Children of the Attitude Era rejoice!
A book full of behind-the-scenes hijinks and escapades featuring all your favorite stars has finally been written. And the author rocks a mean sweater vest.
Pete Gas of the Mean Street Posse has written his autobiography, Looking at the Lights: My Path from Fan to a Wrestling Heel, and it’s a quick, entertaining read about how one of Shane McMahon’s friends became one of the most unlikely characters in wrasslin’ history. He still holds the record for being in the highest rated match on Raw!
Below are excerpts from my interview with Gas, which you can listen to at Wrestledephia Radio. In addition to the following, Gas also discusses why he never went to Ring of Honor, debuting the night of the Stone Cold beer truck incident, participating in the RAW 15th Anniversary battle royal and attending McMahon family Christmas parties.
With only three years in wrestling, were you worried you didn’t have enough material for a book?
Pete Gas: “No, I really wasn’t worried. At first, Jon Robinson and I wrote the book, and when we pitched it to different publishing companies, it got picked up almost immediately. Then they wanted more material. Thanks to the WWE Network, I went back and watched matches of mine. It triggered my memory for a lot of things. If you think about it, in those three years, being on the road every week and all the things we had to go through, there’s plenty. There’s definitely more stories that could have made the book.”
When you were released, you said that Shane called you that night and offered his condolences, so to speak. He said he didn’t know you would be released, but later on you found out that he did. What’s the real story?
Pete Gas: “From what I understand from talking to him, he either knew or had an idea. I was in Puerto Rico with IWA, and Rodney and Joey Abs were in Memphis still. I was told they were going to bring us back as the Posse and then split us up in storyline. When Vince bought WCW and ECW, he had all this talent with only six hours of airtime. He had to cut the fat, and we were the fat. Had they kept us but fired other guys that would have just brought more resentment to us. We were off television so we were expendable.
You know, we had a great run and we did what a lot of people didn’t expect us to, and that includes Vince. They gave us an opportunity to help promote Shane, and that was supposed to be the end of it. But the people backstage saw the reaction we were getting from the crowd. The bottom line is that Vince would have never kept us if we weren’t doing something that was helping the show. We would have been two weeks and gone and God knows what kind of life I’d be living right now. Because we got that reaction, that’s what kept us there. It was the hard work that Rodney and I had after that that kept us growing in the business. That’s the story a lot of fans who think they know the business don’t know, and now they can know all about it in the book.”
Is it true Jeff Jarrett offered you to come to TNA on the condition that you’d have to bash the McMahon family?
Pete Gas: “It’s partially correct. I had been out of the business and TNA was an opportunity. It hadn’t really been formed yet, but Jeff had everything lined up and he knew I was interested in wrestling. When I spoke to him about it, he said, ‘Pete, you know we’ll have to bring you in as the Mean Street Posse, not with that name because WWE owns it, but as Shane’s buddy. You’ll most likely have to bash the McMahons.’
I had a real problem with that because they gave us our break. We did what we had to in order to maintain that job and get a reaction from the crowd and that’s how we stayed around. But I just couldn’t see myself bashing the McMahons. There’s no way I could do that after how much love and respect they’ve shown me, and how much I have for them.”
All these years later, is it surreal for you to see the McMahon family hanging out at the White House?
Pete Gas: (laughs) “It doesn’t surprise me, but yeah it’s kind of cool because you’ve got Vince and Linda in the photo, Triple H and Steph, Shane O and Marissa, and all their kids. It’s cool to see the whole family together. They’re a very close family and that’s what’s great about them. The best compliment I can ever give that family is with all the money they have, you would never know it by the way they act. They’re such great people who care about others.”
Are you going to bring the sweater vest to Orlando, just in case?
Pete Gas: “You never leave without your gear. You never know if someone is going to say, hey, you want to get in there? But seriously, I’m going to be at Wrestlecon in Orlando. I haven’t decided if I’ll wear the sweater vest, but it will be packed just in case.”
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