When you look back at the early days of WrestleMania, are there any wrestlers who would fit in better today? Are there any differences in what it took to be in the main event back then compared to today?
It's tough to say. We always come up with these whimsical scenarios of "what if." What if Hulk Hogan was in his prime right now or would John Cena survive the Attitude era or vice versa, how would a flipping the bird "Stone Cold" Steve Austin find success on a program that's PG? I think ability is just rewarded, period. The people who have made it before would have been successful again because you can't knock that drive, you can't knock that hustle, and you certainly can't knock that passion. This is certainly not an easy job, but if you love it, it's very rewarding. So if you're in it just for the money, it becomes old hat very quickly and you walk away. But for those who have had a wonderful career over a certain amount of time and have made an impression on the fans of the WWE, I think they would be successful no matter what.
I think you have to have it in your blood. If you want to be a top guy, back then, if you're not up at 5am and working out with Hulk Hogan, then you're not taking my spot. The shortest day I ever put in was a 14 hour day, so if you weren't out there putting in 14 to 18 hour days, then you're not going to take my spot. I think Cena has this down to a science. He works harder, trains harder and does everything with more intensity than anybody out there today. You have to be totally dedicated to make it to the top. This has to be the priority over friends, family and everything. The only thing that can be in your focus is being the top guy.
What do you think has been the biggest change to the wrestling business from WrestleMania I to WrestleMania XXX?
To me, the one word answer is expansion. The first WrestleMania was held at Madison Square Garden, and if you wanted to watch it outside of the Garden, you had to watch it on closed-circuit television, which means you had to find it in a movie theater or a screen showing this event, and you had to watch it in that theater. Fast forward to WrestleMania III and you had pay-per-view, so if you weren't in the Pontiac Silverdome, you paid your cable provider a fee and you were allowed to watch the event. But now, for WrestleMania XXX, the 30th anniversary of all this, WrestleMania can be watched on even more devices thanks to the forward thinking of the WWE Network. You can watch it on iPad, iPhone, any Android device, Xbox, PlayStation, you can stream it through any digital device anywhere you want and still experience WrestleMania. So expansion is giving us more eyeballs, and more eyeballs makes the event even more spectacular. All we need to do on our end is deliver with the most unbelievable pageantry and the most unbelievable show on the planet, and to us, that's what we do on the regular.
The biggest change to me is how the storylines just move so much quicker. It's not like I could confront Andre The Giant this week then wait to fight him a year later. Now you start a feud and end it in 12 weeks just so you can have it air at the top of the hour and spike the ratings. Everything just moves at such a faster pace.