GREG GAGNE DISCUSSES VINCE MCMAHON’S WEIRD BEHAVIOR WHEN TRYING TO BUY THE AWA, NEGATIVE MEDIA COVERAGE OF VERNE’S RECENT TROUBLE, LEGENDSMANIA, AND MORE By WorldWrestlingInsanity.com
Just a few days after Robert Gibson of the Rock-n-Roll Express joined us for an exclusive shoot interview, ClubWWI.com opens its doors to another famous wrestling name as Greg Gagne joins James Guttman for a 47 minute shoot interview that addresses issues, clears up rumors, and takes you behind the curtain that few rarely go.
The massive amount of subjects covered in this shoot gives you an idea of the stories Greg Gagne has. He’s seen it all and done even more. Now, just a few weeks prior to James Guttman’s appearance at the LegendsMania fan convention as host of the VIP question and answer session, another one of those VIPs joins ClubWWI.com to shoot straight.
From the final days of the AWA and WCW to his recent conversation with Eric Bischoff about TNA to insane stories from WWE writing meetings (“WE NEED A PIRATE!”), Gagne has seen it all and talks about everything. For a full list of subjects, head to: http://www.worldwrestlinginsanity.com/am2/publish/newsnotes/ClubWWI_Greg_Gagne.shtml
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Long before the WWF, the AWA was the ruling class of pro wrestling. Under the watchful eye of the Gagne family, the American Wrestling Association housed some of the greatest matches and talent in history. Greg talks in-depth about training under his father, the legends who went on to greatness, and much more. But one of the biggest stories that he’s asked about is when young Vince McMahon Jr. came calling and wanted to purchase the company. Despite their working relationship with Vince McMahon Sr and others, the Gagnes operated under their own rules and when the younger McMahon approached them about a buyout, they were willing to listen. Greg talks about the discussion they had, how it came about, and where things were going. The meeting in August of 1983 sounded cordial until, well, the end.
“He met us. Met the attorney. Gave him our number. Fine. Drove him to the airport. As he got out, he walked down towards the airport, he turned around and said, “I don’t negotiate!” Verne says, “What did he mean by that?” (I said) “Shit. I don’t know.” We weren’t negotiating. He asked for a number and we gave it to him. Then, next time we heard from him was when Hogan left us (for WWF) in December of 83.”
As the ClubWWI.com interview continues, Greg speaks about the departure of Hulk Hogan from the AWA to WWF, how it ended an era of honor, how Vince talked Andre the Giant into following suit, the AWA plans for Hogan vs. Andre in 1984, working with Vince through the years, working with Hogan years later, the only people Hulk would allow in the room when taping promos for WCW, the folly of Pro Wrestling America trying to compete with WWF, and more.
It’s memories like this that make the Gagnes a household name in many areas including his home state of Minnesota. It’s both a blessing and a curse. As many fans have read, Greg’s father, WWE Hall of Famer Verne, has been in poor health and an unfortunate incident that lead to the death of a fellow patient at his nursing home got some pretty negative coverage nationally. It was just one of many stories the press has done on Greg’s famous wrestling family and sometimes, it can be too much. Gagne explains to ClubWWI.com listeners.
“That’s the way the media is all over the country today. They get something negative and they just hammer and hammer on it. A lot of negative reporting and they like things they can just get on and really stay on somebody. They try to bury people and it’s not fun. It’s not just in Minnesota. The AWA was from Winnipeg and Toronto all the way to Vancouver and St. Louis and all over the West Coast. I was out in Denver at the airport and I don’t even know how many autographs I had to sign there. But to people, the AWA and Verne Gagne, we got that going back in 1957 in the AWA area and all over the world with him, people know him and they know the name. When something happens to you, it’s made public. Like you say, with the Internet and the media today, it gets out there quick.”
It’s only natural that Greg speaks about so many moments from his legendary career on ClubWWI.com. Stories include his unpleasant exchange with Bill Shaw in WCW, the two unlikely stars he and Mike Graham used to spike the WCW ratings in response, the full story of how the Gagnes pitched an idea that could be the precursor to MMA, the reaction from Chuck Lidell and Randy Couture at the time, and more. With so many amazing tales from his career, it’s only fitting that Greg joins many other superstars including The Koloffs, The Rock-n-Roll Express, The Midnight Express, Jim Cornette, The Armstrong Family, Demolition, and many more at the upcoming LegendsMania fan convention in Atlanta, Georgia. James Guttman, making his first appearance of this kind, will host a massive question and answer session with fans at the event. You can check out all the details at LegendsMania.com and until midnight on February 14th, you can enter the promo code “INSANITY” for $50 off the ticket price. JG says he’s excited about this big event and Gagne agrees. It’s a rare chance to meet both Greg and his High-Flyer partner Jim Brunzell, along with many others.
“Fantastic. I’m really looking forward to it. Jim and I have done a few. We haven’t done a lot together. I’m really looking forward to it… There are a lot of great names there and a lot of memories. There are some there that we never had a chance to wrestle against that I wish we would have, but they made their mark. Hopefully we made ours. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to talking to and signing the autographs of the fans down there. Lots of great wrestling fans from the past and we really enjoy doing this kind of stuff. And I’m really looking forward to meeting you and talking to you down there.”
Remember, not only can you hear Greg Gagne’s brand new 47 minute shoot on ClubWWI.com, but you can hear over 200 more including: Sivi Afi , Aaron Aguliera, Skandar Akbar, Brent Albright, Ole Anderson, Road Warrior Animal, Tony “T.L. Hopper” Anthony, Buff Bagwell, Doug Basham, Paul Bearer, Giant Bernard, Big Daddy V, Eric Bischoff, Steve Blackman, Brian Blair, Tully Blanchard, Nick Bockwinkel, “The Boogeyman” Marty Wright, Bad News Brown, D-Lo Brown, “Jumping” Jim Brunzell, Mike “Simon Dean” Bucci, Bull Buchanan, Lance Cade , Christian, John Cena Sr., Chaz “Headbanger Mosh” , Bryan “Adam Bomb” Clark, Rob Conway, Jim Cornette, Justin Credible, D-Ray 3000, Scott D’Amore , Christopher Daniels, Shawn Daivari, Dangerous Danny Davis, Dawn Marie, Damian Demento, Colin Delaney, Brother Devon, Demolition Ax, Demolition Smash, Bill DeMott, Ted DiBiase, J.J. Dillon, Nick “Eugene” Dinsmore, Disco Inferno, Spike Dudley, Hacksaw Jim Duggan , Kenny Dykstra, Bobby Eaton, Paul Ellering, Armando Estrada,, Manny Fernandez , Francine, Mr. Fuji, Dory Funk Jr., Terry Funk, Ronnie Garvin ,Jackie Gayda, Glacier, Sylvain Grenier, Tod Gordon, Zach Gowen, Juventud Guerrera, Chalie Haas, Chris Harris , Bruce Hart , Jimmy Hart, Diva Search’s Jessica Hatch, Dave Hebner, Earl Hebner, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Jon Heidenreich, Christy Hemme, Hillbilly Jim, Molly Holly , The Honky Tonk Man, Tim Horner , Scotty 2 Hotty, Sam Houston, Mr. Hughes, The Iron Sheik, Ivory, B.G. James, Jazz, Ahmed Johnson, Judge Jeff Jones, Orlando Jordan, Kamala, Kid Kash, Kevin Kelly, Pat “Simon Diamond” Kenney, Ron Killings, Cpl. Kirschner, Kizarny, Kevin Kleinrock, Brian Knobbs, Ivan Koloff, Nikita Koloff,, Bobby Lashley, Bruno “Harvey Wippleman” Lauer, Jerry “The King” Lawler, “The Total Package” Lex Luger, Buschwhacker Luke, Rodney Mack, Magnum T.A. , Balls Mahoney, Rick Martel, Clarence Mason , “Masterpiece” Chris Masters, Robbie McAllister, Rory McAllister, Matt Morgan, Ernest Miller, Missing Link, Father James Mitchell, Mo From Men on a Mission , Sean Mooney, Ricky Morton, Trevor Murdoch, Kevin Nash, Nidia, Nunzio, One Man Gang, Sonny Onoo, Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff, Oscar From Men on a Mission , Fred “Typhoon/Tugboat/Shockmaster” Ottman, Pierre-Carl Ouellet, Outback Jack, Diamond Dallas Page, Ken Patera, Nick Patrick, Jim Powers, Tom Prichard, Harley Race, Baron Von Raschke, “The Yeti” Ron Reis , Rhino, Dustin Rhodes, Tommy Rich, Rikishi, Paul Roma, “Super Hero in Training” Rosie, Jacques Rougeau, Terri Runnels, Lance Russell, Samoa Joe, Bruno Sammartino, Samu, Tito Santana, Dan “The Beast” Severn, Ron Simmons, Elix Skipper, Slick, Tracey Smothers, Al Snow, Sim “Deuce” Snuka, Dennis Stamp, George “The Animal” Steele, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, Idol Stevens, The Stro, AJ Styles, Dave “Evad” Sullivan, Kevin Sullivan, Dave Taylor, Sylvester Terkay, ECW’s Tiffany, Too Cold Scorpio, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Jimmy Valiant, Johnny Valiant, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Sid Vicious, Vito, Nikolai Volkoff, Koko B. Ware, Erik Watts, Steve “Dr. Death” Williams, David Young, Mae Young , Robert Gibson, Larry Zybszko, and More.