Just ahead of WWE Royal Rumble, Sean 'X-Pac' Waltman spoke with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman on the WINCLY podcast and looked back at his big WWE Tag Team Championship victory with partner Bob 'Spark Plug' Holly against Bam Bam Bigelow and Tatanka at the 1995 Royal Rumble event. Additionally, Waltman talked about being one of the only cruiserweights on the WWE roster back in 1995, running into professional football great Lawrence Taylor the night before the 1995 Royal Rumble, and paying off an attendant to beat a drug test prior to the event.
When asked by Hausman what it was like being a WWE cruiserweight in 1995, Waltman indicated that his matches were most typically underdog stories because there were not many other cruiserweights on the roster.
"Well, I mean, there wasn't really anyone else to work a cruiserweight style with, so it's not how it worked," Waltman explained. "There was the occasional TV match with maybe babyface versus babyface match I had with Marty Janetty or I remember a TV match I had with Pat Tanaka where we got to do that kind of stuff. I mean, if you really go back and look, it was really David versus Goliath style for me, pretty much the whole time I was there as 1-2-3 Kid, for sure."
Apparently, Waltman's bad behavior behind-the-scenes cost him the chance to be a bigger star in 1995. Moreover, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was a big proponent of the 1-2-3 Kid character loving, but thought Waltman was immature.
"That first run in WWE, that 1-2-3 Kid run, definitely, that was my underdog cruiserweight thing and Vince was behind it. I would have gotten an even way bigger push, like, through that SummerSlam '93," Waltman explained. "But I was acting up on the road and I needed an attitude adjustment. Like, I did s--t a lot of people would have probably gotten fired for. And instead, they just punished me by putting a halt to my push. Like, I just got beat unceremoniously by IRS at that SummerSlam that year. But my point is, they probably would have gone with me even more if I had not been a little bit of a screwup. No, Vince loved it and other people did too, like Randy Savage. I had a lot of people that were real big fans of mine behind-the-scenes."
On the subject of Waltman's tag match at the 1995 Royal Rumble, the former Lightning Kid shared that he had great chemistry with the late great Bam Bam Bigelow.
"I worked with Bam Bam several times, yeah, before that [Royal Rumble 1995] match," Waltman recalled. "Like, I had a singles match with Bam Bam that was on Superstars. I had great chemistry with Bam Bam. I liked working with him. He liked working with me. He made me look great out there. I tried to do the same for him. We did that big hurricanrana spot in there where I landed on my head, but it got a hell of a pop from the crowd."
Waltman divulged that the University of South Florida's Yuengling Center, formerly the Sun Dome, the venue for the 1995 Royal Rumble, holds a special place for him.
"It was very special for me [to win the tag titles at the 1995 Royal Rumble], Nick, because that building, the University of South Florida Sun Dome in Tampa [Florida], that was pretty much my home wrestling building beside St. Pete. That's where I saw Dusty Rhodes and Andre The Giant versus Kevin Sullivan and Buzz Sawyer. [Eddie Graham Memorial] Battle Of The Belts was there." Waltman added, "anyways, and that's where I got to win the WWF Tag Team titles."
Waltman discussed how Bigelow's big WrestleMania match versus Lawrence Taylor was born from the finish of the Royal Rumble Tag Team Championship match.
"That tag match, us winning the tag titles and embarrassing Bam Bam, is what set up his WrestleMania match with Lawrence Taylor. Yeah, I don't know if [Hausman] kept watching, but they set the angle up after the finish and he shoves Lawrence." Waltman continued, "and that happened right after the finish."
Interestingly, Waltman recalled that he ran into Taylor the night before the Royal Rumble and the former pro football star was surprised that the WWE Superstars were "hammered" the night before a major pay-per-view.
"A funny side story about that is the night before that, everybody, not everybody, but the people I hang out with, were all out in New York City till about the wee hours and we were hammered and I mean hammered!" Waltman remembered, "and we run into LT that night and he's probably pretty lit too and he's like, 'don't you guys have a match tomorrow?' Yeah, but it was customary! It was pretty normal for us to be out the night before anything, whether it's a big show or not."
Also during the interview, Waltman told a story about how he passed his drug test the day of the Rumble by paying off the drug tester.
"Back then, we were getting drug tested a lot," Waltman recalled. "If we thought we could sneak a joint here or there, smoke a little pot, we would. And so, we'd smoke weed the night before, and then, we'd show up and there's a drug test at Royal Rumble. And so, I pretty much avoided it the whole day. And then, Dave Hebner, he tricked me into going into the drug test room. He's like, 'so-and-so needs to talk to you,' so we'd walk in his room and Dave's like, 'sorry, kid.' So I hemmed-and-hawed. And this was the only way you could beat the drug tester back then, I hemmed-and-hawed and told the guy giving the test that I couldn't pee and he said he could pee for $200. I pulled out that $200 out of my wallet so Goddamn fast you wouldn't believe it!" Waltman exclaimed, "I'm just going to say that guy made a lot of money that day!"
You can hear more from part one of our exclusive WINCLY interview with Sean Waltman in the embedded player below. In it he discusses his current free agency, AEW and more. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc Audio on iTunes to get all the latest podcasts from Wrestling Inc as they are released.