I’ve got to say this at this point,
Crockett Promotions] was the hardest working place
that I ever was in.
Seven years…and one year would consist of
working 9-10 times a week. We worked every night,
and did TV in Raleigh and did two tapes there. And
then we started into double-shots…Crockett got to
making so much money he started the double-shots.
I get tired just thinking about you all doing
We started doing the double-shots on Sundays.
Remember, the only thing that really went down in
that era, because of the Southern Baptists, was
football…and even that wasn’t very well
received. So we started working on Sundays twice. I
worked 9-10 times a week…I did that for seven
I was in my prime when I came in, and when I
left Mid-Atlantic I was virtually a shadow of
before this, I was retired from football with a lot
of major injuries. Mid-Atlantic took more out of me
than that…it was nothing but blood and guts and
hard work. George was a taskmaster.
myself, made my own choice to leave. I made my own
deal, when I finally decided to leave. I actually,
later on, had an opportunity to go back with
Crockett…which I’ll get to later. But it took SO
much out of me.
Well, when you and Ric split, and Ric put that
$10,000 bounty on you, just that series of cage
matches you had in 1978 with (Masked Superstar) Bill
Eadie would have ended the career of any normal
wrestler. But you two guys survived them…and
(laughs) I don’t know about ‘flourished.’
in the history of wrestling, has anybody ever gone
one hour in a cage with Bill Eadie…and then come
back in a return match for 90 minutes. That was
matches were not meant to go an hour. Bill Eadie and
I did so many of them, I can’t even remember how
many times around (the circuit). I had to be a drag
to him, because Bill Eadie was a great athlete from
’t sell yourself short Blackjack…you more than
held your own in that series!
I wasn’t built to do one hour matches. In cage
matches, I was built to do 20-30 minutes…because
that was mass mayhem in there.
When I spoke to Bill Eadie several months ago,
he told me that he lost so much weight during that
series of matches that his wrestling uniform
Oh, it was brutal. And George comes to me and
says, ‘This is working SO good.’ I said,
It was during the hot summer too. The schedule
of that program…it was insane.
It really was! I said, ‘George, what are you
doing? All these long cage matches in the long hot
summer…’ He said, ‘No, no…it’s working
really good.’ We had some big arguments over those
a matter of fact, there was a little secret deal
that George Scott and I did with those cage matches.
Bill Eadie may remember it. I said, ‘I’ll bet
you my total paycheck for the week, if the return
cage match outdraws the first one.’
reason I made the bet wasn’t Bill…it was ME that
was so bad at doing the long cage matches! I…I
just wasn’t built that way…a big guy just
doesn’t have the stamina to do it.
So, did you lose your paycheck?
He won…I lost my paycheck. I said, ‘Man, I
don’t agree with this at all.’ I don’t know if
Bill Eadie remembers that or not…
He didn’t mention it when I talked with him,
but he talked about that long program of cage
matches with you.
It was kind of a little thing that nobody would
talk about, so I’m not surprised.
had this big grin on his face and said, ‘Boy,
you’re gonna have a sad week aren’t you
buddy?’ I said, ‘What are you talking about?’
He said, ‘I got your check!’ The return match
was bigger than the first match by a few
people…both were huge. And man, it was a big
I said, ‘George, just take the stupid
thing,’ and I walked off and left him. Later, I
said, ‘George, I don’t know what’s gonna come
up in your mind anymore…this is ridiculous.’
Nobody ever did it before, and nobody has done it
after…guys wouldn’t do it.
gives me my check! (laughs)
I guess the Boss had made his point! (laughs)
But I need to say this about George
Scott…it’s important. All those promises he made
me when I came in, he more than kept. From the first
day that I was there to the day that I left, George
Scott kept his word to me…and doubled it.
in the history of wrestling thought that George
could make us the kind of money we made. Within two
years of when I came in, everybody in every major
territory in the world was calling George Scott to
get into the Carolinas. The money we were making
And I suspect even in your wildest dreams, you
never thought it would take off the way it did.
No one did. Vince McMahon, Sr. said, ‘I’ve
never seen a man with so much guts and moxie in my
life, to take a chance like you took and go down
there and do that.’
We were just speaking of Bill Eadie…you seem
to have a great deal of respect for him. You
wrestled him even later in the area, when Bill came
back in 1980.
I respect Bill Eadie a lot. We had a long career
together. We spent a lot of time together overseas.
We were over in Arabia together. We can both tell
you stories about being in Kuwait City when there
was a bomb scare. The Iraqi’s were trying to blow
the place up.
not sure if Bill Eadie was on this tour or not…he
might have been. Anyway, we arrived on the border of
Yemen and Oman…they stopped a war, a village war,
to come to the wrestling matches!
You’re kidding! (laughs)
They stacked arms on each side, and a guy told
us, ‘I don’t want any hanky-panky or
anything…we need to get in and out of here as fast
as we can, because these two villages, these two
tribes, are literally at war.
And here I thought the Richmond Coliseum was a danger zone sometimes!
It’s unbelievable…it takes more time to tell
this story. After the match, the Sultan comes in. I
was actually working for a Sultan of Oman…he paid
me and was fixing to move over there---that’s
another story in itself too! But he got killed in an
accident…so that really kind of ended that.
anyway, I met the Sultan of Yemen…who led a tribe
of Yemen fighters up in the mountains at the border.
About a minute later, a sergeant with the police
there said that sword that I was just looking at,
probably that very day emboweled somebody…that’s
the way they kill over there.
So, Bill Eadie and I have some stories!
you see him, ask him about the Pakistani’s we had
to shoot with! They show up and say, ‘We’re
going to win, we’re going to win.’ Well, Bill
Eadie only had the World Champion over there, but I
had this guy that looked like ‘Lurch,’ about 500
pounds dressed in a white suit wrestling barefooted!
Bill Eadie tells these guys, ‘Well…we’re
gonna win.’ I looked at Eadie and said, ‘You
wanna trade guys?’ (everybody laughs)
Bill talked a lot about Japan…but our
conversation never got over to Pakistan! (laughs)
was a great opponent for you when you were a
babyface. After him, you had some great battles in
1979 and 1980 with Big John Studd. Tell us about
Big John…I really miss him. He called me
before he died…told me he had Hodgkin’s disease
and swore me to secrecy that I wouldn’t tell
anybody. I lost him so quickly after that…
You and Studd had some amazing matches…those
street fights with him were brutal. And it was
something, seeing you up against somebody physically
bigger than you were.
He was a big guy on his way out of the territory,
and I snatched him out of the jaws of death, so to
speak. I told George Scott, ‘Look at this monster,
man. We’re missing the boat here.’ And the rest
is history with John Studd…we went round and round
for a long time.
After Studd, a feud of yours I really enjoyed in
1980 was you against ‘Bad Boy’ Bobby
Duncum. The battle of the Texans, and the battle
of the former football players. That was something
Bobby was one of my guys, but that program ended…this
is hard to say---because he didn’t know how to get
into the program.
Why was that?
I…I made a couple of comments that he didn’t
Yeah, I mean, I wasn’t serious at all. You
know how I am about doing promos…
I definitely remember him saying a bunch of
derogatory stuff about you and your family in his
promos. What…he couldn’t take it in return?
Let’s put it this way…you can’t be too
serious. You’ve got to be able to laugh at
yourself in this business…at least a little bit,
can be serious, but you can’t be too serious. I
said something like, ‘I tell you one thing
Bobby Duncum, if I find your ol’ lady in the parking
lot I’ll whup her tail and your kids too.’ He
took offense to that…
I said, ‘My God,
Bobby…you know that I’m kidding. I’m kidding!’
So that’s how that program ended?
That was it. He got mad at that, and the
attitude carried over. I said, ‘
Bobby, we go back to St. Louis football, and all that
stuff.’ He said, ‘Naw, naw…I don’t like the
things you said.’ I said, ‘
Bobby…you don’t get it, you never got it, and you
either get it in this business, or you don’t.
That’s the reason some ballplayers couldn’t make
the transition over to wrestling…because of
attitude. Big Angie [Angelo Mosca] made it about
90%. But a lot of them couldn’t do it.
Talking about your promos…I’ve always been
curious about some of the people you mentioned in
those. Let’s see…there’s Sheriff Slim Gabriel,
Spider, Gripp, Uncle Reba Joe…were they real
Real world! Slim Gabriel was the Sheriff of
Ector County, Texas for years…a real live person.
Spider/Gripp came from the old Rodeo. Reba Joe,
Uncle Reba Joe, was my idol…he was a redheaded
Cowboy. If you ever saw the movie ‘Hud,’ they
copied that story after my Uncle…I’m sure they
did! (laughs) He’s from Abilene, Texas…raised on
a ranch and drove a Cadillac convertible…solid
Oh…and we can’t forget Sarah Joe! (laughs)
Sarah Joe Puckett…wasn’t an extension of the
Concho County Queen, but she wasn’t really that
bad! (laughs) She wasn’t as bad as I made her out
to be! (everybody laughs)
And who can forget Cousin Crazy Luke
Mulligan…played expertly by ‘Killer’ Tim
Brooks! Remember when he had popcorn all over the
ring that time you were wrestling Ox Baker on TV!
Man, you had a group of characters out there in
Texas! (both laughing)