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May 14, 2011

Interview: Ultimate Death Match Director Shawn Cain

1. What kind of childhood did Shawn Cain have?

Not the norm, I'm a twin; most people don't know that my sister's name is Candy. I see the world very different than most, When I was a kid the teachers thought I had a learning disability, because of my speech problem. When I was a child very I fell on a Q-tip and it popped my eardrum, so when I was learning how to speak the sound came in distorted cause me to repeat it wrongly. The teachers just shoved me into the special ed classes.

I got to see children bully other children, and just how mean the normal children were. I went to many different schools growing up. I always had a little problem with bullies. I was an easy target, so one summer day I was over at my older sister's home and I went over to this school that was very close to her home. Started playing with these kids, they found out that I was in Special Ed. they made fun of me, one thing led to another, and all 12 of them beat me, kicked me, hit me with bats, and put me in the hospital. That was the best day of my life, since that day I have never been a victim. I have stood up for myself, and to those around me. I know whom I am, and what i stand for, and that gives me strength.

2. What was the first wrestling match that got you hooked on this sport? Also, what is your favorite match of all time? And please do not pick Alicia Fox vs. Melina. (If you guys watched Tough Enough you will get the joke)

Q. Portland Wrestling Buddy Rose vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper the night they set the flea market on fire.

When I was a kid, Portland Wrestling came on at 11 pm on Saturday nights, My Dad would come in and wake me up, and I would sit in his lap ,and we would watch wrestling and eat deer sausage & crackers. This was the feud, Rose vs. Piper.

Years later I got to write, and produced Rowdy's one man show and the last time Rowdy and Buddy was together was in Longview, WA at Rod's show. I remember thinking about my dad when I was standing in the wings watching this play out before me. Watching these two guys who had worked each other to perfection show the respect and share the stories, it was very cool. It would have made a great ending to something.

3. I just watched Ultimate Death Match Part 2. Is the goal to try and create a company and maybe kick a film out every year or maybe a bigger goal, like a wrestling league?

James, I always think big, I would like to think I could tell a better story. I think the fans are beyond the "Hell Yeah Brother" segment. I think you need a story behind that statement to make that statement mean anything. Pro wrestling has always been the first reality program, why not allow it to make since. I think I can do a whole new series with Wrestling in it. That’s the different way of approaching the project, allowing the talent to act to really get over. To make the matches mean something to show life beyond the arena, more of the behind the scenes feel doc style of shooting.

4. You seem to have Shane Douglas in a few of your films. Talk about someone who rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Does an ego like Shane take direction well? Or do you just say, “Okay, Shane, keep on telling people about ancient history, and do your own thing?"

Shane does a great job in the UDM series and i really appreciate his hard work. We also did a project called "Screwed in Scranton" where you get to see the real Shane Douglas.

5. Do you think of it as a personal victory that Wal-Mart carries this title? Not trying to insult, but think about how many DIY or indie films they carry. It is kind of rare.

Hell yes, I know multi-million dollar films that can't get in. Zarr production and Cheesy fix has done a great job. I also have to say the cast of UDM 2 & 3 is amazing. Tons of great names that most people haven't heard of in a while. That leads to the marketing of this new genre of films. There are 140 million wrestling fans around the world and it's the older names that sales the units. All retail stores have to sell units, and a film like this, rooted in a buy market that leads to this 140 million fan base is less of a chance than a no name horror movie with no stars in it. I'm a genre filmmaker, I make movies that sale, or I don't get to make the next movie. I try very hard to give my audience what they want, that is very important to me, and I think with UDM2 I deliver.

6. Have you ever had any dealings with Vince McMahon? If so, any stories? Also, how do you feel about him now not even referring to it as wrestling? (If anyone watches the Hall of Fame, they all had to say entertainment.)

McMahon revolutionized Pro Wrestling. He took it worldwide. The problem is nobody has come along to take it to the next level. You cannot compete with the WWE on their format. Why would you try? I think I can go into a new direction and make them compete with me in my format.

7. Watching a film like yours, let us be honest. People will say, "Where is New Jack, or Necro Butcher, or hell, even a Supreme?" Why did you shy away from the wrestlers who are death match wrestlers?

Because you would expect it, I think it's more interesting to see a Kid Kash go through something like this than the above mentioned. We don't have weapons in the fights. The winner has to kill someone with his bare hands. They need to look like they could.

8. Does it offend you that you are known as the wrestling director? You have made other films.

How can I be offended by people liking my work? Thank you to all of those who support me. I have great fans as you know, and people who love what I do and bring to the table. I think this fan base longs for something new, and I'm giving them what they want.

(Shawn's fans wanted my head and took shots at me and my family just for me giving the first UDM a bad review. They were very pissed off.)

9. Let’s talk about UDM 2. It really made a statement on pro wrestling. Jimmy Valiant especially. I know you are closer to this situation than I am. What offends you more and why: an older wrestler who is trying to make a living off his legacy on the indie scene, or a younger wrestler getting gypped by a promoter who had to pay the name talents first and ran out of cash?

These men and women have no safety net when they are done as wrestlers, so is their body's, now what’s left for them. Jimmy Valiant has sold out hundreds of arenas, and has made millions of dollars for other people. Jimmy has entertained millions of people and it's wrong for him not to have a retirement after 40 years. All of these guys should have a medical plan and a 401k. The system offends me to answer your question

10. You talk about people who shit on everything. Horror fans think they are number one. Wrestling podcasts are a million times worst. You have some untalented wannabe script writers who do podcasts that act like they would fight a wrestler if the situation called for it and they just shit on everything and sound like just idiots. Do you follow these shows, or even the dirt sheets?

I don't follow them, most people talk about doing, I just go do. I'm not interested in wasting time on a guy who wants to relive the last 3 WrestleMania’s

11. This is name association. You can tell me one word, or hell, a story. You are Shawn Cain.

a. Missy Hyatt.

Interesting, sad.

b. Hulk Hogan

Train wreck.

c. Justin Credible ( I know his name is PJ and someone owns the Justin name now that he fucked them on some deal, but I will call him Justin.).

Wasted talent.

d. Rob Black and the failed XPW.

Who wants to be the 4th best wrestling program? Nobody.

e. WWE making PG programming and trying to appease GLADD.

I think they should just get real and tell everyone how many dicks they have to suck to be a WWE superstar. I think LOGO and the WWE should team up for a reality show that tells the truth about who is getting over or is it bent over in the WWE.

12. Can I give you a quote from an interview I did with Lizzy Borden. I want your opinion. " When you and Rob owned XPW, did you ever feel guilty for any of the stunts and bumps you seen and worry that something may not go as planned and someone gets fucked up or hurt and you are responsible" Now that is a good question Shawn was the answer..." they agree to anything, we never forced anyone to do something they did not want to do. So if it fails, why would we be responsible? They knew the risk". Do you agree and why?

That’s the nature of entertainment, I think you should always protect your talent, but people want to be on TV and some will do anything.
That could be nudity, or jumping a car or a thousand other things that isn't safe. Look at Bear Grille, look what he does or the Ice Road Truckers. I say film it let the world decide
13. Ha ha ha. I usually ask how do you feel about critics and bad reviews, but I know as do a lot of fans the answer. Does it piss you off when your film is being ripped apart by people who admit they are not wrestling fans?

Nobody likes to hear somebody tearing apart their work. If you’re beating it up by making fun of some of the people in it, than yes, but if you’re slamming me. I have thick skin, I can take it. Also I know just how small this business is and some where we will run into each other.

14. Do you think shoot interviews are a right move?

They can come off as angry ex-employees, I find them entertaining

15. Are you wanting to just primarily be a wrestling director, or are you wanting to go outside the realm and not use wrestlers and make films?

As you know, I have written 5 books, done 7 docs, and are working on my 10th film "Cry for Blood". To me it's all about the next project, I love what i do and i have a lot of interest in other things.

16. Would you let your kid be a pro wrestler?

Tough question, I would say no

17. I loved Beyond the Mat. I can honestly say that film is in my top 20 ever. Do you think films like this and The Wrestler, as good as they are, are really that smart an idea putting the business all out there for people to see behind the curtain?

If pro wrestling is going to live on than yes it has to be out there. This is the future of pro wrestling
18. Do you think wrestling will ever get another resurge? Also are you a fan of the UFC?

I think wrestling will never be back at the scale again, BUT it can evolve into something else. Something longer lasting, everything has to evolve or it dies.

Big UFC fan.

19. As bad as I disliked the first one, I loved the second one. Shawn this is the film I wanted to see. UDM 2 is fun. Whose idea was it to almost make it like a video game with the wrestling finishers or throwing them over the top rope?

WOW, thank you James, You blow me up on the last one, nice to know you like this one. UDM1 a movie like this has never been done before, and UDM1 is me working it out laying the story down. UDM2 is letting the talent do what they do best, and 3 will blow your mind. I think this could be a series.

I just wanted more action more” holy shit” moments, and I think we made it happen.

20. I know you are working on another wrestling picture; rumors are it will be at the Impact Zone and another rumor. I am offered a role in this film. Do you have any news yet about a script or even a title? (And could I get my advance upfront with air fare. maybe?)

Cry for Blood, is our next project it's totally different than UDM series but still has a lot of great names attach to the project. This is our series that will run on Amazon

21. As someone who is a fan like me, does it break your heart when you go to YouTube and see how far many of the so called “yesterday" stars have fallen?

You bet it does. That is part of the reason I started doing this, I think these guys can still be used in a productive way. Most people don’t know what happened to these guys afterwards. They die broke but even worst they die with a broken heart. We can do better for these guys.

22. I have to say this, even though you told me to not mention it. Shawn has fought for a lot of wrestlers to get paid from certain companies and people. Have you ever had to be confrontational?

All the time, I'm releasing a project called "Screwed in Scranton" about this promoter that booked all these guys and didn't pay them. All the monies raise through this project goes to the guys in the video. I was booked to direct this thing that really happened. If you’re thinking I'm someone who is afraid of anything, than you didn't read the beginning of this interview. Sometimes you have to stand up to that 300 lb. monster in the room, and other times you have to check it out.

23. Do you think TNA will ever be a legit number 2? I mean they are spending all Bob Carter's cash for talent that is not even delivering. And they seem to always drop the ball, or pull the trigger too late. Samoa Joe anyone? The Pope? I mean think about this Shawn, if Vince did a PPV with Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle the buy rate would be major and it would pack out an arena. But, TNA did under 8k in buys. And loaded up mark fans in the impact zone with scripts to cheer and boo. Who do you think is to blame for TNA? (On a personal note, Hulk Hogan Terry is a piece of smithies tell all book is as fake as his BS legacy)

TNA needs me; their writing is so bad and disjointed that even their talent doesn't know what the fuck is going on. I have talked to Terry Taylor, I tried to help these guys, these fucks just don't understand. I'm sorry for using that langue, but damn you can lead a horse to water but your still going to have to shoot it. I think Spike TV should give me a call and let me show them how to put this together. I'm embarrassed for TNA, Dixie Carter, and everyone who works for them. I think you have to try to make a project this bad. I don't know what plant OZ they wake up in, but if they would pull their heads out of their asses and just watch one of these episode they would see it. Who am I, but James my buy rate is better. I'm not even in the wrestling business and I make more money than they do. TNA just think they are to smart, they are full of shit dealers and carnies who's only concern is fleecing the golden calf. Fuck '‘em, when you’re this stupid you get what you deserve.

24. The world loves to say wrestling is fake. look at the harm these guys do to their bodies and all these deaths. I mean last week, The Miz at WM 27 took a 4 foot fall and hit his head on concrete backward. Does it bother you personally wrestling seems to get no respect?

It's the people who are running the business that treats it without respect. It wasn't always that way, in the 70's and 80's wrestling was looked upon as a sport. ESPN would run stories on it. Not anymore Thanks WWE and TNA for screwing that up

25. What was the last film you and your family watched at a movie theater?

Red with Bruce Willis, great fun ride

26. Shawn has the most passionate fans. Trust me, I know this first hand as I have been threatened many times, but it is all in good fun (or so I hope). This is your chance to talk to them. Tell them all about you, and even non fans. How can they reach you, what is going on, and where can they buy this great fun film? Thanks Shawn, and please tell your fans not to come looking for me and my family. Thanks...

I do the social networks so you can always find me somewhere out there. If you like the UDM series than "Cry for Blood" is for you. This will be turned into a series. I can't wait for the world to see this one.

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