Among the many roles Teddy Long has had in wrestling is the on-screen authority figure. He was the General Manager of both SmackDown and WWE’s version of ECW and was recently inducted into WWE Hall of Fame.
But authority figures aren’t that present anymore and Long discussed WWE pulling back on them when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
“I think they should get away from it for a while and let it die down. Then bring it back because it’s what the people are wanting to see and what they’ve been waiting on,” said Long. “I think they should go back to that and there were some guys who they were trying to groom for that. Kurt Angle was one of them and [Baron] Corbin they were grooming him for it. So, I think it’s a good thing to bring them back.”
Long then added that if you’re going to put someone in that position, then they really have to be a strong voice with authority.
“If you get that confidence and get the people on your side ? and I’m not blowing my own horn ? but that’s what I did. I got the people on my side and I gave the people what they wanted,” said Long.
During Long’s run in WWE as a GM, he was infamous for his “we’re going to make this a tag team match” announcements. He was asked how those came about.
“I had no idea. I didn’t start thinking, ‘Hey, this is gonna be a tag team match.’ Vince McMahon talked to me about it and when he wanted you to introduce somebody, he wanted you to give them that hot introduction. Build them up and make it as hot as it could be,” recalled Long.
“So, when I went out to give the tag team matches, I wasn’t even thinking about it. I’d give them that introduction, ‘We’re gonna have ourselves a Tag Team Match!’ That’s what caught on and then when I found out that’s what the people liked, then I gave them what they wanted. I gave them a sample at my Hall of Fame speech and the other thing was what I did with the Undertaker. When you introduce the Undertaker, Vince wanted me to have that introduction. So that’s why it was, ‘One on one with the Un-der-ta-ker!’ People caught on and I’m gonna give you what you want.”
Long has made a couple of one-off appearances for WWE in recent years but isn’t currently signed with any promotions. He was asked if either WWE or AEW have hit him up about coming in as an authority figure.
“Vince McMahon and WWE call me every now and then. I’m always called for the Hall of Fame and WrestleMania stuff. I’m able to go back and do that and do Axxess with the fans,” stated Long. “I haven’t heard anything from AEW but you never know. I do a lot of stuff on the indies where they call and bring me in because that’s what the people wanna see. They miss that. Once I give it to them, from the reaction I get I can tell they’ve been wanting this for a long time.”
He then talked about coming back for RAW 25 and how he got a huge reaction and was trending No. 1 on Twitter. When he walked back through the curtains, Pat Patterson told him “Man, they really missed you.”
“Any guys like Pat Patterson, Jack Lanza ? guys from back in the day who I got a chance to ride with ? they had worked with Vince for a number of years and told me what he liked. Gerry Brisco was another and Bruce Prichard ? everybody smartened me up to what the boss liked. It was, ‘Ok, just tell me what I need to do’ and it’s exactly what I did,” said Long.
“I think I made [Vince] happy a lot of times because I stayed in my position for a real long time. I wasn’t there because he liked me, I was there because I did my job.”
Long is now 72 years old and those around his age have been affected the most by the coronavirus pandemic. He discussed how he’s holding up during these extraordinary times.
“I’m really not locked in but it’s taken its toll on me. A lot of people know that I’m a gym rat so I’ve been posting a lot of stuff on Facebook since the gym has been shut down. I’ve been going to the park and walking the tracks. Now they’ve closed the parks down so I can’t walk the tracks anymore so I guess I’m gonna have to resort to the neighborhood,” said Long.
“So anyway, that’s how I’m doing. I’m gonna go outside and I’ve got a mask and get some exercise to stay in shape. I feel if you sit around then that’s really bad. Exercise is the best thing for you ? walking or running or whatever you do. So, I’m gonna continue to do my walking and put on a second layer of clothes so I can get a good sweat. I’m just doing it one day at a time and thanking God for letting me be alive and giving me the opportunity to be able to get out and do my exercise.”
You can support Teddy by following him on Twitter @teddyplayalong. Teddy’s full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.