Veteran wrestler Pierre Carl Ouellet says "living in the moment" is the real driver behind his incredible career resurgence.
The three-time WWE Tag Team Champion who first broke into the business in 1987 has spent the last two years as one of the hottest names on the independent scene.
And in December 2018, the 51-year-old Canadian, aka PCO, committed the next stage of his career to the American promotion Ring of Honor (ROH) by signing a 12-month deal.
The 'French Frankenstein' has not only won over fans with his high intensity, zero fear offence, but has gained just as much traction with his wild social media videos.
Alongside his trainer, Destro, he's created a huge online following by sharing intense training videos including him ripping a pack of cards, bending a frying pan and even electrocuting himself!
In an exclusive interview with Mirror Sport's Tony Quant, PCO discussed what exactly led to his revival, why he signed with ROH, his thoughts on the upcoming 17th Anniversary Show and the potential of wrestling at Madison Square Garden next month.You've had a huge career resurgence in the last couple of years and most importantly you just seem to be having a great time every time you're in the ring. What is it specifically that has driven this change?
Every night I performed I just said to myself, 'there is no yesterday and no tomorrow, so I just concentrate on the moment I am living right now'. I have been doing that every day of my life recently, but back then, I was trying to think about the future and what would make me happy, I was never really in the moment. From the wisdom I gained over the years I began to be in the moment. That is my trick almost, to be so concentrated on what I am doing all the time.
I am having more fun and having better moments in the last two years than I have for a long time. This is by far the most fun I have had in the business. Every time I pack my bags for the weekend I am feeling full and happy, I am enjoying this run so much more. It is a combination of things making me feel like it. I had so much fun last year travelling by myself across the world. I was on a very tough schedule but was still having fun because I was just enjoying every match like it was a WrestleMania match.
There was many offers on the table at the time. Pretty much all the major companies. Without blaming anybody, I chose ROH because I really liked their approach and the way they work with their talent and creative together. They are trying to get the best out of you by asking how you feel about yourself and how you envisage your character. They are certainly not making you do something against what you are. Sometimes wrestling is too scripted for and sometimes they might look at it as movies, but we are not doing movies we are doing live shows. The best thing about wrestling is a little bit of fiction and a little bit of reality. You need to be yourself and for me that's the feeling I had and the vibe I had with ROH.
I felt they were really trying to not change PCO or make another short of thing, they just accepted PCO and that was one of the biggest reasons I signed with them. The other reason was all the talk about Villain Enterprises. They wanted the three guys in a group. I knew Marty Scurll from 2008 and I got along good with him back then. I knew we had good chemistry and that it would be fun working with him. I had been feuding with Brody King on the indy scene and our chemistry was good as well. I felt that we could be the biggest faction in pro wrestling. l like the chemistry we have and that was something I was interested in. Those two factors are important to me. On top of that, ROH were professional with their approach and how they handled business with me.
Being in Villain Enterprises is very different to being in a tag team. With a tag team it's always the same two guys. Now we get to mix it up and sometimes I will tag with Marty, then I might be in a singles, then we might be in a six man match etc. That is what is cool about it. It's not just always a tag match and it can go in every direction, I like that about being in a team.On the upcoming ROH 17th Anniversary show, you and Brody King challenge the Briscoes for the ROH Tag Team Championship. How much would it mean to capture the titles on such a big show for the promotion?
I am very excited for the match. I think it is a super great opportunity to fight for the titles on the 17th Anniversary of ROH. It is one of their biggest pay-per-views and it means a lot to me. It is a very important date. We are looking forward to it big time.
ROH in MSG is going to be special because it is one of my favourite buildings in the world. There is so much mystique around MSG because it is where so many big stars have performed. For me when I done it for the first time I was so impressed and one time there we (The Quebecers) won the WWF Tag Titles against Marty Janetty and The 1-2-3 Kid. There was also one match I had with Bret Hart in the main event, it is something I will remember for rest of my life. Going back to MSG with ROH and the 'new me' so to speak, that is going to be bigger and larger than ever. It is going to be very, very cool, probably one of most greatest experiences of my life on April 6 in the Garden.On the subject of The Quebecers, what are your thoughts on being inducted in to the WWE Hall of Fame? Is it something you hope for?
I am not big on the Hall of Fame, it is not a big deal for me. It is not something that is really a focus for me right now. Maybe when everything is behind me. I am still very much in to the action right now, so I can't think about that. I have got so many other things that are important and that I want to accomplish. The HOF can wait until my priority list is complete. It's not that I don't care about it, but my focus is not there and I wouldn't see myself going there while I am working somewhere else, that doesn't make sense to me. This is a subject we will talk about once I am done wrestling.
I learn from a lot of people and we are always learning. If there is a day in your life you are not learning then something has gone wrong. Because the business is all so much that you have to be aware about the new psychology, more faster combos/sequences, there is so much stuff to learn. One thing I like about the business is that I get to evolve. A lot of people in the business who are older wished it stayed the same, but it is like with everything in the world, where there is stagnation, things are dying. When you try to stop evolution of something you get surpassed by it, so you have to embrace the changes.It's crazy to think, but at 51 years of age, you are not showing any signs of slowing up. But equally do you have a time period in mind when you think you will call it a day?
Depending on the way everything goes, I think I still have another five years for sure. But also I have to keep improving, and keep on getting better and better, and doing all the things I have been doing in the last two years.
ROH 17th Anniversary airs LIVE from Las Vegas on Friday, March 15 at 8pm eastern time [1am in the UK on Saturday, March 16] on traditional pay-per-view providers, free for HonorClub VIP, at a 50% discount for HonorClub Standard, and on FITE TV.
Please visit ROHWrestling.com or the ROH App for more information.