It seems like yesterday that WWE’s infamous and wildly popular ‘Attitude Era’ was breaking the mold of the professional wrestling industry.
Hard to believe it’s been around 20 years since WWE and WCW’s ‘Monday Night Wars’ took over television and skyrocketed professional wrestling into mainstream media more than it had ever been prior.
In the end, as we know, WWE defeated WCW (and ended up purchasing the company in 2001).
One of the surprise stars of WWE’s ‘Attitude Era’ was easily the faction known as ‘The Mean Street Posse’.
The faction were “goonies” for Shane McMahon, his friends from Connecticut, and the group consisted of Pete Gas, Rodney, and Joey Abs and burst onto the scene in 1999.
WWE.com describes the faction as “a destructive force invaded WWE hell-bent on serving corporate overlords and demeaning heroes at every turn.”
What was intended to be a quick run turned out to be a long run for the Mean Street Posse.
Fast forward to 2017 and Pete Gas is talking about his career in WWE and his book, Looking at the Lights, which contains backstage stories of the WWE and an inside look at the personalities of wrestlers that fans never get to see.
The book also discusses the inner workings of matches, preshow planning, and how wrestling “truly works”.
Sports Rants had a chance to speak with Pete Gas about the book and so much more.
“I have wanted to this book for 17 years” Gas told me.
“People always ask questions about my run with WWE and everyone seemed to love them. I didn’t even know how to get it started but then I met Jon Robinson.
He encouraged to write this with his help. Once we got started it came very easy. Jon is amazing writer. He has done several books for WWE and I was honored that he wanted to do this with me.
Gas promises that the book will provide fans with a unique, behind-the-scenes look that they are not often, if ever, afforded.
“Fans can expect a fun, easy read. The thing that makes this book unique is that it’s a story never told before because no one has ever has this happened to them.
During the most popular era in wrestling history, Vince McMahon took two guys with ZERO experience and put us in the ring with the best of the business” Gas explained.
“It was only supposed to last a few weeks but we were able to generate such “heat” with the crowd that it lasted almost three years.
Along the way we had to learn as we went and gain respect in the locker room.”
And it’s that WWE locker room that has come under some criticism of late as claims of bullying have been raised in recent weeks, mostly centered on WWE commentator and former superstar JBL.
Gas spoke about the claims against JBL.
“First off, JBL is NOT a bully. I can’t stress this enough. JBL is a big guy and his personality is larger than life” Gas said of JBL,
“He is loud at times which makes all eyes go to him when he enters a room. He
loves this business and to make people laugh.
In my opinion, John doesn’t get enough credit for what he does for people. Especially the kids where he lives.
It seems like nowadays people are a little more sensitive to things. If anyone back in the Attitude Era was a target to get bullied, it would have been me.
I played football through college and in the working world and I always knew if you show that something bothers you, some people would continue to do things.
I would laugh with them, most of the time it was funny. Then it goes away.
But I never saw it in the WWE. It never happened to me and it I never saw it happening to anyone else.”
Gas spent enough time in WWE to see, first hand, what the locker room was like and also share some of his own crazy backstage stories.
“There are too many crazy stories backstage to pick just one” Gas said.
“The book is filled with them. Hopefully everyone goes out to grab one. I’ve been told by fans they have literally laughed out loud while reading my book.
That makes this all worth while to me.”
Gas performed in a time and throughout an era where WWE arguably had it’s best overall roster of talent.
“I worked with the best in the business. It’s really not fair to name a few but HHH always
He’s incredibly smart. HHH, Undertaker, Stone Cold, The Rock and Mick Foley all new how to get the best out of you.
They were on a level that made you want to be on.”
Gas also shared with us his Top 5 of All-time.
“There are so many to pick only five but Rick Flair, Dusty Rhodes, HHH, HBK and Stone Cold” Gas stated.
“Five guys that worked their butts off and were amazing entertainers on the microphone as well.”
Gas still watched the product today and enjoys the direction WWE has gone and the crop of talent they have on their roster today.
“I still watch religiously.
I even DVR each episode to go back and watch things back. Of course my boy Shane. But I think AJ Styles is the best on the roster.
I love what Jericho is doing. He and Kevin Owens have great chemistry and KO is fantastic on the mic as well. Charlotte Flair is gonna be the best ever out of the women’s division. You can just see it. She’s gets it.
Both rosters have so much talent.
I’d like to see Zack Ryder get a push when he comes back healthy” Gas said.
And what about a WWE return?
“Shane and I have joked about it in the past but truth be told, I wouldn’t expect it” Gas said.
“He knows I would go back in a heartbeat but if it hasn’t happened in 16 years, it’s not gonna.”
Fans can pick up Looking at the Lights: My Path from Fan to a Wrestling Heel as a hardcover and also as an ebook.
CM Punk Makes Surprise Debut on WWE Backstage
After weeks of rumors, CM Punk has officially joined the crew of FOX’s WWE Backstage with a surprise appearance at the end of Tuesday’s show.
The appearance marked the first time Punk had appeared on WWE television since 2014 when he left following that year’s Royal Rumble, rather bitterly and abruptly, and engaged in a verbal, and legal, feud with WWE for the next few years.
However, the tension has seemingly thawed in the last year or so, with Punk more open to a return, in some form or fashion, to the world of professional wrestling, and with fans continuing to clamor for his return.
Punk’s deal to join WWE Backstage is via FOX, and he revealed that he isn’t interested in a return to the ring.
“Yeah I did it,” Punk said, during an appearance on Collider Live (h/t WrestlingInc.com’s Raj Giri). “I’m very much in a position where, ‘Well come talk to me.’ I’m open to anything. If they come to me with, ‘Hey we want you to wrestle,’ I’ll say, ‘Um, I’m not interested.'”
My agents just called me and Fox is throwing everything at this because they spent a lot of money on this and they’re all in to make it work. Originally, I thought it was a WWE thing, so I was just like, ‘meh, no.’ But then they said, ‘This is Fox.’
“I’m not dealing with anybody in WWE. They explained to me what it was, and I love Renee Young. Renee Young is a great person … she’s Canadian, so obviously she’s super over-the-top nice and friendly. I prefaced it with, ‘Guys, I’m not going to come in and dump all over stuff just to dump on it. That’s old Phil. But if it’s bad, I’m not going to be able to pretend it’s anything but bad.‘
“So they want to present it like it’s a real sport and just have a show that recaps stuff, just like they do with the NFL, just like the NHL Network would do with hockey games and stuff like that. That’s where we are with that.”
While Punk may not be dealing directly with WWE at this point, this certainly opens the door to a renewed working relationship with WWE down the line.
You can check out his shocking appearance below:
WWE Crown Jewel to Feature First Ever Women’s Match in Saudi Arabia
WWE is making strides with it’s ‘Crown Jewel’ event in Saudi Arabia, at least culturally.
WWE announced on Wednesday, during a special press conference at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, that the first-ever WWE women’s match in Saudi Arabia will take place at this Thursday’s ‘Crown Jewel’ event as part of Riyadh Season, which includes more than 100 events over a two-month span featuring world-class entertainment and sports properties.
Natalya will take on Lacey Evans on the card, which also includes Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez, and Tyson Fury vs. Braun Strowman.
Natalya and Evans have had several matches during this feud in 2019, and this bout promises to deliver the same action we have seen.
This isn’t the first time that WWE has attempted to put on a women’s match in Saudi Arabia, as they had planned a match between Natalya and Alexa Bliss for the Super Showdown event that took place in June, with officials traveling to the country in preparation of the event.
Unfortunately, approval was not granted from the Kingdom and the match was nixed at the last minute.
However, now approval has been granted and history will be made on Thursday.
WWE is making amazing strides in elevating their women’s division, and it also points out how women streamers are making strides on Twitch and Mixer. Some are even considered the top female streamers in the industry, putting on some of the best Twitch channels and the best Mixer channels that can be found on the platforms.
John Morrison Returning to WWE
John Hennigan (aka John Morrison), who has made a name for himself on the indy scene since departing WWE back in 2011, is heading back to WWE on a brand new deal, according to PW Insider.
Morrison won WWE’s Tough Enough competition back in 2002, headed to their development, and then made a successful first run in the company highlighted by multiple tag team titles, a WWE Intercontinental Championship reign, and winning the ECW Championship.
Morrison found success following his departure in 2011 with promotions such as Lucha Underground, AAA and Impact Wrestling, which he left in July after being one of their top stars and holding the Impact World Championship.
With WWE locking up superstars with lucrative long-term deals, their move to FOX, and NXT’s move to USA Network, it is likely that Morrison inked a long-term deal with the company.
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