Brian Lee Shoot Interview

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Primetime Brian Lee sat down with RF Video for an exclusive brand new Shoot Interview!  We discuss his entire career from start to finish and talk about some of the other wrestlers he's crossed paths with over the years.


What was life like growing up
Were you a fan of pro wrestling growing up and if so, what were your first memories of it?
The Bruise Brothers have been said to be your cousins, is that legitimate and if so, what were they like growing up before everyone got in the business?
What makes you decide to get trained?
What was the training like?
What was the easiest and hardest thing to learn or figure out when you were training?
Memories of debuting for Memphis, which at the time was the CWA?
First memories of Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett?
What was the pressure like working live TV on WMC for the first time?
What was the atmosphere of the studio like?
Memories of Lance Russell and Dave Brown?  How did they interact with the workers outside of what we saw on TV?
Were there any veterans who went out of their way to help?
What was the weekly loop like?
Was the pay as bad as everyone alleges?
You have a program with Phil Hickerson - how was he in the ring and outside of it?
You later worked with Phil when he was doing the PY Chu-Hi gimmick, was there a difference?
Memories of winning the CWA title so early?
Your next program was Don Bass - memories of working with him?
You had several matches with Sid Vicious in that period, any favorite Sid stories?
Sid has a reputation for being weird, did you have any experiences with him that you saw that firsthand?
This time period would be pretty early in Jeff Jarrett's career - what was he like in Memphis at that time?
Memories of The Undertaker back when he was working as The Master of Pain?  How was he in those days compared to the person he would later become?
Memories of working with and teaming with Tracy Smothers?
What was it like working the Mid-South Coliseum?
 
You had the chance to work the Sportatorium in Dallas a few times, memories of that venue?
You worked against Mil Mascaras in Dallas, he has a rep for being hard to work with, how was he in your experience?
When Jarrett took over Dallas and the USWA expanded into that market, how did that change the travel and work for the talents
Did the pay get better?
Was there a difference in what worked in Memphis vs. Dallas in terms of playing to the crowd, getting things over, etc.
Memories of working with Jeff Gaylord?
Memories of teaming with Don Harris in Memphis?
You get a WCW dark match at a TV taping against Bob Cook in April 1990 - how do you get hooked up with the tryout and what are your memories of the experience?
You later come in for a Clash of Champions special, wrestling Tom Zenk - how do you get booked for the show?
Memories of working with Zenk?
Why are you booked for a random Clash special?
Why do you think you aren't hired?
Memphis Memories of:
Brickhouse Brown
Buddy Landell
Ron Fuller & Jimmy Golden
Mick Foley
Gary Young
Scott Steiner
The Rock & Roll RPMs, Mike Davis & Tom Burton
Bill Dundee
Wendell Cooley
Dutch Mantel
Action Jackson
The Southern Rockers
Matt Borne
King Cobra
The Snowman
Danny Davis
Dirty White Boy
USWA Texas memories:
Shaun and Steve Simpson
Kerry Von Erich
Jimmy Jack Funk
Dustin Rhodes
You work a few shots in Puerto Rico in 1991 - memories of that time there?
Was it weird to work against Invader 1 given the Bruiser Brody murder?
Memories of teaming with Dirty White Boy there?
How dangerous was it working the island at the time?
How was Carlos Colon as a boss?
You worked on a few of the early GWF shows at the Sportatorium in 1991.  Did you think it had any chance of building anything at the time?
When do you first learn Jim Cornette is launching Smoky Mountain Wrestling and how do you end up booked for the promotion?
First impressions of Cornette as a person and as a boss?
Thoughts and memories on how Cornette formatted and built his weekly TV?
How different or similar was it to working Memphis TV?
What is a week working the territory like?
As SMW is just launching, you get a dark match at the WWF This Tuesday in Texas PPV.  Memories of how that came about?  Was Cornette upset about it given he's just starting to build the company?
You’ve had a few dark matches between WCW and WWF in 1990-1992.  What were the experiences like at the time?  Is the locker room trying to help you get a job or is it just a shark tank?
Back to SMW, Cornette was trying to bring back that 1970s territory feel to pro wrestling - did you think at the time the approach would work?
How was the pay early on and did it improve over time?
When do you find out you are going to be the first SMW Champion at the Volunteer Slam in 1992?  What did that mean to you that they were going to build the territory around you?
You worked with Paul Orndorff a lot during that era early SMW era - any lessons learned working with him and memories of Paul in that era?
You are back working with Dirty White Boy again, memories of him in SMW?
What was your reaction when Cornette wanted you to drop the title to him on Fire in the Mountain?  Did you think it was too soon to switch the title
Memories of teaming with Ron Garvin in the territory?
Memories of touring Japan in 1992 for Oriental Pro Wrestling - how does that tour come about?
Did you like traveling and working there?
How different was the style from the Southern territories?
Favorite memories of the trip?
Thoughts on the entire storyline of The Master putting a bounty out on you?
Did you know when it started it would end being revealed The Master was Kevin Sullivan?
Memories of feuding with Kevin Sullivan & The Night Stalker in SMW?
Lessons learned from Sullivan?
Getting to team with the Mongolian Stomper?
Memories of the Singapore Spike match to blow off the feud?
What was your reaction whe  Cornette wanted to turn you heel?
Memories of the angle where you attacked Tracy Smothers and why it worked so well?
Tammy Sytch comes into the territory and becomes your manager - memories of a young Tammy when she was first starting out?
You get another run with the SMW title, this time as a heel.  Compare the two experiences of runs as a babyface and as a heel but in the same top position.
Did you know Tammy was going to be a star?
How was her relationship with Chris Candido at the time?
You get to work against the Stomper this time at K-Town Showdown - memories of that?
Memories of teaming with Chris?  Why do you think the team clicked at the time?
You have a long program with Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, memories of that?
Thoughts on SMW’s Night of Legends, which for a lot of fans was the biggest night in the company’s history
When do you first get the call about being the imposter Undertaker?
What was your first reaction?
What was Cornette’s reaction given you were getting a SMW push at the time?
How did The Undertaker react to you being the guy?
How closely do you work with him to make sure you nail the role correctly?
How was working with Vince McMahon on the storyline and character?
Walk us through what it's like going through WWF costuming, creative, production for such a big storyline?
Memories of being unveiled as Ted DiBiase's Undertaker?
Thoughts on WWF building it up as if you were the legitimate Undertaker?
Memories of working WWF house shows against Bob Holly as The Undertaker?
Any funny fan interactions where they thought you were Undertaker?
How was working with Ted DiBiase?
What did you think of the Leslie Nielsen vignettes building the Undertaker mystery as you led into Summerslam?
Memories of the Undertaker vs. Undertaker match at Summerslam 1994 in Chicago.  
Was it hard having to follow Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart cage match that night?
How do you think the Undertaker vs. Undertaker match went - it gets mixed reviews but it was something that hadn't been done before.
What was Undertaker’s reaction to the bout when it was over?
Was this the best payday of your career at this point?
Did you ever get to top that payday?
After you lost, were you expecting to get transitioned into another character for the company?
Was there any talk about teaming the two Undertakers?
Any talk of you and Calaways both being Undertaker on separate house show tours like WWF did with multiple Doinks?
Did you ever think about doing the gimmick on the indies?’
Thoughts on the longevity and the legacy of Mark Calaway in the business?
 
You come back to SMW and work with Candido.  You spent a lot of time with Chris over the years.  
What are your favorite memories of teaming with him and being around him?  
What was his mind for the business like?  
There are those who say that being around Tammy hurt him in the business?  You were with them a lot, what’s your insight?
How would you like to see Chris remembered by fans and those in the business?
Memories of Balls Mahoney as Boo Bradley in SMW?
SMW Memories of:
Bob Armstrong
Mark Curtis
Tim Horner
Les Thatcher
Dutch Mantel
The Fultons
Tom Prichard
Jimmy Del Rey
Bobby Blaze
Killer Kyle
The Gangstas
What leads to you finishing up with SMW?
What was the best and worst thing about Jim Cornette as your boss?
Why do you think SMW didn't work long term?
You head back to Memphis, now the USWA.  How had the territory changed frm the last time you were there?
Memories of your program with Brian Christopher over the USWA title?
Memories of working with Doug Gilbert during that run?
Memories of teaming with Axl Rotten in Memphis vs. PG 13.
Who makes the call for you to come to ECW?
What was your expectation for the company given its rep at the time?  What did you know of it before you debuted?
First impressions of Paul Heyman and what he brought as a booker?
Was ECW the wildest locker room you had ever been in?
Who were the locker room leaders there?
Who were your favorite people to travel with in ECW?
Where did the Bulldozer name come from?
First impressions of the ECW Arena?  
How did it compare to Sportatorium and other legendary venues?
You were brought in as Raven’s Bounty Hunter to take out Tommy Dreamer.  
First impressions of Dreamer?  
Why do you think you had chemistry in the ring?
Thoughts on the chokeslams through all the tables with Dreamer?  
Was there ever a concern someone was going to get seriously hurt?
On the house shows, one of the highlights for fans were all the crazy brawls you and Dreamer had, including fighting into the street, into people’s yards, etc.  
Were there any moments like that stand out to you as fun and memorable?  
Were you ever worried about getting arrested or in trouble?
Favorite buildings for ECW beyond the Arena?  NYC maybe?
Memories of working with Raven and Stevie Richards?
Memories of Terry Gordy coming in?  How was it working with him as obviously, it had been after his medical issues.
Memories of Dr. Death coming in to team with Dreamer against Taz and Brian.
Thoughts on Taz during that time?
What were your thoughts when you first heard of Paul's plan to do the High Incident match at the ECW Arena?
Sandman built the platform for the bout, so how confident were you that it was going to work?
Memories of the match?
At one point while on the platform you use a wire hanging from the ceiling to choke Dreamer, what was your reaction when you found out later it was a live electric wire?
What were you thinking as you were about to take the bump off through the tables?
It's been said you were KO'd taking the bump, would you say it was the worst bump of your career?
What do you remember about waking up after?
Did you get paid extra for the match?
Headlining November to Remember with Shane Douglas vs. Funk and Dreamer
You got to work with Funk a lot in ECW, what are your favorite Terry Funk memories and stories from that period?
When did you find out you, Shane and Candido would be the Triple Threat and what were your thoughts on it.
What was Shane like as a locker room leader at the time
How had Chris changed from his time when you worked togetrher in Smoky.
Memories of working with Francine
Memories of the ECW locker room fighting as they got closer to the first PPV and how Paul handled it?
Were you excited for the Barely Legal PPV?
How do you compare that night backstage to WWF PPVs or big shows you’d worked before or even since?
You injured your collarbone so you ended up impersonating Rick Rude and kissing Francine after Shane Douglas vs. Pitbull 2 on the PPV.  It’s been said that had you not gotten hurt, you’d have been chokeslammed off the Eagle’s Nest during the Raven-Funk match, a spot Big Dick Dudley got instead.  Is that correct to your memory?
It would have appeared ECW was going to turn you babyface out of the PPV but instead you disappeared.  What happened there?  Was it a money issue?
Do you regret that was the end of your ECW run?
Any idea what the plan for you would have been if you had stayed?
What was the best and worst thing about Paul Heyman as a boss?
What do you think of there having been so many ECW revivals and reunion attempts over the years?
ECW memories on
Sandman
Bubba and D-Von
Sabu
Pitbulls
Louie Spicoli
The Eliminators
Super Nova
Meanie
Mikey
Joey Styles
Tod Gordon
Rob van Dam
Axl Rotten
Balls Mahoney
Spike Dudley
Why didn’t you ever work any of them?
When do you get the call about the DOA gimmick in WWF?  Who calls you? What was your first impression of the idea?
Where the Chainz name come from?
Talk to us about what the WWF locker room at the time was as they were getting clobbered by WCW weekly at the time and hadn't hit on the Attitude era formula yet.
Insight into Vince McMahon at the time
Working with Bruce Prichard and Vince Russo
Could you pitch ideas or was it not that much of a collaborative environment at the time
Memories of Shane and Stephanie McMahon at the time?
Memories of working with the late Bryan Adams, Crush?
What made the DOA gimmick work?
You worked ALOT with the Nation of Domination?  Favorite memories of working with D'Lo, Ron Simmons, Godfather, etc.
Same question for Boriquas - Savio, Jesus, Jose Estrada, Miguel Perez
Thoughts on working with a young Rock when he was Rocky Maivia?
Memories of the reaction backstage when Brian Pillman passed?
Could you tell something was going wrong with him based on how he was on the road?
You were there in Montreal the night of the Screwjob.  What are your memories of the day, what went down and the aftermath backstage
It was said there was talk of guys quitting after Bret got screwed, but no one ever did.  How close do you think things got to a real locker room revolt?
How did the locker room change after Bret left?
How did Vince ever regain trust with the boys?
Thoughts on Shawn Michaels at the time?
Perhaps you can clear up a long standing rumor - can you confirm or deny that your cousins ever beat up Shawn backstage at Madison Square Garden?
Memories of HHH and Chyna?
How did Shawn and HHH get along with the locker room in the aftermath of the Screwjob?
Are you surprised to see how far HHH has gone in terms of his influence behind the scenes?
Memories of Owen Hart?
You had the chance to work some singles matches with Kane during the early portion of his WWF run as that character - memories of working with Glenn Jacobs?  Thoughts on his political success.
Memories of working the 1998 Royal Rumble and any insight into how WWF puts these matches together.
Would you have wanted to do the Brawl for All if you were asked?  Were you asked?  Thoughts on that concept and so many guys getting hurt?
Thoughts on the rise of Steve Austin?  
Memories of the Mike Tyson/Austin/DX angle leading to Wrestlemania 14 in Boston?
Memories of working with Jeff Jarrett in the WWF and how he changed from the Memphis days?
Memories of making your Wrestlemania debut in the Battle Royal in Boston at Mania 14?
Did it feel like WWF that night had turned the tide of wrestling war?
WWF memories of:
Ahmed Johnson
Road Warriors
Darren Drozdov
Val Venis
New Age Outlaws
Sable
Marc Mero
Luna Vachon
Goldust/Dustin
Bob Holly
Mark Henry
Big Bossman
Bradshaw
Edge
Christian
Hardys
Howard Finkel
Jacqueline Moore
Gangrel
Headbangers
Godwins
Steve Blackman
Vader
You leave the company in 1999.  What leads to that run ending?
Best and worst thing about Vince McMahon as a boss
Was WCW ever an option for you?  
Was going back to ECW ever an option?
You head to Puerto Rico for IWA/Victor Quinones.  Any memories of that period, of Victory, etc.
Memories from PR:
Victor the Bodyguard
Glamour Boy Shane
Apollo
When do you first hear of NWA TNA being created?
How do you get involved?
What was the behind the scenes of the company like in those early days?
Memories and thoughts on America's Most Wanted?
Where does the Disciples of the New Church gimmick come from?
Memories of teaming with Slash aka Wolfie D?
You had the chance to work against the Harris Boys in TNA as well, was that fun for you?
Memories of working against Elix Skipper and Low Ki?
Could you sense behind the scenes there were issues with Jerry Jarrett and Vince Russo
 
Any memories of Dixie Carter being around?
TNA memories of
Ed Ferrara
Mike Tenay
Don West
New Jack and Sandman
The Hot Shots
CM Punk
Why does the TNA come to an an end?
Are you surprised the company still exists today as Impact Wrestling?
After the TNA run ended, you began to work less.  Was there ever an attempt to go back to WWF?
What are you up to these days?
What made you decide to exit the business?
Do you miss being around the business at all?
If you could come back for one last dream match, what would it be?
Was there anyone you ever wanted to work with but didn’t have that opportunity?
What were your favorite cities to visit on the road?
Any favorite arenas?
What would be your favorite matches you were in?
Worst travel day?
Any promoter you’d love to see get his because of a bad dealing with them?
Favorite ribs backstage?
Would you want to come back for a WWE Hall of Fame induction for the DOA or yourself?
Is there anything you’d go back and do differently if you could in the business?
Would you ever want to write a book about your time in the business?
If someone was going to play you in the story of your life, who should it be?
What’s the one thing you’d like the fans to know about you that they may not have known because of the persona you played in the ring?
Any final message to the fans who supported you over the years?