Semi-retired wrestler Zack Gowen, who competed for both the WWE and TNA, was recently interviewed by Chris Van Vilet of WSVN-TV in Miami about all things pro-wrestling. Gowen gives his thoughts on the newly formed AEW promotion, discusses the possibility of working in a backstage role for IMPACT, and even reveals how Vince McMahon saved his life by paying for drug rehab. Check out highlights below.
"As a wrestler, I'm semi retired. Honestly if I look back at my career, I couldn't have scripted it better. All of my dreams were fulfilled and then some beyond what I could have ever imagined. I just got into wrestling so I could get into a wrestling ring have my first match and anything beyond that was a bonus and icing on the cake. To be able to look back at my accomplishments and the people I've inspired it really brings so much joy to me. So there's not a lot in wrestling for me to do on-screen but I still have some goals off-screen, like I'd like to get into producing and I love putting shows together and match times and match cards and placing the stones in the mosaic of a professional wrestling show. I love working with young talent too and I'm doing a lot of seminars but in terms of being in the ring, there's certainly more behind me than there is in front of me."
"Here's the thing, AEW is going to be the new WCW. All of the ingredients are there. The indies have never been stronger in terms of attendance, merchandise sales, interest and there are more fans now than there was back in the 90s. There's the space there for AEW to step into and they're going to get so much support. Those guys are incredibly talented, Tony Khan is a marketing genius that is going to provide so much structure from a corporate side of things and let the wrestlers do what they do best. If this was a Crock-pot and some beef stew was being made, in my head I'm thinking this is going to be the best beef stew ever because all of the ingredients are top notch."
"I kinda want to work for Impact Wrestling in a backstage role. I'd love to do that because they're in Canada so it's not too far away, I wouldn't have to relocate and I'm friends with a lot of talent there. I watch their shows and I can't watch it as a fan, I can't sit back and enjoy shows as a fan, I think those days are gone. I'm sitting there critiquing over and over again. My mind is constantly going in terms of the direction of the presentation. So I see Impact and there is so much great young talent there and if I could offer some of my experience or guidance that I could improve on the product you see in front of you."
"I want to tell my truth and my story and it's 'Thank you Vince'. He gave a kid who was on his deathbed who was losing his leg to cancer, 10 years later I'm in the ring with Hulk Hogan and living out my childhood fantasy and inspiring others. He also gave me legs to walk on and 10 years after that, he's saving my life and now I get to be a 36-year old father of two and now I can affect other people's lives with what I do in all of my work whether it's speaking, yoga, wrestling or whatever it is."