Stevie Richards On Insight With Chris Van Vliet: Podcast Recap

Stevie Richards recently appeared on Chris Van Vliet’s podcast Insight. On the show, they discussed how Stevie has got into incredible shape and what caused the change. They also discuss ECW, his match with a debuting Chris Masters and much more. The most notable quotes can be found below:

On his physical transformation:

“It was at the end of Right To Censor. That was when I was in the worst shape of my life, 262lbs and a 44 inch waist. I remember stepping on the scale in Milwaukee Wisconsin next to Bull Buchannan. You know how big that guy is. I weighed more than him, this was when I stopped making excuses. Ivory would walk buy and say ‘My God you’re getting fat.’ That sounds mean today but that was the best thing that every happened to me because it snapped me out of it. From that point on Jim Ross told me that my job was on the line. In all likelihood they were probably going to fire me anyway, but I should probably try to get in shape anyway. That started the process, even though it seemed like it was overnight. All I did was cut out fast food and cardio twice a day. I returned for a match on Heat, it was me and Justin Credible vs. The Big Show. I was 193. It wasn’t a transformation, it was getting lazy and needing a kick in the ass.”

On eating healthy while on the road:

“I was a protein shakes and bar guy, mostly because it was cheaper. Also I was so nervous before shows that I couldn’t eat. Catering was good but I would take it back to my room and gorge on it.”

On whether wrestling with a shirt affected his physique:

“That’s an interesting question, because there is a psychological thing to that. My personal life led to me making a lot of different excuses, things at home. People around me were caring about me going ‘Oh it’s only 10lbs.’ But they were enabling me. But I put a shirt on and it put 60lbs on me. You don’t have the accountability because you are covered up and start the diet tomorrow.”

On the origin of the Stevie Richards name:

“It was Steve Richards at first. At the time Jimmy Jannetty was a coach and J.T. Smith was another one. They had told me to think of a name of something. I wanted a name that was real, because no one would make up a name like Stevie Richards. Back then it was a thing that the business was still protected. It would be a big deal for someone to find you if they found out your name. That’s a whole different era, but it was a big thing if someone found out where you lived. I said my name was Steve Richards, and no one asked me ‘Well what’s your real name?’

On what he learned from Paul Heyman:

“Just about everything. It’s not just Paul Heyman, there’s also Raven, Tommy Dreamer and everyone at ECW. But Paul had patience and the talent. Paul could do me better than me, he could do everyone’s gimmick for them. Paul could cut my promo in my voice. I was nervous and wasn’t sure if what I was doing was good. Paul would produce me. He would ask me questions.”

On his vocal cords implants:

“The initial thing that happened was the Terry Funk guardrail thing on May 10th 1997. The guard rail thing messed me up for a while and had some neck injuries. In December it was bad, a lot of numbness and stingers from regular bumps. December 22nd 1997 I had neck fusion surgery. I woke up and I was thinking my voice wasn’t there because of the intubation tubes. It turned out that they had paralyzed one of my vocal cords. About 3 months later, they put the first vocal cord implant in. Then I had the second one when I was training with Shane McMahon for Saturday Night’s Main Event. Shane was training for a match with Shan Michaels. It was years of wear and tear and that was where the second implant came in. They also cut down the number of surgeries in a promo, because the number was too much for someone at my level. I had 19 throat surgeries, they were opening up the cords with minor surgeries to put the implant in the major surgeries.”

Chris asks if he could speak post surgery:

“I was able to speak then but it was very raspy. After the first neck surgery, I wasn’t able to speak up until about 3 months until the March surgery.”

On the origin of Right to Censor:

“Before that I was in obscurity and occasionally doing the parodies. Vince came up to me and pitched it himself. Aside from the first day, that was the only time he had talked to me. The interesting thing about Right to Censor was that it wasn’t supposed to be long term and I don’t think it was supposed to turn into what it did. It was supposed to be a political statement against the parent television council, it was supposed to be a middle finger to that. But at the same time it really gave me the opportunity to look at myself and have people look at me in a completely different light. I can talk and not just do silly comedy. A political thing can last a month and die out, but a cult, that can gather some steam. The writer Jacob Israel had the idea to turn it into a cult. He brought a whole new layer. I have to thank Jacon for that.”

On a possible Royal Rumble return:

“No not really. People ask me that all the time. People also ask me if I am retired. I guess I am because I don’t actively wrestle. If I was in a Rumble, I would politic so hard to get out of there the quickest. I want to beat Santino’s record. I would have to be TV ready. If someone wanted me to be on TV I would say no. I have to look a certain way, get in the ring and roll around. I don’t want to get in there and embarrass myself and the product. If it were to happen I would want a month to get ready.”

On the botch on Chris Master’s debut:

“So I have watched the Chris Masters interview [that Chris Van Vliet did]. I had no idea that Chris Masters had food poisoning. I wish that he would have told me, because I would have hyped him up that day. His debut live on RAW after those vignettes, his stomach would have been turning no matter what. I wish I knew that because I would have calmed him down. People were telling him ‘This is your one chance, don’t f*ck it up.’ I wish I could have countered that. I wasn’t aware. So when we went out there and the accident happened, that was the hardest I had ever been hit. My orbital bone was broken and my nose was over my eye. I needed root canals and canals for my teeth. What happened was my instincts knew, I got up and fed for The Masterlock. I’m amazed that wrestlers in worse conditions can finish matches.”

On the aftermath of the incident:

“I am visibly upset, but what are you going to do at this point? I just feel bad for the kid [Masters] I don’t want them to take him off of TV. Blood is gushing out of my nose, mouth and eyes. I walk in front of the monitors like that and go ‘Excuse me, has anyone seen Chris?’ Someone just points in his direction. I see Chris and if he wasn’t crying before he was on the verge. I say to him ‘I only have one question, how are your hands?’ And that was it, I just wanted to make sure he was OK. Also the office was watching me. He apologised and I forgave him. We shook hands and that was it. He’s a good guy.”

On if he went to the hospital after:

“I couldn’t fly because of the altitude, so I drove 357 miles from Penn State to Connecticut where I lived. When I dropped the rental car off, it looked like someone got murdered. It was brown leather with bloody hand prints everywhere. I was like it was like that when I rented it. They were fine with that but if I scratch the bumper with my bag it’s $100. I didn’t go to the hospital, I went to the gym. There’s 2 cops in there and I have 2 cuts on my face, it was the only thing I could do to feel in control.”

On why WWECW didn’t take off:

“That could be said for a lot of things that Vince McMahon didn’t create. He protects a lot of things that are on his brand. But I have heard that if it’s a star in another place, it’s the kiss of death. I was never known as a top guy in ECW, so I wasn’t that well known it was a blessing. But I loved the different look though. I think the whole thing was a vehicle for CM Punk. I heard from Joey Styles that ECW was the most profitable of all 3, because the investment vs. the return. You didn’t have to put that much money in and the Rise and Fall of ECW TV helped.”

On what he is grateful for:

“My health, the people that love and care about me and my faith.”

Stevie Richards can be found on Twitter here and Instagram here.

Featured image: WWE

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