Former WWE Superstar Blue Meanie has compared the atmosphere of the AEW locker room to that of ECW’s – but with “less shenanigans” backstage.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes’ Lead Writer Gary Cassidy for Issue 17 of Inside The Ropes Magazine, Blue Meanie spoke of the difference between each of the different locker rooms he’s been in, recalling his recent AEW visit as being something of a blast from the past.
“I’ll say this, AEW’s atmosphere in the locker room is a lot like ECW was. Oh, just with, you know, better production and less shenanigans behind us, less libations and party favours.”
Following the suggestion that one example may be the licensed music, but used on the actual production rather than just piped into the house to avoid copyright fees, Meanie added:
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. But it’s a similar atmosphere. Everybody in the locker room, you know, ECW we all have the goal of putting on the best show, and there was a spirit to it where you would enjoy showing up to work. AEW, that feeling backstage is…
“Hey, maybe it’s just me showing up to one show and seeing it, but everybody seemed happy. Everybody was there for each other watching each other’s matches. You know, everybody’s around the monitor watching the show like we did in ECW and you know, everybody just got along, you know?”
The ECW legend recalled his own memories from his recent AEW appearance:
“I showed up and I talked to everybody, I was talking to wrestlers, I was talking to production people, you know, just a really good atmosphere there.
“It was the anniversary of Eddie Van Halen’s passing the day that we did it and, as tribute, I wore a little Eddie Van Halen shirt underneath my button up shirt and production. People were like, ‘Oh, cool shirt.’ We’d just sit there and talk music, you know, just very casual but professional atmosphere and definitely a great place to work.”
Speaking on the difference between moving from ECW to WWE, Blue Meanie stated that you went from “raging against the machine” to joining the machine.
“But you were asking what’s it been like, you go from an atmosphere like ECW where you go from being in ECW, a company that raged against the machine, to joining the machine. So, even though ECW was technically a part of WWE, they were satellite to WWE. As long as you didn’t go to WCW, you were good with Paul.”
Meanie added that the major difference in WWE was the “competition” in the locker room.
“But you know, it was different, you know, a lot more competitive, a lot more people looking out for themselves, not in a bad way. You should always be trying to be doing what’s best for you. Not only is the wrestling business a business but, as an individual, you are your own business. I’m the business of the Blue Meanie, so I got to do what’s best for Blue Meanie. That’s what everybody did during the attitude era in WWE.”
Along with the competition comes pressure, the former WWE star added.
“But you definitely feel a little bit more pressure. You definitely realise how much more of a reach WWE has, you know? I live in Philly and being a part of ECW, I would get recognized here and there. You appear on WWE TV and you’re getting followed, you’re walking through a Walmart and you feel people pacing your walk.
“Like, you’re looking down an aisle and you’re seeing somebody walking down the same, the other in the aisle just looking at you following you, you, you know, keeping pace with you. I was like, You’re like, Am I being followed? You know, just, yeah, but it’s cool. You know, it’s part of the job.”
Blue Meanie added that he even used to get kids knocking on his door asking for autographs – and that those kids have since tweeted him!
“Most recently on either Twitter or Facebook, somebody was like, ‘Hey, I was one of those kids that used to knock on your door back in the day. Thanks for not being a jerk, you know? Thanks for being nice to me.’ I mean, 10-11 year old kids would come to my door and knock and ask for autographs.
“You sign it and then like, now they’re grown adults and they’re like, ‘Hey, man, thanks for being nice to me.’ It’s nice to be remembered.”
The ECW legend added how grateful he is simply to be remembered, and how lucky he believes he is for being one of the people who managed to get an opportunity and run with it.
“There’s so many thousands of wrestlers that are out there, you know, people can just as easily forget you. And here I am in 2021, I did stuff for MLW, AEW and RetroMania Pro Wrestling. I got a Wrestle Buddy behind me that just came out with Brothers Gaddor. I got action figures coming out with Chella Toys. And I got a podcast that drops every Monday morning called Mind of The Meanie, doing pretty good with that.
“Just the fact that, you know, people could choose whatever they want, but they tune in to Mind of The Meanie. And it’s flattering, you know, just, you know, and it’s flattering because I know there’s way more talented wrestlers out there that never got the chance to shine.
“When I broke in, there were there were wrestlers who I knew were a thousand times more talented than me. I just happened to get an opportunity. So here I am, talking to you, to you all the way over in Scotland, and we’re having this great conversation, all because of ECW and our love of professional wrestling.”