As previously noted, pro wrestling veteran Justin Credible and Credible documentary producer David Gere were recently guests on our WINCLY podcast with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman. The interview was conducted days before his most recent arrest earlier this month. Among many other things, Credible discussed addiction issues being used in pro wrestling storylines, whether pro wrestlers will ever be unionized, and whether returning to the world of pro wrestling is a healthy choice for Credible.
As the most captivating characters in pro wrestling are often those that are extensions of the performers, some of the most entertaining and exciting angles in the genre are based on real life circumstances. This notion is especially true in this, the 'Reality Era' of pro wrestling. According to Credible, he has no issue with pro wrestling taking real-world issues, like Jeff Hardy's ongoing angle with Samoa Joe on WWE SmackDown Live, and using them in storylines.
"God, I never had a problem with it because the nature of this business, the way you're describing, has been going on in the ECW era, which is 20+ years, so I mean, to me, as long as you ask the participants, when you're getting family and personal names involved, you ask around, 'look, can we do this? Is this cool with you?' I have no problem with it," Credible explained. "To me, it makes it, being that we're in a pseudo-real environment, it just makes it more powerful and more meaningful. And, look, I traveled with Jeff [Hardy] and could probably tell you a lot of things that nobody else knows about me and Jeff during [that] period. I mean, I was fired initially from WWE in 2002 because of hanging out with Jeff and us missing chartered flights for several reasons. So, look, I'm not very down on that. I think, to me, it's fair game. Look, we live in a world of social media where everything is on Instagram, and tweeted, and Facebooked, and whatever, so to me, as long as, and I'm sure WWE checked in on this, but, look, it's all good. Usually, when you don't want to do something, is when you have something to hide and I just think it gives fans that reality TV moment of, 'look, this is something this guy has gone through and let's explore it.'"
In Credible's view, pro wrestlers will always be independent contractors. As such, pro wrestlers will never be given employment benefits or unionize.
"Do I think there is a solution [to pro wrestlers succumbing to addictions]? No. There never will be a solution only because and [film producer] David [Gere] can attest to this, there's a Screen Actors Guild and anybody that makes motion pictures, there [are] rules and regulations, I'm not privy to it, but you need to have a certain amount of Screen Actors Guild members on set, et cetera. With professional wrestling, and this is something former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura was trying to say back in the 80s, was 'wrestlers should unionize,' but unfortunately, if I want an indie booking and I ask for $500, somebody else will go, of my stature, and do it for $250. And that's the point. It'll never happen. I wish it would. Wrestling is as big as it [has] ever been, in my opinion, as far as globally, with all the wonderful independent organizations happening worldwide, not just in the United States, but in England, all over, Australia, all throughout Europe, Mexico, et cetera, Japan." Credible concluded, "I mean, it's ridiculous, but I never see it being unionized, unfortunately."
On whether Credible thinks the pro wrestling environment is healthy for him, the ECW standout said that returning to pro wrestling makes the most sense for him financially; however, he does not know how his body will take to the grind at 45 years young.
"Again, that's something that goes two ways," Credible stated. "Financially, is that the most viable option for me? Absolutely. Is it something that at 45 years old I can do on a regular basis? I don't know, so, again, I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon, from the world of pro wrestling, but it's few and far between as far as getting me active in the ring. To give somebody something close to what I used to be because at this point, I don't want to cheat fans, just walking out there and giving a couple of punches and kicks. I would like to do something more and I plan on doing a lot more."
Check out the WINCLY in the audio player below. For more information on the Credible documentary, visit the film's website.