LENNY LANE DISCUSSES POLITICAL GAMES WCW PLAYED WITH HIM AND LODI, GLAAD’S RESPONSE TO BILLY AND CHUCK, WHY HE WAS BURIED IN TNA, AND MORE
Too hot for TNT and too much for Nitro, Lenny Lane was one half of wrestling’s most controversial tag team. Now the former WCW Cruiserweight Champion joins James Guttman on ClubWWI.com for a 34 minute interview to address it all.
Finding success in his unique wrestling party business (wrestlingparties.com), Lenny has seen his company grow by the day – even offering franchise opportunities. He discusses this innovative idea as well as a ton of topics from his career including: The Major Angle He Pitched WWE That Was Used For Someone Else, Coming Up With The West Hollywood Blondes, , Writing The Direction Out, WCW’s Chaotic Backstage Atmosphere, The Only WCW Vignette That Lenny Didn’t Write Word-For-Word, The Reaction To It, The WCW Nitro From Las Vegas Where Raven Walked Out, Almost Joining WWE, Why He Didn’t Go After WCW Folded, Why Wrestlers Die Young, TNA – Panda Energy’s Tax Write-Off, The Only Star in Wrestling, TNA’s Money Games, and More. It’s an explosive, sometimes shocking, shoot that you won’t hear anywhere else besides ClubWWI.com. For a full list of topics, head to: http://www.worldwrestlinginsanity.com/am2/publish/newsnotes/ClubWWI_Lenny_Lane.shtml
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A major portion of James Guttman’s interview dealt with Lenny Lane’s successful West Hollywood Blondes. The team he comprised with Lodi was ambiguously gay, only to be revealed as brothers – not lovers. The concept is something Lenny came up with himself and before he knew it, they were over and attracting a huge amount of viewers for their segments. That’s when things get interesting. Lane explains why to ClubWWI.com members:
“(Lenny and Lodi) were at one time, during one of the changing of the guard times in WCW, the most watched segment on our program when WWE had started beating us in the ratings again. We were beating the main event of the NWO, which as you know, would never be a clean finish. It would either be a run-in or shmazz, so people weren’t interested anymore. So that helped me get a raise because I brought in the Nielsen ratings. When Bill Busch came in from Time Warner, I showed him that my quarter hour Nielsen Rating was beating the main event. So I got a raise. Then, and here is how politics work. They must have went to Hogan at the time, and all the guys making millions of dollars, and said, “Look. You guys are making millions of dollars. Here are two guys making peanuts compared to you and they’re drawing. This is the most watched segment on the whole show. So then, what was interesting after that, Hulk Hogan and all the guys started mixing us into their quarter hour. So you couldn’t tell after that. It was all about politics.”
Lenny Lane has a ton of stories about WCW’s political atmosphere and chaotic environment from his West Hollywood Blonde gimmick all the way to Standards and Practices. The switch occurred when GLAAD complained about their characters inciting hatred against homosexuality. WCW quickly pulled the characters and everything came to an end. As James Guttman points out, though, WWE did a nearly identical gimmick years later with Billy and Chuck. Sure the duo weren’t brothers, but they were a team everyone believed to be gay…only to learn they weren’t. Not only weren’t they pulled from TV, but GLAAD actually applauded the characters right up until the Smackdown wedding. Guttman asks Lane about this – and the similarities between WWE’s Right to Censor group and Lenny’s S&P – during his ClubWWI.com shoot and he responds.
“Yeah. GLAAD gives Billy and Chuck an award or whatever and then (Lodi and I) were kicked off TV. It was the same gimmick. I don’t understand it. But, you know, I guess in hindsight, however it goes, it goes. But, yeah, Right To Censor. I’ve come up with gimmicks for myself that I’ve brought to New York and pitched to Stephanie (McMahon) or whatever. Then I’d get a legal letter from WWE wanting me to sign the idea over to them so they can further discuss the idea. So I would be sitting there going, why don’t they just hire me to do this idea? “
Then, in a shocking moment, Lenny reveals one major storyline he pitched WWE…and the two wrestlers who ended up playing it out on television. Frustration? Sure. But Lenny is no stranger to politics and seeing success sometimes go unrewarded. As a TNA Original, Lane joined the company in 2002. His run didn’t last long and his reason behind is nothing short of amazing. As he tells JG on ClubWWI.com, he may have been too good early on.
“For some reason, I don’t think Jeff Jarrett likes me. Why? I don’t know. We’ve had a few disagreements on some tours about how wrestling should go. Here’s what I think killed me. Me and Road Dogg had a match early on in TNA and we tore the house down. We worked. He did his gimmick. I did mine. And we came through the curtain, I was standing at the Gorilla Position talking to Jerry (Jarrett) about it. Jeff was there. Brian Christopher comes up and says, “Jerry, this is gonna be the most over guy in the company. Did you hear those people? This is gonna be the most over guy.” Just as he said it, I kinda looked out of the corner of my eye at Jeff and I realized I wasn’t going to be there anymore.”
To hear this interview in full along with over 250 other top names from the wrestling business, head to ClubWWI.com right now. And for more on Lenny’s party business, career, and more, check him out at LennyLane.com.