Col. Robert Parker spoke with the Wrestling Epicenter on the origins of his character, Steve Austin leaving WCW, and the growth of MLW (Major League Wrestling). Here are some of the highlights:
The origins of the Col. Robert Parker character:
"It is a long story but I'll shorten it for you. I had a gentleman that was called Downtown Bruno, Remember him? [Dr. Harvey Whippleman] I was doing the booking with my brother. We owned the state of Alabama at that time. We were running Birmingham, Mobile, all the way to Tallahassee. [Bruno] had sent me pictures. I thought, 'What an awful looking guy. I don't see any hope for him at all.' He bothered me so much that I told him, 'You're a little, bitty guy. Find me a monster! I need a guy, I'm going to put the Lord Humongous outfit on. I need a monster to do it.' He sent me pictures of people and I just threw them in the garbage. Then, he sent me a picture of Sid! Sid Eudy who is Sid Vicious.
I looked at that picture and I said, 'You know what? You've got yourself a job, son!' From there, I brought him in, put the Lord Humongous suit on Sid and actually gave Sid a serious start in this business. Later on, much later on, 10 years or more, I was working at Smokey Mountain Wrestling up in Knoxville with Jim Cornette and his people when I got a call from Sid. He had acquired a job in WCW and he wanted a Col. manager and he was interested in me doing the spot. So, I went in and the first night that I did the Col. Parker in the suit, I was Robert Fuller in reality. Sid saw that and said, 'Oh no! No! No! We need Foghorn Leghorn! We need the Col! Big cigars! Belly sticking out!' I was in pretty good shape. But, he said 'Stick your belly out there. Get a little Col. going. Get your voice out there!' He was exactly right!
I remember going in to see Dusty Rhodes the second week I was there. WCW would write all your material. I read all the material they wanted me to say and I was like, 'Ah man, I don't care for this at all.' So, I went in to talk with Dusty. He said, 'Well Rob, we've got all these writers and the writers do all their stuff. If you don't say what they write for you, it offends them and it makes it hard for you to get along here at WCW.' I said, 'Well, to be honest with you, this stuff they've got me saying is a bunch of crap! I've got something better!' [Laughs] I had a bunch of notes from the writers in my hand. Dusty said, 'OK, baby. Run some of that s--- by me.' I laid down an interview I wanted to do for him that evening. I added in all the things Sid had said. All the Foghorn Leghorn and all the stuff that I was going to say. I said it to him. [Dusty] said, 'Throw that s--- in the garbage!' They never wrote another interview for me in the 7 and a half years I was in there at WCW. Somehow I got by having heat with the writers who maybe would have caused me a lot of problems."
Steve Austin leaving WCW and becoming the huge star he is now:
"I was with Steve for about a year, maybe more, in WCW. We had the run with Brian Pillman and the Chicken Match and all that. It was just a real good time. During that time, I was making a trip with Steve and he told me he would be leaving. I was just shocked because he had a good contract, a really good contract. One well up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars! He had said he was done with WCW and wanted to go to WWF. As an old timer, I advised him 'You don't burn these bridges because if you do, you can never go back. If you do, things are never the same. Maybe you should do your year up and finish your contract and doing business on the up and up and then going in [to WWE].'
He was like, 'No, no, no. I'm very unhappy.' Of course, he did not advise me about the new character of 'Stone Cold' and shaving his head and all the stuff that had happened that made a lot of his success take place. Nevertheless, he went against my advice. When I saw Steve when I went in there in 1998 in WWF and he was doing so well and he and Vince were having the big feud. That year, he had made $10,000,000! [Laughs] He was able to look at me from across the dressing room and laugh. He said, 'You know, Col. He's got all his stuff together. He's got everything. But, don't let him handle your money!' [Laughs] He was exactly right!"
Quick growth of MLW:
"To get back out of the box, at that time, they weren't on Bein Sports yet. They were just, I guess, on YouTube. But, I knew this was a growing company. You can just walk into the back and see the people they have involved in every element of it. You can see, for a guy like myself, I can see they are going places and they are going places very quickly. So, being with these two boys [Dirty Blondes] and being with this company has been a real pleasure for me."
You can check out the full interview in the video above or more highlights by clicking here.