Hillbilly Jim On Why He Decided To Sit Out Of Attending 'WrestleMania 34' Before Getting HOF Call

Hillbilly Jim was on the Toddcast Podcast to discussed working with WWE and his WrestleMania attendance. Jim, who was inducted to the Hall of Fame this year prior to WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans, reiterated that he was going to sit this year out due to having a difficult time last year in Orlando.


"I wasn't really gonna go to WrestleMania this year because I had such an awful time last year," said Jim. "I said to myself, if I get home, I'm not gonna go to this again this year, I'm gonna stay off a year because we were in Orlando, Florida last year and I had the worst time getting up there and getting back from it. I was three hours delayed out of the airport getting in to Orlando. Then, the whole weekend down there, I was just out of sorts. Whatever I did, I seemed like I couldn't get caught up. It seemed like it was stressful and I didn't enjoy it. Then, lo and behold when I came back, tried to get back home, I was four hours delayed. So, I said, if I get home, I'm not going next year."


Jim stated that he was trying to avoid WWE about coming to WrestleMania 34 as much as he could, but he received a phone call on a Sunday morning of the NFL football playoffs that quickly changed his mind.

"8:30 that morning, [WWE] started calling me, and I was curious," said Jim. "Cause I know [WWE], when they want something, man, they're like the government... finally, they start calling again, I've gotta make a decision. I picked up the phone, and I call one of these numbers back for this guy named Mark Carrano. He was the one calling me, and he had Howard Finkle trying to call me and everybody. I said, I might as well handle this now. So here's what I did on that Sunday morning. I got his machine, I said Mark this is Billy, blah blah blah. Hope you had a good Christmas and a good New Year, I haven't talked to you a while. But look. I know you're trying to get me for WrestleMania in New Orleans, but I think I'm gonna pass this year."

Jim hung up the phone after leaving Carrano the message, but Carrano calls him right back. Jim got on the phone telling Carrano that he just left him a message, thinking that it was another invite. Instead, Carrano told Jim, "Vince wants you in the Hall of Fame."


"That was like getting hit in the ear by George Foreman," said Jim. "I wasn't ready for that. I totally was just trying to get out of going in the first place. I had no idea about this. I did not know this was in the workings. I didn't know they would offer this, I didn't know they had this going on. And my brain just knod of shut down, and I was talking like I had marbles in my mouth. And I said, 'Mark, I gotta reboot my brain, here. And so that's how I found out about it."

Jim added that he got caught off guard, and was truly planning on sitting this year out. However, he accepted the invitation, and is now a member of the WWE Hall of Fame.

If any portion of these quotes are used, please be sure to credit the Toddcast Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Source: Toddcast Podcast