D-Lo Brown interview talks TNA, Rockstar Spud, UK business and WWE days



Total Wrestling Show

TWS Total Talk – D’Lo Brown
TWS (Andy): Welcome back everyone to the UK’s number one pro wrestling radio show, Andy here.
Joining me on the line is a gentleman who is going to give me all of the low-down on everything to do with TNA, Lockdown, UK wrestling and his career. He is a former WWE superstar, current TNA superstar and backstage agent, a true legend in this business, please welcome D’Lo Brown.
D’Lo, welcome to TWS, how are you doing?

D’Lo Brown: Thank you so much, I didn’t deserve that great introduction, so I appreciate it, thank you so much.

TWS: My pleasure, well you are a legend, you’ve done a lot in the wrestling industry.
You have covered a lot in your time in the WWE, a European Champion to be proud of, and of course who can forget; the inventor of that great fashion accessory – The Chest Protector?

D’Lo:  (Laughs) you know I did change fashions with that thing right there for a couple years, everybody wanted to sport their own chest protector, but yeah that was good little time there.

TWS: My one question to you is, as a long term wrestling fan, you were making a comeback in TNA with Aces & 8’s before Bully excommunicated you from the group can we expect to see them at Eurostore.com, the new chest protectors for 2013?
D’Lo: You know the beautiful thing about wrestling is you never say “never”. So you don’t know what will come round the corner, I may have to bring it back out, but let’s just keep that between you and me bro.

TWS: Not a problem, us and the thousands of people who are listening to this podcast, they didn’t hear a thing there, don’t worry.

D’Lo:  (Laughs) No it’s a secret, our secret.

TWS: (laughs) OK not a problem.
Right let’s talk very quickly about Lockdown, of course we just mentioned there that you came out of retirement I suppose technically  for a very brief run as the V.P of Aces & 8’s. You interfered in the match with Kurt Angle at the PPV, what was it like going back out on that main stage on PPV and being in such a prominent storyline role?
D’Lo: It was actually great just to be back in the moment again feeling the energy of the people.
I mean you can’t truly understand what the people bring and that energy unless you are out there receiving it , so watching it on TV is one thing, but to be in the middle of it, made me totally remember why I love this business in the first place, and reignite that fire and passion in me again.

TWS: One of the questions a lot of our listeners were asking, and I know the team here were also, why did you take so long to get back into active storylines again, why the self-imposed retirement?

D’Lo: When I retired I was going to be one of those guys that you know, I’m going to retire that was going to be it.  Then I was very content with my role backstage doing my agenting (sic) thing and I was asked several times earlier before Aces & 8’s to do something to get involved and I’d always turn it down.
This time it seemed right, felt right and I just went with it.
TWS: So is this the end of D’Lo Brown on TV now, now that the character is gone from Aces & 8’s, are you done or are we going to see you back trying to get some sort of revenge on Bully Ray and the group?

D’Lo: Once again you never say “never”, you just gotta keep watching.

TWS: (Laughs) there is a hook, Challenge TV, every Sunday at 9PM you can catch all the latest TNA Impact Wrestling, TNA Lockdown 2013 is also available now, from ClearVision.co.uk at £10.99, go grab it’s a fantastic PPV. One of the things about TNA over the last 12-18 months D’Lo, Is that the quality of the product has improved tenfold, I mean it’s absolutely on fire at the moment in terms of PPV concepts, Impact programming.

D’Lo: We are really taking great pride in putting our show out there and we are putting a lot of effort into making sure the storylines are consistent, they make sense, they’re compelling and they are going to draw you in. So we are really looking to that and I can tell you, some of the best shows we’ve had have been over the last 12-18 months. Some of the best TV we have seen is really good for us and I’m so excited to be part of it now.

TWS: What do you think has been accustomed (sic) to that, why all of a sudden did you flip a switch, and all of a sudden TNA was on fire, what lead to that moment?

D’Lo: I just think it was trial and error trying to look for that thing that the people were going to hook onto, and I think we finally found something that’s piquing their curiosity and that’s what keeps bringing them back.
So it’s about finely tuning and staying in that sweet spot to keep going.

TWS: I mean one of the big things this year has been the cut-down on the number of PPVs from 13 to 4. Backstage when Dixie (Carter) made that announcement, we obviously know you’re an agent backstage for the company, what was the general reaction. Was it very positive, did people think this was going to be good for business, bad for business, and what’s your take on it? 

D’Lo: I thought it was great move, I thought that PPVs particularly one a month, fully never give you enough to chance to build a story. So you’re hot-shotting (sic) angles in 3 weeks just to get it in there, whereas now you can let it go and build, let people really sink their teeth into what they are watching.
So there is a really big payoff at the PPV, as opposed to every 3 weeks let’s do something, get a great review, the next week let’s start something new. It became too quick a turnaround, I thought it was a brilliant idea to back it off to the big 4 PPVs and allow everything to grow.

TWS: I suppose the flip-side of that as well is taking Impact on the road, from a fan perspective I’ve been watching wrestling since 1987 so it’s a long time. Seeing Impact going out now from the Impact Zone and going to the different cities, seeing the freshness of the product, it really seems to have rejuvenated all of the talent backstage to going out there and putting on PPV quality matches, I mean it’s brilliant to see.

D’Lo: I love the Impact Zone and it was really good to us, but the minute we stepped out and took Impact on the road it was just like flipping a light switch you know and the electricity just flowed.
There’s this great relationship between crowd interaction and talent, we feed off that and they feed off us and it makes for great TV.
I’ll go back and watch the show and I’ll go “wow, that looks so incredible and feels so great!” so that step out was a big risk, but I think it was the next evolution for us.
Stepping out and taking Impact on the road, is just going to pay dividends down the road for a long, long time to come.
TWS: When you talk about Impact going on the road, one market which has always been a leader for TNA and for you as well is right here in the UK.
What’s it like “coming home” or coming back to your adopted home really, the United Kingdom and performing in front of UK fans?

D’Lo: The UK fans they’re always special, they always give every ounce of energy. I’ve never been to a UK show where the crowd is quiet.
When you’re putting on a good show and giving them something good to watch they are just as much a part of the action as the talent is and when I get a chance to come back and perform, anywhere in the UK doing anything it just feels so good.
I mean they just treat us with love, respect and caring here.
You can ask to a man, a woman on the TNA roster some of the favourite places they like to be and they’ll always say Manchester, London, and Dublin etc., they just like being over here and it’s really the fan base that shows so much love to us.

TWS: I’ve met you a couple of times backstage at the TNA tours over here in the UK.
A few years ago you were in my hometown of Bournemouth, at the International Centre, and I was backstage met a few of the guys, bumped into you and the amount of passion that they had for the UK fans was unbelievable.
It kind of made you feel good to be a wrestling fan at that point you know when they come out and the crowd is chanting, at Wembley arena I don’t think it can be rivalled, the crowd reaction is amazing.

D’Lo: Wembley is one of the greatest places I’ve ever performed in, and I’ll tell you it’s like a unique symbiotic relationship between talent and fans, we gain energy out of how well they put out and in turn they’re gaining energy on how well we’re putting out. So when those two things come together like that it’s just electric, and it’s hard to explain till you’ve been a part of it.
That’s why the UK fans are so endeared a lot to the hearts of the TNA talent.

TWS: So it’s fair to say you are looking forward to January 2014, coming back to this side of the Atlantic?

D’Lo: Just always looking forward to it because it always so much fun.

TWS: Brilliant that’s what we love to hear.
One of the things I wanted to touch on with you D’Lo is your run as a talent agent.
It’s fair to say that you’ve kind of nurtured some of the biggest names in the TNA locker room and some of our home grown talent as well, Magnus and the Rockstar Spud.
What does it take for you to recognise a talent and say “You’re going to be the next big thing in this business”?

D’Lo: You can never really tell them they are going to be the next big thing, you can just point to them and say “you’ve got the tools, you’ve got the potential to be something and then you put it out there and hope that the fans take to you”.
Let’s take a guy like Magnus, who has a great look, great exposure over here (UK), he’s from here, he just needed a little time to mould himself to become something better. The same thing with Rockstar Spud, I think that kid is phenomenal, he reminds me of Ricky Morton, if anybody over here knows who Ricky Morton is, and Spud reminds me of a young Ricky Morton.
So as a talent scout you’re looking for people who have the ability, the potential to learn this business, to connect with the people and then try to tie it all together and go out there and be something special.
Luckily we have a whole roster full of people who can do that, so it makes my job really easy.

TWS: When you do a Gut Check, obviously Gut Check is a TNA initiative and I think it’s a great concept, what do you guys look for backstage, and what sort of advice do you give the workers before they go through that curtain?

D’Lo: it’s a combination of things, I meet up with the guys or girls who do Gut Check about a half hour before we go in the ring and roll around, because I’m actually observing what their locker room etiquette is like.
I’m observing how they handle themselves and the test begins then.
Then we go in the ring and I test their fundamentals and their basic understanding of wrestling.
You’re looking for a person who can potentially do something big in the wrestling business, help our company out and to mix in our locker room in a seamless way.
Those are all the things you are looking for, and you may only get a 5 second glimpse at it and know if that person has or doesn’t have it.
So it’s a difficult job, but one I enjoy, I love doing it.
You guys I think saw a little bit of that, we did a little bit of a special on our last UK tour, me doing a Gut Check. I love it, I have so much passion for it, I believe in it and I take it as serious as a heart attack because it’s the longevity of this business, you’re trying to find that next group.
So If I don’t take it seriously, they’ll find somebody who will.
I love my job and have a tremendous passion for it.

TWS: You were talking there about the Gut Check in Wembley, a friend of the show, Alpha Female took part in that Gut Check.
Myself, and the TWS team were speaking to her a few days later and she was nothing but full of praise for how you guys worked and what you did to try to elevate her performances and the guys that were there.
 If you had to look at someone, we took the name of Alpha Female, would you say she is going to make it in the big time over in TNA, do you think she is going to get called up?

D’Lo: She has a lot of potential, because if you look she has got a very unique look, she’s bigger, she’s stronger, and athletically she’s doing things that some of the guys couldn’t do.
At the time I told her, and I was honest with her, I said you need to get a little more in-ring time away from her, go travel and then she was on a tour of Japan. So she took it serious, you can see she is taking the initiative and trying to expand her horizons, her work and get as much exposure as possible, I have high hopes for her, really high hopes.

TWS: That’s fantastic to hear, now before we start rapping this up, we haven’t touched on any of your career we just haven’t got enough time to really delve into it. If you had to pick a highlight of your career in the industry what would it be?

D’Lo: I was just watching this the other day, and he and I were at another convention talking about it, but I believe the series of matches that X-Pac and I had for the European title catapulted both of us into another level. It helped us create a title that people really didn’t care about at one point and made it really relevant and important. So any of those matches I had with X-Pac, any matches I had with Val Venis, those to me were career highlights, and I’m very proud of them.

TWS: Some great matches and a great era, the Attitude Era which seems to be getting so much of a resurgence in terms of fans popularity over the last 18 months. It’s quite scary everywhere you look these days it’s “Attitude Era”, there’s something about it.
D’Lo it’s been a pleasure for me to sit down and speak to you for the short amount of time we’ve had but, any last words for your fans over here in the UK and Europe?

D’Lo: Well guys, just to let you know I love all you guys over here, I appreciate it.
If you guys give me a hit on Twitter @dlobrown75, I’m out there, I’m interactive, I talk.
I think most of my fans are actually from the UK.
Then over the next couple days I’m going to be down at the London Comic-Con at Earls Court, come on down and say hi and you know just recognise, that’s all I got to say.

TWS: Recognise with D’Lo, there you go fantastic.
Well thank you for joining us so far tonight and ladies and gentleman that was the Low-Down with D’Lo Brown and you can’t really get much better than that,
So for me, I’m Andy Evans, for D’Lo Brown, for TNA Lockdown available now on DVD from ClearVision.co.uk and TNA Maximum Impact Tour 2014, we’ll see you at the matches.

{Fades out with “The Real Deal” by Jim Johnston D’Lo’s WWF/E ring music}

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