WWE HOFer Recalls Harsh Lesson They Taught The Ultimate Warrior

One of The Honky Tonk Man's most memorable rivalries in the WWF was against the Ultimate Warrior. But it wasn't always easy working with the former WWF Champion.

"He would hit me so hard in the hard and I finally told him," Honky Tonk Man recalled on Stories With Brisco And Bradshaw. "I said, 'Jim, you just can't hit me like that.' I said, 'I'll do anything you want out there. I'll get out there and do the best I can'. But my head was starting to swell like a softball and had gotten mushy. And I said, 'If you ever hit me like that again, I'm gonna go down and I'm not getting up.'

The Honky Tonk Man said the situation came to a head during a match in Denver, Colorado. He remembered the hard lesson he taught Warrior on that night.

"The crowd was into it," Honky Tonk Man explained. "He hit me in the side of the head. I went down. He pulled my hair trying to pick me up, and he was pulling my hair like pluckin' a chicken and dropping my hair. But I would not get up. I clenched to the mat, and he felt the people just die.

"And I got back to the locker room," Honky Tonk Man continued. "I said, 'Jim, I told you don't ever hit me like that again.' He said, 'I'm so sorry.' He said, 'I don't know.' He said, 'I'll never hit you like that again.' I said, 'Well, how'd you feel out there?' He said, 'I felt like I was naked in front of all these people.' He said, 'They sh*t on me.' I said, 'Yeah, they did.' I said, 'You got to remember, it takes everybody in that ring to work this match.' And I said, 'If you hurt me, you're out there by yourself.' And so he never hit me like that again. Never ever."

The Honky Tonk Man feels he played a key role in helping to prepare the Ultimate Warrior for his eventual role as a main event performer. And he reflected on Vince McMahon's never-ending search for his next breakout star for WWE.

"When you finally get the gears in there and they're clicking, man, the thing rolls along with no problems," Honky Tonk Man said. "But it's really hard to get that combination of gears. And Vince...Vince is – He's still trying to find it now. He doesn't have a Rock, he doesn't have a 'Stone Cold', he doesn't have a Hulk, he doesn't have a Cena. Those people just aren't born every day."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Stories With Brisco And Bradshaw with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.