Why does WWE want to sign Bill Goldberg?

Apparently WWE wants to sign Bill Goldberg to put him in WWE 2K15 and work Wrestlemania XXXI 

I get putting him into the video game because older fans play the games, but why bring him onto WWE TV?

The 12-and-under demographic of the fan base weren't born when Goldberg was a big deal in WCW. They weren't even watching during his last WWE run. To them, he will be just some screaming bald guy who they won't care about because he isn't John Cena. 

Any of the casual WCW viewers who popped for Goldberg's schtick in WCW likely stopped watching wrestling a long time ago. 

Nobody is pining to see Bill Goldberg wrestle anybody because it's been proven that he can't do anything but the standard 2-minute Bill Goldberg squash match. 

On top of that, he can't talk to save his life (one of the smart things WCW did at the beginning was make him a silent badass who came in, crushed jobbers, and left without saying a word).

What I'm trying to ask is, does Goldberg have any actual value left for any of the WWE audience beyond the smallest demographic (that being long-time wrestling fans who were watching WCW in 1998)?

Who would they put him against, and more importantly, why?

Because he sold a metric shit-ton of DVDs and people still chant his name at Ryback?  Seems pretty easy to me.  

RF Video Shoot Interview with Bill Watts

The interview takes place in Watts’ home. It was filmed in 1999.

Rob Feinstein conducted the interviewer.

It runs for one-hour and fifty-four minutes long.

The interview starts with Watts talking about how he got a scholarship to Oklahoma for football. He then talks about how he got into a severe accident and how he took him several months before he could start training again.

He talks about how a majority of colleges forbid weight training, because they did not understand how to use them properly, and after several months on a weight-lifting regime, he went from  240 lbs to 315 lbs. However, the team felt he was too big as at that time the were looking for smaller guys and he didnt fit.

Watts went pro to the Indianapolis Warriors. but ended up knocking out one of his coaches and left to start in pro wrestling as Wahoo McDaniel helped get him into the business.

He said he was never a fan of wrestling growing up as most of them were horrible and unathletic. He said that Danny Hodge was there and great but wondered why he bothered with “fake” wrestling.

Watts said that he was trained by several wrestlers. He said his first promotion was run by Bob Estes and it was horrible and only used for ten matches. He said that Jim Barnett was involved but chasing around Rock Hudson then says he knew that Hudson was a “fag” before everybody else due to that reason.

Watts then said that he became a referee, as he hurt his hand in a street fight, for Leroy McGuirk’s promotion. From there, he started to wrestle then got into trouble in Los Angeles and had to leave the country so he snuck up to Canada. There, he met Gene Kiniski and wrestled but was upset over his payoff and left, stating that the promotion was part of the NWA and word got out about him so he left and went back to work for McGuirk.

He then talks about wrestling in Houston and jobbed for Sailor Art Thomas, who he said was the nicest guy in the world but really “dumb” and forget the spots. One day, he took Thomas down but he did not know how to mat wrestle and as a result, he got to win the match and the title. He didnt last long as the promoter’s ugly daughter wanted to date him but he declined then he slapped around the promoter after a show and left.

Watts goes into a story about how he told the office that he was not going to lose a 2-out-of-3 falls match in two straight falls. He said the office was scared of him due to his temper but he told his opponent, Cowboy Bob Ellis, that he was going to put him over but just did not want the office to know. Watts puts over Ellis for being nice to him when he was starting out. He talks about how he tossed the ref to the floor and “scared the shit” out of him.

Verne Gagne got him a tryout with the Minnesota Vikings but he did not sign as they would not allow him to wrestle in the off-season.

During a match in Missouri, the police took Watts away and said that he had a phone call. It was from Vince McMahon Sr. and Toots Mondt, who wanted him in the WWWF. He said that his first match against Killer Kowalski made him a star. He then tagged with Bruno and set box office records. He did leave the territory shortly after that, as he believed that you leave when you are on top.

Watts then worked for Ray Shire in San Francisco. He calls him a genius but said that he was unable to delegate. He teamed with Chief Jay Strongbow then became a champion. He also said he was born as the trips were short. Shortly after that, he went to Japan then quit the business and worked for a networking company. He always believed in furthering his education and wanted a job outside of the business.

He then returned to the business and worked for Verne Gagne. He said that Leroy called him crying and drunk about returning and Watts said only if could be partner. Initially, he was offered 5% and said fuck you to them but he said they were desperate and he ended up getting 19% and Watts left the AWA.

Watts said he learned a lot and that they built up the territory and brought in guys like the Spoiler and Gary Hart and started to make some money but McGuirk was always drunk and whining so he went to Eddie Graham, who told him to go to Georgia and gave him stock as there was a promotional war as the owner of Georgia had a heart attack and died and there was a lot of double-crossing going on between his partners.

In 1974, Watts went up to Florida and booked the territory. He said they had a ton of talent. Watts said that he fired Dusty Rhodes after two weeks, stating he was pulling his usual bullshit and going behind his back to Eddie Graham. Then Dusty begged and Watts said he could as long as he stopped his bullshit. At that point, he came up with the “American Dream” idea for him.

At this point, Watts said the promotion had so many main-event talents that he struggled to put together a card. He even said that scalpers were selling tickets to the show. Watts said that Graham told him never to all of his eggs in one basket. Graham told Watts that he was a high school dropout and asked Watts why he was there, since he was a college graduate. Watts said he was there for a PhD.

He talks about the problems he had with McGurik, who sued him for embezzlement. Watts said McGuirk was so dumb because he never had his name on the money and Watts threatened to sue them for slander so they came up with a deal where Watts got Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Mid-South territory first started around this time in 1978. He talks about creating the Fabulous Freebirds when he wanted Terry Gordy as part of the roster but thought Hayes was shit in the ring but could talk and had a lot of drive. Buck Robley, who was in teh office, wanted to send Hayes to Florida for some ohter talent but Watts said no and that Hayes would be a mouthpiece and they could get someone to team with Gordy and found Buddy Roberts.

Watts now talks about the Junkyard Dog. He saw him in Canada when he wrestled as Sylvester Ritter and knew he was very charismatic but awful in the ring. He then talks about Ernie Ladd and how he was great man who taught him about “black.” Watts says white people do not understand “black” as they can observe it but Ladd was determined to not let JYD fail. He then talks about how they had a bad parting when he went to the WWF but that his drug problems got the best of him. Watts said that Buddy Landell asked him to write a eulogy for him when he passed and he cried.

He then talks about guys in his life that were special like Eddie Graham and Ole Anderson, who Watts claimed that he fought with a lot then told the Road Warriors to cut their hair and paint their faces, which is how they became starts.

When asked about the goals for Mid-South when he started, Watts said that he just wanted to stay afloat at the beginning but wanted to go national. He said that the Northeast had all of the population to draw from and as a result, could bore the shit out of the crowd and still draw people. Watts said that he had to make an exciting show. He also wanted respect for the business and if the wrestler made bad debts or checks with him, he took it out of his money. Watts said that he liked athletes and tough guys, because they are not like whining pussies. He talks about Paul Orndorff, who was a friend of Mike Graham, and how he trained him and stretched him out. Watts said Orndorff was tough and would fight back against him and he respected that. Watts then tells a story of how Orndorff and Ted DiBiase were told to do an hour broadway, despite being faces. They though it would kill their careers so Watts told them not to act like pussies and that he would give them a finish and swore at them some more and as a result, they got mad and tore the house down with a fabulous match. Watts said Orndorff called him years later when he was in the WWF and how Watts taught him a lot more than he knew.

He talks about splitting up Stan Hansen and Bruiser Brody, telling them they could be bigger stars as singles wrestlers. He liked Brody but said his word was no good and he would hold up promoters all of the time, which was probably how he got killed in Puerto Rico.

Watts is asked about his first time he drew $100,000 in Louisiana. He flew in Ray Candy at the request of Ernie Ladd and he ended up drawing, despite others telling him that would not be the case. After the show, Watts was sitting backstage with Ladd, Grizzly Smith, and Leroy McGuirk. They were talking about the show and Smith asked McGuirk what he thought. They expected him to be happy at the packed house they drew but McGuirk said that he thought there was too many “niggers” on the card and in the audience, with Ladd right there. Smith then told McGuirk that money was green.

After that, he talks about how he is pissed at that reporter in Pittsburgh (Mark Madden) who brought up an article in which he praised a business owner who refused to serve African-Americans, because he stood up for his beliefs, to Hank Aaron, who was working in for Turner at the time. The article was older but Watts said that he was always a fan of the black athlete and put them in prominent positions, not for their color but becaused they deserved the push. Feinstein says he will discuss this later on in the interview.

He now tells the story of how Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express came to Mid-South. He brought in Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett to come to a TV and see what he was doing wrong. After the show, they asked Watts where are the “blow jobs.” Watts did not understand what they meant then they told him he had the toughest athletes and a hardcore fanbase but needed to draw some young girls, which in turn drew the young guys. He then went to Memphis and they asked Watts to take Jim Cornette. He also said that he wanted the Fabulous Ones but they said no so he got to take the Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey) and then also took Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson, as they were doing nothing with them either. In return, Memphis took Rick Rude from Watts along with a few other rookies.

Watts said that they made the videos for the Midnight Express and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and that took off. He also took Bill Dundee over as a booker but didnt let him wrestle because he was short with a huge ego. He puts over his mind for the business. Watts said that they drew the teeny boppers and puts over Ricky and Eaton for being great. They also created Magnum TA around this time too.

He talks about various guys. He said that Ted DiBiase couldnt draw a ton of money but could work any type of match. He said Duggan could draw and had a lot of heart but was not the greatest worker. He said one day he hit is head against the post and had blood poisoning and still didnt want to miss a show.

Watts then tells a story of how if his guy got into a fight in public, he would get fired if he lost. He did not give the name but said he looked at the star’s hands and saw he did not throw a punch and told him that he was catching, not pitching, and Watts fired him on the spot.

When Mid-South became UWF around 1986, they started to lose money due to the “oil crunch” and started to lose $50,000 a week.

He talks about how Sting had something about him but said the Ultimate Warrior was a piece of shit. When they walked out, he told Grizzly Smith to go get Sting back because he had potential. Watts then wrestled him and afterwards, Sting said he was scared he was going to get beat up in the match because he walked out but Watts told him he wanted him back because he saw potential. Watts still respects Sting to this day.

Now, Watts is asked about several other guys. He said that Eddie Gilbert was talented and was going to bring him into WCW but Eddie kept running his mouth. Watts said he needed someone to lead him because he could not overcome his self-destruction. About Missy Hyatt, he said that the only thing she added was problems and did not add anything. He liked Scott Irwin because he would give you everything he had. Watts said that Bill Irwin did too but never found his niche. In regards to the Von Erich’s, he said that Fritz could never come to the realization that his children were drug addicts. Watts said that a friend of Fritz told him that his kids were addicts and that Fritz didnt speak to them for a few years as a result. He then said how Fritz called him about the problem and that he told them to confront them but you have to love them too. He then told him how he couldnt give them everything and tells stories of the kids coming in fucked up all of the time and he told Fritz he no longer wanted to do business with him as a result then talks about how the business tolerated this behavior at the time.

Watts talks about Jim Ross. He said that he was first a referee then left to work in the electronic business. He talked to him again and Ross wanted to be a commentator. Watts said that he was the commentator because he wanted to tell the audience what to feel and did not want the commentator to put himself over the wrestlers. He said Ross could do anything, including the syndication deals.

In regards to his favorite angles, he said the Best Dressed Man between DiBiase and Duggan and the Cornette diaper angle.

He then says that Jerry Jarrett started to use the music videos before him. He said he had a good mind but was very insecure. Watts also said that in an interview, Jarrett claimed that Watts stole the Midnight and Rock ‘n’ Roll Express from him, then later called Watts to apologize as it was false.

When asked about all of the things they did on his TV shows, Watts said that he always thought the fan should get more than their money’s worth out of the TV and house shows.

He tells a story of how when he was briefly in the WWF, he convinced Vince to do a title change at the MSG House show but the star (Shawn Michaels) got put into the hospital, along with two other guys. Watts said that he would have fired all of them because they lost to nine guys while being all fucked up on drugs. He said in his territory, a whole town couldnt beat three of their guys. He said that Vince lost control and that the inmates are running the asylum today and that is the problem.

Watts said his strength as a booker was to carry out an angle. He thinks you need to keep some continuity because the fans want to see what happens next and not wonder why something was dropped out of the blue. He thought a booking committee was a good way to run as it challenges you.

He said that Dutch Mantell did a bad job booking and calls him a thief. He thought that Ernie Ladd and Bill Dundee were the best he had. Watts thought a booker would last for a year then hit the wall so he would bring someone else in and change things up. He said that it was a tough thing to do to get rid of people.

Now, he is asked about Vince raiding his talent in 1986. Watts said that Vince did things different than his father and in hindsight, thinks he would have done things differently. Watts said he likes Vince but that he does not know how to delegate and wants to do everything himself. Watts also said he got along with him for the three months he was there.

Watts discusses selling his company to Crockett. He was going to file an anti-trust suit against Vince but that would have taken a few years but he was losing $50,000 a week and couldnt wait so Ross called Crockett and he ended up selling. When asked, Watts said that he never would have worked with Crockett and Dusty because their egos were too big and at that time, he wanted out of the business.

In 1984, he became involved with religion and realized that he was promoting violence and sex and that was against his beliefs. He then said when you do not drug test and promote guys using drugs, you also promote drug use.

Watts also thought that NWA dropped the ball on an inter-promotional war. He said that creating your own competition is great from business, which is what he learned from the “Georgia War.” Watts said Dusty’s ego could not handle it all and talks about if you own both companies, why worry about their guys looking stronger as they owned both sides.

From the time he sold to 1992, he got into business and it failed then needed something exciting in his life and WCW came up but said Turner office did not give him control and everyone had a different agenda. Watts also realized that he was going back into the violence and sex that he was trying to get away from.

He turned the company around from an $8 million dollar loss and says that WCW was a complete clusterfuck. He also said Turner’s lawyers were incompetent and offered insanely high contracts to the wrestlers. Watts said there were ways to get out of the contracts and thought they should be held accountable for their work.

He is asked about several other guys. Watts likes Rick Steiner but said that Scott Steiner is a problem. Watts said Scott is a star in his own mind and hurt people but wanted to turn him heel as he made a horrible face. He put the belt on Ron Simmons because all other sports had dominate black athletes and wrestling did not have that, which told people that wrestling is fake. He liked Simmons. Watts then says that Jake Roberts was an aptly-named piece of shit who was constantly on drugs. He also called him a coward.

In regards to changing titles at house shows, Watts said that those fans pay and you do not want them coming to a show knowing exactly what is going to happen.

On his reputation of being tough to deal with, Watts said that he speaks his mind and that he was trying to make the business and that anyone with  brain could figure that out. He makes the athlete accountable for their actions and says that he cannot fine their airlines or rent-a-car company.

Watts calls Paul Heyman one of the most talented guys but in WCW, he needed him to fit into his parameters at the time and thinks that now he has a different perspective from owning ECW. He credits Paul for surviving and appealing to people.

Now, he is asked about his son, Erik Watts, and the criticism over the push his son received. Watts calls that “stupid shit” and said that Erik had the ability and says it was becase he was there and then goes off on the dirt sheets, saying that if you did things that did not please them, they went against you. He then says his son paid a price for being his son in this business and tells him to get out but that Erik loves it and sees the business great, like anyone else who grew up in it.

He loves Cactus Jack and said he rode with him on purpose to see what was in his mind. He was amazed and said that he has a great mind and appreciates how he gives his all for the business, unlike Kevin Nash, who thinks he is greatest manipulator. Watts said he missed on Dallas Page and he busted his ass andmade it because he wanted it so badly. Watts then says that he can admit his mistakes, unlike others.

On the subject of intimidating wrestlers in the locker room, he said that he was 55 when he was in WCW so who was he going to intimidate? Watts said he might have grabbed someone aside and showed them how to sell or throw a punch after a match but that was all.

He puts over the talents of Shawn Michaels. He then said that Sid Vicious gave 100% effort as did Kevin Nash, who he calls Vinnie Vegas, but then stopped once he got a big ego. Watts said that he gave Orndorff a job in WCW when he was broke.

Watts left WCW as he couldnt handle all of the guys who were crying behind his back to Bill Shaw. He says they would rather do that than work hard. At that point, he realized that he didnt need to deal with this anymore. He said he quit and was not fired.

He is asked about his article with Wade Keller about agreeing with Lester Maddox, the business owner who did not want to serve black people. Watts said it was taken out of context. He said that he agrees in free enterprise and does not want legislature to tell us how to act and at least Maddox was upfront about his beliefs. He calls Madden a chickenshit who hides behind a paper and can file lawsuit so you can no longer “slap the shit” out of somebody.

Watts goes off on Turner Broadcasting for treating wrestling like a “bastard child.” He wanted them to show Ron Simmons in the stands during a baseball game and they refused.

He talks about how Vince is one guy who can single-handedly kicked Turner’s ass, despite all of their resources.

He went to the WWF and parted under good terms with Vince but realize that he no longer wanted part of the business. He said that he never had a disagreement over who was the boss and just wanted to ease some of his problems. He did want Shawn to get the belt off of Bret at MSG. Watts says that he wanted to make the creative department stand on his own and did not like how Vince would come in the next day and tear down the ideas. He claims to have never told off Vince and that they approached him to enter the company.

Watts goes on to say how Vince surrounds himself with talented people, like Jim Ross, and also says they both run companies the same way, just that Vince is more diplomatic.

He said that he doesnt follow the business today but knows that it hasnt changed, stating you can get back up to speed quickly. Watts says he has a gift to see someone and bring out their talents in a way that makes sense.

Today, he is at peace with himself and does not see himself getting back into wrestling.

Personally, Watts does not see the Steve Austin character as being good for children. He talks about faith and says that he is a horrible example of a person that follows Jesus Christ because everything he has done was based on him being aggressive. At one point in his life, Watts said he prided himself on being an asshole but does not anymore.

If WCW was going to change, they would need to give someone who knows what they are doing total control. He likes Kevin Sullivan but he was never a good booker and says that it shows when you have a lot of people booking who do not know what they are doing and the company blames the business as a whole as a result. He says that WCW still has a lot of talent.

He never thought much of Bischoff and says he must be good in the corporate world.

Watts now works in the pharmaceutical world and loves what he does and says that he sold a product to George Steele which really helped him deal with Chron’s disease. He talks about this for a bit.

He closes by saying these are his personal opinions and if he said something that offended someone, if the shoes fits, wear it.

Final Thoughts: This was alright I guess. It really slowed down the last half-hour though and I lost a lot of interest. Watts, if you like him or not, is a straight-shooter. That is always a good thing for a shoot interview. He also does not want a job in wrestling so he wont kiss ass to get one.

He did have a great mind for the business and he would probably make for a good consultant if he wanted to get back in to wrestling.

The best parts were when he discussed Mid-South and add that to the fact that Watts was a great storyteller. I thought Feinstein did a bad job with questions though. It could have been a lot more in-depth than it was. Watts had a long career spanning many different places as a booker and wrestler.

On the subject of racism, Bill did seem to want to get out the fact that he was not racist. Then again, there have been some African-Americans wrestlers who have said Watts told them he was racist so who knows.

I recommend this if you are a fan of Watts or want to learn a bit more about him. It is not a bad interview at all but I found it disappointing as it could have been better

RF Video Shoot Interview with Bill Alfonso

This shoot was filmed in either February or March of 1997. It was one of the first shoot interviews produced by RF Video. It is a two-disc set that runs for a total of three hours and eight minutes


This disc runs for one hour and twenty-nine minutes

Bill said he became a fan of wrestling when his dad got free tickets from his friend who was a sports editor in Tampa when he was about 12 years old. He never watched wrestling before and took the tickets and went and has been a fan ever since.

He then mentions that he got started in wrestling with his step-brother, the Cuban Assassin Fidel Sierra. Bill said they loved it and would follow the wrestlers around the bars like marks.
Bill said that King Curtis took a liking to them and that Rocky Johnson gave him their first break in Dallas. Sierra asked if Bill could come out and referee, which he did occasionally in the Florida Independents. Gary Hart was the booker at the time. He got into the locker room and said he was basically a “Soda boy,” getting guys like Harley Race cans of coke. He also ran to the stores for the boys.
After several months of traveling, Bill was accepted to the guys but still had not been able to work as a referee. Sierra went to work for the Funk’s Territory in Amarillo for a little bit and put in a good word for Bill as a referee, who stayed in Dallas. A few months later, the Funk’s called back Sierra and told him to come back up and to bring Bill, who was extremely excited.
His first show and he had a oversized shirt with baggy pants and boots two sizes too big. His first night in the business was a match against Terry Funk and the Sheik, who was managed by Oliver Humperdink for the show. Terry came up to Bill and told him how the show would progress then told the interviewers to cut the tape as he wanted to protect the business as he was taught that way then comes back and briefly talks, without going into any specifics, about how the show would go down. Bill said that he became a natural as a referee that night. Bill tells a story of how the Sheik brought a snake to the ring and Humperdink yelled at Bill to sell the snake. After the night was over, he got a $90 check, his first in the business.
Bill and his brother then got booked in the Carolina’s. They had no idea how big that territory was at the time. They told Bill that they had several referees, including Tommy Young and one of the Hebner’s and he stayed for about six months. He started to get discouraged and wanted to do more then told his brother that he wanted to leave and go home. Paul Jones got wind of Bill wanting to leave to go back home to Florida and told Bill to go to Gerald Brisco, who was the booker and tell him that he was looking for work. Bill said that he didn’t want to just walk in and ask for a job so he went to work a regular job.
One day, he and his future cousin in-law decided to not show up to work and go to Palm Beach then got fired. Bill then got the idea to call up Brisco. He showed up to the office and met Brisco then told him that he was a friend of Paul Jones. Brisco asked who he worked with and he said the Funk’s, Gorge Scott, and Joe Blanchard. Brisco said they might be able to use him in the Summer when they run two towns.
During the Summer, one of the referee’s got fired on a Monday for missing the show due to a flat tire and not having a spare, plus numerous fuck-ups in the past. Bill got the call the next day to meet Dusty at 6pm. He met him at the armory and he and Dusty were the only two there, will Bill noting that Dusty was always early. In the locker room, guys were asking Dusty who he was and he told them that his brother was in the business and he is going to be a referee. After the night, Bill said that he fit in and that he got over in the locker room by telling some funny stories.
After a week, Gerald Brisco offered him a full-time gig but basically told him that if you fuck up, you could be gone quickly. Bill said he stayed in Florida until they folded.
Bill is asked when he realized that Florida hit it big. He said that no one went big until Vince went national. He said they had a hot territory but only ran in Florida and there were about 29 territories at the time. Bill said that when he came in, Dusty took over shortly after that and that is when the territory started to thrive.
Bill said that the office in Florida disliked Dusty because his vision was to do bigger things that would call for more money, to ultimately make more money, and they didn’t want that to happen as they were content putting out as little money as possible. Bill thinks that is why Dusty moved to the Crockett’s.
He is asked if he has any Gordon Solie stories. Bill said he is a great guy and that they still talk to each other and they named his road after him. He doesn’t tell a story about him though.
When asked about Eddie Graham’s involvement at this time, Bill said that he was not really involved much when he got there in 1980. He loved the business but stayed at home in Tampa and would show up to television.
Bill said that after Eddie died, the office constantly gave Dusty shit over production costs.
After Florida closed, he was going to go over to Mid-Atlantic but stayed home with his wife, who was sick and unfortunately passed away from kidney failure at age 22 two years later. Dusty told him to call him up when he was ready.
Bill said he saw guys like Lex Luger and Ron Simmons start out in the business. 
He came to WCW after a break of about a year, citing he was burned out and needed a break from the business. Hiro Matsuda called him up and said he could do the match as they were having a WCW/Japan show. They then show a clip of Bill at the beginning of the match. Bill said that Matsuda gave him credibility among the Japanese because he recommended him for the match.
Bill puts over the Japanese office for giving him first-class accommodations and throwing a fabulous party after the show.
When the show ends, the last three guys at the party were Ric Flair, Dusty, and himself. They hopped in a cab and left as Ric and Dusty were talking then talked to Bill and Dusty said that they will call him Tuesday about a job offer. They get back to the states and he got called that Tuesday and started shortly after that. His first check was for $1,900
He ended up getting paired up with El Gigante, who had difficulty speaking English. Ricky Santana was with him at first but something happened so Bill got the job, plus an additional $400 a week and a Cadillac to drive. He said that he got more money and even saved more due to not having to rent a car. He said that he was a nice guy. Ole Anderson came in and wanted to cut expenses but El Gigante refused to take a pay cut. Gigante then asked Bill if he knew anyone in the WWF and Bill said that he knew JJ Dillon. Bill talked to JJ and told him that Gigante’s contract was up for renewal and he was considering either going to play basketball or leave for Japan but wanted to know if he could land in the WWF. JJ said he would get back to them after speaking with Vince and twenty minutes later, JJ called and said that Vince was interested. Bill sold them as a package deal, stating that he took care of him and also was a referee.
They fly up to Stamford to Vince’s house and they talk with JJ until Vince walks in wearing a red suit. Vince is interested in him and asks Gigante what he was making in WCW. When they told him $250,000 Vince said he would make way more than that in the WWF and be marketed better. When Gigante told Vince that they were still owed $37,000 by WCW, Vince told Gigante that he would write him a $45,000 check on the spot to go work for them and not to go back to WCW. Gigante accepted the offer but did not want to start until mid-January as he wanted to be home with his family for Christmas for the first time in three years. Vince was fine with that as he still needed time to come up with ideas. They then asked Bill if he wanted to start with Gigante or sooner. Bill wanted to work ASAP and Vince told JJ to put him to work immediately. Bill then said that Vince had someone drive them to the offices and Gigante got his check. JJ put him on all of the big shows, including the MSG shows, which Bill did not realize stood for Madison Square Garden at first. They then were given contracts that same day
Bill said Gigante couldn’t fit in with the WWF as he was unable to bump and also was in a lot of pain. Bill talks about people not liking Vince but he said that he was treated wonderfully by him and will never say a bad word about him.
Bill said he knew a majority of the locker room in the WWF anyway and fit right in with the rest.
He ended up leaving the WWF as they were struggling financially. Gigante was let go and Vince told Bill that they were cutting back and he was living in Florida and they had a lot of referee’s in the Northeast, were they were taping TV. Vince gave him a $10,000 check and said the door is not closed. Bill said that is just how business works and has no ill will. He then said that he had no expenses as he saved well. He then moved into his parents lake house as they were unable to keep up with the property and Bill said he would maintain the grounds.
In May of 1995, he received a call from Paul Heyman, not knowing that he was the same as Paul E. Dangerously and asked Bill if he wanted to work for him in ECW, which Bill did not know about at the time. Bill then tells a story of how Paul started out in Florida and wanted to go to the ring with someone. Bill then told Heyman to get a suit and a cell phone and Paul did that as he had his dad’s credit card at the time.
Bill first got to ECW and delivered a promo, which he had not done before. Bill was told to create the promo as a shoot, putting over that he had been a referee all over the place. He then talks about how he loved to entertain in the ring and that when he did something with Tod Gordon in the ring, Bill got hit three times in the temple with his knuckles, stating that they are not wrestlers and are not smooth workers at all. Bill then said he told Tod he didn’t want to get laughed at or try comedy so they went out and worked. He said after “November to Remember,” the boys gave him a standing ovation in the locker room.

This disc runs for one hour and thirty-nine minutes

Bill is asked if he has received any offers from either WWF or WCW since being in the spotlight in ECW. Bill said he spoke with Kevin Sullivan who said that he would like to have him there one day. He said that he hasn’t heard from WWF but thinks that Heyman and Vince have a relationship and speak together. Bill then said he loves ECW and wouldn’t leave for the WWF for $100,000 because he is happy but he said that he could still be bought.

When asked if he ever foreseen WCW eclipsing the WWF, Bill said he saw the talent flocking over to WCW and that Vince was losing guys for not giving out big contracts and wanting to give guys paycuts. Bill thinks that Vince has learned now.

He is asked about what will happen in a year and he said that everything cycles and that Vince is starting to get guys and talks about the older stars in WCW like Hogan and Savage will not be around forever. He said that Vince also likes to create stars.

Bill tells a story back in 1985 about Kevin Sullivan and Purple Haze. Peter Maiava’s wife was going to run a joint show with Crockett Promotions in Hawaii and Bill got to make the trip. There was 20,000 in the stadium to see Flair go against the Hawaiian champion, Sivi Afi. At the hotel, he was with the NWA guys and some guys from Japan. A wrestler named Lars Anderson, who Crockett refused to have his guys work the same card as the guy. They went back and forth then Anderson got a beer and dumped it all over Crockett. Everyone was pissed and the show almost did not happen but they cooled down and it went on. Crockett then got fucked over on his payout too. Anyway, they all went out and ended up in Crockett’s suite afterwards and as Bill was sitting in the chair, Crockett ran over and clotheslined him out of the chair. Bill was thinking about what to because he wanted to fuck him up but he also didn’t want to lose a potential job as a result. So, Bill jumped up and the room was silent and he told Crockett that he was the only guy in the room that he would let get away with what he did and he said the rest of the guys popped for that and Crockett went over and shook his hand and they hugged.

He now tells another story, this time about Steve Keirn accidentally shooting Barry Windham in the leg. They were driving down to Miami, which was a five hour drive down “Alligator Alley” which was brutal. He was traveling with Keirn and Windham who had a trunk full of ammunition. Bill said it was not uncommon for the guys to stop and shoot things during the drive. Keirn bet Windham that he could hit a pole on a quick draw and he shot it but it ricocheted and went into Windham’s leg. They yanked it out and Windham worked a match against Harley Race that night.

Bill now tells us a story about Roddy Piper involving an alligator. Bill starts by saying how Piper was a really nice guy and would personally give the job guys he beat $25-$50 during the TV tapings for helping him look good. Anyway, he was with Piper, Kevin Sullivan and Frank Dusek. Piper saw a bunch of alligators sunbathing and wanted them to pull over. He said he wished he had a gun and Dusek said he had one so they stopped. Dusek had a shitty .38 and Piper took it and Bill said it would have been a miracle to shoot the gator but Piper hit it right in the head and it started to convulse. The game warden walks by and if you were caught shooting a gator, you could get fined and have your gun and even car repossessed. They waved to him and he went by then Piper wanted to get the gator so he had Sullivan go on one side to wave him on so Piper could grab it. Well, some of the gators come towards Sullivan and Piper swims to the gator he shot but it was fine and turned towards Piper who was able to escape the water.

We get another story, this time involving the Great Muta, Angelo Mosca Jr. and Bill Thorpe, who was a ring announcer. Bill was driving the Cadillac and he saw a gator in the road and tried avoid him but he hit it then slammed on the brakes and wanted to take it home. They picked him up and put him in trunk by folding him, because the trunk was not long enough. They drove and 30 miles later, they heard banging in the trunk as the gator was twisting around, causing Muta to freak out in the backseat, who was only in America for a week at that point. They get to the hotel and open the trunk and the gator had slowed down and Bill also saw that his jaw was broken. Some of the other guys came over and noticed that the gator was in his car and blinking his eyes so Bill decided to open it’s mouth and stick his head inside as the others thought it was unbelievable.

Now, Bill discusses the cage match between Lex Luger and Bruiser Brody, which he was the referee. Luger ended up walking out of the match after Brody would not sell any of his offense. Bill said that they didn’t go over the match beforehand and that Lex was new and not smartened up to the business yet. Brody refused to lockup with him when Lex approached then brushed off his armbar attempt, which confused Luger who was used to overpowing everyone. Bill said that Luger decided to leave a few minutes into the match and climbed the cage and ran to the dressing room. Apparently, they settled things backstage and Bill puts over Luger for making more money than both of them combined.

Bill said that he once received 77 stitches while refereeing a match between Wahoo McDaniel and Sgt. Slaughter. Slaughter backed him in the corner and Wahoo didn’t see him and went for a belt shot and instead of coming down with the belt flat, the side hit Bill and sliced his head open, knocking him out. The camera zooms in on his scar. Mike Rotunda ended up driving him to the hospital.

He now talks about the time he and Taz jumped over the guardrail during an episode of RAW. One of the photographers, someone who Bill knew and worked with when he was with the WWF, attempted to stop them as he had no idea it was a work. Taz shoved him away but the guy and someone else went after Bill and the photographer kicked Bill, bruising his kidney.

They ask Bill if he has any crazy stories about Ric Flair. In Florida, Ric wanted to drive with Bill because he liked him. Flair also bought him food and other things. He said that Ric was wasteful and would buy new combs, shampoo, toothbrushes and other things and use them once then leave it all at the building and buy everything new the next day. He said that one time, Ric ordered 40 Kamikaze’s for the bar and would do that all of the time. He also tells a story of Ric dancing naked with a few girls at a bar in Atlanta. Bill said that Ric would only do that when he knew the owner’s thus not getting in trouble with law enforcement if it happened. Bill said Ric was a great guy.

When asked about Rick Rude, Bill said that he used to ride with him when he started out in Tampa. He said when he left WCW, he was making about $700,000 and said that he talked to him the other day.

He briefly mentions how Mike Rotunda ripped his nuts after he got the caught in a fence he was trying to jump and required roughly 100 stitches.

Bill met Woman first when she sat ringside for all of the shows. The photographer was taking photos of Kevin Sullivan and saw Woman dressed in all black and she was attractive so he took some photos and that is how her and Sullivan met.

He is asked about his favorite moment in ECW so far and he said it was last week when he was announced as being involved in the company’s first PPV event (Barely Legal 1997). Bill then says that when you think of ECW, you picture guys like Sandman and Taz but not himself.

Bill tells another story about Dusty. He was offered to fly home with Dusty after a show one night. On the way to the airport, Dusty stopped to the liquor store and asked Bill what he wanted to drink. Bill said that he really didnt drink much and told Dusty he would drink whatever he was having and Dusty got a bottle of Crown Royal. Bill said this turned out to be a rib at the time as it was a plan to get him really fucked up, which is what happened. They landed in Tampa and there was a big trash can in the airport and asked him to kick it as far as he could and he did but what he didnt know was that the can was bolted down and he fell on his ass after the attempt. After that, they went to a bar and drank until it closed as Bill was completely hammered. Dusty asked where he lived and they drove to Bill’s neighborhood and he was too drunk to remember which house was his, stating he only moved into the neighborhood a month before. Dusty was getting frustrated as he wanted to go home and said something so Bill punched him in the face. Dusty didnt get hurt then told Bill if he couldnt find his house, he was on his own. So, Dusty kicked Bill out of the car and dropped him in front of a 7-11 then told the clerk to watch him until the cab picked him up. Dusty did not realize that Bill had no money on him at the time and the next thing he knows, he was in a cab and it was daylight with a cop shaking and telling him that if he didnt pay the $44 cab, he would be arrested. Bill said the cabbie couldnt wake him up and left him in the car in front of his house with the meter running for an hour and a half. Bill said that Dusty always tells this story.

Bill talks about dealing with guys who are starts now but he first met them when they were trying to break into the buisness. He tells a story about Bam Bam Bigelow, who mentioned to Bill that he approached him in Florida about how to break into the business and he was really nice to him. He said that he was approached by Raven when he was in colllege and said he wanted to kick his ass at the time. He talked about how Raven’s dad had a high profile job. Bill said you always treat guys nice because you never know who your next boss is going to be.

He now tells a story about Harley Race. They were at a bar in Tampa when two big redneck guys were heckling a young prelim guy and followed him into the bathroom. Harley saw this happen and walked into the bathroom. The two saw Harley and said hi to him but Harley ended up turning off the lights and a few minutes later, some guy ran in and saw that Harley fucked up both guys.

Bill talks about working on the pilot episode of “Thunder in Paradise” with Hogan. Vince wanted Giant Gonzales in the show but didnt want to pay for Bill to be there. He said that Jimmy Hart told him that there wasn’t room in the budget for him. Bill does a pretty funny Jimmy Hart impression too. Anyway, he is at the bar with Hogan and some of the other actors and Hulk asked him what he needed to pay him. Bill said he had no idea and Hogan asked him how much he made, with Bill saying $1,000 at MSG and about $300 on other shows. So, Hogan said that every week he would give him a blank check and Bill was there for four weeks and wrote $1,400 each week. He said he had a blast.

He talks about the Von Erich’s for a bit, stating they were all wild but could work. He didn’t hang around with them much though. He said that he worked with Buzz Sawyer briefly and said that he had a horrible memory and was legitimately crazy.

Bill tells a story about being at a strip club in upstate New York with the Undertaker after being invited by a club owner. They got free food and drinks and Bill got hammered off of Goldschlager as Taker was signing autographs and holding up Bill, who was too fucked up and sliding off of the chair.

His favorite matches were Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham and Dusty Rhodes vs. Kevin Sullivan.

He is asked about ECW going to far but Bill doesnt think so because its a different brand of wrestling. He thinks that everyone is waiting for them to make mistakes. He says that Heyman reminds him of Sullivan in the sense that they are team players. The interview closes after that, with Bill stating that he would be open to doing another shoot.

Final Thoughts: I thought this was a really fun shoot overall. The first disc was slow and it just glossed over his career but in the second disc, they just asked him to tell stories and Bill was great.

This was only like the 3rd or 4th shoot video that RF Video ever produced and it shows. The production values are poor, as is the editing. You see Bill in different chairs and on the couch throughout the shoot. They also didnt seem to have a format down yet, which is actually refreshing to the mandatory script of questions they ask nowadays.

Bill came off as a super nice guy. I have also never heard anyone have a bad thing to say about him either. He has been just about everywhere in wrestling and has a ton of funny stories and not a bad word to say about anyone. He wasn’t even holding a grudge against Vince for firing him. He is truly happy to do what he does in wrestling.

I do recommend this shoot and again, If you do watch, the first disc does start off slow and at points it does drag but the second disc is great and fun throughout.

Bill Apter Interview

Hey Scott,

Since Bill Apter has been the talk of the town recently with his new article for WWE.com, I figured a chat with Wonderful Willie would be fun to learn why he never worked for Vince and how he transitioned from a regular journalist to best friends with most of wrestling’s legends. 

Hopefully he makes it into the WON HOF one of these years.  He’s a great guy.