Road Warrior Animal Talks Hawk, Joining WWE, Why Vince Changed Their Name, Ryback's Push, Cena
How they got the names Animal and Hawk: "I played traditional sports like football and everything else, and Hawk got his nickname because during the football games as I was playing, Hawk was underneath the bleachers beating up people. So we may have lost the football game, but Hawk was 5-0 underneath the bleachers, so that's how he got his name and I got the name Animal because everything I touched, I either broke or... in high school I broke every record for lifting there was for my weight class, so that's why people started calling me the Animal."
Working as a bouncer at Grandma B's bar with Hawk, Rick Rude, Barry Darsow, Scott Norton, and John Nord: "You gotta understand, Grandma B's was one of these places, it wasn't your friendly neighborhood bar. You'd have had to been a real idiot to mess up at that bar, even though there was probably on any given night 2,500 to 5,000 people in the bar. You had myself and Hawk, 'Ravishing' Rick Rude, Nord the Barbarian, Scott Norton, and guys like that all working along with Barry Darsow, all working at the same time at the same bar. It was kind of crazy. Rude was probably 235 and he was the smallest guy"
Nearly giving up on the wrestling business before the Road Warriors ever even teamed up and the formation of the team: "Ole Anderson had just brought me in there and was gonna call me the Road Warrior. He brought Rude and I down there together, that was back at the time when all those guys were having this big war on who's gonna take over Georgia Championship Wrestling. That's when Ole Anderson sent me to Charlotte.
"If any young wrestlers are out there and think that this wrestling game is easy, let me tell you how it was in my first run with Jim Crockett Promotions. I lived one time on probably for a week on a bag of pretzel sticks and a half a gallon of milk and I only made about a hundred and fifty bucks working nine times a week. At the time Hawk, went up and tried to work in Vancouver. I got in the ring with some great guys, I got to wrestle Ricky Steamboat, I got to wrestle Ric Flair, I got to wrestle Jack Brisco,those guys saw something in me that I didn't even see, that I didn't know existed. Visit Wrestling Inc. It was a learning experience, I wouldn't want to do it again. When I left and Hawk got done in Canada, we pretty much said, 'forget this wrestling business, man, it sucks.' Then I got call from Ole Anderson again. The first thing I said to him was, 'You know, Ole, I really want to beat the heck out of you right now, I don't even want to talk to you. I starved, I lost fifty pounds.' nd he apologized and said, 'Listen, I want to bring you and Mike in and call you guys the Road Warriors.' We said, 'ok, we'll give it one more shot."
Initially being paired up with Paul Ellering: "Of course the best teacher we had of all, was Paul Ellering. We were like the Three Musketeers, man, Paul used to take the time out of his day and draw the ring on a napkin and say, 'ok Animal you're here and Hawk, you're here.' He more or less talked to me more because I was more like the ring general out there. I would know what everybody had to do in the ring and that was by the help of Paul. He was terrific with that. Ole said, 'listen, you idiots just go on the camera and be big and mean and let this guy do the talking,' and then that's exactly what we did. Then we started easing ourselves into it. Paul would give a suggestion, Animal say something about this, Hawk say something about this. After a while, nobody needed to tell us what to say. They put him with us because he knew the wrestling business and he could teach us the wrestling business. We learned a lot from him. It looked real."
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