Former WWE star Charlie Haas, who has gotten into great shape as of late, recently made an appearance on It’s My Wrestling Podcast to discuss a wide range of topics. Here are the highlights:
Vince McMahon not liking tag team wrestling anymore & why:
Here’s what we were told towards the end when we split up – Vince doesn’t like tag team wrestling, he looks at it as an added expense, as paying for an extra guy on the road. Extra guy in the hotel room. He really doesn’t like it and he changed a lot of it over the years. When you’re talking about 2002 with the tag teams I think that was a great time. When I was a kid growing up in the 80s got to watch Arn and Tully, Rock n Roll Express, Midnight Express, The Fantastics, The Guerreros, The Dynamic Duo. Those tag teams meant something you know? If I’m forgetting anyone, I’m sorry. The tag teams meant something I felt when we were there too, but that’s all passion. I love the Tag Team stuff you know, I was a fan of it before I became one.
Thoughts on how WWE have used Shelton Benjamin:
He’s one of my best friends, we talk all the time, he’s the godfather to my daughter and you know, he’s getting paid. So, you know, he’s easy. He survived the cuts. I think in the future he’ll probably be an instructor or coach, especially with them signing all the amateur wrestlers like Gable Steveson, Steiners son, and there’s a couple others that they’ve signed who they may use shortly. So when they decide it’s time for him to retire he’ll coach, if he wants to. I’m happy for sure. I wish they would have ran with the Hurt Business and kept it going instead of breaking it up and then bringing it back. They had a lot of momentum. They really helped the company during the pandemic, so I was really happy to see him and Cedric back on TV. I just want the best for him because he deserves it. I would like to see him have a singles run. I’d love to see him get the World Championship, it would definitely be an extra feather in his cap and would definitely guide him towards the Hall of Fame.
His time impersonating other wrestlers:
John Laurinaitis always wanted to see It and I don’t know if they were setting me up to fail or whatever but I embraced it. I went out and I studied I got all the stuff and I tried to honour them, I didnt want to make fun of them. I wanted to honour those heroes that’s what I tried to do. They gave me freedom. They wanted to see if I was gonna drop the ball, sink or swim. But no I enjoyed it, man. I mean, you know, if you can’t make fun of yourself, who do you make fun of?
How he thinks Gable Steveson will do in WWE:
The good thing is he’s been a fan his whole life. He went to the University of Minnesota because Brock and Shelton went there and if you’re a heavyweight you go there to become national champion. Brock won the national title. Gable won the national title. I think Gable Steveson will do well because he’s a fan, he is very well spoken and man he’s athletic as all hell, he can pull out a standing backflip. He’s got the work ethic too, and he’s a big guy.
If he wishes he went into MMA or UFC after wrestling:
Would I have tried it, probably yes. Because I love that kind of sport. And with amateur wrestling there’s only you on the mat. That’s why I got into amateur wrestling. So I would have probably tried both and stuck with whatever I was better at. But at the time, like you said UFC wasnt big yet, Pride was just ending and the Monday night War was the hottest thing so wrestling is where you wanted to be, it was the coolest thing at the time. And I always wanted to be in it so you know when ECW was hot WCW and WWE at the time and I was on the East Coast Wrestling and the independents were smoking out there, I mean we came at the right time for pro wrestling. If I wanted to be a UFC fighter I would have been a pioneer like Randy Couture, those people that really paved the way for UFC.
Thoughts on ROH potential closure:
It’s sad because I firmly believe that this is the best time to be a wrestler and a wrestling fan. With the pandemic everybody was starting to cut the cords and use Internet TV, which I never thought would take off but it took something like the pandemic to hit. And so everything’s like Internet TV took off like Pluto, Plex, Crackle and you have Fite TV and then on top of that you have every promotion that that has their own wrestling network now. Like AAA, ring of honour, impact, WWE, NWA. What im trying to get at is that there are plenty of channels that need content. So it’s giving all the wrestlers from all over the world a different platform to perform in and to hone their craft and learn how to work in front of a crowd so that they can you know, make it to the WWE. So it’s sad but it’s also good for all those other promotions. The pandemic was bad for ring of honour because ring of honour was owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, but the pandemic meant people had to cut the costs. People weren’t sponsoring or they weren’t paying for ads. That’s how they those companies make money. So for 18 months they didn’t have any type of production or anything but they were able to keep the wrestlers afloat, healthy and were able to pay them, but it finally caught up to where you know, it hurt them in the long run.