Kevin Sullivan has spent 50 years in the wrestling business and has served as a wrestler, manager, and booker. He got his start in the northeast in the early ’70s with his most infamous tenure coming in WCW in the 90s.
Sullivan was never trained to be a professional wrestler after an amateur career but he still got the opportunity to compete with a who’s who of talent. Sullivan talked about the many luminaries he stepped in the ring with when he joined VOC Nation.
“The guys that should be in the Hall of Fame are the enhancement talent that made us look good. Without them, we wouldn’t have drawn money. I was lucky enough that I got to wrestle in single matches with Andre the Giant. I had a three-year run with Dusty Rhodes, I wrestled Hogan for three years, I wrestled Blackjack Mulligan, Barry Windham, Wahoo McDaniel, Ernie Ladd; I’ve gotten to wrestle the crème de la crème,” stated Sullivan. “I look back and I say, wow, I was very lucky that they were nice enough to say, ‘Let’s make this kid’ and they did. It takes two to tango and they did more of the work than I did, that’s for sure.”
Sullivan’s wrestling education was essentially on the job training as he attempted to translate his amateur wrestling skills to pro wrestling. But he talked about which legendary figure gave him the most guidance in his early days.
“I was taught by some of the best. The [original] Sheik, who is my hero, once told me, ‘Once they see that you can talk, you become human.’ He said to me, ‘You’re not a human being.’ I was around a lot of very talented guys and I was lucky,” said Sullivan.
In addition to his run as a wrestler in WCW, Sullivan was also the head booker at times. He knows what it takes to put together a compelling product but he thinks that is lacking in today’s wrestling. The reason for that, according to Sullivan, is that it lacks kayfabe, and that comes from this era of social media that has pulled back the curtains on what Superstars are really like.
“These kids are the greatest athletes of any generation. They’re fabulous? Look at the guy who has drawn the most money in the history of wrestling. Nobody has drawn as much money as The Undertaker for as long as he’s gone, ever. Ever,” exclaimed Sullivan. “Just this year, he decided to get on social media. Do you think guys that have great matches [are supposed to] get on social media and say ‘Brother we had a barn burner tonight, it was wonderful, thank you very much, see you next week.’
“I mean, it’s like going to a movie ? the willing suspension of disbelief. The problem I have is because they are much more talented ? they are so far above our generation ? if they would watch what they would say a little, they would be better off. That’s my opinion, and everybody has an opinion.”
Sullivan is clearly a fan of characters like The Undertaker who protect kayfabe 24/7. Sullivan also cited Taker when asked what he would do to fix the sinking WWE ratings.
“If I was Vince McMahon, I would ask [The Undertaker] ‘What do you need and we’ll give it to you and stay out of your way and you book it.’ I think the Undertaker would turn that business around in six months,” stated Sullivan.