On August 5th, 2001, Adrian Lynch and I hooked up again via telephone for about an hour. We talked about wrestling, the WWF buying up the competition, college...just about everything with the exception of the stem cell debate. Here are the high points of that conversation. (Click on any thumbnail photo to see the full-size version.)
Note: If you haven't done so recently, make sure to read the initial interview and the second interview before reading this one to get some background on Adrian Lynch.
DDT Digest: Another year and a half has gone by since we last talked. Is Adrian Lynch showing another year and a half of improvement?
Adrian Lynch: Absolutely. As far as my skills go, things keep moving up. I'm still improving...you have to be, to survive. I've been wrestling against some great competition...Meng (Haku), Jerry Lynn, Jerry Lawler. The local guys are coming along as well, and that's good for them as well as being good for me, because it provides better competition. Dino Bambino, Kevin Krueger, Kujo, Ken Anderson...I'm really surrounded by quality guys. My manager/valet Alexis has been a very good friend to me as well.
DDT Digest: In the pictures you sent me, you look pretty different than last time we talked. Did you drop some weight?
Adrian Lynch: Yeah, in about a year, I lost 70 or 75 pounds. It was a lot of hard work, and Hydroxycut helped. I'm pretty psyched about the weight loss because even after losing all the weight, my bench didn't go down at all. My knees are a lot better...my back is a lot better. Definitely as compared to when I was 310, I've got more energy, more wind. I am now right where I want to be in terms of my physical conditioning. About the only thing left at this point is to tighten up the skin in a few spots where it needs it. I've been cleaning out my closets, too. I even fit into my high school clothes. Lots of Lip Service stuff from back in the day. Found my old denim jacket too, with all the mullet rock patches. Good stuff.
DDT Digest: Was that a thrill for you wrestling against Lawler?
Adrian Lynch: Actually, I was his partner for a tag match. Stacy wrestled that night, too. And, yes, it was a big thrill to be wrestling with him. Hell, Lawler started wrestling professionally five years before I was born. Being able to pick the brains of some of these guys is a good learning experience. Meng's genuinely a nice guy. I got a chance to travel with him. Jerry Lynn is a first class guy, and I'm really glad to see him get a break. He and I have been up and down the same roads, having worked the indies for a lot of the same promoters in the Midwest, with him being from Minnesota and all. Working with George Steele was great. I got a chance to work with "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan. He's coming back to All-Star Championship Wrestling (ACW) in mid-September for a couple shots.
Adrian Lynch vs. Meng
DDT Digest: What belts have you held lately?
Adrian Lynch: I'm a two-time ACW Heavyweight Champion. Back in 1999, I was their first champion ever when I beat Adam Pearce in a tournament to name their inaugural champion. At our first TV taping, I won the belt for the second time by beating Rob Norwood. That was September, 2000. We are on the local UPN affiliate, UPN 32 in Green Bay, and they'll be adding another market or two in the Upper Midwest.
The winner, and new heavyweight champion...
DDT Digest: When you are the champ, do they let you hold onto the belt when you're not at a card?
Adrian Lynch: Sure.
DDT Digest: Did you keep it locked away?
Adrian Lynch: Nah...it was usually laying on my desk when I wasn't on the road.
DDT Digest: What's it like working with the ACW?
Adrian Lynch: It's great. They're based in Green Bay, and they're doing it right.
DDT Digest: What do you mean by "They're doing it right"?
Adrian Lynch: They've been coming along slowly, not trying to conquer the world right off the bat. It's not a direct copy of Vince McMahon, which so many indies are. People don't want to see a low budget WWF, they either want to see the real WWF or an alternative. Promoters that try to lift Vince's stuff or Paul E's stuff just look like fools. As far as creativity goes, just go with the best roster possible and give them a quality wrestling product that makes them want to come back. In theory it should be simple, but very few get it. ACW started running in 1998 and has come along slowly to the point it is now, and I'm happy to have been a part of it and will continue to be a part of it.
DDT Digest: Is ACW an NWA promotion?
Adrian Lynch: No, it's not.
DDT Digest: Would joining the NWA do anything for you?
Adrian Lynch: It certainly wouldn't be a bad thing, but I really don't think it would add anything given where we are now. There already is an NWA Midwest. They ran one show up here, but they run mostly Missouri or Kansas.
DDT Digest: What's your opinion of the NWA as it exists today?
Adrian Lynch: They've got rough waters to navigate. The NWA is really tough to keep organized. It's amazing they've been able to accomplish what they have done so far, when you consider how independents can be in terms of organization, cooperation, etc.
DDT Digest: It's weird to me. As an outsider to the wrestling business, but someone who's been in "the business world" for 14 years, I look at the pro wrestling business and sometimes it seems very similar to "regular" business, and sometimes it seems totally different.
Adrian Lynch: One major problem in our business model is that some new promoters go out there, and expect to make a profit in six months...hell, some even expect to make a huge profit running their first show. Some do, but think about it...how many new businesses turn a profit in one year? To make money, you have to invest money. It's a commitment. If you go about it with the same mindset that anyone would when opening up a small business, you'll be prepared for what may happen. Could thrive, could tank - but that goes with ANY business you start, be it wrestling, or a bar, restaurant, whatever.
Adrian Lynch with Alexis
DDT Digest: Obviously, the biggest news lately has been the purchase of WCW by the WWF, and the effective end of ECW. What was three companies is now one. What effect does that have on you?
Adrian Lynch: A big effect. Turner's being sold was definitely a low point.
Things aren't going to be the same, and I know a lot of the guys that feel
that way. They said you always remember where you were when you hear really
bad news. Well, I was at a cousin's wedding in Arizona when I found out about
the sale of WCW. I was like "uh-oh".
There's only one place to go now. The number of "slots" for wrestlers has been greatly reduced. Hell, the WWF already has great talents now on their roster that they can't put on TV because there's not enough TV time. Are they going to need that many more people over the next few years? Maybe a couple years from now, who knows? The goal is not impossible, but it may not be very realistic. If I keep doing what I'm doing, will it really happen? So, I've got to switch gears a little. That doesn't mean quitting, it means saving the wrestling money instead of using it as play money. A lot of guys in the indies are reevaluating where they fit into the big picture.
You can see the difference that being the only major wrestling company makes on how the WWF handles their talent. Bad habits are not tolerated in the WWF. Now, you do anything that gets them bad press, you're gone. You bitch about doing a job, you're gone. Turner isn't around to pick the cast offs anymore. There's no money haggling...look what happened to Chyna.
To put things in perspective......with probably 99.9% of any trade or skill you could think of, if you were to explore your options, chances are you would have more than one. If you're say, a computer technician.....you have options, more than one company to work for and make a living. Wrestling is a monopoly right now. There is only one place in the U.S. where you can seek full time employment if you're a pro wrestler. Factor in that there's no union, and the reality of it kind of sinks in if you step back and look at it. I'm not trying to be Captain Bringdown, but that's the way it is. It's just how things have changed. You either adapt or you don't.
DDT Digest: Were you close to any sort of deal with WCW or ECW when the boom fell?
Adrian Lynch: Possibly. I worked Nashville back in February in front of Terry Taylor when WCW was still around and he was bringing in new guys. Can't say "Yeah, I was in", but there was some dialogue going, he had looked at my recent work and gave some positive feedback and encouragement. Had Turner not sold, who knows?
DDT Digest: As a fan, watching WCW in that last year or two was just painful.
Adrian Lynch: It was like Hee Haw with two-minute wrestling matches.
DDT Digest: Well, we can thank Vince Russo for that.
Adrian Lynch: Man, seeing him in the ring with Flair, seeing him win the belt, hearing him say "Wrestling can't be that hard, if I can do it, anybody can do it"...it was so insulting. A complete slap in the face to every wrestler from rookies to vets.
DDT Digest: One kick to the head from Goldberg, and Vince Russo was never seen again. So, maybe he's rethinking that position.
Adrian Lynch: What goes around, comes around, you know?
Adrian Lynch and Alexis
DDT Digest: So, does there being only one major wrestling company mean the death of the indies?
Adrian Lynch: Actually, it may be the opposite. It's good for the indies. Just like any other business, without anyone to beat, the WWF product will eventually get stale. I don't think indies will be so much competition as they will be an alternative. It's just that, for the wrestlers, there'll be fewer spots to move up to and really make big money with.
DDT Digest: You said at the start that you are still improving, but are you where you thought you'd be? I mean, when Adrian Lynch in 1995 looked ahead to 2001, is this what he saw?
Adrian Lynch: No, I'm not where I thought I'd be, but I'm fine with that. When I was training, Sonny Rogers warned me that there are no guarantees. However, like I was just saying, the wrestling business today is nothing like it was in 1995, and not at all how I expected it to be. If it was, I think I'd be in a different position, a lot of guys would be for sure.
DDT Digest: Hmmm, given that, if you were born six years later than you were, and you were at the age right now where you made the decision in 1995 to go ahead with a pro wrestling career, would you still make the same decision?
Adrian Lynch: I were in that position now, I'm not sure I'd do it, or even be
a wrestling fan for that matter. Am I disappointed in having made that choice
back in 1995? Nah, there's no regret. There's a few things I would have done
differently maybe, but no real regrets. The reality is that I've gotten a lot
of opportunities and, no matter what comes down the road for me, believe it
or not, having been a professional wrestler has been a good experience for
the most part. In this business, assuming you do business right, you grow by
dealing with different people...you grow as a person. I've gotten a lot out
of it, and the growth in my interpersonal skills is something that I didn't
necessarily expect to get out of it, but will help me in any career. You get
communication skills quickly in this business, you have to. I think the
buzzword now is "emotional intelligence". So, I really couldn't be bitter
about the experience. It's unfortunate that so many guys are. There are no
guarantees. If you're just bitter and hostile, do something else. If it
consumes you, hang it up. I tread lightly around those guys. No reason to
waste my time with them as I have way too many positive things to concentrate
What I keep in mind, and what those guys may have forgotten is that, fundamentally, wrestling is a work. It is not 100% based on merit. Even if you are the most talented wrestler in the world, there's politics, crowd reactions, how good you look, etc. Compare that to baseball, which is based on merit. In baseball, you can be the world's biggest jerk, you can be a thug, it doesn't matter. As long as you're able to play well, you'll make the big bucks.
Back around March and April, my evaluation of where this was going and what I should do next was a tough time for me. I decided to turn it to my advantage, so I'm moving to Green Bay and giving myself another option and finishing college. I'm not closing the door on wrestling by any means, but I want to make sure that I have an alternative when this is all said and done - which won't be for awhile.
DDT Digest: Has the in-ring stuff changed as well?
Adrian Lynch: Oh, man, the in-ring stuff is totally different. They're now
doing stupid stunts on TV and on indy shows. Look at those guys in XPW over
in California. They're jumping off balconies, setting guys on fire, using
weed whackers. They're even hitting each other with fluorescent light bulbs
and then tearing each other up with the pieces of glass afterwards. It's like
watching an Itchy And Scratchy cartoon. As a fan, you might as well save your
money and just go rent Faces Of Death for two bucks.
The extreme stuff is catching on a little in the mid-west now, with some promotions. In the 1980s, a barbed wire match was a big deal and, during the match, you'd get thrown into it once or twice. Now, barbed wire matches are no big deal, and you're getting completely torn up.
I'm a wrestler, not a stuntman. When I took this job, no one said anything about tables, ladders or weed whackers. I watch that stuff and I say "Better them than me".
Adrian Lynch vs. Helmut Von Strauss in Minneapolis
DDT Digest: What's up with your website redesign?
My website, http://www.adrianlynch.com/, was completely
completely overhauled by a new web guy. The old guy did a hell of a job, but
he's tied up right now. I have photos and exclusive videos for sale. The
tapes feature me vs. guys like Hacksaw Duggan, Haku, Blue Meanie, plus a ton
of Midwest indy guys. Reasonable prices, too, if I may say so!
I'm also putting some of my old ring wear out on eBay from my days as "The British Import". This is the stuff I actually wore for my matches, wrestling guys like Meng. As I mentioned before, I've lost around 70 pounds, so those old tights don't fit anymore now that I'm down to 240, and I have no plans to be that big ever again.
(Links to the auctions may be found at the end of the interview.)
DDT Digest: Speaking of which, for us statistics geeks, how many matches have you wrestled?
Adrian Lynch: Probably around 700. The dates worked will be somewhat lower,
since I've wrestled more than one match in a given night on several occasions.
Unfortunately, I'm not like a tree...you can't cut me in half and count the rings to see just how many matches I have in me...although maybe the same principle applies with the spine, who knows. That's an interesting concept!
DDT Digest: So, you mentioned moving to Green Bay. What's next for Adrian Lynch?
Adrian Lynch: At this point, the big thing is to finish college. The irony
is, going back to school will make the travel part of my wrestling career
easier. I'm going to school up at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay,
and that's closer to all the shows. ACW has their TV up there, and they'll be
adding another market in the fall. By February or March they'll be running
shows every weekend. Face it, long three-day road trips up to Green Bay or
elsewhere every weekend next year just wouldn't work for me anyway, it would
leave little time to study. Once I'm up there, I'll closer to everything,
closer to my friends, and the longest shot would be Minneapolis at about half
the distance on open highways with no traffic.
And, actually, at this point, I also want to get out of Chicago. It's really not fun for me living here anymore, especially with all the traveling to the shows. There's really no work in Chicago. As big as Chicago is, it's not a wrestling town as far as indies go. The state athletic commision really gets in the way of pro wrestling getting a foothold in the state of Illinois.
DDT Digest: What will you be studying?
Adrian Lynch: I'll be majoring in communications. With the credits I already have, I'm halfway done. I just have to choose a specialization. I'm looking at public communications or organizational communication.
DDT Digest: You'd make a great RA (Resident Assistant - the older student who lives on the dorm floor and keeps the peace). I wouldn't mess with you.
Adrian Lynch: That's a nice thought, but I'm not staying in a dorm. I'm getting my own apartment....dorm life was a little hectic last time around.
DDT Digest: Will it be hard for you to keep in shape at school?
Adrian Lynch: Nah, there's a couple of good gyms up there, and the college has a nice facility.
DDT Digest: Will college be different for you this time around?
Adrian Lynch: Absolutely, I'll be more focused in school. This time, I'm there for a reason...because I want to be, not because it's expected of me. I went to high school at Loyola Academy, where something like 99% of the graduates go straight on to college. So, when I first went to college, it was just something I did, and wasn't really committed to at the time. Now, I am looking at it as a job, and it's something I've got to do right.
DDT Digest: So, six months from now, you're studying for exams, and Jim Ross calls you on the phone. He's got a contract waiting for you in Stamford. What do you do?
Adrian Lynch: At this point, I've committed to school. Were something to come
up, I'd kick it around. But, I can't see dropping out of school a second time
for a developmental deal once my nose is in the books. But, like I said,
there's a million guys out there, if I were to get a call and told them "no
thanks", there wouldn't be any shortage of guys jumping over each other to
So, it's more than likely that I'm out of the active hunt for a full-time WWF gig until college is done. Down the road, when college is done, maybe it will be a different story, things may have very well changed by then. Either way, I'll be fine with it.
DDT Digest: So, is this a new beginning for Adrian Lynch?
Adrian Lynch: A new beginning? Kind of, yeah...I'd call it more of a different phase. I'm sure I'm not the only one doing this. The way things are now, these guys know they may not last 10-15 years anymore, even if they do get in somewhere. They'll get battered around and they're history.
DDT Digest: I've got to imagine that you're going to be the coolest guy on campus. Are you still going to be bouncing to earn some extra cash?
Adrian Lynch: I've pretty much given up the bouncing gigs. I'm looking to do
some personal training after I move. I've got to get certified and all that,
but I think that where I can really excel in that area is in terms of
motivation. I think I've got a lot to offer as a personal trainer.
Of course, I'll still have the steady income from wrestling while I'm in school. I mean, face it, besides bartending, what other way is there for a college student to make decent money on the weekends?
DDT Digest: So, at this moment, what's your number-one concern?
Adrian Lynch: At this moment? It's getting a bank account opened in Green Bay, and getting my furniture into my new apartment. And, more than anything, I've got to get my computer up there so I can stay in touch with what's going on. I told the phone company that the phone line has to be there by the 15th, when I move in. I'm looking forward to it all, no doubt about it.
Adrian Lynch with Mortimer Plumtree
Adrian's eBay auctions can be found at:
Adrian's website, Lynch Online, can be found 24/7 at http://www.adrianlynch.com/.
As with the previous interviews, many thanks to Adrian Lynch for taking this time with us once again. If you want to see Adrian wrestle, check his schedule on Lynch Online.