Bob Holly Talks Working With Ric Flair & Steamboat As A Job Guy, Signing With WWE, If He Was A Bully
Holly: Well see, when I was going to Atlanta, Jim Cornette, he stopped me in the hallway and he said quit coming up here doing jobs. He said because that's all you're going to be known for and that's all you're going to wind up doing. He said you're a better talent than that. He said I see something in you.
I thought, "damn! Jim Cornette. Here's a guy who doesn't know me from Adam, pulling me off to the side telling me to stop coming up here." So, I did and he got my number and everything and he told me, he said you know, unfortunately, like two weeks prior to him telling me this in the hallway, he ended up having a falling out with Dusty Rhodes, so he was out of the booking committee. He told me, I would have hired you right on the spot. He told me, he said just go home and don't come back here. I said okay, no problem because I had a great job at home anyways. And then he explained to me, because when you're going to Atlanta and you're going to these places with WWF back then, you don't know that, if you're going up there trying to get a job, you might get a job but that's all you're going to be doing, is an enhancement guy. Unless they absolutely see something good in you or you know somebody or you're in really good with somebody. Cornette smartened me up to that because I was as green as the grass that grows outside.
So, like I said, I went home, went back to work and stuff like that. That's about the time, I'm not too good with timelines, but anyway, Cornette ended up leaving NWA and WCW and he called me and that's when he opened Smoky Mountain up and stuff like that. Of course, I started there. I discuss everything in my book about it, but I ended up going back home and keeping my job and stuff because I had a really, really good job and I had insurance and all that stuff.
At the time, Paul Bearer had taken one of my tapes to Vince [McMahon] and JJ Dillon. They looked at it and they called me. They knew that I had been racing, so to fit into the whole cartoon era part, then that's when they came up with the name Sparky Plug. When I read that, they sent me my contract in the mail and I opened it, I had no idea what my name was going to be. So I opened it and I honestly laughed. I thought, you kidding me? This has got to be a rib. But, back then it fit because in the era that it was, it fit. So I thought you know what, I'll just go with it. Who's going to turn them down? Anybody that wants to sign a contract with the company is not going to turn them down over a silly name, unless your ego is way to big to fit in your pants. I had no ego whatsoever and I still don't.
That was my dream, that was my goal, was to get into WWF and I did and it was just, it was a nice ride. Even when I first got there, I was scared to death, but I was enjoying it despite having to put people over all the time. I always thought just work hard and something's going to give, you'll get a break. They'll start giving you a little push here and there, you'll get wins and stuff like that, which it did. That's how everything went.
Wrestling INC: There were a lot of people in the early to mid nineties that were given those cartoony gimmicks like T.L. Hopper and the Goon and Skinner and things like that. You were really one of the only ones that ended up having a long career out of that.
Holly: I think the reason I stayed so long [was] because I did what I was told to do and I didn't create any waves. They told me to do something, I did it. If something I wasn't comfortable with, I would question them on it, but I wouldn't be confrontational about it. I would respectfully ask them, you know, no disrespect or anything, I'm just really not comfortable with doing this. Can we do this or that? I think because of the way I cooperated, and I had no problems going out there and getting beat and doing what they asked me to do, because like I said, I put my ego to the side. I was like you know what, hopefully something will come along but you know what, you work your ass off, they would reward you. I felt I was rewarded, one of the ways, by [the fact that] I was able to stay there so long, Vince keeping me there for so long because [of] doing what I was asked to do.
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