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Pro Wrestling Diaries Shoot Interview with King Kong Bundy, Disc One

This interview was filmed in 2010

Disc One runs at one hour and fifty-four minutes long

The interview was conducted by Andrew Khellah

Disc Two will be posted tomorrow

The interview starts with Bundy cutting a promo while standing in a ring on anyone who disses him by stating that  he will dish the dirt on them right now.

Growing up, Bundy said that he used to watch wrestling as a kid and enjoyed when the babyface like Bruno Sammartino would run out and make the big save but was not really a big fan.

Bundy said that it was a fluke that he got into wrestling. He quit college, as he did not want to be a teacher and became a bartender after plans to run a family business went awry. Dick Worley, a WWF referee, knew his brother, who taught Worley’s kids as a phys. ed teacher. Worley somehow confused a message from Bundy’s brother and thought that he wanted to be a referee, when he just asked for some tickets. After that, Worley looked him up in the phone book and ended up calling Bundy to ask if he wanted to get into wrestling.

He ended up getting trained by Larry Sharpe. Bundy said the most important thing that Sharpe told him was to protect the other person in the ring. Bundy said that he did not learn much and his first match was as a jobber on WWF TV. Bundy said he tried a sunset flip and was told to never do that again.

Bundy said that he trained a few hours every night and never thought about quitting.

He earned $50 per taping on the WWF TV Tapings every three weeks. Bundy said that he also got put on some house shows after that.

When asked about paying dues, he said driving up to Hamburg or Allentown, PA every three weeks to lose for $50 was how he did that.

He then worked for World Class. He was working for Blackjack Mulligan at the time in Tennessee and did a TV job to Bruiser Brody and was noticed by Gary Hart, who saw him on the Atlanta TV. Back then, he was “Big Daddy Bundy” billed from the oil fields and as a face.

He turned heel on the Von Erich’s by coming out with Gary Hart. He then switched to black ring attire and boots.

Bundy said that the Freebirds really gave the territory a shot in the arm and tells a story of how he drove them to the airport going 100mph so they would not miss their flight and that Michael Hayes paid for the first speeding ticket.

He ended up leaving World Class due to Ken Mantell, who was the booker. Bundy talks about nepotism in wrestling and said that Mantell replaced him with Gene Petit, who later became Cousin Luke in the WWF, as he was good friends with Mantell.

When asked about paydays, Bundy said that he made nothing as a face, because the Von Erich’s had all the top spots, but as a heel, he was making about $1,200 a week.

Bundy thought Fritz was nice but had an ego the size of the building. Then, some guy ( I assume the sound guy) tells them to re-do the question as a plane flew low and they could not hear what they said, promping Bundy to joke around and call the guy a “prick.”

He thought that David was the best worker out of the Von Erich’s. He said that Kerry had the best body and that Kevin never sold. Before his hair match with Kevin, Fritz told Bundy that he needed to sell a lot for Kevin, which Bundy said was bullshit because he was the one who was losing his hair.

Bundy talks about how the Von Erich’s were screwed up and recalls a story of the Von Erich’s giving Chris half of a quaalude then having a girl blow him at age ten and asks how could you not be screwed up after that.

He liked Skandor Akbar a lot. He recalls a story of how he drove up to a small town with him in his car and on TV, they played up like they had a ton of money. This girl sees them in their car and asked why they drove such a shitty car to which Akbar replied “we drive shit cars to shit towns.” Bundy said that Akbar always made him laugh.

After World Class, he went to Mid South. Bundy claims that Ernie Ladd, who was the booker, hated him and Bundy called him an “asshole” who was dumb as a box of rocks. He recalls how Ladd “wasn’t a fag” but would always have a young kid with him that he basically treated as a slave and tells a story of how he once made someone wait in the car for an hour during a long drive so he could play Mrs. Pacman.

On Bill Watts, he said that he always liked to yell but didn’t have a problem with him and did not think he was the worst boss in the world but said he was a bully. He also credits Watts for coming up with the “five count” gimmick, which he thought was great.

When asked with his feud against Junkyard Dog, Bundy said how JYD was very over in the Louisiana. He was also told back then that he was making $5,000 a week and someone else told him that JYD had $138,000 in the bank. He liked JYD but said that he would give you the “dead sell” which made it tough to work against him.

He left Mid South, because he said it was time to go, then went to work for Ole Anderson in Atlanta. Bundy said that the territory was dead when he got there. Bundy then said that car rental places were prejudicial to wrestlers and refused to rent cars to them because someone took a shit in the trunk out of one of the cars.

Bundy talks about hanging with the wrestlers is the toughest part. He said there is a lot of insecurity and “macho bullshit” but there are some good guys too.

On Ole Anderson, Bundy said that he enjoyed being an asshole. Anderson would come up to them backstage and tell them that someone could kick your ass if you are not paying attention, which Bundy said was ridiculous. He then said that Ole would run in place backstage and talk about how he was old and still tough.

He went to Memphis after leaving Atlanta. He remembers meeting Andy Kaufman and called Tommy Rich a “dope fiend.” He recalls a road story traveling with Tommy Rogers, Tommy Rich, and Johnny Rich and at 3am it was his turn to stop driving but everyone else was too screwed up on pills to drive. Bundy hammers Tommy Rich here, calling him a baby and how he would complain if someone would mess up his hair. Back to the road story, he ended up falling asleep an hit a guy, sending the person into a ditch and tried to help the guy out and how no one else helped him out with that or even kick in some money for being too fucked up to drive.

Bundy recalls a story of sharing a room with Rick McGraw, who was trying to eat pizza but was way too fucked up and could not get it into his mouth.

After that, he was supposed to be going to the AWA but did a tour of Japan and got noticed by Hulk Hogan, who told Vince McMahon and Bundy went to the WWF instead. Bundy called Hogan a stand-up guy for doing that.

About Vince, Bundy said that Vince ignored him completely when he was a job guy. When he came back, Bundy said that Vince never gave a guarantee in his contract and that would cause the guys to work through injuries and damage themselves. He talks about how there are no benefits, 401K plans, or paid vacations in the WWE and brings up Vince’s interview with HBO Real Sports. He said that he never had any problems with Vince.

Bundy did not hear about Jesse Ventura trying to start a union. He then goes on about how when wrestlers get older, they talk about how they were a lot more tougher and banged more chicks when they were younger. He goes on about the delusions of grandeur older wrestlers have when they talk about the past. He calls Jesse entertaining and clever.

His first match back for the WWF was on TV when he wore a black cape and was managed by Jimmy Hart. Bundy said that he liked Heenan a lot better as a manager as Hart’s style was not something he liked. Bundy talks about how he never went to bother Vince and realizes now that Vince likes guys who seek him out and kiss his ass in order to get ahead.

He laughs when asked about Capt. Lou Albano. He said he was great and talks about how he worked a house show in Washington D.C. and saw Albano backstage with a giant bottle of vodka and two buckets of chicken, asking Bundy if he wanted some.

Bundy said that Roddy Piper is very talented and one of the good guys. He said that John Studd was also very nice but that he was obsessed with being a giant and did a ton of steroids as a result. Bundy also said that Studd kissed Andre’s ass constantly and recalls a time when someone asked the locker room how they were doing to which Studd replied “if Andre is happy, we are happy.” He also said that Chief Jay Strongbow always told Studd how he was an awful worker.

He then talks about how the “marks on the internet” now make the wrestlers believe that workrate and mic skills are what makes you great then goes on about how Bret Hart wrote in his book about Dave Meltzer saying that he had the best match on the card, prompting Bundy to say who cares what Meltzer thinks but that some people do care. Bundy said that Meltzer’s name never came up in the locker room back in the 1980’s but did in the 1990’s.

He said that is first match ever at Madison Square Garden was against Tony Garea, who thanked him after winning the match. This was before he returned in 1985. Bundy said that Garea was nice but as “cheap as the day is long” and used to keep the mileage from every trip.

Bundy first met Hogan in Japan but said that Hogan was the best champion ever. He recalls Bret Hart saying in his book that once you see Hogan wrestle once, you have seen everything but Bundy said you can say the same thing about Bret after seeing him wrestle three times then goes on about how wrestling is always like that. He said that Hogan had an incredible presence about him in the ring.

On the topic of Randy Savage, Bundy said that he “can’t stand the prick.” He said that Elizabeth was polite and nice and if she had not got involved with Savage then Lex Luger, she would still be alive. He said that the whole Poffo family was cheap and that they would sit in the airport for five hours rather than check into the hotel early in order to save money. He did say that Lanny Poffo was an alright guy and enjoyed the Genius gimmick. He does put over Savage as being a great athlete.

Bundy tells a story about how Randy and Elizabeth once ended up in different cars with the Hebner’s and how Randy questioned the one who drove with Elizabeth about what they talked about during the trip.

He said that S.D Jones was a nice guy but did not like jobbing that quickly at WrestleMania. He did say that it was really like 23 seconds rather than 9 because S.D. waited too long. Bundy said that if someone told him to lose in 9 seconds, he would try to lose in 7 seconds.

Bundy talks about Uncle Elmer and how he was an odd guy. He recalls how someone asked him how he was doing once and replied not to good because his wife was “bleeding out of the ass again.” Bundy said that in Memphis, he would always have stuff to sell to people. He then said that Elmer once told Bundy to stand on his ribs during a match then went to the doctors for an x-ray to show that he had broken ribs, which revealed a brake that took place 10 years ago. Bundy said he planned the whole thing in order to get time off, which he thought was ridiculous because they wrestled in 5 minute matches. He then said that Bret Hart did an impression of Elmer the next day that was funny.

They now show a clip from a Fan Slam” session from 2004 that shows SD Jones saying Vince and Pat Patterson came up to him and asked if he would job in nine seconds to Bundy and he agreed but then said while people laughed at him, he made a very big payday. Bundy again says that he would have lost in 7 seconds and not hesitate like S.D. did and goes on about how he lost to midgets, Koko B. Ware, college kids, and nuns because no one is actually beating you as it is all predetermined. Bundy jokes how he would put over the interviewer in a match for $500.

He now talks about how people blame Vince for “raiding” territories of their talent and running shows in their towns, calling it antiquated thinking on the part of the territory owners because Vince offered the talent better deals and what is to stop him from running a show in another building in the same town. Bundy said if the territories paid the talent more, they would have stayed.

Bundy said it was really hard wrestling against Andre the Giant. He said Andre was difficult to deal with and would hurt guys if he did not like them and later on, he was constantly drunk and even harder to work with. He recalls working against Andre in Austin, TX while in World Class and thanked him for working with him and said that he went out of his way to kiss his ass but then said how he was ready to work for “new York” now and that comment was why Andre hated Bundy, according to Hogan. He said that Andre was a “petty prick.” Bundy also recalls the story of Andre tossing around the N-word on the bus and when Bad News Brown called him out, Andre refused to get off and confront him.

On the subject of crowd reactions. Bundy feels that the crowds might be more jaded and pop less than they do back then and questions why you would buy a PPV as they give away main event matches on television on a weekly basis. He also says that the talent on top gets stale nowadays.

They now asked Bundy about several workers.

Roddy Piper: Calls him a great talker and loves his fight scene from “They Live.”

Paul Orndorff: Said that Paul would threaten to quit if he didn’t get his way. Bundy liked him but said that Paul only looked out for himself and very selfish. He says that Orndorff made $100,000 in a month working with Hogan then proceeded to leave a $1 tip on a $26 tab. He then calls out the Honky Tonk Man for never leaving a tip and tells a story of how Honky saying he does not leave tips because that prevents him from buying his kids toys (something that Honky himself admitted in his YouShoot) to which Bundy says that not leaving a tip prevents the waitress from buying her kids toys.

Honky Tonk Man: Said he used to like him and was humble but once he got a push with the Honky Tonk Man, his head got huge and he started to bad mouth Hogan, the one who got Honky his job in the WWF and was the reason he got money and if not, would still be starving in Calgary.

Adrian Adonis: Said he was a jerk and would abuse younger guys in the ring. He said that he remembered once Adonis was in an airport around Christmas telling young kids that there was no Santa Claus, which Bundy said why would you do something like that. He does say how he was a tremendous talent but he could not overcome his demons.

When asked about the Jacques Rougeau/Dynamite Kid incident, Bundy said that Dynamite was a bully and  a nasty prick but he did like him. He tells a story of how he gave Dynamite $10 to get a beer at the airport and the bartender accidentally gave him change back for a $20. Dynamite told Bundy this then said that he was not going to let her know. When the bartender came back to say that she made a mistake, Dynamite swore at her and reduced her to tears. Bundy said that he himself was an asshole for not getting involved but he hated getting into other wrestler’s bullshit. Bundy said that Davey told him that Dynamite would roll out of bed in a hotel room just to piss on the floor.

Bundy talks about Mr. Fuji for a bit and tells a story from a “Tuesday Night Titans” taping when Danny Spivey was sleeping and saw that Mr. Fuji put some tape on his boots and lit it on fire. Bundy said that if a rib costs money and ruins someone’s stuff, then it is not funny. He also recalls how Fuji once put turds in Barry Horowitz’ food but credits him for not selling the rib.

He confirms that Haku was the toughest guy in the locker room and says that he once pulled out Jesse Barr’s (Jimmy Jack Funk) eye and broke his ribs and got fined $1,000 while Barr got fired. Bundy says that Jesse probably started it while being drunk and obnoxious.

About Gene Okerlund, Bundy said that he once had a model hand him a note to give to Gene, which read that she wanted to fuck him.

When asked about Brutus Beefcake, Bundy said he was a prick back then but is a good guy now. Beefcake once told Bundy that the only reason he was in the business was because he ate 200 cheeseburgers as Bundy told Beefcake that he was in the business because his head was up Hogan’s ass.

On his match against Hogan at WrestleMania 2, he said it was an alright match but Vince did not want Hogan getting color and that there was no discussions of him taking the belt. He then said that he was not championship material. He talks about how much money you can make working with Hogan.

Bundy said that Hillbilly Jim is one of the greatest guys ever and a real gentleman. He did not feel that it was a demotion wrestling in a mixed match with midgets. He also said how he was in the main event the year before

Final Thoughts: I thought the first disc was pretty good. I have never seen a shoot from this company before but I thought they interview was decent enough to conduct a wrestling shoot anyway.

I find it refreshing when someone who did not grow up a huge fan and is not a mark for himself does a shoot interview. Bundy himself does not seem to have an delusions about his abilities and is certainly not afraid to dish the dirt.

So far, I give this shoot a high recommendation and disc two will be posted tomorrow.