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The shoot interview has become a wrestling phenomenon. It would be easy to dismiss these interviews as whiny bitch sessions, where wrestlers, out of character, take cheap shots and tattle on each other. All of this is of course true, but we are talking about wrestling, not golf. Let’s leave the gentlemanly stuff in the clubhouse, and let the bitching run wild, like Hulkamania.
Thankfully, the amount of general wrestling content on the Internet is staggering. So too, are the amount of shoot interviews. I could easily waste my entire life, as opposed to a large portion of it, if I wanted to watch it all. In this context, life really is too short.
I think the appeal of the nasty shoot interview is exactly what is so wrong with them. Perhaps sadly, I like seeing the wrestlers, as themselves, bad mouth each other and tell seedy road and dressing room stories. They talk about drugs, womanizing and real violence. They verbally assassinate each other, both personally and professionally. It’s kind of like life. Whether it’s Hulk Hogan mooching blow, or Ric Flair acting like an entitled prima donna, it’s a guilty pleasure of epic proportions.
Assuming some, if not most, of the shoot interview stories are true, the feeling of behind-the-scenes access, even though it’s verbal storytelling, is remarkable. It’s a new dimension to sports entertainment. Sure, Vince pulled the plug on kayfabe, but this stuff takes the reality of wrestling to an entirely different level. It’s like the wrestlers turn into a bunch of pre-menstrual, high school mean girls, and I love every backstabbing minute of it.
I’ve seen a lot of shoot interviews, but have only scratched the surface of what’s out there. Without question, in my opinion, The Honky Tonk Man (Roy Wayne Farris) is the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the shoot interview. He’s mean, honest, verbally fearless, bitchy, petty, bitter, vindictive and super-funny. These are a quintessential combination of negative traits that make his shoot interviews so compelling.
I also like Jim Cornette shoot interviews. His enthusiasm, bitterness and humour shine through. Cornette shooting on Vince Russo is amazing stuff. You can literally feel the hate.
Not all the shoot interviews are negative. Seeing the menacing, bloodthirsty, madman Abdullah The Butcher as the real-life, soft spoken Larry Shreve, though disheartening as far as de-monstering goes, is also fun. He bought a house for his mother with his blood money. Awww.
There are a ton of shoot interviews on The Montreal Screw Job, which in a sense, has become pro-wrestling’s version of the Kennedy assassination. Conspiracy theories abound. For the record, I think Vince Mcmahon masterminded it, but Russo says he did. One thing for sure, it was definitely not Oswald.
I also loved watching a drunk Sandman waxing his conspiracy views on 9/11. I wish he would run for office like Jessie.
Imagine if other aspects of society did shoot interviews. Of course, politicians have been doing passive-aggressive shoots for decades. But, I’d like to shoot on Mrs. Belarian, my grade eight homeroom teacher. She was an effin’ bitch. I also wish actors and singers did shoots. Sure, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry do a little benign shooting, but I’d like to see Honky Tonk Man level shoots that make the Madonna/Elton John bitch-fest look like a love-in. Mel Gibson came pretty close.
If you haven’t seen this stuff, go on Youtube and surf your life away, like me. You might feel dirty afterward, but if you’re a real wresting fan, you’ll love every tawdry minute of it. Sure it panders to the lowest common denominator, but again, it’s pro wrestling, and I happen to like that denomination.