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PCO on Dark Side of the Ring documentary series, his WWE run, winning ROH World Title

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Recently, PCO joined Spencer Love of the Conversations With Love podcast to discuss a wide variety of topics, including his appearance in the Brawl for All, trying to get booked by Stampede Wrestling, the Dark Side of the Ring series, growing Ring of Honour as a territory, being booked for All In, and more.

The full interview can be found at the following links:

WCSN: http://wincolumnsports.ca/conversations-with-love-82-pco-interview/

Podbean: https://www.podbean.com/eu/pb-j8mqb-defeb3

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-win-column-sports-network/id1490017528#episodeGuid=backbreakermedia.podbean.com%2F8d7f2081-4713-51b7-a2db-bf945c6abceb

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_l1wCFu5H8

Staying busy during the COVID pandemic:

PCO: “I’ve been really busy. I’ve been busy on shooting videos every week for Monday Night PCO and Destro. These are very long days where (we) shoot a lot of footage. There’s the post-production, the pre-production and putting all the ideas together, getting the actors, special effects and all that, so it takes a lot of my time, but I’m trying to use the pandemic as a push, you know, for PCO, and, also, I train a lot. I’m in the gym, like, twice a day every day. Plus, I’m trying to spend more quality time than ever with my 11-year-old daughter. We do a lot of sports; play tennis, we play ball. All kinds of sports, you know?”

His current mindset on his professional wrestling career:

SL: “I know that you’re a very family-oriented guy, and one of the things when I was sort of getting organized for this, it really sort of struck a chord with me, was you did an interview recently and one of the things you mentioned was that she (your daughter) recently said to you she’s never seen you smile as much as you’ve been smiling for the last three years, man. I just think that that’s so cool to hear. Maybe take me a little bit through, just in a general sense, just the mindset of PCO over the last little bit.”

PCO: “The mindset is being the hardest worker all the time. I want to be the hardest worker in the gym, I want to be the hardest worker (with) the videos that I do on myself, trying to top myself every day in the gym. I really don’t take this pandemic lightly and as a break, especially not. I want to come back stronger than ever and I – everything I want to increase, you know, the speed, the agility, the strength, everything, you know. I’m just trying to improve every day, on every side of the deal. I mean, on the creative side, on the conditioning side, on the agility side, on every side that I can improve, I want to improve. I’m trying to use that time to improve.

SL: “You don’t get to be a monster sitting on your couch!”

PCO: “That’s it! That’s it, and when you see the result, that’s when it’s pretty crazy. When you see that, by doing sometimes some exercises that may look so insignificant, you know, like, it looks like it’s nothing. (You) sometimes do like thumb exercises, or a wrist exercise or forearm exercises and then you go and you do things and then everything changes. So the (consistency), you know, being constant, being at it every day. I think it’s better to run a mile every day than to run 10 miles once every two months, you know, so that’s, that’s the attitude I got, do it every day.”

Stampede Wrestling and the Quebec independent scene:

SL: “We started out and I started out specifically in talking about independent professional wrestling in Alberta. I started branching out a little bit, but since I’ve gotten the opportunity to speak to people from the east coast and all that sort of stuff, a lot more of them have been in independent wrestling a lot more recently than yourself. So a lot of people know about Stampede and sort of what the scene was around (Alberta) at that time. What was it like in Quebec?”

PCO: “Well, I kind of knew what was in Stampede, too, because the first territory that I flew (to) trying to book myself was Calgary. Quebec, yeah, I’ve wrestled for International Wrestling a little bit, because they, when I was 17, 16-17, they mostly used me (and) wanted to bring me for TV tapings and squash me. I don’t know; for some of the guys that were my age or around my age or were 19 or 20, (it) was their dream just to be on TV, I guess, you know, even if they were getting squashed. But, at a young age, I always had, like, the mindset that I wanted to draw money in this business. I want it to mean something. I wanted to impact this business in a crazy way, so I was afraid that if I was going to do that for too long that I was going to be labelled as a job by or as an extra. So, that’s why I wanted to get on the road and get booked and make waves. When I was going to come back here, the territory was sold, but my goal was to come back here with a name so that I could work on top with Dino Bravo, Rick Martel and the Rougeaus.”

Getting ribbed by Stampede Wrestling

SL: “Anytime I’ve heard you talk about Stampede, you’ve mentioned sometimes it maybe wasn’t the most positive experience like you said, but you’ve brought up consistently working with names like Chris Benoit and Owen Hart. Just maybe take me a little bit through what it was like to work with those guys early in their careers.”

PCO: “Well, I met them – I didn’t work with them and Stampede. Basically, what I did when I just turned 18 I told my family that I was gonna wrestle in Stampede Wrestling, but I didn’t speak English at the time so I just bought a ticket, (a) one-way ticket and I flew there. I showed up to Stu at Stampede Wrestling on a Friday night and I walked straight up to them and I asked him if I could wrestle. I said, ‘can I wrestle tonight?’ He said no, and so I didn’t have anywhere like to stay, so I went with a couple of guys, I was looking in the paper and I found a place with Salvation Army. They had a bunch of kids, and I could stay there for $35 per week. So I ended up staying there for about three months, driving every week from Calgary to Edmonton because when it was the Friday night in Calgary, and then I would ask Stu, and Stu would say ‘ask Bruce,’ because Bruce was the booker. Bruce would say, ‘no, I can’t use you tonight, but maybe tomorrow we might have a spot for you in Edmonton.’ So, I would take the Greyhound bus all the way back to Edmonton, and then I was asking Bruce, ‘do you have something for me tonight?’ He said ‘no, but I might have something next Friday in Calgary.’”

SL: “It’s not even like it’s a nice drive for you. Like you’re looking at flat land, man!”

PCO: “Oh, it was a rib on me, you know, they were ribbing me! So, after three months, you know I got – at one point, I got to try out, like in the afternoon. I got to jump in the ring with Bruce (Hart). I was really excited to be in a ring with him for about an hour, an hour-and-a-half. He shot me (into) a turnbuckle, through the ropes, and I thought I did fairly good. I thought I did awesome, and he said, ‘well, you know, you could improve if you come to the wrestling school. It’s only $3,000!’ I’d been wrestling for two years, I’d worked for International Wrestling, did jobs for them, had been in the ring before, I knew what I was doing. I was green, I was totally green. I was only eighteen, I had been working for two years on indie shows. Like, really, really indie shows…”

SL: “But, you weren’t ‘paying someone else $3,000 to train’ green.”

PCO: “No, so I said ‘not that, I don’t think my Dad would like that,’ and I didn’t have the money to do it. So I came back and eventually got booked somewhere else in the Maritimes and I made my way and but I paid my dues, man, I paid my dues.”

SL: “110% man. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that whatsoever”

Some of his favourite performers in Stampede Wrestling

PCO: “I was amazed by what Chris Benoit was doing. I was a big sign of his when I was watching the Friday night shows. Like, I got in the arena and I was watching the shows, and Chris and Owen (Hart) were probably the top two guys in my book, you know, the guys that I like watching wrestling. Brian Pillman also was pretty good. Pillman was there, I enjoyed Pillman, Benoit was probably my favourite one there, and Owen as there, too, with Chris. But, I never got the chance to wrestle them until we did some TV tapings in France for Otto Vance, and then we were in the same dressing room and around each other and in WCW. I saw Chris many times during my career.”

On the Dark Side of the Ring documentary series:

SL: “The reason I bring those guys up specifically is because synchronicity really seems to be a theme throughout your career, and you have those two guys and then you have the Brawl for All all featured in one year on Dark side of the Ring – but we don’t see any of you! Number one, how have you enjoyed the series if you’ve had a chance to watch it and B) what was your experience like in the Brawl for All since they didn’t ask you!”

PCO: “I think they showed – I watched it. I watched the show and had a lot of guys calling me like Marty Scurll said, ‘Oh, you didn’t know, I didn’t know that you were part of Brawl for All,’ and Marty texted me on that, and a bunch of other guys, and I did a few interviews as well. Yeah, my first fight was against the guy that was supposed to win the whole thing. (It) was against Dr. Death Steve Williams, and Steve Williams, I think he was a little bit worried facing me. Like, he was trying to – he’s very intimidating, he (was) trying to intimidate a lot, he was trying to intimidate a lot of youngsters and young guys. At that time, I was like, probably 29-30 though. Hawk of the Road Warriors came up to me before the fight, and he said ‘Steve’s not gonna hurt you, just like when he hits you, when he tags you, just go down. Just pick up your five grand, man, just don’t give him a fight. He’s gonna, he’s gonna kill you.’ I told Mike, Mike Extreme, I told them I said ‘Hawk, just go back to Steve and just tell them that I’m gonna give him the fight of his life,’ you know, ‘I don’t care about it, like Jesus.’ Basically, I said different words on that but I don’t know if we’re allowed to curse.”

SL: “You’re more than welcome to cuss on here, we got the explicit rating on iTunes for that!”

PCO: “Word-for-word I told him, I said ‘tell Steve to go fuck themselves, go fuck himself with the five g’s and the easy win I’m gonna kick, I’m gonna kick his butt and I’m gonna beat the shit out of him. Just tell him that.”

PCO: “It was a short notice, you know. I got worked out so bad on this, you know. Like, I had been sent at one point to Power Pro Wrestling which was like the OVW or the NXT at the time. Kurt Angle, everybody, like – when they didn’t have something for you or if they were-“

SL: “Like, developmental, quote-unquote?

PCO: “Yeah, it was. Yeah. (If they) didn’t have anything on the creative side and they wanted you to work on another character or something, they would send you there, or they would bring guys up, like Kurt Angle got brought up from there. I was there with both guys of Three Minute Warning, Rosey and Jamal, you know, and Fatu was there, that was before he did one of his gimmicks. The kids, the Usos, they used to come. They were 10 years old or 9 years old. They used to come all the time. There was a bunch of guys, the Samoan guys, you know, holding the territory.”

PCO: “So, then I had a break. I was at home and it was during summertime and I got a phone call from Bruce Prichard. He said ‘hey, Carl. Vince (has) got a great idea for you. I was like ‘What? He’s got a great idea for me? What is it?’”

PCO: “I (bit) on it. I’m like ‘yeah, what is it? I’m so excited!’ ‘Yeah, yeah,’ he says. ‘It’s gonna be a tournament and it’s gonna be 16 guys, and it’s gonna be a shoot. You’ve got to fight for real. Five points you know, if you touch with your glove, and five points for a takedown and you get five grand every match, but then the Quarter Final you make 25, semi-final 50, if you won the whole thing, you make 200 Grand 250 grand. And I’m like ‘that’s not a bad idea!”

SL: “If you make it far, it’s not a bad idea!”

PCO: “That’s a hell of a push! I truly believe that maybe if I was lucky enough, I could have, like, a lucky punch or something, because they called me on a two-week or a week-and-a-half (weeks) notice, you know? Oh, really? Short. Yeah. Yeah, I didn’t have – I didn’t have time to train for that.

SL: “Just like for reference, would any of the other guys have known earlier? Like a Doctor Death: did he know months in advance or how was that sort of planned out?”

PCO: “You would have to make some research on it, but the rumours, maybe if I knew that probably other guys know that, or guys like Bruce Prichard or Vince Russo might know that. I think they gave him enough time to train and to get ready for this because they wanted him to win this thing and to go against – that’s what Jim said, I’m not sure if that was the plan for him to go against Steve Austin – but they wanted to build Doctor Death with this, I think, even if it was created on something that Bradshaw was bragging about with Vince Russo and then decided to go with it. I think Williams is really just the guy that they thought would win it by what he had achieved, being a four-time All-American in wrestling and having played for the Oakland Raiders in the NFL a little bit and college football and being a tough guy and having like a reputation of being one of the toughest shooters in the wrestling business.”

SL: “(He) just had the resume.”

PCO: “Yeah, beating up guys. You know, I’d seen him like, bullying new guys, young kids and things like that. And, he was strong. I saw him – like he did like he was doing like, easy – I saw him press Phineas Godwinn probably 300 pounds over his head in a wrestling match. In the gym, he was super strong, too, like behind the neck, easy. 350 pounds easy. He would do like 10 reps of that. So he was a strong guy. Yeah.”

SL: “It wasn’t an undeserved reputation.”

PCO: “Yeah, well, I don’t know if he – you know, probably some guy saw him in the ring giving a lot of beatings to job guys and things like that, or guys that are popping out in the business, or guys with a reputation that (were maybe) trying to go against them or whatever. I don’t know, because I’m not from that, from Steve’s era, really. He’s older than me, and he did a lot of his things for UWF, which I did watch a little bit but no, I wasn’t a part of them. I was a kid still. So, anyway, I took the fight on a short notice, and I thought to myself, I said to myself, ‘if I, you know, by any kind of luck in any kind of good vein, I want to win this thing. It’s going to be – I want to force myself into a bush. Well, it didn’t turn out to be like that, but I did fairly good. I didn’t get knocked down. The scariest thing when you do something like that you don’t want to end up on your ass. You don’t want to end up doing the bacon dance, you know?”

SL: “I’ve never heard that before! That’s hilarious.”

PCO: “You want to keep your pride you know, you want to show that you can go to fight and have a good fight.”

SL: “Hundred percent. Well, for what it’s worth, I don’t think anybody got that major push out of the brawl for all nonetheless yourself.”

If he felt fulfilled as a WWF Tag Team Champion:

SL: “I do want to ask you one more question on the WWF specifically because I’m pretty sure you’ve talked the Quebecers to death as far as it goes, man, but one question that I sort of had a bit of an interest in – because you’ve always talked about wanting to be a World Heavyweight Champion – when you won the tag team titles, whichever time it may have been of the three, did you feel fulfilled? Or was it still ‘this is more of a stepping stone.’ I know you’ve talked about Bret Hart and sort of using him as an example as far as that goes.”

PCO: “It was a stepping stone for me. It was just the beginning of the whole thing. My plan was to, yeah, like to be like Bret a little bit, or to follow a spat, sort of. Going from the World Tag Team Champions to the Intercontinental Champion to the world title. I wouldn’t mind in order to get into the world title picture right away, which I did against Diesel a few times and things like that. My name had been put there to go against Bob Backlund, also, at the Montreal stadium against Backlund for the title (and was) supposed to win it for a short period of time. That didn’t – that plan didn’t go through. Jacques and Vince fell apart on that because Jacques wanted to go to the stadium. That was right after the Jaques Rougeau retirement match where I wrestled him.”

SL: “That was ’94 or so?”

PCO: “Yeah. We worked on top of everybody, you know. We closed the night. Montreal was sold out we were the main event, working on top of ‘Taker, Yokozuna, Razor Ramon, Double J, Shawn Michaels, Jim Neidhart, Bret Hart, Owen Hart. Everybody. The whole roster was there. It was like 10 matches, and Vince was there on hand. All the – Briscoe was there. Bruce, Prichard, Patterson, everybody was there. So we really stole the show. Then, we’re ready to go to Montreal Stadium, because we had sold out the Forum. So, we’re talking to Vince and it seems like it’s going that way and things like that, but eventually, a bunch of guys like Savage – who was doing commentary at the time – signed with WCW and as a wrestler and left Vince, and some of the guys that left I think Alundra Blayze also did the belt not too long after that, or during that time. There was a lot of transition, and Vince had called us called Jaques back and said, ‘Jaques, listen. We don’t have what it takes to go to the stadium.’ ‘What do you mean, we don’t know what it takes? I’m gonna be PCO’s manager, I’m going to be Carl’s manager, it’s (for the) world title, there’s gonna be 16,000 people there. Yeah, crazy. So it’d be like, and Vince said ‘that’s my money, and I don’t want to go there, and I don’t want to do this, and I don’t feel good about it. So Jaques said ‘alright, Vince, if you don’t go with me, well, I’ll go with Hulk to the stadium. So that was the end of the relationship of Jacques and Vince (because) they ended up on a really bad note. It was a lot of hate. Jacques wanted me to go with him to WCW at that time, and I said, ‘no, I can’t,’ because since (I was) 16 years old, I’ve been working my ass off to get here. Now that I know Vince, now that he’s calling me on my phone telling me this and that, I have a great relationship with him (and) with all the other executives. The time that it took, it took me like two years before you know to be comfortable, you know? So, now I’m gonna have to go there with you in Atlanta and reconstruct all of this. I said no, and then it was a big argument with Vince and Jacques and he says ‘you can’t go with Carl, because I own Carl Ouellet, so you won’t be able to go with them,’ and Jaques was trying to talk to me into like, ‘Vince is using you like us merchandise,’ but to me, it was flattering, though. To say I own (Carl), it was like he wanted me to be on his side.”

PCO: “I had a hell of a run as Jean Pierre Lafitte. I was undefeated for eight months, and then I had been put in the picture, at least title matches with Diesel, until like, you know, all my kind of problems that I have had with the Kliq came around. And I think you know, Brawl for All was after that and I think that they wanted to-“

SL: ”They wanted you in there for a reason almost.”

PCO: ”’You know, he played such you know, a big deal against Diesel.’”

SL: ”Hell of a shitty rib.”

How his career would have changed had he won the WWF Title

SL: “How do you think your career would have changed had you won the championship?”

PCO: “I think it would have been great. I think I would have shown that I can – I already had shown that I could be a main event, you know, when I did the match against Jacques, and I think they had big plans for Diesel. Diesel will tell you himself like he’s not the greatest worker, but he’s got other attributes that make him the guy that he was.”

SL: ”He’s a star for a reason.”

PCO: “Yeah, exactly, and I think Vince saw a lot of potential in himself, in Kevin, and with a reason because he became quite big eventually, but at the time when he was Big Daddy Diesel, Big Daddy Cool, he wasn’t getting over that much at first, you know, he did get over with nWo, the Outsiders, all that really got over super big. But, the first run with the title was not that great, and I feel that I deserved a chance. But, on my side, it was just I was really young, like it was like 26, 27. It’s quite young to be in a big organization like that and to deal with things where you’ve never dealt (with) at such a high level. It’s just, you know, coming from Puerto Rico where I was wrestling Carlos Colon in front of 250 people and wrestling in Germany in front of 3-4,000 people where it didn’t really matter who was that over or not because we’re probably all on the same payoff almost. When you’re in (a) big league like WWF, you know it’s all there, you’re on top, the merch goes up-“

SL: “Everything’s scrutinized.”

PCO: “Yeah. The money is different if you’re main-event, because I had paychecks as a main event and I had paychecks when I was opening cards at one point in between characters because at the end of the run when Jacques retired, I stayed for a little while and I was helping guys starting up like Bob Holly. Guys that would start and I would put them over because they would be like a half of a tag team, you know, on opening matches.”

SL: ”Trying to break out on their own, or?”

PCO: ”On the house shows, only. They wouldn’t job me out on TV, but on the house shows.”

SL: ”Oh, okay”

PCO: ”They would do it on house shows to help those guys get over as beginners in the company, and I did. I did everything they asked me to do, and that’s why, probably, that they pushed me really hard when I was undefeated. Me and Triple H were both undefeated for eight months and we’re travelling together and we’re betting for fun who’s gonna lay down first, you know? It was me and Bret in a match one night and Paul looked at me and says ‘I guess you’re the first one that the streak will end, because you’ve got Bret tonight, so you’re gonna be put in the Sharpshooter or something.’ We were having fun about it and I didn’t really care.”

Winning the ROH Heavyweight Championship

SL: “That’s a good point to be a man. It’s a great point to be at. I want to touch back on that championship because obviously, man, being the Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Champion is a huge, huge honour. When you held the championship, did losing out on that experience or missing out however you want to phrase it, how much does that make it mean more when you finally do win the title?”

PCO: ”Yeah, it means so much more, because you feel that you earned it, you know, it’s not something that was handed to you. You really never stopped believing, you’re really – you’re achieving yourself, you know, you’re realizing a goal that a lot of wrestlers will never have the chance to achieve. It’s just, it’s just amazing. It’s such a great, awesome feeling., and, you know, there’s still work. I’m still learning, (I’m) still learning a lot of things as I go on the journey. I don’t think we ever stop learning, but I learned a lot, you know, during that experience.”

SL: ”And you didn’t even have to pay $3,000 for it.”

PCO: ”No, but all those experiences though, like, when you when the title, all those moments (flash) in your mind, you know. You have all – all this is like in a minute and 30 seconds. You see all your career unfold in front of you, and all the way up to this. You see all the setbacks, all the obstacles, all the naysayers, the non-believers, the people who trash you or didn’t believe in you. You go through all that, and then, when you get it, it’s like, wow. It’s the best feeling in the world.”

If he feels he’s accomplished his goal of growing ROH as a promotion:

SL: ”It’s cool to hear that. The first interview that I ever heard when you became this absolute freak of nature, man, you started talking about what your goals were with Ring of Honor. It was right after you’d signed, and you said you wanted to be with them and grow a territory and grow both as a professional wrestler and as a promotion. Do you feel you’ve accomplished that?”

PCO: ”Yeah, I think the pandemic kinda stopped the process a little bit, but I think – I did some major, major like podcasts, talk shows, major talk shows with over 1.5 million viewers. I was invited – I was the last guests of the night. I was like the main event of the show. I think I did put Ring of Honor’s name on every lips. Everybody that was watching and everybody was waiting for a big Championship match at the Bell Center (in) Montreal, and I had all the journalists and newspaper guys and columnists waiting for it, and everybody, they were saying all the same things, you know, ‘(if) you defend the title in Montreal, we’re selling out the Bell Center. So that would have been like an All In for Ring of Honor, Part Two. It would have been insane.”






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