Tag Archive | "Monster Jam"

Rod Schmidt lets the new Monster Mutt Rottweiler off its leash

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Rod Schmidt lets the new Monster Mutt Rottweiler off its leash

Posted on 10 January 2014 by Jonathan Williams

For the past 15 years, Rod Schmidt has had the honor of driving one of several Grave Digger trucks. But as Monster Jam heads to the Georgia Dome on Jan. 11, he’ll be behind the wheel of the new Monster Mutt Rottweiler truck. Having previously competed in mud racing, rolling around in the dirt with this big Monster Mutt seems like an obvious choice for Schmidt. As he prepares to let this dog off its leash once again, Schmidt talks to Wrestling with Pop Culture about his new puppy.

Currently you’re the driver of Monster Mutt Rottweiler. But you’ve previously been the driver of one of the legendary Grave Digger trucks. How many different Grave Diggers compete in a given season of Monster Jam?

We have seven actual Grave Digger trucks that tour the country year round.

Dennis Anderson seems to always be behind the wheel of Grave Digger in Atlanta. Will this be your first time competing in Atlanta?

Rod SchmidtIt will be the first time in a while for me. It will be my first time with Monster Mutt, but I was there last time with Grave Digger.

The Monster Mutt trucks are personal favorites of mine simply because it’s funny to see those big floppy ears and tongue once the truck starts hitting those big jumps. If there is a serious monster truck, it’s Grave Digger. But the Monster Mutts are definitely on the sillier side. What has that transition been like for you so far?

It’s just become fun for me. There were so many politics and so much pressure with Grave Digger because they go last and you’ve got to top everybody and do your best. I’m bringing that to a whole new level with Monster Mutt. Now we can go out there and tear things up like I did with Grave Digger with no pressure. Now they’ve got to keep up with me instead of me keeping up with them.

Last weekend was the beginning of the season. Where did you compete and how did you do?

I was in Houston, Texas and I came in sixth in freestyle. I didn’t compete in racing simply because it was the debut of the brand new Rottweiler. We changed the body up a little bit and made it a little more aggressive looking. It’s a completely 3-D body and is just an absolutely cool looking piece.

Will other Monster Mutts be in Atlanta this weekend?

I don’t now if Monster Mutt or Dalmatian will be there, but I will surely be there.

There’s at least one other dog-themed truck there this weekend in Scooby-Doo. Does that create a natural rivalry or is every opponent equal in your eyes?

It’s just another canine. But everybody’s got to remember, the Rottweiler’s the canine of carnage. So we’re definitely going to get-r-done.

Based on your previous visits to Atlanta, what are you expectations this Saturday at the Georgia Dome?

I’m expecting some close, fast races. During freestyle there’s going to be some huge jumps, big air and a lot of excitement. I’m so excited for it.

All Monster Jam drivers tend to have athletic backgrounds, but your experience in mud racing seems to be a perfect fit for driving a monster truck. How did your previous career prepare you for Monster Jam?

Monster Mutt RottweilerI’d like to say it helped out a lot. The more time you have behind the wheel, the better driver you’re going to be. That goes for driving on the street or racing on a track. So  if I were going to give a kid advice on what to do, I’d say, “Get into some sort of racing. Dirt bikes, monster trucks, mini monsters, go-karts – anything, as long as you  have that time behind the wheel and you get your reactions right.” That’s what’s going to help you evolve as a good driver, regardless of what your sport is.

Monster truck driving is interesting to me because the only practice you get is during actual competitions. So I’d imagine it’s important to have some sort of preparation before getting behind the wheel of these trucks.

Yeah. Even the sport of mud racing has evolved. Now they’re putting jumps in that as well. Back when I was racing it was a straight line for 600 feet as fast as you could go, wide open. Tom Meents came from the same side as I did; he was also a mud racer.


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For Nicole Johnson, Scooby-Doo’s driver is no Monster Jam mystery

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For Nicole Johnson, Scooby-Doo’s driver is no Monster Jam mystery

Posted on 10 January 2014 by Jonathan Williams

Nicole JohnsonWhen Monster Jam went snooping around to find a driver for its new Scooby-Doo truck, the mystery was solved pretty quickly when Nicole Johnson was revealed as the person behind the wheel. And with an impressive debut last weekend in Houston, Johnson is ready to show the Georgia Dome what she and Scooby are capable of when Monster Jam returns to Atlanta Jan. 11. Having previously driven another animated pop cultural icon (Tasmanian Devil), as well as spending some time behind the wheel of Advance Auto Parts Grinder, Johnson and her cartoon canine are looking for more than just some Scooby Snacks in one of the season’s most crucial events. As she prepares for this challenge, Johnson talks to Wrestling with Pop Culture about her career, her trucks and the possibility of following a mud-strewn yellow brick road with the monster truck of her dreams.

You’re the driver of the new Scooby-Doo truck, but you previously drove a truck based on another animated pop cultural icon, Tasmanian Devil. Do you just have a thing for wacky cartoon character trucks?

I started driving the Tasmanian Devil in 2011 and part of 2012. Then I drove Advance Auto Parts Grinder for about half the season in 2012, filling in for an injured driver. That was great because at the time Advance Auto Parts was our title sponsor and it was a really fun truck with a pretty high profile. At the beginning of last year we introduced Scooby-Doo. This will be Scooby’s second year, but the first time the truck or I have been to Atlanta to compete at the Dome.

How did you end up behind the wheel of Scooby-Doo? Was that something you were you asked to do or did you want to do it?

It’s a partnership with Warner Bros., it’s their officially licensed Scooby-Doo truck. Through Monster Jam I was asked to drive that truck and it’s been a really fun experience so far because I find that adults and kids all know Scooby-Doo and we all grew up watching Scooby-Doo. It’s still relevant because they’ve got new shows on now, which I didn’t realize before. I thought it was just from the ’70s. I thought, “Do kids even know who Scooby-Doo is?” Oh, yeah! They totally do. It’s pretty popular.

The Monster Jam season began last weekend, and you did fairly well in your first event of the season. What are your goals for Atlanta?

Scooby-DooLast Saturday we were in Houston. I live in Las Vegas and I’m lucky enough to get to fly home for the shows. My crew will be on the road for three months with the trucks. It was fun [in Houston]. My goal was to not destroy the truck. Fans probably want to see the truck destroyed every single time. But it was my first weekend back after not being behind the wheel since July and zero practice or seat time. So my whole goal was to hold it together. I didn’t break anything and I didn’t roll, which makes my crew very happy because they have to do a lot less to prepare for Atlanta and keep it entertaining.

You come from a four-wheeling background prior to driving a monster truck. What was the transition like for you, especially considering that the only practice you get driving a monster truck is during actual Monster Jam competitions?

My background is rock crawling competitions and extreme four-wheel drive vehicles. I’ve also done some off-road racing, so I’m used to being in the dirt and on rocks and gnarly terrain where sometimes you’re completely vertical and can only see sky or you’re doing a completely vertical drop-off where you’re side-hilling. In rock crawling competitions it’s about finesse. It’s not necessarily about how fast you get through the course, it’s about getting trough the obstacle course without hitting a cone. Sometimes we’d be down on time and my husband is my spotter and I’d look at him and say, “Move out of my way. I’m going to monster truck it!” Then I would just jump off the rocks because I had no other choice. There was no finesse. I think it was a great background for moving into Monster Jam trucks because you’re often not completely on stable ground. In monster trucks you’re either jumping up in the air or you’re on two wheels and I learned a long time ago how to save it on two wheels in my rock crawler. So it seems like a really seamless transition, truthfully. There’s just a lot more height involved, but the components are very similar. I feel like it’s one of the more natural backgrounds to have come from as opposed to something where you’ve never left the ground and you’ve never been sideways.

Part of the reason you got into Monster Jam was simply that they were looking for more female drivers. There has been a bit of an influx of female monster truck drivers in recent years. Why do you think Monster Jam is looking for female drivers and why are more women becoming interested in it?

I think there’s probably a stereotype out there that women can’t drive. This is a pretty male-dominated sport, motorsports in general are male dominated. You can see what kind of attention Danica Patrick has gotten in NASCAR and Indy, and I think fans like to see something different and want to root for the underdog. Women and girls can relate in that I’m showing them you can do anything you want to do, regardless of whether or not there’s a gender stereotype in that profession.

When I met the folks at Monster Jam and heard they were looking for females, I hadn’t really paid much attention to it before. I had never been to a show and I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. About two weeks after meeting the folks at Monster Jam, I was test driving Grave Digger in North Carolina and after two days of driving they offered me the job. Six weeks later was my very first show. It was funny because after they offered me the job I was like, “What does that mean?” They said, “Well, you go on tour every single weekend and we start in six weeks.” Then I said, “OK. When will I get to practice again?” They go, “Oh, you won’t. Your first show will be the next time you drive.” I’m just glad to have been able to fill the position. You’re right, there are a lot of women coming in lately. You’re going to see more and more and I think the goal is if we can get a female at every show, there’s that representation across the board every weekend.

During your time in Monster Jam, have you developed rivalries with particular drivers or do rivalries emerge based on the trucks you drive?

Scooby-DooNo, not really. I think everybody takes a big team approach. Even though we’re out there racing against each other and trying to get the best freestyle scores, there really is a huge camaraderie among all of the drivers and crew. We are collectively focused on trying to make sure the show is fun for everybody and that everybody leaves there having had a good time. I don’t have any rivalries. I’m actually touring with Dennis Anderson this year. My truck and his truck share a crew, so we’re going to be at all the same shows together. For me, this is probably the biggest opportunity to learn. So I’m not looking at it as, “I’m going to go out there and crush the competition,” although that sounds really cool to say. I’m really going into it thinking, “I want to absorb as much as I can from Dennis. I want to learn.” He’s got 32 or 33 years of experience doing this. This’ll be my fourth season, so I’m definitely still feeling like a rookie compared to a lot of these guys.

I heard that your favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz. Has there ever been talk of having Wizard of Oz-themed monster trucks in Monster Jam? If so, I’m guessing you’d be happy to drive one of them.

I would be that Wicked Witch in a heartbeat! Man, I’ve never even thought of there being a Wizard of Oz Monster Jam truck. But I would be all over that. I would be a huge nerd. I can recite every line from the movie. We were doing the Path of Destruction tour over the summer and we were in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which is right across from New York City, and I had a chance to go into the city and see Wicked on Broadway and that was a huge treat. Yep, I am a nerd. I love it.

So you’d want to drive the Wicked Witch truck, if there was one?

Oh, I would be Glinda, I would be the Wicked Witch, I’d be a Munchkin, I’d be the Cowardly Lion, I’d be anything.

After your stop in Atlanta this weekend, where are you competing next?

After Atlanta, Dennis and I are going to Tampa, then Orlando, then back to Tampa. So I get to spend three winter weekends in a row in Florida, which isn’t too shabby. After Tampa we head out west for Anaheim. I’m from Southern California, so I’m excited for that show because I’ll have lots of family and friends there.


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Madusa can still crush cars with the best of them in Monster Jam

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Madusa can still crush cars with the best of them in Monster Jam

Posted on 15 February 2013 by Jonathan Williams

For the past 12 years, Madusa has been a female standout in the man’s world of monster truck driving. But with an illustrious 18-year wrestling career prior to that, and a reputation for being a Harley-riding gearhead, the transition from wrestling to Monster Jam was a natural one. On Feb. 16 she returns to the Georgia Dome, where she has developed a reputation for being one of the most entertaining freestyle drivers with car-crushing abilities that rival any other driver. As she navigated the streets of Atlanta on Valentine’s Day (threatening to kick my ass for missing a couple of turns), Madusa called Wrestling with Pop Culture to discuss the current state of women’s wrestling, how Monster Jam compares to wrestling and the chances that she might someday return to the ring (even making a joke about the infamous World Championship Wrestling Monday Nitro incident where she dropped the World Wrestling Federation Women’s Championship into a garbage can in 1995).

You’re about a month and a half into the 2013 season. How has this year been treating you thus far?

Like every year, our first quarter is the busiest with January, February and March, ending March 23 with the World Finals in Las Vegas. That has turned into a three-day circus celebration of entertainment. Their motto is “It’s all about the fans,” and fans are important. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for the fans. However, there are some long days at the World Finals. Before you even race you are worn out from signing autographs. After that, you have a week or so off and you just wait to see if you’re booked for some international shows. We travel all over the world now, so it’s a lot like wrestling.

The World Finals sound a lot like WrestleMania.

Yes, it is a lot like WrestleMania.

Speaking of WrestleMania, about a year ago you put out a challenge to Beth Phoenix for the WWE Women’s Championship belt you still possess. Now that she’s out of WWE, has there been any additional talks about that?

We tweeted back and forth a few times and I wish her the best. It’s a shame that they let such a great talent go. She looks good, can wrestle and can cut a promo, and that’s hard to find anymore. It was a bad day for pro wrestling when she left. I do still have the title. They never stripped it from me or yanked it from me and we never had a match for it. It is what it is. I’m still the champion, always was, always will be.

Since WWE no longer acknowledges the Women’s Championship, having replaced it with the Divas Championship, what are the chances that you might actually defend your title in a WWE ring someday?

That Divas Division is like going to a candy store and picking out your favorite lollipop. Which flavor do I get to suck on next? That’s nothing against the girls personally. Everyone loves what they do and it’s entertaining. Vince [McMahon] is a marketing genius, so he’s doing something right with those chicks and they don’t mind doing it. So, whatever works. But I would like to go in there and clean house. I don’t want to get back into wrestling long term and get out there and bump on the mat all the time. I already did that. But to make cameo appearances every once in a while and shake things up? Yeah!

It was recently announced that Trish Stratus will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. What are your thoughts on her induction as a female wrestler?

I think the Hall of Fame is a genius idea – another money-making machine. How they choose, why they choose or the order that they choose, I have no idea. Who cares? If someone lives up to a wrestling persona, then they go into the Hall of Fame. Why shouldn’t anybody that’s wrestled before be in it? That’s how I feel. I don’t care what order they go in if it’s somebody important that made a dent in pro wrestling.

Have there ever been any talks of you being inducted into the Hall of Fame?

They haven’t contacted me about the Hall of Fame, but they have contacted me a couple of times since I retired in 2001 about coming back. But who knows? Maybe they’re just waiting for the right time to induct me. I can see my intro now, my dear. I would call Waste Management and every truck around and I would bring every garbage can there is. I think you know what I mean.

Back to Monster Jam. Has Madusa been showing up the boys on the tracks this year?

Absolutely. They don’t call me the Queen of Carnage for nothing. This Saturday I’m in Atlanta, which I think is sold out. Isn’t that insane? I think it’s great, though. They have ten, 12, 14, 16 trucks or whatever they’ve got and they have this huge pit party. But it’s a good time. You can’t go to any other entertainment event and get as many pictures and autographs and fan interaction with the talent than you can here.

Last year was Grave Digger‘s 30th anniversary and this year Maximum Destruction celebrates a decade of devastation. When will we be seeing Monster Jam celebrate Madusa’s anniversary?

Yeah, go figure. Let’s talk about this men and women stuff. We got 30 years of Digger and rightfully so for Dennis [Anderson]. He deserves all the recognition he gets. Then we have Max-D, which is ten years. Tom Meents has probably actually been driving for about 20 years, but Max-D has only been around for ten years and he drove Goldberg for the first two years. But Madusa’s been with them for 12 years. Where’s my anniversary? Woman in a man’s business again – first for 18 years, now for 12 years. It’s just unreal.

Have you addressed these concerns with anyone at Monster Jam?

No, but I’m sure my fans would love to have a Madusa anniversary party.

Given the things you’ve already accomplished in wrestling and monster trucks, what else might Madusa want to do?

There’s another niche that I’m into right now that will slowly be revealed to the world. It’s exciting and something new. It doesn’t mean I’m closing the doors on anything else. I just finished some certification degrees and I’ve been into fitness and wellness my whole life. I’m a wellness life coach for cancer patients and I educate people and help people with today’s health fads and healthy choices. It’s just re-educating everybody that we can eat what we want, but better, and there are better and right choices. That’s just a little bit of it.


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Captain America is off to a Fortune-ate start this Monster Jam season

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Captain America is off to a Fortune-ate start this Monster Jam season

Posted on 25 January 2013 by Jonathan Williams

Following a brief stint in the National Football League and the World League of American Football, Chad Fortune spent a fleeting few years in the World Wrestling Federation as one half of Tekno Team 2000 before an equally brief couple of years in World Championship Wrestling. Though his wrestling career was somewhat short-lived, it did give him an opportunity to parlay his athletic talents into a new field, first as the spokesperson for the NWO truck in 1999, then as the driver of the WCW Nitro Machine in 2000. But it wasn’t until 2005 that Fortune found his calling as the very Clark Kent-looking driver got behind the wheel of the Superman truck, where he remained until 2011. Having switched to the Captain America truck last year, Fortune is off to a successful 2013 thus far. He talks to Wrestling with Pop Culture about continuing that success in the most heroic manner possible.

You’ve been a monster truck driver for 13 years now, which is much longer than your pro wrestling career was. What was the transition from the ring to the monster truck world like?

You know, it’s amazing where life takes you. I grew up playing football and basketball, went to college and played football, then went on to play a couple of years pro and in Europe. Then I went off into pro wrestling and here I am driving monster trucks. Monster trucks are the best of both worlds of what I was into. With the physical challenge and the one-on-one competition of the racing part of monster trucks, you’re out there trying to prove that you’re the best. Then there’s the freestyle, which is entertainment. You might think you’re just out there driving the truck and going over jumps and stuff, but everybody’s gotten so good at what we do that we have to do it better and more exciting than anybody else, which is what pro wrestling is about. It’s the entertainment side and putting that combination together, you have the highs and lows and wow factors that when you’re about to crash and you make the save, it’s like kicking out of a three count. Then you come back and get bigger air in the end and, for me, you finish your finale on the biggest pile of junk. Then I get out as Captain America with the shield and I pose. It really is the biggest expression of entertainment you can have.

When you first got into driving monster trucks, you had a truck that was made especially for your larger frame. Appropriately enough, it was the WCW Nitro Machine.

Yeah. I’m 6’6″ and about 250 pounds. A lot of the guys seem to be smaller and more compact and fit into the average truck chassis. They’re built small for safety reasons and the roll cages are tight. Being so tall, I don’t fit in any random truck. So they built me a truck specifically with the gauges tucked down underneath the roll cage to give me the maximum space, and the roll cage is spread out a little farther. It’s still very small in there for me, but nevertheless, it’s made for me. It was a WCW truck in the beginning, then it was the Karl Malone truck, the Power Forward. That was the same chassis I had up until last year, when we built a brand new truck. So that truck was about 12 years old when I retired it and it was way out of date.

Last year was your first year driving Captain America. Last year also ended up not being your best year. Do you attribute that to switching trucks at all?

I had a great start last year, but I got rocked pretty good at a show in Houston where I had a pretty bad rollover. That wrenched my neck a little bit and I had some shock issues we were trying to work out. So I started out doing well and around the middle of the season it tapered off to being average. Because it was a new truck, it was landing a bit rough and we had to work out some issues. But we’re good this year. Everything’s been going really well.

Being that you look so much like Superman, especially in that Superman jumpsuit, you seemed like a perfect fit to drive that truck. Why did you decide to switch to the Captain America truck?

I had been with Superman for about eight years and I started getting comfortable with the character and relying just on the entertainment. When it was announced that Marvel was coming out with a new truck, I thought it might be something fresh. It was a brand new truck, so I would get a new chassis, a new motor and everything. I had some input into the designs of the truck, so it’s a little bit different truck body. It’s more of a futuristic concept body with LED lights and it’s a really good-looking truck. I saw it as a challenge. Having been Superman for so long, the young fans knew me as Superman. But I’ve retained some fans as Captain America and now I come out with a shield and I wear a star on my chest rather than the S. It’s actually been working out really well. People were a little disappointed at first because I had done Superman for so long, but after they saw the new truck and the stuff I was doing with it, a lot of my fans are excited about what’s going on.

Either way, the superhero theme seems quite fitting considering your background as a wrestler, which is probably the closest thing to a real-life superhero as you’re going to get.

I take it that way. I really want to live up to everything. My training as a wrestler and a football player hasn’t changed. I take it very seriously. The way it feels being in this truck with 1,500 horsepower, it is as close as you can get to being a superhero. You have super strength, you’re crushing cars, you’re flying and you can get these things moving pretty quick. It’s like being a real superhero and it’s a lot of fun.

What have been some of your biggest accomplishments so far this season and what are you looking forward to over the next few weeks?

Our first show was in Tacoma, Washington, where I was a race champion and scored pretty well in freestyle. I’ve been in the top three or four in freestyle at every show since then. There’s a new Ukraine tire out this year with real deep grooves. I’m still running on the older style tire, which is smoother, and it just doesn’t seem like it’s getting the same traction as these other ones and I’m getting beaten in that way. I’m not trying to make excuses, I’ll just have to focus a little harder on the turns and make sure I have the grip. I’m getting ready to go to California for the second show in Anaheim at Angel Stadium. They do things a little bit differently on the West Coast where there’s a figure-eight track. The dirt seems to be a little bit more loose out there, so with the tires I have I do a little bit more skating. I think I’m figuring it out, which is going to be good for this weekend. The following weekend I’m in St. Louis, then the weekend after that I’m in Atlanta. St. Louis is the same style track as Atlanta and it will be a great opportunity to get back in the groove and prepare for Atlanta.


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Madusa is a female champion in a man’s world – again

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Madusa is a female champion in a man’s world – again

Posted on 12 January 2012 by Jonathan Williams

During her professional wrestling career, the woman best known as Madusa helped legitimize women’s wrestling in the American Wrestling Association, World Wrestling Federation (now WWE), All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling. She held the Women’s Championship in pretty much every organization she worked for and was the first and only woman to ever hold the WCW Cruiserweight Championship (just one of many firsts for the woman also known as Alundra Blayze). Having put her wrestling career behind her, Madusa is now a successful Monster Jam truck driver (driving the Madusa truck, of course), having won the World Finals Championship in both freestyle and racing. As she readies for this Saturday’s Monster Jam event at the Georgia Dome, Madusa spoke with Georgia Wrestling History‘s  Georgia Wrestling Now on Jan. 9. Here are the highlights from the interview, conducted by Wrestling with Pop Culture, Nemesis, Matt Hankins and Harold Jay Taylor.

You’ve been driving monster trucks for several years now. Did you go directly from wrestling to monster trucks?

I had my first show [of the year] last weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma and just slapped the snot out of the boys. I love it. Altogether I’ve been driving about 10-12 years. But we only drive three months a year, so actually only maybe two-and-a-half, three years. I’ve won two championships and it has not come easy, I’ll tell you that.

I was still wrestling when I went into monster trucks. Monster Jam approached me because they wanted a cross promotion and wanted a name to get more little girls in seats and that’s exactly what they’ve accomplished.

Do you make more money driving trucks than you did in wrestling?

Oh, hell no. I made more money in wrestling. However, I’ve been frugal and smart and have other businesses and things going on. So I can enjoy what I do and I’ve been blessed. Monster trucks are sort of how wrestling was 20 years ago, so I think it’s going to take another ten years or so before the pay is the same. I remember the days when I had to drive 300 miles and I made five bucks. But you’ve got to love what you do. If you don’t love what you do it will show. Little boys have dreams of being in the spot I’m in and I just fell into it. I had never been to a monster truck show, never really seen one and never could really give a hoot, so I’m lucky.

When you first started driving a monster truck there were several other wrestling-themed trucks. None of those are around these days, but you’re still here. Why do you think you’ve outlasted the other wrestling trucks? Are you just that damn good?

Yes, I am that damn good. However, they had a contract with WCW for some of the names in WCW. I was the only talent that actually drove their own truck. Goldberg, NWO and all of them, they licensed their names over to Monster Jam. None of them drove their trucks. Goldberg’s quote was, “There’s no way in hell I’m getting in that truck. You are crazy, girl.” I’m an adrenaline junkie. I love it and it was a great marriage. It was perfect. And for 10, 12 years I’ve just been jamming it, kicking it to the top, winning two championships.

It has not been easy being a woman in a man’s world – not just once, but twice – and have to prove yourself from the bottom up all over again. When I finally did win a championship, that’s when I earned the guys’ respect.

How many female monster truck drivers are there?

There’s not enough. I think there are about five of us now. Being the First Lady of Monster Jam and opening the doors for others, it’s a great feeling to see the change and possibilities. We have some great female drivers, so it just feels so good to see them rising through the ranks. I hope one of them gets a championship here soon because it would be good to have another woman on board to feel this great feeling. When I won the championship, I won it in racing. It was against Dennis Anderson [and] Grave Digger, so when you have man against woman, student against teacher, Ford against Chevy and icon against icon, I almost couldn’t breathe! When I’m sitting at that starting line and that light is red, waiting to turn green to go, I was as calm as could be right then and there. The only thing I could think of is, “Oh my gosh! This is like ‘Big Daddy’ Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney, and I’m gonna kick his ass.” And I did. It was awesome and it was the best feeling ever.

Have you ever thought of branching out into other types of racing?

Honey, if I was 20 years younger I probably would. I’ve always been a motorhead. I’ve been riding Harleys for over 20 years and dirt bikes and four wheelers and I love to hunt. I’m a girlie girl inside at times and I love to put on makeup and jump in the high heels. In my earlier years I was always ahead of my time. From wrestling to boxing to going to Japan to whatever, it just feels so good to have been able to pave a lot of avenues for what it is today. I really wish I would have thought of NASCAR 20 years ago or so. I would’ve been good.

You’re good, but you’re also a character that people want to go see. It seems like drag racing and other sports could use someone like that.

Madusa isn’t just a name or a character any more; it’s a brand. It has taken many years to do that, but it’s a brand. But talking about top people? Oh, honey. You look at them Force girls. I wish I could be one of them. One of the Force girls said, “I dig that Madusa chick in her monster truck.” Well, little does she know I dig her and her racing. She’s got a great push, a great name and some great talent, so she’ll be able to go a long way in her sport and carry it along for other women.

Which do you think is more physically dangerous, wrestling or driving a monster truck?

I get hurt more in this truck than I did in wrestling. After 18 years of pro wrestling, broken bones, blown knees and whatnot, you can imagine what 10,000 pounds of g-force in mid air will do to your body. You’ve got to take precautions either way. But anything is dangerous. Walking out of the house is dangerous. You’ve just got to think smart and be smart. They take 100% safety precautions in any arena they’re at, so it is what it is.

You’ll always be remembered in wrestling for taking the WWF Women’s Championship to WCW and throwing it in a garbage can on Monday Nitro. You obviously accomplished a lot in wrestling aside from that, but if there’s anything you’d like to be remembered for in wrestling what would it be?

I was under contract and I was told to do that by Eric Bischoff or “there’s the door.” But there’s a lot of things to be memorable for. Opening the doors for the new Divas division, opening the doors for women to be who they are today, changing up women’s wrestling, making it legit wrestling, bringing Japanese wrestling into women’s wrestling. Do we actually throw in winning championships? I don’t know. You tell me.

Do you keep up with what’s currently going on in wrestling?

I don’t make a point to watch it. If it’s on TV and I’m surfing and see it, I will [watch it]. Lately I’ve been catching Beth Phoenix on there and I thought, “Dang. It’s about time we got some girls on there that can kinda wrestle, look good, have some knowledge. Every time she wrestles someone, she’s the one that’s carrying the opponent. And she has to always set herself back to make the other person look good. You know what that reminds me of? It reminds me of when I was there and it pisses me off. I feel like they’re stiffling her a little bit because [they] don’t have somebody of her caliber. So what do you do? There’s other girls coming up the ranks that are starting to be as good as her, but she’s untouchable right now in WWE.

You still have the title belt you took to Monday Nitro and you recently issued an opportunity to Beth Phoenix to challenge you for it. Do you think you have a chance of that happening?

Well, let’s get something straight. If you’re referring to the YouTube video I posted a few days ago, I was merely talking about my merchandise and the questions I’m being asked. So I was just answering a question. That is not throwing it out there and saying, “I want to come back.” What happened is that video went viral, so I was like, “Why is my merchandise so crazy? Wow, great. More T-shirts sold. That’s awesome.”

To hear the full interview, go to www.blogtalkradio.com/psp. For more information, go to www.madusa.com or www.monsterjam.com.


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