Hello, ladies! Those two iconic words set ablaze the hearts of many female wrestling fans in the late 1990s when Val Venis made his seductive entrance into the arena. As a smooth saxophone played in the background, Venis swayed his hips and many times locked his lips with lucky members of the WWE Universe.
Nowadays, Venis is not as entrenched in the wrestling business. With a busy schedule and personal goals, religiously keeping up with wrestling is not on Venis’ agenda.
“As far as performing, yes, I’m always gonna love to perform, but I don’t really watch wrestling too much right now just because I don’t have the time to. I have so many other things on the go, the only thing I really get time to watch is a little bit of UFC here and there,” said Venis. “So, I don’t really know what’s going on in the wrestling world, as it stands right now anyway.”
As he mentions UFC, a sport that has grown leaps and bounds since he was at his peak in wrestling, Venis admits that he is a big time fanatic of the sport and would have potentially been interested in trying it himself. But he remains a fan first and wishes a fellow professional wrestler and soon-to-be UFC fighter luck with his new endeavor.
“I love the UFC, UFC is phenomenal, I hope CM Punk does really well there. I probably would have tried it, you know, I definitely would have tried it but as far as me not wrestling and taking MMA as a career, I wouldn’t go that far,” said Venis.
During the Attitude Era, Venis was a staple of the federation. A former Intercontinental, European, and Tag Team champion, Venis accomplished a lot. The character he portrayed, that of an adult film actor, Venis found it to be an entertaining role and one he believes can still exist today.
“It’s one of those things where I don’t think there was ever society where it couldn’t exist, I think the question would be would it cause the same amount of controversy,” said Venis. “I think it could cause controversy, maybe not to the same level, that’s just what I’m thinking. It could absolutely cause the same controversy as before but I those walls have already have been broken down and in order to reinvent it, you have to come up with something more spectacular than it was during the Attitude Era.”
Even though he no longer works for WWE or even keeps up with the business as a whole, Venis spent over a decade under contract with WWE. In that time, he wrestled legends such as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Ric Flair, The Rock, and a bevy of other iconic names.
But the man who left a significant impression on him is the late Owen Hart. The “King of Harts” was a well-known “ribber” or prankster during his time in wrestling. Specifically, Venis recalls an instance in which Hart, Jeff Jarrett, and himself shared a car and Hart parlayed something he did onto Jarrett.
“There was one time when we watched Owen, he had a driver and he was in the passenger seat and Jeff Jarrett was in the backseat behind Owen. And as they are going up the ramp to drive out from the bottom of the arena, all you hear on the top of the roof of the car is ‘whack!’ And Owen looks over to the driver, he says ‘that guy up there just threw a rock down on your car.’ So, the guy stops the car on the ramp, gets out of the car, runs up the ramp, runs around the rail and charges at the guy Owen pointed at. Well, a cop steps out in front of the driver and says ‘whoa, this guy didn’t throw any rock, the guy with the blonde hair in the car hit the roof of your car with his hand. And when the driver looks over the rail to look at Owen, Owen turns around and says ‘Jeff, why did you hit the top of the car?’ and put all the heat on Jeff.”
As stated earlier, aside from a few independent bookings, Venis is out of the wrestling spotlight and focused on a new goal: medical marijuana. He runs his own business, which you can learn more about via his Twitter. He wants to teach the world about the benefits of the drug, when, in his mind, many people aren’t educated of its benefits.
“I love getting out there and teaching people the truth about cannabis. There is so much cannabis can do, I don’t think people have any reason to fear it at all. We’re trying to get the truth out there so people can absorb that truth and really have a huge paradigm shift in the way people feel and think about cannabis,” said Venis.
In fact, Venis says that marijuana is something that not only helped him recover from the years of wear and tear on his body from wrestling but actually saved his life due to its non-addictive nature.
With some deaths in wrestling coming from addictions to pain medication and various other drugs, Venis says that marijuana is the way to go.
“It’s actually saved my life. I had six pins put in my shoulder, can’t get my elbows straight anymore, they’re always hurting. Doctors had me on anti-inflammatory’s and pain pills for years and you can’t take those things for the rest of your life without suffering serious consequences. And when I found out about marijuana and started utilizing that instead, in 2008, I came off all pharmaceuticals and never looked back,” said Venis. “I could smoke marijuana and eat marijuana for the rest of my life and never suffer any liver disease or kidney failure due to pills. The pills will get you every single time, with marijuana, you could be 110-years-old and still smoke it.”
All told, Venis remains busy and is looking forward to continuing to grow his marijuana business and expand it to a bigger scale than it is today. With the impressive accolades that Venis has in wrestling, he hopes to leave a similar impact in his latest venture.
“Just going to continue building my stature in the medical marijuana business. Hopefully, we’re gonna get a 2016 recreational in Arizona and expand it from there. We opened up a vapor lounge in Phoenix which is shut down now because have to move it to a free standing unit. We’re probably going to wait legalization for 21 and older until we open up again,” said Venis.
For the full audio of the interview, you listen to it here.
[Image by Sulaiman Larokko]