Interview: Kevin Sullivan discusses Goldberg in the WWE Hall of Fame
Kevin Sullivan has most definitely had a long and illustrious career in professional wrestling. And because once the wrestling bug bites you, the effects last a lifetime; he's just as involved in the business as ever, acting as a booking mentor to The Almighty Sheik, resident booker of PCW Ultra.
I caught up with the living legend and discussed a wide variety of topics from PCW to WWE and much, much more. It was definitely an enlightening and enriching experience to hear from one of the greatest characters and minds in professional wrestling history.
So tell us about your involvement with PCW Ultra.
Kevin Sullivan: I came aboard at the current show. My friend Joe Cabbibo is the brains behind this. He put it together. It's the hottest wrestling organization in the United States right now. We started out with 130 people and two years later, he's got almost 2000 people coming to the shows.
He has some of the best talents. From legends Terry Funk, Stan Hansen to a pool of young up and coming guys to superstars from MVP to Rob Van Dam to Penta, the biggest star from Mexico. He's got people from Europe that come in. He's got former MMA fighters. He's got a blend I've never seen anywhere.
Whatever you want to see in wrestling, when you come to PCW Ultra, you'll see it. Whether it's high flying or technical or a blend of MMA, catch wrestling, Japanese Strong Style and Lucha. It's fabulous. It's the best thing I've ever seen. And that's saying something because I've been around for a long time.
Having been around for such a long time, what do you think of the state of independent wrestling in 2018?
Kevin Sullivan: I think the state of independent wrestling is the alternative product to the WWE. And this isn't a knock on the WWE. They're the global enterprise. Now, let's say if you like rice, maybe you want to try some saffron rice instead of white rice. Maybe you want to try some brown rice instead of the saffron rice.
That's what independent wrestling is giving the mainline audience. It's giving them the chance for an alternative product. And it's gotten hotter over the last few years. And now, up and down the West Coast there seems to be a revival of independent wrestling like I said.
And at PCW Ultra, we're doing sellouts month after month. So, I think there's a niche for this. I think independent wrestling done well with a mind like Joe Cabbibo pulling the strings is going to have an amazing growth in the next few years.
Do you think the monopoly of WWE can be challenged in the year 2018?
Kevin Sullivan: I do believe there's room for an alternative product. If somebody came along with the right backing on the television program, what you see in PCW Ultra would take off and do huge numbers.
Because it's like anything else. The WWE, and again I'm not knocking them, they're a global enterprise... it's the same people you've seen for fifteen or twenty years that have been recycled half a dozen times. I mean you're from a country (India) that's cricket mad. Do the players in cricket come back and stay on the same team for 20 years?
WWE haven't really built a big star, in my mind, since John Cena. Roman Reigns, I guess, is the closest thing that they've got. But their background of bringing in young guys into the business is that they get them to a certain point and jump off them for a while. Like Bray Wyatt, for instance.
I thought he was going to be a huge star. When everybody was singing his song and turning on the light on their camera, yet they got off him. I don't understand that. So, what I was saying is that there's an alternative that could happen and hopefully we'll see.
It would be good for the business, and it would be good for WWE if they had some competition to make them work a little bit harder.
What do you think of WWE embracing WCW wrestlers like Goldberg and Sting and putting them into their Hall of Fame? Did you expect this to happen at the height of the Monday Night Wars?
Kevin Sullivan: No. At the height of the Monday Night Wars, I thought there would be animosity, but I'm glad that there isn't because Vince has bought the WCW library. And both those gentlemen deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.
Do you think Hulk Hogan will reconcile with WWE someday?
Kevin Sullivan: I think someday, but not right now because Mrs McMahon is in the cabinet for President Trump. And I don't think they can take any heat right now. You know a lot of people in the cabinet, in our country... the press has gone after.
She (Linda McMahon) has gone unscathed right now, and I don't think they want anything that would result in negative publicity for her.
I was watching a lot of your old stuff where you got heel heat with a lot of devious tactics. Do you think in this politically correct world that is something we're missing out on? Where heels are not allowed to be heels right now?
Kevin Sullivan: I think this politically correct world is definitely the way to go. I think in this day and age you can still be a heel if you continually keep on the guy and don't give him anything. It's almost like within the work we're going to be shooting.
Because you and I are wrestling. You want to do something. I'm not going to give it to you. And then, people go- 'This isn't the dance that we've seen before. This guy's different'. And then they're going to start booing him. If not, the worst thing is more people will start coming.
I think there needs to be someone that comes along like Brock and Goldberg where people say 'Well, I know it's pre-arranged but wow! That guy is tough.'
What do you want the legacy of Kevin Sullivan to be?
Kevin Sullivan: I hope my legacy is that I gave as much as I took and I left something here for some guys to learn. And hopefully, that's it. I did the right things most of the time.
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