Macho Man vs. Honky Tonk question

Scott,

There's something that's always bothered me about the Savage/Honky Tonk match on SNME that started the Megapowers angle: if Savage was so insanely paranoid about anyone so much as looking at Elizabeth, why did he agree to the angle where Honky knocked her down? Whose idea was it, and what did they have to do to convince Savage to let Liz take a bump?

Later on
​It was a pretty tame bump compared to the strong pimp hand that Jake Roberts laid on her in 1991, so I don't think Macho would have had much problem with it.  He knows the score, and I'm pretty sure, were I to picture the scene in my mind's eye, I could see Vince literally dumping a giant pile of hundred dollar bills and eight-balls on Savage's locker to convince him of how effective the angle would be.  Just a hunch.  ​

RF Video Face Off with Honky Tonk Man and Raven

This interview was filmed in the beginning of 2007. It runs at two hours and twenty seven minutes long. This was the first installment of the “Face Off” series.

The interview starts with a graphic honoring Doug Gentry, who passed away prior to this filming. Gentry worked for RF Video and was responsible for filming the ECW FanCam footage

The interview starts with the food delivery arriving and the first few minutes are disorganized as the give the delivery guy instructions.


Raven asks Honky about him refusing to drop the Intercontinental Title and everything else that happened afterwards as a result. Honky said that Vince was worried because he already spoke with Jim Barnett of the NWA, who told him to not drop the belt on TV. He said he and Randy never had a problem over what happened, as he understood it was business, then said that Randy actually thanked him at one point due to receiving the World Heavyweight Title as a result. Honky goes through what was told to him after he got word from the office they wanted him to drop the belt, stating that he was told he was getting “rebuilt,” which he believed was back to the opening matches against guys like Lanny Poffo, S.D. Jones, and Pedro Morales and how that would greatly lower his income as he was just starting to make money when he was selling out the “B” shows. He confirms that DiBiase was promised the World Heavyweight Title and a feud with Hogan. He then says how he went to Vince and asked him to keep him strong on TV for a while and give him a chance to get over and make a little bit of money and if he failed, he would gladly do whatever Vince wanted.

Still on this topic, Raven goes into how back then, they had job guys to put over the stars and that the stars never did the job clean on TV and would wrestle the other stars at house shows and make money that way, which is not the case today. Honky adds that the contracts were not guaranteed then like they are today. He also says that back then, there were other places to go work unlike today. Honky also states that Vince respected him for standing up for himself.

Honky is asked by Raven about his costumes. He tells him that the ones he uses for independents is $3,500 and the one for special occasions and signings was $10,000. Honky talks about how the guys today all look cookie-cutter but that people recognize him due to his costume. He brings up how he talked to Jimmy Hart a few days ago and how the red and yellow color scheme always draws attention and was first used by Barnum and Bailey Circus before Hulk Hogan, adding that those colors always works. Raven talks about young guys not wanting to spend money on their look yet wait around for the office to give them a push. They both say how you will not make it if you do not try to set yourself apart from everyone else.

Honky talks about going to the WCW Powerplant when that was running and how all the young guys were sleeping on the floor instead of watching matches ot listening to advice. He goes on about how he drove 400 miles in a small car with other guys when he first started and did not get guaranteed money or even get plane fare to a training school. Raven says that Steve Keirn gave him the best advice when he first started and that was watch as much wrestling as you can. He then adds that you can do as many moves as you want but it doesnt mean shit if you cant sell tickets. Honky said that he asked Johnny Rodz if any of he guys he trained ever come back to train and he said no one does as soon as they get their first booking. Honky said when he first started, he would book himself on the weekends and go back and train twice a week for about nine months. Raven said you have to eat, sleep, and breath wrestling to make it and if you want to be a star or do flips, join the Cirque de Soleil. They then laugh at guys who think Hogan and Lawler cannot work because they do not use highspots in their matches.

They now talk about working the crowd. Honky said that Col. DeBeers told him if they yell boring, take it down a notch as if they are responding, they are paying attention.

Honky is asked about the hardcore stuff they did in Memphis. He said that it was controlled hardcore back then and he worked with guys that he had good chemistry with. Raven said when he got to ECW, Heyman thought that faces and heels were a thing of the past but he said it made it difficult to build a match so he decided to be a heel anway. He told other wrestlers in the company that he was only doing one chair shot in his match and some of them would complain about how others were doing ten at a time and Raven’s response was that it doesnt matter what they did as in his match, he can sell one fine. Honky recalls watching a RVD/Sabu match once that contained at least 25 chairshots. Raven also compares to the cruiser matches of today and how they do not sell. He says that today, many guys either no sell or act like they are dead, with nothing in between. Honky goes back to the ECW match he saw and said that he likes both guys and that was how ECW was structured. Raven said that he did less than others, partly due to laziness and drug addiction, but also because he wanted to build drama. Honky says that he tells the guys breaking in today that if you lose control, then the crowd and the match is lost.

Still on the subject, Honky hates table spots due to the lack of control as you have no idea if the table will cut you. Raven said you can have a feel of what you are doing after a while and that is why he uses an elbow drop, instead of a flippy-move that you have no control over. Honky said that a powerbomb through a table is something he hates as when you are taking the move, you have no idea where you are going. He then says that wrestling is entertainment and athletics, not stuntman routines. Raven says that he tells the young guys that he wants to wrestle until he is 50 years old and that the guys he was with in TNA four years ago who did all highspots are now starting to take it down a few notches as they are already beat up. Honky brings up Mick Foley and how after falling off the top of the cage, there was nothing left to do. Raven adds that the fact he was a good talker is what kept him relevant after that.

Raven talks about the Japanese style of working stiff and says that he showed one of his friends a tape of the work and wasn’t impressed at all, stating that he could it a guy for real if he wanted to and that there was no skill in working stiff. Raven adds that the real skill is making it look realistic while not hurting yourself or your opponent. Honky says that he cannot sell an actual punch the same as a worked punch.

They now talk about facial expressions and body movement and how the guys today really lack those skills. Honky said that he learned to use body movement to sell when he worked under a mask at the beginning of his career and when his hair grew out, he could jerk his head and have his hair move around. Honky adds that Bret Hart was able to overcome his complete lack of facial expression because his body movement was excellent. Honky talks about three guys who completely lacked animation: Lex Luger, Ultimate Warrior, and Tom Magee. Honky talks about Magee and how he was supposed to be the next Hogan and was 6’7 300lbs and do backflips off the top rope. Raven asks how come they didnt stick with him and Honky said that he had no lateral movement at all and couldnt even sell anything. Raven then tells a story about how he had to work with Bill Goldberg in WCW and that Goldberg told him he wasnt going to sell anything.

The above discussion about Goldberg leads into a rant on Bret Hart by Honky. He brings up how Hart said in an interview that he didnt like working with him because he was “too soft” in the ring. Honky then tells Bret who would he rather work with for the next five years, him or Goldberg, who kicked him in the head and put him out of the business. For a more profane and animated version of this rant, check out Honky’s First YouShoot DVD. Honky adds that Hart and Flair worked the same match every night then Raven laughs about the fact that Hart accused Flair of working the same match every night when he did the exact same thing.

They now talk about Flair. Raven said that Flair dissed him while he was in WCW. Honky brings up Flair’s book and how he said that he wouldnt have been a main event talent if it wasn’t for Hogan. Honky adds that he was in main events before going to the WWF and added that Arn Anderson wouldn’t have amounted to “dog shit” if it wasn’t for Flair and that his head was shoved so far up his ass that he was surprised he could even breath.

They now talk about friends in the business as Honky adds that all the stars had their own versions of Brutus Beefcake. Raven says that you want to get your friends jobs but only build them up to their skill level and not to promote them further than that. Honky said that was how you got to get jobs in other territories back in the day. He said guys like the Bushwhackers and Joe LeDuc would help him out. Raven said that he always tries to get his friends like Sandman, Disco Inferno, and Johnny Swinger jobs but that no one else wants to do that today. He recalls a story about Edge, who he was very close with in the WWF, asked him to go to the office and help him out for a program or to take a look at as he was getting jobbed out, but he refused. Raven also brings up that Edge did the same thing to Johnny Swinger, who was the best man at his first wedding during his time in the WWE. Raven doesnt get why people do not want to help there friends and asks how fucking selfish can you be. Honky believes the friendships died when the territories did as you would go to the WWF and guys you worked with for years wouldnt talk to you anymore. Then after that, the greed really started to set in and everyone stopped looking out for each other. Raven jokes about how Disco never thanked him for creating his gimmick and he is one of his best friends.

Honky talks about getting into the ring with younger guys on the independents and that most of them are a bit nervous and some of them do not realize who he is but a lot of them screw up in the ring. Honky recalls that when he first started out, he wrestled against Lou Thesz and got the shit kicked out of him and that he deserved it as he kept screwing up but that was how you learned. He then adds how guys with nine total matches will approach him about wanting to do certain spots and how hat boggles his mind. Raven talks about how guys on the indies will say that they have been working for three years but when you ask them ho wmany matches they have had they say ten. This leads to a discussion about Taz, who yells at guys for not paying their dues constantly, yet Raven says that Taz spent one day in Memphis and quit and worked just a few matches in a four-year span. Honky adds that Taz used to tote around Kevin Sullivan’s bags then Raven tells a story of how Taz had an orgasm in the ring after being on the receiving end of a German suplex by Sullivan. Honky finishes by saying you no longer ask someone how long they have been in the business but rather how many matches they have had.

Raven talks about when he was relegated to “Sunday Night Heat” that the jobbers he would work with who claim that they could do all sorts of stuff and he would have them punch and kick each other in the ring and 9-out-of-10 could not do anything. Honky said that when he first started, he would get the VHS tapes of his matches and watch them all night to improve on what he was doing incorrectly.

They now talk about wrestling schools and how they are no being run by guys with very little experience. Raven said that he trained at Larry Sharpe’s school, who was a nobody in wrestling, but was mostly trained by Charlie Fulton, who was a solid worker for many years. Raven said that they guys who train the students there now are those who wrestled several TV squashes in the WWF and that is their qualification.

Raven brings up the Disco Inferno again and how he always wanted to be the Honky Tonk Man. Honky said that he met Disco once then again a few years later and Disco did not recall meeting him that first time. Raven talks about how he got Disco his first break when he was in Memphis and Jerry Lawler asked him what his gimmick was and he said that it was the Disco Inferno. Raven said that he took it from a guy in Calgary who wrestled with a disco gimmick. Raven asks Honky if it means something to him that he was a reason that a wrestler got into the business. Honky said that it does because you impacted the life of someone. Honky then said that people want to be the next Rock but that he did not last in the business long enough as he found another way to make millions of dollars.

Back from a break, Raven asks Honky about the Hall of Fame. He says that it is an honor in the sense that there are a lot of great names associated with the award but that he does not want to sign over all of his rights with to the WWE (control of his character), which will not let him continue to earn on the independents. Honky adds that if they are going to let Mike Rotundo be an agent and have Barry Windham on payroll, at least let him sweep the floors.

Now, Raven has the list of the 101 dirtiest rumors in wrestling, a popular list. He and Honky go through some of the rumors. I will list the rumors and post their thoughts:

Kevin Sullivan spends his vacations at a nudist colony. Take that image through
the day.


Honky thinks it could be true then recalls how he teamed with him in Atlanta before Ole Anderson fired him.

Tommy Rich did some favors for Jim Barnett in exchange for the NWA World Title

Honky believes that is false, as he knows Rich. He then recalls how he was one of the most recognizable wrestlers on television before Hulk Hogan came around. This then leads to Honky talking about the Fuller’s who gave him some payoffs in pot. Raven said that he heard rumors about them giving the boys “powder payoffs.” Now, Raven, asks Honky about Robert Fuller having a huge cock, which Honky confirms and jokes that they called it the “gutwrench” and doesnt understand why he didnt go into porn.

NWA World Champion Gene Kiniski bought Kevin Von Erich a hooker in Las Vegas,
when Kevin was TWELVE.


Honky thinks it could be true as he was Canadian and they are not as uptight about sex as American’s.

A coked up Kerry and Kevin were once playing with a saw blade in the back
hallways at the sportatorium. Kerry saw a cat, so he threw the saw blade at the
cat, killing it.


Honky said it could be true then praises Kerry for being a great guy but that he was unable to read the cue cards for the house show promos in the WWF.

R&R Express walk in on Jimmy Valiant laying on the floor jerking off under a
glass table that a hooker is shitting on. Ricky throws up and leaves, while
Robert stays to watch.


Raven says that it sounds entirely plausible but Honky can’t see Ricky leaving the room in that situation.

Dusty Rhodes got Baby Doll fired (or something) because he was pissed that she
married near-jobber Sam Houston instead of him.


This leads to a discussion of how the business has changed with the women as they used to get in the business to be with the boys and now they get in to wrestle. Raven also adds how back then, the women used to get with the main eventers but now they are with the undercard guys.

Manny Fernandez took a dump in “Number One” Paul Jones brand-new Stetson hat,
put it back in the hat box on the airplane, like nothing happened, and went to
sit back by Jones for the remainder of the flight.


Honky said it sounds true as Manny would do just about anything.

Raven got caught in a hotel room with Becky Bayless at age 14, and Becky slept
with Joel Gertner and his wife.


Raven said that she was in the room but nothing happened because he knew she was underaged and he was interrogated by the police and let go as they even knew that nothing happened. What went on was that he was two other adult woman and they slept together and they left in the morning and when the cops came into the room, Raven was naked in the bed and Becky was in the room. Raven then added that Mikey Whipwreck told Heyman that Raven got arrested. Honky joked that Raven really did work for Lawler.

Rip Rogers pulled Barry Windham’s keys out of a commode filled with shit and
Jack Daniels after a particularly hard night of partying with his bare hands.


Raven said that sounds true and that Windham was known for having the spray shits. Honky said that Rip would do just about anything for money. Rip said that he never drank or did drugs but would do stuff for money.


Johnny Valentine would take a dump and strategically place it where it couldn’t
be found easily like the inside of bed posts.


Both guys talk about the stories they heard of Valentine being vicious in his pranks. Honky then tells a story of his son Greg and how one day he saw Greg piss in the ice machine at a hotel and to this day, he will never use or even allow his kids to use those machines.


Shawn Michaels supposedly invited three hot girls back to his hotel room. He
told them to all get naked and get on their knees. He whips out his ding dong
and the girls figure it’s going to be a suck-fest, but instead he proceeds to
take a piss in each of their mouths.


Honky said that sounded like something that Marty Jannetty would have done. This leads to the guys telling a few stories about Marty. Raven tells one of how a girl moved into his house and started to get her mail sent there and when Marty tried to kick her out but the judge ruled that since her mail was being sent there, she had a right to stay and Marty basically got kicked out of his own house. Honky then tells a story of how he was with Marty in Scotland a few years ago, just a few days after he was baptized by Shawn Michaels. Honky got a bottle of Bell’s Whiskey and Marty was telling him how he was clean and getting back in the WWE. Honky had the bottle and asked Marty if he wanted a hit and he declined. At 3am, Honky heard a knock on the door and it was Marty, asking for a taste of the whiskey. Honky gave him a good sized glass and Marty left then came back five minutes later. The next day, Marty asked for something for his back and Honky gave him some codeine. Marty asked him how many to take, Honky told him if you are not drinking, you can take 2-3. Marty asked him a few hours later if he should take more and Honky said as long as you are not drinking then Marty took four more. Marty then asked for some whiskey and Honky said that it was not a good idea but Marty drank it anyway. They get to the show and Marty is puking out of the car then goes in the arena and has the match. That night, Honky heard another knock on the door and it was Marty and again he was asking for some whiskey. Honky says that he loves Marty and that we all have our problems.

Raven asks Honky if he thinks people have really found religion. Raven said that Terry Taylor has but Honky is weary of that, stating that he is still stabbing people in the back. Honky said that Greg Valentine told him he has found religion and has stopped lying and double-booking himself. Honky talks about Ted DiBiase and how he was full of shit for calling Vince McMahon the devil then going back to work for him. Honky then jokes about Ted fucking a preacher’s wife.


Apparently after Lawler first arrived in the good old WWF a lot of people
disliked him for his general arrogant attitude. Hall, Nash, and Michaels didn’t
take to this too well, so at one of the Royal Rumbles, Lawler left his crown in
the dressing room to do the Rumble. So the Kliq decided to shit in his crown.
But apparently this wasn’t like a couple of turds in the crown. They apparently
filled King’s precious crown to the brim with a nice, hearty Kilq shit.


Honky said that he heard a rumor that is was someone who is now an agent in the WWE and got fucked over on payoffs from Lawler in Memphis. He didnt want to say who it was as he didnt know it to be 100%. He said it was not someone from the Kliq.

The guys now talk about Bam Bam Bigelow, who passed away shortly before this interview. Honky said he was agile and could work like a big man, unlike Vader who wanted to work like a cruiserweight. Raven also talks about Kamala and the One Man Gang being great big men too, as they could sway back and forth and not fall down.

TAKA fucked Sunny while Candido watched.

Both guys praise Chris for being a great guy. Honky said he was the most forgiving person and Raven adds how he was very caring and how it was a shame that he died of a ring injury after he got his life back in order. Honky then adds that sometimes, nice guys die first and that Jake Roberts, Jim Neidhart, and Kevin Von Erich will probably live forever.

Jushin Liger likes to loan out his wife to folks like Sasuke, TAKA, and
Hayabusa. He may also like to watch.


Neither guy has a clue but Honky tells a story of how he saw a Japanese Porn of a guy tied up and a bunch of girls lined up in a row to kick him in the nuts. He said that he sent it to Dory Funk as a joke. He then says that the Bushwhackers send him a lot of porn. Raven talks about how Japan censors penetration in their films.

Mike Rapada paid $25,000 to win the NWA belt.

Neither guy has a clue if this is true or not but it leads into a discussion about how others were rumored to have done this sort of stuff in the past. Raven brings up the rumor that Magnum TA’s other took a mortage out on their home for him to get the NWA belt in the 1980’s. Honky then says he would give Vince money today to be the world champ as long as he got half of what he made. Honky then talks about the money Hogan made in the 1980’s saying that he wrestled nine times a week and usually made about $20,000 plus more for the big shows and for his merchandise sales and says that adds up to over $200,000 a week. He says that people do not believe him when he talks about the money Hogan made but it was true and that gys like Austin and Rock do not even compare. Raven asks if Hogan should have gone to bat for the other wrestlers to unionize and get healthcare but Honky said there was no reason to risk his payday. Honky said that there should have been a profit sharing system if you have been there for a certain amount of time then Raven joked that Vince  would probably fire you a month before that was to happen.

Curt Hennig was supposedly one of those that shit in Lawler’s crown.

Honky said no but that Hennig did shit in the bag of Chief Jay Strongbow’s son (Mark Young). Raven tells a story of how Hennig was a puppet master and when the 1-2-3 Kid came in, Hennig saved his eyebrows and blamed it on the Smoking Gunns so the Kid put super glue in their cowboy hats then the Gunns gave him a receipt.


Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey describes seeing Andre screwing – “like a lion raping a
rabbit”.


Raven said that Buddy Rose was proud of the fact that Andre once shoved his thumb up his ass.

Raven did not wear clothes backstage in TNA until someone complained that Dixie Carter would see his horsecock.

Raven said that was true. Honky then goes on and says that the locker room should be the sanctuary for the boys. He then says in the WWF, when Sable and Sunny would have their catfights, they would get separate locker rooms and they would all have to dress in the hallway if there were only two locker rooms in the arena and they couldnt change when they were out in the hallway. They both talk about how they hate when people bring their friends and family into the locker room when they are trying to get dressed. Raven says that he was working for 3PW and Jasmin St. Claire would complain that he would walk around naked. Honky tells a story about how Virgil was their with Jasmin in the locker room and told Honky he couldnt get dressed as she was in the room. Honky told him that she got gang-banged on film and Virgil started to take off his clothes. Raven tells a story of how Colonel DeBeers would pretend he was gay in the locker room towards Rex King, who was very homphobic and would chase him around naked.

Raven talks about locker rooms in ECW and how women and men shared the rooms and they didnt have any showers so he would just wash himself in the sink. Honky said that they treated the women wrestlers like their sisters back then and would turn around when they got dressed.

According to a referee who was released from the WWF, Bradshaw tied up a
wrestler in the shower while he was naked and rubbed baby oil all over him
threatening to rape him until he cried while the lockerroom looked on and
laughed. I think the victim might have date-raped a girl, or may have just not
been well-liked. It was never specified who the victim was other than this
happened in like ’98 or ’99 and the guy was a fairly well known wrestler, I also
heard it might have been Brian Christopher aka Grandmaster Sexay.

Raven said this was true and it was in fact, Brian Christopher. Raven also said that Christopher was screaming that “Guys don’t do this to other guys” as Honky wants to know how come Bradshaw hasnt done that to Jerry Lawler.

Remember when David Flair quit IWA Puerto Rico due to unfit living conditions?
And everybody ragged on him when they found out IWA had put him up in a nice
house? Well, that nice house belonged to Victor Quiones. I shouldn’t have to say
anymore, but I will. David was sleeping one night and was woken up by Quiones
standing over him about to blow a load on his face. David quit the next day.


Neither guy has a clue but they are reminded that Ric Flair tried to go after Quiones and this prompts Honky to talk about going after someone in front of a bunch of people is not the way to go and that you should take the person aside and try to work out the problem. Raven asks about Koko B. Ware going after someone once and Honky talks about he came after Hacksaw Duggan with a nip once as Duggan slapped it away from him and said get the fuck away from him. Raven tells a story of how Billy Jack Haynes almost killed him once in Portland after Art Barr blamed him for a rib that he pulled. They talk about Jericho taking down Goldberg as Raven says that Jericho has that “Canadian retard strength.” Honky again stresses that you do no to this in front of everyone and work it out on the side.

They now talk about the Dynamite Kid/Jacques Rougeau incident. Honky says that Dynamite broke Jacques jaw after punching him while he was sitting down playing cards. He said that when Dynamite got hit, everyone was saying how he was holding two cups of coffee and couldnt defend himself but they add how neither could Jacques when he was sitting down holding cards. Honky then goes on about how Dynamite claimed in his book that he slapped him and Honky cried. Honky tells the story about they had a confrontation one night and he approached him the next night and asked Dynamite if they had a problem and he said no and that was the end of that. What happened was that Heenan made a joke about Harley Race not being able to take an ass bump due to a colostomy bag then someone spread a rumor that after a sold out show at the Boston Garden, Honky said that he paid the boys’ rent. Honky actually told Jimmy Hart that at least they paid their rent tonight and that Dynamite would mention that to him for the next two weeks. Honky then talks about Dynamite weighing about 130 lbs when he first started and that he got bigger because of steroids. He then says that he terrorized Terry Taylor and would cut up his clothes, which is not a rib but just destroyin someone’s property. Raven says that when that happens, its a lose/lose situation as if you fight back, it means that you cannot take a rib. Anyway, Dynamite flipped out on him after drinking all day long and asked him why he said that about Harley and Honky told him that he didnt say the joke, Bobby Heenan did. Honky says that Dynamite might have been a tough guy all jacked up on roids and drunk but if there was any crying, it would have been Dynamite after he stuck his foot up his ass. Honky says that he pissed off all the European guys after saying that Dynamite deserves everything he got after the way he treated people. Apparently, Finlay was irate over this and threatened to fly over there and kick his ass. Honky then mentions how Diana Smith called Dynamite the biggest liar he has ever met.

Honky closes by saying that he has done a lot of bad things and some good things but he doesnt care what people say when he is gone as he can’t hear them. He doesnt even care what they say about him when he is alive.

Final Thoughts: A fantastic shoot. Both guys were insightful and hilarious, especially the Honky Tonk Man who stood out a lot more than Raven did here. The interview had a little bit of everything from gossip, gross stories, hilarious stories and even some heartfelt moments. The first hour contained a lot of knowledge and how it is lost on a majority of the wrestlers today, which is still a glaring problem today. Having the guys go through the list of rumors was a fun segment, even if it did drag a bit but the side-stories that they told were usually better than their own insight on the rumors. As the debut of the “Face Off” series, I dont think that any of the fifteen other volumes that have followed can compare to this one. I give this a high recommendation. You can download the video for $9.99 at Highspots.com. I did and it is well worth the price, IMO. Here is the link:

http://www.highspots.com/p/VD_faceoff1_raven_HTM.html





Honky was The Top Guy in early 88

Hey Scott,

Everybody discusses how the Honky Tonk Man had a great IC run blah blah blah… But a recent blog post about champs crowned due to the title being in held in abeyance raises the following technicality: Honky was the highest ranking WWE roster member after the title was vacated following Hogan-Andre II. Let me repeat: The fucking Honky Tonk Man was the highest ranked champion in the number one promotion in the Western world for over a month (early Feb. to late Mar. 1988). He was the Apex predator.

Steve

Holy cow, what if he had walked to JCP with the belt as threatened at the time?  It might have torn a hole in the time space continuum or some shit like that.  

RF Video Shoot Interview with the Honky Tonk Man, Volume 1

This video was released in the beginning of 2001, with WCW still in business.

 

 

The interview starts with a clip of Honky, as Wayne Ferris
in Memphis,
teaming with Larry Latham as the Blond Bombers.

 

 

 

Honky says that he got into wrestling because he did not
want to grow up and it was an extension of his childhood. He said he knew in
the 3rd grade that he would be in sports or entertainment when he
grew up and wrestling gave him the best of both worlds.

 

 

He said he was trained by Herb Welch, who was the uncle of
Robert Fuller. He said that Koko B. Ware was in his class. He trained for nine
months straight.

 

 

Honky’s first payoff in wrestling was for $9. He said that
before wrestling, he was making $10,000 a year coaching football.

 

 

He confirms that Jerry Lawler was his first cousin. Lawler
began wrestling five years prior. His other cousin was Carl Fergie, who also
wrestled. Honky said he was the athlete of the family and those two never
played sports.

 

 

Honky said that he would wrestle the same towns for weeks at
a time then drive up to 400 miles away for some $9 payoffs.

 

 

He said that he liked teaming with Larry Latham as the Blond
Bombers. Honky staes the teamed first formed when he was sent to a tournament
in Atlanta and
thrown together with Larry in a team by Jerry Brisco.

 

 

The Tupelo Concession Stand Brawl is mentioned next. Honky
said it was a precursor to ECW and that a lot of people on the independent
scene do not realize that he wrestled a hardcore-style match before. He said
that Jerry Jarrett and Robert Fuller put the match together on the spot. He
said he had no idea at the time it would be considered a classic match but
looking back years later, thought it was pretty great.

 

 

He is asked about his memories of Tommy Rich. Honky said
that people have no idea how over he was back then and said they had good
matches

 

 

Honky then talks about how back when he started, he wrestled
in a lot of “Best of Three Falls” matches, which helps younger wrestlers as you
have to do a different match each fall. He then states how he recently saw a
younger wrestler in California do twenty minutes of highspots and after the
match, went up to him and told him that he did not do a single wrestling hold
and the kid replied that he did not know any. Honky says that this limits your
opportunities, as you can only work one style. He then adds that it helps to
learn a lot on the fly when wrestling.

 

 

Honky says that Bobby Eaton was overrated, stating he was a
great worker but could not talk and didn’t sell a ton of tickets. Honky also
said that Eaton worked really hard for lesser pay.

 

 

He is then asked about how he wound up in Calgary. Honky said that he was in Pensacola with David
Schultz at the time, who felt that he was getting screwed by the promoter, and
told Honky they could make money up there. Honky said that Schultz was cool and
would tell people his opinions right to their face. He also did that with
promoters and they hated that. Honky said he picked up some of Schultz’s bad
habits with promoters.

 

 

Honky says that Stu Hart gave him a lower guarantee than
promised and he threatened to walk out but Stu called him back. Honky puts him
over as a businessman and for the fact that he survived in the extreme
conditions, stating the Winter in Calgary
was like no other place. He also respects those who stayed up there for a few
years. Honky said that Stu asked him if he wanted to go to the dungeon but he
declined and Stu was fine with that, as he knew Honky was a show-business guy.
Honky says he has good relations with Stu’s sons then mentions how Bret never
wants to lose in Canada.

 

 

Up next is the Dynamite Kid. Honky said that he is another
person who destroyed his body for little pay and is now bitter and addicted to
drugs as a result. He is asked if he ever had problems with him and Honky
mentions how once after a show at the Boston Garden,
someone stirred up shit about Honky stating that he made enough there to pay
the boys rent and he flipped out. Honky says that he was hard to deal with when
he was on drugs. He then brings up how Dynamite thought it was funny to make
fun of Harley Race having a colostomy bag but didn’t think it was when Jacques
Rougeau knocked him out.

 

 

Honky is asked about Chris Benoit. He said he had a few
matches with him when he first broke in Calgary.
Honky says that Chris was actually trained in Edmonton
before arriving to Calgary
by a promoter. He says that his drawback is his size and that is what the WWF
promotes.

 

 

He is asked about Bret Hart. Honky says that he always
showed up late but worked hard. He then says that he always does the same
match, like Ric Flair, and is bland on interviews, like most Canadians. Honky
then says that he could never figure out his push but did like him in the Hart
Foundation.

 

 

Honky said he wound up in the WWF when Vince did another
talent raid so he could run three shows a night. He was the North American
Heavyweight Champ in Calgary
at the time. Honky stated that he didn’t even think he was good enough to go to
the WWF, after twelve years of training. He then brings up guys today who after
wrestling school think they belong in the WWF.

 

 

His first impression of Vince McMahon is that he knew Vince
was management and that he was talent. He makes the analogy of Vince as a small
child and all the wrestlers as their toys. Once the toy is done, it is pushed
aside and replaced with a new one. Honky says that he knew that he was just
labor to him.

 

 

Honky said that he came up with the Honky Tonk Man gimmick
from the song of that same title by Johnny Hark. Honky said he always believed
that wrestling and music went together and that he took a lot of his interview
material from songs and puts it over as a good way for younger wrestlers to cut
promos.

 

 

He is asked about his hair vs. hair matches with Austin
Idol. At the time, Honky was doing is Punk Rock character but he said the hicks
didn’t understand the gimmick so the matches were a good way to revamp his
character. Honky stresses the importance of being able to keep yourself fresh
in wrestling. He said they did a series of hair dye matches and would use a
spray that would come out after he washes his hair but used real dye during the
last of the matches, leaving a small blond spot in the front.

 

 

Honky is asked about his relationship with Hogan. He said
that he first met him in Pensacola
in 1977. He states that Hogan was in Tampa
but that Mike Graham hated him because he was small and wanted to be known as
the giant killer so his territory was stocked with small guys. Hogan was known
as Terry Boulder at that time and had a brother Eddie, who went on to become
Brutus Beefcake. Honky said that Brutus was never formally trained and learned
to wrestle by traveling on the road with them. He even let Brutus use his boots
when he started out. Honky said that later on, Hogan turned into an opportunist
when he got famous in the WWF and thinks that Vince McMahon had something to do
with that as all of the top guys turn out the same way.

 

 

He wound up with Jimmy Hart in Memphis after Hart was
brought in by Lawler to help him make an album. Honky puts over Hart as having
a strong mind for the business then says that a lot of promoters wasted his
talents as they only saw him as a music guy. Honky also says that Hart is
politically correct and did not mess around with any drugs or alcohol.

 

 

Honky is asked about the WWF locker room when he first
arrived. He said that it was tense as all of the veterans knew that they were
being replaced by stronger, faster, and cheaper talent.

 

 

Honky said the competition between the wrestlers was a lot
more tense than it is today as back then, there were no guaranteed contracts
and they were paid based on the gate receipts.

 

 

Honky also says that the pay discrepancy between the top and
bottom of the card was huge. For example, he said that working with Hogan at a
sellout in MSG could earn you $8,000 and the opening match on the same card
would earn you about $300. Honky states how that starts all of the politicking and
backstabbing. He said when he arrived in the WWF after 12 years of working all
over the place, he didn’t want to settle for shitty payoffs.

 

 

When asked about what he first thought of the Elvis gimmick,
Honky said he told Vince that no one wanted to cheer for that. He then says how
Vince’s sees the business as a circus and looks to see how much merchandise he
can sell. Vince was imaging all sorts of Elvis jumpsuits and wigs being sold
with the character.

 

 

Honky is then asked if he kept in touch with Lawler. He said
that he last spoke to him when he left Memphis. Honky also called him “Chester
the Molester” and tells us a story about him receiving a payoff for the Tupelo
Concession Stand match. Lawler told him how he felt about his first thousand
dollar payoff. Honky looked at the check and it said $999.99 and told Lawler it
was not a thousand dollars. Honky then states how Lawler turned to be teenager
he was dating and told her he knew he wouldn’t be grateful for the check. After
that, he stayed a few more months in Memphis and was rarely booked and would
then receive calls that he was missing shows he was never told about. He saw
the writing on the wall and left soon after.

 

 

He is then asked about refusing to drop the Intercontinental
Title to Randy Savage. At the time, Honky said he would only drop the belt to
two people, Hogan and Vince, after he told him he can have the belt after he
can to his home and took it off the mantle above his fireplace. Honky then says
that Vince used that line on TV with Steve Austin. He tells the story about how
they wanted Savage to win and parade Elizabeth around on his shoulders. Honky
asked about what would happen to him and was told that he was going to be
rebuilt, which Honky remembered Schultz telling him that was promoter bullshit
about getting buried at the bottom of the card. Honky did not want that to
happen and called Jim Barnett in the NWA. He said he was about to leave and fly
to the Bahamas but Jimmy Hart told him to reconsider as Vince would find out.
Honky couldn’t reach Vince and told agent Jack Lanza that if not called back,
he was going to leave and take the belt with him. While at a cheap hotel in
Winnipeg, Vince called him. Honky said to Vince that he was a model employee
and sold out shows two weeks in advance. He said that there were a million
finishers they could use but jobbing him in the middle of the ring was the
worst. Vince agreed then he said he made a deal with Vince that as long as he didn’t
job on TV and drew with the belt, he would get paid and if he didn’t draw, he wouldn’t
get paid at all. Honky said after that, Wrestlemania IV was changed to a
tournament with Savage winning and getting to parade Elizabeth around on his
shoulders.

 

 

He was asked about the relationship between Savage and
Elizabeth. He said that Elizabeth used to run with the boys in Kentucky and use
to be with Rip Rogers. He confirmed that Savage was extremely overprotective
and did indeed lock her in a storage closet in Poughkeepsie, where the TV
tapings were held for Championship Wrestling.

 

 

He is asked about working with Brutus Beefcake at
Wrestlemania IV. He said that he would have offered to have his hair cut if
gotten paid. He said that he made sure to drop subtle hints about that in his
interviews. He then goes on to say he received $8,000 for his payoff while
Hogan received a million dollars.

 

 

When asked about working with the Ultimate Warrior, Honky mockingly
hums his theme song. He tells a story of him asking Hercules about working with
him and being told that you will dread getting up in the morning knowing that
you will have to work with him. He said that you had to protect yourself
working with him and puts over Rick Rude for teaching him how to work. He then
said that he made $22,000 jobbing to him in thirty seconds at SummerSlam.

 

 

Honky then is asked about teaming with Greg Valentine. He
says the team worked because they wrestled two different styles and that is
needed to make a good team. He said at one point they were promised the belts
but that Vince was looking to bring in the Road Warriors and that plan got
squashed.

 

 

He is then asked about his opinion on a few workers. He puts
over Steamboat, saying he was one of the best faces of all time. He liked
working with Snuka, although taking his splash hurt like hell. He calls Dusty
Rhodes a liar and does an impression of him. He said that Dusty lied to him
about getting a job in WCW and did the same thing to Rick Martel and Dino
Bravo. He then said how Kerry Von Erich couldn’t read off the cue cards during
the tapings of the house shows promos and everyone else had to wait in line
forever. He says that on a plane ride, Kerry got fucked up on GHB and they had
to land the plane so they could take him to the hospital.

 

 

He was asked about doing commentary with Roddy Piper and
called him Daffy Duck. He said Piper was all fucked up on drugs and you could
not get a word in with him. He then adds that position, commentary next to
Vince, is a prestigious one and a lot of backstabbing goes on to try to get
there.

 

 

Honky says that Shawn Michaels was nice at the beginning but
became an asshole after rubbing up against Vince.

 

 

He said he asked for his release after not being booked in
anymore matches.

 

 

Next, Honky is asked how he
wound up in WCW. At the time, Honky was teaching in Phoenix. Jimmy Hart called
him and said they needed some ex-WWF guys to come in and make an impact. He
spoke with Ric Flair, who told Honky that he could fly in so they good get a
look at him. Honky told Ric that he knew him for years and that he already knew
what he looked like. He asked Ric about the money and he said he didn’t handle that
to Honky asked him to tell the person that did to give him a call.

 

 

Honky flew to WCW and went to
shake Eric Bischoff’s hand, who told Honky he was not a fan and was only
inviting him down as a favor to Jimmy Hart. Honky told Eric that he would try
to win him over but was blown off. At that point, Honky knew that this wouldn’t
last very long. Later that day, Bischoff talked to him about a contract and
told Honky that they had some really bad contracts expiring soon and when that
happened, they could offer him a deal that would be more than Vince ever paid
him. Honky then says that months later, he spoke with Brad Armstrong who told
Honky that he just got renewed for three more years. He then said how Steve
Regal complained to Florida sports writer Alex Marvez about wanting to leave
and join the WWF and was offered a $175,000 contract. Honky hen went to speak
with Bischoff about a contract and was told that at his current rate, he would
make about $200,000 a year but Honky said half of his dates were cancelled.

 

 

He is then asked about
refusing to job for Johnny B. Badd. Honky said that he told Bischoff he would
walk if not given a contract. He also said that he told Bischoff that he got
paid doing jobs in the WWF. He then shook Bischoff’s hand and left in a cab, as
his music was playing in the arena. He states that Hogan went over to him
trying to get him to stay but Honky said he told Hogan that he could have
helped get him a contract then called him a piece of shit. Honky then brought
up the lawsuit Hogan filed against Russo and said it would never win in court.

 

 

Honky talks about how Hogan
copied the “Hulkamania” gimmick from Austin Idol and his “Idolmania” gimmick. He
also said that Schultz came up with the Wrestlemania idea when they were in
Memphis and insinuated that Hulk stole that from him. He said that Schultz not
being part of that card broke him. He then tells a story about when Schultz was
fired from the WWF, he threatened Vince and told him he knew where he lived and
that Vince hired 24 hour surveillance around his home. Honky claims to this day
that Hogan is still afraid of Schultz.

 

 

Honky is asked about Jeff Jarrett
taking his guitar gimmick. He said that Jeff could only get over in his dad’s
territory. Honky said that he needed to do the gimmick better than he did to
get it over. He then said that Jarrett was spineless for taking his gimmick
while he was still in the WWF, stating he would not do that in the same
territory or company as someone else.

 

 

He is asked if he saw star
potential in the Rock. Honky said he did because he was big, could work and can
talk. He says Austin is a flash in the pan and wont last long with his neck and
knee injuries.

 

 

Honky is then asked about the
1997 Survivor Series. He says he missed what happened as he went back to the
hotel after being in the locker room earlier in the day. He said he knew Bret didn’t
want to job, especially to Shawn. He brings up their locker room fight a month
prior in Hartford. Honky said that Rick Rude called him the next day and said
that Bret beat the shit out of Vince.

 

 

Honky is asked about his
nephew, Brian Christopher. He said they are not close but thinks he is talented
and that his height is the thing holding him back. He tells a story of Jerry Lawler
running over to Arnold Skoaland after Brian showed up two minutes late to RAW, yelling
at him to fine his son he adds that Lawler basically disowned his kids.

 

 

Honky is asked about doing
commentary. He said that when Jake Roberts was writing TV, he put him in but
that Vince Russo would take him out. He calls Russo power hungry for making himself
the champion in WCW and said that he had a few good ideas for shock TV but did
not turn around the WWF, stating that Mike Tyson appearing on Wrestlemania did.

 

 

He calls Kevin Nash “Big Lazy”
and said that Scott Hall never impressed him. He compares Nash to an overpaid athlete
and that if WCW doesn’t change, the company will be finished by the time this
interview gets out. Well, Honky was spot on with that.

 

 

He is asked on his thoughts
about ECW. Honky said there is a place for a 3rd company but it is
too extreme. He says it is a shame that the workers are ruining their bodies and
not getting paid. He said there is nowhere else to go with that company once
you hit a certain point because you can only try to be more extreme each night
and that wont last in the long run.

 

 

He is asked about the
Rockabilly character and said that was Vince’s way of punishing Gunn for threatening
to go to WCW. He said that Gunn was roided up at the time and frequently blew
up in the ring.

 

 

Honky is asked if the business
is overexposed. He said that most cycles last nine years but this one will not
and it will nosedive hard when it is finished.

 

 

He is asked about the best
rib he ever saw. He said he didn’t partake in them but mentions the stuff that
Dynamite Kid did, cutting up Terry Taylor’s clothes, saying that stuff is not a
rib. He also says that shitting in a bag is not a rib.

 

 

He is asked if he keeps up a
lot with the current product and says that he does not. He says the same five
guys are on top in the WWF and the undercard guys cant hack it. He says WCW is
filled with wrestling school guys. He then says that Russo is unable to realize
that you cannot create stars and a wrestler needs to have something to take
that next step.

 

 

He is asked if he would want
to become a booker. Honky said no and that he is not good at coming up with
angles and finishes. He can add to stuff that is already in place.

 

 

He then mentions wrestling
books and how he wouldn’t want to do one He says most of them leave stuff out
and brings up a story of Arn Anderson leaving something out of his book. He
says that Arn’s first match against Bob Armstrong, he got picked up and Arn’s
toupee got ripped off in the process. Honky can’t believe why you would leave
that out.

 

 

Honky is asked about having any
regrets. He says that too often, he let his emotions get involved in his decision
making process and that he made things get bigger that they should have been.

 

 

He closes by stating that he
still wrestles independent dates and tells anyone looking to break in to finish
college first and use wrestling as a hobby unless someone throws money at you.  He also said that it should be fun and you
should not be killing yourself out there.

 

 

Final Thoughts: Wow. I highly recommend this shoot. Honky is very
candid and even if you don’t always agree with him, it is still worth a listen.
Some might be turned off by his always putting money over anything else but
really, in the wrestling world, you need to get paid as much as you can while
you still can get work. Honestly, look at the guys who he says beat up their
bodies for no pay. Dynamite Kid and Bobby Eaton are in terrible health and
broke. My only complaint was that the interviewer jumped around all over the place and did not go in chronological order. Honky would put out a second shoot with RF Video ten years later and has
done a bunch of stuff for Kayfabe Commentaries (his first YouShoot is a riot),
which is all very entertaining.