Layla gets Extreme with Tony Hawk
In this week's Superstar to Superstar, ECW's Layla chats with professional skateboarder Tony Hawk about his new video game, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground. The sexy, sassy Diva learns that Hawk is much more than just a skateboarder when he tells her about his charity work with his Tony Hawk Foundation.
Layla: Hi, Tony! How are you?
Tony: I'm good, thanks.
L: Good. Good to talk to you. I just have some questions to ask you, so let me start it off. First I want to say congratulations on your new game
T: Oh, thank you!
L: So, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground -- can you tell me about your new video game?
T: Yeah. It's the latest in our genre of our video games. Basically, this one is our best one because we've taken all the best elements from our previous games and we've added on to them. We've added new features. We're on all the new systems, so we've really taken advantage of the new technology -- like the Xbox 360, the Nintendo Wii and PS3 -- and I feel like we've come a long way, and we've only gotten better.
L: Wow, that sounds awesome! So, basically, how would you say that this game is different than other video games out there?
T: Well, ours is fun to play with different challenges. But once you finish the game or feel like you're a master at it, there are so many new techniques and challenges to learn on it, and we've added features that even the most seasoned player of our games hasn't played before. We added a nail the grab, which is, basically, you can customize what kinds of grabs you're doing on the skateboard in real-time using each hand. The whole game is based on choosing your own path and your own style. So if you do decide you want to finish the game legitimately and with the challenges, you can choose what kind of skater to become in terms of which challenges you want to do. Like if you're more of a street skater, or if you're more of a career type of skater, or if you're more of a hardcore skater -- you know, the guy that skates in backyard pools and doesn't do it for coverage -- and it really represents the reality of what you like doing.
L: Wow, that sounds amazing. Do you think the WWE fans would enjoy this video game?
T: Absolutely. I think there are a lot of similarities in terms of being an individual sport, coming up with your own challenges, and I think there's a lot of crossover. I think a lot of people like the excitement and the action of wrestling or skating. Once you're on a skateboard or once you're in the ring, it's on.
L: Yep! (laughs) OK, so let's move away from the game for a minute. I want to talk about your non-profit Tony Hawk Foundation. What can you tell me about that?
T: Basically we have a foundation where we support the construction of public skate-parks in low-income areas. We've been doing it for about five years now. If there's a community that wants a skate park in their area, we try to give them funding and the resources to get it done right and really just empower the people who have already put some effort in providing for their children. To date, we've given away over $1.5 million and have helped start 300 skate parks across the U.S. We just had our last fundraiser a couple weeks ago in Beverly Hills and we raised $1 million there.
L: Wow, that's awesome. That's really neat. I also want to talk about your charity, Athletes for Hope.
T: Well, Athletes for Hope is basically a hub for all of the athletes that have their own foundation or their own charity works. So, my foundation -- the Tony Hawk Foundation for public skate parks -- is part of that network of athletes. So other athletes, like Lance Armstrong, Mia Hamm, Andre Agassi, are all part of Athletes for Hope. Through that we try to encourage other athletes to get involved in charity work. We work to get them guidance if they're looking to get into charity work. So, basically it's a hub for anyone who wants to be charitable or philanthropic, but also wants to identify with athletes.
L: Wow, that's amazing. I heard Six Flags in Texas created a roller coaster called Tony Hawk's Big Spin. What's that like? (laughs)
T: It's basically a roller coaster that while it's going through the track, the cart is spinning on its own axis. It emulates some skate moves. It's really exciting. I never thought I'd have a roller coaster.
L: Wow, congratulations!
T: There's one in St. Louis as well. I got to ride it with my mom last summer.
L: How was that?
T: That was pretty exciting. She's 82 and she went for it!
L: Oh my gosh! Are you serious? Was she OK?
L: I can't even get on them, so I don't know if I'll ever try it. I'm a little scared of roller coasters. So, wow, your mom is brave. And I have one last question for you. You were on Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race with WWE Superstar, John Cena. What was it like racing stock cars against a WWE Champion?
T: (laughs) You know what? It was funny. It was all very friendly until we actually got behind the wheel. It was all pro-athletes, so everyone was very competitive about it, and John's no exception. He was one of the top racers, so he was one of the guys who you had to watch his technique and try to figure out how to better it. It was funny because there were a few of us who were really excited about it and almost fearless. We had a sort of sense of invincibility because we were in these cars with all these pro racers giving us tips, so for some reason we thought we couldn't fail. But some of the other athletes, they didn't like it. They didn't like going that fast. They just weren't confident with it. I think John was one of the ones who was overly confident.
L: So who won in the end?
T: John Elway won.
L: Awesome, OK. Well, it's been great talking to you, Tony. Thank you for your time. Congratulations on all your success with everything that you're doing.
T: OK, thank you very much!
L: Have a great day. Bye!