weekly basis. And at night after the show was over, we weren’t out having a grand ol’ time. We were in a car driving and talking about what we can do better and how did it work and what can we do next week to get those people to buy another ticket. That’s what wrestling is. It’s a soap opera. And you want to entice the people to come back each and every week. When you run a show once a month, or once a year it’s not too hard to entertain the people. But when you’re trying to entertain people like a tv show, when you’re trying to get those people to come back and watch you each and every week then that takes some skill and some effort. And it makes you think well that’s what’s missing from wrestling today. And when I grew up in this business, when I started out, I never had a guaranteed money contract until I went to WCW. The contracts we initially signed in WWE
weren’t like that. Rajah.com It was like okay you’re going to work for us for a period of 3-4 years. The initial contracts probably protected the company more than they protected us. But your only guarantee was that you were going to have the opportunity. It wasn’t until the big war happened between Turner and Vince that guys started getting guaranteed money contracts. Now guys got perks. It’s like when I became the Million Dollar Man, part of that was I flew around first class every night, I had limousine service every day. But the not so glamorous side of wrestling, I paid for my own hotels, I paid for rent a cars if it was a rent a car, paid for my own food. That all came off the top. That wasn’t paid by the WWF. It was a different ball game back then. Some of those things are still the same today. But now you’re making enough money to compensate. Back to the question of comparing then to now, the guys today are at a disadvantage because they simply don’t have the opportunity to learn this art. It’s an acquired skill. The only thing I knew for sure when I got in the ring was exactly how that match was going to be. How we were going to end the match, that was important because that’s what we were counting on. The finish to draw them back. Satisfy them a little bit, but keep them interested. It’s like the babyface just beats the dog out of the heel and beats him from pillar to post and right at the last minute the heel does something underhanded. Cheats to win, gets the win and even though he got his butt kicked for 30 minutes he wins. So the people leave mad because even tho the hero kicked the guy’s butt he didn’t win so in their heads are like well we’re going to come back next week. Next week he’ll get it. That’s it. That’s the simple psychology of wrestling and it’s keeping that interest in people. I call a match on the fly. I never knew what I was going to do. I never sat down and mapped out a match. Rehearsing matches is below me. If I told a young guy today I want them to go out there and go 30 minutes, they’d have a panic attack. What most guys do today in indy wrestling is they plan out the whole match from bell to bell. And that’s a lot of stuff to remember. Can you remember 30 minutes worth of stuff. I’ve had one hour matches and like I said it’s an acquired skill you learn. And it’s very hard to explain but yea that’s what’s missing today. Fans always come to me and say Gosh, I love wrestling but there’s just too much drama on TV. It’s all backstage and not enough in the ring."
Being Bruiser Brody’s replacement in Japan as Stan Hansen’s partner:
"Stan Hansen and Bruiser Brody both went to West Texas State and played football there. I knew Stan Hansen, Stan Hansen was a student assistant coach at West Texas State the year I was recruited. By the time I came to go to school over there, he had already gone out. I remember the first match he had, his debut match, his first match in Amarillo, Texas I was there and I saw his match. But I’ve known Stan for years and when Brody went from All Japan to New Japan, Stan came to me and he says “Look, you know Brody’s gone over to the other side and I need a new partner. Would you be interested?” I just laughed and said “Are you kidding? Is a pig’s butt pork? Is the Pope catholic? What do you mean do I want to be your partner?” Stan Hansen, even more than Bruiser Brody. Stan Hansen was the most popular and most famous foreign wrestler ever in Japan. Most well-known. Stan Hansen. “The Lariat”. Terry Funk, I believe, is right up there strong too as well. So when I had the opportunity to be Stan Hansen’s partner, you know, I jumped on it. The sad thing was that it was short lived because it wasn’t long after I took that job that I got the break to go to the WWF and be The Million Dollar Man."
On any young talent today who he sees being in the same place today as he was:
"There’ve been a lot of heels. Stone Cold, who I managed, he was a heel who became a babyface. The Rock
. Here’s another guy who was a heel that became a babyface. There’s two different type of heels. There’s the tough guy bad guy. And the tough guy bad guy will always eventually become a good guy. Because people love tough guys. But if you’re, what I call a chickensh- heel. In other words, I go out there and show the people that I can go, that I’ve got the skills and I can wrestle. But I take the shortcuts. And not only do I take the shortcuts, but I’m a coward. I talk real big and then when somebody gets in my face I kind of back off and send Virgil in to do the work for me. That’s the best kind of heel. Because people never get tired of seeing somebody kick that guy’s butt. Now a heel like that today, was Bradshaw. JBL
was that type of heel. Big guy, tough guy, knock your head off with that lariat. But when he would run his mouth at somebody and they would confront him you’d see that worried look on his face and he’d get scared. Everyone hates a blowhard. Someone who talks... (Continues on next page)
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