Monday, 09 April 2012 14:22
Hey guys, we have an interview with The Honky Tonk Man at:
Would you be able to post it? Also, here is a write up if you would
rather use it:
The Honky Tonk Man Talks Winning The IC Title, Refusing To Lose The
Belt To Randy Savage
Former WWE Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man recently spoke
with Raj Giri of WrestlingINC.com about working with WWF in the 1980s,
how he won the Intercontinental title, his feuds with Randy Savage and
The Ultimate Warrior, problems with the business today, scripted
promos, his problems with Eric Bischoff and much more. Here are some
highlights from the interview:
How he won the Intercontinental title: "I just
happened to walk by while they were standing in the hallway and Hogan
looked and said, 'What about him?' That's how it happened because
Butch was going AWOL or M.I.A. -- which happens some times. Of course,
it was like Jake (Roberts). Jake was missing in action about half the
time he was there.
"I just happened to walk by and they said, 'What about him,' and I
said, 'OK.' Vince pulled me aside and told me what he wanted to do.
(Ricky) Steamboat was leaving and, you know -- after all these years,
Steamboat gets a job as an agent, making all this money. I'm sitting
home doing nothing and he was the one that got the belt from Savage
and up and quit the company. Saying, 'I want to go home and spend time
with my wife and children.'
"Of course, if you have a championship belt, you don't go home and
spend time with your wife and children. You have to be on the road and
[Vince] said, 'This guy wants to go and do this and I got to have the
belt in a town.' I said, 'Listen, if you give me that belt, I don't
want a day off.' And I ran with that belt for 64 weeks."
Refusing to drop the title to Randy Savage: "It
wasn't really about dropping the title. I was talking to my friend,
"Rock N' Roll" Buck Zumhofe from the old AWA days, who I was on tour
with all this past week up in Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. It
wasn't the fact of losing the belt or anything of that nature.
"I had a deal with WWE and Vince, a handshake deal. There were no
contracts back then. 'I'll do anything you want if you give me an
opportunity. If I do good, pay me. If I don't do good, I'll pack my
bags and move down the highway.' All I said was, 'Treat me good on TV.
Take care of me on television.' Back in the old days, us old guys
always believed that if they destroy you on television, you're pretty
"So, when they mentioned the destruction of the Honky Tonk Man on
television and going with 'Macho Man' -- you know, in reality, if
'Macho Man' was still around today and with us at a roundtable. It did
his career better than mine because he became world champion as
opposed to being the Intercontinental champion again. For that reason,
Ted DiBiase -- who still has a little animosity towards me though not
a lot -- Ted never got to be world champion because Ted was going to
be world champion.
"This particular television show had 35 million people watching. That
particular Main Event had 35 million people. You got to remember;
Turner had a lot of money and Turner was trying to make a run at
Vince. I said, 'No. I'm not going to do this on television. You want
to do it, I'll do it anywhere else. I'm not doing it in front of 35
"I had to protect my business, too. My business, of course, was the
Honky Tonk Man because I could have taken it to Turner. I did make a
call to Turner and they said, 'Absolutely not. Do not do that on
television if you want to come down here with us.' We had a meeting
set and down and then I ended up staying with WWE which was probably
not the best move of my life because, after that, they never trusted
Dropping the title to The Ultimate Warrior: "They had
him in the plans after the Savage thing. Because Hogan wanted to go to
Hollywood and he wanted to make movies and he was leaving the company,
they needed someone. Vince was always into these big bodybuilders. He
loved that no matter where they could work or not. It didn't matter.
He just cared that they had these great bodies and that's what he
"Warrior fit the mold and at that point, Vince decided he wanted to go
that direction. The Intercontinental belt was such a hot item that it
was a stepping stone to the big belt. For him to get the
Intercontinental championship for me and keep it for six months or
eight months, then move up to the next level made him bigger and
better than he would have ever been... It was a catapult to the next
level and I didn't have a problem with it when it was done that way.
It was done and everybody was professional about it. We knew about it
six months ahead of time what was going to happen. We planned for it
and it was laid out the proper way. I didn't have any problem with
"I was kind of ambushed on the Randy thing. I was at a point in my
life where things were going so good and we were doing so well, Randy
and I, selling out every arena -- I just couldn't understand why you
would just want to destroy this whole thing. Then, make him the
Intercontinental champion (again) which probably would not have helped
him very much at all. Him chasing me was what was selling tickets. If
there were no return matches for me even in the mix -- it was like
that old TV show, The Six Million Dollar Man 'We can rebuild him.' No.
You can't rebuild something you've destroyed.
"That was my old timer's thinking. Now, they bring these kids in and
one day they got one name and the next day, they've got another. One
day they've got blond hair, the next day, they've got brown hair."
Honky Tonk Man also revealed his final words to Eric Bischoff that
still has his upset to this day, turning down the Hall of Fame, why
WWE had to bring the Rock back and much more. You can check out the