real big and then kind of cowers away. But again, that’s what kind of heel I was. And everybody hated me and they never got tired. No matter who it was. They never got tired of seeing somebody kick my butt. And eventually, sometimes the tough guy heel, eventually the fans get behind him. The fans never got behind me. They always hated me and I was very proud of that."
On going to conventions and independent wrestling events and seeing today’s fans’ reactions to him: "It’s amazing and it’s extremely flattering. And I said this everywhere I go. Wrestling fans are the greatest fans in the world. Because they are so loyal. I mean once they’re with you, they’re with you and they never forget. I mean it’s amazing. I’ve had people come up and talk to me about old matches they saw me in. And they’re talking about stuff that I’d forgotten. I mean I was there. I did it. And they know more about it than I do. Of course that happens when you wrestle almost every night. It’s hard when people ask “Well, what was your favourite match?” That’s impossible. I can’t pick a specific match that was IT because there were so many. But fans? I love interacting with the fans. I go to these ComiCons and I was at the one in the UK a couple of years ago. I think it was the year before a bunch of guys got in trouble coming in because somebody didn’t have their visa or some deal but I wasn’t there for that. This is my fourth year. This will be my fourth year in a row to come to Scotland. This started four years ago when I got a call from David Lowe who’s the head guy for SW Wrestling in Scotland and asked if I’d come and lend my celebrity to help them draw a crowd and we became friends and now this will be my fourth year. This is the biggest indy card I’ve ever seen. I personally ever seen in the UK. I mean me and Piper and Chavo Jr. and Tatanka. And of course we did the same thing. I come over, I’m the big shot and basically I buy SWE and now SWE is Me and I own it and I’m running it and I’m going to come back this year and run roughshod over it and prove once again to everybody that there’s nobody and nothing that can’t be bought."
His feelings on his sons entering the business: It was a mixture. Wrestling wasn’t what I wanted either of them to do. Not because of the wrestling itself but my fears as a father was the lifestyle that often comes along with it. The temptations. And some of those temptations that I DID succumb to. Fortunately for me, I was never an addict. I was never addicted to drugs. I was never addicted to alcohol. I did my share of both. I guess if there was something I was addicted to it was women. And of course I very nearly lost my family. I wrote a book about it. And I had a life changing experience and so I wanted my boys to avoid that. And they’ve done well. As a dad, it’s pretty easy to be biased I guess. I don’t think I’m alone in saying this but Ted Jr. got off to a bang up start. And then it seemed to die. And I still haven’t been able to figure it out. Because when you talk to the guys, my friends that are still there helping with the shows, they will tell you he’s one of the best wrestlers they’ve got. I think mostly it’s timing. It’s being the right guy with the right gimmick at the right time at the right place. I used to have that conversation with Shawn Michaels years ago. He’d get frustrated and say when’s this gonna happen. He’d watch matches and say I’m better than him, I’m better than him and I’m better than HIM. And I’d say yeah you are Shawn. You absolutely are. I said “Man, timing is everything.” I said just be patient. You’ll be one of the biggest stars this company’s ever had. And, I was right. Another guy I told that was Steve Austin. I was right both times. Hopefully the ship will come in for my son and it’ll happen for him because there’s a lot of people there that think it should."
His thoughts on never winning the WWF Championship: "Again, wrestling is a business and of course I guess if you’re given the title you’re getting marked as the best and that’s not necessarily always true. A belt, is a gimmick in our business. It’s a status symbol. I get asked that question a lot because there was a lot of talk and the initial thought was that at Wrestlemania IV, the tournament, that I would win it. That was the intial plan. I would win it and have my run with Hogan. You gotta satisfy a lot of people and someone said Honky Tonk Man didn’t want to drop the intercontinental belt to Randy Savage and they wanted to make Randy happy too so somebody came up with that idea to turn Randy babyface. So the question was posed to me. What would get you more heat Ted? If you didn’t win the belt? Or if in your arrogance you thumbed your nose at it and created your own belt. And I said that’s the ticket. And it was. Today this day, you talk about a conversation piece. Everybody wants to come take a picture with me and the Million Dollar Belt. The Million Dollar Belt made me more money than the WWF Title ever would have."
On the Million Dollar Belt: "The belt the WWF had made is a very expensive belt. The stones and the belt are a cubic zirconium. They’re almost diamonds and there’s 700 of them back in 1988 when the belt was created and I think they were $40 or $50 apiece. It’s estimated value in 1988 was $40,000.00 I have no idea how much it would be worth today but no I don’t have the belt. I have A belt but it’s a replica just like anyone else can buy. But the replicas are exact. If there’s any difference, its that the stones on the real belt are smaller."
On any one on the roster he’d like to work with and why: "John Cena. Just because I was always kind of a ring general and just to see what kind of match I could put together with him off the cuff and wrestle him for the same reason I always wanted to wrestle Hogan... (Continues on next page)