Honky Tonk Man Talks His WWF Run, Not Dropping The Title To Savage, Heat With Eric Bischoff & More
Then, it was the tag team thing with myself and Greg Valentine known as Rhythm & Blues which I thought was a really, really, really good thing. But Valentine didn't want to cooperate. He was always like, 'I'm the wrestler. I'm Johnny Valentine's son. I'm not going to go out there and do no rock and roll singing. I'm not going to dye my hair black.' So, he never really put all his effort into it.
By the same token at about the same time, they secured the services of the Road Warriors from the Charlotte guys; Crockett and Turner. We were going to take the tag team championship from the Hart Foundation. Then, [Vince] got the Road Warriors and that put us behind the eight ball because now, you had; Demolition, Road Warriors, Hart Foundation. Of course, Road Warriors end up getting the belts.
Once he had the Road Warriors, Rhythm & Blues were really behind the eight ball and they sent me over to do TV commentary with Daffy Duck. You know, Roddy Piper. [Imitates Piper.] He never stops talking. So, that was not good and I felt like I could do more in front of the camera as opposed to behind the camera. I just made a decision to just take off and leave.
WrestlingINC: You later signed with WCW after a few years. What did you do during that off period?
Honky Tonk Man: I did independent shows all around the country. All over. I had a great run with Killer Kowalski and that group up in New England. Every weekend, he would have me up there and he had great shows. Killer Kowalski's one of the nicest, sweetest gentlemen in the business. Of course, I met Triple H up there. Chyna and Gail Kim. Perry Saturn was up there.
I met so many young guys and gals breaking in the business and helped them along. Made some great relationships with some great people. I was able to go out and have fun again. This business is about having fun and entertaining the people. Not begrudging the fact that you have to get up at seven in the morning and go sit in a building all day. Somebody hands you a script like they do now.
I went to Cyber Sunday (in 2008) with Santino Morella. They handed me a script. They handed me a script for Koko B. Ware for Hall of Fame. I said, 'I don't need a script. I've known the guy for 30 years! I know what I need to say.'
Anyway, I left, did the independent thing and then WCW came along. Eric Bischoff, from day one, right off the get-go, Bischoff said, 'The only reason I brought you in is because Jimmy Hart kept hounding me to bring you in. The only way to shut Jimmy up was to bring you in. I'm not a big fan of yours.' If the guy signing your check is not a big fan of yours, you're not going very far.
WrestlingINC: Yeah. That seems like a very strange thing to say.
Honky Tonk Man: Yeah. I stayed there for about three months. I didn't have a contract and then they wanted me to do the proverbial job on television once again for Johnny B. Badd. Nothing against Marc Mero because he and I have become friends. I told him, 'Marc, it's nothing against you. My whole deal is that I don't do this stuff on TV. I'm not going out there to lay down on television.'
WrestlingINC: So, that lead to your departure?
Honky Tonk Man: Yeah. It was a very fast departure. I had a cab waiting as my music was playing. [Laughs.]
WrestlingINC: Have you spoken to Eric Bischoff since?