Here are a few highlights from the Governor Jesse Ventura interview from the 2-25-14 edition of SNS UnPlugged which airs every Tuesday night at 9PM EST exclusively on the SNS Radio Network at snsradionetwork.com with hosts “BronxZilla” Tony J. Mirabella and “Mr. Money on the Mic” Jeff Jackson.
JJ welcomes WWE Hall of Famer, actor, author, talk show host, and former Governor Jesse Ventura to the show and asks about Ventura’s latest endeavor, “Off the Grid”.
“When my pro wrestling career ended in 1990 and I left the WWF now WWE I didn’t look back. I went on to further careers and what I consider a very exciting life and I’m very happy with the life I’m leading,” Ventura said. “I’ve got my new show ‘Off the Grid’ which airs every week Tuesday through Friday over at www.Ora.tv at 3PM EST. What this is and why wrestling fans should tune in is because without a doubt I’m the greatest talker who ever talked in wrestling with my commentary and interviews and this show allows me a 10-12 minute interview every day and the only thing missing is Mean Gene from these interviews and I cover politics, sports, you name it and it’s a dream job for me.”
Ventura continued, “I do it off the grid which means I’m not told what to do, there’s no FCC involved and the topics are mine and we can move around as long as we have state of the art equipment, as long as our batteries get solar power and we have a clear shot at the satellite the show is on the air.”
JJ then asks Governor Ventura about his thoughts on the WWE Network.
“Well thankfully what it will do thanks to my federal lawsuit against Vince McMahon anytime he uses my name and likeness he has to pay me royalties. I probably one of the very few wrestlers you can count them on one hand that gets royalties…I call it my wrestling retirement and I’ve received these now for nearly 24 years and his new venture is probably going to up my royalty uptake real good. I’m very happy he’s doing this and anytime he uses my name or likeness in any way shape or form he has to pay me a percentage of royalty accomplished in the federal lawsuit against him.”
JJ asks about his current relationship with Vince McMahon:
“Well actually we are probably on better terms since I left him then when I was with him. I haven’t spoken with him at all and he is probably angry with me because when his wife ran for the Senate I wouldn’t endorse her and I said that publicly but I did say why it wasn’t because she was Linda McMahon or Vince’s wife, it was because she was a Republican. I do not endorse Democrats or Republicans, they are the problem not the solution and had she run as an Independent I very well would have endorsed her. I think Vince kinda got angry cause I had a little fun at his expense and I said, ‘Hell if he had spent that kind of money on me I’d be the President of the United States.’ It may have caused a rift between us, I don’t know I have not spoken with him.”
Ventura asks JJ about Hogan returning to the WWE to do something and JJ tells Jesse that Hogan is back in the WWE as the Host of Wrestlemania XXX.
“Well you know what I’ll tell ya I never got a shot at him, I got injured when I was in my prime. I’ll tell ya what they ought to do I’ll come out of retirement for one match ….Ventura vs Hogan today and lets see who wins.”
JJ responded to Jesse’s idea. “The problem is Jesse you’d kill him because he cant even drop the leg anymore his back is in such bad shape he need an endoskeleton of titanium to do the leg drop.”
“Well who says he has to do a Leg drop,” Ventura replied. “I’ve had my hip done so…as I said I do 4 miles a day in the desert I lift weights everyday I’m in as good of shape as I was 15-20 years ago. Look at me I’m looking good man (laughs) I’ll come back to wrestling if I get Hogan in the ring.”
JJ asks a question from Tony Mirabella concerning his attempt at organizing a wrestlers union:
“Well I tried to initiate it right before WrestleMania 2 when they had it in 3 places and I was in Los Angeles somewhere right before it and everybody from the office was gone so I stood up in the dressing room and I said, ‘Boys if we are going to unionize now is the time to do it.’ It’s a week before WrestleMania, it’s all advertised all we gotta do is bring…I had met Gene Upshaw who at that was the head of the NFL Players Association, I met him in Vegas and he looked at me and said, ‘You boys need a union.’”
“I said I know we do cause I was paying $5,000 a year for my family’s healthcare there were no retirement benefits…there’s nothing in wrestling. I stood up in the dressing room and made a big speech that we should unionize and we should all walk out unless union people were brought in so we could get union benefits like every other pro athlete gets like baseballs got a union, basketball has a union, football has a union, hockey’s got a union…they all got em except pro wrestling. Well a day later I get a phone call from Vince threatening to fire me and I had to quit anyway cause I was going to do Predator and to make a long story short I then became a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild and have been ever since and I get my retirement and my healthcare through the guild so I didn’t need a union anymore after I went to do Predator. I’m a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild Union now.”
“I fought with Vince and I told him we don’t need this to fight you, it’s to get health benefits we are not financial planners and maybe we can get some type of retirement and to make a long story short I wanted to know who ratted me out… who it was in that dressing room that went straight to Vince and ratted me out and I never found out until that lawsuit in the 1990’s when we had deposed Vince McMahon under oath in a federal lawsuit. I told my attorney the story and you can ask anything in the deposition so he worked it around to that and we found out my attorney asked Vince, ‘Well were you in the dressing room when Ventura made the speech?’ Vince said no.”
“My attorney said then how did you know and with no hesitation at all Vince said Hulk Hogan called me. Hulk Hogan ratted me…he did what was in my day of wrestling the worst thing you could be in the old days of wrestling was what was called an office stooge. That’s what he was Hogan went to the office and ratted me. Vince admitted it under oath and he went on Larry King and yet Hogan continues to deny that it happened.”
“I’m not looking to start a war with Hogan though I just thought it would be interesting to have the two of us get back in the ring and have the match we never had. The match was supposed to happen back in LA but I was struck down in San Diego with pulmonary embolism blood clot in my lungs. I couldn’t wrestle him, Big John Studd had to take my place, my good friend the late John Studd. He took my place but I was scheduled to go all over the circuit with Hogan and we never had the match. We can have it today in our 60’s if he is willing.”
“Hey it wouldn’t be the first time we have seen 2 guys in their 60’s wrestle in a main event at a PPV,” said JJ.
“Well in order for it to happen here’s the problem I’ll require that I get paid $1 more than Hogan. Just $1 more,” laughed Ventura.
JJ asks about his relationship with Eric Bischoff.
“He’s a backstabber completely….When I worked for WCW he didn’t tell me they were bringing Hogan in and I badmouthed him on the air…subsequently he took me off the air and for the last couple of months I sat at home and got paid in the last 2 months of my contract with WCW. I was one of the people that went to bat for Bischoff when they were going through all that mess in WCW where they went through Bill Watts and all these different guys who were running WCW. I went to bat for Eric Bischoff cause I thought he would be a great guy to come in there and it turned out he stuck me right in the back as soon as he got in there and got the power. He didn’t inform me and then he took out on me …and then got rid of me because he was bringing Hogan in and apparently Hogan didn’t want me there. I’m a guy who tells it like it is I don’t bow down to anybody.”
For the archive of the broadcast and the full 20 min interview with Governor Ventura which starts at the 70 min mark of the show, click here.