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From: Paul Tadd

How do you feel about Triple H stealing the Franchise gimmick? Is there any friendship between you and Bret Hart?

Shane’s Answer:

Firstly, Triple H has not “stolen” my gimmick from me! The Franchise gimmick is still owned, by U.S. trademark law, by me and I still use it. I think your question really meant, [“am I pissed off that HHH is copying MY gimmick”?] The answer to that is much easier for me to answer. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Whoever “they” are, they’re damn fools who don’t know this business or men (used loosely) like Paul Levesque. He is incapable (as was taught by the, now, infamous clique) of showing/giving any form of flattery or respect to anyone. I will start by giving HHH his props, though. Paul does work extremely (no pun intended) hard in the ring. He never, that I’ve seen, half-asses it. That’s admirable. However, I’ve always insisted that the franchise character, and me (for that matter!), would be as original as possible. Back in ECW, Paul Heyman wanted me to emulate Ric Flair in style and persona. I fervently disagreed and vetoed the idea. My reasoning was that the “Nature Boy” gimmick had already been done to near perfection by Richard Fleihr. I insisted that ECW’s Franchise would be unique and forward - thinking. Not a retread with a “Troy Martin flavor.” Hence came a character that not only defined ECW as a company, but also came to represent a new trend of realism and believability in pro wrestling. I am proud of the legacy I have left of wrestling. Now back to HHH. If I were going to copy someone, which I’ve repeatedly said I would NOT do, it would be someone who had left an indelible mark on this business. I certainly wouldn’t copy a Brooklyn Brawler. HHH follows this adage voraciously. Several times I’ve watched their show (mind you I always flip around (MNF, etc)) and, as I’ve listened, heard lines and phrases that sounded oddly familiar and reminiscent of Troy Martin’s speaking style. It always seemed to be HHH that was spewing the familiar words. Then it struck me. He was acting in someone else’s boots… MINE! Those words are, indeed, familiar! They ARE MINE… VER BATIM!!! Now, a couple of questions need answering. First, is HHH that big of an ECW mark that he knowingly copies it (me) trying to ignite a spark of excitement in the WWE? Second, is he that shameless that he blatantly recites my old promos, word for word, apparently trying to emulate me (“if I sound and talk like him, maybe I’ll draw some heat like him and then, PLEASE, some people!”). Third, is someone (cough, cough, Paul Heyman, cough) feeding HHH these lines covertly and the “top dog” HHH is unknowingly reciting them (could be because HHH so dislikes me and everyone else in the business - same Steph - there is no way, NO WAY, that he would cognigantly copy me, right? Riiight!!!). Paul Tadd, you get the picture?! As for Bret Hart, we aren’t close friends simply because we were never around one another all that frequently. I have enormous respect for Bret both as a performer, and as a man. I send my best regards to Bret as he continues his recovery.

From: Adam Smerecki

Have you enjoyed your experience(s) as a teacher?

Shane’s Answer:

Adam, I’d like to respond to your question and answer it by recounting some of my experiences. In general terms, though, I loved teaching. However, I firmly believe that today’s teachers are dealing with a copious amount of responsibilities that far exceed the duties of traditional teachers. Thusly, today’s teachers are facing imminent failure at the jobs because, as per my and my wife’s and our many friends (who teach) schools and society, place NO emphasis on the child’s or parents’ responsibilities. I was actually told once that I had failed as a teacher because one of my students had gotten an ‘F’ on his report card in response to the 16% avg he had earned that period. Mind you, I had spoken to his mother 3x during the 6 week grading period. I had also sent 2 progress slips (at 3 week intervals) home to remind Mom of her son’s standing in my class. I tried, and documented, several other teaching techniques trying to spur some improvement in “Matt” (fake name). Nothing worked. So, after a frustrating 6 week grading period, I delivered a grade of ‘F’ to “Matt”. End of story, right? Wrong! Two weeks later, I was called to the Principle’s office and was asked to change “Matt’s” grade to a ‘C’. I refused. I was asked this again, only to refuse a second time. Finally, the principle proceeded to change “Matt’s” grade to a ‘C’. I was furious, enraged, outraged!!! The worst part was, and is, that the principal was 100% within the law in changing “Matt’s” grade. Then, and now, I find that to be preposterous. Now, I’ll finish by saying that if teaching is your chosen profession - and it is - approach it with a “Can-do” attitude that permeates your classroom and students. Be prepared for the incredible (Good & Bad) because you will experience it all. Remember, the good kids are worth it, and the bad kids must have it! Good Luck.


Do you think WWE’s ratings slide is just a slump, and will it lead to their eventual demise? If so, what WWE talent would you like to bring to XPW?

Shane’s Answer:

I firmly believe that the drop in WWE’s ratings is a direct result of the product being produced. And until the product is vastly improved, I believe those ratings will remain the cellar. When Vince McMahon is accepting 3.1 - 3.5 in the ratings (forgetful of the 6’s, 7’s, & even 8’s) he is surely accepting mediocrity. Please let me note that while the WWE’s business is down, drastically in some cases, XPW’s company has grown at least 400% in the last 9 months. Not bad for us, not good for them. With all that stated, I must also point out that any company with the resources (human and other) at its disposal like the WWE can, at any point in time, mount a comeback. Thus far, it doesn’t look as though WWE is drawing on its resources wisely and efficiently. This fact, in turn, keeps a turnaround an unlikelihood. Finally, in regards to what talent I would like to take to XPW. There are a few guys I’d love to employ/hire into XPW. Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Booker T, The Dudley’s are all great talents that each brings something “to the table”. As Bill Watts once said, “you don’t want all Turkey @ Thanksgiving!”. Each of the above named guys represents a separate, unique style that would add to the XPW chemistry and family.