Posted by TNA Wrestling News Staff on Nov 15, 2016
Ken Anderson Discusses Injuring Randy Orton & More

Ken Anderson Discusses Injuring Randy Orton & More

Ken Anderson spoke with Wrestling Inc for a new interview. Some highlights are below:

On if he was a wrestling fan growing up: “I did not, which is strange. I was sort of a fan in the 80s when Saturday Night’s Main Event was on. I remember I watched it a few times with my dad, sort of got hooked then. It was the Saturday morning cartoon I was into, but then, for some reason, I fell off. None of my friends really watched wrestling, nobody at my school that I knew of watched wrestling, so I just didn’t and I always had that mentality that, you hear it so much today and it drives me crazy, it’s just, it’s fake, and a bunch of guys rolling around on the floor with each another, wearing tights and so… But I sort of fell in love with wrestling when I was about 21 years old. That was ’96, ’97, when Steve Austin really started having his big run. I started watching about 6 months prior to WrestleMania 14 and never looked back.”

On his thoughts of Goldberg during the Monday Night Wars: “Yeah, I mean, when I was a fan, I did not like Goldberg. I was not a Goldberg fan and that’s sort of attitude I took, ‘oh, they’re just trying to rip off Steve Austin’ and then, when I got into the business, I started appreciating guys much, much more. Guys that I didn’t appreciate before, I started to. Like Booker T. Booker T always drove me crazy, drove me nuts. And then, when I really became a fan of the business, and started watching every week, and then, I got to know him. I got to WWE and got to know him and started working with him. Then, my appreciation for him grew even further, but yeah.”

On where he went to wrestling school: “I went to a little place in Green Bay, Wisconsin called The Dojo Of Pain and it was run by Eric Hammers and Mike Krause, who wrestled as Mike Mercury. But the guys, they never made it to the national scene. But I was really fortunate in the fact that I lucked out when I signed on with these guys because they knew what they were talking about. They knew psychology. They knew how to tell a story. And they knew the basic fundamentals of wrestling and they still do amazing because we’re still friends today, 18 years later. And the conversations that we have, there was never a point where the student surpassed the teacher. We just became like the same level and I obviously had a different understanding from being behind the curtain at WWE and seeing what goes on there. But those guys already knew that. Those guys gave me such a great education. I was really lucky because, at the time, there were about three or four other wrestling schools in the area that were just garbage. And had I made that phone call, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation today because, that’s the thing, there are so many bad wrestling schools out there. And it’s not necessarily, when I go to a show and I see people do things wrong, or just ‘who’d you get trained by?’ and they tell you that they got trained by one of these goofs, it’s like, it wasn’t their fault. It’s not their fault they don’t know any better. But it’s kind of frustrating.”

On if he’s watched NXT and what’s been going on there: “See, I really haven’t watched much wrestling in the last few years, but the NXT stuff that I have seen, and I just see bits and pieces here and there, because Daivari’s brother, Ariya, is, seems like he’s almost there, almost to the WWE and I have some friends that are wrestling fans. And, obviously, the people that I still keep in contact with in the business, some of them just watch religiously. The stuff that I’ve seen, I’ve been really impressed by and it seems like they’re just allowing guys to go out there and sink or swim on your own accord. ‘Here’s the rope. We’re going to give you as much rope as you want. You can hang yourself or you can use it to throw people a lifeline, get yourself out of a sticky situation.’ I mean, it’s really cool and I like the entrances and stuff like that, that they’re allowing people to have down in OVW. And it’s getting people over on that smaller scale, so to speak, or ready for the big stage. The minute that they walk through that curtain on that big stage, people already know who they are and it’s off to the races. When I came through, when I got to TV, nobody knew who the heck I was. I had to go out there and talk to them week after week after week to let them know, ‘here, this is who I am.’”

On what it was like when you finally made your main roster debut: “Man, I’ll tell you what, it’s crazy, the feeling that I had looking back on it. I was so ready that I literally didn’t care anymore about just going out there and trying to make everybody happy. And make sure that if Ricky Steamboat gave me a little piece of direction in the back, that I was going to make sure that it got into the match because he was going to be watching. And then, well, it turns out Ricky Steamboat wouldn’t be watching my match anyways, so he would never… and I did so much of that leading up to when they told me, ‘hey, this is your opportunity, you’re going to go out there…’ it was originally supposed to be, they were just taking a look at me. They brought me up from OVW to Velocity. Actually, it was going to be a dark match. And they brought me up just to do the dark match. I spent all day putting the match together with Funaki. And right at the last moment, as I’m going through the curtain, even before I went through the curtain, Dave Lagana came up to me and said, ‘hey, we need to come up with a finisher for you because you’re going over and welcome aboard. Oh, and this match is also going to be televised.’ So, I’m sorry, the question was ‘was I ready?’ Absolutely. I was so ready and I think that’s why I was able to sort of get off to the races so quickly as I was because I just felt like I belonged there. I knew a lot of the guys just from being around, doing dark matches, doing the tryouts, and stuff like that. And I always tried to be as humble as I could be and just shut my mouth and I tried to continue that and I just, I always thought if you worked hard and you go out there and you do your thing, when we’re in the ring, my character, I’m sorry for whatever my character says. I’m sorry for whatever my character does. But this is my time to shine. I’m obviously not going to just filibuster and take all the shine and all the credit, but we’re working together. But I’m going to get what’s mine. And that’s sort of the way I felt.”

On Paul Heyman not being involved in the creative processs: “It’s amazing. It really is amazing. He, literally, I don’t understand how somebody can… The first day that he got to OVW, he sat us down. I remember I just loved everything about him, the way that he produced the shows, so we would be there at noon, say, and he would literally read through the entire, ‘here’s what’s going to happen on the show. Here’s the dark match, here’s what I want to see out of that match. Here is opening promo and they’re going to cut to the ring, and blah, blah, blah. And then, we’re going to go backstage and this’ and it was so that everybody was on the same page. From time to time, people would throw out suggestions. ‘Hey Paul, so and so is doing this earlier. Does it make sense if…’ And then, ‘oh yeah, you’re right! That makes total sense.’ So then he would change something up. It was so that everybody had sort of skin in the game. And, man, he just, the stuff he came up with, the unique ways that he filmed the backstage segments, and stuff. I remember he started doing a thing where somebody would be interviewed in a room and just as the interview was finishing, here’s somebody screaming in the other room and the camera would like, ‘oh, we’ve got to go’ and run down the hall and you’d seamlessly transition into that next promo. It was so cool. Just little things like that.”

On being told he would be Vince McMahon’s son: “Yeah, no, I was. I was told that. I had conversations with Stephanie and Vince and it was kind of like a big deal. I remember the night that Vince blew himself up in the limousine, Stephanie said, ‘hey, I want to tell you something – we’ve got something really big for you, but I want Vince to tell you himself because he’s pretty excited about it.’ And then, so we did the buildup for the next few weeks, months, or whatever. And then, I got in trouble and all that went away.”

On Hornswoggle getting that storyline: “Right, great for [Hornswoggle]. I was always, I’m never ticked off when one of my buddies has something good happen for him and it turned out that that thing, that one thing, worked out really, really well for Hornswoggle. For a long time, I mean, there was never a little person that had a contract with WWE, I don’t think ever. And then, let alone, he was there for 10 or 11 years. He had an amazing run. He did some pretty cool stuff while he was there. But yeah, it was just, look, I got in trouble and they said, there was that whole thing where 10 of us that were named in the scandal, which really was B.S. to begin with. And it was like they were just looking for some people to say, ‘hey, Congress, we’re doing something about this. We really care about this, so we’re taking these 10 guys’ and they put us on ESPN, and then, suspended us and gave us big fines. And it just so happened it was like a week before they were going to do the reveal. And I remember I landed, I came home from RAW, flew home, got to my house. I got a call from the lady, from Johnny Ace’s secretary, and she said, ‘hey, Vince wants to see you in his office – you’ve got to fly to Stamford, so they booked me a flight and I’m like, ‘this is a big deal! Here we go! Off to the freakin’ races!’ And then, I get to Stamford and a car came to pick me up [and] dropped me off at Titan Towers and there were nine other guys there and everybody looked kind of sombre, like, ‘this isn’t a good thing.’ ‘Oh really?’ And I remember, Edge was the first guy to go in. And he went in and he talked Johnny, Vince, and the attorney there, Ed whatever his name is, the attorney, the big, high profile attorney that works for Vince. And I remember Edge came walking out and was like, ‘I can’t say anything. It’s not good.’ He put his head down and walked out. I was the third or fourth person to go in there. Funaki went before me. Yeah. But the thing was, look, it happened. I did it, sort of, but I take [responsibility] for it. I did it. I put myself in that situation to begin with, so… ”

On if he had problems with Orton before their infamous match: “Randy and I were super tight. We rode together for, like, two years and our wives would go get their nails done together and stuff like that, when they’d come on the road and stuff. Our wives, his ex-wife and my ex-wife talk to this day. So, no, I’m not into conspiracy theories, but I think that was kind of a hit job, just the way it all went down, the way that day played out, and it’s too long of a story to get into and I really don’t want to get too much into detail. But the thing is that I was accused of dropping him on his head. You can watch that video in slow motion, high definition, and you can see that his neck never even comes into contact with the… He lands as flat as flat can be and I called him the next day and said, ‘hey, dude, I watched the tape and you didn’t land on your neck, man.’ And he was like, ‘well, umm, okay.’ And then, he called me a little later and said that he had gone out to the truck and watched the tape with Johnny Ace, which I don’t know why you would do that, but he said he went out to the truck, watched the tape, and he said, ‘from that angle, you can’t see, but there is a different angle and you can see that I landed rally high on my traps.’ And I was like, ‘well, that’s not your neck,’ and also, you can actually see the shadow of his neck on the canvas if you slow it down. So anyway, here’s the thing, he went to Vince and said something, that I was dangerous to work with. And I think [John] Cena had a hand in that too. Like, Cena helped out and Cena said, ‘hey, we need to go to Vince’ because I didn’t get along with him too well. And then, Vince just, I think at the time, I had been getting in so much trouble, back to back to back that it was my fault for being there in the first place again, where Vince was just tired of hearing my freakin’ name. He was like, ‘you know what? Just get rid of him. I’m tired of hearing his name. I’m tired of him being a pain and a potential problem.’ Here I am and here they are, a publicly traded company, I’m doing and saying things that can reflect negatively upon the company. I completely understand it. I put myself in that position.”

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