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Monday, July 7, 2008

Interview With Bruno Lauer

Courtesy of Piledriver Online's Steve Ashfield:

Why has it taken so long for you to write the book?

First of all, during the earlier days in the business, survival was of utmost importance, and writing a book for public consumption, laying bare the inner workings of our industry, was taboo.. I would have been drummed out of the business faster than a snowball in a fire-fight if I tried something of this nature back in "the day.” Also, I didn’t want to be one of those people with basically nothing to say, and somebody who nobody really cared whether I was writing a book. There are young guys in the business today, who have had less than a hundred matches, who are writing books because they think they know it all, when in fact, they know NOTHING! I didn’t want to trot out a book just because I was on TV at the time, a la Lita, or Chyna, when nobody really cared about what they had to say. Sure, Chyna’s book did well for a time, but the content wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on, Let’s be honest. As a person, I like Lita, but she didn’t have enough years in the business to quality to write her memoirs. Also, in my opinion, she used the business to make a name for herself, and then she moved on, while a loyal dumbass (me), who made a hell of a lot less $$$ than her, is still working in the business. My heart is where it needs to be. Period.

What was it about wrestling that first got you interested in it and what steps did you take to get into the business?

The second question is basically restating what I say ad nauseum in the very first chapter of the book. I don’t mind sharing information about my background, but I’d rather people buy the book for the stories I’ve already written about.

I’ve read your recollections of the match early on in your career where you weren’t so aware of wrestling being a work, and didn’t quite interfere in the match the way you were supposed to. How do you feel about match all these years later?

In regards to the match where I screwed up because I wasn’t smart to the business … well, if nothing else, it gave me a good story to tell! Plus, it was a turning point in learning and beginning to understand the business. So, I guess, in a weird way, I’m glad it happened.

What was it about the Memphis wrestling scene that made it so popular with the fans?

Memphis wrestling was a way of life for a lot of people ... every Saturday morning. The studio wrestling show from Memphis was the highest-rated show in Memphis by FAR for years ... not only because it was pre-cable (granted, it was the only wrestling show in town), but because people really cared about the people on the screen and in the ring. It was a very personal involvement for a lot of people. Honestly, I couldn’t go ANYWHERE in Memphis without being literally swarmed with people wanting an autograph, wanting to talk to me, or, more often than I would have liked, wanting to kick my ass! It was intense. We really were huge stars in our era, back in Memphis.

You write in your book about how you got into trouble when you bladed during a match involving Bob Brown that upset Bob Geigel because he hadn’t asked you to do so. Damian Demento is causing a fuss at the moment about the issue of blading. Could you ever see a wrestling business in which blading doesn’t exist?

I haven’t, and probably won’t ever see Demento’s thing regarding blading, since I’m not really into looking at wrestling bullsh— in my free time, and I don’t think much about juice anymore, anyway. I think I’ll let this one go.

What in your opinion makes a good manager?

A good manager is willing to take bumps when necessary without over-doing it and killing his heat. A good manager knows when to shine and when to step back and not steal the spotlight. A good manager is a good talker who knows what to say and why in order to draw money, and, most importantly, keep the focus on the match and wrestler(s) at hand, not on himself.

When I first started watching WWE back in the 80s, there were plenty of managers. These days, it’s more likely to be a valet than a manager. Why is that?

As far as the whys and wherefores of the lack of managers nowadays, I’ve been asked that 1000 plus times, and my stock answer is always — how the hell should I know? LOL.

UK fans will remember you for your appearance at Summerslam 92 managing Kamala against The Undertaker. What was it like appearing in front of such a massive crowd that night?

To be frank, I worked just as hard, if not harder, in front of 65 people in various high school gymnasiums, National Guard Armories, etc., and was more nervous about doing a good job in those cases, because the people were right there, concentrating on everything much more intently than in a huge arena or stadium. It was great, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t the reason the crowd was there. I knew I was just lucky to be a part of such a spectacle, which was great, but it wasn’t me!

Could you believe that Hulk Hogan actually sold for you in that tag match in Memphis?

Yes. Hogan, to me, was, and is, a great guy, and I feel honoured to know him and to have worked with him

Can you tell my readers exactly what your duties are as a road agent in WWE?

I covered those duties fully in my book, as well.

You’ve been in WWE now since 1989. How has the company changed during that time?

I think the changes in the WWE are quite evident and out in the open, so there’s really nothing that I could add that people wouldn’t already know! ‘Wrestling With the Truth’ is published by Crowbar Press. For more information and to read some excerpts from the book go to http://www.1wrestlinglegends.com/crowbarpress/bruno/index.html.

To read more from this interview go to http://www.piledriver-online.co.uk/ccount/click.php?id=17 where you can also read interviews with Tito Santana, Mascarita Sagrada, El Ligero, Lucy Clayden plus nearly 50 pages of news. Also in the download section of http://www.piledriver-online.co.uk there’s another 15 free mags to download.