because you always make more money when you wrestle the top guy. I’ll be honest with you. John’s a good guy, he’s had a great run and when I went to WWF in 1987 his reign as champion started a year before. What I’m trying to get at is Cena started getting his big push in ’05 and ’05-’12 that’s a long time to be the guy on top. But it’s finding the right guy to replace him."
On creating the new face: "I acquired a personality over a period of time. I acquired a style over a period of time. Guys today don’t have a lot of time. They don’t have a lot of time to develop. They’re thrust out there in front of the people. Even John Cena. John Cena is much better today than when they started pushing him to be champion. Part of John Cena’s character is his unorthodox style and that’s what makes him different. Different is good. I told my son, if you want to be different, what I saw when I first came back here in ’05 as an advisor is that everybody was trying to look like Stone Cold. All jacked up, muscle tattooed, bald headed. Don’t try to be Stone Cold. Be yourself. That’s why when they tried to put the belt on my son and I gave him the belt, I really didn’t like that storyline. Because I felt from the beginning, let him be himself. He doesn’t need to be an extension of me. He needs to be himself. I think that’s what they’re trying to do now."
On his induction into the 2010 Hall Of Fame: "It was very exciting and humbling as well. Being inducted into the hall of fame it’s your peers setting you apart and honouring you. It’s an honour. Think of some of the guys in that group with me. It’s very humbling too. Guys that I admired as a kid when I was growing up. I’m considered one of them. It’s a real honour I was very pleased and it was a great time."
Favorite moment in the business: "The first major main event of my life. The one that really put me on the map. The one that let the world know Iron Mike’s kid was really going to be somebody. And that was when I wrestled Harley Race for the NWA World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri. The first sellout crowd I wrestled in front of at the Kiel Auditorium. And I wrestled Harley for almost an hour. And then he won the match. It was a best 2 out of 3 falls match back then but that was kind of like a milestone. And back then, before wrestling was national, St. Louis was one of those places where if you went to St. Louis and you got over and the word got out. Then that’s what happened. Word spread and next thing you know I’m going to New York for the first time in 1979 and then back to work for Watts. When I really blossomed is when I turned heel. And so another defining moment is me becoming a heel turning against JYD and that was another defining moment because then I began to excel as a heel. And I think I was a much better heel than I ever was a babyface. So, my first Wrestlemania, Wrestlemania IV, I mean think about it. In 1980, Wrestlemania 3 was in March of 1987. As a matter of fact, Wrestlemania 3 was the same month that my son Brett was born. My youngest son, Brett, is 24 years old now. And he was born the same month of Wrestlemania IV. My first Wrestlemania. So, a year earlier I was wrestling in Mid-South. I can remember picking up a newspaper and on the front page it said WWF sets indoor world attendance record. 93,000 people at the Pontiac Silverdome. And I remember reading that article and thinking to myself “You know what? This is where I need to be.” I never dreamed, now think about that. I’m in a motel in Baton Rouge when I read that in 1987. I never dreamed that one year later I would be in the main event at Wrestlemania IV. That’s how fast it happened. I had a meeting with Vince. I think in May or June is when I signed on and I started in the summer and then it just built. One of those mile mark events was the thing at Market Square Arena. The first time that wrestling was on national network television in the United States since the 50’s and I was part of the feature. It was Andre and Hulk and I had hired Andre and Andre was going to be Hogan and sell me the belt. That was the lead in to Wrestlemania IV. I’m a guy who grew up in wrestling. I’m a guy who’s dad was a wrestler. And the first time wrestling is back on national television, I’m part of the main event. That was pretty cool."