Rob Conway On The End Of His Career In WWE, Whether He Would Join TNA, More
Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio courtesy of www.WrestlingEpicenter.com
Guest: Rob Conway
Your Hosts: Patrick Kelley & James Walsh
We had occasion to catch up with former WWE Superstar and present NWA World Heavyweight Champion Rob Conway recently. He had a lot of very interesting points to make that made for a fun and informative interview. Below are some quotes and highlights.
The interview is available in MP3 format as well as on YouTube. If you promote this, please post a link to our site and not just the YouTube video. www.WrestlingEpicenter.com.
We also recently spoke to TNA’s Todd Keneley about Slammiversary as well as Bully Ray as part of the TNA Teleconference. You can also find those at www.WrestlingEpicenter.com.
How does it feel to be called NWA World Heavyweight Champion?
“It brings a smile to my face just hearing it. Guys I grew up watching and knowing the history of the NWA, a lot of pride goes into just hearing those words. It is like having an action figure, being a champion, being an NWA World Champion. It almost feels like it is happening to someone else. I’m just a guy from New Albany, Indiana who has worked real hard. A lot of things have happened that I never would have dreamed would have ever happened in real life.”
On whether the NWA Title still means what it did:
“It is so well respected overseas. In the United States, it isn’t held with the same esteem as in years passed. but I believe it is starting to create more of a buzz and getting more recognized not just for the heritage of the NWA but because the choices are so limited. WWE is a great company, TNA is a great company. But, for the most part, you have to wrestle for one of those companies to ever get a chance at the championship. Only 10 or 20 of a 40 man roster ever get a chance to wrestle for it. Whereas the NWA, we have over 30 Alliance members now. There are a lot more people that wrestle for the NWA than for any other company. “
– James mentions that while the NWA isn’t what it was when Crockett was around or even when it was the sponsored title of TNA, it means a lot. Rob Conway says he has learned that more by actually being a part of the NWA for as long as he has than he had realized it previously. He talks about being considered an NWA Wrestler and the NWA Champion versus being a former WWE Superstar.
On being a tag wrestler in the WWE when there were so few tag teams:
“It wasn’t difficult for us because we were the tag team for just about the whole time we were there. You could say, “Well, you weren’t the champions.” Generally, we were either the champions or going for the titles. We were the constant. We had to make other teams. We had the same gear, we always got boo’d. “Hey, these guys aren’t getting great responses. Lets put them against La Resistance. They’re going to get noticed!” Being a tag team was easy for us. We had to make other teams for us to work with.”
– Conway also talks about getting put up against a lot of main event level stars like the Rockers. This segways into a conversation about NWA Title contender Ricky Morton of the Rock & Roll Express. Conway says Morton can basically do everything he ever could in the ring and is still amazing to work against.
On the Con Man Being Considered a Mini-Legend Killer:
“Randy (Orton) never wrestled any legends. He spit in their face and hit them with an RKO. It was never a match. The only legend he wrestled in any match that I know of was Mick Foley. Mick Foley was probably not even 40 at the time – He’s a legend, but he was pretty much a main roster guy. Myself, I was wrestling the legends and pretty much having 6 to 10 minute competitive matches with the legends. I’m not in on if they were told to put me over. I do think most of the guys (the legends) were not there under the assumption that their job was to make my character. I think they saw it as an opportunity the way most people would. Unless you are told “This is what we want”, they look at it as an opportunity either for another run in the WWE or more publicity to do more independent shows along the way.”
– Conway said he was honored to work with the legends he did. He says he feels he was not a legend killer because he had competitive matches and if the goal was to make him a killer, he would have beaten them convincingly. Working with the legends was not to make him a killer but to help get his character noticed.
– Conway puts over Greg Valentine as being amazing. He says he still remembers that match and is very proud of it.
– James mentions Heath Slater’s more recent run against the legends. Conway says “The difference between what I did and that is I was there. I had already beaten Chris Benoit and Viscera and so forth. At that stage, that gentleman would probably have been happy just to have gotten a guy like Sid’s autograph”. He goes on to say that it had to have been an honor for Slater because he got to work with such great names and it really did put him on the map rather than Conway who had already built a name for himself prior to disrespecting the legends. It was a different presentation for a different level of experience.
On why the Con Man never got the big push:
“The head writer of RAW was on hiatus writing a movie for WWE Films when my character was created. The Con Man, because I’m not the Con Man, I’m Rob Conway, started getting pushed… They even told me, “We’re not concerned with you getting hated. We just want you getting noticed”. I started seeing signs at house shows like “Do It the Con Way” and “98% Fat Free” and was working with baby faces that weren’t top guys so I wasn’t really that hated because they weren’t that loved. It started to steam roll, I did the thing with the legends and then the head writer of RAW came back. He said “I really don’t understand your gimmick. I don’t get it. It wasn’t my idea”. I said, “Well, people are starting to cheer for me. Maybe we could do something to get me some heat or turn me baby face”. He said, “No, I don’t see you as a baby face”. For the most part, that character never won another match.”
– Conway says he changed his appearance once the push started to end because if he wasn’t going to be used the way he was, he wasn’t going to not eat a bad meal for 6 months or spend the time he was spending in the gym to create the look he had created.
– On being fired on screen after a short match with Jeff Hardy, Conway says he did not realize that would be the end of his WWE career. He worked the match days after surgery for a nose injury that kept him from breathing from one side of his nose. The plan was to do the match and have him quit RAW only to go to SmackDown! and reform La Resistance. That never happened.
– Conway puts over JCW as perhaps being the most professionally run wrestling company he’s worked for other than the WWE. ICP love pro wrestling. THey don’t need to do wrestling for money. But, they do it because they love it and it creates another place for guys to go and work which is so needed. He also puts over the fact that they never ask him to do things he wouldn’t do. He’s a wrestler and not a hardcore guy and they know and appreciate that.
– Conway loves what TNA is doing by being on the road and being live. He feels being live will let the fans see what the guys can do without any edits. He says in the WWE, people watch RAW but don’t feel they have to watch SmackDown! because it is taped and you can read about it instead of watching it. He also says your match is then in the hands of those who edit the show and sometimes a match is cut in half damaging the story you try to tell because SmackDown ! is taped. He also says that being away from Orlando will allow the company to really find out who is and is not over. James and Conway reference a company like the GWF where it was in one building all the time and you never know how over someone may have been outside of that one localized area. He also says that an indy wrestler might be a big draw in one area but nobody knows who he is 100 miles away.
– Will the Con Man go to TNA? Conway says he would have to be used as one of the big stars for it to make sense for him to stop doing what he is doing to go and do that. He feels a lot of guys jump at the chance to be on TV and it hurts them. He says if it doesn’t work in either place for them, the perception by the fans is they were not good enough for either company and it negatively reflects on their abilities which might be unfair to them. He says he does well for himself as part of the NWA and is lucky to also be a former WWE Superstar so he can do well for himself independent from a major promotion.
– Full interview available in MP3 format and on YouTube at www.WrestlingEpicenter.com including lots not mentioned in this overview.
Watch Vince McMahon fire Rob Conway ->