Honky Tonk Man Talks How Much Influence Vince McMahon Had On His Character, His IC Run, More

Source: Kayfabe Wrestling Radio

If he thinks he would have been as successful with a different manager, other than Jimmy Hart: "I think it would have been a little more difficult. It's like I said, I don't know if the gears would have clicked as much with; you know Bobby was more, and I know that, from just my conversations with Rick Rude over some periods of time. Rick was one of those guys that; Rick never thought that he needed a manager, in fact, and he really didn't. Rick was a good mouthpiece himself and of course Bobby is a mouthpiece and Bobby was Bobby and was already well established as a bad guy and had been thrown in with weasel suit matches and things like that. It's difficult when your manager, when the fans are yelling while your in the ring and you're trying to get your persona and get your character developed and get the fans to watch you; and your manager is outside and they're chanting 'Weasel, Weasel, Weasel'. So, Rick had the problem a little bit; he thought he should have the microphone time. And Bobby was a great mouthpiece, I mean, he was fantastic on a microphone and he was perfect for someone like an Andre the Giant. He was perfect for someone, like when Captain Lou Albano was always the talker for someone, or you know The Grand Wizard. Mr. Fuji wasn't as much of a talker as a manager; I know when he managed Don Morocco, Don did all the talking and Mr. Fuji just kind of stood there and smiled with his devious smile and facial expressions. So, I don't know if I could have done as well with someone else other than Jimmy."

His historic Intercontinental Title run and how it started: "It was, in bookings gone past, Vince's father's way of doing things and it was with a lot of promoters and bookers; they would tell you 'Yes, we will start you (on a title run) on this date and six-eight months from now or thirteen months from now, you're going to finish. I went to Puerto Rico and I had a starting date and they told me like nine months; when I went there it would be like nine months later, I'd be leaving on this particular month on this particular weekend and this was when I was going out, this is how they did it. But no, when it came to what we did, the way Vince (Jr.) was doing it, it was strictly on ticket sales, it was 'Hey, if you can get the job done, you're going to run with it.'

"And that was the whole thing with me, when they mentioned Butch Reed's not here and they were in a panic situation because Butch was going to get the belt from Steamboat and he wasn't there; he was AWOL that night. I just happened to walk by and Hogan and Vince were talking and Hogan said 'What about this guy?' and Vince took a look and said 'Alright, maybe so' and he pulled me off to the corner and mentioned to me about the belt. I said 'Hey, you know Vince, I told you when I first came here if you give me a chance, and I do good, pay me. If I don't do good and I can't make it, fire me and I'll be gone. You won't have to fire me, I'll pack my bag and leave.' And that was our deal, our handshake deal and that was the way it was with the intercontinental belt. I said 'Believe me, I don't want a day off.' He said, "Well, everyone needs a day off. You'll burn out and you need to see your family every now and then." And I said, 'Listen, if you give me that belt, I will run with it as long as you want me to and as long as I can sell tickets.' He said, 'Ok, I like that.' And that's how it happened."

If he ever had problems with people during the IC Title run: "Naw, I never had any problems with that until I won the Intercontinental Championship. I had put, even with the belt, when Jake was on his hiatus or when Steamboat left, they were left a void there for a couple months of bookings for Steamboat that had to be filled with substitutes and anytime they had a substitute, the substitute would win and made it a non-title match and the substitute would win clean, 1-2-3. I actually lost more matches than I really won if you go back and look at this thing. The only time I ever won matches was on TV, on the TV Tapings, other than that it was a DQ or Jimmy Hart got involved; we always kept the belt somehow.

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