n Show” since his fantastic 1999 series against Rob Van Dam, Lynn has just rekindled his rivalry with “Mr. PPV.”
Jerry worked for a time in WCW under a mask as “Mr. JL,” an ill-fated gimmick that found him struggling to keep attention amongst a number of luchadores during that company’s rise to success. After leaving WCW in 1997, he joined ECW. Toward the end of that year, his name appeared in the brackets for the tournament to crown a new WWF light heavyweight champion. Lynn never wrestled in the tournament. He stuck with ECW, which would be the company where he finally won over fans with his athleticism and skill.
I caught up with Jerry Lynn at ECW’s TNN tapings in Poughkeepsie, NY this past Saturday, and here’s what he had to say.
How are you feeling after the injury?
JERRY LYNN: Great. It’s good to be back finally.
Do you feel that Rob Van Dam is the stepping stone for you to become a true superstar?
JL: Not exactly. I feel it’s all in what kind of a push the promoter gives you, and not a lot has been done with me. Everyone thinks Rob Van Dam “made” me, but even before I wrestled him I was having great matches with whoever else I worked with – whether it be Justin Credible, Chris Candido, Lance Storm, Mikey Whipwreck. And it’s not just me saying it. Paul E. himself told me that, Joey Styles, a lot of people. The fans are telling me that. I think the matches I had on pay-per-view with Rob just got me more worldwide and national attention. It didn’t necessarily “make” me.
Do you think that you bring out the best in Rob Van Dam?
JL: I think that we push each other to our limits, and we make it a bigger challenge to come out with more things, but he’s also had great matches with Lance Storm, Balls Mahoney and stuff. We just push each other to our limits, and try to come up with more outrageous stuff.
ECW is very eclectic in terms of style. From one match to another you’ll see weapons; you’ll see mat wrestling. Is it harder to wrestle against a certain style? Is it harder to wrestle against a New Jack or a Rob Van Dam?
JL: I don’t think so, because I’ve always made it a point in my wrestling ability to be able to adapt to whoever I’m working with no matter what style that is. And I’ve learned a lot of different styles, whether it be lucha, or Japanese. So I pride myself on being able to adapt to whoever I work with, you know, adapt to their style and still have the best match possible.
Whose idea was “JL?”
JL: The actual gimmick itself was my idea, because at the time the Power Rangers were over. WCW didn’t have any masked wrestlers, and they said that was exactly what they were looking for. But if you’re not written in their plans, they don’t give a shit about what you’re called or what they do with you. And I wasn’t written in, so when they gave me the name “Mr. JL,” I knew it was the beginning of the end.
Do you think the fact that you ended up being patterned more like a luchadore kind of sealed your fate there?
JL: No, because there was a lot of behind-the-scenes politics and stuff that went on that the fans don’t realize were going on. I had a couple unfortunate broken bones there. The first one, I broke my arm working (Dean) Malenko on a Nitro. When I came back after that injury, they brought in all these Mexicans with masks. So a mask didn’t mean anything anymore. And then after the second injury, there was some behind-the-scenes political bullshit going on, like some fabricated lies and shit like that. That’s when the office started jobbing me out and shitting on me. And when my contract was up, they let me go.
There seems to have been a lot of that going around in WCW.
JL: It’s just the nature of the business. It’s too bad that the business isn’t based on how good you are. It’s just the political crap – who you know and who you’re friends with.
Would you consider your WWF experience any better?
JL: I really didn’t have much of a WWF experience. What happened there was just a lot of miscommunication. They hadn’t asked me to be in their tournament. Somebody told me that I was in the brackets for the tournament on Raw. Well, they hadn’t asked me, and I’d already committed to Paul E. and started working for ECW. So I couldn’t do the tournament.
ECW has really come up in the past few years. What, in your opinion, needs to be done to make it better than it is now?
JL: Just better storylines. I can’t really think of anything other than that. If you talk to the fans, they’ve seen WCW; they’ve seen WWF. They see one of our shows, they say it’s the best they’ve ever seen. Even though we don’t have all the pyro, and the big production, and the hype, and, you know, the millions behind us. They still say it’s the best they’ve ever seen.
Are we going to see a Jerry Lynn heel turn any time?
JL: I have no idea.
Is that something you would like?
JL: Oh, I would, when it’s right. It depends; I gotta do whatever I’m told. When I do it though, I’m gonna do it right. I’m not gonna be some so-called “tweener.” A tweener shouldn’t even exist in this business. You’re either a face or a heel. A tweener, you’re not doing your job right.
Last question: If you were a foreign object, what would you be and why?
JL: Oh boy. I think I would be a chainsaw, because everyone is scared to death of a chainsaw.