Bob Holly recently spoke about writing his book, racecar driving and much more. Here are the highlights…
On writing the book: "It never occurred to me that it was a bad idea. The only thing that occurred to me, the whole 18 months it took to write this, is nobody's gonna want to read my book; nobody's gonna want it. I mean, I was just a midcard guy, you know, and it was like ‘Who is going to want to read my story? I mean, there's nothing exciting about me.' So, that's what ran through my mind, and then after we edited it over and over because we'd send it back to ECW Press and then they'd send it back and we'd have to edit and do this and do that to it and after reading it many times over; every time we read it over, it was still interesting. So that's when it occurred to me, ‘Hey, maybe people will find this interesting.' Because, every time a read a chapter, it still captivated me and it still does; when I pick up my book and see what somebody had read and they talk about it and I go back and look at it, I end up reading the whole chapter again. And that's what made me think that maybe people will want to buy this and read it. So, it was a lot of work too, but it was fun and it had its times where it reminded me of certain bad times and stuff like that. But, it was a good experience, it really was."
His pre-WWF/E days and his bar fighting past for money: "You know, it's funny because when I was writing that part, it was like it brought back; you're not going to believe this, and you're going to think I'm full of it, but it was fun to me. Those were exciting times to me because I'm the kind of guy that likes a challenge and I would go into bars and it's like; ok, I find the toughest guy in there and I'd want to put up money to fight the guy. I just found it, the thrill of the fight, exciting to me and to this day I still do because I won't turn down a challenge to anybody and I find myself. When the whole MMA/UFC thing came along and it's like if that came around when I was a little bit younger, I think I would have ended up going that direction because I love the thrill of the fight; I love the challenge, no matter who it is I end up fighting with. So, when I look back on that, those were fun times for me; I had really enjoyed that and I made money doing that. It's an odd way to make money, but it was what I had to do to survive. And that's why I look at it like ‘Yeah, that was exciting to me'."
His experience with Auto Racing: "Well, the thing about auto racing is you gotta know all the right people. I raced at a local level and then, when I got into the WWE and I got to know the right people and I got connected with Hermie and Elliot Sadler, who are involved with NASCAR to this day; I was too far into my (wrestling) career to just say ‘You know what, I'm going to go. I'm going to start racing instead of wrestling.' Because racing, it's based on performance; I mean, if you're not performing, you're gone. You have to have a lot of money behind you and a good team behind you. So, it's a very tough business to make it in. And like I said, when I was doing the local stuff, I know all the right people or anything and I was just enjoying what I was doing at the local level, and then when the WWF called me to come up and start wrestling for them and, of course, when you work for them you meet all kinds of people all over the world. Then, of course, when I met Hermie and Elliot, I got back into racing part-time, just once or twice a month on my days off. It could have escalated into more, but I was too far into my WWE career and that's when we were into the Attitude Era when things were really good; the money was really good, so it was hard to say ‘Ok, I'm going to stop doing this, take a chance and start racing and see if I can make it there because if I hadn't made it in racing, then I would have lost out on the Attitude Era, if you understand what I'm saying. I didn't want to take that chance because I was having too much fun during the Attitude Era wrestling and making great money. Of course, it didn't matter where you were on the card; if you were opening match, mid card; of course Main Event makes big money, but even when you were the opening match, you still made great money. So, that would have been really hard to give up to go take a chance in auto racing, where there is no money unless you get to the Cup Level. So, I think I did the best for my career, I did what I wanted to do and I still got to race and stuff like that, so I enjoyed that and I didn't have the stress, the pressure to perform in auto racing. We just did it at the fun level; went to different tracks around the Southeast and there was no pressure or whatever; we just went out there, had a great time and raced and then got on a plane and flew to wherever I had to go wrestle. I did what I wanted to do and I never considered going full-time racing; you gotta be damn good you better have the right people backing you."
His "Spark Plug" gimmick: "I had graciously bowed out of Smokey Mountain and, like I said, I appreciate Cornette using me and giving me an opportunity to wrestle there. So, I went back to work, and I thought ‘You know what? I'm just going to focus on my job; I've got a great job, I make really good money, I've got insurance so I'm set.' And I got my weekends off so I could go race wherever I want to because I had a race car at the time. So, I came home from work one day a couple months down the road and of course there was a message on the machine from J.J. Dillon wanting to talk to me. So, of course, I call him back and I was pretty damn excited, so they arraigned for me to fly up to Connecticut, to meet with him and Vince (McMahon). So, I flew up there, met with them and everything; met with them for about an hour and they said... (Continues on next page)