This was filmed in April of 1998
The interview was conducted by Eric Gargiulo
It runs at two hours and forty-seven minutes long
Bam Bam is first asked about how he got into the wrestling business. He talked about spending a year in jail for aggravated assault and there was no jobs for him so he became a bouncer. Bam Bam said he needed to make a change and get out of that scene so he went to Larry Sharpe’s Monster Factory.
He talked about hating pro wrestling as a kid as he was an amateur wrestler in high school and was even a McDonald’s All-American.
His first territory was Memphis. Bam Bam talks about wrestling guys like Mark Callaway (Undertaker) and Sid Vicious. Bam Bam said he kicked Callaway in the stomach once during a match and he ended up shitting his pants. He puts over Jerry Lawler for helping him learn and talks about guys today and how they are unable to tell a story in the ring today and how he was lucky to learn during the days of the territory system.
Bam Bam then went to World Class where Fritz Von Erich made him a Russian named “Crusher Yurkof” and joked how it might as well have been “Crusher Jerkoff” and said he had a fun time on the road.
When asked about the Von Erich kids, Bam Bam said they grew up rich and thought they were above the law. He also said Kevin was whacked out and would constantly introduce himself. He said Kerry was the coolest one and that David was a good guy too. (David passed away over two years prior to Bam Bam joining World Class by the way so he either got names messed up or is full of shit). Bam Bam then said that Fritz was an “obnoxious prick” who was unable to get back to his glory days. He said that Bruiser Brody was booking at the time.
After World Class, he went to New Japan. Bam Bam said he passed over Mid-South and the WWF then did a year for Antonio Inoki. Bam Bam said he made a lot of friends and made a good relationship with the company. He puts over Inoki for being a class act.
He talks about helping train Big Van Vader. Bam Bam said Vader was a bully and always felt threatened whenever another big man entered the territory. Bam Bam then said the heat they had between them helped out their team. He then tells a story of Vader slapping the lady in Japan who would pick them up from the airport because he was angry she was late as Bam Bam said the traffic is insane in Japan and that is how much of a jerk Vader is in real life.
Bam Bam calls the Great Muta the best worker in wrestling today and talks him up for being a great guy.
On heading to the WWF, Bam Bam said he wanted to head home and get some TV exposure. He claimed that he was in line for a title shot but that he blew out his knee wrestling Dino Bravo then hurt his other knee and told Vince he needed some time off and scheduled for two knee surgeries the day after WrestleMania IV but Vince still did not care and after that, Bam Bam said he was done and left a few months later.
Regarding Larry Sharpe, Bam Bam said he was a “greedy bastard” when it came to the business end. They were friends and the deal was that Sharpe got 10% of his contract but that Sharpe got himself a job in Japan managing and was making $3,200 a week off of that and another $1,500 as a booking fee for Bam Bam, who felt it was bullshit that he had to pay Sharpe this money and they ended up parting ways. They ended up going to court where Sharpe lost.
Bam Bam went down to Crockett after the WWF. However, he already had his Japan contract and could not commit to Crockett so he left there too. He talks about Dusty booking and how his ideas were limited.
He is asked about guys he worked with in the WWF. Bam Bam said his last match in Madison Square Garden, Andre the Giant stepped right on his head and choked him out. Bam Bam said Andre thought he was getting a big head and that he got pinned after Andre sat on him six times. Bam Bam said he talked to Andre before he died in Mexico. He tells a story of the match and Andre was drinking tequila and tomato juice all day long and during the match, he accidentally shit all over Bad News Brown. Bam Bam called Hulk Hogan one of the greatest guys in the world and he helped out a lot of guys while many tried to stab him in the back.
Bigelow talks about TV wrestling is over-saturated to the point there is no reason for a fan to buy a ticket to a house show. When asked about the WWF finally beating WCW in the ratings this past Monday, Bam Bam said there is only so much you can do with the nWo and that they are going to see a decline.
He then talks about Paul Heyman treating the ECW locker room like family. Bigelow said that Heyman got him his first gig at Studio 54 while Bigelow returned the favor to get Heyman his first job in Memphis.
On a reported lawsuit by the WWF over the flame on his suit, Bigelow said they wanted him to change his name and alter the design but Bam Bam said he trademarked the name. He talks about having the ability to make untalented workers look good and for that reason Vince will realize that he needs him again. Bigelow then jokes how its a curse in wrestling for being a good worker as it usually means you do a lot of jobs.
After fulfilling his five-year deal with New Japan, Bam Bam said the company signed a deal with WCW and that they would not accept any other “Gaijin” talent. He did say New Japan gave him a $10,000 bonus and claimed the door was open for a return but they never called him back.
Bam Bam ended up coming back to the WWF in 1992 as the Independent scene was terrible and he wanted some more exposure. He said Vince had no hard feelings and gave him a hard push and the problems did not happen until the end of his run, which he says was the result of the Kliq. He then talks about Shawn Michaels for a bit and how he was a dick and went up to veteran talent like the Bushwhackers and got in their faces to tell them that they sucked. Bam Bam said that Kevin Nash was generally cool and would act like himself when away from the Kliq and that Scott Hall would “burn the candle from both ends” and stir shit up with people. He also said that Sean Waltman was also a backstabber. Bam Bam claims he would have beaten the shit out of all three of them (HBK, Waltman, Hall) when he heard they wanted to jump him in the locker room and that ultimately led to him leaving the company. Bam Bam said Vince let him leave with one more year left on his deal and said he could do anything but PPV’s for other companies.
He liked working against Tatanka and said they had good, stiff matches. Bam Bam said that Bret Hart is a good friend, great worker, and a class act.
When asked about the steroid trials, Bam Bam said the locker room was pulling for Vince because they did not want to see the company go down.
On how he got a match against Lawrence Taylor, Bam Bam said that Lex Luger set it up during a golf tournament and Vince asked Bam Bam about working a match against him. Bam Bam said he would do it as long as he could call the shots and Vince agreed. He then said Taylor was not into the match and just in it for a payday and talks about how badly blown up he was and that the two became friends afterwards as Taylor gave him a bunch of compliments.
He then talks about his U-Japan shoot fight against Kimo Leopoldo. Bam Bam claims he made $100,000 as he lost in the first round. Bam Bam said he would do it again for that type of money and that he has no training in MMA.
Bam Bam talks up ECW for a bit and thinks they are on the verge of something huge.
On whether we would ever want to be a booker, Bam Bam said he’d rather be a scout or a coach as he puts over his ability to help bring guys along.
He said there were never any plans for him to feud with Hogan during his initial WWF run.
Bam Bam did not rule out ever going back to the WWF or WCW and adds he’d be lying if he said no.
After burying Independent wrestling promoter Dennis Corralluzzo for being a liar, he talks about the Independent scene being terrible and that “green” guys are not going to get better wrestling other “green” guys and are just going to learn bad habits.
Bam Bam tells a story about Vince. They finished a show somewhere in Massachusetts and they partied afterwards where Vince got drunk on scotch then had the wrestlers perform their finishing moves on him. Bam Bam then said that Vince ended up getting neck surgery afterwards because of that. On whether or not Vince will end up wrestling, Bam Bam said that he has to at this point.
Next, he is asked about Scott Hall appearing at a recent ECW show in Florida. Bigelow said no one thought he was going to show up and that Shane Douglas wanted to kick his ass as Hall sandbagged him in the WWF then told the office he couldn’t work as that led to him leaving the company. Bam Bam also said that Hall spread rumors about Chris Candido and Tammy. Bam Bam then called Triple H a “piece of shit” and laughed at the idea the WWF is going to having him replace Shawn and draw money. Bam Bam said that Hall came into the show liked nothing happened as Chris and Shane confronted him for what he did as Hall acted like they were all friends. Bam Bam also said that Hall was stoned in the locker room and basically there to mock them as he was in WCW. Bam Bam then claimed he prevented Shane from knocking Hall out. Bam Bam said if Hall came in and offered a sincere apology to they’d probably all end up friends. Bam Bam then said he heard Hall is into cocaine and feels bad for him due to his family problems. Bam Bam said the only guy he wouldnt say hello to in the WWF would be Triple H as he was a brown-noser who was constantly up Kevin Nash’s ass and was such a “pussy” he’d be carrying around Hall, Nash, and Michaels bags.
When asked about Ric Flair and how he’s currently being treated in WCW, Bam Bam said that Flair needs to stop doing bumps over the turnbuckle and to keep his pants on at the bar. Bam Bam then tells a story of how a hooker once roofied Flair’s drink and stole his wallet and Rolex then Flair had to buy the same exact Rolex the next day so his wife wouldnt find out what happened.
Now, we get to the call-in portion of the interview. The first caller asks Bam Bam if ECW should put mats around the ring. Bam Bam said that he thinks it would take away from their outlaw image and that the wrestlers have all learned to work within the elements. He is then asked about Vince McMahon and the Kliq as Bam Bam said the Kliq is now dead and due to that bad experience Vince will never let something like that happen again. When asked about Bill Goldberg, Bam Bam said he is green but looks really impressive and has a great presence. He talks about ECW on the verge of getting a TV deal with Fox (Sports) Net. When asked what happened to Oliver Humperdink, Bam Bam said he now owns a go-go bar in the Florida Keys. Bam Bam then tells the RF Video guys they should broadcast the interviews on the internet because that is where the future is headed. He gets asked by like the 4th caller about when Hall showed up backstage to the ECW show as the RF Video guys all confirmed that Hall was messed up as Bam Bam said the boys almost started to circle around Hall, like Bubba Dudley & Taz, and they would have pounced on Hall if he decided to cause a fight. Bam Bam talks about Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIV and how he acted after Mike Tyson hit him by chewing his gum on the mat as Bam Bam said a reliable source in the company told him that the Undertaker taped up his fists and sat in front of the monitor backstage during the match because the locker room believed Shawn was going to fuck the company over and not drop the title and if that happened, the Undertaker was going to kick his ass.
The interview ends with Bam Bam thanking his fans.
Final Thoughts: Overall, the interview was good. Bam Bam was a great subject and does not dodge any questions. He told some interesting stories and gave great insight and he also was a wonderful sense of humor. It was something to hear him talk about Scott Hall and feeling bad for his drug abuse when that is what ultimately ended his own life.
The call-in portion was pretty bad. Having it happen when the callers could not listen to the interview was not a good idea in the slightest. This led to many of the same questions already answered being asked again but to Bam Bam’s credit, he answered everything. Also, it was funny to hear Bam Bam mess with the callers. Also, the RF Video gang’s forced laughter to Bam Bam’s questions were just ridiculous at times.
Another slight criticism is that there was that they jumped around Bam Bam’s career and did not follow a timeline. Gargiulo is a decent interviewer but I’ve noticed that he does this when he hosts shoot interviews.
I recommend this interview as Bam Bam makes for a great listen.