"FATHER JAMES MITCHELL INTERVIEW ONLINE
wanted to know what an evil, psychotic, sadistic man does during his 6 days
That's right, as one of the many stories 'Father' Jim
Mitchell tells in this hour'ish long interview. This is entertainment of
the most CANDID order!
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-- Mitchell says
he has, over the years, compacted the answer to how he got into the wrestling
business into that he lied, swindled and cheated his way into it - "It was
a long ugly trail, literally working for guys where you're wrestling under
a tent or under a tree somewhere".
-- When he's not
working in wrestling, he sings to audiences 6 days a week. That's why he
very rarely does indy shows, as not many people can pay him enough to cover
him cancelling one of his singing shows. Since he's always in gimmick, when
he gets on the stage looking like the devil and starts singing, there are
always little old ladies in the front row who get scared, but they warm to
him in the end.
-- The storyline
of his career was South Atlantic Pro Wrestling to start, Smoky Mountain with
Jim Cornette, WCW, ECW, and now NWA:TNA.
-- Since before
he got into the business Mitchell's act was singing and taking a lot of his
act from wrestling, Father James then speaks about his musical influences
as a child. From the soulful stuff, to the stuff that he used to make fun
of when his parents listened to it!
-- He had a want
to be a wrestler, but realised that he was never in the right physical shape
to be one. So he became a manager.
-- He came in as
Daryl Van Horn in Smoky Mountain, and loved working there. Jim Cornette let
him say or do anything he wanted to - however, if he could do a seminar on
how to cut a good promo, he'd show that early footage as a way of showing
people how NOT to cut a promo. While he knows he was very entertaining, it
didn't have a thing to do with wrestling. But, he was working as the manager
of a Mummy (who was apparently a very nice guy), and in Cornette's words;
"get yourself over, the mummy sucks".
-- Father James
met Chris Kanyon through the Wrestling Observer newsletter, where Kanyon
was running an ad. Whilst Mitchell could clearly see that Kanyon had a load
of potential, he couldn't do the basic things very well - Mitchell even had
to teach him how to lock up properly!
So Mitchell sent
Chris to The Fabulous Moolah's wrestling school, and then onto Smoky Mountain.
When Kanyon got his break in WCW as Mortis as a part of the whole 'Blood
Runs Cold' angle, WCW needed a mouthpiece for the heels.
-- Whilst the company
had ideas such as Oliver Humperdinck amongst others, Mitchell presumes that
everybody else who was contacted rejected them as it was a stupid idea, but
"as is the story of his career" Mitchell accepted it. One day Mitchell went
over to DDP's house and cut a promo, which Page then showed to Bischoff.
30 minutes later, Bischoff hired him and therefore he can credit his joining
WCW to Kanyon, DDP and Bischoff.
-- The day Mitchell
went to meet Bischoff, Eric said to him that the angle was pretty much dead
in the water, so don't do anything stupid like buy a house etc. He was signed
initially for 2 years, and was on television for around 11 months. He then
sat around doing nothing, and his contract rolled over into year 3 where
he was paid again for doing nothing.
-- It is Father
James' opinion that nobody in the angle was over enough to be in an angle
which WCW invested so much money in. "Nobody in that spot could've carried
it was a dead angle".
-- Talk then turns
to the Oddatorium segments that Mitchell ran. He tried to carve out his own
niche as a Piper's Pit style segment on the Saturday Night show, as "it was
all Thunder, and Nitro, and f**k everybody else". After only doing a few,
Bischoff said that nobody wanted to see talking heads - which Mitchell found
fascinating since he would spend 12 minutes talking at the beginning of every
-- Father James
had put 'all of his eggs in one basket', in the Wrestling business and "as
much as a high as it was to get hired, it was twice as bad to get fired".
He gives the analogy that you cant go to a car dealership or somewhere and
say you've been on tv doing wrestling, cause they'd just look at you as if
you'd been doing porno. So a few months Raven got in touch with him about
ECW and that's how that started.
-- When comparing
WCW and ECW, he feels that ECW was a hell of a lot more like a family atmosphere,
and ECW was where he had the most fun in his career.
-- Upon being hired
in ECW, Mitchell thought he'd continue doing the devil gimmick, the character
he has now in NWA:TNA. He was paired with Mikey Whipwreck (who he'd never
seen before, and only knew that he was physically about his size), the underdog,
and ended up doing slap-stick humor instead of the devil type thing he
-- The incident
with the contraption Mitchell used to shoot fireballs occurred when he
dis-regarded the guidance to not have batteries in it when loading it. It
blew up in his hand, and took off a part of his finger, as well as making
his hand look like he'd grabbed hold of a running chainsaw - "ruining" his
He was given drugs
to take away the pain were great, they did the job. However, they made him
stupid. He'd be driving home and drive 75 miles past the house and end up
in Tampa. He used to have dreams about things exploding, and was told on
the way to the hospital with the injury that if he didn't calm down, he would
die. Mitchell's thoughts were that he was cool as a cucumber, but he was
in shock and everybody was telling him he needed to calm down
Not only that, but
when it exploded, shrapnel fragmented into his abdominal area. Mitchell describes
it basically as like being a mini-pipe bomb exploding in his
-- The list of injuries
he read out during the Mike Tenay sit down interview on TNA that came from
the incident were all true.
-- When he returned
to work in ECW, the end was coming. He knows that Paul Heyman is full of
sh*t, but Mitchell says he's a clever guy so he knew when Heyman was full
of sh*t. It was such a family atmosphere in the locker room that a lot of
people were in denial, but they really knew it was coming.
-- There were talks
about going to WWE once ECW folded, between both the company and he directly,
and between Heyman and Mitchell, but nothing ever took shape. He was unemployed
for around 10 months inbetween, and never really had any thoughts of returning
to wrestling until NWA:TNA called cause he quite enjoyed just laying around
and getting drunk.
-- His thoughts
on early TNA are that originally he feels that TNA were just throwing things
against the wall and just seeing what stuck. He wasn't overly happy with
how he was being used up until the whole Raven angle.
-- The reason Malice
never worked consistently for TNA was due to his dates in
-- This interview
was conducted a couple of days before Jerry Tuite (Malice aka The Wall)'s
death, and James then goes on to mention how he hopes to see Jerry back in
TNA. Unfortunately that is no longer possible. We send our condolences to
Jerry's friends and family.
-- Not only was
Malice sporadic in his appearances, but Mitchell himself was too. He has
no idea why this was, other than his own reasoning that they just wanted
to "switch sh*t up" a lot.
-- If he had to
make a highlight tape of his career, his final match with Raven would be
on it. And if he only had 10 minutes of highlights to show somebody, he'd
give 6 minutes to that. Not only was it probably his favourite angle of his
career, it was also a huge favourite as a feud ender.
-- Going into the
match with Raven, he wasn't scared to do the match itself, he was simply
scared that he would 'blow up' (get extensively tired) during the match and
fall down with cramps or something. He always thought that all of the matches
where valets or managers (ex. Eric Bischoff) got involved sucked, and he
didn't want his match to suck.
-- He really enjoyed
the way he bled during the match with Raven. He's watched it back over and
over again since and really loves it.
-- After the match
he was pretty beat up. He legitimately had to take 3-4 weeks off of TNA to
heal the injuries he really suffered from the match, but now he has done
so, he sees himself returning to TNA in mid to late January.
-- Sinn replaced
Brian Lee literally through complete and utter good timing. Brian Lee "had
to go" in Mitchell's terms, and one event when Brian wasn't there, Sinn was
- literally, standing in the corner whilst they were looking for him. So
it was a case of "guess what, you're in the church".
-- Father James
then goes into extremely graphic detail about shaving Raven's head. The clippers
that were used to shave his head were not "beard clippers", they were heavy
duty things to sheer sheep. Whilst doing it, he didn't realise, but he had
the sheers the wrong way around. Due to this, he was literally peeling Raven's
When he reviewed
the tape back he literally felt sick - while he was doing it, it didn't look
One of the last
things you see on the broadcast is a little lump of flesh falling off of
Raven's head, and just as he was watching that at home, his wife brought
him in some lasagne and Father James was just about ready to throw
-- When he got
backstage, the "infamous backstage incident" took place. When Raven came
back through the curtain, Mitchell was ready to take a beating. Raven came
over to him and started cursing him out, and went to hit him, but pulled
away at the last second. He then began to pace around for a while, before
wiping the blood from his head and pie-faced Mitchell. Raven later apologised
for his behavior, and Mitchell apologised for scalping him.
-- Mitchell then
talks about his time in MLW and how it reminded him a hell of a lot of 1993
-- We then move
into Word Associations with names such as New Church members Vampiro, Slash,
Brian Lee, Sinn & Malice; Eric Bischoff, Paul Heyman, and many
-- James then closes
off the show for us with a message to all of his fans.
-- The hosts then
go into the recap segment to round off the show, but before that we play
an out-take from the Jim Mitchell interview which is absolutely
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