On episode 287 of Talk Is Jericho, WWE Superstar and Fozzy frontman, Chris Jericho sat down with Steve Lombardi, also known as The Brooklyn Brawler. During the show, the renowned enhancement talent talked about traveling with Hulk Hogan and how they became friends. Also, Lombardi, who faced the likes of The Ultimate Warrior, The Rock, and Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat in their WWE debut matches, shared a few stories about the aforementioned professional wrestling legends.
On the subject of Hogan, Lombardi discussed going from being a jobber to leading a life of luxury as part of Hogan's entourage.
"Do you know what the funniest thing about being an enhancement guy was? I was doing TV every single month in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Reading, Pennsylvania, and I was, like, working with [Paul] Orndorff. And then, like, an hour later, I would work with [Iron] Sheik. An hour later, I would work with [Roddy] Piper. And then, all of a sudden, Hogan comes into the territory. Hogan takes a liking to me and tells Vince [McMahon] he wants me with him everywhere. Yeah, so I traveled with Hogan for two years. I stood in his house. All of a sudden, from a job guy, doing jobs for all these guys, I'm on Learjets [and] limousines. We're going to The Love Boat. We're doing this, we do that. I said, 'oh my God!' I was getting heat!"
According to the former Kim Chee, he became friends with Hogan because he marked out for 'The Hulkster' when they met.
"Well, I was marking out for him because he just got offered the Rocky movie and he came in and I go, 'man, you're bigger than life! You're that.' He goes, 'brother, stop marking out!' Obviously, he must have liked that. He likes getting put over. He likes having a driver, actually."
The Brooklyn Brawler claimed that he faced The Ultimate Warrior for 47 consecutive days and that the man from Parts Unknown knocked him out twice. The one-time Boston Brawler went on to say that Warrior was incredibly green in the early days and was not picking up on professional wrestling very quickly.
"Warrior was green, very green, in the beginning. He was very green in the beginning and he knocked me out twice. He knocked me out. I said, 'give me a simple headlock' and he gave me an elbow to the head, to the temple. But he wasn't coming along. I mean, he was never the greatest worker, but he was a great draw. He would blow up just running to the ring. As soon as he got to the ring, he'd be out of breath."
Also, Lombardi told a story about how he tried to help Warrior when he was being tested by WWE brass.
"The office told me, 'we're going to tell Warrior that you're going over to test his attitude'. Now, I liked him so much, I took him to the side and I said, 'Warrior, they're testing your attitude. Just say 'yes'.' That's a secret between me and Dana [Warrior]. I promised Dana I would never say anything. Dana, it's out!"
The famed enhancement talent recalled being tasked with giving a young Rocky Maivia his first WWE victory.
"When I first looked at him, I said, 'oh, he's a jock.' You know what I mean? 'He's a football player. I don't think he's going to make it.' This and that. So it was planned that I'd have his first match, so I said, 'can you do this? Can you do that? Can you do this? Can you do that?' He says, 'yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.' But then, in his book, he writes, 'I went in the corner and I took a napkin and wrote every little spot he said down.' Double leapfrogs and all this. He hit every single thing on the money. And then, he gets a contract. And then, we go out to dinner and then he's telling me, 'I'm not happy'. I said, 'shut your mouth!' He didn't like the [dollar] figure and the figure was a good figure. I said, 'how could you not be happy? You have seven dollars to your name.'"
Lombardi divulged that Steamboat was the first performer to give him a competitive match as an enhancement talent.
"This is what happened. I was getting squashed. No one there would give me [anything]. They wouldn't give me [anything]. Ricky Steamboat comes in. Ricky Steamboat and I have a competitive match. He starts selling for me like I was experienced, but I was experienced by then. So I remember, I go back to the dressing room and Tito [Santana] comes up to me. He goes, 'how did it feel?' I'm like, 'how did it feel?' And then, after Ricky Steamboat did that, all of the boys starting giving me more. Do you know what I mean? He broke a barrier."
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Source: Talk Is Jericho