WWE legend The Honky Tonk Man recently spoke with our friends at Wrestling INC for an interview about his career. Featured below are some of the highlights.
On being an exceptional heel in 1988, so much so that fans were craving for anyone to beat him and take his Intercontinental Title: “It’s like, every kid out there that was eight years old when I said, ‘I’m walking down the streets, I’m the greatest of all time, I’m looking for a fight, nobody can beat me.’ Every eight-year-old kid out there that’s 38 now would say, ‘Boy if he comes down my street I can kick his rear-end, I’ll kick this guy’s butt.’ So then when I go out and they wanted anybody to beat me, they didn’t care who it was, they wouldn’t have cared if it was the milk man that beat me, they just wanted somebody to beat me, just get the belt off this guy.”
On the reaction to The Ultimate Warrior defeating him in 31 seconds to become the new I-C champion: “So when I did lose, there was such an explosion in the building if you go back and listen. Then I lose to The Ultimate Warrior and then the people are like, ‘Yes! Yes, he lost!’ And then the second breath is, ‘But not to that guy! We wanted him beat, but not to that guy.’ So you can’t win.”
On knowing his run at the top of the WWF at the time was over: “My time was up and I knew it. The one time I had creative control over everything, was that match. I put it all together, it was my idea, they let me do it that way. It was good for him, it was good for the company and people still hated me anyway.”
On how he became a top heel performer in the WWF: “Being the bad guy with my mannerisms and the way I would do stuff, I studied the good ‘bad guys’ in the business back then. I would watch and see Harley Race, how he would have a match with Jack Briscoe, or I would watch Terry Funk have a match with someone and see what they did and how they did it and how they made people mad. And then I would listen to interviews, those key words that guys would say… Those things make people mad. So I was able to capture the audience that way.”
Check out more from The Honky Tonk Man interview at WrestlingINC.com.