Chuck Palumbo returns to WWE
Chuck Palumbo is a true testament to the old adage that hard work pays off. Palumbo first came to WWE back in 2001, when Mr. McMahon bought WCW. Palumbo enjoyed a successful tag team career, winning the World Tag Team Championship on two occasions with partner Billy Gunn. Palumbo's success began to fade, however, and he was released from his contract in 2004. But the former champion didn't let the news keep him down. Palumbo went overseas and began working in Japan to hone his skills in hopes that he would one day return to WWE. His hard work has paid off, and that day has come. Palumbo recently signed a new WWE contract, and WWE.com caught up with him to talk about his time in Japan, how he got his new contract, who he wants to get in the ring with and much more.
WWE.com: What was it like to find out you were coming back to WWE?
Chuck Palumbo: It feels really good, and I'm really excited about it. After a non-televised match with Matt Hardy, John Laurinaitis told me they wanted to sign me back. I was at RAW and had a non-televised match against Rob Van Dam and then I had a match with Hardy before SmackDown. I received a call about a week prior to the matches. I was leaving Japan and on my way to Mexico City. They asked me to come in when I was done in Mexico so they could watch me in a couple matches, so I flew to RAW from Mexico City.
WWE.com: Have you ever worked with Hardy or RVD in the past?
Chuck Palumbo: I worked with Hardy on many occasions. I worked with him when I first came in from WCW and then also a few times after that when he was still with his brother Jeff as the Hardy Boyz. I don't think I ever worked with RVD before, but we had a good match together.
WWE.com: Before hearing any feedback from anyone, how did you personally feel the matches went?
Chuck Palumbo: I felt good about them. We had a great crowd response. I thought they were strong, aggressive matches.
WWE.com: Were there any hard feelings when you were released?
Chuck Palumbo: I actually left on good terms. At that time, I don't think I was where the company wanted me in terms of aggressiveness. I think I needed to be more aggressive on a nightly basis. So, I think it was an opportune time for me to go to Japan. I immediately went there, and there's no better way to step up your aggressiveness than to go to Japan. Anyone who's worked in Japan knows that the style is different. It's what they call strong style, and you have no choice but to be aggressive, otherwise you'll be taken advantage of and eaten up. I worked with Great Muta right away and guys who were on top over there and got good feedback. That was the company's recommendation from the get-go, too, so there were no hard feelings. The door was open for me to come back in the future if I improved.
WWE.com: How did you start working in Mexico as well?
Chuck Palumbo: The CMLL promoters were in Japan and saw me wrestle. They asked me if I was interested in wrestling for them when I had time off from Japan, so I took that opportunity as well.
WWE.com: What are your goals now that you're back?
Chuck Palumbo: I just want to work towards a championship. I think I'm ready to hang with anyone.
WWE.com: Is there anyone in particular you'd like to get in the ring with?
Chuck Palumbo: Three guys I'd really like to get in the ring with are Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Those are the guys. They know the business inside and outside the ring. The opportunity to work with those guys brings you up another level. There's no one better than those three.
WWE.com: You've been primarily a tag team competitor in the past. Does it matter to you if you're in singles or tag team competition?
Chuck Palumbo: I definitely want to be in singles competition. I had fun in the tag team division, but I'm ready to be a singles competitor and be on my own.
WWE.com: What can the fans expect to see from Chuck Palumbo now that he's back in WWE?
Chuck Palumbo: They're going to see a whole new person. They're going to see a lot of aggressiveness. I have a no-nonsense wrestling style, getting right to the point. It's not about being pretty. I'm going to have a rough, rugged style -- just get down to business.