Mike McGuirk, the precursor to Lilian Garcia, recalled her introduction to the professional wrestling industry and tenure with WWE as a ring announcer during the Hulkamania era in an interview with VOC Nation Radio Network's "IN THE ROOM with Brady Hicks." Highlights from the interview are as follows:
Her start in professional wrestling: "My dad (Leroy McGuirk) ran wrestling promotions in the Midwest – Tennessee, Oklahoma, etc. Vince was looking to take his product worldwide, and in order to support what was happening on television, he had to run live (shows) everywhere (across the country). Terry Garvin called my parents in 1984 and told them that Vince wanted to start running shows in our area, and asked if we had a wrestling ring. By that time, my dad was out of the business and I needed to make a living. I started that way, by just providing the ring. It started growing."
How she began ring announcing: "(WWE) originally had a male ring announcer from the radio. I was doing the timekeeping. They came to me and (asked me to do it). I was trying to feed two kids. No disrespect to Mel (Phillips), but I went to Vince and I sold myself as having a product that was unique at the time. There were no Divas. It was just hard work and what you could add to the show. I grew up defending this business. It's what put the clothes on my back. I am very fortunate to be a part of that."
Her other duty in WWE: "When I wasn't working in front of the camera, my job was to produce the promos in the back. Vince doesn't let you sit around. He's always going to find something for you to do. The talent at the time wasn't scripted; the only thing they knew is their opponent and where the show was going to be."
Vince McMahon: "Unbelievable. When I first met Vince at his home, he told me that he knew how tough my past was (with Bill Watts, and being divorced from Brian Blair), and he knew that I was proving myself my entire life to my dad. He told me that he was giving me three wishes, and he would grant them for me. He told me that if I did what I was supposed to do, I would be there forever. He was very close to a father figure to me. (McGuirk said she would still be in WWE if she wanted to keep up with the rigorous travel schedule)."
The party lifestyle of wrestling in the 1980s: "It was like living the life of a rock star. (Hulk Hogan) rented a room and there were women passed out in the bathroom. One was in the bathtub on ice. I asked about her, and they said not to worry about her, she'd be fine."
The audio interview is available at vocnation.com. "IN THE ROOM" airs Tuesday nights at 9:00 p.m.
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