Brooklyn Brawler Shoot Interview

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There are only a few employees that can say that they have been around the WWWF, WWF and even the WWE for the last 4 decades. There is only one wrestler that I can think of who has been in the ring with every major name that ever graced the squared circle for the WWE in all the major decades. He pledged loyalty to the McMahon family and worked his way up from being a preliminary wrestler to being a major part of production. He was the ultimate enhancement talent that always seemed to get over more with the fans than his peers. He had a look to him and a personality that you could never forget. He might not have won a lot of matched but that never mattered to this man. He was always winning in his mind because he was doing what he loved. He was a fan that broke into the business by paying his dues. He got to see the world 4 times over and never looked back. The WWE was his family and Steve Lombardi AKA Brooklyn Brawler finally sat down for his very first ever shoot interview with RF VIDEO to talk about it all.

You will learn how he got friendly with the WWWF crew when they came to NY and what happened early on at the bars that got him his lucky break. Steve talks about breaking into the business as a green kid and who helped him out. What was it like the first time he got work when Vince Sr was still in charge. He was in the ring with Bruno, Pedro, Backland and all of the greats from the 70’s and early 80’s. Steve saw the business change right in front of his eyes when Vince Sr passed away and Vince Jr took over and started to expand his company by taking it to the national level. Steve saw the wrestling boom when the Hulkster came into the company. Steve talks about being close friends with Hogan and you will hear how they traveled together on the road. What was Roddy Piper like in the early 80’s and you will hear some incredible road stories with the Hot Rod Roddy Piper including a bar fight that almost happened.

You want stories on all of the top guys from the 80’s like Sgt. Slaughter, The Valiants, Big John Studd, Paul Orndorff, Dr D David Schultz, Iron Mike Sharpe, Rocky Johnson well you got them. We covered every major name that Steve was around which was everyone. Steve got his first real break when he did his angle with Terry Taylor and Bobby Heenan. You will hear some amazing advice that Bobby gave to Steve about his spot. What was it like working with Terry Taylor as he talks about his regrets for that angle with the chair. Want to know what it was like for him to work with Kamala as Kimchee? Steve talks about Kamala and his remarks about his pay offs not being as good as they should have been and why Steve did not agree with Kamala.

Steve had many different gimmicks in the WWE including MVP and even Doink at one point. You will hear about some of his favorite matches and he has amazing stories of what it was like to work with the Ultimate Warrior on the road and what happened with both men a few nights before he died that touched his heart. Want to know what happened when Steve got a shot to wrestle HBK at MSG after winning a battle royal where the winner faced HBK the next month. How did Vince react when he learned that they put over Steve and more importantly how did Shawn Michaels react when he found out he had to work him at MSG for the title. This is a great story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Steve Austin, The Rock, HHH, Randy Savage, John Cena, Randy Orton you name it, Steve has a story on everyone.

This interview is just loaded and if your a fan of the WWE this has something for everyone. Honestly I don’t want to give away to much just look at the set of questions that we talked about with him. Steve was open and honest including talking about life after the ring and what his backstage duties have been for the company for the past decade. You will hear what goes on behind the curtain and what he was responsible for each week at TV. His success story is just incredible as he got to live out a dream and was able to say he wrestled every major name in the business to ever step foot in the WWF/WWE rings. Now sit back and get ready to be entertained with one hilarious story after the next, as RF VIDEO brings you the Brooklyn Brawler shoot interview!!!!
You are legitimately a Brooklyn Brawler as you were born in Bensonhurst. What are your memories of growing up in Brooklyn at the time?
What’s your thoughts on how Brooklyn has changed and become a haven for hipsters?
Did you prefer the old gritty days or do you like it now?
Whats the best place to eat in NYC?
When did you first discover professional wrestling? Who stood out to you as a fan growing up?
Explain to fans who are younger how important the shows at Madison Square Garden were in that era?
Who was the greatest WWWF champion in that era in your opinion?
You studied biochemistry before getting into the buiness. Talk about your background there.
Arnold Skaaland and Mr. Saito are credited as training you as a pro wrestler – tell us the story of how you first decided to become a pro wrestler and how you ended up being trained, because in the early 1980s, there isn’t an easy way into the business like there is today in 2017?
What was the training like?
Were you stretched?
Impressions of Saito and Skaaland as trainers?
What insight can you give into Skaaland as a person beyond what fans saw on camera?
How do you first go about getting bookings – I am assuming it’s Skaaland, but explain that process to us because it’s a different world now and you can’t just use Twitter to get booked in the 1980s.
Was it hard getting the trust of the locker room?
How often are you getting booked around the WWWF loop at this point?
Talk about how the WWWF office ran at that point. Vince Sr. is the owner, so who is calling you for the bookings, who are the promoters, who are the agents – compare how a locker room at a show was run then vs. today’s WWE and which way, in your mind, works better?
Favorite memories of Gorilla Monsoon?
Any dealings with Willie Ginzenberg?
Memories of your first match against Swede Hanson? Walk us through that first day.
Talk about the importance of the preliminary wrestler in those days in terms of building up the card?
Why do you think that art has been lost today?
Can it ever come back?
You make your TV debut on October 29, 1983 against The Iron Sheik – memories of wrestling on TV the first time?
You have to have some amazing Iron Sheik stories over the years. What are your memories of The Sheik?
You had a chance to work with an incredible wealth of talent in the 1980s. Was there anyone you learned the most from, whether it comes to conducting yourself in the locker room or lessons in the ring?

Memories of Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales and Bob Backlund, the three major WWF kingpins prior to the Hogan era? How do you compare them in the ring and how they conducted themselves? Who was the most important of the three when it came to business?
Memories of Sgt. Slaughter, The Valiants, Big John Studd, Paul Orndorff, Dr D David Schultz, Iron Mike Sharpe, Rocky Johnson?
What was the locker room reaction when Vince McMahon took over the company from Vince Jr.?
Compare the two in how the company was run between them? What are the immediate changes you and others notice right away?
What are your memories of how everyone reacted to WWF going national and starting to run other markets?

You debut in Madison Square Garden debut on 6/16/84, facing Mad Dog Vachon? Why does MSG stand out against the rest of the WWF tours? How important is that debut to you personally?
You lose the MSG match but a month later, you beat Vachon in the Nassau Coliseum, which is a huge upset at the time. What’s the reason behind this happening? Is it done to pop the house and surprise the fans? Is it a test for a potential push?
At the first Championship Wrestling TV taping in Poughkeepsie, WWF does an angle where you lose to Kamala but afterward, Hulk Hogan comes out and shows you respect. This never goes anywhere beyond that moment – why did this happen and why didn’t it move further?
Thoughts on Hogan as a person and a performer? Why do you think he took off as such a massive superstar?
Memories of Roddy Piper?
As the company starts to expand nationally, are you offered a contract at this point? They are doing 2-3 shows a night and an insane schedule, so are you put under contract or does that come later?
Walk us through how rough the schedule is from a touring standpoint. What was the worst schedule you can remember undertaking?
Memories of George Scott during his time booking WWF?
How did the NBC deal change how WWF did business?
How does Vince McMahon change with success?
Memories of working with Terry Garvin and Pat Patterson?
What made Pat Patterson so talented at finishes?
Memories of JJ Dillon during his time working for WWE?
Back to the 80s. As a wrestler, everyone wants to be World champion, so are you happy with your role or do you want to be used more? Is there a way to go and try to push yourself to management or is that instant heat?
What was the proper way to conduct yourself in the locker room during that time period to keep from getting heat?

Memories of some of the other preliminary talents from that 1980s era – should any of these have been given a stronger push in your opinion? Paul Roma, Jim Powers, SD Jones, Sivi Afi, Barry O, Terry Gibbs, Nick Kiniski, Lanny Poffo, Iron Mike Sharpe, George Wells, Barry Horowitz
You wrestled the Ultimate Warrior in his WWF debut in Texas – memories of him and did you ever think he was going to become the star he did?
Memories of your long series of matches with Paul Roma? Are you surprised he never cracked into the top tier of WWF? Were there mistakes he made that prevented it?
Are you just waiting for a push at that point? Do you feel like the company should have utilized you more?
You get the chance to work some of the earliest WWF overseas tours, including Australia – what’s the experience like? How different are the fans there?
There’s a story that actor Hugh Jackman was hosting Raw and when he saw you, popped huge because he had attended that tour years ago. Memories of that and what sort of feeling does that give you about your career?
Who comes up with the idea of you working as Kim-Chee with Kamala?
Since he eventually worked on top against Hulk Hogan, did you get bigger paydays?
Memories of Kamala?
Memories of working with King Curtis, who was managing as The Wizard?
Kamala has said he got terrible paydays in comparison to Hogan during that time period – what are you memories of what pay disparency was like between top babyfaces and top heels?
In 1993, when Kamala became a babyface, you had a chance to wrestle him – memories of those bouts?
Who comes up with the Brooklyn Brawler character and what is your reaction when it is pitched to you?
You debut on an angle during Prime Time Wrestling where Bobby Heenan is trying to make amends with The Red Rooster (Terry Taylor), only it’s a setup for you to attack and defeat the Rooster. Memories of the angle and what you were told when you started the storyline?
Are there any promises made to you about a push?
Memories of wrestling and feuding with Taylor?
Were you let down when Wrestlemania that year featured Taylor vs. Bobby Heenan and not yourself?
Let’s talk Bobby Heenan. Obviously one of the greatest of all time, so talk about getting the chance to work with him closely. What made him tick as a performer? What advice did he offer you as a performer?

If you could have had the choice of being managed by any of the other roster of great managers over the years in WWF, who would you have wanted to work with?
Were you let down when you went back to just working preliminary matches after the storyline?
Is it more important to get a big push or to have regular work for a long period of time?
You had the chance to work a dark match at Wrestlemania 6 in 1990 – memories of working in Skydome against Paul Roma?
In the summer of 1990, Shane Douglas came and worked an underneath role in WWF, including a dark match at Summerslam 90 against you before departing the company – memories of wrestling Shane and why do you think he never clicked in WWF during either of his runs?
Memories of working for Tenyru’s SWS in Japan?
Memories of teaming with Rick Martel in Japan

Memories of feuding with Big Bully Busick over who was the true bully in WWF?
You sort of turned babyface at the end – was that a planned thing to test and see how you would work out in that role?
Thoughts on Ric Flair’s WWF run and what was the locker room reaction to him coming into the company?
Memories of wrestling Chris Walker in a dark match at the 1992 Royal Rumble.
Why do you think he never took off in WWF?
How did you the launch of Monday Night Raw change the company?
Memories of working the early Raws in the Manhattan Center?
Memories of wrestling Tommy Dreamer in a WWF tryout match at the Westchester County Center?

Where did the MVP character come from? Was it something you pitched or something the company came to you with?
How did you feel about portraying a new character? What sort of freedom does that give you as a performer?
Why was the character name changed to Abe Knuckleball Schwartz?
Is it true the character was put on hold because Matt Borne was let go as Doink they needed someone to play Doink beyond Steve Keirn?

Favorite memories of playing Doink on the road?
In 1993, you had a run in Mempnis as Doink in the USWA – thoughts on how the territory was run and seemed compared to the WWF machine?
Memories of teaming with a young Brian Christopher and wrestling Jeff Jarrett and Tony Falk?
Since we are talking Memphis, let’s talk thoughts and memories of working with Jerry Lawler?
Any idea why Ray Apollo was hired to play Doink full time as opposed to yourself or Steve Keirn being tapped full-time?
Memories of FINALLY making your PPV debut under a mask as one of the Knights for Bret Hart’s team vs. Shawn Michaels’ team at the 1993 Survivor Series?
Thoughts on Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels as talents?
Who was right when it came to the Montreal situation?
What are your memories of the backstage scene afterward?
Was everyone shocked that Vince was hit by Bret?
What do you say to people who believe that Montreal was a work?
How did WWE change behind the scenes once Hart left?
Getting back to your career, we start to see a pattern where a lot of talents who debut, including The Rock and Bob Holly, are given to you to have their first matches in the company – talk about what you are looking for in new talents when you are given that responsibility?
Is it a case of the company respects you to point they trust you to evaluate and test the talents?
Was there ever anyone who just impressed you right off the bat?
What are your memories of those initial matches The Rock had with you as he had no experience at that point?
When Major League Baseball had their shut down in 1994, Knuckleball Shwartz returns as a way to mock the situation. Did you think this was going to get you a new push or was it just a way for the company to play off the angry emotions of baseball fans?
Why did WWE have you revert back to being the Brooklyn Brawler?
What was the back story of the you presenting the Steve Lombardi trophy on the Raw Bowl in 1996?
Talk about the night you won a WWF title shot during a Battle Royal in Madison Square Garden?
Would you say that’s your favorite memory in the business?
Memories of challenging Shawn Michaels for the belt?
Who had the idea that you come out to “New York, New York” that night?
When was the decision made to have you start focusing on behind the scenes duties vs. an in-ring role?
Talk about what your backstage responsibilities for WWE were over the years and how they changed?
Talk about producing and running the promo room for the company?
What makes a good promo?
Who were the most natural at cutting promos when they were trying to get into the company?
Was there ever anyone who impressed you in their promo skills that you were surprised didn’t get a job?
Talk about working with Harvey Whippleman/Bruno Lauer behind the scenes and favorite memories of working with him?
Do you think he gets the respect he deserves for what he does for the company?
What are the biggest misconceptions about WWE by people who are criticizing the company or reporting on it?
What are your thoughts on the newsletters and websites that cover professional wrestling?

Although you are primarily working behind the scenes, you are still wrestling from time to time on the road or on Raw episodes? Is this just a “hey, we need someone and we trust Lombardi” situation? Are you still hoping to be back in the ring full time?
How shocked were you when Randy Savage left the company?
What are your favorite memories of him, either in the ring or behind the scenes?
How about Elizabeth?
Do you believe the Savage Stephanie rumors?
Why do you think the company never brought him back?
Thoughts on the Monday Night War?
Once Nitro began taking control of the ratings, how did things change behind the scenes for WWF?
Could you sense tension among execs and within the company?
The decision is made to go full blown with the Attitude Era – thoughts on that era of the company?
Before the Attitude Era became part of the mix, how did people within WWE look upon ECW?
Memories of working with Steve Austin and what he brought to the table?
We asked you to compare Bruno, Pedro and Backlund earlier – Compare Hogan, Warrior and Austin and what they meant to their respective eras of the company?
Memories of wrestling The Rock on Raw in 2000?
Memories of pinning Triple H on Raw?
Thoughts on Triple H – would you agree he was a big politician behind the scenes and held people back when they should have been pushed?
If so, who were those talents?
What are the best things he brings as a leader for the company behind the scenes today?
How do you think he’s grown and changed since coming to power in WWE?
Were you shocked when he and Stephanie became a legitimate couple?
How do you feel about them one day taking over the company?
How do you think they compare to Vince and Vince Sr. in how they run the company?

What does Stephanie bring to the table as a leader?
Thoughts on Shane McMahon returning to WWE?
How shocking was it at the time when he exited the company?
Do you think Vince picked Stephanie over Shane and if so, why?
Do you think Vince will ever actually give up control of the company to anyone?
What do you think drives Vince? Obviously he has all the money in the world, so what do you think still drives hm at his age to work as hard as he does?
What are the best lessons you’ve learned about life working in pro wrestling?
Memories of the day WWE bought WCW?
What was the reaction like within the company?
Memories of working the gimmick Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 17?
Would you have preferred to have worked it as the Brooklyn Brawler?
What led to the idea of you turning heel on NYC and becoming the Boston Brawler on Raw in 2005?
Did you feel like you were turning on the Yankees?
Ever hear from anyone in the Yankees organization becaise of it?
Memories of facing Kurt Angle on ECW on SyFy?

Thoughts on John Cena and his work in the company?
Why do you think so many fans rejected Cena for so long and why do you think fans reject Roman Reigns now?
Is it harder now for babyfaces to be legitimate babyfaces now?
Do you blame the Internet for that or is it just that pro wrestling has lost the foundation it used to have?
Let’s talk Undertaker – what do you think still drives him to perform at the level he works at?
Any insight into his rise inside the company as one of the true locker room leaders?
Favorite memories of him personally and professionally?

Why did you work as Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz on the Raw 15th anniversary show?
Memories of working the Raw goes Old School show against Ezekiel Jackson?
How excited were you when you finally got an action figure?
When WWE debuted at the Barclays Center, you were booked as a surprise partner teaming with Miz and Alberto Del Rio against 3MB. Memories of that moment?
What did it mean to you to be included the firsr ever PPV from Brooklyn?
Why do you think that every so often WWE made sure to include you in moments like that? What did that mean to you personally?
Memories of the following:
Howard Finkel
the late Joey Marella
The Hebners
Curt Hennig
The Killer Bees
Les Thornton
Jimmy Snuka
Koko B. Ware
Jake Roberts
Sam Houston
Owen Hart
Hercules Hernandez
Ron Garvin
Tony Atlas
The British Bulldogs
Junkyard Dog
Superstar Graham
George Steele
Blackjack Mulligan
Outback Jack
Moondog Spot
Tom Zenk
Ricky Steamboat
David Sammartino
Nikolai Volkoff
Danny Spivey
Tony Garea
Rene Goulet
Brady Boone
Hillbilly Jim
Tito Santana
Kerry Von Erich
Big Bossman
Kevin Nash
Sid Vicious
Brutus Beefcake
Marty Jannetty
Bam Bam Bigelow
Luna Vachon
Savio Vega
Adam Bomb
Duke The Dumpster Drose
Doink Ray Apollo
Man Mountain Rock
Chris Candido & Sunny
Lex Luger
Louie Spicoli aka Rad Radford
Smoking Gunns
Mark Henry
Eddie Guerrero
Sean Waltman aka X-Pac
The Dudley Boyz
TAKA Michinoku
Big Show
Perry Saturn
Ron H20 Waterman
Chris Benoit
Memories of wrestling your last match for the company against Ryback?
What was the key to having longevity in WWE?
When did you find out WWE was releasing you?
Were you shocked or was it just a matter of time since you had been there so long?
There were some rumors as to why you were released, so let’s address those:
1 – Did you have heat for calling into the Taz Show?
2 – Were you in trouble for doing too much on social media?
3 – How do you feel about those stories making the rounds?
So, you’ve worked for WWE for decades…and now you are done with the company – what is your first move to get back in the job market?
How far does working for WWE go on a resume?
You’ve started to work the independents again – how has pro wrestling on that level changed from when you broke into the business?
Do you think they will call you one day to put you in the WWE Hall of Fame?
Any regrets when it comes to your time in WWE?
You never really went and worked other territories, such as NWA or AWA back in the day. Why was that and do you regret not spreading your wings beyond WWE?
Beyond Hugh Jackman, any favorite celebrity interactions?
What do you think of today’s independent wrestling scene?
What is your advice for talents trying to get into the company?
Would you want to return there one day?
Favorite cities to visit and Arenas to perform in?
Favorite ribs or road stories?
So many guys are banged up from their time on the road and the bumps they have taken – how are you feeling these days physically? You had neck surgery over a decade ago – how are you feeling?
Would you want to write a book about your experiences in the business?
What’s the best and worst thing about not being on the WWE road schedule anymore?
What message would you like to send to fans who have watched and supported you over the years?
Anyone left in pro wrestling you’d like to get in the ring with?
Anyone you wish you could have wrestled?
What are your thoughts on the surge in nostalgia and pro wrestling conventions?
What message would you like to personally send to the McMahon family?