Interview Recap – Chris Cruise 2008
By Raoul Duke
www.inyourheadonline.com – broadcasting LIVE every Wednesday, 8pm-10pm EST with Jack, Oneinchbiceps and Barbie Richards.
Jack and Oneinchbiceps welcomed former WcW announcer Chris Cruise to the program once again. Chris will be attending the NWA Legends’ Fanfest on August 14th through to August 17th 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina along with other legends such as Ric Flair, Superstar Billy Graham, Bruno Sammartino, Ole Anderson, JJ Dillion, Tony Atlas, Ted Dibiase and many more. You can find out more information about the fanfest at MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from “www.nwalegends.com.” claiming to be http://www.nwalegends.com. Chris admitted it’s the kind of event that, as a fan, he would pay to see if he wasn’t going to be part of the staff.
Jack asked if there’s anyone at the fanfest this year that Chris has never met or worked with; Chris said he doesn’t think he’s ever met Superstar Billy Graham, even though he is supposed to host the Q&A with him and Bruno Sammartino; but he’s been doing his research and looking at old clips online to prepare himself for the event. Chris jokingly speculated that he won’t have to ask many questions. Chris then said he plans to take it very seriously and believes that Superstar Billy Graham has been very honest about what he created with the use of steroids. Jack plugged that Superstar Billy Graham will be on the program July 30th.
Jack brought up that Chris hosted a Q&A session with Bobby Heenan, Jim Cornette and a surprise appearance by Percy Pringle at the Fanfest; Chris said he thought Percy did a good job and everybody was excited to see him. Chris said he loved doing those Q&A sessions.
The IYH crew and Chris then talked about how tragic it was that a few wrestlers that were at the Fanfest last year have now passed away, like Ernie Ladd, Sensational Sherri and Gary Hart.
Chris then talked about how some of the most interesting stuff at the Fanfest happens in the Green Room because some wrestlers may have heat with one another and others haven’t seen each other in 20 years. Chris compared it with old soldiers having not seen each other since they fought together in battle and said it can get pretty emotional.
Jack asked Chris about Ole Anderson, who was one of the nicest guys at the Fanfest last year and spent a lot of time interacting with the fans; Chris replied that Ole was always very fun and approachable with him, but he believed that because Ole had so much pride about the wrestling business, he wanted everyone else to share the same pride and when they didn’t, it really bothered him.
Jack mentioned that commentators Bob Caudle and Rich Landrum will be at this year’s Fanfest and asked Chris how he would compare their commentary style to his own; Chris said he’s never had the opportunity to meet Rich Landrum and everybody said he did a great job on WcW Worldwide, but he always liked Bob. Chris said Bob was a guy who made broadcasting look easy.
Jack told Chris that recently a TNA iMPACT script was leaked to the Internet and they actually scripted out what Mike Tenay and Don West were supposed to say. Jack posed the question of whether or not that’s always gone on or if it’s just a modern-day thing; Chris said he thought it was a modern day thing. Chris said that when he was working in WcW the announcers were left to their own devices and the only time they were given strict bullet-points were when Glacier debuted.
Oneinchbiceps then took a question from the IYH message-board from The Big Tiny, who asked what are Chris’ feelings on Mike Tenay; Chris said he’s never been a huge fan of Mike Tenay, but he helped him out professionally, especially on the “When Worlds Collide’ PPV, where they both travelled together to Mexico so he could get a better insight into Lucha Libre. Chris felt he isn’t convincing enough to carry a broadcast even though he is very methodical in his play-by-play and that he’d be better served in an interview position rather than an anchor situation. Chris said he’s tried very hard to enjoy the TNA product but it just isn’t interesting to him.
Jack stated that last time Chris was on the program he wasn’t a big fan of Joey Styles and wanted to know what he thought of his replacement, Mike Adamle; Chris said he hasn’t even listened but thought Adamle brought a lot of credibility to American Gladiators and that was one the reasons for the show’s success. Chris referred to a guy he knew from Maine he worked for ABC News as a fill-in guy and once he worked his way up to local news he was terrible and says that it’s similar to Adamle’s current situation but it’s not his fault; it’s the fault of the people who let him on the broadcast.
Chris said he doesn’t watch RAW or ECW anymore and mentioned that one of his friends ended his subscription to Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter after 21 years; Jack said that he has been a long-time subscriber to WON too but doesn’t like the fact that it’s catering too much towards MMA; Chris replied that maybe they should split the two but ultimately Dave Meltzer’s a publisher that has to print stuff that people want to read.
The IYH crew then once again plugged the upcoming NWA Legends’ Fanfest and advised everybody to check http://www.nwalegends.com where you can see the full list of the wrestlers who are attending, booking information and schedules.
Jack asked Chris if he collected any wrestling memorabilia; Chris said yes and that he’s on E-Bay a lot collecting old magazines. Chris says he has no problem spending good money for a good-quality magazine with Bruno Sammartino on the cover and that Bruno once playfully called him a “mark” for buying that stuff.
The IYH crew then took a call from PH who asked what the backstage environment in WcW was like; Chris said he never got involved in the politics and that whenever a booker came down to the studio there was always tension. Chris remembered a time when Mean Gene Okerlund came down and started comparing him to Gordon Solie to which Chris countered, and I quote, “Between you and I we are Gordon Solie; I do play-by-play and you abuse drugs.” Mean Gene then reportedly asked Eric Bischoff to fire him after that.
Jack then asked if wrestling isn’t an environment where you can speak your mind, bringing up Michael Hayes’ recent punishment for racist comments; Chris said that once you stop taking bumps and become a ‘suit’ you’re no longer “one of the boys,” and there’s a clear delineation and Michael thought he was something he wasn’t anymore. Chris said that to use the N-word in front of an African-American is just astounding.
The IYH crew then took a call from Jose who asked who the worst person to work with in WcW was; Chris said it was Tony Schiavone. Chris said the wrestlers were always professional and they respected the announcers but Tony was always miserable and hated wrestling but was a very talented producer.
Jack raised the question of whether or not appearance matters for an announcer; Chris said if you’re aiming for the pretty boy look you wouldn’t hire a guy like him or Jim Ross and that it ultimately comes down to talent and ability. Jack then asked which wrestlers he thought made a good transition from wrestling to commentating; Chris said Dusty Rhodes was the best, also Larry Zybysko and Bruno Sammartino, who was much underrated as a colour-commentator. Chris said it was a very difficult transition from wrestler to commentator.
Onceinchbiceps then asked a question from the IYH message-board from Uslander who wanted to know what was the most bizarre thing Chris ever saw backstage in WcW; Chris said it was probably Brian Pillman as he wasn’t aware that it was all a work. Chris recalled a PPV where he was trying to wrap it up and Brian wouldn’t stop talking; then Brian came back later and ignited a shouting match between them and Arn Anderson had to get in involved.
Jack asked if Chris still has the lampshade from the WcW All-Nighter and if he has any plans to put it on E-Bay; Chris said he probably should and that’s the thing most fans ask him about now. Chris found it funny that people ask him if they actually stayed up all-night when really they taped it all in a few hours.
Before Chris left the program, Jack asked his feelings on the Hogan situation and how he came off on Larry King; Chris said he was familiar with public-relations and he thought it was outrageous. He advised Hogan and his family to stay under the radar until the whole thing blows over but thought it could also be a good time for Hogan to turn-heel because no one would cheer him. Jack disagreed because he still sees people on the Internet praising Benoit, which Chris found incredible.
To hear the interview, head on over to www.inyourheadonline.com and remember to check out the show live every Wednesday 8pm EST where this week they’ll be joined by Maxx Payne. You can also check out their 3 year interview archive which guests such as Mick Foley, Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam, Terry Funk, Goldberg and Eric Bischoff.
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