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Author: Subject: Great Regal Interview from UK Sun...
Shaggy
The Great One






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posted on 1-4-2006 at 12:55 AM Edit Post
Great Regal Interview from UK Sun...

William's advice to Eddie
By THE LILSBOYS

THERE are few men better placed to discuss wrestling in 2006 than William Regal.

William has seen and done almost everything in the business, competing all around the world in his 20-plus years as a professional wrestler.

In 2003, the former intercontinental champion almost died from heart failure brought on by his previous heavy drug and alcohol abuse - the same thing that he recently saw kill pal Eddie Guerrero.

In this exclusive interview William tells us about his relationship with Eddie and how he advised his friend to get checked out shortly before he died.

The British star, whose real name is Darren Matthews, also talked about the "easy" schedule today's wrestlers have, his favourite current stars and why there is no one in the WWE right now who can match Steve Austin or The Rock.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Can you share your memories of Eddie Guerrero with us?

It was such a terrible terrible shame when Eddie passed away.

The first time I met Eddie was in 1994 in Japan, when he was teaming with Art Barr.

We got on straight away and went through a lot together.

There are a lot of people coming out of the woodwork saying they were Eddie's best friend. I know who Eddie's best friends were and I wasn't one of them, but we were close.

We talked a lot, especially as we both had the same problems and could really relate to each other.

There is also the camaraderie that comes from travelling around the world together, which I also share with Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho.

When you heard about Eddie's death, did you think that it could have been you?

Without a doubt. That was me!

I had the same thing as Eddie, heart failure, I was just lucky I was already in hospital when they discovered it. I had some symptoms beforehand that caused me to get checked out.

Two or three weeks before he died, Eddie came and sat next to me in Los Angeles. If he ever came and sat next to me it would always be something serious.

He said: "I'm having trouble with my stomach. It's swelling up and getting hard. I feel tired."

I said: "Don't mess about, go and get it checked out. I started off like that and you should get tested for all kinds of stuff - you just never know."

A week after he told me: "I was eating a lot of oatmeal and I've cut down on that, so it's got a bit better."

I said: "You still need to get tested and find out other things as well."

That was the last real conversation I had with him.

Eddie was obviously feeling something but he didn't get it checked out or, if he did, he didn't get it checked out by the right people.

Your former partner Nick 'Eugene' Dinsmore is in rehab after becoming addicted to Somas and other prescription medication - have you spoken to him?

Yes, I went to see Nick the other week and he's doing great. He should be back to how he used to be soon.

Nobody has the right to point the finger at Nick for anything. I know there were people pointing fingers, who I won't name, but they're all people who I know do stuff. They're just looking for somebody to put their blame on.

Nobody has the right to judge what anybody else does.

Everybody gets tied up in something like that in their lives and getting out of it is all that matters.

In your autobiography, you are very clear that wrestling is not to blame for the drugs problems that almost killed you - can you explain why?

Because it's just an excuse!

Some guys will use wrestling as an excuse to take something that makes them feel good.

I haven't taken a pill or had a drink in seven years now, so you can get by.

It's easy to make excuses, I did when I was using, but you need to look yourself in the mirror and say do I really need it?

If you're really injured then it's up to you to speak up, that's why we have trainers, doctors and medical insurance.

There's no reason why you can't get help on your days off and therapy for injuries.

Most guys can't be bothered so they end up taking pain pills. Then they find out they like the feeling when they're on pain pills, so they take more and get addicted to them.

Before you get mentally addicted to them you get physically addicted, the narcotic element makes you sick if you try and cut down.

But somebody somewhere is always going to be making an excuse for using something they shouldn't - whether they're a wrestler or not.

So don't blame the business.

Do you think the schedule should be reduced for wrestlers to allow more time off to heal injuries?

I don't see how much easier it can get!

We work four days a week, get guaranteed days off and when we go on tour we get ferried about and looked after.

All we have to do is put our boots on and go out and perform.

I suppose I come from a different era, where we worked far more days a year under far worse conditions.

I get at least two full days at home each week to plan things with my family, and I never got that until I came to the WWE.

So I don't know how anybody can complain.

Maybe the guys who are moaning have just grown up with a different work ethic to me - it's the generation who don't even have to get up to turn their TVs over.

Will Vince McMahon's new drug testing policy help avoid tragedies in the future?

I think it's got to help. It's being run by an outside agency, so we've got no say over it.

It certainly doesn't bother me, but it's definitely going to be an eye-opener to a few people.

There are legitimate reasons for certain things you do have to take.

But if there are people out there who are abusing drugs then hopefully they'll get the help they need before they end up like me.

I don't want anybody to end up going through what I did. I came through it. But I'm one of the few who ever did.

What did you think of the Smackdown special, where Rey Mysterio prayed to Eddie to win a wrestling match and then Eddie's car was spat on and used in an angle to 'kill' The Undertaker?

I don't think for a second Rey meant anything other than heartfelt, genuine emotion for Eddie - and that was his way of showing it.

As for the other stuff, we live inside our own little world and obviously see things completely differently to those on the outside - but it doesn't mean we are doing things for the wrong reasons.

Fans obviously care enough to wear Eddie's T-shirts and chant his name, so by giving them something that involves Eddie it keeps his name alive.

I didn't see anyone in the building that night who was outraged by it, it was only when people had time to sit and think.

You can get outraged by anything if you analyse it for long enough.

What is your current role in the WWE?

I don't really have one!

Everyone seems to like my tag team with Paul Burchill but the problem is fitting us in, as the WWE has a lot of tag teams right now.

Hopefully 2006 is going to bring something up, because since I moved to Smackdown I haven't done anything.

Luckily I've had a few matches with Chris Benoit that have made people realise I can still do this and be a bigger part of our show.

The one thing I'd love to do before I finish in this business is a long PPV match with Chris, without any kind of interference or going to breaks. He would be my dream opponent at WrestleMania 22 in Chicago.


How is Paul coming along? Do you think he could be the WWE's first ever British world champion?

I think the sky is the limit for Paul and I don't see why he can't go all the way and win the world championship. He's definitely got the potential for it. As long as he keeps his head together he'll be fine.

It's actually really good for Paul right now that we're not on TV every week. He's getting that time to season himself on house shows, so by the time he gets a good role he'll be ready for it.

The only way you get really good at what we do is to perform in front of live crowds - you can't learn your craft doing short TV matches.

What do you think of the WWE's current product? Where can it be improved?

It can always be improved.

I think they need to make some decisions on long term goals and where they want to go.

There has been nothing but changes over the last few months, which have thrown things into an uproar.

I think they now need to set some goals and work out who they want to be in certain positions.

They need more guys in positions where, if something happens to a wrestler on top, they can move up.

That's something I don't see so much any more. There are the top guys, but then that's it.

I see TV as a problem, because you're putting people in situations where they're just doing short matches that don't really do anything for anyone.

All the stars of yesteryear never got over like that - they all had time put into developing them.

I also think there should be a lot more classic wrestling promos, guys on set doing short interviews. You get the fans more involved that way.

Do you watch TNA and Ring Of Honor? If so, what do you think of them?

I've only seen bits of TNA, as I'm always working when it's on, but some of the guys who work for Ring Of Honor send me their DVDs.

I have huge interest in Bryan Danielson, who I put a lot of time into training, and Samoa Joe.

I called Joe after he sent me a copy of his ROH match with Kenta Kobashi to thank him, because I thought it was amazing.

It's an honour when Joe calls me to ask how he can improve. I tell him: "You're doing a lot better than I am - it should be me asking you!"

Training Bryan Danielson is the proudest thing I've ever done in wrestling. He wears my boots, my trunks and does a lot of the stuff I showed him.

Bryan is such a nice person and is turning into a great wrestler. He watches every single match on every single show, he even gets tapes sent over from England.

He could have been in the WWE years ago if he wanted, they've offered him a job but he doesn't want to come.

Bryan knows he's better off where he is. He gets to work every week, making a decent living and doing the matches he wants to do. He is also talking about going back to college.

I would tell everyone to get that experience before coming to the WWE, just take your bags and go around the world.

There's a new guy we've got in Ohio Valley called Ken Doane, who is only 19. He asked me for my advice the other week and I told him to quit!

If you come in to the WWE at 19-years-old and only know one style of wrestling, then by the time you're 25 your face will be worn out.

Harry Smith, Davey Boy's son, has listened to the advice of me and Chris Benoit and is wrestling all over the world learning different styles.

When Harry comes in, he'll be something special already.


Do you think the current WWE champions John Cena and Dave Batista have reached the levels of The Rock and Steve Austin?

No, they're obviously not at that level - and nor will anybody else be.

The Rock and Steve Austin were just two guys who were very special.

John and Dave are doing a great job and both have lots of charisma, it is just getting limited to opponents for them.

But that's not their problem - it's our company's problem to make them new opponents. Where they're going to from, I just don't know.

When I look around now I see a lot of talent, but I don't see someone who lights the room up like I did the first time I met Steve Austin and Mick Foley.

Even if you look at someone like Big Daddy, he had something and was a genuine superstar in this country.

That's something you can't buy or teach people.

There's a big difference between being talented and having that something special.

Both fortunately and unfortunately, four of the best ever came along together in a two year period - Austin, Rock, Mick Foley and Triple H.

And I don't see anyone, in any wrestling company, of that standard at the moment.






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King of Harts
Man of a Thousand Holds






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posted on 1-4-2006 at 01:27 AM Edit Post
quote:
Originally posted by Shaggy
Do you think the current WWE champions John Cena and Dave Batista have reached the levels of The Rock and Steve Austin?

But that's not their problem - it's our company's problem to make them new opponents. Where they're going to from, I just don't know.

Even if you look at someone like Big Daddy, he had something and was a genuine superstar in this country.

Both fortunately and unfortunately, four of the best ever came along together in a two year period - Austin, Rock, Mick Foley and Triple H.

And I don't see anyone, in any wrestling company, of that standard at the moment.


To address the quoted paragraphs...

First of all, the interviewer must be an idiot to even suggest either of the champs have reached levels of Rock/Austin as of right now.

Dead on the opponents thing. These guys have run through so many opponents in the last year without a loss, it's getting to the point where a title change would have to be huge. And I think most of us agree the matchups out there just aren't that compelling. Sure, there are a few money matches... but Batista's got virtually no one on SD to wrestle, and if Angle doesn't win the title from Cena, there's only one real challenger (HHH, and hopefully Edge if his popularity continues to rise.)

"Big Daddy"? Heh. I'm not sure if he's talking about Diesel, but Big Daddy sounds like a funny way to refer to Kevin Nash.

I'm not sure Regal putting HHH and Foley in the Rock and Austin's league is accurate. On the other hand, what about HBK... the guy proved this year with Hogan that if he wanted to work the main event year round, he could elevate anybody.

Last, it's a bit unfair to suggest Cena "doesn't have" that special something. I've said it before - the guy is on the Rock's career path, no matter how much people are booing him. The bottom line is, the reactions he gets are far more passionate (on both sides) than any other wrestler in the business today. And once he is able to say the right things to harness the crowd to do what he wants, we'll be talking about him like we do the Rock today.

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Shaggy
The Great One






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posted on 1-4-2006 at 01:34 AM Edit Post
The Big Daddy Regal is referring to is an old timey British wrestler who was champ when Regal was a wee lad.

http://www.obsessedwithwrestling.com/profiles/b/big-daddy.html






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Red Irts
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posted on 1-4-2006 at 01:51 AM Edit Post
Also, Big Daddy makes Kevin Nash look like Chris Benoit.
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