Original ECW referee Jim Molineaux joined VOC Nation’s IN THE ROOM podcast to reflect on New Jack, as well as discuss being part of the WWE’s relaunch of ECW. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
On Paul Heyman’s incredible promo skills:
“Paul let people learn to be themselves and learn to be that person turned up. I can remember there weren’t a lot of times where Paul would say ‘forget it, don’t worry about it.’ He would say, ‘no that’s it, but as is’ or ‘turn it up a little bit’ or ‘be a little more excited’, ‘be a little more angry’; he’s great at (helping) people bring out their personalities.”
How Heyman has reinvented himself:
“He’s definitely changed (his) persona from ‘Paul E’…it’s definitely an evolved character. It’s definitely a young man’s game, but he’s found a way to be an older person and still be relevant, not only in the business but (also) in front of the camera… Look at what he’s doing with Roman Reigns now; would you have thought he would have been managing (or) advising Roman Reigns while he was doing it with Brock Lesnar?”
On working for WWE vs ECW:
“Even the way we were handled and treated were two totally different things… Just to be honest with the whole thing, with my personal situation, I got the call for the second PPV and (was) told that they were going to restart the company and (they wanted me to) be part of it (and) be there for everything. So I went to the PPV…between (the PPV and the next TV taping) the story changed…no contract was ever offered. Even that night, it was ‘we’ll let you know when we need you.”
On making the decision to walk away from WWE:
“The next set of shows were in Philly – at Wells Fargo for TV and they did a house show at the arena. I wasn’t called about those. I was 15 minutes away from both buildings. I’ve never been a person to go to a show and hang out and beg for work, and I wasn’t going go start there. So I didn’t go… I was making as much if not more money with my courier service that I had; so I (thought) I’m not going to take off and take a chance, I’m just done with it. (I) walked away from it.”
On how ECW referees were booked in WWE:
“We were paid nightly. One of the referees were offered a contract and turned it down. None of the other Original ECW referees that were there were (offered) contracts. I just didn’t see it coming down the road.”
Says Vince McMahon was very cordial to the ECW referees:
“He wasn’t negative towards us; (he was) very cordial towards us. In fact he held a meeting before the PPV and told everybody that we would be receiving checks, and he said ‘don’t worry they’re not signed by Paul (Heyman)”.
On whether WWE really had long term plans for the ECW brand:
“I think they were. I think they were happy (and even) in shock with the reaction from the live crowd… That may have been the first time Vince McMahon ever saw an ECW show. The closest thing he probably ever saw to an ECW show was the night that our guys were on Raw.”
On the rumored reason behind the zombie on the first ECW on Syfy show:
“Originally it was supposed to be a Martian coming out and welcoming ECW to the Syfy channel. Someone at corporate at Syfy said ‘you can’t beat a welcoming alien over the head with a kendo stick, so let’s get a zombie since he’s already dead.’
Full interview can be found below.