On his career in mortuary sciences: "When I was eight years old my grandfather died and I went to his funeral and just became amazed. I don't know what it was about it…seeing what the funeral directors do and seeing the caskets and the funeral home and there was just something about it that grabbed me. Somebody would ask me, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' And I'd say 'An undertaker.' And they would just freak out. 'An undertaker!? What is wrong with you? What is wrong with this kid?' It was always wrestling and the funeral business for me, but Vince McMahon was the one that put the two together. I just wish that we had a tape recording or video or something of the day that I went up to Stamford, Connecticut in the old Titan Towers, with me sitting in the boardroom with Vince and Pat Patterson and JJ Dillon. We were sitting there talking and I didn't even know that Vince was looking for a manager for the Undertaker. Vince knew who I was because I was on [World Class Championship Wrestling in Dallas], which was on ESPN. I brought a tape with me, which was totally unnecessary, and my resume. He looks at my resume and he looks over at JJ and Pat Patterson and says 'Do y'all know that he's a real mortician?' They are such great guys – I love them to death. And they all start laughing like a son of a *****. Vince is laughing like, 'Ho ho ho ho!' – you know, that trademark Vince McMahon laugh. So that moment there when we all realized that they were looking for a manager for Taker and that I was a real mortician… It was a moment in time that I will never forget and I will take to my grave with me."
On the purpose of a manager: "Managers were mainly for the wrestlers that couldn't talk – that couldn't do an interview. Early on, Taker didn't talk. Except for a 'Rest in peace' once in a while, the rest of it was me. We used to do an interview for every market that we had a show in, so we would do 40 back-to-back interviews for different markets all in one day. One week, it would be San Francisco, Miami, New York, bouncing back-and-forth to the big cities and the overseas markets, too. We did a ton of interviews, so you had to be able to talk, and thank God, I was blessed with this mouth. Managers were mainly for the talking, but you also needed a character that would keep people's attention. That was no problem for Lou Albano or Freddie Blassie, who was a wrestler for years and years and could certainly keep anybody's attention whether he was managing or wrestling. And hell, Lou wrestled too years ago. I started out in the business wrestling. Bobby Hennan wrestled. I love Bobby dearly. I stole all my 'Percy Pringle' stuff from him. The blonde hair and all the stuff that I wore? I stole it all from Bobby. We became really good friends because we got to work together with Gorilla Monsoon when we were doing the commentary. Bobby was and still is my hero, and he knows it because every time I see him, I tell him. I think he's tired of me saying it."
On his favorite managers: "No. 1 is Bobby Heenan. No. 2 will surprise a lot of people because I was in the business before him: No. 2 is Jim Cornette – I love him dearly. He is so underappreciated. If you were to have lunch with me and Jim Cornette, we are so much alike. We are both Southern boys: He's from Tennessee and I'm just right down the road. God help people when they are around me and Jim at the same time. I would guess Mr. Fuji would come next at No. 3, primarily because I worked with him so much. He was an outstanding wrestler. A lot of people disagree with me about his wrestling abilities because he would use his Japanese gimmicks and salt. I guess after Fuji would be Lou Albano – he always treated me so well. He came to me when I first met him and we had a show in White Plains, N.Y. – he sought me out. Take that back, I forgot Jimmy Hart. I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. No. 1. Heenan, No. 2. Cornette, No. 3. Jimmy Hart, No. 4.Fuji and No. 5 is Lou Albano. Heenan was my hero and I learned so much from him. I was such a fan when he was in his prime managing Nick Bockwinkel in the AWA and all that time before he went to Vince. But once we met each other…the chemistry! We were a hell of a clique together. Bless his heart.
On present-day managers: "There are none now. I guess Ricardo Rodriguez could be considered a manager now, but he certainly wasn't when he first started. But as time has gone by, he has evolved and he's asked me for pointers. And I've given him pointers that he didn't even ask for, like facial expressions. He would just have a stone face, and I would say go back and look at some of the old stuff like Bobby Heenan and Lou Albano, and the real old-school managers that I grew up on. They're all gone, except for Jimmy Hart and me and Jim Cornette, as far as old school managers there is no such thing anymore. At this point in the game, I will concede that Ricardo Rodriguez is a manager and will get involved in the matches, and he took a **** hard bump the other night [Ricardo had recently been hit with a Brogue Kick from Sheamus]. There are certain parts of the match where the wrestler needs some kind of escape and the manager can provide that. Like what Ricardo did the other night, there are spots in the match where they need a third party, which doesn't have to be a wrestler. That was the manager's position, where you would sometimes take a bump."
On appearing in WWE Games: "One of my dreams for years was that I wanted to work in Madison Square Garden – that's... (Continues on next page)