Bruce Prichard took the time to discuss The Honky Tonk Man on his YouTube channel, and revealed that Hulk Hogan was the one that convinced Vince McMahon to hire him in the first place. He said Hogan felt like his gimmick was tailor-made for WWE.
“I always heard the story,” Prichard said. “I heard the story from the other side, from Hulk and actually from Vince as well, that Hulk had seen Wayne [Honky Tonk Man]. I want to say he saw Honky Tonk Man in Alabama or Continental during one of the stints there, where Hulk and Honky had crossed paths. Then, seeing them in Calgary, he saw the gimmick and fell in love with the gimmick.
“He said, ‘Man, this gimmick is tailor-made for the WWF’. He told Vince about it and said, ‘We have got to get this guy, we’ve got to bring him in. He’s going to be huge and people are going to love him. He’s a fu–ing natural, charismatic babyface. The rest, as they say, is history.”
A lot has been made over the years about how protective Macho Man Randy Savage was over Miss Elizabeth, and how he didn’t like a lot of the male talent in the locker room talking to her. Prichard went on to say that, from his perspective, he thought Savage just didn’t want anything bad to happen to Elizabeth because she wasn’t a trained worker, and The Honky Tonk Man was one of the few guys Macho Man really got along with.
“Yeah, they did [get along], and again, Wayne was a married man, so he was cool,” Prichard said. “There definitely was a trust factor there with Savage. And it wasn’t that Savage didn’t trust a lot of people, it was just that Savage was very cautious and protective of Liz. He didn’t want to see her get hurt. She wasn’t a trained worker, so he didn’t want her to be a traditional manager, tripping and passing the nuts type s–t. He was just very protective of her.”
Prichard went on to discuss what a huge moment WrestleMania III was for the business. Hogan successfully defended his WWF title against Andre The Giant, and Macho Man vs. Steamboat is, to this day, regarded as one of the greatest matches of all time. Honky Tonk man was also on the card, competing in action against Jake “The Snake” Roberts. That event set the attendance record with 93,000 people packed into the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan.
“I think that WrestleMania is definitely, especially for that time, the first and the biggest of those big stadium shows,” Prichard said. “On a grand scale, yeah! WrestleMania III will go down in history as ‘that’s the one’. That was Hulk – Andre, that was 93,000 that set [the attendance record] at the time, the indoor attendance record. And yes, I think that it will always go down as one of the greatest moments in this fu–ing sport. So, to be anywhere near that, had to be a kick in the a-s.
“I remember just being involved in the business and getting that phone call from Vince the night before WrestleMania III about this little pay-per-view he’s doing,” Prichard added. “Just to know that our business and our industry could put a spectacle like that on was a proud, proud moment. [It was] something really cool to be a part of.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something To Wrestle With with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.