I’m old enough to remember a time when shoot interviews were a big thing. VHS tapes that were 4 hours long and most likely bootlegged from someone else’s friend. Honky Tonk Man talking about the things WWE didn’t want you to hear, or just how he really hates *insert wrestler here*, The Iron Sheik shouting that he will break our backs and make us humble, Jim Cornette doing the face.
But since the advent of podcasts and every wrestler in the world have a podcast, shoot interviews don’t mean quite so much anymore. When you leave WWE you give an interview with Chris Jericho or Chris Van Vliet or presumably a different Canadian that is also called Chris, but often it just feels like the same stories getting told but from different perspectives. Nothing quite feels… explosive anymore.
But that’s not to say there haven’t been some big ones in 2020 – no siree! You see, in April WWE cut a lot of talent which means there was a lot of talent who had a lot of time to do a lot of podcasts. And as such, we got some real gems inside the working hive of WWE and an insight into the mind of Vince McMahon – but also some bits about AEW and the indies.
I’m Luke Owen please give this video a thumbs up, and subscribe to WrestleTalk for more great content like this, and let’s look at 10 explosive shoot interviews from 2020.
10. Vince May Be Out of Touch – Matt Hardy On Talk is Jericho
Matt Hardy decided not to re-sign with WWE back in February – do you remember February? We all sat together in massive crowds at wrestling shows which now feels like a totally alien concept. His WWE run wasn’t the barnstormer we all thought it would be. Matt had reinvented himself on the indies and became the hottest act in wrestling when he brought out the Broken Matt Hardy character – you could not move for Delete chants in 2015. And then he and his brother Jeff re-signed with WWE in 2016 and just became the Hardy Boyz again for nostalgia pops. Oh, dear. He did eventually get to be “Woken” Matt Hardy, but it didn’t quite click. And perhaps the reason it didn’t click, was because Vince McMahon is out of touch.
Hardy appeared on Talk is Jericho where he talked about the Ultimate Deletion match that closed Raw on March 20, 2018, and noted that Vince was not only not a fan of it, but if it was a hit, then maybe he has passed it?
“[Vince] watched it in the production meeting, and a few people watched it already. But after it was over, everyone clapped and stood up… and he was just kinda looked around and told a few people, ‘I don’t get it. If it does a number then I am truly out of touch.’ And we kept the audience over 3 million viewers, which was cool. It did okay”
I mean, it was a hit – but Vince is still heading up creative. Maybe he thinks the kids are wrong.
9. The WWE Tag Titles Are So Bad No One Wants Them – FTR On Talk is Jericho
FTR – formally The Revival in WWE – had been looking to leave for quite some time and finally got their release in April – actually before all of the pandemic firings. One of the big reasons they wanted to leave was because WWE – for whatever reason – don’t like tag wrestling. And when I say WWE, I mean Vince McMahon doesn’t like tag wrestling. They don’t treat the titles seriously, they don’t really feature them, and they keep breaking up teams left right and centre. Cash Wheeler on Talk is Jericho said of Braun Strowman and Nicholas winning the tag titles:
“This is nothing against Braun, but he steamrolled the entire tag team division. And then a ten-year-old won the titles at WrestleMania. And then no tag teams were featured at SummerSlam, and at the last minute they added the women’s tag titles, which I’m all for, but it was so last minute that people didn’t know.”
But perhaps the most damning of things to say of WWE’s tag division is that they didn’t even want to win the tag team championships.
“We’d just beaten Lucha House Party, so we knew the tag titles were in our immediate future, and that’s when we asked. Because we wanted to make the point that we knew things were going decent for us, they’re going all things considered, but we’re not happy. The tag titles don’t mean anything… I would rather lose to the tag champs for the rest of my career than hold them, because it’s just going to be seen as a failed championship run.”
The tag scene in WWE has only gotten worse since FTR left, with that never-ending feud between Street Profits and Andrade & Angel Garza, and the nonsense with Viking Raiders. I’m not even sure I know who the Smackdown tag champions are… STREET PROFITS? Oh yeah, the whole swapping belt thing. Looks like Cash Wheeler had a point!