| About • Ken-Kennedy.com Exclusive Interview ||
Date - 13th August 06
Hey Ken, first of all its a pleasure to be able to interview you here at Ken-Kennedy.com
First off, how are you feeling? did you have thoes stitches removed yet?
I feel fine. I'm very sore from this past weekend of being on the road. I had three matches with Batista on the house shows, and a match vs. Rey Mysterio for the Smackdown taping. I just had the stitches removed on Monday, but Doc ended up gluing one of them to make sure it still stayed shut.
So, lets start from the beginning. How did you get your start in wrestling and when was your first match?
I started training with Mike "Mercury, Ice-Cream Man" Krause and "Straight Edge" Eric Hammers in Green Bay in an old abandoned Prange Way building that held flea markets every Saturday. We got a back corner of the building with very poor lighting. I trained with them for about 8 months before I had my first match which was in September of 99 at "The Watering Hole" in Howard WI. I wrestled Derek St. Holmes, Esquire. At the end of the match, Dino Bambino came out and distracted the ref and Derek hit me over the head with his "Tome of Knowledge" to pick up the W.
During your time on the Indy circut, you made a few appearances in TNA wrestling
once teaming with Spider Nate Webb and another time teaming with Daivari, what was it like working in TNA? Do you or any of the other WWE superstars look at TNA as competition for the WWE and what do you think of their product?
Actually, I worked there several times. I worked Big Bully Douglas my first time, then I tagged with Magnus Maximus against two local Nashville guys, I tagged with Nate, Daivari, and I think that there may have been another time or two. Every time I went there, I always heard good things. Jerry Jarret actually left the monitor the first time I was there to find out who trained me and where I was from. Jeff Jarret approached me in a bar once and gave me all his contact info and told me to call him the following week and that he had a job for me and an idea for a character. Long story short, I called and left messages for about a month before I gave up on that. Then I would see these guys on the show who were just doing flips and flops, and would just scratch my head. They have a lot of great talent there, and I actually keep in contact with some of the guys from time to time. I watch the show every week.
Everyone says that TNA is trying to appeal to a different type of crowd. Well first of all, you can't reinvent the wheel. Yeah there may be a few fans out there who just want to see preplanned, choreographed, acrobatics, but it's a small niche audience. The majority of people who turn on their tv want to be entertained. They want to go through the emotional rollercoaster ride. I've noticed that they've really started turning up their "entertainment value" with funny vignettes and backstage segments, which is exactly what they said they wouldn't do when they started. But as you'll notice with the growing popularity of UFC, that even they've caught on to it. The reason amatuer wrestling isn't on TV, is because unless you understand what goes on on the mat, unless you understand the chess game that is taking place, you won't find it interesting at all. It's boring. Same thing with UFC with the exception of the few times when there's just a straight ass kicking with tons of punches and kicks thrown and landed. So they've taken half of their hour time slot and devoted it to the "behind-the-scenes" type stuff that gets you emotionally involved in the fight.
From 2001-2004 you also made several appearances on Sunday Night Heat and Jakked. Then in 2005 World Wrestling Entertainment signed you to a developmental deal. Why did it take them 4 years to realize the talent of Mr. Kennedy?
I just don't think that I was ever in a position to show them what I had to offer. Possibly, I wasn't ready. Every time I went in there, I did what I was told, but never did anything to make them say, "WOW! Sign this guy."
Then in 2004, I had an oppurtunity to work with Daivari (who was already signed, and who I had worked with a countless number of times on the indies) in a match in front of the agents. Arn Anderson took notice, and vowed that he would help me get a job, because he felt that I had a lot to offer the company. About a week later, I was working out in the ring and Paul Heyman and Jim Ross happened to be watching and pulled me to the side. They asked where I had trained, etc. Paul also told me at that time that he felt i had something that the company could use.
A few months later after keeping in close contact with Tommy Dreamer (Who I thought hated me, but that's another story...) I was signed.
When you were signed to a developmental deal you worked in OVW with Daniel Puder and later The Blonde Bombers(AKA The Dicks and Jillian Hall), what was it like working with them?
At that point, I was just frothing at the mouth for any oppurtunity. When Cornette put me with the Bombers and gave me the oppurtunity to speak, I knew I had to knock one out of the park. I stepped up and delivered and it was then I think that everyone else started seeing that i wasn't just some big dumb blonde haired guy with a tattoo.
You also got involved in the Matt Cappotelli Vs. Johnny Jeter feud, in one hilarious and memorable moment
you said "Mr. Kennedy" jumped into a car and speed off, the car rolled back into the parking area almost a minute later and you stuck your head out the window and screamed "Kennedy". What was it like being involved with Matt Cappotelli and Johnny Jeter's feud when Paul Heyman was doing very creative things in OVW and where did the car idea come from?
That stuff was great and so much fun. That stuff was Paul's idea. The cool thing about working with him though, is that everyone has a say in the final product. If someone has an idea to make it more entertaining or memorable, he's all ears. It was Maria who actually came up with the idea of the car backing up for me to hit the second KENNEDY!
By the way this particular shot wrapped up at about 2am. After that, I had to go to my apartment, pack my things, and start a drive from Louisville to Minnesota which would end up taking about 24 hours. This was a ride from HELL!!!! Yet another story.....
Do you still keep in touch with any of the guys you worked with in OVW, do you think any of them should or will be called up anytime soon?
Yes I do. I think that everyone there posesses something that could be utilized on WWE tv or they wouldn't be there. I would especially like to see Jimmy Snuka Jr. brought up, and obviously if Matt Capotelli can get healthy, he would be an amazing addition to our roster.
Most wrestlers dream of working for World Wrestling Entertainment, when you finally got the chance to be called up to TV what was it like your first night on the WWE roster? How did the fan's react to you? and What was it like during that first meeting with WWE officials?
I actually was called up from OVW just to be looked at. When I got there, they had scheduled me to have a match with a local. Then Steve Lombardi asked me to do a pretape and explain why I felt that I was the next big thing in the WWE. He gave me about 2 minutes to come up with something to say, so I pretty much winged it and said "here goes." After I was done, he just said "You've got it, and you're ready, and I'm going to tell Vince the same thing." Later on that day, my match was switched to be a dark match with Funaki. About 10 minutes before the match, Dave Lagana (head writer of SD) came up to me and said that the match was going to be switched to Velocity, and he extended his hand and said "Welcome aboard." I was floored. After the match, I came through the curtain and Vince McMahon smiled and gave me the big thumbs up. That ranks right up there in the "greatest points in my life" category.
When you first made your big debut in the WWE on Velocity you used the name Ken "Mr. Anderson ... Anderson" Anderson, why and who was it that decided to make the change from your real name to Ken Kennedy?
The week after I debuted, we were in Toronto, and Johnny Ace said that Vince wanted to meet with me and, among other things, discuss a possible name change. When I met with Vince and crew, he told me that he felt that I would be compared to or with the great Anderson's of wrestlings past (Arn, Ole, Gene) and that he wanted me to be my own seperate entity with no ties to anyone else. So it was actually Paul Heyman who suggested Kennedy, and after about an hour and a half of deliberation and other suggestions (some of which were just absolutely ridiculous...) we settled on Kennedy.
Not long after your debut you started picking up a lot of steam and wrestled in a lot of Smackdown main events and against the top tier of Smackdown talent including Eddie Guerrero, Batista, Chris Benoit and even tag teaming with Randy Orton, what was it like making such a huge impact so quickly?
It was great, and a huge honor, but I honestly felt that I was ready to start making an impact and be a mojor player. I never had any doubts.
In the midst of your quick rise to the top of Smackdown you suffered and injury, Your injury didn't keep you off TV entirly because you returned as a Representative of "The Network" and had
several backstage skits with Paul Burchill, what was that like for you?
It was okay. A little frustrating just because when you're in that state, you never know what the future holds. Also I had noticeably lost a lot of weight. About 35 pounds to be exact. After my lat surgery, I contracted a bacterial infection in my blood that landed me in the hospital for 5 days amd caused me to not be able to eat. 35 pounds literally melted right off of my body within 2 days. I almost died from it.
Before your return to WWE TV, you made some appearances in OVW and wrestled CM Punk for the OVW Championship in your first match back. What was it like wrestling your first match after the injury and did you feel there was any ring rust?
It was actually my first time working with CM Punk, which was something that I had always wanted to accomplish on the indies and never got the chance to do. We clicked in the ring the very first time we worked together and we were both very happy with the match. The thing that that I noticed in the ring the most was that I didn't have the wind that I had before.
Injury sometimes can come as oppurtunity for someone else, you were starting a feud with Matt Hardy when Mark Henry was injured. Batista was left without anyone to wrestle at Great American Bash. You stepped up and took on Batista and won the match, Did you look at this chance as your step right back to the level you were at before you had to take time off because of your injury?
I think that every night that I go out there and wrestle, be it with a local guy or The World Heavyweight Champion is an oppurtunity. Had I continued to work with Matt, I think it would have been great, as I think that working with Batista has also been great. I never looked at Mark Henry's injury as a stepping stone for me. Mark Henry's injury sucks, I think that it sucks for business, and I think that he was having his best run ever in the company.
what is/who is:
-your favorite match? Austin vs. Michaels at WM 14. Cemented my love for the business.
-your favorite moment? The night that Austin held Vince hostage on RAW.
-your favorite opponent? Matt Hardy/ Rey Mysterio, hard to determine between the two. Daivari was the best opponent that I worked on the indies. Most people don't realize how good he is as a wrestler.
What do you want to accomplish in wrestling?
In the WWE there are a lot of rib's and jokes played on fellow WWE superstars, have you ever had anyone play a rib on you? or have you ever Ribbed one of your fellow WWE superstars?
I don't like to be ribbed, therefore I do not play ribs on others. However, I do enjoy hearing stories and have witnessed a few good ones.
There have been several pictures on WWE.com of overseas tours and other such things featuring you, in a few of the pictures you can be seen wearing John Cena's T-shirts, Hat's and wrist bands. Are you a loyal Chain Gang soilder?
See, this is the type of shit that I can't stand. I recall ONE picture of me in Italy wearing a John Cena shirt and a camoflage WWE hat. Suddenly, you invent in your mind that you've seen me wearing ALL of his merchandise. I don't own a Cena hat, or any sweatbands nor have I ever worn any of the above. You are retarded for even asking that STUPID question.
Now, id just like to end this with some fan questions.
My question: Was, Up Ken hey man i always wanted to
know how does it feel to beat someone who can Wrestle
like Batista and did you have to carry the whole match
or did he help? And also when are you going to get a
title push man i really think you are and can be the
future of SD!.
Thank you. Working with Dave has been great. We shall see what the future holds. Only the shadow knows.......
How did you come about getting the tattoo on your back? Meaning how'd the design come about(unless it was just in a catalog)?
I knew that I wanted a big design to cover my back. My tattoo artist had me stand up with my arms outstretched and flex the muscles in my upper back. He traced them and came up with the design that actually flows with the shape of the muscles in my back. (Before surgery.....ha!)
1. Does your family(all over) get a friggin hoot out of all the fan related things, like stories about them from you on the road, or what you see on the websites or anything like that?? They must crack up at us loud fans
I think that my mom gets a kick out of it. She keeps up with it more than I have time to but she's always laughing about the things that the girls say on this site and telling me about it. (Yeah, you're busted Chele and Cher.)
2. Does it please you that even older women go ga ga on ya?
It pleases me that my girlfriend still goes GAGA forme.
Age : 22
On Byte this you said that you speaks several languages. Can you you tell us which languages you speak, where you learned them and if you speak them fluently?
I speak English fluently and know some dirty words in about 7 different languages.....
What are you doing on your week off? and inquiring minds want to know boxers or briefs?
Sleeping, watching movies, drinking wine and hanging out with my girlfriend, playing with my dog, and playing video games. Boxers. The tight kind, not the loose baggy ones. The baggy ones end up in my asscrack, and I don't like the feel of my balls stuck to the inside of my leg.
my age: 26 , Country - Italy
my question What kind of woman do you like?
The kind that is my girlfriend! Ha. She's smart, beautiful, driven, supportive of the work that I do, and she puts up with my shit!
Name :Mary Mawson
What is the most unusual request or gift he has received from a fan?
The coolest gift that I've ever received was a bottle of wine with my picture on it from a fan in Italy. Unfortunately, my landlord BROKE it, and I haven't been able to get it replaced yet.
My question: What in your opinion is the best match ever?
Michaels vs. Taker Hell in a CELL!!
Name : Lisa Burgess
Age : 26
Question's : If wrestling wasnt your "THING", what job would you do instead?
probably run a personal training facility or get into acting.
Which do you prefere BLONDE or BRUNETTE?
I don't discriminate, however it seems from my history that I've preferred brunettes.
Nikki [yes, from the
My question: How often must you dye your hair to keep
that colour and are you afraid of it [your hair] falling out from the
process?? [I was wondering because that happens all the time]
Thanks for opening it up to us. Hope it goes well.
I do it myself about every two weeks. I've been doing it now for about 9 years and haven't had it fall out yet so I guess I'm not too worried. Plus, every time I go to the barber, they always tell me how thick my hair is so.....
Name: Cheryl Lurye (Cher in TX)
Age : 40 (Older women...you've gotta love us! LOL!)
My Question: Ken, where is your favorite place to wrestle and/or go to? Why?
Well, I wish that I would have been able to wrestle in Green Bay, but since I haven't been able to I would have to say that Italy has been the highlight so far. The crowds are just nuts there!
Once again Ken, thanks for staying up with the site and checking it out since the beginning, its really nice to know that you like all the fan support. If there is anything at all that i can do for you to return the favour, just let me know.