Hacking into the mystery of Max Moon with the legendary Konnan

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September 26, 2013

WWECLASSICS.COM: What do you think changed the perception of lucha libre in America?

KONNAN: When I first brought the Mexicans to WCW in 1996, Rey [Mysterio] came into the dressing room and everybody was making fun of him. They were saying, “Is there gonna be a midget division?” I told Rey, “I want you to represent Mexico and lucha libre, show what you got and close their mouths.” He was lucky, because his first match was against Dean Malenko. He was such a good professional. Everybody backstage went to watch on the monitor. First Hulk [Hogan], then “Macho” [Man Randy Savage], then everybody went there. In the four years I was in WCW, I only saw this happen twice. When Rey and Dean came backstage, everybody gave them a standing ovation. The only other time I saw that happen was when Eddie Guerrero wrestled Rey Mysterio in Las Vegas at Halloween Havoc. When those Mexicans came in and did all that wild [stuff], it was an exciting different style.

WWECLASSICS.COM: The Max Moon character was so colorful, it was very reminiscent of lucha libre. Was the character your way of introducing lucha to the United States?

KONNAN: The character, not so much. I just thought the robot was different and something that had never been seen before. The colorfulness was, of course, inspired by the Mexican culture. All I knew how to do in the ring was lucha libre. As presumptuous as this might sound,  if I did not have success in Mexico and had stayed in WWE, Max Moon would have been a success.

WWECLASSICS.COM: So how did WWE decide to give the Max Moon character to Paul Diamond?

KONNAN: I heard from Tito Santana that one day, Paul Diamond went up to Vince and said, “I fit into that outfit.” Tito called me and asked me to send Paul Diamond the boots. I was like, “He can find his own boots.” Next thing I know, he was doing my gimmick, but part of my gimmick was I did lucha, which Paul Diamond didn’t. They gave the gimmick to him and Pat Patterson called to fire me.

WWECLASSICS.COM: What were your thoughts when you saw Paul Diamond as the Max Moon character on the historic first episode of Raw in New York City? Was there any jealousy on your part?

KONNAN: I never saw any of it. I was too busy making money in Mexico. I was like John Cena is now. It bothered me when I found out someone else was doing my gimmick, because it was my idea, but when he failed, I can’t tell you there wasn’t a part of me that was glad he did. But they had every right to fire me when I started missing TV tapings.

WWECLASSICS.COM: Have you spoken to Mr. McMahon since you left WWE?

KONNAN: I went to visit Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio and saw him backstage in San Diego in 2005. He came up to me and said, “Hey, how’s it going, Konnan?” He shook my hand and that was it. I couldn’t believe it. I thought he didn’t like me, because I never get mentioned in anything.

WWECLASSICS.COM: Is there any part of you that regrets the way you handled your time in WWE?

KONNAN: I would never had been as big as I was in Mexico, and who knows what I would have done in WWE. To tell you the truth, I really believe X-Pac took my place when I left. If I had stayed in WWE at that stage, I was so immature and easily influenced, it would not have been a good move.  In a way, I’m glad I didn’t. That’s the truth.

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