Maybe he was trying to stay in character. Maybe he was having a bad day. Or maybe he just didn’t like me.
Who knows, but it took some serious arm-twisting to get some answers out of ECW world television champion Rhino.
Then again, when you’re 6’3,” 285 lbs. and you win one of the most prestigious titles in the U.S. while essentially a rookie, your actions tend to speak louder than words.
Rhino is a dominating force in ECW. He is backed by Steve Corino, Jack Victory and Cyrus (collectively known as The Network), but most people agree he’d be just as successful on his own. Rhino brutalizes opponents like few in the game.
Speaking of brutal, here is the painstaking interview I conducted with the Rookie Monster before ECW’s TNN tapings in Poughkeepsie on April 29.
Who are your influences for your style?
Nobody? Who were you trained by?
R: Mickey Doyle, Denny Kass and Scott D’Amore.
Is the TV title good enough for you, or are you looking for the world title soon?
R: Well, nothing’s good enough. Once you achieve a goal, you just keep reaching higher, and higher, and higher.
Do you feel that until you beat Rob Van Dam, you won’t be taken seriously?
R: I think I’m taken seriously now. I think in my actions, my manner and the way I conduct myself. I think I’m taken seriously now.
So why pursue Rob Van Dam? You’ve got the belt.
R: Why not? He’s coming after me, and I’m not gonna run from someone, right? Am I right or am I left? I have to be right. ‘Cause I’m not left.
Describe your relationship with Paul Heyman.
R: I really never talk to him. Just a couple times as far as business goes, and that’s it. As far as do I like him, do I dislike him, I really don’t have any feelings about it. He runs the company. He pays me money.
How much longer are you under contract to ECW?
R: That’s kind of personal, I don’t want to discuss that.
R: People say two years. People say five years. People say ten years. People say a lot. People say I was hired by the WWF 20 times, you know? People say I was hired by WCW. No one’s ever called me.
How long have you been doing this?
R: I wrestled amateur for five years. High school for four. Freestyle for one. Training and practicing, and tournaments all over the world.
Do you have a style preference? Do you prefer hardcore, or mat wrestling…
R: Well as far as hardcore, I consider hardcore being you go out there and you wrestle your ass off. Going out there and being aggressive. I wrestle aggressive. I’m naturally an aggressive person.
If you were a foreign object, what would you be and why?
R: If I was a foreign object what would I be? (pauses) I have no idea. You caught me off guard on that one. What do a lot of people say?
Jerry Lynn said he would be a chainsaw, because everybody fears a chainsaw.
R: Everybody fears a chainsaw. That’s what Jerry Lynn supposedly said?
Well if Jerry Lynn was a chainsaw, what would that make Rhino?
R: Oh God. What would that make Rhino? A big steel pipe. Not a pipe, but maybe a… oh God, I don’t know. Something that would crush his chainsaw to shit. Did you see him? Did you see him when he first came in? That short hair? He looked gay. He still looks gay.
Thanks for your time, Rhino.