Texas was really on fire then!
They even showed that World Class show
Richmond in the early 80s. They really
had something special going on down
Oh man…with the [Fabulous
Freebirds] there and me and
von Erich. Then there was the
unfortunate thing with
…and then there was Chris (Adams)
That whole thing was just
incredible timing. It was like
Halley’s Comet…it only happens
once in a long while. And if you’re
fortunate to be there when it hits,
like I was, you should be very
How did World Class catch fire
like it did?
Well, you had Texas. Now, I
didn’t know much about Texas before
I got there, but when I got there it
was obvious that they had never seen
anything in the world like the
Freebirds. There’s three guys that
kick ass…and they’re bad guys.
it just so happens, that you also had
at the same time three brothers…and
they’re von Erichs. Right there, you
have all the ingredients for magic to
happen…and it did.
also had me and Valerie there, and we
broke off and worked a lot with
. The valet gimmick was brand new. So,
you had the Freebirds and the (von
Erich) boys thing, and you had the
valet thing too, and it was all
magical. It was all like, ‘Holy
crap, the world’s never seen
anything like this before.’ I
don’t know how to properly describe
Even watching it from afar…it
was pretty amazing. The Sportatorium
Yeah, it was amazing! I mean, we
really busted our asses! We wrestled
like wrestling should be wrestled!
mean…Kevin, Kerry and
. And at the time, Terry Gordy was in
his prime. And Buddy Roberts was in
his prime, so to speak. And I was in
my prime…we were all in our primes
and the stars were aligned just in the
right place at just the right time.
Everything came together…and it just
Was World Class looking to
capitalize on that great run of
popularity…and try to go national?
It was unfortunate that World
Class didn’t have the insight like
what’s going on today. Like you
mentioned, the World Class television
program was being shown other places
outside of Texas.
the old man…
You mean, Fritz von Erich?
Yes. He didn’t want to go out
and leave Texas. Fritz didn’t want
to have to promote these other cities.
We did go to St. Louis, and we did go
to Kansas City with World Class, but
we didn’t go into all the markets
that we could have gone into…for
You never know…that thing in
Texas was popping so big that no
telling where it could have gone if it
was really pushed.
We could have gone who knows
where. Cable was just starting to come
along in a big way. But…it just
What ended your stint with World
(pauses) Well, Sunshine and I did
our run…and we did our fair share of
partying too! I mean, goodness
gracious! I don’t know how many
mornings I had Jack Daniels for
It was a LOT! And we were
traveling, and we were selling out
everywhere. We were partying…HARD!
wasn’t quite used to all of that.
So, she got a little wild. I mean, she
got to the point where Holy crap,
she’d be out for a couple of days at
the time. And I couldn’t handle
that. I mean, it wasn’t her
fault…she was thrown into this. She
was just a kid from Tampa, that all of
a sudden got thrown into this friggin’
wildfire…and it consumed her to a
degree. She’s okay now…she’s
survived…but Holy crap! And it
became clear that I couldn’t keep
the gimmick going with her. It just
So you were in the market for
Yes, I was. And my youngest
daughter was born in Irving, Texas in
’83. So, she was about a year old
when this was going on.
told Patti, ‘You’re gonna have to
do this.’ And she said, ‘Do
what?’ I said, ‘You’re gonna
have to do the valet thing. My cousin
can’t do it anymore.’
(laughing) I bet that went over
like a lead balloon!
Oh…she told me to go fu*k
(laughing hard) I figured!!
Oh yeah…straight out, she said,
‘That ain’t gonna happen.’
As everybody knows now, something
had to have happened to change her
thoughts on this.
Well…I talked to her and talked
to her. I said, ‘You gotta do it,
you gotta do it!’
was just totally opposite of my
wife’s personality. She’s so quiet
and reserved and everything.
She really did a terrific job,
though, when the ‘Precious’ thing
Yeah, she just did a great job.
And at the time all this was
happening, my youngest daughter was
only a year old…if that.
anyway, Patti said, ‘Okay…I’ll
How did it go at the beginning?
Back then, I wrote all the stuff.
I mean, I always wrote my own
angles…because nobody knew my
[gimmick] better than I did.
I have no doubt that was the
case…there was no gimmick quite like
You’re right. I told them this
was what I was gonna do, ‘I’m
gonna bring my wife in.’ And that
kinda pissed them off a little bit,
because they all liked Sunshine.
…I was always a rebel anyway. I
didn’t always play by the rules, but
that was always there. That’s
another story in itself!
(laughs) How did you get Patti in
and ease Sunshine out?
I presented Patti as a present for
Sunshine! This happened in Fort Worth,
Texas. The whole angle was that
Sunshine wasn’t going to have to do
all the hard work anymore…Precious
would do it for her. Sunshine is my
valet, and Precious was going to be
with Precious being Sunshine’s
valet, Sunshine wouldn’t have to do
all the bullsh*t work…Precious would
have to do the bullsh*t work.
What I was doing, was injecting
two women with one man…
A recipe for disaster if there
ever was one!
With that combination, anywhere
you go in any part of the world…two
women and one man doesn’t work very
the angle in Fort Worth had Patti
pulling the leg, but she pulled the
wrong leg---it was my leg…
I seem to remember that…
And it cost me the match. I jumped
up and said, ‘WHAT THE FU*K??’ And
Patti said that Sunshine had done it.
So you had the new girl blaming the
old girl…and the old girl didn’t
that made Patti an instant heel. It
was just that split second when Patti
pointed at Sunshine when I said,
‘Who the hell did it?’
Patti was the heel and Sunshine was
the babyface. I drug Sunshine in the
ring and we smacked her around…and
Sunshine went with Chris (Adams)---and
the sh*t was on!
Another great Texas feud was born!
It was Chris and her, against me
and Patti. And, of course, Sunshine
did the great interview where she said
she loved me and all that stuff…the
acting was really fabulous.
was a great combination with all four
of us, and we went from there. So, we
did Texas Stadium and we brought in
Stella Mae…and we ran that thing as
far as I could run it. Until there was
no more riding it…the story was
So, you were the one that decided
to end that program?
What happens in most territories
is that they see all that money, and
they get all that money, and they
don’t want to close the book. The
book has to end. As much as we hate
for it to end, every good book that
was ever read---it does come to an
this one came to an end. And I called
it to an end. And then Patti and I
went to Japan. And then…
(McMahon) wanted me to come to New
Oh really? You never went with
Vince, did you?
No. This was the time that Randy
Savage and Miss Elizabeth were born…
Everybody was pretty much jumping
ship to the WWF then. Could you and
Patti have been the Macho Man and Miss
You know what, I don’t know what
it is, and this is really
something…because I’ve met with
I never liked
never liked me. I never liked what he
stood for, and I didn’t like the
direction he was going.
always wrestled in the South. I was a
NWA guy---all my life. I never went up
North. The first time I went up North
was for Verne Gagne and the AWA.
To me, you didn’t seem to fit
the WWF mold of the mid ‘80s. But a
lot of others much like you still
bolted for New York at that time!
You know, that ‘gut feeling’
thing? I just never really felt that
I remember when the Freebirds went
up there briefly…that sure didn’t
Yeah…something just wasn’t
right with that. Plus, they fell
asleep in a meeting…they were drunk!
(laughing) Yeah, that didn’t
help their cause any!
Of course I wasn’t there, but I
think they wanted to keep somebody and
get rid of the other one. They stood
strong together…and that was that.
I ended up going to the AWA rather
than going with
This was right before you came
back to Crockett in 1986. This was
sort of the last hurrah for the AWA,
Crockett wanted me to come in when
I went with Verne. You see, when I
wanted me to come in there and
Crockett wanted me to come in here.
And I chose Verne…
Don’t ask me why!
that’s about when Babydoll came
That’s right…Tully (Blanchard)
Absolutely. The reason that
Babydoll was born and kept going was
because we didn’t come to Crockett
at that time. And the reason that
Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth was
created is because I didn’t go with
So, you’re saying you’re
confident that you and Patti would
have assumed those roles in those
promotions had you all not gone to the
There was no wrestler with the Box
Office power at that time…other than
me and Patti.
Why did you go to the AWA then?
That promotion was clearly # 3
compared to Crockett and McMahon.
It was just that feeling, you know? It
was just like gut instinct.
was during the last final years of the
AWA. The Road Warriors were there. I
mean, it was actually hot when I was
there. Rick Martel was there…I had
GREAT matches with Rick Martel. He was
such a talent…
Yes, you all seemed to work well
He was so talented. And, of
course, ‘Mr. Electricity’ Steve
Regal and I teamed up then. I just
talked to Steve last night, as a
matter of fact.
How’s he doing?
He’s doing good…he lives in
Pompano Beach, Florida.
You and Regal beat the Road
Warriors for the AWA Tag Titles,
Yeah, we took the Titles from them
up there. It was kinda a message from
Verne…that was really an inside
deal. The Warriors were always pretty
strong, and they got what they
They hardly ever sold a lick for
Yeah…but thank God they liked me
and Steve! (laughs)
For sure! (laughs)
I’m really glad that they did!
And they really did like us. So they
dropped the straps to us, and it
wasn’t a problem.
there was great talent there…
But that ended up pretty much
being Verne’s last stand.
Yeah…it sure was. It sure was.
And after that stint in the AWA,
you finally made your way back to
Crockett Promotions in 1986. If I
recall, you and Regal teamed together
We sure did…
But the program I best remember
you being in soon after you returned
to Crockett, was with the late Chief
Wahoo McDaniel. Wahoo was winding it
down then…in fact, I think that was
probably the Chief’s last big
program in his career.
I think you’re right on that
You all had the Indian Strap
matches and the whole deal! Tell us
about your feud with Wahoo.
That was so incredible…just
incredible. When I came [to Crockett]
from the AWA, I was carrying some heat
Heat? You mean from the office,
since you went to the AWA when they
wanted you earlier?
I’ll never forget it…it was in
Fayetteville, North Carolina. Tully
Blanchard and Ric Flair were at the
top of the stairs. I was coming up the
stairs, and said ‘hello’ to them.
And Ric said, ‘This is the guy that
didn’t want to come to us…he went
to the AWA instead.’
got that chill down my back, you know,
like they’re remembering this old sh*t.
And when people remember stuff like
that, you know with certain people
there’s gonna be some retribution to
pay. And there was…to a degree.
Without getting too deep into
Jimmy, you go just as deep as you want
I mean…the relationship between
Ric and I was never really that great.
And I’ll tell you a story about that
in a minute.
But, they were pissed that I
didn’t come in there earlier…
They were pissed, and they wanted
me to know that they hadn’t
forgotten about it. But, it didn’t
matter to me.
and the Chief got together. And you
know what, that was a helluva angle!
It sure was!
I know you remember, I was lookin’
for his Momma…I was going to the
reservation looking for his Momma…
You remember those interviews…I
had the ‘Save The Chief
Foundation’ and all that crap?
My God…the Chief was such a
great guy to work with. And he was
just such a great man period.
David, I wanted to go so far with that. You
know, I wanted to go in the woods…to
the Cherokee tribe and do a vignette
type of video---findin’ this old
Indian woman in a tent…
That would have been great!
You know…confronting her and
accosting her to the degree of looking
for Wahoo. But they wouldn’t let me
They thought that was way too
strong. They were going to see that it
didn’t go any further. In other
words, they were gonna let me
run…but they weren’t gonna let me
run too far. (laughs)
Weren’t there a few tag matches
with you and Precious against Wahoo
and Babydoll? That was a bit unusual,
to say the least!
Yeah…they had to give Babydoll
something to do. You know, like a
vampire feeds off of a body. They
thought that putting her out there
like that, she would get some strength
feeding off of us.
But overall, they didn’t let you
take the program with Wahoo far
enough? Do you think this was still
payback because you shunned Crockett
I think so…
Of course, you didn’t mind
pushing the envelope, so to speak!
I think that had a lot to do with
it. And I think the fact that I never
gave a sh*t about too much anyway. I
mean, I never really played the
Like I really didn’t give a sh*t.
I did, in my own heart. But I didn’t
play their game. You know, I don’t
know if that sounds confusing or
Not at all. You didn’t go around
kissing ass…is what it sounds like
Like…I didn’t give a sh*t
about Flair’s suits. I didn’t
care. I ain’t kissin’ nobody’s
ass…and I didn’t kiss nobody’s
ass. And maybe that pissed them off.
You’re probably right.
I was always sort of a rebel. That
didn’t sit well with them. They
wanted me to kiss their ass, and I
won’t do it…and that pisses them
was one of them like that, too.
I knew it was only a matter of
time before the Dream’s name
God, Dusty hated me!
And he was pretty much running the
Yeah…he was the booker. I
didn’t care for him, man. Because he
held me back so much. He held me back.
You know, the way I look at it, I’m
like a painter. That’s all I am. I
need a canvas, a brush and some paint.
Now, if you take my painting and sell
it for a lot of money…give me a
little bit, but you can have some too.
But let me paint…that’s why I’m
And at that point
my, you had quite a track record
behind you. You weren’t the little
Garvin from 1978 anymore!
Exactly, I’d busted (attendance)
records left and right! Why wouldn’t
they just say, ‘Look…what do you
want to do?!’ (laughs)
Yeah…just let you go and do it!
Another perfect example is the
angle with Kevin Sullivan a little
later. You remember what I’m talking
The ‘Tower Of Doom’ thing,
Yeah…the Tower of Doom with
Kevin and I. Well, one time on TBS
when Dusty came out and stepped in
front of me to protect Precious from
Kevin or something…that was all
planted. You know, I don’t need
anybody to protect my woman…I can do
I’m sure Dusty just wanted to
get his face in the middle of
it…like he did all the time when he
thought something was hot.
Yeah…he just had to get his face
in the picture. In the angle, because
the angle was so hot.
Tower Of Doom was just for Kevin and
I. That would have been SO incredible.
We had so many places to go from
there, of just me and Kevin and Patti
to start with…in that Tower Of Doom.
you remember, almost everybody in the
territory was involved…
Road Warrior Hawk was the one that
saved her…it wasn’t me. It was
Hawk. Everybody was climbing that
I remember, you had the Varsity
Club, the Powers of Pain…
I had them all…everybody!
you know what…that was sabotage.