Raymond Rougeau Interview - Talks WrestleMania, & Canadian workers
Reported by Adam Martin
On Monday, March 13, 2006 at 3:48 AM EST
The following was transcribed by Ernie "BCW" Green:
Former WWE superstar & WWE announcer, Raymond Rougeau, was the special guest on this past week's live edition (3/6/05) of Monday Night Mayhem, which can be heard in streaming audio every week (and live from 7-9PM ET every Monday night) exclusively on The Monday Night Mayhem Radio Network (www.MondayNightMayhem.com
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The interview with 1/2 of The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers is now available to hear for FREE in Real Audio!
After having "The Mountie" Jacques Rougeau on The Mayhem the prior week, The Big Mosh & Blade welcomed Raymond to the program -- to complete a "reunion" of one of the top tag teams in the history of professional wrestling & sports-entertainment. Raymond just got back from a week-long vacation, saying he "truly is enjoying retirement."
Raymond was doing French play-by-play for World Wrestling Entertainment until 2002, and now owns income management properties in Canada. In addition, he enjoys fishing & hunting in his spare time, and has been in city council since 2002 -- which was also the year of his official "retirement." He says his jobs give him enough free time to also enjoy his hobbies.
He got into politics when he was approached to join in a campaign against a mayor he didn't like. He accepted and has been involved in local government since. Raymond called it an "enriching experience." He got re-elcted unopposed and will hold the position until 2010. Can you imagine Raymond Rougeau for Prime Minister of Canada?
Raymond says he has fond memories of his first WrestleMania, WrestleMania III in Detroit, MI. Raymond also enjoyed the live broadcasting side of WrestleMania. He said he brought his father to WrestleMania IX at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, NV and enjoyed himself. He puts over competing in WrestleMania as a "highlight of anybody's career."
When he was 16 years old and in the "old school," he thought back then that the WWE was going to "kill the business." But when he joined, he had a difficult time making the transition to the product, but when he did, he had fun. He says he still watches it & enjoys the product and that younger fans do want to see the new-style soap opera stuff. He enjoys it just as much as he used to. He says it is entertaining, but in a different way.
Mosh & Blade asked Raymond about Canadian-born WWE stars, Edge & Chris Benoit (and their current popularity), and how popular wrestling truly is in Canada. Just how much they are looking forward to WrestleMania 22? Raymond says Chris Benoit is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time and says he has the entire package, and puts over Edge also as such. Raymond said Edge has gone further than he thought he would. Raymond said Canada has always had great wrestlers and Canadian wrestlers are "eccentric and good." There were a few more wrestlers from Canada when Raymond was involved, and would like to see more in WWE now. He finds the Canadians entertaining.
Blade talked about wrestling "marks" and how they ruin the surprise of the wrestling business, especially on the intenet. Raymond says it's just part of the modernization & globalization of wrestling. Back in the day, you could do the same match from town to town -- and nobody would know about it. Nowadays, people from Buffalo know what happened in San Francisco a week ago, and they have to change up matches at house shows. He says the people behind the scenes need to be more "tight-lipped." House shows 15-20 years ago had suspense, where titles actually changed hands. Now, that pretty much never happens.
The Big Mosh then shifted gears, and asked Raymond about the craziness of the 1980's schedule, and whether or not that forced him to retire from the business. He had only five days/month to himself, and it did kill him inside. They could be one day in France, and another day in Houston, TX. He said he would be home only three of 41 days, and it took a tremendous toll on him. He said he could live with the injuries, but not with the jet lag and not getting home. Raymond said they flew 250,000 miles a year, and they rarely got a good night's sleep. He said he was wasting his life away at the time and it made him miserable.
By the spring of 1989, he knew it was time to retire, and he waited until August to put his notice so he knew for sure. He gave him the notice the day after SummerSlam. He gave him three months, which was unheard of in the day according to him. He said he did it not to hurt Vince & the business. McMahon told Pat Patterson he had to find a way to make them stay. After a nice offer by Vince to say, he just wanted to go home. Vince was cool and about a month later and asked him to be the announcer for French broadcasts. He said the work was one day every three weeks, and he accepted. He worked 17 days a year. He stayed 13 years as a broadcaster and enjoyed his time. He said the time was "a blast." He left in 2002, only because they got rid of the French broadcasting team. Would he ever go back to work for World Wrestling Entertainment again. The answer is simple: check out this past week's edition of The Mayhem & find out!
Mosh then asks Raymond for his memories about "Mean" Gene Okerlund & Bret "Hitman" Hart, who will be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in less than three weeks. Raymond loved his time working as a fellow announcer with Okerlund, and classifies himself as one of the best ever. He also has very fond memories of Bret, saying he was a "professional and excellent wrestler." The Rougeaus & The Hart Foundation wrestled for a year, and they switched from heel to face during the time. They had great matches according to Raymond, and he has a lot of respect for Bret. He doesn't agree with the way he left in 1997, saying it wasn't Bret's choice as to who he dropped the belt to. It was Vince's decision and not his. He sides with Vince in "The Montreal Incident," but said he always got along with Bret.
Regarding the incident in Montreal, Raymond said the Canadians will never forgive the participants of the incident. That night was the beginning of Mr. McMahon as they know it. Canadian fans were proud of having a Canadian as champion and they knew on that night, Bret did get "screwed." Raymond was there the night it happened, and he remembers putting the mic away, and telling his his broadcast partner that Bret did get "screwed."
Blade said that it us good to see somebody outside of wrestling that enjoys the WWE these days, referring to Paul Orndorff's claims (on a prior edition of The Mayhem) that the WWE of today is "garbage." He said he would be honored to be inducted to the Hall Of Fame and would gladly accept. When the WWE comes to Montreal, he goes to see Vince. He gave Vince a hug last time he saw him, and says he's entertained each week. Raymond says he doesn't follow TNA yet, but he says he would be interested in watching it if he ever saw it on. He says he still feels a part of the WWE family.
Mosh brought up TNA's Team Canada, and Raymond thinks it's great that the stars of today still want to carry the torch for the Maple Leaf. He, along with many others, did believe initially that with the WWE coming along and killing the territories, that it would kill the business. However, there are still wrestlers up-and-coming, especially in his brother's wrestling school in Ontario.
Raymond thinks being a wrestler didn't matter with the run for public office, because he has made his name as a businessman since he was 17 years old. The few people that didn't know he wrestled knew him as a successful businessman. He said the wrestling definitely opened a lot of doors, just like it did for Jesse "The Body" Ventura. He came in with 72% of the vote the first time, so he came in very strong.
Raymond said he has fond memories of wrestling with The Rockers, and they used to be in the main events together, because nobody could top their matches (including their 60-minute classics over 15 years ago). He feels bad that Marty Jannetty has gone through his recent tough times and hopes he does get better.
Blade & Mosh then asked Ray's thoughts about Saturday Night's Main Event & the return of wrestling to NBC & mainstream networks. Raymond is thrilled it's coming back, and found it a thrill when he was on the show. He said it was a lot of pressure to be on the show and live up to expectations of both Vince & NBC. He said it was fast-paced & intense. He thought SNME coming back was "good news," and the WWE was in good health, because a major network wants them on television. That is the proof wrestling is healthy, according to Raymond.
Raymond said he had more fun being a heel, and it was less pressure on him. The people are more intense when you are a heel, and the fan's hatred comes out. In 1993, he said in an article in The Montreal Gazette that his heel turn was memorable ("getting death threats & stuff were great").
Raymond says he wants to be remembered as a dedicated, professional tag team wrestler that was very entertaining. A guy came up to him and said "thanks for the fun times," and it meant a lot to him. He wants people to remember The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers as a hard-working group.
Also, in this 45+ minute interview, Raymond answers the question of whether or not there is going to be a Rougeau Brothers Reunion in the WWE or on a Legends Show/Convention, and also gives his takes on the current state of tag team wrestling (and if tag teams will ever be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame), and whether or not he truly misses the fame & the spotlight of the business. Want to know his answers? Well, you must tune in to find out!
You can check out more background & history on The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers by picking up a copy of "The Professional Wrestling Hall Of Fame: The Tag Teams," co-authorized by Greg Oliver & Steve Johnson -- available at all major bookstores worldwide. Them them The Mayhem sent you!
In addition, we wholeheartedly encourage all wrestling fans to tune in to the entire March 6th edition of The Mayhem, which also features former WWE World Tag Team Champions & current stars of TNA, The James Gang. For BG & Kip's UNCENSORED thoughts & takes on Triple H capturing the WWE Championship once again, the latest enstallment of the "Kiss My Ass Club," the new WWE "Talent Wellness" policy, which "free agent" (if any) they feel would make the best splash in TNA (Scott Steiner, Goldberg, & The Ultimate Warrior), whether or not a colllision with Team 3-D will happen in the nearforeseen future, Vince McMahon's new "Muscle & Fitness" magazine cover (and why he is truly scared of TNA and everyone in it), & if The James Gang will return to their old moniker (The New Age Outlaws) anytime soon, we encourage you to check out this fantastic 45+ minute interview -- available on www.MondayNightMayhem.com, www.AudioWrestling.com, www.ObsessedWithWrestling.com, & www.WrestlingMediaNetwork.com. We guarantee that this interview will be one of the funniest & hard-hitting things you fans will ever hear in your life -- not to mention, another candidate for "Interview Of The Year."
Tune in to this Monday night's show (03/13/06):
*It's hard to believe that we are now only three weeks away from "The Showcase Of The Immortals" becoming a reality! While gearing up for the big event & staying on "The Road To WrestleMania," we encourage all fans throughout the world to Feel The Mayhem this Monday night, starting at 7PM ET/6PM CT.
"Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, The James Gang/The New Age Outlaws, & The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers ("The Mountie" Jacques Rougeau & Raymond Rougeau) have all been a part of our stacked programs leading into WrestleMania 22. Now this Monday night, we welcome another WWE Hall Of Famer!
That's right, the one & only George "The Animal" Steele will be aboard LIVE with The Big Mosh & Blade this Monday night to promote the upcoming 2006 Pro Wrestling Hall Of Fame Ceremonies which will be heading your way in the month of May (which more information can be found on www.PWHF.org).
What has "The Animal" been up to since retiring from the WWE? What are his thoughts on this year's class of inductees into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall Of Fame? Does he see either "The Macho Man" Randy Savage or Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat being enshrineed anytime soon? How does he see the current state of the business going into 2006? All these questions will be answered -- and plenty of other topics will be discussed as well.
*In addidion, a nice blast from the past for all old-school WWF fans. as "The Road To WrestleMania" heats up, make sure you fans tune in this Monday night (3/13/06), starting at 7PM ET/6PM CT, as former WWE superstar & member of The Powers Of Pain, The Warlord, will be joining The Mayhem!
The Warlord will be aboard to promote his upcoming match on April 29th in Boca Raton, FL for the MXPW (Maximum Xtreme Pro Wrestling) World Heavyweight Championship against former WWE World Tag Team Champion, former MNM guest, and reigning MXPW Champion, Chaz.
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In addition, The Warlord will break down his time working with The Barbarian in The Powers Of Pain, whether he liked his program with "The British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith, the new WWE Wellness Testing Policy vs. what went back on in the late '80's/early 90's backstage at events, plenty of Mr. Fuji stories, and so much more! One of professional wrestling's true powerhouses -- and a man who could kick out of "The Masterpiece' Chris Masters' "Master Lock" any day of the week heads on over to The Mayhem, and it will be intense!
E-mail your questions for "The Animal" & The Warlord to MondayNightMayhem@hotmail.com, post them on our brand new MNM My Space (www.MySpace.com/MondayNightMayhem), or on the MNM Uberfun Message Board (located at www.MondayNightMayhem.com).
We are still on "The Road To WrestleMania," and until we reach our final destination of The Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL, you know it goes through Monday Night Mayhem -- "Your Home Of Wrestling Radio." We encourage you to tune in LIVE (starting this Monday night at 7PM ET/6PM CT), for all of the action! "March Madness" is in full effect now, but we encourage you fans to try some "March Mayhem" on for size!
We encourage all new & old listeners of "Your Home Of Wrestling Radio" to check out some of the archived interviews now available on www.MondayNightMayhem.com, www.ObsessedWithWrestling.com, & www.AudioWrestling.com -- including: Charlie Haas (in his last-ever interview before heading to the WWE), "Mr Wonderful" Paul Orndorff (in an early contender for Interview Of The Year), NWA World Tag Team Champions America's Most Wanted, Jeff Jarrett, Paul Roma, "The Pitbull" Gary Wolfe, "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels, Headbanger Mosh/Chaz, Joey Styles' best friend, the controversial Chris Cruise, the winner of last year's "Female Interview Of The Year" award, Jackie Gayda, Chris Kanyon, Axl Rotten, and many more!
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