With WrestleMania being “The Show of Shows”, Superstars who main event ‘Mania are considered to be among the elite and have reached the peak of their profession. Thus, it comes as a surprise when anyone who once main evented a WrestleMania isn’t in the WWE Hall of Fame à la King Kong Bundy who dueled with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania II.
Bundy died earlier this month so any call to the hall will be a posthumous one for him. Tommy Dreamer speculated why Bundy isn’t in the WWE Hall of Fame and also talked about Bundy’s time in ECW.
“King Kong Bundy was in the original ECW,” stated Dreamer on his House of Hardcore Podcast. “I want to say the match was Terry Funk and King Kong Bundy vs. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and Road Warrior Hawk. This was during Eastern Championship Wrestling but it was still ECW. The biggest stipulation going into that was King Kong Bundy had gone right to Paul Heyman, who I didn’t really know that well at the time, and he said to Paul, ‘Paul, no matter what you don’t ever air this on television.’
“Paul gave him his word and that he won’t air it. To Paul Heyman’s credit, he never aired that match. If it wasn’t that specific match it was a combination of all four of them, can’t remember, but it wasn’t a great match. The fact that Paul Heyman lived up to those stipulations up until WWE recently had released that footage…it was an ongoing joke between me, Taz and Bubba Ray Dudley and when we talk about Paul Heyman where we say, Paul Heyman is like Darth Vader. There is some good in him, we just have to draw it out of him.”
It’s unknown why Bundy didn’t want the match aired, but it was likely due to ring rust from being away from wrestling for so long. After being released by WWE in 1988, Bundy went into semi-retirement before popping up for that ECW event in 1993.
As for Bundy not getting into the WWE Hall of Fame, Dreamer says a voice message-turned-email exchange from Bundy in 2005 might have sealed his fate.
“ECW goes out of business and this is when I am doing Talent Relations for WWE. This is when Randy Orton is doing the ‘Legend Killer’ gimmick and he is going into a feud with The Undertaker,” said Dreamer. “For Atlanta, GA they wanted someone from The Undertaker’s past to come and do something and show up, and Randy Orton to go out and do something with them. The person had to be a heel. We are all thinking, and Creative would shoot an email to Talent Relations asking if there were any suggestions. So, I am going through my Rolodex of ideas and I’m thinking of guys like Ted DiBiase, King Kong Bundy, Jimmy Snuka and I don’t remember the rest. It came back and they thought that King Kong Bundy would be a great idea, do you have any information for him? I said that I could get it.”
Dreamer then said that in these situations it often felt like everyone within WWE was waiting on him to deliver Bundy to creative which gave him a very pressurized job.
“I make the call and 15 minutes go by, 30 minutes by and you start getting a text wondering if I’ve heard anything. So, I got nothing,” said Dreamer. “Then, I was like, well I can always reach out to Jimmy Snuka as well, and there are other people because there is a lot of politics…. I said that I can reach out to Jimmy Snuka and they said that we need a heel, so I was like, alright, thanks for heeling me.
“Now Johnny Ace is asking if I had heard anything and I was like, ‘dude, I left him a message’. He asked if I have his cell phone number, and I said that I have one number and this is how I got him. I go home and the next day I come back to the office and I sit down and I see my phone voice mail is flashing, which it would always be flashing because I would always have these wrestling hopefuls hitting me up. I get the message from King Kong Bundy:
“‘Hey Dreamer, it’s Chris King Kong Bundy. How are you doing? Congratulations on the spot. Hey man, this is not on you, always been cool and friends with you so I need you to relay this message to WWE, especially to Vince McMahon. Number one, you need to tell him that he needs to pay me the money that he owes me. Number two, unless there is a creative idea for me winning the title I have no interest in it because he promised me the title when I put over Hulk Hogan and he never delivered so please go tell him to go f–k himself. Tommy, I love you, remember when I wanted to be your brother? Take care. I will see you later.'”
Dreamer says that he’s not the most politically correct person, so he sent out an email to everyone in WWE Creative including Vince McMahon, Bruce Prichard, Michael Hayes, Stephanie McMahon and Johnny Ace simply stating that Bundy declined the offer. Then he got replies back asking what Bundy said, and Dreamer then replied back with exactly what Bundy told him.
“I said that he declined the offer because he wasn’t too happy with the current climate of WWE,” said Dreamer. “Then I got the same response: ‘What did he say?’ I was like, alright, so I said exactly what he said about he wants the money he was owed, and unless we have an idea to put the title on him and for Vince McMahon to go f–k himself.
“I want to say that within four minutes of sending that email here comes Johnny Ace as my boss, he is running down from the Talent Relations office, he’s like, ‘What the hell is wrong with you? Why would you send that?’ I was like, what? They kept asking me. You are in the chain of emails. He’s like, ‘You just told Vince McMahon to go f–k himself!’
“I said that I did not tell Vince McMahon to go f–k himself, King Kong Bundy said to tell Vince McMahon to go f–k himself. Johnny said to me, ‘What am I going to do with you?’ That was money to what John would say to me or the other question he would ask is what is wrong with me. Look, when someone asks me a question, I have to do it, and the reply was from Chairman Vince McMahon, he replied back saying, ‘Moving forward.'”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit House of Hardcore Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.