Dan Severn On Being Recruited By WWE And WCW, Why He Left WWE & More!

UFC legend and Former WWE Superstar Dan “The Beast” Severn was recently the guest on Prime Time with Sean Mooney. Here are some highlights…..

On fighting chemical free:

“What might boggle your mind even more, to do a 20 year career, I’m lifetime chemical free and speaking of the wacky world of professional wrestling, that says a lot right there. Even in the MMA world, you see people get in trouble for PEDs and things of that nature. I’m lifetime chemical free.”

On early MMA contracts:

“I kept a copy of one of the contracts because I knew that people would question it one day. It even states in smaller print at the bottom of the contract, ‘In the event of your accidental death, as long as you don’t bite somebody or stick a finger in their eye socket.’ There’s a whole lot of other ways you can take a man’s life without violating those two rules.”

On fighting at a dog show:

“I had all kinds of companies that were contacting me. Here’s the absolute craziest one. I get contacted to do a show in Mexico. This group were offering some crazy money and they want no rules. They wanted to be badder than what the UFC was, kind of anything goes. You can actually wear Levi jeans and cowboy boots. This event was going to take place in an over sized cockfighting pit. They were gonna start with roosters, progress to dogs, and then main event with human beings, all still in blood, in the same sand. They are offering me some crazy money and I go, ‘Let me think about this.’ I said, ‘You know, at the time of payoff, is it gonna be cheaper to pay Dan Severn or cheaper to put a bullet in his head?’ That’s what crossed my mind. I turned it down.”

On making moral choices while fighting in the cage:

“It was the first time they saw real knees dropping off the head of another human. There was so much blood dropping off of Oleg Taktarov’s forehead, it filled up his eye wells. He couldn’t see me. I could drop knees and he would have never seen them coming. If anyone ever gets a chance to review that match at UFC 5, you’ll see three different times where I stop and look out there, ‘Why is this match continuing on?’ When Oleg finally turned his head sideways to let the blood run from the corner of one eye out to the side of his nose, he exposed his temple. It even crossed my mind, ‘Drop a knee now,’ but if I dropped the knee at his temple, I could have potentially killed him. To me, it’s like, ‘I want to win, but I’m not there to do something like that.’ I only had one match my entire career where evil begot a greater evil.”

On his relationship with Jim Cornette:

“Jim was very gracious for allowing me to use Smoky Mountain Wrestling. That was the first time I ever had the chance to meet him. Our lives have crossed paths on three very important time frames in my life and Jim has been right there to support me a great deal – I should say even a fourth time because one was more recently. He was gonna be retiring a manager and at one of the shows he was at, he found out I was on the card. The promoter asked him who he’d like to manage and when he found out I was on the card, he goes, ‘Dan Severn.’ To me, it was like, what an honor. What I like most about Jim Cornette is the fact that he is so passionate about the business. When you talk to him and ask questions of him, you can just see he’s telling it almost with a child’s eyes. That’s the kind of perspective you need to see it from.”

On being recruited by WWE & WCW:

“I was being recruited by both companies. Ted Turner with Eric Bischoff at the helm, I went to both organizations to hear what they had to say. It was kind of cool. I always tell people, ‘I didn’t call them. They called me.’ It was kind of a cool situation. To hit the high notes, I was looking for a unique contract because I knew that neither of these companies realized how old I was. I did not want an exclusive contract because if I went exclusive where now I’m working for one or the other, I’m not about to give up a year of my life. I don’t mind making you the exclusive professional wrestling company I’m working for, but I don’t want them to stop me from doing what I’m doing in amateur wrestling and all the other things…for the most part, I negotiated most of my own contract.”

On working for WWE:

“They used me very well in the beginning and then I think they realized when they had no type of control over me because I could come and go. The average wrestler was working under contract at that time 180 dates a year and my contract was only for 60 dates. I had to know about my schedule ahead of time because of all the other dates I’m working. That industry opened up my eyes in a lot of ways.”

The reason he left WWE:

“The cycle of a professional wrestler from a babyface to a heel, from heel to babyface, and they have this writing team that’s coming up with ideas, some pretty wacky ideas. That was one of the ideas that was brought up to me. This 666 Mark of the Beast and they wanted me to be an Undertaker disciple or something like this. I’m going, ‘Wow, I’m not crazy about this idea whatsoever.’ Basically that sort of led to the demise. They used me really good in the beginning. I don’t think they really knew what to do with me. They were turning me into a heel and I had put together a list of ideas that I could work with as a heel, but I walked in there with a certain reputation and I’m not gonna throw this reputation away on a two year contract. Then the last people that would remember Dan Severn would go, ‘Whatever happened to Dan Severn? The last thing I knew he had 666 written across his forehead and he was an Undertaker disciple. The guy went off the deep end, didn’t he?’ I was thinking, ‘I don’t need money that bad. I can go out and get a job.’”

On why he’s reluctant to sign autographs:

“I invested so much time into what I’m doing. I’m off 20 times this month. I missed another birthday. I missed another anniversary. I missed this. I missed that. So, when I go to certain days and people run up to me and say, ‘Will you autograph this for me?’ or ‘Can I take a picture with you?’ I’m like, ‘No.’ Then they’re like, ‘Why?’ I say, ‘It’s because you haven’t paid the price. I have.’”

Click here to listen to the full interview.

Huskie Howard

Huskie Howard

Huskie Howard is the owner and editor-in-chief of WrestleFix.com. He is a long time contributor to WrestleOhio.com, where he is known for his extensive coverage of Ohio pro wrestling and interviews with the stars of the Ohio pro wrestling scene.

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