By Chuck Carroll
The last month in WWE can best be summed up by an impassioned speech by James Earl Jones’ character Terence Mann in Field Of Dreams. Standing in front of a baseball field carved into an Iowa cornfield, his unmistakable voice boomed: “It’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.” Indeed, if you bring back Superstars of the past, people will come.
Between the 25th anniversary of RAW and the Royal Rumble, WWE turned back the clock to the very peak of pro wrestling’s popularity. It was almost as if the Monday Night Wars had reignited. We saw everyone from The APA to a mellowed and monogamous Godfather. The Bella Twins were in the ring together for the first time in seemingly forever, while Trish Stratus, Molly Holly and Michelle McCool all proved they’ve still got it (clap, clap… clap, clap, clap). The Boogeyman returned to gift The New Day with a handful of worms, and Degeneration X brought the crowd to its feet at The Wells Fargo Center. Of course, there were the epic stunners delivered to Vince and Shane McMahon, courtesy of Stone Cold Steve Austin.
But there were some glaring omissions. One of the biggest — Edge. Sadly, the Rated R Superstar was unavailable due to prior acting commitments. His partner in crime, Christian, had his Peep Show, but there would be no 5-second pose or quick-witted banter between best friends. Such a reunion would have been the icing on the cake for the WWE Universe. Hopefully we’ll see the pair back in the ring together before the 30th anniversary soiree.
Although many miles away, it’s hard to believe that the multi-time champion wasn’t feeling nostalgic as well. He and I recently had a chance to take a trip down memory lane and revisit his fondest Rumble memory during a break in filming for the television series, Vikings. The 44-year-old, whose career was cut short by an injury in 2011, also had advice for former women’s champion Paige, who reportedly suffered the same fate at a much younger age.
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Who’s the better actor, is it you, is it Cena, or is it The Rock?
I guess it depends on what you’re going for.
You don’t have to be humble here.
I’ll politically say it as that. Say it as that. How about Batista?
Paige unfortunately looks like she’s going to have to retire early due to injury as well. She’s a lot younger than you were when you reached that point in your career. If you had the opportunity to speak with her, what advice would you give her to try to make that pill a little bit less bitter to swallow?
You know, I don’t know. It is tough, because if that is the case, and she does have to retire… I haven’t heard anything past the initial speculation… it is such a different case, because when I retired, I was 37. I had accomplished everything and then some I set out to do within that industry, so there wasn’t anything else besides wanting to help some younger talent and teach them. That was what the next mode of my career was going to be. So it is a different scenario.
I guess all I can say, if that is the case, is she did a lot. She got a lot accomplished. She won the women’s championship, and she stood out. You just try and focus on the positives instead of drawing on the negatives. That’s really all you can do in that kind of situation. But I don’t know if there’s a magic elixir or the perfect sentence you can say to make that easier to swallow.
You’ve got a podcast with your best friend, you’re an actor, you’ve got a wonderful family. It seems to me like whenever you want to do something, you do it. So what else is on your bucket list?
I keep exploring what I’m doing now. The pod is fun, and I get to connect to my childhood best friend every week, no matter where I am. We get to catch up with some friends who we don’t get to see all the time. Basically just bust each other’s chops.
I really want to explore different characters and see what the next character is. I mean, who knows what’s next? But I would like [it] to be as challenging as this one has been. I don’t want to take a step back. I just want to keep going forward and just see what there is out there and just try to keep honing my craft and my chops. More importantly than all of that is just trying to be the template that you want your little girls to see of what a man is. So between all of those, that should keep me pretty busy.
Chuck Carroll is a former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality who now interviews the biggest names in wrestling. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.
Follow him on Twitter @ChuckCarrollWLC.