The current NWA Florida and former IPW Hardcore/NWA World tag team champions, Mike and Todd Shane sat for this interview after defeating Navy Seal and Jerelle Clark at IPWs Gratuitous Violence show on June 6, 2003. This interview will go into great detail on their trips to Japan, losing the IPW World tag tiles to the Road Warriors, their feelings on Hawk & Animal and their recent heel turn in IPW Hardcore. For this interview, the brothers agreed to have their responses separated. To see the first interview with the Shanes, check out the archives section.
Alan Wojcik: The one question omitted from our last conversation was rather important. How did you become the You Bet! guys for Sonnys Barbeque restaurants?
Todd Shane: Real simple, we auditioned for it. The producers of the spots contacted (IPW owners) Devin Nash and Ron Neimi looking for big football/wrestler types and we got the parts.
AW: How many commercials have you filmed and are there going to be any more aired on TV?
Mike Shane: We did three so far and they have idea for at least another one. The fourth one will be airing in the next few weeks. They were fun and I hope we do more.
AW: Thanks to IPW commissioner Honest Eddie Edwards and it seemed like lots more people, you won the Florida Unified Tag team titles from Scoot Andrews and Mikey Tenderfoot who substituted for Mike Sullivan. When I interviewed Scoot, he claimed the title change never happened due to Sullivan not being in the match. Any response to his claim?
Mike Shane: It was a sanctioned title match by IPW and NWA Florida enough said.
AW: Shortly after that win, you wrestled on the inaugural World Japan show (3/1/03.) Any nerves once you arrived in Japan and wrestling the Road Warriors?
MS: The match against the Warriors where we lost the belts was in front of 15,000 people and it wasnt very good. It wasnt our fault; the fault lies with the Warriors.
TS: I was knocked out during the match. From viewing the tape afterwards, it looked like Mike carried the entire match. He had to put in lots of work into the match to cover for the LOD being blown up.
MS: Animal dead-assed me on every bump. I went for a Frankensteiner, he pulled away and I almost broke my neck.
TS: Animal wont sit up for any big moves; hes a real limited worker. Hawk is still athletic though.
MS: Hawk is the better worker by far. Animal is tough to do business with.
AW: Was it World Japans idea to name you the Crushers and how did you feel about it?
MS: I liked it and some of the ideas they have. I like the way they do business. They dont tell you one thing and do another thing like NWA: TNA or have guys like Bill Behrens or Bert Prentice going into your bag and sniffing your short while youre in the ring.
AW: You had subsequent re-matches on the 1st tour with the Road Warriors including beating them on one occasion. How come they still have the IPW World title belts?
TS: Our win was in a non-title match. We have a title match on June 29th in we think Yokohama Arena and we guarantee we will be coming back with the belts. On the two tours we learned the Japanese style and incorporated it into our style and we have surprises for the LOD.
AW: Your fellow 911 Inc. member Steve Madison was on that 1st tour, how did you think Steve performed on the trip?
MS: That kid is very talented and it seemed he got over well. He is one of the best indy workers out there. I would compare him to a young Chris Benoit.
AW: Shortly after your return from Japan you were apart of the first IPW show in Davie, Florida. What did you think of the south Florida crowd?
TS: They were hot. I think they knew us from the commercials since they aired all over the southeast. Anyone that looks at the IPW website and follows wrestling knows who we are. We had a great time down there.
AW: Not long after you made your second trip over to Japan. What was it like to be in the ring with a Japanese legend like Genichiro Tenryu?
TS: It was brutal but it was also fun. Good match that was a learning experience.
MS: Like you said he is a legend over there. We also wrestled another big star, Hiroshi Hase and learned from him as well. We had six matches on that second tour and went 4-2. The upcoming one we will be there for sixteen days and we hope to continue our winning ways. Any of their guys including the LOD think they can hang 15 minutes with us, they are mistaken. The Shanes are the future of tag team wrestling in Japan and in America. All of them are the past, we are the future. Either here in IPW or the WWE, wait not in the WWE. Because Animal and his brother (WWE road agent/front office person) Johnny Ace are tight and Animal probably has buried us. Johnny never got over in the states so thats cool with us if we become huge in Japan.
AW: Mike you wrestled fellow IPW star Lex Lovett (in World Japan as Lex Meyer) on the second tour. How did you feel Lex did in the match and on the tour?
MS: He did well. I think he is very athletic and the crowd appreciated that. We had a good match. He is back there right now on tour with Steve and he will be back again in I think August. I didnt think he got over as well as Steve did though.
AW: Did the way the Japanese crowd view matches throw you off in any way?
TS: Not at all. Youre in there working hard. With the adrenaline kick you get you dont even notice they are there. We are trying to win and not work the crowd like we do in American matches. To the fans there it is a competition.
MS: Todd is right; over there it is a competition. We do what we have to do to win. We are one of the strongest, fastest teams there and I think in the next six months we will be the best tag team in the world. I will send a message to any team be it the LOD or any IPW, NWA: TNA and WWE teams, we will hand them their ass.
TS: Over there the guys are so big we can turn it up and go full speed. In America we have to turn it down a notch for the smaller guys can keep up with us in the ring. In the Japanese locker rooms we dont have to hear, please dont do this or that and slow down. The Japanese fans get to see the real us. The World Japan office likes us.
MS: Over there they see the full potential in us. We know the office likes us due to the fact we beat the Warriors in Kourakaen (sic) Hall. I think it was one of the few times ever theyve been beaten in Japan and their first loss at the Hall. Animal got blown up inside 30 seconds and forgot the finish. Then he threw a fit in the locker room crying, Ive never been beat like this in Japan. They used to intimidate teams but not my brother and I. In Japan we have exposed all the so-called big guys.
TS: You know we are 300 pounds guys with athletic backgrounds. We arent bodybuilders, we can wrestle. We can get down on the mat with anyone. Watch the World Japan tag tournament in August and see us dominate everyone.
MS: We are 300 pound guys with the wind of a 200 pound guy that when you hit us its like hitting a 400 pound guy. We are going to knock you out of your jock strap. We arent here to make friends anymore.
AW: You defended the NWA Florida titles at Rage in the Cage 5 against Vicious and Delicious and the crowd at the Pinellas Expo Hall turned on you. What do you think happened to cause that ovation?
MS: I felt the crowd turned on us because the fans are getting envious of us going to Japan. When you get successful people tend to want to hold you down. We were handing V & D their asses and the crowd saw they were outclassed, so they started cheering for them.
TS: I agree that they were jealous of us. They turned on us so we turned on them.
AW: Did either of you get to see any of the TLC match and what did you think of it?
TS: I thought it was great. When you got two ring generals like Scoot Andrews and Mike Sullivan in there, any match is going to be great. I dont like them but Ive got to give them credit. Both Strong Brothers did well in the match.
MS: That was one of the best matches Ive ever seen. I would stack all those guys including David Babylon and Steve Madison up against anyone in the country. Im proud to say we have those guys as part of IPW.
AW: At the recent Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup event you defended the titles against two former ECW stars named Danny Doring and Steve Corino. Any comments on the match?
MS: I have tremendous respect for Steve. He has a great mind for wrestling. Dannys reputation speaks for itself. But there again you have two smaller guys going against us. We pinned Doring pretty simple. They were good in their day but its the Shanes Brothers time.
TS: Theyre dumb enough to get in the ring with us. Maybe they thought I was Tommy Dreamer or someone. Doring took our finisher and could be still sitting at home with his shoulder dislocated. I have respect for them but wasnt their time to shine.
MS: A gifted, well trained big man will beat any smaller guy no matter who he is.
AW: The following is a direct quote from a recent appearance on No Holds Barred radio by Road Warrior Animal. The on-air conversation led to how the LODs talent level compared to teams of today:
There are two guys we wrestle occasionally in Japan called the Shane Twins. The Shanes are 38 years old and one of the Japanese office guys tells me they are new breed of wrestlers. I told him theyre three years younger than I am and theyre the new breed? Thats shows the mentality of people in the business.
What if any, is your response to that statement?
TS: Talk about mentality of the business. Heres a guy trying to keep a job and get himself some shine. Im not 38, neither is Mike. Were 35. Right now Mike and I have more athletic ability in our pinkies then hes ever had in his body. He worried because gets exposed every time he gets in the ring. They were great in their day but their day is over.
MS: We are getting pushed to be the next team in Japan and he knows it. Im not 38 and hes not 40, hes over 40. Everyone knows its a work but hes one of the guys that keep track of his won-loss record. We are the same age as Bill Goldberg, Eddie Guererro and Kurt Angle. All this is his way of hanging on to something. Hes made a ton of money in this business. But he needs to step aside and let the new guys take over. Even when they were at their best they cannot beat the Shane Brothers.
TS: They used to throw teams around and intimidate everyone but thats not happening with us. Its about having skills and being an athlete. Its not just throwing a clothesline, its about getting on the mat and wrestling.
MS: Animals wrestled 15 years and has three moves in his arsenal. He throws a powerslam, a clothesline and I think an elbow. I look forward to seeing him blow up in 30 seconds and have another temper in the locker room and cry to his brother.
TS: Then have (World Japan owner) Riki Choshu come out and tell him to shut the f#$k up!!
AW: Did either of you happen to see their Monday Night Raw match with Kane & Rob Van Dam?
MS: I did and it was funny. The whole world saw the Warriors exposed for how bad they are. Their timing was off and their bumps stunk. The internet and the fans buried it.
AW: This will reach the internet before your match on June 29th; do you have any comments to Hawk or Animal if they were ever to read this?
TS: Please, PLEASE bring your A game. I dont want to hear anything about how you got pinned or how youre hurt. I dont want any excuses of any kind.
MS: We will beat you, I guarantee it! They will put a big crying spell about how they wont put anyone over in Japan. We will beat them fair and square and expose their weaknesses once again.
I wish to thank the Shanes and wish them best of luck on their upcoming trip to work for New Japan. For more on the Shanes log onto their site, www.shanebrothers.com. For more on upcoming IPW events, log onto www.ipw-hardcore.com or www.ipwhardcore.tv.