Former WWE star spoke with Chris Van Vliet about his recent weight loss, his WWE run, Team Angle, Jackie Gayda, and more.
Hass talking about returning to wrestling:
“I was done and Robert Langdon brought me back in. They were honoring me to go into the Texoma Hall of Fame. They just wanted me to come out and take a look at the new talent. I didn’t really know what was going on. So they brought me into the ring and presented me with the Hall of Fame ring, which I didn’t even know about. While I was there, James Beard said to me, ‘Hey, why don’t you get back into wrestling?’ I was like, ‘I am in no shape to do this’, but my kids were like, ‘Come on dad.’ They hadn’t seen me wrestle for a good two or three years, so I didn’t even know where I would be at. We started throwing around at Texoma Pro, and I told James that my look wasn’t great, but my cardio was fine for SWE. We went out to SWE and I tried the first match. Kevin Sullivan and Teddy Long were there, and they said I had this different gear that they hadn’t seen there before. I am a heel now, and my style is a little bit different. I’m not worried about the moves. I concentrate on the work between the moves. I’m bringing it up to a higher level and it’s intense. It’s something that people haven’t seen in years. I have a new look, a new attitude, and I’m healthy.”
On losing his younger brother, Russ Haas:
“It destroyed me. It was like the divorce from Jackie, they are your best friends. You grew up with them. He’s your little brother, then you find him dead and it’s like, man, is this really happening? It was tough, it really was. But then you have to call your mom and dad and tell them that you found your brother dead. That’s not good. I didn’t think I was going to be able to get out of that. I didn’t know how to survive that, and I didn’t know what WWE would do. They signed the Haas brothers, not Charlie Haas. But thank God that Jim Ross saw that we could still do this with Charlie and Shelton (Benjamin). Arn Anderson said, ‘Let me take Charlie and Shelton and let me see what I can do with them.’ We basically just traveled with Arn. He put us in the ring prior to the house show matches and in the dark matches, and he taught us everything he knew. His heart was into it as much as ours was, and that was when I knew that someone really cared. He really put everything into us. Shelton was a guy who I found as a partner just like my brother, he is my brother, and it worked. Shelton had the same goal as I did, and I’m just very lucky.”
Haas talking about Team Angle splitting up:
“It should have been longer. What people don’t understand is at the time that we were getting hot on Team Angle, who was getting hot on RAW, and that was Evolution. But when they have four guys and you have three, when they do the mixed PPVs, we are starting to get a better reaction than them. I don’t care what they say, you can ask Kurt that. Shelton may not say because he’s with WWE now, but we were getting a better reaction than they were. I think that had a lot to do with, ok, it’s time to split them, because they kept Evolution going. That’s just the way it is.”
Haas said he had a hard time finding his character as a single after the split:
“I’ll be honest with you man, I was lost. I was always a tag team wrestler. I was never a singles wrestler. Then all of a sudden, who is Charlie Haas? I had a really great match with RVD and a great match with Rico. They put me with Rico and we won the tag titles there. That was rough because I loved the character and I loved working with Rico, but other tag teams refused to work with us because they didn’t want to be in the ring with Rico because of the character. It hurt him a lot and I knew he was upset about that. Some of them took it out on him in the ring physically when they had to. It was uncalled for with some of the stuff that he went through. I think today he is suffering through concussions and all that stuff. He is having some mental issues right now. But we had a great tag team. We won the tag team titles. That was really cool.”
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If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Also, be sure to subscribe to “Insight with Chris Van Vliet” on your mobile device by clicking here if you have an iOS device or here on your Android device.