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The following are transcribed highlights of Chris Van Vliet’s interview with Billy Gunn discussing AEW, the WWE Hall of Fame, Chyna, and more. The interview took place this weekend at the Blueprint Pro Wrestling in Deerfield Beach, Fla. The transcription was provided to PWTorch by the interviewer…
•Is the plan for AEW to compete with WWE? “No. I say no. So I look at it this way, Vince has been doing this a very long time. Somebody already went after him once and we see where they’re at, hence WCW. Am I saying we’re as good as them? Sure I am. Do I say that we compete against them? No. Why can’t we have our own product and they have their product? You know what I mean? So do they intercollide at some point? I have no earthly idea. It’s way too early to tell. But can we be an alternative to WWE programming? Yes we can. Can we have as much of a fan base as WWE? Yes we can. Can we have just as good of a product as WWE? Yes we can. Do I say we compete and that we’re all sitting around going ‘I can’t wait to go live against them’? We don’t sit around and do that because I feel like you’re setting your sights on something away from what you should be focusing on. Let’s focus on our company.”
Is Chyna’s induction into the Hall of Fame with DX the only way she was going to get inducted? “I would say that would be wrong. Let’s just be happy and take it all in that she’s going. This will open the door for her to go by herself. I feel like there would have been a major league riot if they had put all of DX in and not put her in. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’m not going without her. We were that good of friends. And I’ve had this discussion with my wife. Luckily she’s going in and I don’t have to make that decision because she was a super close friend of mine, probably my best friend. But it doesn’t matter what we do outside of wrestling. I was not the poster boy for anything at all. Like we all have made mistakes and we all have taken paths that we wish we wouldn’t but we all eventually, hopefully we find our way back. She found her way back, I found my way back, Brian (Road Dogg) found his way back and now we all go in the Hall of Fame. We go in the Hall of Fame because of what we did in wrestling.”
•Did he have to talk to Vince or Triple H before accepting his job at AEW? “No I do not. Like I said, I don’t work for them. They know exactly what I’m doing. I think they knew I was getting hired at AEW before I did. AEW has offered me an awesome opportunity to do what I do best. Everybody there knows that, I know that and I feel like I’m going to really help them and I want to be part of that. Especially at this time of my career to be involved with something new, something fresh, something exciting. How many people get to say that?”
•Will his AEW position a full time job? “Yes, it will. As soon as we get kicking it will”
•So does this mean weekly television? “Yes. that’s what that means.”