This roundtable includes Barry Horowitz, George South, and Salvatore Bellomo
This was filmed in 2011
This was hosted by Michael Bochicchio
It runs at one hour and twenty-eight minutes long
The interviewer starts off by telling the guys to talk about their experiences against the top guys and the importance of their roles among other things.
South starts off saying the guy going over wasn’t always the best wrestler and would have to put guys into certain places to so they could beat him up. Horowitz talks about Tim Horner told him coming into the WCW locker room one night and telling him they were all “starmakers” as they would put over the talents the company wanted to push. Horowitz then said anyone who knocks enhancement talent are the real “marks.” Bellomo adds he loved what he did and would make his money whether he won or not. South then goes back to say some of the other wrestlers even laughed at him when he’d go do Independent shows as he lost on TV every week, failing to understand it was a role as South added he would make about $500 per week doing Independent gigs.
Horowitz says not everyone is going to be Shawn Michaels or Hulk Hogan. He said if he turned down doing jobs he’d probably be broke right now and he worked his ass off even if he had to put over someone who couldn’t lace his boots.
South tells a funny story about Jim Herd saying they had to get rid of Bobby Eaton in WCW because he was not winning enough matches as they all laughed about that and now Herd had no clue about the business.
They talk about guys complaining about getting beat in short matches as South told a story of working for Watts in Mid-South where he was teaming with Rocky King to go up against Kamala. King complained about the match being short and Watts told him they do not get paid by the hour. Horowitz tells a story at a WCW Thunder taping in Nashville as he was not even on the card that night but a Japanese wrestler refused to job to Goldberg for some reason so he stepped in and got speared and pinned as he talks about making a lot of money that night. Horowitz said a true worker than do a match like that then go 20 minutes the next night in a fast-paced match.
Bellomo said he made $100,000 in 1983 then South talks about the most money he never made was when the New Breed got into a car accident and he took there place on the card teaming with Gary Royal on the Great American Bash tour.
Horowitz then asks Bellomo about a rumor he heard in which the WWF was going to make Bellomo into the next Bruno Sammartino. Bellomo confirms this and says he was going to get a run with the Intercontinental Title and heard that from Andre the Giant. However, the Intercontinental Champion at that time refused to put him over and it was scrapped. Horowitz talks about how you should do what the boss says and if not pack up and leave and said when asked to drop the Florida Heavyweight Title to Kendall Windham it never crossed his mind to not put him over.
We get another story from Horowitz as he talks about doing TV enhancement work for the WWF when Vince Sr. was in charge and after getting paid, the referee gave him money that was from Roddy Piper and Don Muraco, who thanked Horowitz for making them look good. Bellomo said Piper was a bit crazy but always generous and would pick up the tab or pay for gas.
South talks about how he would always stop by the Crockett’s office and ask if there was anything he could do and always offered to help so he would get noticed and since guys would frequently get hurt or fired, they would notice him and he’d get work that way. Horowitz said guys would get to the arena for shows or TV tapings and bitch and moan if there matches got shortened or cancelled but he never said a word as that meant one less day of his body taking bumps and he was still living his dream of being a wrestler plus he was still getting paid.
Horowitz talks about when he beat Skip (Chris Candido) in the WWF. He said Kevin Nash told him in secret that he was going over as Horowitz didn’t know if we was ribbing or not but didn’t sell anything. He then got to the arena where sure enough Pat Patterson told him about the match as Horowitz said he got a year long run off of that.
The hosts asks them about what stars were the most generous and respectful or who was the worst. Bellomo said Ric Flair, Harley Race, and Dory Funk were all gentlemen. South talks about loving working with guys who could go and get into the zone to have a good match with guys like Denny Brown, Tim Horner, and Brad Armstrong. Horowitz says guys like the Armstrong boys always let the heel lead and never said a word as they could work with anyone. Bellomo also enjoyed working with Paul Orndorff.
Now, they talk about guys they dreaded working with. Bellomo said Tiger Chung Lee was a nice guy but one of the worst in the ring and said you might as well just sit in the dressing room if you have to wrestle him. Horowitz said that Barry Darsow was a really nice guy too but not that great in the ring.
They talk about wrestling today and how its changed. Bellomo talks about not caring for the ECW style matches and thought what they did was unnecessary.
South now talks about the Ultimate Warrior and how he would always hurt people. He said Warrior would not look at you when hitting a clothesline and you’d constantly get hit in the face or neck. South said he was at a TV Taping and Warrior ended up blowing out Bob Emery’s shoulder. He had to face Warrior next and in the match threw up his arms to protect himself from a clothesline and Warrior hit him so hard his elbows left an imprint on Warrior’s arms. South said that Warrior bitched him out backstage and accused him of ruining his career. Terry Taylor came up to South afterwards and told him to make Warrior apologize for talking like that.
Horowitz said the first time he met Warrior in the WWF and he was really nice and would talk about his family but as he got more popular and fell in with the wrong crowd and became tougher to work with. He then said one night Warrior was telling others in the locker room that he was a piece of shit because Warrior could not get him up for a press slam. Horowitz then tells us that Lex Luger had the best press slam in wrestling and could always get you up.
We get more talk about working against clumsy wrestlers. South said he always had a plan to make sure he protected himself and recalled wrestling Sid Vicious once and told him to hit a big boot. South said he bumped outside and fell on the floor for a majority of the match and afterwards Sid thanked him for selling it so well.
South tells a story of how Ole Anderson was booking and got pissed over the ABC 20/20 Special about wrestling and wanted to show the fans it was real so he booked Bob Roop vs. Italian Stallion and wanted Roop to bust Stallion open hardway. After several minutes, Roop hit Stallion a few times in the face but Stallion did not leave and his face was swollen while Roop’s hand was now purple and they finished the match without any blood shed as Ole became livid.
They talk about guys who wanted you to hit them hard like Ronnie Garvin and Gene Kiniski. South tells a story of how Flair and Garvin loved hitting each other so much they’d chop each other in the bathroom as hard as they could and that’s why they came to the ring with their chests all red and bruised.
Horowitz tells a few stories about Terry Gibbs. He talks about Gibbs having the same physique as Harley Race then he started tanning and working out more. One day, Gibbs went up to Orndorff to asked what he thought of his new physique as Orndorff told him it looked like someone ran over his chest with a truck. Horowitz also says that Gibbs was incredibly cheap and while at a restaurant with Hillbilly Jim, opened up the menu then closed it and said he was going to get a Snickers bar and a soda from the vending machine instead and said that went on for about two years with him. Gibbs left wrestling to work for US Air after someone approached him after he got off the plane in Pittsburgh and worked his way up to a supervisor position.
South talks about Buzz Sawyer and how he beat the shit out of a kid who wanted Sawyer to make him look good as they never understood why you would hurt someone who was giving their body to you. Bellomo talks about Kid Kash working over in Paris recently and constantly beating the shit out of the younger wrestlers as Bellomo screamed at him in the locker room after the show.
The final story is from Horowitz as he talks about beating Tiger Conway Jr. while wrestling in Florida but Conway was pissed about losing and popped right back up after getting pinned and was a bit stiff with him during the match. When they got backstage, Wahoo McDaniel fired Conway on the spot then edited out the end of the match with Conway getting up and aired it for a month straight. A few years later, Horowitz signed his contract with the WWF and saw Conway, who was apparently looking for work, and when asked by Conway how he was doing, Horowitz said he was doing better than him and walked away.
Final Thoughts: Overall, this was a really good interview. Horowitz and South had a lot of good stories and gave us great insight as well. The news about Bellomo becoming a Bruno Sammartino-type character and Intercontinental Champion blew me away to be honest. All three men talked about their roles and how they made a decent level putting over the stars and do not regret it one bit. I was really surprised with how this came out as the interviewer just asked a few questions and mainly let these men talk it out and it worked as they never talked over each other and kept it interesting the entire time.
I really do recommend this interview. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when its over.
And, if you are interested, I also reviewed Barry Horowitz’s shoot interview and you can read that recap here
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 11/19/89
Sunday: Mid-South Wrestling 8/19/82
Sunday: WWF 1989 Survivor Series
Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 11/25/89
Tuesday: WWF Madison Square Garden 11/25/89
Wednesday: PROGRESS: Orlando 3/31/17
Thursday: Highspots Shoot Interview with Curtis Hughes