Billy Gunn was on “Busted Open” this week to discuss wrestling with his sons Austin and Colton, the AEW locker room getting veteran advice, and why he feels some talent may not be getting over.
Austin Gunn has been wrestling for over five years while Colton is relatively new. Billy was asked when and why Colton wanted to finally start wrestling:
“The thing was, he saw what me and Austin were doing and it wasn’t a jealousy thing. It was ‘Hey, if I don’t at least try this and make an effort at it, I’m going to regret this for the rest of my life.’ So he didn’t tell me, he didn’t tell anybody,” Billy said.
“He was living in LA at the time. Rikishi has a school out there and he had called Rikishi and said ‘Hey, do you mind if I come by? I just want to kind of get a feel for what’s going on’, and of course Rikishi said yes, of course, come by,” Billy shared. “So he came home for two weeks.”
“Then he pulled me aside and said, ‘Dad, I didn’t want to tell you because I was just trying to do this thing on my own to see if I had a desire for it at all. I went to Rikishi’s school. He let me get in there, mess around and just kind of get a feel for what was happening. I think I want to try this.’ I said, ‘That’s fine and I’m cool with that, but make sure it’s something that you want to do, and it’s not just something that you want to do because we’re doing it because this business will eat you alive if you’re not doing it for the right reasons. Plus you won’t put 100% into it. You know me. You have to put 100% and dedicate everything to this to be good and I won’t stand for anything less. I just won’t stand for half a*s. I just can’t do that. The only thing is you got to move back to Florida because I was hands on with Austin the first couple months, and then kind of set him on his way to kind of go to different schools. I have to do the same with you. I won’t do anything different with you that I did with Austin.'”
“He said, ‘Okay’, and he packed up his bags and went to (Tyler) Breeze and Sean’s (Spears) school in Orlando.”
Bully Ray asked if the young talent in the AEW locker room take the advice from the veterans:
“I think they could do a better job of it,” Billy Gunn said.
“We have Arn, Dean, Tully, Jerry, Dustin. We have some of the greatest talented minds that are in the business, and I feel like they don’t take full advantage of it. I feel that they need to take more advantage of it.”
“Sometimes I just think that they’re in their own heads, and they, not that they know it all, but they kind of don’t want somebody to tell them to differentiate from what their game plan is. I feel that they don’t take full advantage of what they have in front of them.”
Billy was asked what is the main advice he would like to see the talent stop, listen, and learn:
“Back down on half of the stuff that they do. That for me is the biggest thing,” he answered. “There’s a time and a place to crack out all your stuff, but I feel that they’re so young, and they don’t realize that their bodies are not going to be able to take this.”
“It’s not that they’re not working hard. They feel like if they don’t get to do all their stuff, they’re not working hard, and that’s not the case. I’m not trying to diminish the YouTube show, but if I’m with an extra, and I have four minutes on our YouTube show, I don’t have to do a 450, a Spanish Fly, and everything in my arsenal every single time I’m out there.”
“I feel they don’t know how to go, ‘Okay, I want to do this and this, so let me work around to get to this so I get the most out of that move. But it’s just move after move after move after flip after dive, and they don’t structure matches. Like that would be psychological structure stuff around ‘hey, I want to do this one dive, but I’m going to do four dives before I get to that, but I want everybody to react to this one.’ Well, they’re not going to.”
“They don’t realize when you come from inside the ring to outside the ring, that’s a dive. Whether you do a crappy dive, a jump dive, or just fly out, it doesn’t matter. You’re going from inside to outside. So I wouldn’t mind seeing them back down just a little bit. Then if you’re in a main event, or you have a big spot with a signed talent, then you can do just a little bit more, but they just do everything, and their bodies just are not going to hold up.”
Billy feels this is why some talent are not getting over:
“I think one of the things is they’re not letting the people get emotionally invested in them and letting them absorb what they’re what their personalities are because they just go, go, go.”
“The hardest thing for people to teach is to, okay, don’t do anything and get the most out of it, and then sell it appropriately. It’s like they just go, go, go, and the people never have time to catch up, Gunn said.
“I think that they think just because the people are making noise that they’re over. That’s it. Did you hear the people? Yeah, they don’t know you. They’re just popping on the move stuff because they can’t do it. It’s just a reaction to something you’re doing, and it’s forgotten about the next time somebody walks out the tunnel. So I think a lot of it is not letting people into what their character or who they are, because the more they let people in to let them know who they are and get invested in them, the better off they are.”
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Busted Open Radio can be heard on SiriusXM’s Fight Nation (Channel 156), Monday through Saturday from 9 am to Noon eastern.