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RF Video Shoot Interview with Larry Zbyszko, Disc Two

This was filmed in 2006

The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein and Doug Gentry

Disc Two runs for one hour and twenty-eight minutes long

You can read the recap for Disc One by clicking on the link below:

http://www.rspwfaq.net/2015/03/rf-video-shoot-interview-with-larry.html





Larry is asked about the War Games match and said that he didn't like that match that much as he saw it as more of a cluster and would rather wrestle in a match that had more of a story. He then talks about how the art of booking was becoming lost then they started to hotshot ideas.



On Lex Luger, Larry said he had a great look and rode the wave of the "steroid era" and said he couldn't talk and was in the right place at the right time then said that he had great heel charisma because he was a real-life narcissist as he tells a story of how he was in the backyard with Sting and Luger, who kept on looking at himself through the reflection of the glass door. He does say it was too bad what happened to him though as he went from millionaire wrestler to being in jail and suicidal is sad but puts him over for trying to turn his life around.



He is asked about all of the bookers that WCW used as Larry said that they had non-wrestling guys, committees, and ex-wrestlers try and fail but that Eric Bischoff was smart enough to pick the brain of others to get ideas. Larry also said that with Ted Turner wanting to challenge Vince and having his money behind them, WCW was able to do to Vince what he did to other promoters and raid his talent. Larry also said that Eric was at the right place at the right time as Turner wanted to challenge Vince and if he did not, it would have probably been much different for Bischoff.



Larry then talks about writer in wrestling and how that does not work for a wrestling show as that booking is the heart and soul of the product and if you do not have a booker with knowledge of the business then you will just spin your wheels.



He then talks about how all WCW had to do with Goldberg was to build up heels to feed him and copy the Bruno Sammartino formula and would be around today. Larry then talks about how Ted sold off his stock in the company to AOL-Time Warner, who did not want wrestling and ended up selling off the company and tape archive for next to nothing for Vince.



About when Hulk Hogan came into WCW and if there was jealously, Larry said that Hogan didn't get over at first as a babyface then wanted to switch to the nWo as he saw that was getting hot. Larry then talks about how awful the vignettes with Hogan was involving the Dungeon of Doom and how they were just stupid and unrealistic and talks about in TNA today he tells them that the skits are the worst part of the show as it is all writing and not part of wrestling as they do not create any drama.



On WCW falling behind the WWE, Larry said Bischoff made mistakes with contracts by offering creative control and guaranteed deals and those guys never did anything to help the company and would get doctor's notes to get out of doing anything they were unhappy with and stresses how the crowds would chant for Goldberg yet the Heavyweight Champion was a writer.



When asked about the undercard being important to Nitro's early success. Larry said that people pay to watch stars, not wrestling.



About TNA, Larry said that they are trying to grow and have great young talent but the problem is that no one knows who they are. He was in favor of bringing in Kurt Angle but did not care that Sting was brought in because he was stale and all he did in the past was whine and complain then laughs about how they just brought Russo back after talking about not wanting to go in the wrong direction.



Larry talks about how good of a job it was to be a broadcaster but that he wanted to be a babyface announcer so he could put over the talent.



On Ric Flair, Larry said that he cannot believe he is still doing the same thing as he was getting old in the 90's. Larry also said he is horrified when he sees Flair wrestle in hardcore matches and rolling around in thumbtacks. He mentions Flair's debt to the IRS and how he will probably end up dying in the ring. Larry also said that if needed the money like that he would rather get an actual job instead of wrestle a hardcore style at that age.



He missed the Vader/Orndorff fight but said he did see a fight occur between Peter Maivia slap the shit out of Ivan Putksi in the locker room after Putski made a comment about Rocky Johnson's wife, who was in fact the daughter of Maivia.



About whether or not guys not protecting kayfabe is hurting the business and he said no as the business is exposed then goes back to how they need to keep kayfabe on TV instead of reciting awful lines backstage as it leaves out any imagination that the fans have.



Larry then talks about Louie Spicolli. He said that he was originally going to face him but that Louie passed away the week before. Tony Schiavone on commentary then asked Larry about Spicolli on commentary after he was dead. Larry said he was about to say something nice about Spicolli and his family but before he had the chance the director started to scream into his headset about not mentioning any details about his death because it was the result of an overdose so Larry, on the spot by both Schiavone and the director, blurted out on air that out of respect of his death he will not say anything about him, something that he looked like he regretted saying.. Well, Scott Hall saw Larry at the bar one night as he was drunk and started to push Larry, who let it go because he liked Scott. Larry then said he was about to go after him but Arn Anderson backed Hall away.



He speaks about an incident at catering where Chris Benoit was mad at him for hinting that he was small on commentary. Larry told Chris that he was wrestling Sid Vicious, who was much taller than him and said in his headphones he was told by the production people to talk about the size difference so it wasn't up to him what he said.



On how much leeway he had on commentary, Larry said most of the time they were left alone and as a color commentator he got to ad-lib as the play-by-play guys had to take a lot more direction.



Larry said he became a broadcaster as they asked him but at first he did not want to do it as he had no interest. However, he said that he saw the direction the company was going in then and found out he would get health benefits as an announcer and made more doing that than he did in wrestling and got to live on the golf course as well.



He puts over Steve Regal a lot and mentions how their match in WCW was great and had Brian Pillman run around backstage saying they put on a clinic.



When the WWF bought out WCW, Larry said he was gone six months prior and said the company was a wreck at the time and didn't even want to be there to begin with.



About the lawsuit against the WWE in 2001 for Chris Jericho using the "Living Legend" monniker, Larry said he is not able to talk about that due to legal issues.



On winding up in TNA, Larry said that he got a call to get involved with a storyline involving AJ Styles but they kept on changing things and it fell through then they were going to have a championship committee but Terry Funk wanted too much money and Larry said he was local and cheap and after going back and forth for a while helping out periodically.



Larry said that Jeff Jarrett gets a bad rep for TNA as he is not involved on the money side of things and is a good worker but that there wasn't anyone else over enough to carry the belt and that they shouldn't put the belt on someone that will "make the smarks happy."



He talks about the talent of guys like AJ Styles, Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt, and others but unfortunately it is tough to make a star out of a group of guys who are all very similar. He also talks about how some agents, while very talented wrestlers themselves, are not able to convey that to others. Larry also thinks that TNA can break out and compete against the WWE as they have good people in charge.



On the craziest things that happened to him by fans, Larry said that he got stabbed in the ass after turning on Bruno and had about three of his cars smashed by rocks. He then said he saw a fan while he was smoking a cigarette outside and when he got back in the fan had the cigarette butt in a plastic bag and asked for an autograph.



When asked to compare Bruno and Hogan and who was the biggest draw, Larry said it was Bruno as he was on top for 20 years with a roster that had a lot less stars as Hogan also said Andre, Piper, Snuka, Savage, and the Ultimate Warrior also on the cards that were attractions.




Larry closes by talking about TNA and how he thinks and hopes they can succeed and compete with the WWE.



Final Thoughts: I have to say that Disc One was much better than Disc Two. The last 20-25 minutes of this disc really could have been cut out completely as he just talked about TNA wanting to succeed while more or less repeating the same points over and over again. Also, the token questions everyone got asked about WCW from these shoots (Did Russo kill WCW, Did they misuse Bret Hart, etc) slowed things down a lot as there is only so many times you can hear people answer these questions.

I enjoyed this shoot as Larry was relaxed throughout and willing to talk. Seeing how he was working with TNA at this time, he did offer valid and honest criticism of the company without coming off as a complete shill. Also, when he spoke about criticism of wrestling today, he did not do so in a bitter manner. He just calmly spoke his mind and did not dismiss today's wrestlers ability.

Larry was not a partier and took care of himself, which is why he is still in good shape today. But he still has a lot of good stories he spoke about in this shoot and came off as having a good sense of humor. And his on-screen character definitely seems like some of his personality amped up to 11 but Larry seems like a good guy overall.

Overall, I recommend this shoot and it might even change your opinion on Larry if you are not a fan of his. Be warned though that Disc One is a lot more interesting than Disc Two.



You can purchase the video for $20 by clicking on the link below.


http://www.rfvideo.com/shootwithlarryzbysko.aspx

Comments

  1. So, how great would it be as an announcer when someone comes up and says, "Don't talk about the fact that I'm short," you can just say, "Director told me to talk about the size difference. I didn't have a choice."

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  2. THEY ARE HAVING FUN, MAGGLE

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  3. Woman called him short. Once.

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  4. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonMarch 27, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    " The last 20-25 minutes of this disc really could have been cut out completely..."


    Isn't that the opinion of a lot of his matches as well?

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  5. Triple H at Mania 28 was the crotch chop. Shawn gave the "thumb across the neck" gesture and bitch slap.

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  6. Exactly. DQs should be used sparingly and they would be effective.

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  7. If by Main Event heel you mean being in the main event against a top face and losing literally every single time then yes he was a Main Event heel.

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  8. I'd rather listen to Larry on commentary than the numbskulls currently on Raw

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  9. That would be the first 20-25 minutes.

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  10. Man there was a time when every Garvin match revolved around him hurting his hand... "hands of stone my ass".... Then he would tape it and go back to knocking people out- even as a kid I knew tape could not heal a broken hand.

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  11. He said something like "HBK wasn't so great when he was cursing you out at catering!" or something like that.

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  12. Mid Atlantic/Crockett had great finishes, because they were not just guys hitting finishers- at Startcade 85, you had

    Abdullah getting caught between the turnbuckles and Manny Fernendaz climbing him to win a "Mexican Death Match" ( a sombrero on a pole match, because racism was cool in the 80s)

    JJ Dillon tripping Terry Taylor on a superplex and Buddy Landell falling on top for the pin

    Rickey Morton getting a blind tag and then rolling up IvanKollof after he back dropped Robert Gibson while Gibson was still in the air

    Magnum TA forcing a submission out of stilly Blanchard be sticking A broken chair leg into his head in an I Quit match

    Just a bunch of different and smart finishes- I wish we had more of that and less - I hit my finisher five times in s row and then get the pain

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  13. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    I'm guessing Larry just didn't like Benoit at that moment - he called Buddy Lee Parker matches and put over Buddy's stature as an advantage for him as he was tougher to take down.

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  14. I actually can't tell if you're making fun of Japanese wrestling or referencing a match between two obscure stars I've never heard of. I'm leaning toward the former but wouldn't be surprised if it's the latter.

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  15. Was just going to say Tully/Magnum has a place on this list.

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  16. It's almost admirable how thoroughly they've managed to cool down Dean Ambrose. We were calling him the next Steve Austin and now he's dancing with R-Truth like a modern day Kofi Kingston.

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  17. I'd rather listen to cats mating than the numbskulls currently on Raw.

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  18. It could be because announcing had been so shitty for years now but I like him when I watch old Nitro's. And he was part of the drunk Kevin Nash Thunder commentary team and seemed to be having fun with it.

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  19. Wow, I know you thought this thing sucked but it might be your review. Between the Spicolli thing, the Turner insight, the drawing stuff, the stuff re: the announcing there's a *ton* of this that I never knew before. Crazy.

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  20. Given how often Zbysko talked up Benoit on commentary though I'm not sure he was doing anything more than saying, "Hey, Benoit is a lot smaller than Sid." I mean he is!! Maybe Benoit should have taken out his anger on genetics.

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  21. The last 20-25 minutes dragged badly but the beginning of this disc was fine

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  22. I'd rather listen to my parents mating than the numbskulls currently on Raw.

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  23. I hated him on commentary. Fucking HATED him.


    He has some solid points about the business, though. A lot of his analysis about Vince seemed dead-on.

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  24. http://cow.org/csi/

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  25. They couldn't sneak Andre into that movie? Or maybe he played the monster at the end in an uncredited role?

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