With the final days approaching to Markout At the Meadowlands this Sunday in New Jersey (www.matmcon.com) Billy Jack Haynes appeared on this week’s edition of the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast. In the near one hour interview, Haynes comments on the recent John Oliver “Last Week Tonight” wrestling expose that has the wrestling world buzzing and gives his opinion of the independent contractor debate and what he feels Vince McMahon uses as an excuse to call his performers such. The full episode is available at this link.
Below are several interview highlights, h/t to The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling for the transcription.
Wrestlers as independent contractors:
“I’m in an individual case against Vince (McMahon) right now that still hasn’t been settled and there is sixty one wrestlers and wrestlers keep dying left and right (you guys). So, the whole idea is the fact that this independent contractor gimmick is so full of you know what. How are we independent if Vince buys all of our tickets? Which it is thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars of airfare a week and he books us in the towns, he gives the finishes of the matches, he controls this the entire way but to say we buy our own hotel room that makes us independent? Are we supposed to sleep in the middle of the street when he books us in these towns? L.A. to New York or whatever. That is what he is going on that we are independent because of the hotel room and if you can honestly believe it that is what he’s doing.”
Unions in wrestling:
“Jesse Ventura came up with one after WrestleMania 3 in 1987. He wanted to form a union and most of the guys like I said before it was like “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, everybody was hurt and let’s say 90% or 95% (not everybody) had torn ACL’s, broken ribs, broken backs. Dynamite Kid had a broken back and was forced to wrestle in WrestleMania 3 or he was not going to get paid. He had lost forty-five pounds and he has just passed away, was my mentor and he actually helped train me in Calgary, Alberta.”
The timing of the John Oliver piece one week before WrestleMania and mentioning high profile wrestling deaths:
“Once again, this is a great forum that you guys have going on here with me today because of the King Kong Bundy death that I was going to allude to. (Bundy) had a table next to me a month ago and if you want to talk about it, I had to break away because I just talked to (Chris Pallies was his name) Bundy, I had got him on this lawsuit and we had just talked.”
“I broke down crying so bad because it hurt so bad because his table was next to me and it was so emotional for me to see his pictures there that were signed and him not being there. It hurt bad. You see all of these guys that have died and honestly if you do not perform back in our era they would fire you. Someone would come and replace you. So you are making $10,000 a week but you have no job security. So the fans need to realize that not only the camaraderie that you mentioned earlier, we loved each other no matter what. We had each other’s back. This forum (HBO) is helping bring it out. I am one step away from another nervous breakdown but I am not looking for no pity, never have and never will I just love my brothers and sisters in this business and to see them die left and right from the years of abuse that Vince McMahon put on us.”
For this and every other episode of The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling and The Triple Threat Podcast featuring “The Franchise” Shane Douglas please subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Podomatic, and Player FM. Also follow us on Twitter @TwoManPowerTrip.