Pick My Brain Interview: Jani Bon Neil
Metal Sludge Columnist
In perhaps our biggest coup yet, we’ve scored an interview with MetalSludge.tv columnist Jani Bon Neil. Metal Sludge is the most popular rock n roll website on the internet; in fact, it’s the 14,965th most popular site on the internet as of September 21.
Jani is a hilarious ball-buster, and music fan or not, you must visit his site. He’s done “20 Questions” with wrestlers like Chris Jericho, Blue Meanie, Nova, and even rock celebrities like Tommy Lee & Nikki Sixx. Jani also happens to be a huge old-school wrestling fan, which is why we contacted him. Sit back, shut up, relax, and enjoy.
1. First off, please tell all the wrestling fans why they owe it to themselves to visit MetalSludge.tv.
How about I give you 5 reasons? Good.
Reason #1: You’ll find out truly worthless information about rock bands that you really don’t need to know, but for some reason you’ll enjoy reading it. All the latest gossip and sludge, from who’s going bald to our Exposed section featuring embarrassing photos of bands before they were famous. We have a little bit of everything.
Reason #2: Donna Anderson’s World Famous Penis Chart. A list of over 200 names giving you their penis size. Who doesn’t want to know how big Mick Mars’ dick is?
Reason #3: Metal Sludge’s Famous 20 Questions. We ask rock stars, and not so famous rock stars, the questions you want to know. Or at least the questions we want to know. It’s a good way to find out who has a sense of humor and who can’t hang. No topic is off limits for us.
Reason #4. Get the latest CD sales and concert attendances. Find out how much your favorite band is really selling and who’s coming out for their shows.
Reason #5: Our Gossip Board, which has to be seen to be understood, as well as Ozzy Stillbourne’s F.U. Awards and Random Thoughts.
2. How long have you been a wrestling fan, and what wrestlers did you admire when you were growing up?
I’ve been a wrestling fan all my life and I grew up on Antonio Rocca, Gorgeous George, Haystacks Calhoun, Lou Thesz, Sam Muchnick, etc.
No, just kidding, I’m not that old. I was partial to “Rowdy” Roddy, Bobby Heenan, Paul Orndorff, Ricky Steamboat, Ric Flair & The Four Horsemen, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say Hulk Hogan.
3. What was the best musical performance you ever saw on a wrestling show, and why?
A. Motley Crue on WWF Raw, 1998
B. Jackyl on a WCW PPV, 1996
C. Megadeth on WCW Nitro, 1999
D. KISS on WCW Nitro, 1999
E. Kid Rock on WWF Raw, 2001
F. Salt N Peppa on WWF WrestleMania, 1995
G. Drowning Pool on WWF WrestleMania, 2002
H. James Brown on WCW SuperBrawl, 2000
I. Fozzy on WWF Raw, 2002
Actually, it wasn’t Jackyl on that PPV, it was 2 members of Jackyl on the nWo PPV. They were called Captain Virgil. Write that down. I’d have to say Kid Rock probably sounded the best out of all of them and came off the best.
4. In your “20 Questions” with Marvelous 3’s Butch Walker, he stated this as one of the reasons his follow-up single to “Freak of the Week” didn’t do so well:
“Well you know… and back in the day, we didnt have f*cking wwf and wcw or playstations and shit like that for entertainment.”
I’m a big fan of Butch, but how many levels is that statement ridiculous on, considering “back in the day” that WWF, WCW, and video games were not only still around, but still extremely popular?
I never really thought about that comment before, but I’d have to agree. Butch is from Atlanta, so you’d think he’d be at least familiar with the NWA back in the 80s. Also, while Playstation wasn’t around, Nintendo and Atari were. I understand what he probably meant, but I think that was a poor example to prove his point.
5. Don’t you think that if Edge, Kevin Nash, Christian, Chris Jericho, and Rhyno all posed for a group photo, they’d look just like any of the bands featured in Metal Edge, circa 1990?
Yes, that would be true but they would all have to lose at least 80 pounds first.
6. It is no secret that Undertaker and Mick Mars are good friends. If Undertaker is such a Motley Crue fan, why did he suddenly cut his hair short, start talking in rapper jive, and adopt Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock entrance music?
Mick Mars is friends with many undertakers because he’s old enough he’s probably going to be needing one soon. I really had no idea that Mick knew The Undertaker or was friends with him, so it was a secret to me.
7. When Metal Sludge interviews wrestlers like Chris Jericho and Blue Meanie, how many clueless fools write you asking who in the Hell they are?
Actually not too many. We always get emails from fans bitching about who we interview. We could do 20 Questions with John Lennon and somebody would bitch about it. A lot of the Sludgeaholics are now familiar with Jericho and Meanie. Probably the most emails came in when we did 20 Questions with Nova. We also did an interview with indy wrestler Adrian Lynch, but that wasn’t an official 20 Questions.
Speaking of interviews, we were supposed to do 20 Questions with Bubba Ray Dudley, but he never sent back his questions. Jericho set us up with him, but I guess Bubba didn’t like our questions or something.
8. When Fozzy performed on Raw recently, they were boo’d out of the building. Was this because wrestling fans hate that type of music, or because Jericho is one of their lead heels and they felt they were SUPPOSED to boo?
I don’t think it had anything to do with Fozzy, though it probably didn’t do them any favors. No matter what Chris did the fans were going to boo him. We asked Chris about this in an upcoming interview so we’ll have to see what he had to say.
9. All joking aside, wouldn’t a tall, hulking, ghostly woman like Gerri Miller make a great on-air wrestling character or valet who would scare all the little kids?
She’s like the opposite of Chyna! I think it could work. She could be called the Cryptkeeper and be the Undertaker’s valet.
10. Which rock musician has the best pro wrestling physique?
A. Kerry King = has Stone Cold’s attitude down
B. Zakk Wylde = has Stone Cold’s drinking down
C. George Lynch = would probably have the work rate of the Ultimate Warrior
D. Stevie Rachelle = has Stone Cold’s hairline but that’s about it
E. Glenn Danzig = would be perfect to wrestle the minis
F. The Misfits = too much like the Headbangers
G. Bret Michaels = Would be too worried about his bandana coming off in the ring.
I’m going to say none of the above and go with Fuzz from Disturbed.
11. Who would you guess is Rob Halford’s and Marq Torein’s favorite wrestling personality?
A. Pat Patterson
B. Terry Garvin
C. Mel Phillips
E. Adrian Adonis
F. Beverly Brothers
G. Adrian Street
H. Billy & Chuck
I’d say Rob Halford would go with Pat Patterson and Marq Torien would have to be Adrian Street.
12. HHH’s theme song, which is performed by Lemmy and Bruce Kulick, is extremely popular among young wrestling fans. What percentage of those teenagers do you think have a clue who Lemmy and Kulick are?
As far as I know, Bruce Kulick didn’t perform on that track, but his brother Bob Kulick produced it. I never saw Bruce’s name mentioned in any credits or anybody ever talking about him having anything to do with it. And no, not too many wrestling fans know who Lemmy is, and even music fans don’t care who Bruce Kulick is.
13. How un-cool has Edge become ever since he admitted his current favorite band is Weezer?
Really? I didn’t know that. Well I guess that explains why he hasn’t gone to that next level yet.
14. In 1996, the nWo took over the announcers’ booth on Nitro. Kevin Nash looked into the monitor, saw himself on TV, and said, “I look like Vince Neil over here!” Scott Hall just sat there and said nothing. Whose drinking problem is more out of control, Scott Hall’s or Vince Neil’s?
Vince Neil, absolutely. Drinking impacts Vince’s performances a lot more than it ever did to Scott Hall. Scott can still go out there and not embarrass himself, and he still looks like Scott Hall! I can’t say the same thing about Vince.
15. While Motley Crue were hyping their upcoming gig on WWF Raw in 1998, they did lots of radio publicity saying they were “huge wrestling fans.” One time, a caller asked what they thought about DX, and no one in the Crue knew who or what DX was. How could they be huge wrestling fans, yet NOT know who DX was, especially considering they were scripted to jam with DX on stage to “Wildside” on Raw?
It’s called being full of sh*t. Wouldn’t be the first time those guys said something that wasn’t true.
16. This past June, the entire band of Poison was sitting front row at Raw, right behind Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler and totally visible on camera. However, they never once acknowledged them as being in attendance. Why do you think that was?
A. Ross & Lawler have no clue who Poison are
B. They don’t want their “cool” TV show to be associated with an “uncool” band like Poison
C. They were embarrassed that this summer, Poison shows are outdrawing many WWE shows
D. They were afraid that in real life, Rikki Rockett can beat the shit out of anyone in the WWE locker room aside from Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar
The funny thing about that is I watched that show I didn’t even notice them! If anybody should have noticed that it should have been me but I totally missed it. How did that happen? I guess the reason they weren’t mentioned is probably a cross between A & B.
17. After I wrote Dave Meltzer and told him about your most recent 20 Questions with Chris Jericho, he plugged and praised your site in his Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which reaches thousands of high-ranking wrestling industry professionals all throughout the world such as Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, and Michael Hayes. Meltzer said your questions and staff were hilarious, and gave out the link to Sludge. How did it feel to be mentioned in the most respected wrestling publication in the world, or was anyone on the Sludge staff not even aware of this?
I wasn’t even aware of that, though I did see that we were mentioned in the Torch before. I didn’t know about the Observer mention, but that’s really cool! I’m glad hardcore wrestling fans enjoy our 20 Questions. It’s always an honor to be given props and it’s a kick to know those people who have entertained me for so many years are entertained by what I’m doing. That’s cool.
18. What is the greatest wrestling match you have ever seen?
There are so many it’s hard to pick one. The Shawn Michaels’ ladder matches come to mind. The Undertaker vs. Mankind Hell In The Cell match simply for Foley’s 2 bumps. It wasn’t a mat classic but the drama and shock is something that really stands out. It was something you had to show other people, even if they weren’t wrestling fans. Almost any Ric Flair/Ricky Steamboat match from 1989. And for some reason I have to throw in Savage/Steamboat from WrestleMania 3.
19. What is your opinion on this series of events:
1999: Steve Austin tells Howard Stern he’ll never get married again
Famous last words
2000: Steve Austin marries Debra
A sign that he drinks too much
2002: Steve Austin walks out on WWE
Started living his gimmick
2002: Steve Austin nearly gets arrested for allegedly hitting his wife, Debra
2002: Steve Austin DOES get arrested for hitting his wife, Debra
2002: Steve Austin and Debra file for divorce from each other
20. Here is a long list of wrestlers who used to have long hair, and then cut it. For each of these guys, tell us if you think they look more menacing with long hair, short hair, or completely bald:
Steve Austin: bald
Undertaker: long hair
Big Show: bald because he hasn’t gotten over with long or short hair.
Mike Awesome: short or long, just so long as the mullet is gone
Ric Flair: long
Owen Hart: short
Chris Benoit: short
Chuck Palumbo: short
Billy Gunn: see Big Show
21. Few TV moments are funnier than Jim Ross interviewing Riki Rachtman on WCW Saturday Night in 1992, which is one of the lowest-rated episodes in that show’s history. Riki plugged the appearance on Headbanger’s Ball and said lots of guys in the WCW locker room were big metalheads. Years later, WCW hired Riki Rachtman as an announcer who constantly mispronounced the names of the wrestlers he interviewed. Why is that every project Riki seems to take on, always ends up bust?
I don’t know, but he was selling Volkswagen cars in LA recently, and now he’s working with the L.A. Kings. He’s like a cockroach, he’ll always be around in one form or another.
22. Has any rock star cheated on his wife as frequently and openly as WWE owner Vince McMahon has?
I’d say most of them do! Vince Neil has been married a few times and still acted as though he was single. Nikki Sixx cheated on his wife while she was in the same house! Compared to a lot of rock stars, Vinny Mac is a virgin.
23. WWF was deep in scandal in 1992, amid allegations of sexually abusing teenage ring boys, raping WWF referee Rita Chatterton, conspiring to distribute steroids, and lying about it to the public. How much of that do you think was really going on?
As far as I know, none of those allegations were really ever proven and they sound like they were made by people with an axe to grind. I’m sure the steroid shit went down, but who knows about the rest. I just read Bobby Heenan’s book the other day and he wrote about this: “As for the molestation, these were young guys who wanted to get into the business like I did. Tom Cole, the ring attendant who started all the accusations, was a troubled soul. When I first saw him, I could tell he had problems. I put up the ring too when I was a kid. I carried the jackets as well. But I never had a relationship with another man to get ahead in the business or keep my job. No one ever propositioned me.”
From the people I’ve talked to, nobody has ever seen anything like that go down, so that’s all I can go on.
24. Who has/had the best ring entrance music you’ve ever heard?
For old school, I have to say Demolition’s theme was pretty cool as well as Jake “The Snake” Roberts. For new school I’d have to say DX’s theme and HHH’s theme.
25. Who has/had the worst ring entrance music you’ve ever heard?
Pretty much anything Billy Gunn has ever come out to, and all the music that WCW ever used! Chris Jericho’s old WCW theme, which was a Pearl Jam ripoff, was pretty lame, but that’s not his fault.
26. Is HHH treading on dangerous waters by dating his boss’s daughter? I mean, if they break up, his career could be toast.
I don’t think so. It’s not wise to date the boss’s daughter, but if they broke up I don’t think Vince would get rid of him because they need him right now. Anything is possible in the wrestling world so it’s possible that he could break up with Steph and still keep his job.
27. Once upon a time, Raw sucked really bad, and Nitro was awesome. During the Monday night wrestling wars, which show did you watch, or did you flip back and forth between each one?
I was always faithful to the WWF, but still kept up with what WCW was doing. I flipped back and forth mostly, but I will say that there were a few times I watched Nitro from start to finish. However, they replayed Nitro later that night, so sometimes I’d watch the WWF and watch the Nitro replay.
28. We all loved ECW, which played music on its TV show by Pantera, AC/DC, Fight, Jackyl, Ugly Kid Joe, Morbid Angel, and even Jesse James Dupree. How was it that a bankrupt small-timer like Paul Heyman was able to score the rights to those songs?
Nobody says Paul E got the right to those songs. Maybe nobody complained because they figured there was no money to go after, and they would have been right. A lot of times you can get away with using stuff because you have no money, and by the time the artist finds out about it, it’s too late. What can they really do? Or Maybe Paul E had some sort of deal worked out. I don’t know.
29. Howard Stern blasted the Hollyweird tour this summer for being a collection of bad bands. Meanwhile, Stern’s commercial bumpers include Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me.” Howard also has badmouthed wrestling for years, although he does have many wrestlers on his show. Stern recently announced that he has consulted with Vince McMahon, and contemplated starting his own wrestling promotion. How do you think Stern would fare in the wrestling world, considering others with more money like Ted Turner, Gene Simmons, and a host of others have failed miserably?
I think if you want to be a success in the wrestling business, you basically have to have a love for it, just like anything. You need to have a passion for it and understand it. Metal Sludge is a success because we love what we do and we started doing it because it was fun. We weren’t in it to make money and it ended up being something we could make money at. At the beginning though, it was a fun hobby, and we still try to keep it that way. Gene Simmons only got into wrestling because it was cool at the time and he thought he could make a buck. He probably doesn’t know the difference between a powerbomb and a clothesline. Howard isn’t going to start his own promotion but if he did, he’d fail like the rest because he’s not really a fan. People would be interested in the beginning but over the long haul I doubt it would take off.
30. Our last question. Vince Russo: creative genius, or blithering fool who killed WCW dead into the ground?
I think Vince Russo is totally overrated but he’s not 100% responsible for the death of WCW. WCW had no leadership and nobody had any clue as to what to do. At least when he was in the WWF, Russo had McMahon to edit his ideas. In WCW that wasn’t the case. They were a sinking ship and he just added weight to it.
It’s always good to interview someone who knows how to do these kinds of interviews. Thanks to Jani for his time and humor, and please visit Metal Sludge if you any sense of humor whatsoever.