Jesse Ventura: Under what jurisdiction?
Eric: I’m not entirely positive but I think it was Connecticut. It never went to trial because of some legal loophole. It is interesting that the wrestlers are starting to fight for that now.
Jesse Ventura: The point is that I’d be interested to know under what basis they could possibly throw this thing out of court. They threw it out saying that these guys are self employed?
Eric: It might have been a time issue because of how long it was. I’m not entirely sure what it was.
Jesse Ventura: You know, I’m not a lawyer either but I did appoint 73 judges so I know a little but about the law by having been a mayor and a governor. I find that unbelievable. Under what basis, other than a technicality like that, why didn’t they refile it then? I can’t fathom how they could throw it out and say that wrestlers are self-employed. It’s a joke. When I wrestled for Vince McMahon, I could not work for anyone else in the world of pro wrestling. That’s not self-employment. Self-employment is like being a plumber. I could work for you today and for your neighbor tomorrow because I run my own business. Working in wrestling, you don’t run wrestling. Vince does and you can’t work for anyone else. You sign exclusive contracts. How on earth can that be self-employment?
Eric: If you want, I can send you a link about the case…
Jesse Ventura: No I don’t need you to. I’m not going to fight over this. I tried that once and got hammered for it. I tried to unionize way back at WrestleMania 2. I got ratted by Hogan to Vince and I almost got fired over it. Shortly after that, I went off and filmed Predator and became a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild. Now I’m a vested member. I get my retirement and my health benefits from them. So I don’t care. I have my union. I attempted to do it way back in the mid-80’s. If wrestlers are so dumb and stupid that they don’t want to fight for something they should have then that is their business. It’s not mine. I’m not going to do it. Why should I?
Eric: I wasn’t asking you to fight it. I just thought that you might have been interested about the case and why they threw it out.
Jesse Ventura: No. It’s irrelevant to me. I don’t care why if or what. I don’t have anything to do with it.
Eric: Did you enjoy wrestling or being a commentator more?
Jesse Ventura: Both. I know that sounds like a political answer but they came at different parts of my career. I enjoyed the wrestling when I did it. But then when I switched to being a commentator, it was the right time. It allowed me a smooth transition to go into retirement and probably be the only wrestler in the world that when he said he retired did. I don’t know of too many others that made the initial retirement statement and didn’t come back. I didn’t and I’m proud of that fact. When I left the business, I moved on and I’ve never looked back since. And I think that I’ve been fairly successful.
Eric: Why does the WWE edit out your voice on some DVDs and not others?
Jesse Ventura: Because of the court case. I beat Vince McMahon in federal court because my likeness and voice was on 98 of his tapes. I guess out of spite, after he lost the court case, he felt that he would rather ruin the original broadcast and ruin the authenticity of it which I thought was very foolish. But he did it out of spite because he has to pay me for any tapes that I appear on. I still get checks today. I laughingly call it my wrestling retirement. And believe me, some of the checks are pretty healthy. None of the wrestlers are getting any of this and if they are they aren’t getting the percentage that I’m getting. I took him to federal court and beat him. The court applied the percentage that I had negotiated with Turner. They now apply it to all the tapes that I’m on.
The reason that you’ll get these fraudulent tapes, and that’s what they are because they are not real, they are not original, so all wrestling fans should know that it was done out of spite by Vince to save a few bucks for him. Because he’d have to pay me for appearing. Not only did I beat him in federal court, the United States Court of Appeals held it up. Vince took it up all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States and they wouldn’t hear it but in essence that is them holding up the verdict. What I did was correct and lawful. I’m the beneficiary of it because I had the guts to put my money where my mouth was and I took Vince on in federal court and defeated him. The federal government wasn’t able to do that. Not many people have taken on Vince head-to-head and beaten him but I have.