2/10/2001 7:51:00 PM
Transcript Of 'Shooter' Tony Jones On The LAW
by LAW Staff
This interview with Tony Jones was heard on The LAW radio show out of Toronto, Canada. The LAW can be heard Saturday's from 5-6:30pm ET and Sunday's from 11pm-1 ET on Talk 640 in the Toronto area, right here at LiveAudioWrestling.Com, or at Talk640.Com.
Jeff Marek: Our featured guest this week is one of the brightest talents on the Indy scene and most fans will probably remember him from having a glimpse of him on the Beyond The Mat documentary. A pleasure to welcome him to the program for the first time; I'm talking about Tony Jones. Tony, how're you doing today?
Tony Jones: I'm doing pretty good. How are you?
Jeff Marek: We're doing well. First of all, you had a really strong amateur background before you got involved in the pro scene, correct?
Tony Jones: Yes, yes I did.
Jeff Marek: Did that help the transition into pro? A lot of the guys we talk to have said "Going from amateur to pro is even trickier than going right into pro because you have to unlearn everything you learn".
Tony Jones: Yeah, that's actually very true. I don't want to say I'm an exception to the rule but a lot of the amateurs that I worked out with and trained with for years and years were never really fans of professional wrestling because they look at professional wrestling as "Oh, it's not real". They didn't have the respect for it that I always had growing up as a kid because professional wrestling is actually what influenced me to get into amateur wrestling. When I got into high school, just the term 'wrestling' kind of intrigued me and I said "I know it's not the same as bouncing off the ropes and flying off the top-rope, but still, it's wrestling nonetheless so I guess I'll go on the wrestling team" because I was such a big fan. I was never a fan of basketball, football, and I wasn't ever one of the kids to go out and play in the park and have these games -- I was always at home watching the wrestling shows. So, when I got into amateur wrestling, I already had the utmost respect and I wanted to become a pro wrestler. I think that when I actually turned into a pro wrestler in 1997 when I joined the APW wrestling school, I already had the preconceived idea that this is a tough sport and I had utmost respect for it. I brought my amateur background with me because I truly felt that it helped me.
Dan Lovranski: Now let's talk a little bit more about your amateur days just because you were amateur wrestling at the same time as Kurt Angle. What was he like in all these different tournaments? I hear he was the guy to beat back then.
Tony Jones: That's true. I just did a show the other day and the topic was Kurt Angle and they were talking about him. I can verify as much as anybody else that back when I was in college, we wrestled the exact same years, we were in the same tournaments, but we never actually got a chance to wrestle each other. It's funny, we actually lost to the same guy and Kurt and I were joking about it at a WWF show about three weeks ago and I said "I bet I can piss you off" and he goes "Uh-oh, what are you going to say?" and I said "Let's talk about this guy" and I named a guy that he had lost to in division one nationals and it was the same year that I had lost to the guy. We were comparing notes of how he lost and how I lost and we were just joking about it. Throughout college, Kurt Angle was the guy to beat. Kurt Angle was the returning national champion off his sophomore year. He was the lightest heavyweight to ever win nationals. I think he won it at 194-196 pounds, which is the smallest any guy has ever been winning the national title. He was a real tough son-of-a-gun. He was solid, he was real thick, he could shoot, he could do leg attacks -- he was just a well-rounded wrestler. I kind of lost touch with amateur wrestling as I got into pro wrestling and I got a call from my college wrestling coach and he told me that Kurt had just won the Olympic gold medal. I was devastated but yet I wasn't surprised. I was devastated that he went that far but I wasn't surprised because he was such a talent. It's no surprise to me that he excelled so much like he did in the WWF just for the fact that the guy has a tremendous work ethic and he proved to everybody that he can take it to the limit when he won the gold medal.
Jeff Marek: How much of that amateur training sticks with you in the pros? Does anyone ever kind of get cute with you in the ring and you had to put your thumb on anyone? Did that stick with you?
Tony Jones: That always stays in your head. It's a wrestling business and everyone knows it's showmanship and stuff but once in awhile you might get the type of individual that might say "I don't really know why I'm doing a job" and the "Why's he going over type of thing?" Sometimes, you might get that type of attitude in the ring and they want to get cute with you and they want to get a little stiff or things like that. It's always good that I've never had to resort to trying to shoot on anybody because I don't feel like there's a place for that in pro wrestling because it's teamwork and we've got to work together. I've never felt like I've had to utilize it but it's always nice to know that I could if I had to if it ever got down to on the mat where I guy felt he wasn't going to give me anything. It's actually strange because I did once, it wasn't the type of thing where I tried to hurt anybody or did hurt anybody, it was the type of thing where I was going over and the guys I was wrestling was a little upset about it so he figured since I was going over, he was going to do everything he could to put himself over. So, he wouldn't give me a takeover or anything. So, it got to the point where I just shot on his leg, brought him down, and took over. It was a cute thing but it was nothing where I'd want to hurt anybody or anything like that because I really don't feel like there's any room of that in pro wrestling. You hear about it all the time; a guy gets his noise broken and all kinds of vicious things happen but I don't feel like there's a place for that.
Jeff Marek: It's bizarre too because wrestling, outside of any other sport or any other athletic activity, rewards people who break its rules. We've seen it time and time again -- it's so bizarre.
Dan Lovranski: Tony, let's talk a little bit about the WWF tryout match that you had and a lot of people saw in the Beyond The Mat documentary. Was that already something that was going to take place or was that something that was strictly set up for the documentary?
Tony Jones: Barry Blaustein came to APW looking for a couple of Independent guys that were prospects on the Indy scene trying to make it to the next level -- trying to go to the WWF or WCW. I guess he had arranged a tryout for two guys for his movie and he just wasn't sure whom he wanted to use and he was communicating for Jim Cornette and Jim Ross at the time. He went to different schools across the country and he came across APW and he found an interesting in Mike Modest and myself for two different aspects. He looked at Mike and said "Here's a guy that has been busting his tail for eight or nine years and still has not made it and has given up everything in the world to try and make it and it's just not paying off for him at this point and why does he stick with it? That was the story for Mike Modest. My story was that here's a guy with a college education, he's got a $40,000 a year job, well educated, he's only been in the business about a year, why is he sticking with it? He found an interest in both of us for different reasons and wanted to know what our reasons were for being in pro wrestling and then giving our shot to show how difficult it is to make it to the big dance and all the things you have to do to get there. As far as I know, I think it was preconceived that he wanted to give two guys a serious look and a real shot. When we got there, Jim Ross took us aside and told us that this is indeed a tryout and we were to go out there and just do out best and don't worry about the crowd because the crowd's here to see Steve Austin and The Rock -- not Mike Modest and Tony Jones.
Jeff Marek: We've only got a couple minutes left here Tony. I want to get your thoughts on what is happening with the Urban Wrestling Alliance. We've been hearing the last couple months that it's supposed to debut on BET. You were supposed to be a real pivotal part of this. What's going on with Urban?
Tony Jones: Honestly, I really can't speculate on what's going on with Urban because I'm really no in touch in deep with them. The last I heard, they were supposed to sign with BET (Black Entertainment Television) and after that, I haven't heard anything else. I work with them on a time on - time off type of basis. At this point, I can't speculate on what's going on; I have no idea.
Jeff Marek: Tony, we've got to wrap up but before we say goodbye, I want you to talk a little bit about your website at ShooterTonyJones.com. What can people find there?
Tony Jones: www.ShooterTonyJones.com, it's a website that I put together myself. It's a promotional tool where you can go in there and click on the biographies and find my entire history with what I've done in my amateur days leading up to the current. Photographs of me in Japan, Beyond The Mat photos, and all kinds of good stuff in there. Multimedia; you can go in there and click on the different files and see different spots that I've done and different moves. It's an entertaining page and it's also a good tool for anyone out there that would like to book me.
Jeff Marek: Tony, we've got to wrap up but you've got to promise to come back because I want to talk about Battlarts.
Tony Jones: I appreciate it so much. Thank you very much for having me guys.