We originally set out to interview Mikey Whipwreck, and ended up with a welcome guest.
Tracy Smothers, mere days after a cancer diagnosis, joined our interview at an ECW row of talent in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We discussed some good times in ECW, Mikey's move to WCW, why he left, and how he re-emerged on a Joey Janela show fairly recently. Considering the back-and forth nature of the interview, we've decided to run the entire transcript, which you can see below.
How did you get the call to be a part of the Clusterfuck at Joey Janela's Spring Break?
Mikey Whipwreck: "Clusterfuck—that was in New Orleans. That was fun. I pulled the frankensteiner out as a surprise. I think Joey [Janela] reached out. Or Danny [Demanto]. They said, “You wanna do the Clusterfuck?” and I go, “What’s that?” I had no idea what it was. They said, “Well, basically it’s a Royal Rumble, basically.” I said, “Okay, sure.” Then, just talking about it with MJF, he was trained by Curt Hawkins, who I trained so I said, “Let’s throw the frankensteiner in there. If I call it, can you take it?” He was like, “Yeah.” Alright, so I did it for him. In [Tims] and jeans…and fat. I figured, if this is the first thing I do, we’ll be alright. Ten minutes in maybe not so much. But, it was alright. It was fun."
Do you get calls for more bookings since then?
Mikey Whipwreck: Yeah. I had to say “No, no. Every now and then. I took a booking up in Toronto for Greektown Wrestling. They brought Tajiri in, so we did a tag team with Tajiri. It was one of those things where teaming with Tajiri is always fun. But, every now and then, if they hit me at the right time and I’m feeling froggy I’ll go for it, but usually I say no.
You had some great chemistry in some of those tag combos
Mikey Whipwreck: "Tajiri, [Little] Guido and [Super] Crazy kinda had that already. They had Jerry Lynn in there a little bit. Then I came in a little bit later with the tag team of the FBI and every now and then you have those opponents you just click with. Like, I clicked with Justin Credible. I clicked with Jerry Lynn. You just find that group of guys where you just click with"
Tracey Smothers: "[You’re brilliant as a team], you and Tajiri. You’re quick [anything against] Guido."
Tracey, how was your experience in ECW?
Tracey Smothers: "A lot of fun. ECW. All of them. One of the funnest times of my life. Two and a half years. Just a blast. I was wanting to get out, I was ready to get out. I just can’t describe how much fun when. It was all good. Great time. It’ll live forever. ECW has made and changed the business more than, I think, anything. Everybody try and do it. Its memories, camaraderie… We talked about with guys that didn’t see eye to eye, I’ve seen New Jack and [Anthony], God rest his soul, try to kill each other. We talked about that night in Queens. It built up, got into a fight. I was tired, I couldn’t break them apart. Rick Rude was there, a lot of guys.. It was a bad scene. Next night a fan in the arena in ECW sucker punched Mikey. The whole dressing room hit the ring and the first two guys beating people up was Anthony and New Jack. I jumped up on the thing, I go “Tommy [Dreamer], look at that.” I said, “Those two motherfuckers trying to kill each other before now they’re gonna get ‘em ‘cause they sucker punched ol’ Mikey.” Which we were all mad about. I standing on the table and afterwards everybody was giving them hell, “Oh, buy a room.” Tommy going, “Buy a room, motherfucker, you were trying to kill each other last night.” But it’s the camaraderie, that’s how it should be."
How did you get in to WCW when you made the jump?
Mikey Whipwreck: Perry Saturn. He was down there, he goes “Hey, Mikey, they’ll bring you down.” I said, “To do what?” Perry reached out and ECW’s having bounced check issues at the time. My body’s feeling pretty beat up. So, I said, “Well, I’ll go down there for a little while, make a little money. It’ll be alright.” Went down there, had a good match with [Billy] Kidman. Got buried for it. That was the end."
Why did you all get buried for it?
Mikey Whipwreck: "Jimmy Hart told me that Virgil buried me to [Hulk] Hogan and them because I was the match before him and Stevie Ray in the battle for the NWO Black And White. I guess they couldn’t keep up at the time. People were pissed off, I guess."
How do you think ECW influenced the wrestling industry?
Mikey Whipwreck: "It was just the trend back in the late 90s. That was the thing. ECW hit on it, took stuff that they were doing in Memphis and Florida. Paul tweaked it, brought it into the 90s and it just hit a nerve that people were tired of the cartoon stuff. Then it just became, unfortunately, almost a parody of itself with some of it. It got too carried away. It was just the way the business went."
You helped bring the modern day Stunner as the Whippersnapper. Who does the best version now?
Mikey Whipwreck: "Ember Moon. She does a really good version of it. Mine, I thought from the top rope would be a good idea. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Nice easy bump for the guy, maybe you can take it on your feet. Yeah, my ass decided that it was not such a good move. So, I started doing it from the mat. I tried to do different variations of it, kinda like what DDP would do with the Diamond Cutter. But, I think Ember Moon. We’re not gonna talk about Cena’s, ‘cause that was pitiful."
How about John Cena!?
Mikey Whipwreck: "Awful. John does a lot of good things, that not one of them."