Welcome to In Your Head! Wrestling podcast, news and community!
Welcome to In Your Head! Wrestling podcast, news and community!
By Cooter Adkins of http://www.savemikesleica.com/
Transcription of IYH broadcast featuring OVW Athletic Trainer Eric Langley:
Jack: All right and we?re back. We?re joined by Eric Langley trainer in Ohio Valley Wrestling.
Jack: hey what?s up? Welcome to the show man, how?re you doing.
Eric: it?s going well, I?m just driving home so I apologize if I?m a little staticky, but I?ll do the best I can do.
Jack: cool, no problem. First of all, everyone visit ovwwrestling.com.
Eric: it?s ovwrestling.
Jack: it?s ovwrestling, right, cause if you put ovwwrestling, there?d be two w?s in there.
Eric: That?s right.
Jack: Just one w, except for the www. I?ve just confused people even worse. . . . [laughter] So what role do you have in the OVW?
Eric: Well, I. . . I actually have separated myself from the OVW in the past couple weeks. I was the assistant athletic trainer at the OVW. Lots of friends there, I still have ties there. I was the assistant athletic trainer for a little over three years. I?ve been down the road a few times and seen a few things.
Jack: what made you leave the OVW?
Eric: Actually, my father and myself opened a business. . . and I just basically took some time off just to get that going and, you know, [garbled connection] it?s kind of a big, you know, responsibility. Three or four days a week I had to be there. I had to step back from that to open up the business. I had to get that going.
Jack: So you might go back to wrestling eventually?
Eric: absolutely. Like I said, I still have a lot of friends and I still visit often.
Jack: how did you get involved in ovw?
Eric: well, it was kind of, I kind of knew and I?d been friends with rob conway?s brother for years. I kind of had some friends in the business and was an athletics trainer at the university of Louisville. I?d got my foot in the door the first time smackdown held a show at freedom hall. I was a trainer for the university at the time, and I talked to the trainer about working their event. I worked the event and at the event, rob Conway worked the [lost] he was at OVW. I was talking to him about some things. Their situation was their athletic trainer couldn?t be there for television. He was kind of there for practices and things. I volunteered my services and started helping out for television. I kind of went from there.
Jack: someone here in our chatroom, riron, wants to know if there is any way for people outside their affiliate stations to see OVW now that WWE owns their library.
Eric: You know, I?m not real sure how that?s going to work. I?m sure they?re going to probably make it available on WWE 24/7. I haven?t heard, so really I don?t have an answer to that. Now they?re occasionally some clips put up on YouTube that you can download, but as for anything else I?m not sure at this point.
Jack: what about youtube: is there anyone in wrestling that is mad about how WWE doesn?t look their footage up there. Do you ever hear anything -- ?
Eric: I can?t speak for WWE. They seem to be mad about just about everything, so yeah they probably are. As far as Davis is concerned, since the library is not his anymore, he probably really doesn?t care.
Eric: I know there were some big issues with some things that went down on youtube where footage of some wrestlers in a hotel lobby and things like that. . . that upsets people a little more than just having tv footage up there.
Jack: right. The one where I think it was Cena and Umaga and they were -- . . . .
Eric: yeah, that was the situation.
Jack: . . . with Jeter.
Jack: That was on our website, inyourheadonline.com. what would you say that WWE would look for in a wrestler?
Eric: well, they seem to have a cookie cutter approach to finding a wrestler. . . as big and jacked up as you can be. . . and be a male model to go along with it. . . and the females are small, good shape, and, you know, model looks again. They don?t really. . . they?re kind of getting away from the Tugboats. . . the Butterbeans. . . the big guys from back in the day. They?re going with more of the Chris Masters. . . so if you?re over 6?5? and you have big muscles. You?re probably good to go.
Jack: So they go for more of a looks category. Is there any other aspects that they would look for like charisma, promo ability, athletic ability. . . ?
Eric: Well. . . I mean that all goes in with the package. You have to be able to sell yourself, you know. I?ve seen a lot of guys come and go, and, unfortunately, I?ve seen guys go that HAD everything. They just may have been a little too short. They may have only been 6 feet tall, or 5?10?. I?ve seen that happen, and, unfortunately, it?s the reality that WWE says that even though you may have that charisma, athletic ability, and everything else, you may not make it. Now that ECW is going things may change a little bit: seeing Punk debut Tuesday night -- he?s kind of a small guy. . . but he does have the charisma, energy, skills, and athletic ability. It may change a little bit now that ECW is going, but, as far as just the WWE mainstream, they don?t take that into count very much.
Jack: Someone like C.M. Punk comes in. . . someone that has a big fan base, an audience from the internet, tape traders. . . do people treat them differently? They want to prove that he is not as big as people think he is?
Eric: I didn?t see that as much from Punk. Punk is known for having an attitude and things like that. I think people were a little hesitant as far as that was concerned. I never had a problem with him, matter of fact, I think he?s a great guy. I think that a couple of the boys that hadn?t met him before. . . I don?t think it was as much of the internet following as it was his personality.
Jack: right. Did you see his debut last night?
Eric: I unfortunately didn?t get to see it. I meant to watch it and it just completely slipped my mind. On Tuesday nights it?s kind of a stretch for me right now and I just keep forgetting to turn it on, to be honest with you.
Jack: You said about the cookie cutters. . . do you think someone like a Dusty Rhodes would even get a chance now if he would try to break into the business?
Eric: Breaking into the business? I kind of doubt it. As great as Dusty was, I?m probably one of the biggest Dusty [fans][lost audio ] I just don?t see that. I?ve seen guys with, you know, a little bit better physique than he had trying to break into the business that just can?t make it.
Jack: what are some of the guys that you really thought should have made it that just didn?t for whatever reason?
Eric: well, one wrestler at OVW right now that just got signed and it took him, gosh, it?s been over three years. Seth Skyfire and I?d really like to see him make it. I didn?t think he was going to. He was getting very discouraged. He?s a great cruiserweight. He has the full package. As far as anyone else, I hated to see the Hearththrobs go. That was really tough for me. I thought they were great in OVW and I?ve heard Jim Cornette say in interviews before. . . that he agreed they should have made it. They were changed too much from what their gimmick was in OVW. I think that lead to their demise. You know, I developed kind of a personal relationship with the wrestlers I worked with, so really I hate to see anybody that didn?t make it. The Tolins, the Dicks, the heartthrobs. . . all those guys that didn?t get much of a chance.
Jack: any guys that you didn?t think would have a chance when they first came in that really surprised you?
Eric: Well, I tell you. . . Chris Masters was kind of a miracle story. He stepped into the door at OVW. I still remember the first day he walked in and he had the package as far as the body, but he just was not very good in any other aspect. He advanced so quickly. I wasn?t shocked that he made it, I was just shocked that he made it as quickly as he did. I think that around the same time Carlos Colon, I think he really shot up a lot faster than I thought he would. As far as just people that made it big that I didn?t think. . . not really anyone that I can think of right off the top of my head.
Jack: right. You say you were there for some of Jim Cornette?s blow-ups?
Eric: I have been.
Jack: Do you think it was a mistake (I guess he?s still in OVW) to take away him running OVW?
Eric: Well. Yes I do. I?ll be a little more specific. He is still part owner of OVW. There is nothing that John Lawrenitis or anyone can do about that. All they did was fire him from his WWE contract and that took him off television as the announcer. He was also, part of his contract was writing television. He doesn?t do that part. He?s still in charge. He stills helps get us sponsors. He?s still very involved in OVW -- which is a good thing. Unfortunately, we don?t get to benefit from his writing abilities and his genius mind, but I do think it was a mistake. On the other hand, I think it was a godsend because Jim needed a break and he was very, very burned out being in the wrestling business. . . and then being in OVW and writing television for 9 years straight without a break.
Jack: A question from the message-board incher?
OIB: Norrin wants to know what is OVW?s working relationship with Deep South Wrestling, if any?
Eric: As far as the direct working relationship, it?s kind of non-existent. They do send some of their guys up to Louisville from time to time. We have kind of a bigger television fan-base. So, if the talent team wants to see certain wrestlers try out in front of a bigger crowd, they might send him up to Louisville and tape the match. If the talent scouts are at OVW, they can see them live. We have the connection through WWE, but we don?t really do any business with them directly as far as I?m aware of.
Jack: How many developmental territories would be ideal for WWE?
Eric: I was around OVW shortly after they cut ties with Heartland Wrestling Association. I really don?t know how that went. I know that when we were the only ones, I think things went just fine. As far as now that Deep South is open, I haven?t really seen much difference. I mean, two, I think is fine. If they added more, you just spread your talent really thin if you add any more. You don?t want to have a ridiculous amount of wrestlers under developmental contracts. You know, so if you have more than two schools you have to spread the talent even thinner. I think the product would suffer.
Jack: Back to Cornette. Were you there the time Cornette had the blowup with Kevin Fertig.
Eric: Yes. I can answer that question yes and I don?t even know which one, I was there so many times. Kevin is a very hard-headed individual. He?s a friend of mine, so, if he happens to hear this, I apologize, but that?s Kevin. He?s a very hard-headed individual. Jim is the same way and when you get two hard-headed individuals together it tends to be a bad situation when it comes to conflict.
Jack: How do you think Paul Heyman fit in OVW?
Eric: Without being too critical of Paul, because I really don?t feel that I have the right to be. . . I think when Paul got to OVW, I think he had an amazing pool of talent to work with. . . and amazing storyline to work with that Jim Cornette had built up. I think he did an awesome job. He took over within a matter of days with very little notice. He had had a little bit of experience because he?d been at OVW for a couple weeks prior to that. . . kind of helping out with promos and things for WWE. He had a little bit of experience at OVW, but basically they just thrust the whole thing in his lap. At one time it was like, ?you have TV in three days. Good luck.? I think he did an awesome job there. As far as for the long haul, I came from the Jim Cornette School of thinking and I worked for Jim for so long that it was just so different to me. Paul is a genius as well, but I think Paul?s genius was so different it was hard for me to adjust. I saw that the talent was happier. I will say that. I?m kind of 50/50 on it. I think he did a good job. I think at the beginning he did an awesome job and, like I said, as far as the long haul I don?t have a specific opinion on it.
Jack: how about Tommy Dreamer?
Eric: I think Tommy did a great job. I feel bad that Dr. Tom had to go. I thought Tom was doing a great job. Unfortuantely --
Jack: We had Dr. Tom on last week, by the way.
Eric: That?s awesome. I haven?t seen Tom in several weeks. I hope he?s doing well. Unfortunately when Jim Ross was removed from being the head of talent relations, a lot of things changed. Tommy has really done a great job. I haven?t been around as much because I have been running my business, I haven?t been around as much since ECW opened, so, I don?t know how things are now. I know right before ECW opened up, the whole time Tommy was running things there, I think things went really well. I think he?s a great guy and he handles things very professionally and very well.
Jack: When we had Tom Prichard on, he talked about WWE wanting a corporate look. Does that go to OVW too? Do the guys have to go by a dress code there?
Eric: Very much so. The first day that the dress code was enacted, we had all the talent that worked under OVW had to adhere to the dress code for shows, house shows, TV. . . stuff like that. As far as practice, there weren?t fans around so we didn?t really have to adhere to the dress code. I will say that it probably isn?t as enforced as it is on the road, but it IS still a factor.
Jack: do you think its something important? Do you think anyone really cares outside of wrestling?
Eric: You know, I really don?t know. I think it wouldn?t hurt for administration to have a dress code. I think they did anyway. I never really saw John Laurenaitis, or Jim Ross running around in shorts, but when it comes to the wrestlers -- I don?t think the wrestling fan expects to see Undertaker, John Cena, HHH walking out in a 3 piece suit. When they were in Evolution, that was their thing. Now that Shawn Michaels and HHH are in DX, should they be walking out in the arena in a 3 piece suit? No, they should probably be in jeans and a DX t-shirt. I just don?t think it?s something that the wrestling fans should expect. Unfortunately, Vince has a very professional standard and you do what the boss says.
Jack: How would you compare Jim Ross to John Laurenaitis?
Eric: there really is no comparison. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. To be fair, I did enjoy things better when Jim Ross was in charge. I know that I can?t speak for anything first hand because I didn?t have to deal with either one of them outside of the occasional e-mail. I didn?t report to them or speak to them very often. I know what I heard that Jim Cornette was a little happier under Jim Ross than John Lawrenitis. As far as anything else, it?s really hard to say -- not a whole lot are as vocal as Jim. It?s 50/50, but Jim Cornette had a better time under Jim Ross. It didn?t really matter to me because I didn?t really deal with either one that much.
Jack: Right. When the WWE would do a scouting trip, what were they looking for?
Eric: You know. They didn?t really say. They would just pretty much come in and we?d kind of put a house show on for them. We?d just run through some matches. Sometimes they?d make some specific requests. They?d want to see this person vs. this person. I think it was all had to do with what the talent relations people and the writers wanted to see to possibly put on TV soon. Other than that I think they just kind of wanted to see everything as a whole. They never really made any specific requests as far as I know.
Jack: a question from the board, incher?
OIB: Rick Rude?s moustache wants to know ?what was the most horrific injury you ever saw sustained during a training??
Eric: nothing during training. Before TV we had one of our beginner wrestlers amputate his finger. That wasn?t really wrestling-involved, but it was in the arena and he went to sit down in a chair. The chair gave way and cut his finger off. That was interesting, but other than that there were some torn ligaments and things like that. Lacerations. . . people bleeding. . . things like that. Nothing crazy. I?ve been there for a few of Shawn Michaels knee injuries which were kind of interesting. Other than that, I haven?t, fortunately (knock on wood), I haven?t had to deal with anything TOO serious as far as actual wrestling injuries. Of course, there always is the Matt Capotelli situation. I did have to be involved in that. Of course, wrestling wasn?t what caused his initial injury -- well, that?s what caused his initial injury, but not what caused his unfortunate diagnosis. i did , unfortunately, have to deal with the beginning of that situation. I kind of count that and I kind of don?t.
Jack: How is he doing, do you know?
Eric: Matt is an amazing individual. He?s handling his situation better than anyone could ever expect him to. He stays in the best of spirits. Last time I talked to him was about 2 weeks ago. He seems to be doing really well. He still hasn?t progressed too far in any kind of treatment. He?s kind of still weighing the options and really making sure he gets all the best in the world. As far as his spirits. . . they?re awesome. He really tries to spread the word. He tries to help people through his own unfortunate situation. Matt?s doing really good.
Jack: That?s good. Another question from the board incher?
OIB: Hambone. He wants to know if OVW lost a lot of money when WWE stopped them from selling tapes.
Eric: Yes and no. I mean, they sold some tapes at house shows and had subscriptions. They didn?t just sign a piece of paper and just give the WWE their tape library for free. They got a pretty good sized check. I?ve heard rumors from people what that was, I won?t say, but it was a pretty good chunk of change. So they?re kind of losing money, but not. . . in the long run, over they years, they could have made more money. In the short term, he?s definitely doing better now.
Jack: what kind of guys were the best trainers for actual in ring work?
Eric: Lance Storm and Al Snow are both amazing. Before that, Rip Rogers was kind of in charge and Rip is great when it comes to psychology and he?s a really good trainer for in ring wrestling. Unfortunately, he doesn?t have the, I don?t know how to put it. He doesn?t want to teach wrestling as it is now. . . as WWE wants it. He wants to teach how HE wants it and unfortunately that was kind of what brought him down. Lance and Al, or Lance more than Al, Lance can really teach the guys how to do it, how WWE wants it. Al will teach to an extent, but there are still things that Al will teach Al?s way rather than WWE?s way. For the most, I think that everyone that has been associated with OVW has been really good. They wouldn?t trust someone to teach their developmental guys if they weren?t the best of the best.
Jack: What do you think about sometimes when a guy comes up like Nick Dinsmore, who gets up with the Eugene gimmick?
Eric: You know, I think it?s really a great, great idea. Nick can kind of have a hand in coming up with that. Prior to that he had been kind of been at a stalematefor 6 years. He?d trained at OVW for 9 years and had signed up under a developmental contract since the developmental system was created. He was just training back at OVW sitting around. They?d come up with something for him and then they?d get rid of it. Really, Nick?s been on the road and had some tenure. If it wasn?t for his unfortunate situation with having to go to rehab, he?d be doing even better. He?s kind of on the upswing, I hope, and other than that he may have ended up getting released if it wasn?t for the Eugene gimmick. As much as people can say that it?s not good. At the same time, it?s getting him paid and on TV. Nick is one of the best wrestlers in the locker room. Nick is awesome in a technical wrestling sense. Unfortunately he doesn?t get to show that as much. So maybe there?s a future for that. As far as coming up with the Eugene gimmick. I think it was a great idea. It put him on television and it?s making him money.
Jack: how about matt morgan? He?s the guy jim cornette thought would become a main eventer someday. He thought the same thing about Batista. It sort of took away some of his strengths which were his promos.
Eric: I don?t know what the story is with matt. He was given an unfortunate gimmick and why he was made the 7 foot tall 300 pound [lost] stutter. I?m sure they had a direction for it, but I think that was kind of the reason they got rid of him. What do you do after that? He?s stuttering. How do you go from there? I don?t think they?d thought it out that far and I haven?t talked to matt recently. I?ve talked to him about a month and half, two months ago or longer. He was in Louisville for a long time, but he finally moved to Florida. I haven?t seen him much, but as far as I know, he?s still working Japan and indie based. As far as what he?s going to do, I?m sure there?s not much of a way that he won?t be back in WWE. He?s a great talent and he?s huge. They?ll get him back, it?s just a matter of time.
Jack: are you surprised that TNA hasn?t signed him?
Eric: yes and no. now that jim cornette is more involved in TNA, I think that?ll change. I can?t speak 100% because I wasn?t, and still don?t really watch TNA to a great deal, but from what I?ve saw, there aren?t a lot of big guys in TNA. A lot of the TNA I saw was cruiserweights and middleweights. I just think that if they brought him in, I don?t think they really knew what to do with him at the time.
Jack: in a way I kind of think that?d be better for him cause he would look even bigger there.
Eric: I agree. You can only see him destroy a little guy so many times. You can only see him go against Monty Brown so many times.
Jack: I guess so. Me, I think he?d be better fighting the smaller guys like an AJ Styles or something. It?d make him look like a monster.
Eric: hopefully we?ll all get to see here shortly.
Jack: right. Got a question from the board, incher?
OIB: Norrin wants to know what level of involvement does WWE have in the wrestling style psychology that OVW teaches to their trainees?
Eric: Like I said before, they of course hire and oversee the person that does the training and, right now, that?s al snow. He actually moved to Louisville so he could stay here full time. They kind of tell him what to teach. Especially if they want a particular person for a particular thing. They?ll tell him they need to work on this or that. Other than that, Al Snow was on the road with WWE for years and knows how things work up there. They have a lot of influence in the training. When it comes down to the beginner class, and the amateur classes at OVW -- not as much. None of those guys are under WWE contracts. They?re taught by different people. Recently, before the spirit squad got big, mike was teaching was teaching the amateur classes and doing a fantastic job even though he was under WWE contract. Right now I?m not real sure who is heading the amateur class, but they definitely have a lot of influence in the TV advanced contact class.
Jack: Dr. Tom really put over Mikey as someone that really wanted to do well but was always told he was too small.
Eric: I definitely agree with that. I?ll tell anyone that?ll listen that Mike is probably one of the best that I?ve seen recently. I am ecstatic that they found something for him to do and they?re using him. He?s really getting a huge push and the spirit squad is doing well. I?m really happy for him. He is a great talent.
Jack: You always read. . . I don?t know if you read Dave Meltzer?s ?Wrestling Observer? or anything , but you always read that guy move up too quickly. Do you agree with that or think that guys move up and that?s how they really learn WWE style more once they?re moved up to WWE?
Eric: No, there?s always gonna be people that say they?re too green -- they were brought up too quickly. It?s all up to what they want. Usually, they?ll work around that with some people. They?re their talent. If they want to bring them up, they?re going to bring them up. There?s really no control that anyone has over it. Do they bring up people too early? Sometimes, absolutely. There?s nothing you can do about it
Jack: One thing about Cornette I want to bring up, were you there the time that they brought up the Bashems and made em the Bashem brothers when they were feuding in OVW?
Eric: Yes. I was around. I don?t remember a lot of details, I had to actually think about it to remember if I was even there, but I do remember that yes.
Jack: Do you remember Cornette?s reaction?
Eric: by that point, I think he had such a rough skin from being burnt so many times on storylines, of course he was upset. He had that same exact problem a lot, though, before that. So, I?m sure he blew up, but you know it was something that he changed around and got over rather quickly because that?s kind of what led to him being burnt out. That was the fact that he would work up to a storyline for up to 12 weeks and the next thing you know they call someone else and change it around. It was a tough situation for him.
Jack: the guys that won tough enough. Did any of them have a different attitude or were they treated any different by anybody in OVW?
Eric: I didn?t see much of that. In the beginning, when I first started at OVW. Matt Capotelli and John Hennigan were fresh out of tough enough. They had just been sent to Louisville. I wasn?t as involved then and didn?t go over training classes. I pretty much just did TV, so I didn?t see as much of that. Now when Daniel was sent to OVW, there were some people that were upset about that. I liked Dan, but he had a bad situation because not only was he a tough enough contestant, but he was getting paid 4 or 5 times as much as the other guys in the locker room. Even if he wasn?t a tough enough contestant, being as young as he was and getting paid that much more than everyone is going to create some animosity.
Jack: do you think that?s kind of a problem with tough enough. . . he won that, got the contract, but yet he wasn?t quite ready for TV so he has to go to OVW?
Eric: yeah. You know, his uprise was what caused his downfall. He had a great run through tough enough -- did awesome there. Problem was, he was signed to a million dollar contract. From everything I saw, he was good, but wasn?t a million dollars worth. That?s not saying anything bad about him, it?s not his fault, he was just new to it. To pay somebody that was even in the business awhile. . someone like Rob Conway or Nick Dinsmore. . . someone that?s been in there 10 or 12 years, you?d expect a million dollars worth of work out of them. It?s just a bad situation all around.
Jack: do you know if Linda Myles is still under contract.
Eric: she?s not as far as I know, unless she?s been rehired recently. Linda was. . . I never did hear the official story, but Linda was either released or quit. Gosh, probably two years ago. . . I was there for her last match. She pretty much turned left out of the gorilla position and we never saw her again. As far as what officially happened, I don?t know. I think She stopped by the OVW. I did see her. She was kind of visiting with some people and she seemed to be in good spirits. As far as her and her contract, I?m gonna say no, but you never know.
Jack: right, right. Do you have anything you want to tell anyone out there about OVW before we let you go?
Eric: well. Check out OVW?s website. By any means, if you live in the Kentucky/Indiana area try to check out a show if you haven?t done that. It?s a very, very entertaining thing for people in wrestling. It?s something different that?s not out there right now, a different style. You get to see some WWE wrestlers for a cheap price and you also get to see what?s up and coming. There?s always WWE wrestlers stopping in. Some of the bigger guys. . . some of them just stop by. You get up and coming guys. You see a lot of things. . . it?s a different style of wrestling than what?s on TV. Just check it out and keep updated on the site. Check us out on YouTube. . . just look for that next guyu that?s coming up on television.
Jack: We appreciate you coming on this week.
Eric: Thanks for having me, I appreciate it.
Jack: We?ll have you back sometime maybe, if you want.
Jack. Cool. Thanks for coming on.
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