• 06/07/2019 (8:47:56 am)
  • Bob Mulrenin

Recap of Gary Michael Cappetta on In Your Head Wrestling Radio, 05/21/2019

by Vic Schiavone

Hosts Jack E. Jones and One Inch Biceps welcomed legendary pro wrestling ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta to IYH Wrestling Radio for a return appearance.  Gary shared his opinions on the past and present state of pro wrestling and discussed his upcoming induction into the 2019 Class of the New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame this June.

Highlights included the following:

Do you feel that there are certain foundations in wrestling that are always there and do you feel that some of those things are either forgotten or just not utilized?

“Yeah, (there are) some things that people just take for granted but they were constructed in the day for reasons.  I’ll give you a couple of examples.  Tag ropes.  You have a tag team match; a tag team rope.  There was a reason for there being a tag team rope, and there’s a reason for a legal tag being hands slapped.  Not slapping your back, not slapping your toe from the other side of the ring; there’s a reason for it.  And the reason is to make it a little bit more difficult to create drama.  Not just when you choose to create drama, but all the time…Half the time the referees and the commentators don’t know the rules, because the rules aren’t recognized.  They’re ignored.  I watched a Ring of Honor pay-per-view, and I hate to use Ring of Honor as an example because I really like the promotion.  It was the pay-per-view before the Madison Square Garden show, and their main event went to the time limit draw and it was a one-hour draw.  The ring announcer never announced it as a one-hour time limit; the commentators throughout the entire hour never mentioned that there was any time limit on this match.  And then all of a sudden, the bell rings and the match is over.  And they all look at each other like why.  Do you realize what an opportunity that they missed to create drama in the last fifteen minutes of that match?  And it wound up looking like a cluster at the end, because that’s pretty much what it was.  Now you can say, well Gary, if they announced that as a time limit that gives it away; that it’s going the full length.  And my answer to that is, every match should be announced with a time limit.  Sometimes if it’s a twenty-minute time limit match, sometimes it goes to the nineteen-minute mark and there’s a pinfall.  Sometimes it goes the full…keep people guessing, keep people in suspense.  There was a reason for tag ropes; there was a reason for time limits.  I totally endorse the sport evolving in certain ways, but when you take certain basics and you only use them when they’re convenient to you or forget them altogether, then you’re undermining their effectiveness.”

Do you have any thoughts on what AEW will be like or what you see it doing?

“I hope that they have adults in the room who can…Jim Ross is there, so hopefully he’ll be an advisor that they will listen to when certain things go over the top.  Once again, I’d have to know what their goals are.  Do they want to be a credible product in the sense of wanting people to be into the competitiveness of what’s going on or do they want to be a comedy group?  Do they want to be both?  That really is a pretty difficult thing to accomplish unless your comedy is in your opening match or so.  With the people that are their stars I see a combination of those elements.  Yeah, I guess just so they have a senior advisor that tries to keep some of these basics that are important in place and they listen to him and there aren’t egos that are out of line.  This is interesting in that Tony Khan, I guess he’s the ultimate yea or nay guy.  The question is going to be and it has always been in these kinds of groups:  political factions – will there be?  If I want something to happen in the promotion and I’m one of the executive producers am I going to try to build a constituency and try to wrangle this guy and that guy to agree with me?  Let’s see what happens, and how the guy runs his organization.  If he knows how to run an organization then he won’t let that happen; he’ll see through it.  Yeah, there are too many questions that are yet to be answered.”

“I hope it does well, but I’m not mislead by there being two successful nights of wrestling that automatically tell me that this promotion is going to go to the moon, because it’s a very small niche audience that gathered the first time in Chicago and this time it’s going to be Las Vegas.  They’re going to need a much greater appeal in order to get up and running and stay running.  That’s where it becomes difficult.”

His thoughts on modern wrestlers undermining what they’re doing on TV:

“They do so many things today that take people “out of it” …It amazes me that people could ever get into it.  And not just on the shows and not just on their YouTube videos, but also individually wrestlers on their social media.  I don’t want to see, and maybe this is just way too old school, I don’t want to see Braun Strowman at home with his baby daughter (I don’t even know if he has a baby daughter, I’m just spouting here) playing and using baby words with a baby, being like a nice daddy; I don’t want to see it.  I just think it undermines what he’s trying to do on TV.  Well Gary, get over it, because it’s more like it’s sports entertainment and it’s more like a movie, and that’s the role he plays.  All right, then don’t expect me to get so easily invested emotionally; I just can’t turn it on and off that way.” 

“It’s the performers, and not just wrestlers, that maintain some kind of distance that stick with people.  Someone like an Andy Kaufman, who other comedians didn’t know where he was coming from; he would swerve everybody.  That kind of performer sticks with you more, it’s more effective, and I think if I was a performer, I don’t think I would do anything to undermine (my) success.  For instance:  Brock Lesnar.  People believe everything they say about Brock Lesnar.  And even if that means it makes them hate him more, that’s what his role is.  He’s fine with that; that he wasn’t around a lot as a champion.  And his attitude is screw you, I’m getting paid what I want to get paid and I’ll be here when I want to be here.  He’s not trying to please everybody…It’s not even a character; it’s him.  That’s what I want to believe.” 

Other topics discussed included:

·        Were his parents supportive of him pursuing a career in wrestling?

·        Would he ever work again for a wrestling company, and if so, would he be interested in booking or producing?

·        Did he have more fun in the 80’s or in the 90’s in wrestling?

Gary will be appearing at New England Fan Fest 7 on Friday and Saturday, June 7th and 8th, 2019, at the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel in Warwick, Rhode Island.  For additional information, go to .

This interview is available for listening at    


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