Bryan Clark talks his career in wrestling
Former AWA, WWE Superstar and WCW Tag Team Champion “Adam Bomb” aka “Wrath” aka “The Nightstalker”, better known as Bryan Clark joined Kayfabe Wrestling Radio Tuesday Night. In a nearly 50 minute interview, they discussed how he got into professional wrestling, who was his trainer at his start in pro wrestling, working out at the WCW “Power Plant”, starting his career with the AWA, being taken to Smokey Mountain wrestling by Paul Orndorff and Jim Cornette, what it was like working with Vader early in his career, being paired with Johnny Polo and who would have been a good manager for Adam Bomb, was backstage management approachable and why he left WWF, how he got involved in WCW and being ‘Wrath’, how the team name Kronik was brought about, some of his favorite WCW opponents and much more.
How did he get into professional wrestling : “Well, you know, I was actually in college football when I actually started wrestling. Yeah, right out of high school, I went into the military. I did it a little differently; a lot of people go right out of high school and into college, I did it from high school into the military and from the military I walked on and got a full scholarship at Central Missouri State and then from Central Missouri state I slowly got into pro wrestling.”
Starting in the AWA and the transition to Smokey Mountain Wrestling: “That is correct, that is the part where you may have missed where I went out and fell on my face because I had not been trained. Ox (Baker) got me a couple of shots before they went under and you know, I was not ready; I knew I wasn’t ready but I was like ‘Ok, I want to do this. How do I learn?’ you know, just trying to get your foot in the door. So that’s where, that when I just got lucky enough to work Paul Orndorff years later or a few years later I should say on the independents and he ‘You know what, I know where I need to take you, to Smokey Mountain Wrestling with me to meet Jim Cornette.’ And that’s who really got me going, was Paul and Jim Cornette.The two guys were really great in helping me, a ton.
Yeah, I would travel with Paul (Orndorff) to absorb as much as I could, and of course Jim, I think the world of him. I appreciate everything he did for me to get me, for giving me a second chance because my first chance was horrible. You know, I just was not ready; but Jim took the time to show me things and help me get the Nightstalker gimmick reinvented with Kevin Sullivan up in Smokey Mountain Wrestling and then of course traveling with Paul, traveling with Kevin. You know, I just sort of absorbed as much as I could every trip. So, it just went from there.”
The Adam Bomb character and who ultimately came up with the idea: “You know, they sent me a couple of ideas and stuff. They had some house shows, I think it was in the Carolinas and they offered me to come work a tryout; Slaughter called me and said ‘Hey, do you want to come up and work a couple of dark matches’ I asked Jim, of course and he said ‘Yeah, definitely; go do it’ even though really, if I think back I should have stay in Smokey for another six months, maybe another year, just to get more training. But, anyway, that’s the way they worked it back then; they’d call you up for a tryout and if they liked you they’d hire you. I had one dark match the first night and they hired me on the spot. They said ‘We’ll work on a couple of gimmicks for you and send you some stuff.’ They sent me some photos and some ideas and stuff and of course one of the was the one they offered Stone Cold which was ‘The Ringmaster’ and the other one was ‘Adam Bomb’. And so I thought, ‘Well, I could probably do a little more with Adam Bomb then I could with The Ringmaster’ as I wasn’t a Ringmaster at the time. So that’s the one I went with.”
Who would have been a good manager for Adam Bomb :Oh boy, that’s tough. I would sort of say Fuji, but you know nuclear attack, Fuji; maybe not so much. It’s tough, it’s hard to say. Honestly, I don’t know, maybe (Ted) DiBiase, he might have been a good one. Even Paul Orndorff, he might have been good because he was so intense and I learned a lot of my intensity from Paul. He instilled that in me and I already had it anyway but he just turned it up a notch. So I think Paul would have been a really good manager for me.”
Was the WWF backstage management approachable and what caused him to leave WWF for WCW: “You know what, at that time, to me it didn’t seem like Vince… it was sort of like sitting outside of the principle’s door waiting to go in and see him for a couple of minutes; so I didn’t like it at all. That’s why, and people say what are you talking about, but working with Bischoff, I could talk to Bischoff anytime I wanted to. With Vince, It’s like you had to bow down and whatever, whatever and that’s why I liked WCW so much more. People may not really understand that, but I was there and I know; I was in both places and that’s why I left New York because of him lying to me and all the bullshit. I just said I’ve had enough of this.
There were a few rumors about it, but matter of fact Mabel was sitting right next to me when they told me what they were going to do; they were going to put the Intercontinental Title on me. Mabel is sitting right next to me in the locker room and Brisco and Patterson said ‘We’re going to put Mabel over at King of the Ring, after that we’re going to put the Intercontinental Title on you. And I’m like ‘Great, that’s awesome’, you know? So, then he basically lied about it and back out on it and I said you know what, and I’m not big on people lying to me, so I just said ‘I’ve had enough of this’ and he was going through his whole steroid trial and we stood by him and were working 280-290 days out of the year; our money was going down. I just said ‘You know what, I’ve had enough of this; I’ve got a family’. So, I had a job waiting for me with Bischoff in Atlanta, and I lived in Atlanta and that’s where I wanted to be anyways, so that’s what happened”
How did he get into WCW: “He (Eric Bischoff) was in AWA; he was an announcer actually, and then he was living in Atlanta and I had heard he had had an interest in me and so, basically I was told that as soon as I was free from WWF, he would want to sign me.”
You can see Brian at the New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame event on June 22nd in Fairhaven, MA; go to nepwhof.weebly.com/ for more information on the event and as well as roster of talent attending and ticket prices. You can also visit their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NewEnglandProWrestlingHallOfFame) for more information and the latest news.
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