Bob Holly talks Undertaker and the end of the streak



Bob Holly and Ross Williams - who, together, wrote The Hardcore Truth: The Bob Holly Story, runner up for Wrestling Book of the Year in the 2013 Wrestling Observer awards - recently caught up to discuss the current wrestling scene... some very interesting thoughts from the team that brought you Amazon.com's 9th most reviewed wrestling autobiography!

Ross Williams:  We've got to start with this - what did you make of the deal with Undertaker and Brock? Was ending the streak the right move?

Bob Holly:  I think it was the right move with the wrong guy. Brock is a part time guy who wrestles what? Three times a year? They could have used that slot to make somebody who is full time. I think people would have accepted that more and wouldn't have been in as much shock if it had been somebody else.

Ross Williams: The comment one of my friends made, which I thought was quite interesting, was that if you gave the win to a lower level person to try and make him, you run the risk of the audience completely rejecting that guy. If they put over a guy like Roman Reigns to beat the streak, you could have the crowd piss on everything he ever does, you might put a cap on his career.

Bob Holly:  I think it would have been good to have Roman Reigns go over on Taker. I think they're moulding their next big star there and it would have been perfect to have him work with Taker instead of Brock. That would have made Roman Reigns. Right into main event status. That would have made him and once he beat Taker, his next thing should have been Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan or John Cena. Go after one of those three.

.......

Ross Williams:  How would you have done the match? Would it have been a long drawn out affair or would you have had Roman dominate Taker?

Bob Holly:  No, it needs to be competitive. Long - at least 30 minutes because if Roman Reigns is going to beat Taker, it's not going to be easy. That's the way it should be - he should be fighting for his life and pulls out a win. People would have accepted that. I don't think people are accepting Brock beating Taker because of the part time thing. Hearing reactions and stuff, I don't think it's as big a deal as it could have been. If Reigns would have beat Taker, I think that would have been a bigger deal - I really do.

Ross Williams:  They got a fair amount of press out of the result. Do you think that was because it was Brock Lesnar, former UFC Champion, beating the Undertaker or would they have got the press no matter who it was who ended the streak?

Bob Holly:  I think they would have got the press no matter what.

Ross Williams:  So in that case, they could have got Roman Reigns' name in front of millions of eyes - and he's the nephew of the Rock! People will go "oh, hey, let's check this guy out!"

Bob Holly:  And it makes sense. Look at who the Rock is, and Reigns is following in his footsteps. It's a good story. The thing to do now would be to put Roman Reigns against Brock and have Roman go over on him. Hopefully he'll get a rub off that.

.......

Bob Holly: You know, just because he lost at Wrestlemania, everyone is speculating that it was his last match. Nowhere does it say that it was his last match. He never came out and said "this is it". That said, I don't think a match with the part-timer was the way to go. If Taker had been in the ring with someone else, a guy who knows how to lead a match and tell a good story, I think that would have been a better fit for Taker, whether it was his last match or not.

Ross Williams:  They had that the last few years with Shawn, Hunter and Punk.

Bob Holly:  Exactly. That's why the match wasn't as good because Brock is ok but he's not like Shawn, not like Hunter... he can't lead a match. Bottom line, they should have used a full-time worker because then they would have made a new star that night at WrestleMania.

Ross Williams:  Taker apparently got a concussion early in the match so Brock had to lead it.

Bob Holly:  If you had somebody like Hunter in there, who can take control of the ship, I think it would have been good.

Ross Williams:  Couldn't Heyman have called it from the floor?

Bob Holly:  No. Hell no - that just wouldn't work.

Ross Williams:  If Taker hadn't got the concussion, presumably the match would have been better because he would have called it?

Bob Holly:  Yeah, Taker was going to be the captain of that ship. That's the thing - if you've got two guys in there who know how to be captain, you're probably going to have a good fucking match. But if you've got one guy who is the captain and he gets hurt to where he can't think, the match is doomed. A match that carries that much credibility needs to have people in there who can lead. I think Roman Reigns would be able to lead a match, I really do. Or they could have brought Punk back and had him beat the streak. Anybody but Brock. There's no story line carrying on to Monday night Raw every week about Taker losing the streak. You can't have Brock coming out every week, bragging about beating Taker, because that would be big heat. Roman Reigns - I think he would have come out to the cheer of the crowd if he'd beat Taker. Even if he didn't and got heat, that's no bad thing if you want to get him over as a heel.

.......

Ross Williams:  Do you think the heat is transferable? To me, it seems like the law of diminishing returns... you have a guy beat the guy who beat Taker and it's like so what? Brock got beat by Hunter, he got beat by Cena...

Bob Holly:  The heat's not transferrable. They'll never capitalise on that defeat. When he comes back in a few months, then they're going to bring up the issue. And nobody is going to give a shit.

Ross Williams:  When a guy loses after a long title reign, at least the belt moves on. When you beat the streak, you can't move that on. I guess maybe Taker felt - a lot of people have suggested that it was ultimately his decision and if he wanted to lose to Brock, fair enough, who are we to argue?

Bob Holly:  Maybe Taker realised that there's no way in another year he could come back and do it. But there was no gain in how they did it. I think it was the timing of it with Taker realising "this is going to have to be it" and the match was already made with Brock. Maybe it was now or never.

.......

Ross Williams:  Well, they're bringing up a bunch of other people right now like Rusev, Bo Dallas, Adam Rose and putting the spotlight on them, so where does that leave them with guys like Dolph and Kofi Kingston, guys who are excellent wrestlers but never really got used to their full capacity?

Bob Holly:  Kind of like they did with me? They're in the same boat as I was.

Ross Williams:  I get angry for Kofi the same way I got angry for you!

Bob Holly:  Kofi is always going to be doing what he's doing now. That's never going to change now. He's too far gone in terms of that role that it'll never change. Dolph - he's borderline. He's teetering on that - he's started getting wins again here and there but he's teetering on that fine line of that role that I was in and that Kofi's in. That's the nature of the business though - they bring people in and I can't blame them for doing it, they need to know if people are going to be star material or not. They constantly have to make new stars, so I don't blame them for doing it but on the other hand, you have to sacrifice talent that has been there for a while. It's a double edged sword.

Ross Williams:  You're talking about top stars - their top stars now... much like 2004, ten years ago, Randy Orton, John Cena, Dave Batista, Rey Mysterio, the Big Show, Mark Henry, Kane... all of these guys are still there and Cena's not going away any time soon, Randy Orton's not going away any time soon - how are they going to get anybody over to that top level? Punk came in, got to the top and then decided he couldn't be bothered and left and part of it could well have been that he looked around and thought "is this still 2005?"

Bob Holly:  It's just always been like that though!

Ross Williams:  Go back and look at the 80s. Hogan left! Savage left! Warrior left! They weren't around for 10 years - with WCW, you could switch it up and move people in and out.

Bob Holly:  The thing is the reason those guys, Cena, Orton, Batista are still there is because they haven't found anybody else to replace them. Punk could have but they're looking for something specific. It all comes down to politics. Look at Dolph. There's no reason this guy should be losing like he loses.

Ross Williams:  I don't get it either, Dolph is everything they could want in a top guy.

Bob Holly:  Exactly, Dolph has the same amount of charisma as Shawn Michaels. Look at when Dolph comes out - as soon as he comes out, instant energy! He grabs everybody, right out of the gate. He grabs your attention. Nobody will ever get it - the only people who will get it are Vince and Hunter but nobody will ever know why you have a guy who looks good and is a great worker but not up there and you've got a subpar worker up there on top. I'll never understand it.

.......

Ross Williams: What did you make of the Warrior tribute?

Bob Holly:  It's great to see WWE do a tribute to Warrior but I question why they only do that for certain people? Only people who've made that company tons of money. It's like, in other words, his life is more valuable than a mid carder's life.

Ross Williams:  Many of those people on stage this Monday for Warrior - many of them probably worked with Viscera or at least met him whereas maybe what? 10% of those people on that stage ever knew Warrior?

Bob Holly:  Yeah, if that. What pisses me off is that these guys that don't get acknowledged when they pass, they sacrifice for that company, they sacrifice their body, they sacrifice their family, they sacrifice so much to work with WWE and for WWE to not acknowledge people but acknowledge Warrior, that's a travesty to me. It's wrong. They're saying Warrior is more important than Viscera. Every human life is just as important as the other. What makes Warrior's life more valuable than Viscera?

Ross Williams:  You feel it should be a rule for everybody?

Bob Holly:  Yes, for whoever worked for WWE because you do make a huge sacrifice. It should be acknowledged.

Ross Williams:  You don't have a problem with what they did for Warrior, they should just do it for everybody the same?

Bob Holly:  Exactly. And they should do that. What they did for Warrior, they should do that for everybody that worked for the company and made sacrifices.

Ross Williams: Did you ever meet Warrior?

Bob Holly: Yeah, I did. He was a very pleasant man - VERY charismatic and intense! That man could sell out an arena! I feel real bad for his family, his wife and children - it's a great shame he died so young.

.......

The full interview, including expanded commentary on the Undertaker vs Brock match, as well as comments on Daniel Bryan, Bray Wyatt and Cesaro, can be found at www.rossowenwilliams.com.

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