– By Chaunce Hayden –
You’ve held the WWF Championship title many times. But does a title really mean anything when the matches are predetermined?
When a company like the WWF takes you and puts you in the position to win the championship title for an extended period of time, it’s because they feel it’s your time. It’s your run. It’s the absolute ultimate in our business. What it means is that this business is saying to you that you’re the top guy. You’re the guy who’s going to be headlining all the events, and we’re looking at you as the guy who’s going to sell out the arena. You’re the guy who’s going to sell the Pay-Per-View events. Whether the fans love you or hate you, the fact is people want to see you in that ring. It’s the WWF’s way of saying, “You’re the guy”
In other words, you make Vince McMahon more money than anybody else, hence you are the champion.
Right. Being the WWF Champion is like an actor winning an Oscar. Yeah, it’s all scripted and planned out, but so are movies. But the best actor gets an Oscar. It’s the same type of thing in the WWF.
Any interest in fighting for real? Like MMA for instance?
Personally, I don’t find that entertaining. I’m an entertainer. I go to the ring to entertain people. I take people on an emotional roller coaster ride during my 45-minute match. That’s what I do. I don’t consider myself a fighter. I don’t consider what I do a tough-guy business.
It looks pretty tough to me. I wouldn’t want to get body slammed any time soon.
Don’t get me wrong. What we do is very tough. Ken Shamrock was a former UFC fighting champion. He told me what we do is a lot harder than what he used to do. What he did was train and fight once every six months or so. What I do is every day. It’s a grind. The physicality of it is very real. But at the same time, we’re entertainers at heart. That’s what we do.
I take it we’re not going to see you in any real Pay-PerView extreme fights anytime soon?
No. If somebody wants to do it strictly for entertainment, that’s different. But I wouldn’t do it for real.
How do you feel about the growing trend of teens who put on their own version of wrestling matches in their backyards?
I’m down on that. What kids need to understand is that we’re trained professionals. We’re like stuntmen, in a way. We’re specifically trained on how to do this. And even though we’re trained to do it, there are still risks involved. We had guys paralyzed and even die. There are very serious injuries that can occur doing what we do. I mean, I know every kid likes to wrestle with his buddies, and he does what he sees on TV and he pretends. To me, that’s fine. But when you go out there and you’re actually trying to emulate what we do and you start using chairs and things like that and create a product like we put out, you’re running a serious risk of injury. They just shouldn’t do that.
Many have accused wrestlers of taking steroids to achieve otherwise impossible muscle mass. Have you ever taken steroids?
I don’t condone its use. But I understand its place. I don’t have a problem with people who take steroids. It’s a great medicine for people who need it, and it has a place in the world just like any other medication. If a doctor feels that’s what you need to improve your health or life and puts you on it, then that’s great. However, if you take it without a prescription, then it’s just a drug like any other drug, and you shouldn’t take it. It should only be given by a doctor.
Joanie Laurer, formerly known to WWF fans as Chyna, has been talking to the press about your relationship with her and the ugly breakup. Does it bother you that she’s been so public about it?
No. If that’s what she wants to do, that’s her business. We had a relationship and things didn’t work out. That’s life. As far as I’m concerned, it’s in my past. What’s past is past. I don’t bring it up in interviews unless I’m asked about it. But if she wants to talk about it to the press, that’s her decision. It doesn’t bother me.
It’s no big secret that you’re currently involved with Vince McMahon’s daughter Stephanie. How’s that relationship going?
How difficult is it dating the boss’ daughter?
It was a little weird at first. But my business and my personal life are two separate things. Stephanie and I keep the two worlds separate. It’s been that way since the beginning, and we’re going to keep it that way.
Tell me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t a Pay-Per-View match between Stephanie McMahon and Chyna be a guaranteed home run?
(Laughs) I doubt that will ever happen!
Have you ever checked out www. tripleH.com?
No, I never have.
It’s a textile Web site. Do you have any interest in getting the site for yourself?
Nah, not really. We actually have our own WWF Web sites. That’s good enough for me.