Ace Steel & Kevin Kleinrock Interviews: Steel on Trump, Kleinrock/WSX Reported by Adam Martin of WrestleView.com
On Saturday, February 3, 2007 at 4:12 PM EST
The following was transcribed by Andy J. of wrestlingweekly.com:
On January 30th, Wrestling Weekly hosts Doc Young and Les Thatcher were joined by former ROH wrestler and WWE signee Ace Steel and Kevin Kleinrock, producer for Wrestling Society X. Wrestling Weekly airs every Tuesday at 8pm Eastern at www.wrestlingweekly.com.
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Doc and Les were joined by this week’s first featured guest Ace Steel. Les states that Ace was one of the Second City Saints (with CM Punk), wrestles for Pro-Wrestling NOAH, and owns his own gym too. Doc and Les talk with Ace about playing Donald Trump on ’Monday Night Raw’ and state that Ace trained CM Punk for the business. Les mentions that Ace, Punk and Colt Cabana worked a few shows and ran seminars with him when he ran the HWA developmental territory for WWE. Les then tells a story about Ace and that Rosie O’Donnell bought him and his fiancé a bottle of champagne. Steel is asked by Doc about training wrestlers who turned into trainers themselves and mentions CM Punk as an example, who ran the ROH Training School. Ace then talks about getting started in Chicago for Windy City Wrestling; mentioning the late Terry Gordy and Bam Bam Bigelow wrestled each other there, and Paul Heyman did booking for the promotion at one time. Steel mentions working for IWA Mid South. He says that Ian Rotten burnt a bridge with Jim Cornette and Les, so Steel working for the promotion was seen as ‘taboo’.
Les explains how heated the IWA/HWA rivalry was at the time. He continues by mentioning a Ohio Valley show at the Louisville Gardens when people outside were handing out IWA Mid South flyers, and Brock Lesnar & Terkay where sent out to stop this happening. Ace then talks about working dark matches for WWE, working a match with Eugene where he got his hair cut. Doc mentions Ring of Honor and Ace states he loves the ROH locker room which had a great atmosphere and young guys who wanted to work. Steel talks about at one point that he was working on all the shows but eventually got burnt out because of travelling and not spending much time at home. Ace highlights you have to have a real drive within you to keep up with the work ethic and work rate and it’s hard working that style. Working house shows in Japan is ‘nice and easy’ he states. He concludes on Ring of Honor by saying they are cool guys, great locker room and Gabe Sapolsky is a great guy to work for.
Les makes a good observation that ROH is a throwback to what wrestling was thirty years ago and what it’s like in Japan now. Ace talks about an eight man match in Philadelphia and that he thinks the Philly fans hate him. Steel then talks about the first time him and Les met. First question from chat room is what is Ace’s favourite ROH match and the favourite one he worked in. Steele replies Nigel McGuiness vs. Bryan Danielson, which he calls a hard hitting, awesome match. The Chicago Street Fight was his favourite ROH match he participated in. Ace addresses the talk that he got CM Punk into the WWE. Ace was asked by a chatter what it was like to be part of what is being called the ‘worst segment in WWE history’ Ace Steel discusses wrestling Tank Toland in RoH in December and thought they had a good match. Les talks about Ace’s Gym which is next door to Harley Race’s wrestling school. Les and Ace then discuss who out-drank who at the Cauliflower Alley Reunion.
Steele replies to another question from the chat room about the audience and says that getting a reaction from the crowd shows you are doing your job well. Ace goes onto to talk about what it was like during the segment/match on ‘Monday Night Raw’. Ace answers the rumors about him signing with the WWE. Les says Ace is unique, can bridge the gap and would rather watch a Brad Armstrong/Arn Anderson match but can do what is necessary in sports entertainment. He then states the Armstrong family a class act. Doc and Les thank Ace Steel being on the show.
The next featured guest is WSX producer/creator Kevin Kleinrock, just minutes before the big WSX debut on MTV. Les highlights that Kevin booked/wrote for "a small independent promotion in Southern California" in the early 1990‘s. Kleinrock thinks it’s amazing and didn’t think everything would end up this way. He points out that a good success for Tuesday’s show would ensure the future of Wrestling Society X and it’s a new genre for MTV. He talks about WSX being developed with MTV and being placed in primetime to attract male viewers as MTV‘s audience is primarily female. Kevin Kleinrock then states WSX is for WWE and TNA is a very niche audience, current pro-wrestling fans and create a show which is exciting and different for the current wrestling fan but also which will bring in non-fans or fans who didn’t watch anymore and bring them to WSX. He highlights that with the production you get an early indication that it’s different, stating it’s fast paced and action packed. He goes onto discuss the promotion’s first match between Matt Sydal and Jack Evans, calling it ‘groundbreaking’ and the WSX Battle Royale.
Les then discusses Matt Sydal and Kleinrock mentions putting together the roster for Wrestling Society X back in February, when the pilot was filmed, the rest of the show was filmed in November. Kevin goes onto talk about keeping the roster in place and them not signing to other promotions. He wanted the product to speak for itself, calls it revolutionary, the evolution of sports entertainment and the goal is for Wrestling Society X to cross over to the mainstream which will benefit not only WSX but WWE, TNA and pro-wrestling in general. His co-producer grew up watching World Class and Wrestling at the Chase. Les talks about HWA on MTV’s ‘True Life’ and points out WSX is airing on MTV and MTV 2. Kevin Kleinrock hopes WSX will air on MTV all over the world and there’s talk about airing in other countries which he calls a window of opportunity. Kleinrock then points out that MTV is the largest network in the world. Kevin says that pro-wrestling is a universal language with storylines which translate worldwide.
Kevin talks about the Wrestling Society X roster - Jack Evans, Teddy Hart, Ruckus, Human Tornado, Joey Ryan. The wrestlers he scouted across the United States and around the world, brought in wrestlers from Dragon Gate and Vampiro from Mexico. He mentions that wrestlers on WSX will be more well known in three months time then those in WWE/TNA and states that MTV defines pop culture. Kevin says the future of WSX has been discussed, the focus in now on putting the best show on screen and that WSX can be a big hit. Doc highlights that Wrestling Society X airs Tuesdays at 10.30pm on MTV. Les talks about last week’s interview with Lizzy Valentine and Kevin mentions that Cody has something to say about what Lizzy stated last week.
For more on Wrestling Society X visit the promotions official website: wsx.mtv.com
This Tuesday's guests on Wrestling Weekly will be Cody Michaels of Wrestling Society X and former WWE & TNA Superstar, D‘Lo Brown. For more future guest information, visit www.myspace.com/docyoung (the official Myspace site of 'Wrestling Weekly').