THE SHANE BROTHERS (Mike and Todd) are managed by the 'Hardcore Giant' RON NIEMI. They are currently rooted deep in a very
violent feud with the Alliance of Defiance, specifically Scoot Andrews and Mike Sullivan. They recently worked their first
dark matches for the WWE beating SLY and AGENT STEELE in Orlando and losing to TEAM ANGLE in Tampa. The Shanes are former
NWA World Tag Team champions, three-time former IPW Tag Team Champions, former NWA Florida Tag Team Champions, and former
Jersey All-Pro Tag Team Champions as well. Watching TV throughout the Southeast you might know them for their role in the
now famous "You Bet" commercials for Sonny's BBQ. They were also part of the XWF, and in a monumental two day period, they
destroyed such teams as PUBLIC ENEMY, THE ROAD WARRIORS, THE NASTY BOYS and THE HARRIS TWINS. The Shanes have had some singles
success as well, as Mike Shane was the very first IPW Television Champion, and both were ranked in the PWI 500 this year (#186
and #187 respectively). The Shanes are international stars as well. They will be competing on the opening night of Riki Choshus
World Japan Pro Wrestlings promotion on March 1st. This interview took place before the IPW/NWA Florida show entitled The
Aftermath. Since most opponents cant tell them apart, this reporter wont help them out.
Alan Wojcik: What inspired
you two to become wrestlers?
Shane Brothers: We used to go see the old AWA with our grandparents. We got hooked. When we
graduated college, we saved some money and moved down to Tampa with one thing in mind, train to become wrestlers. We met Dean
Malenko and the rest is history in the making.
AW: What was your first match experience, easy or nerves throughout?
Our first match was with the Southern Posse about five years ago front of 400 people. We were nervous but got through it.
The Posse is an experienced team that helped us get over the jitters.
AW: How long after your debut did you get involved
with IPW Hardcore?
SB: When we first moved to town, we met Ron Neimi after a show. He was the manager for the Southern
Posse and had yet to start up IPW. We talked of him about working with us after our training with Malenko. He liked what we
did in our match with The Posse and weve been a trio ever since. From day one in IPW we have been with Ron. Whenever we travel,
we try to keep as a package deal and involve Ron as much as possible.
AW: What was the XWF TV tapings like working
with four veteran teams?
SB: It was a learning experience. Wrestling the Nasty Boys was really stiff. Wrestling the Harris
and Road Warriors was awesome. We had met up with Public Enemy three or four times before that taping session. All those veterans
were helpful and something we wont forget.
AW: Did you model your image after any specific teams?
SB: We tried to
pull from everything we had seen growing up and the teams of today. We watched the Road Warriors and the Steiner Brothers.
Being trained by Dean Malenko you get a great technical background to pull from. We wanted to avoid the power guy stereotype.
Many stories have been told of your short reign as NWA World Tag Team Champions. Was there ever a chance of you bringing the
belts to NWA:TNA?
SB: We won the belts from the Heavenly Bodies in Lima, Peru. A couple of weeks later, NWA:TNA started
up. Bill Behrens called us up and told us that we are stripping you of the belts and not recognizing the title change, plus
we are putting you in this Johnsons gimmick. We had no choice but to give the belts up. We went to TNA and were told we were
going to get the belts back after a couple of weeks. After we did the dumb gimmick we were going to come back as a big baby
face Road Warriors type tag team and it never happened. We havent talked to them since the first show in Nashville.
Was it your choice to be put with Mortimer Plumtree?
SB: We didnt know him but he seemed like a good guy. We are the perfect
match with Ron.
AW: What was the Puerto Rico experience like?
SB: We try to learn from all offices we work for and
Puerto Rico was no different. WWC was good as well as the IWA. They have real good talent and hope we get to go back. Wrestling
is big time down there.
AW: How was it working WWE dark matches?
SB: That was fun. The locker room was real friendly
on both brands. Dean was up there along with other Tampa guys like Johnny Ace so we werent nervous. They treated us good and
put no pressure on. Shane and Stephanie McMahon were real nice to talk with. We even got to talk to Vince for a moment or
two. It was way better than the WCW experience. TNA will run into the same problems that killed WCW with Vince Russo putting
himself over in every angle.
AW: You booked to work the opening night of Riki Choshus World Japan promotion. What are
your feelings going into the March 1st match with the Road Warriors?
SB: That is going to be exciting. They are legends
here and probably bigger legends over there. We expect a big crowd and will bring our A game. We plan on not losing. Hawk
and Animal better plan on being suplexed out of their boots. We are not overwhelmed by the hype of the show or the opponents.
We are not your average 300 pound wrestlers and they will find that out.
AW: Who is your favorite tag team to work
SB: We hate to say it but Mike Sullivan and Scoot Andrews. Theres something that happens when were in with them that
brings out the best in us. They make up for not being the biggest guys in the locker room with their athletic backgrounds.
They have the skills to work a big team like us and adapt to a small mat wrestling duo. They are ready for the big time. We
used to see Mike Sullivan take some guys down back when he was the Freedom Rider. We hate to say anything good as they have
screwed us over a couple of times.
AW: Word Association time. Bill Behrens.
SB: Underwear sniffer.
and Jeff Jarrett.
SB: Typical wrestling promoters, not following up on what they said they would do.
AW: Ron Neimi.
SB: Smart, the best.
AW: The Heavenly Bodies (Chris Nelson and
SB: Chris is the sh#$s, Vito is OK.
AW: Where do the Shane Brothers look to be at the end of 2003?
Hopefully working full time in Japan.
Now here is part 2 of my interview done a few months later.
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.