Honky Tonk Man Talks Not Dropping The Title To Savage, Heat With Bischoff, Turning Down HOF & More
This particular television show had 35 million people watching. That particular Main Event had 35 million people. You got to remember; Turner had a lot of money and Turner was trying to make a run at Vince. I said, 'No. I'm not going to do this on television. You want to do it, I'll do it anywhere else. I'm not doing it in front of 35 million people.'
I had to protect my business, too. My business, of course, was the Honky Tonk Man because I could have taken it to Turner. I did make a call to Turner and they said, 'Absolutely not. Do not do that on television if you want to come down here with us.' We had a meeting set and down and then I ended up staying with WWE which was probably not the best move of my life because, after that, they never trusted me again.
WrestlingINC: Did that lead to why they had you drop the title to the Ultimate Warrior?
Honky Tonk Man: No. Not really. They had him in the plans after the Savage thing. Because Hogan wanted to go to Hollywood and he wanted to make movies and he was leaving the company, they needed someone. Vince was always into these big bodybuilders. He loved that no matter where they could work or not. It didn't matter. He just cared that they had these great bodies and that's what he wanted.
Warrior fit the mold and at that point, Vince decided he wanted to go that direction. The Intercontinental belt was such a hot item that it was a stepping stone to the big belt. For him to get the Intercontinental championship for me and keep it for six months or eight months, then move up to the next level made him bigger and better than he would have ever been.
WrestlingINC: It definitely catapulted him to the next level.
Honky Tonk Man: Right. It was a catapult to the next level and I didn't have a problem with it when it was done that way. It was done and everybody was professional about it. We knew about it six months ahead of time what was going to happen. We planned for it and it was laid out the proper way. I didn't have any problem with that.
I was kind of ambushed on the Randy thing. I was at a point in my life where things were going so good and we were doing so well, Randy and I, selling out every arena -- I just couldn't understand why you would just want to destroy this whole thing. Then, make him the Intercontinental champion (again) which probably would not have helped him very much at all. Him chasing me was what was selling tickets. If there were no return matches for me even in the mix -- it was like that old TV show, The Six Million Dollar Man 'We can rebuild him.' No. You can't rebuild something you've destroyed.
That was my old timer's thinking. Now, they bring these kids in and one day they got one name and the next day, they've got another. One day they've got blond hair, the next day, they've got brown hair.
WrestlingINC: At the same time, they don't really make stars like they used to.
Honky Tonk Man: No. I mean, they're ain't no stars anymore. You're right. That's a very good point. Ain't no stars anymore. People always me what's wrong with the company. I say, 'Well, when you have to have Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole as your semi-main events or your biggest angles on WrestleMania last year. Then you got to bring The Rock back and 'Stone Cold' (Steve Austin) back, you obviously have no stars on your roster.'