Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Jimmy Valiant Shoot Interview [Highspots]

The Good
Jimmy Valiant is generally a good interview if you like his persona, his little catchphrases and understand that he tends to kayfabe.  He has led an interesting career spanning an amazing time frame and has been on top in some of the most noteworthy markets in the US.  All of this makes great fodder for a great interview.  I've heard him due interviews, usually radio shows, half a dozen times or so and he's never shocked me.  This shocked me.  He seemed to be out-of-character (as much as he probably is in real life) and was very honest about everything.  He is upbeat about everything from his career to modern pro-wrestling to his life in general, which is always nice to hear from a retired pro-wrestler.  While he's not the best talker (in contrast to his promos), Jimmy Valiant shows fascinating insight into how he created, developed and adapted his persona over the years.  Whether it was "Handsome" Jimmy, the arrogant bleach-blond heel, or the "Boogie Woogie Man," the kissin', huggin', dancin' bearded babyface, Jimmy Valiant understood how to be different, how to stand out and ultimately - how to get over!  If you clip those parts out, this is golden.

The Bad
I'll be honest, I've never cared for Jimmy Valiant.  His in-ring work, his promos, his whole presentation, it's never been my thing.  That aside, I respect the contributions he has made and have no desire to rip on him.  He was/is a great talker, he had a lot of catchphrases and integrated them to the delight of fans (much like the Rock, whose promos I generally don't care for).  That being said, when he's talking like a regular person, he seems to trip over his words and says "ya know" more than Dave Meltzer interviewing Lance Storm.  Overall, Valiant's happy-go-lucky approach plays well, but it seems like there is another side to his experiences that might be going unsaid.  If his book reads like this...well, hopefully it doesn't.

The Rating: ***3/4

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