Larry Zbyszko Interview: NWA:TNA, WCW, WWE, Randy Orton, Hogan, Bischoff, more

Submitted by larryj04 on April 29, 2004 - 3:14pm
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Thank's to Richard Trionfo for sending in the f0llowing:

This week on Between the Ropes, the 'Living Legend' and former Western States Heritage and AWA Champion, Larry Zbyszko, joined Fritz, Dickerman, and Vito to talk about his career and his upcoming appearance at the Southern Championship Wrestling show in Haines City, Florida.

The interview began with discussion about the Western States Heritage Championship, and how people have offered to buy it from him. He talks about the aura surrounding the title and how people either love hearing
about the title, or they could care less. It depends on where the fan is from.

Larry talked about his opponent this weekend, and he was asked about his strategy for the match. Larry likes to 'set up the prey'. Vito recounted how Larry commented on a match he had where he did not get into the ring for ten minutes, and after the match, Larry said that it looked like one of his matches.

Larry talked about how Arn Anderson hated Larry's stalling during matches, and the longest he ever stalled was 16 minutes. Larry heard about it from the agent, Grizzly Smith. Larry said that the crowd was into his matches, while other matches were not getting the same fan reaction.

Larry was asked about his work in NWA:TNA. He said that he has a good working relationship with the Jarretts and said that it was a good working environment. He said that the match psychology is important to make the promotion successful.

Larry was asked about the way that the younger wrestlers were in terms of wanting to learn about the business. He said that he wants to have a shirt that says 'Don't call me sir.' Some wrestlers have asked to have Larry watch the match and he tries to do that. He also signs a lot of autographs from the other wrestlers.

Talk moved on to Larry's golf game, and rumors about the Senior Tour. He is currently on the mini tours, and he is thinking about going to Q-School in the fall. He is currently a zero handicap. He had a lot of time to play golf when he was in WCW because he only worked one day a week.

Discussion moved on to the use of 'Living Legend'. Larry has been using it since suggested by Bruno Sammartino, since he was called the 'living legend' but it was not Bruno's style. However, it was perfect for Larry's character. The use of 'Living Legend' made him the biggest bad guy in the land, and got him a lot of heat. He owns the common law trademark for 'Living Legend'. Larry has called up the WWE to discuss use of the term. He has received a letter from the WWE lawyers saying that they would continue to use it. The matter is still in litigation. Larry was asked about Randy Orton's use of 'living legend' a few weeks ago, but it was interesting that there was no use of 'living legend' with Harley Race on television last week.

Talk moved on to the contention in Hogan's book about the crowd at Shea Stadium and how they came to see him wrestle, not Zbyszko and Sammartino. Larry has already called out Hogan about this. Larry thinks that even if the Zbyszko/Sammartino match was the only match on the card, it would sell out Shea Stadium.

Larry was asked about the problems with Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon. Larry mentioned that Bruno was promised a percentage of the company, but Vince Senior died, and he did not receive the percentage.

Larry was asked about the end of WCW. He said that he saw it was coming, and he tried to go to the top people with others to fix things. However, they knew that AOL was going to get rid of WCW. He talked about the tradition of wrestling on TBS. He was then asked about his relationship with Eric Bischoff. Larry had a good relationship with Eric, and worked together in the AWA. Larry talked about working with Eric in the ring because of the heat that Eric was getting at the time.

The interview ended with discussion of the AWA World Title belt, and Larry said that Vern Gagne took it back, but he is trying to get it back.

Between the Ropes airs every Wednesday from 10:00 p.m. to Midnight Eastern on 740 the Team in Orlando, Florida. The show can also be heard live on the internet at www.betweentheropes.com. Archives of recent interviews can be found at www.betweentheropes.com.

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