Tony Garea Shoot Interview

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Memories of growing up in New Zealand?

How did you first come across pro wrestling?

Memories of being trained by Wild Don Scott?

What was the training like compared to what talents go through today?

Was there a lot of shooting in the training?

When did they explain to you what the business really was?

What was the territory like in New Zealand when you broke in?  How often did it run?  How would you compare it to an American territory?

Who were the talents that worked there that the average American might not be aware of that were important to that era of your career?

Memories of your first match?

Memories of World Championship Wrestling in Australia?

How did you first end up coming to America?

How do you land in Championship Wrestling from Florida?

Any major culture shock coming to the United States?

Initial thoughts and memories on Eddie Graham?    What did you think of him as a booker?

Memories of teaming with Johnny Gray?

Jack Brisco was NWA Champion in that era - memories of him?

Memories of:
Hiro Matsuda
Great Mephisto
Ron Garvin
Johnny Valentine
The Infernos
The Alaskans
Dick Slater
George Harris
Buddy Colt
Bob Orton Jr.
Scott Casey 
Robert Fuller

You do some shots in the WWWF in 1972 - what leads to you going to work up there

Does Eddie make the call for you?

Initial thoughts on Vince McMahon Sr.?

You returned to Florida for some more dates, were you just finishing up?

How do you compare the WWWF territory to Florida in terms of schedule and travel?

Memories of your Madison Square Garden debut against Chuck O’ Connor?

What set MSG different from all the other venues in the territories?

There were lots of stories about Boston Garden being dangerous for the heels. How crazy was the Garden?

Any favorite buildings you loved to wrestle in because of the atmosphere?

Memories of winning the WWWF Tag Team titles with Haystacks Calhoun?  What was he like to be around as a person?

Memories of
Gorilla Monsoon
Arnold Skaaland
Davey O'Hannon
Mr Fuji
Pro Toru Tanaka
Pete Doherty
Tony Altimore
Chief Jay Strongbow
Larry Hennig
Pedro Morales
Lou Albano
Blackjack Lanza
George Steele
Don Leo Jonathan
Nikolai Volkoff
Bobby Duncum.
Jimmy and Johnny Valiant
Killer Kowalski
Butcher Vachon
Spiros Arion
Waldo Von Erich
The Wolfman
Blackjack Mulligan
Bugsy McGraw

Bruno Sammartino was the top star in the WWWF at the time - what was it like being around him at the time?

Any favorite Andre the Giant stories?  Did you have the chance to travel with him?

Memories of teaming with Dean Ho?

You held the Tag Team belts a number of times for WWWF - how did they view teams in general and the Tag titles since there were only a few belts at the time, it’s a lot different than it is now.

What makes a good babyface tag team in your mind?

You head to Georgia Championship Wrestling in 1975.  Was it a case of you finishing up with WWWF?  Did you give notice?

Thoughts on Jim Barnett, who owned the territory at the time?

You wrestled Les Thornton a lot for GCW - thoughts on him as a worker?

Memories of wrestling:

Skandar Akbar
Luke Graham
Stan Stasiak

You head over to NWA Big Tom in California - memories of the Cow Palace and wrestling there?

Memories of wrestling the following in that territory:

Masked Invader
Don Muraco
Pepe Lopez
Bobby Jaggers
Ray Stevens
The Royal Kangaroos
Mr. Saito
Rock Riddle
Peter Maivia
Al Madril

Memories of teaming with Pat Patterson to win the NWA World Tag Team titles

Thoughts and memories on Patterson?  What made him such a great mind for the business?

Memories of working the Cow Palace Battle Royal in 1977? 

You return to WWWF.  By this time Vince McMahon is now commentating - first thoughts and reflections on him? 

Could you have predicted he would have become one of the most important promoters of all time?

What do you think drove him and made him tick?

Would you consider him one of the boys?

Thoughts on him selling WWE?

Should Stephanie and Triple H have been allowed to just inherit the company?

What were the family dynamics like when you were there?  How did they change over the years?

What made Ag Hall such a great place for WWF TV tapings?

How did Hamburg, PA compare to Allentown?

Memories of teaming with Rene Goulet?

First impressions of Rick Martel?  What made him a good partner and worker?

What makes a good worker in your mind?

Who in your mind were the best babyfaces and heels?  Who were the most underrated?

Memories of feuding with The Wild Samoans?

Memories of feuding with The Moonddog?

Thoughts on the entire Jimmy Snuka-Nancy Argentino tragedy?

SD Jones
Dusty Rhodes
Don Muraco
Big John Studd
Jules Strongbow
Johnny Rodz
Swede Hansen
Victor Rivera
Sal Bellomo
Rocky Johnson
Tonga Kid
Tito Santana
Ivan Koloff
Ivan Putski

Memories of wrestling a young King Kong Bundy when he was Man Mountain Canyon?

Memories of feuding with Fuji and Saito?

Any favorite Fuji rib stories?

Who was worse as the ribber - Fuji or Mr. Perfect and why?

You lose the WWF Tag Team belts for the final time and after Martel leaves WWF.  Why does he leave?  Was there any talk of going with him?

Who did you enjoy traveling with?

Memories of teaming with Eddie Gilbert and Brian Blair - why didn’t those teams click?

Was there any talk of going elsewhere before you retired or did you see the writing on the wall for the business?

Why do you think Vince and WWF were able to take out all their competitors?

When did you make the decision to retire?  Was it a job offer to work as an agent or you decided it was time?

Can you walk us through what it was like working as an agent.  People today know the role of a producer but what were your responsibilities and work schedule like as an agent?

What makes a good agent?  Who were some of the agents you learned from?

Was it hard separating yourself from being one of the boys to someone in a position of authority?

Do you get heat from the boys because of your position of power?

WWF in the 80s was the wild, wild west in a lot of ways with guys like Piper, Muraco, Orndorff, Orton, etc.  How hard was it keeping everyone in line and keeping the locker room in order.  What was the strategy in terms of keeping everyone happy when the road schedule was so insane?

How did you keep yourself sane keeping up with the touring in that era?

Who were the other agents at the time and how did the team operate together?

What makes a good agent and what are the mistakes someone in that position shouldn’t try to make?

Which talent was the biggest pain in the ass?

What was the pressure like for the company before the first Wrestlemania?

Was Vince sweating early on when things weren’t clicking?

Thoughts on the company putting a non-wrestler like Mr. T in such an important role?

How mad were the other boys?

Why did George Scott as a booker not work out for WWF?

Were you surprised WWF cut ties with Wendi Richter so suddenly?

Were you there at the Garden for the Spider Lady screwjob with Moolah?  Memories of it?

Memories of the Terry Funk bar fight vignette on TNT?

Did you like Terry?  Memories of him?

What was your reaction when the company turned Andre the Giant heel vs. Hogan?

Memories of working Wrestlemania 3 behind the scenes?

Memories of the Dynamite Kid-Jacques Rougeau issues - were you present for the fight?  Who was in the wrong?

Thoughts on the company putting Randy Savage into the top position in 1988?

Memories of Ted DiBiase?

Ricky Steamboat?

You were with the company for so many years, so we'd like to ask you for your insight on the following WWF and WWE Champions over the years, memories of them and why their title reigns worked or didn't work:

Superstar Graham
Bob Backlund
Iron Sheik
Hulk Hogan
Ultimate Warrior
Sgt. Slaughter
Ric Flair
Randy Savage
Bret Hart
Shawn Michaels

Thoughts on the following talents from mid-80s:
Billy Jack Haynes
David Schultz
Brutus Beefcake
Steve Lombardi
Jake Roberts
Greg Valentine
Mike Rotunda & Barry Windham
Jim Neidhart
David Sammartino

Memories of the WWF scandals in the early 1990s.  You worked with Terry Garvin, but all that is really spoken about him today is the scandals he was connected to.  Can you speak a bit about him as a person?  What he brought to WWF?  Do you think Vince was aware of what was going on with him before the allegations?

Were you surprised when Mel Phillips was named and fired?

Pat Patterson wrote in his book that he quit over the allegations and was innocent before the company brought him back.  What do you remember about his exit and return?

There were a lot of behind the scenes officials who quit because things were so tight that Vince cut their pay - including JJ Dillon and Lord Alfred Hayes. 

Did the same happen to you? 

Why did you stay?

How bad were things behind the scenes at that point? 

Did you ever consider quitting?

How did the advent of Raw in 1993 change things for the company?

How different is it putting matches together for TV vs. just a live house?

As an agent, did ric flair live up to the hype when he came from WCW to WWF?

Why do you think Vince never went all the way with Lex Luger?

How bad were things behind the scenes when Nitro began picking up steam for WCW?

Was Vince personally hurt by Hogan, Savage, Piper jumping?

Do you think there was ever anything to the Savage-Stephanie rumors?

Memories of Vince and the company’s reaction to the Kliq Farewell in MSG?

How bad was HHH in the doghouse?

How close was the company to closing at that point?

Did Vince ever seek advice from the agents at this point?

Thoughts on the Montreal Screwjob?

Could you see the issues coming?

Do you think Bret was justified in standing up for himself?

Memories of Owen Hart the person and the talent.

Do you wish WWE had shut the PPV down the night he passed?

Why do you think The Undertaker had the staying power he did as a talent?

Would you consider him the closest thing to this generation’s Andre the Giant as an attraction?

Thoughts on Steve Austin and The Rock and why they had the success they did?

How did the company’s behind the scenes organization and day to day change when it went public?

When you look back on how WWE handling the passing of Eddy Guerrero, was there anything looking back all these years later that could have or should have been done?

What were your thoughts on the company adding the Wellness Policy coming out of his passing?

Thoughts on the Benoit family tragedy?  What do you remember about that day at Raw if you were there?

Memories of reuniting at Rick Martell at Vengeance: Night of Champions in June 2007, coming to the aid of the team of Sgt. Slaughter and Jimmy Snuka, who were being attacked following their loss to Deuce 'n Domino.

What led to the end of your WWE run?

What was your favorite thing about being in the ring?

Is there anyone you look at after you retired and wished you had the chance to have worked with them?

Did you get the same satisfaction as an agent that you got performing?

Are there favorite matches or events you oversaw that stand out as events you are proud of?

What are you up to today?

What’s missing in the business today that you’d like to see return?

Thoughts on a future WWE Hall of Fame induction one day?

Are you surprised they haven’t asked you yet?

Who would you like to induct you?

We talked a few arenas, but what were your favorite cities to compete in?

Since you have traveled so much, was there a Favorite country you had a chance to tour in?

What was your worst travel day in pro wrestling?

Would you ever want to do a book or a podcast series covering your career?

If you had to pick what your legacy was in pro wrestling, what would it be?

Final words for everyone who has supported your career?