Monday, 25 July 2011
"PINFALL Magazine's Near-Falls #15 with Kevin Steen
Massive thanks to http://www.pinfallmagazine.com/ for allowing us to use this great Kevin Steen Interview
As you can probably tell from the interview, I’m a Kevin Steen fan. Dude just brings something to the table that I don’t see from anyone else in the business. His work is a crazy combination of violence and comedy, and it works on a level all his own. When I asked for this interview I didn’t actually expect a response, but as you can see Kevin Steen took the time to make it happen, which makes me an even bigger fan. I hope this interview will create many more “Mr. Wrestling” fans, as the man loves the business, and deserves all the respect he can get…
What is the funniest thing you can remember saying to pop a crowd?
I don’t know if there’s any specific line but I’ll never forget one night in particular, when PWG was doing a show in England. It was their first time there, mine too. I think it was in 2006. I had a match with Generico and I was spitting out one-liners all match long. At one point it seemed like I was a stand-up comic beating the shit out of some poor fuck. The crowd was in stitches. I remember Generico used to tell me he hated being in that match because all that would happen was he’d get hit hard and then hear 400 people laughing. Not a good feeling. The match was great though, and my comedy act was never better than on that night.
When you said “Fuck ROH” did you mean anyone in particular, or just the entire organization in general?
I mean everyone. If I learned anything from my time away, it’s that nobody in that company, from officials to wrestlers, care about anybody but themselves…actually that’s not true, two people still seem to know I existed. Their names are Todd Sinclair and Shane Hagadorn. Everyone else can kindly go fuck themselves. And I feel that even though I made that challenge to Generico for Final Battle, they should have let me back when I was ready to return. But no. What they said was ”we don’t want you here, you’re too crazy, you’re too dangerous, you’re a hazard bla bla bla”
Sure, I may be all those things but the bottom line is in 2010, nobody came close to me as far as making things interesting and fun to watch. Guys like Roddy, Davey, Eddie, Hero, Daniels, they all had absolutely incredible matches night after night but I truly believe it was my antics and actions that made people want to keep up with what was going on in ROH and not just check out shows that might have a good main-event they’d like to see.
How did Steve Corino approach you about “Steen is change”?
Steve was always about finding a way to bring me back. But when he started talking about changing, conforming…that made me sick to be honest. I didn’t want to tell him that because I respect the man like nobody else in wrestling but then I saw with my own eyes the stuff he was going, coming out to the ring and apologizing…I just couldn’t accept that.
Your battles with Super Dragon are what brought Pro Wrestling Guerrilla into my life, what memories from that time stand-out to you?
The first time I ever wrestled him, he hit me with a forearm and my vision got blurry. That moment changed me and the kind of wrestler I am forever. I decided right then and there that I was going to beat the fuck out of him and everyone else. And beat the shit out of each other, we did. And we did it well. I have very fond memories of all those crazy battles and those matches are what shaped me to be who I am today as a performer. Super Dragon may not be around anymore but I always try to bring a sense of what he used to bring to the ring every time I go out there. In a weird way he’s a part of me…I know that sounds really strange but he was and still is a huge influence on me and without Super Dragon, there would be no Kevin Steen. At least the Kevin Steen that would be here wouldn’t be what he is today, that’s for sure.
What is it like working against Akira Tozawa, and what is it like working with him?
Both are a blast. I will say this about myself, and anyone that knows me well can attest. I may not have dedicated my life to working out in the gym, going tanning, eating well, doing all the stuff you should do to be a typical pro wrestler, but I am one of the most passionate wrestlers out there and nobody can deny that. I care too much about wrestling. I’m obsessed with it. My family will tell you. My friends, the few I have, will tell you. People I work with will tell you. I breathe wrestling and I am constantly thinking of what to do and how to make people talk.
Tozawa shares this passion. The guy has a love for pro wrestling that is so pure, it’s hard to imagine him doing anything else in life, ever. In that respect, we both got a long great from the moment we met in 2006 and getting to work with him and against him these past few months has been an incredible experience. I honestly miss him.
Do you have any interest in working with Gabe Sapolsky (Evolve/DGUSA) in the future?
Well, I’m sure you are aware of the recent news regarding this matter. I haven’t really talked to Gabe…but I will be at Evolve’s next event. We’ll see what happens.
Is El Generico a better French speaker or Spanish speaker?
He sucks equally at both.
What is the most violent thing you’ve ever done?
It’s not in a ring. The most violent thing I’ve ever done is trying to pick a fight with a group of guys at a gas station that were fucking with the employee and spitting on cars and stuff. They were giving the poor dude a hard time, and then spit on my car as I was getting back in it after having paid for my shit…it was just 4 punks trying to cause shit because they thought they could get away with it. I decided that the dude that spit needed some retribution and I knew that the cops were on their way from the employee calling them while I was in there to get rid of these guys, so if it ended up being 4-on-1, I’d have back up soon enough.
So I got back out of the car, with my keys in my hands, with the pointy ends of the keys coming out of my knuckles and punched that guy in the face. He didn’t put up much of a fight because the key got him right above the eye and cut him open. His buddies freaked out and just got him away from me, which is good because they probably could have really made a number on me, had they chosen to.
I’m not a violent person outside of the ring, since I take my aggression out in there enough as it is but on that night, I just wasn’t in the mood to take shit. Plus I’ve worked at a gas station. I know how bad it sucks, and seeing them fuck with the poor attendant who just wanted to get through his shift and go home set me off.
How do you feel about working multiple matches in one evening?
It depends when. But at PWG, for some reason…I love it. I almost feel like it’s redemption for me. I was away for so long…I had to cancel a show a few months ago because of a family emergency.
I feel I’m making up for that by working as hard as I can for them and the fans. The people there, in the crowd and in the company, they appreciate it and I really like it. I love wrestling there and getting to do it more than once is like a bonus. PWG is what wrestling should be.
When you take time off from wrestling, what do you miss (if anything)?
I never take time off. The only time I have off is because I just didn’t manage to find a show that weekend. Even if I’m hurt, time off isn’t something I do. I need wrestling.
On Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling, you were cut-off as you were about to start a Zandig story… Would you please continue that here?
I guess I don’t have several stories so much as one general story of my dealings with him while I was working for his company. But I don’t think writing about it will do things justice…I’d rather save that for an audio interview eventually.
Is your son the youngest person to ever win a match in professional wrestling history?
I would assume so…he was 5 months old at the time. He’s also the only (I hope) person to have won a match while having a pacifier in his mouth. And the only child El Generico will ever hold in his entire life, because he will never find a woman desperate enough to be willing to bear his child.
I asked PINFALL Magazine readers to come up with questions for you, and one constant that they were all wondering is… What is your favorite match of all-time?
I assume they mean a match that I wasn’t in…and this will sound RIDICULOUS but I mean it…my favorite match ever to watch is Brock Lesnar vs Big Show at Survivor Series 2002. Lesnar throwing Big Show around and giving him the F-5 is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I was popping HUGE for that match and to this day, whenever I come across it, I find myself loving every minute of it.
I’m going to give you some names, and I want you put down whatever comes to mind…
Talented, entertaining, perfect for WWE, grossly underrated by the fans currently.
I like Jimmy. He was at the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong frame of mind though. But he’s like me…passionate. Too much for his own good.
Smartest wrestler I know. I am jealous of him for the way he adapted his style of wrestling to the current MMA craze and managed to make get his ”knockout” stuff over with the fans. I wish I had thought of it first but I don’t think I have the talent and mind to get it over like he did.
The Young Bucks:
I say a lot of shit about those dudes but they are two of the most talented people I’ve ever wrestled. And more importantly, they are good persons. That matters.
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla:
After my wife and my son, it’s the love of my life.
Without CZW I wouldn’t have gotten where I am now. But man, those last few months I spent there were FUCKING BRUTAL!!!!!111
How did you celebrate Canada Day?
I went to see Kung Fu Panda 2 with my kid, I believe.
What is your favorite word in the English language?
Do you play an instrument?
I play the butcher knife better than anyone.
Favorite Sports Teams?
I don’t watch sports. I don’t talk about sports. When people talk about sports I don’t listen. I don’t care about sports.
Worst thing you ever wasted money on?
A lot of wrestling PPV’s that made me question my sanity for thinking ”Well, I got nothing else to do…maybe it’ll be good”.
If you could dropkick anyone in the face, who would it be?
Any member of the ”royal” family.
Favorite on-the road activity?
Sleeping in the back seat.
Do you play video games?
I wish. I had a PS3 that I owned for a year and had time to play with 4 times. I sold it. I had a Wii that I played with 5 times over 6 months. I sold it. I bought an X-Box 360 and it’s been collecting dust for a few weeks now…I just don’t have time to play. I have a wife, I have a kid, I have a sick obsession with wrestling. That takes up too much time already.
Favorite weight lifting exercise?
If someone saw you out on the town, and wanted to buy you a drink… What would you want that drink to be?
A Pepsi. I very rarely drink, and I wouldn’t drink just because someone wants to buy me one.
Do you have Any upcoming events PINFALL Magazine readers should know about?
Yes, I will be murdering ROH as a company for the next few months, whenever I decide to show up. Keep an eye out!
Personal Website/Twitter/Other Plugs?
Other plugs: I like Quizno’s.
Where do you get your wrestling gear/attire?
The wrestling gear store.
There you have it… Mr. Wrestling himself!