As previously noted, pro wrestling veteran Bob 'Hardcore' Holly spoke with WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin for a two-part interview on The Steve Austin Show. Among many other things, Holly and Austin talked about the WWE locker room in their day, working together, with whom Holly enjoyed working, and who was rough in the squared circle.
According to Holly, pro wrestling attracts extreme personalities, some of the smartest people, and some of the dumbest; however, Holly and Austin were fortunate to have a "tight knit" locker room.
"Everybody in the [pro] wrestling business is a huge personality. You have some of the smartest people in the world, and, also, you have some of the dumbest people in the world. But, for the most part, those guys, a lot of them were fun to be around and we had a fun locker room. I always thought we did and everyone was always fun to be around and they were always there to help you out in any way that they could. And that's the thing with the boys, there was a camaraderie there. We were a tight knit group of guys that… we loved what we did [and] we looked after each other. And so, some of us did. For the most part, most everyone looked after you. There were some guys that just cared about themselves and that was it. I'm not going to go into all that, but I think we know who we're talking about without mentioning any names. But, for the most part, everybody helped everybody out." Holly elaborated, "I thought we always ran with a great group of people. To me, most of the guys were awesome people to hang out with and to ride with because you can learn so much. You learned a lot from each different person. And that was the most important thing, was learning from each on, especially when you're working with everybody because everybody we worked with worked different, obviously, and some worked the same, but I mean you pick up different things from each person. Everybody was there to make everybody better and that's what I liked about our group of guys. They made you step up and that was the thing. So it's like we had a great group of guys. We really did."
During the conversation, Austin told a story about Holly 'slapping the dog s--t' out of him" during a match.
"I'm out there with Bob. I'm calling the match and I'm working heel. Right, Bob? I'm working heel? Okay, so anyway, we locked up. We did a couple of things. And me and Bob always had fun working each other, so I was thinking, 'okay, I'm going to do the old slap slap spot with him.' The slap slap spot is after a couple of tie-ups in the corner, a couple of rough breaks, the referee has to come in, and tensions are starting to get a little high. And all-of-a-sudden, off the break, that heel would reach back and just slap the dog s--t out of the babyface, so I slapped the s--t out of Bob. It was working style. I didn't hit him too hard." Austin continued, "see, Bob, I was protecting the [pro wrestling] business. So anyway, here's the thing. Me and Bob were laughing about this over the phone. Since I was slapping him first, that means he gets the return. That means I'm setting the standard and he's either going to take care of me or protect the business on his end as well. Holy s--t! Bob reared back. He was supposed to. He slapped the dog s--t out of me! My jaw went over like one of them old school typewriters, and it dinged, and I pushed it back in place."
Apparently, Austin had Holly laughing in the ring as 'Stone Cold' told 'Hardcore' that they would not be doing the same spot in their next match.
"The worst thing about being slapped is the eyes watered. I'm trying to be a… well, the house wasn't that great, so there [were not] a whole lot of people there. I was out there trying to look like a tough guy, just slapped the s--t out of Bob. He slapped me back. I got tears in my eyes. I looked over at Bob and I think I said, 'I ain't calling that f--king spot this afternoon!'" Austin recalled, "I popped [Holly]. We were standing in the middle of the ring a few feet away from each other and Bob's laughing his ass off and I'm crying. 'We'd better go in a different direction in our next match.' Here's the thing. After I took that damn slap from you, I was thinking in retrospect I probably could've won Brawl For All! I don't know if I could have knocked anybody out, but if I can survive that f--king paw, I might have survived Brawl For All!"
When asked who Holly enjoyed working in WWE, the six-time WWE Hardcore Champion named pro wrestling legends Austin, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Brock Lesnar. Holly indicated that he always expected to get hit as hard as he hit. While Holly was known for his snug work style, he claimed to have never injured anyone in a match to where they could not work the next show.
"I wanted it to be believable. I am one of the biggest believers… I take what I give. And, I'm the first person, if I crack somebody, I expect it back and that was just a rule of thumb for me how I went by. I liked working with [Austin], obviously; I like working with Jericho; I liked working with Benoit; I liked working with Eddie. I liked working with pretty much everybody across the board, but there were certain guys like Benoit, for example, if you see your name across from his, he's one of those guys where you'd better be ready to bring it because if you don't, he's going to eat you alive! And you'd better keep up. He was one of those kinds of guys. Other guys were like that too, like Jericho. Jericho was like that too. He'll eat you alive if you let him, but I was one of those kinds of guys where it's like how I work with you is how you work with me. You can be as rough as you want. I don't care. My whole thing was my nose and my teeth. That was the 'no' zone. If you knock my teeth out, guess what. We're going to have a problem. And it's like I didn't care how hard I got hit. To me, as long as I didn't get hurt, that's all that matters because I don't hurt somebody else. That's all that matters. My whole career I worked [for WWE], I didn't hurt one person. Yeah, I'm rough. Don't get me wrong, I'm very physical and very rough, but I have never hurt one person to where they'd be out of work for the next night. I've never done that. And I've always liked the physicality of wrestling and my whole thing was I don't want people to see through what I do. Yeah, they know the deal, the fans know what's up, but I want to put doubt in their minds. Like, I liked working with Brock [Lesnar] because he's a physical guy and I liked working with him." Holly said, "anybody that was physical, I liked working with."
In Holly's view, Test and Gene Snitsky were two of the roughest WWE Superstars no one talks about.
"The one guy that nobody ever talks about that was physical, actually the two guys, one was Test and the other guy was Gene Snitsky." Holly explained, "Gene Snitsky is like running into a brick wall. And when he hits you… I think with me, Gene thinks, 'do you know what? Bob, I can do whatever I want to him and he's going to be okay with it.' And I was, but goddamn, that son of a b---h, he tried to hurt me! And it was funny because he would laugh every time he'd do something to me. He would laugh. And I remember, one night in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, that bastard hit me so hard, and I picked up a chair, and I cracked him with the chair, Steve. I laced him wide [open]. I mean, I ripped him wide open with the chair. It looked like a pig was slaughtered in that ring, which he was fine with it because we were both laughing about it when, of course, I made sure he was alright. But Gene was somebody, Snitsky, I enjoyed working with him, but gosh dang, he was rough. I mean, he really was. And Test was rough too."
Austin recalled working Test at a point when 'The Rattlesnake' did not have much patience for the green big man.
"One time, they put me in the ring, it was gauntlet match." Austin rememebered, "I had to go through, I don't know, three or four different guys. It was at a period of time of my career [when] I was pretty burned out. And all-of-a-sudden I see I was working with Test and Test is no longer with us. I wish he was, but anyway, it was a television taping, Monday Night RAW or something like that, and Test was fairly green. He was a big, tall, strong son of a b---h. He was strong and he was a big dude and he was strong. And all-of-a-sudden, he goes to send me into the ropes. And, dude, when I'm sending somebody into the ropes, I'm going to send their ass into the ropes, but Jesus Christ, this guy acted like he was trying to start a lawnmower that had been sitting in the yard for 15 years! He damn near yanked my left arm out of the damn socket. I hit the damn turnbuckle and that son of a b---h came running in and prompt put a boot right in his damn chin, like holy f--k! I was like, 'dude, slow down!' He would send me into the ropes so hard. He was so green. I think he was excited because it was TV. I'm at burnout stage and Jesus Christ! f--king really?"
Oh hell yeah! If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Steve Austin Show