Paul Roma recently spoke with Wrestlezone’s Kevin Kellam ahead of his appearance at ’80s Wrestling Con next month.
Roma is one of the many names appearing at the event on Saturday, April 27th in Freehold, NJ at iPlay America. During the interview, Roma talked about the differences between today’s wrestlers and those in his heyday, facing Legion Of Doom while working hurt, choosing to leave WWE and much more.
Why he got into pro wrestling:
I got cut from pro football and someone said, “Why don’t you get into wrestling?” I was like come on, but next thing you know I was doing it.
Why so many ex-football players become wrestlers:
Vince is so diverse. He loves athletes, guys with great bodies. Then you have the other side. Guys that weren’t in as great as shape but they could get the job done and were performers. That mix was fantastic at the time.
On the difference in mentality of newer wrestlers:
Everything has changed now. Back then with the talent, you could pick anyone [from the roster] to main event and it worked for the most part. We were taught ring psychology. If you learn that and understand how that works then you were a pro. We’d meet an hour before the show, find out what is going to happen and go out there and do it. Now they practice and they can’t even get that right from what I see. If you’re practicing your match and you can’t go out there and get it right then that’s a problem. They’ve been programmed to do this and I’m not saying that all the guys [can’t improvise]. You do have some that can, but they’re handcuffed with what to say and do. It’s not cool.
His WrestleMania match versus Demolition:
When we went up against them we thought it would be a match. When we approached Vince, I came from the hospital and had learned that I could lose my arm if it was whacked hard enough. Ray had a groin injury, so we were on the shelf. Vince said, “Can you at least give me one minute? I can’t cancel your match. I have to have it.” We said yeah, so we went out there and that was it. A minute in and I took the fall. My only concern was to take that clothesline on the shoulders and not to hit my elbow.
Him choosing to leave WWE:
That conversation happened with Pat Patterson in France when Ray was going out as a single and I was going out as a single. He told me not to worry about it and that I’d be taken care of. “Alright, cool, but what about Ray?” He said, “He’ll be okay.” What do you mean he’ll be okay? You’re out there beating my big guy and basically breaking up our team. I said that I don’t need this anymore. I’m done and I had enough of this bullshit. For a lack of a better word, I left Ray in the dark. That’s how pissed I was.
When I got home, I spoke to Vince. I started telling him how guys get a hangnail and they take a week off. I almost lost my arm for you and we break our ass for you and now we got these new guys that are a bunch of candy asses. He goes, “I always took care of you,” and then we start yelling at each other. Finally I told him, “Fuck you, I’m done.”
’80S WRESTLING CON: To learn more about ’80s Wrestling Con, please visit http://80sWrestlingCon.com