I’m not sure how applicable this is to you, but I’m starting everybody off by asking about their Brian Pillman memories and what motivated them to come out here tonight to help lend support to his family….
Vampiro: I never even met him, but I will say that I’m very well aware of who he is and what he’s done in wrestling. I’m very proud to be here helping out. This is for his children, and I know Brian’s up there looking down, and I hope he’s happy knowing that his kids are gonna be OK.
The talk on the internet the last few weeks has been that you’ve finally come to an agreement with WCW for a long-term stay… with your program with Sting continuing, do you now see this as a genuine opportunity for you to take a huge step up the card?
V: I don’t know, what kind of reaction are you getting from it?
Well, I know from the e-mail I get, people were just very happy to see you get the opportunity for the feud against Sting… but there are some people — now that you’ve fought like 5 or 6 times on TV — who are saying they’d like to see this wrapped up one way or the other….
V: Ummm, well actually, it’s gonna go on for another two or three pay-per-views after this one coming up (Great American Bash).
I know that match is going to be an Inferno Match… are you going to keep it fresh by adding gimmicks or stipulations?
V: I have no idea really on exactly what they’ve got planned. I know they’re happy with the way it’s going.
Now, as far as the contract thing goes, I have no idea who put that on the internet. That’s something personal. It’s not so much a new contract. It’s more that the relationship has solidified…
Actually, I know Bob Barnett keeps an eye on me and Mike when it comes to your situation a lot of the time, so anything that was on our page, it probably came through him or was corrected by him… in any case, I’m just glad things are turning out well for you.
V: Yeah, they’re turning out great. But as far as working with Sting is concerned, I’m really happy with it. I’d just like to take it — and I know he’d like to, too — take it to the next level. I think he feels the same as I do that we don’t really need gimmicks cuz we go out there, we can keep it in the ring. We’ve got enough between us so that we don’t really need any gimmicks. But I guess I’m still for all that shit, though.
Are you satisfied with the stuff you and Sting have done so far, in terms of match quality or even getting the opportunity for the match length you want to do?
V: Yes and no. I mean, we both agree that we’ve both got a lot more to give, in the ring. I’d like to do a little more wrestling and a little less drama, but that’s just not the way it is.
Can I read between the lines then and ask if that means you weren’t a big fan of the graveyard brawl and how that came across?
V: Actually, no, I liked that. Everything that’s been happening is awesome. It’s more that I’m just such a shy guy that I hate doing promos and all that shit, so I’d rather just wrestle.
As far as how it came across on TV, I didn’t actually get to see it.
In terms of the feedback I see, that incident was actually one of the few roadbumps in terms of how well the feud has been perceived. I don’t know if this is the Vince Russo vision or what, but it was just that it came off more like a produced Hollywood thing than a realistic and intense brawl….
V: [Jumping in…] It was a lot more intense without the announcers… and I’m not speaking bad about any announcers, but if they had just left it alone…
It would have stood better on its own?
OK… as far as working with Russo and Bischoff again goes, is that a big part of the reason you feel better about your newly solidified relationship with WCW?
V: Yeah, both Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff, I’ve got great working relationships with them. They believe in me, and they want to guide me, and I’m very happy.
Russo has been quoted, even extensively on our site, about how he doesn’t want to push guys who can’t talk or don’t want to talk. It already manifests itself in the way the lucha guys and some others have disappeared from TV in the last few months… if that’s not something you feel comfortable doing, how do you see yourself holding up in the long term?
V: I have no idea. I’m not even worried about it. I don’t think about it.
Do you think that maybe you’ll be helped out by the fact that you’ve got a unique look and you can communicate things with that and your attitude and mannerisms?
V: Definitely. If I was just left alone and left to be myself, I don’t have any problem getting my point across. But they’re still trying to define my character, without realizing that my character is a character that can’t really BE defined. It’s just the way I am. I mean, to look like a monster but just talk like a normal guy, that’s just the way it is. I don’t know what else to say.
Going past Sting, and considering that there are a lot of new guys getting that big push lately, who do you see yourself able to make money with in the future?
V: I can work with anybody, have a great match with anybody. Whoever wants to step in the ring with me, I’m willing to go.
You don’t really see anyone breaking out and being a really ideal opponent for you?
V: No, no I don’t really think about it.
Before this thing with Sting actually happened, I mean, it seemed kind of an obvious pairing, but did you actually think it was going to materialize?
V: No, I never thought about. I just came to work one day, and they said, “This is what you’re doing.” So I said, “Alright.” And that was it.
Cool… look, I know you’ve got to get with Hugh Morrus about your match tonight, so I’ll let you get on with that. But I really appreciate your time, and if you’ve got any websites that you’d like to get the word out about, we’ll gladly make sure they get plugged.
V: Oh, OK… well there’s obviously www.Vampiro.net that people can check out. There’s also a martial arts school that I’m a part of, and you can find out about that at www.Senshido.com.
OK, we’ll definitely pass the word along. And again thanks for your time.
V: No problem, and seriously, thank you if you can mention those websites for me!