Chappell: Texas was really on fire then! They even showed that World Class show in Richmond in the early 80s. They really had something special going on down there.


Garvin: Oh man…with the [Fabulous Freebirds] there and me and David von Erich. Then there was the unfortunate thing with David …and then there was Chris (Adams) and I.  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 grateful.


Chappell: How did World Class catch fire like it did?


Garvin: 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.


Then, 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.


You also had me and Valerie there, and we broke off and worked a lot with David . 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 it…


Chappell: Even watching it from afar…it was pretty amazing. The Sportatorium thing…


Garvin: Yeah, it was amazing! I mean, we really busted our asses! We wrestled like wrestling should be wrestled!



I mean…Kevin, Kerry and David . 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 exploded!


Chappell: Was World Class looking to capitalize on that great run of popularity…and try to go national?


Garvin: 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.


But the old man…


Chappell: You mean, Fritz von Erich?


Garvin: 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 whatever reason.


Chappell: You never know…that thing in Texas was popping so big that no telling where it could have gone if it was really pushed.


Garvin: We could have gone who knows where. Cable was just starting to come along in a big way. But…it just never happened.


Chappell: What ended your stint with World Class?


Garvin: (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 breakfast!


Chappell: (laughing)


Garvin: It was a LOT! And we were traveling, and we were selling out everywhere. We were partying…HARD!


Sunshine 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 fine.


She survived…but Holy crap! And it became clear that I couldn’t keep the gimmick going with her. It just got unmanageable!


Chappell: So you were in the market for another valet!


Garvin: 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.


I 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.’


Chappell: (laughing) I bet that went over like a lead balloon!


Garvin: Oh…she told me to go fu*k myself!!


Chappell: (laughing hard) I figured!!


Garvin: Oh yeah…straight out, she said, ‘That ain’t gonna happen.’


Chappell: As everybody knows now, something had to have happened to change her thoughts on this.


Garvin: Well…I talked to her and talked to her. I said, ‘You gotta do it, you gotta do it!’


This was just totally opposite of my wife’s personality. She’s so quiet and reserved and everything.


Chappell: She really did a terrific job, though, when the ‘Precious’ thing got going.


Garvin: 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.


So, anyway, Patti said, ‘Okay…I’ll do it.’


Chappell: How did it go at the beginning?


Garvin: Back then, I wrote all the stuff. I mean, I always wrote my own angles…because nobody knew my [gimmick] better than I did.


Chappell: I have no doubt that was the case…there was no gimmick quite like yours!


Garvin: 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.


David …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!


Chappell: (laughs) How did you get Patti in and ease Sunshine out?


Garvin: 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 Sunshine’s valet!


So 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.


Chappell: (laughing)


Garvin: What I was doing, was injecting two women with one man…


Chappell: A recipe for disaster if there ever was one!


Garvin: With that combination, anywhere you go in any part of the world…two women and one man doesn’t work very long!


So the angle in Fort Worth had Patti pulling the leg, but she pulled the wrong leg---it was my leg…


Chappell: I seem to remember that…


Garvin: 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 do it.


So, 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?’


So 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!


Chappell: Another great Texas feud was born!


Garvin: 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.


That 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 over.


Chappell: So, you were the one that decided to end that program?


Garvin: 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 end.


And this one came to an end. And I called it to an end. And then Patti and I went to Japan. And then… Vince (McMahon) wanted me to come to New York!


Chappell: Oh really? You never went with Vince, did you?


Garvin: No. This was the time that Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth were born…


Chappell: Everybody was pretty much jumping ship to the WWF then. Could you and Patti have been the Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth for Vince ?


Garvin: You know what, I don’t know what it is, and this is really something…because I’ve met with Vince several times.


(pauses) I never liked Vince , and Vince never liked me. I never liked what he stood for, and I didn’t like the direction he was going.


I 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.


Chappell: 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!


Garvin: You know, that ‘gut feeling’ thing? I just never really felt that comfortable with Vince .


Chappell: I remember when the Freebirds went up there briefly…that sure didn’t work!


Garvin: Yeah…something just wasn’t right with that. Plus, they fell asleep in a meeting…they were drunk! (laughs)


Chappell: (laughing) Yeah, that didn’t help their cause any!


Garvin: 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.


But, I ended up going to the AWA rather than going with Vince .


Chappell: This was right before you came back to Crockett in 1986. This was sort of the last hurrah for the AWA, wasn’t it?


Garvin: Crockett wanted me to come in when I went with Verne. You see, when I left Texas… Vince wanted me to come in there and Crockett wanted me to come in here. And I chose Verne…


Chappell: Pretty interesting…


Garvin: Don’t ask me why!


And that’s about when Babydoll came about too…


Chappell: That’s right…Tully (Blanchard) and Babydoll.


Garvin: 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 Vince .


Chappell: 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 AWA?


Garvin: There was no wrestler with the Box Office power at that time…other than me and Patti.


Chappell: Why did you go to the AWA then? That promotion was clearly # 3 compared to Crockett and McMahon.


Garvin: It was just that feeling, you know? It was just like gut instinct.


That 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…


Chappell: Yes, you all seemed to work well together.


Garvin: 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.


Chappell: How’s he doing?


Garvin: He’s doing good…he lives in Pompano Beach, Florida.


Chappell: You and Regal beat the Road Warriors for the AWA Tag Titles, didn’t you?



Garvin: 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 wanted…


Chappell: They hardly ever sold a lick for anyone.


Garvin: Yeah…but thank God they liked me and Steve! (laughs)


Chappell: For sure! (laughs)


Garvin: 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.


But there was great talent there…


Chappell: But that ended up pretty much being Verne’s last stand.


Garvin: Yeah…it sure was. It sure was.


Chappell: And after that stint in the AWA, you finally made your way back to Jim Crockett Promotions in 1986. If I recall, you and Regal teamed together in Crockett?


Garvin: We sure did…


Chappell: 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.


Garvin: I think you’re right on that David


Chappell: You all had the Indian Strap matches and the whole deal! Tell us about your feud with Wahoo.


Garvin: That was so incredible…just incredible. When I came [to Crockett] from the AWA, I was carrying some heat too.


Chappell: Heat? You mean from the office, since you went to the AWA when they wanted you earlier?


Garvin: 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.’


I 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.


Chappell: How so?


Garvin: Without getting too deep into it…


Chappell: Jimmy, you go just as deep as you want to!


Garvin: 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.


Chappell: Okay.


Garvin: But, they were pissed that I didn’t come in there earlier…


Chappell: Bottom line!


Garvin: They were pissed, and they wanted me to know that they hadn’t forgotten about it. But, it didn’t matter to me.


So…me and the Chief got together. And you know what, that was a helluva angle!


Chappell: It sure was!


Garvin: I know you remember, I was lookin’ for his Momma…I was going to the reservation looking for his Momma…


Chappell: (laughing)


Garvin: You remember those interviews…I had the ‘Save The Chief Foundation’ and all that crap?


Chappell: (still laughing)


Garvin: My God…the Chief was such a great guy to work with. And he was just such a great man period.


You know, 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…


Chappell: That would have been great!


Garvin: You know…confronting her and accosting her to the degree of looking for Wahoo. But they wouldn’t let me do it…


Chappell: Why not?


Garvin: 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)


Chappell: Weren’t there a few tag matches with you and Precious against Wahoo and Babydoll? That was a bit unusual, to say the least!


Garvin: 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.


Chappell: 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 earlier?


Garvin: I think so…


Chappell: Of course, you didn’t mind pushing the envelope, so to speak!


Garvin: 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 political games…


Chappell: Yeah…


Garvin: 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…


Chappell: Not at all. You didn’t go around kissing ass…is what it sounds like to me.


Garvin: 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.


Chappell: You’re probably right.


Garvin: 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 off.


Dusty was one of them like that, too.


Chappell: I knew it was only a matter of time before the Dream’s name surfaced!


Garvin: God, Dusty hated me!


Chappell: And he was pretty much running the show then.


Garvin: Yeah…he was the booker. I didn’t care for him, man. Because he held me back so much. He held me back.


(pauses) 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 here.


Chappell: And at that point Jim my, you had quite a track record behind you. You weren’t the little ol’ non-descript Jim Garvin from 1978 anymore!


Garvin: Exactly, I’d busted (attendance) records left and right! Why wouldn’t they just say, ‘Look…what do you want to do?!’ (laughs)


Chappell: Yeah…just let you go and do it!


Garvin: Another perfect example is the angle with Kevin Sullivan a little later. You remember what I’m talking about?


Chappell: The ‘Tower Of Doom’ thing, right?


Garvin: 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 it.


Chappell: 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.


Garvin: Yeah…he just had to get his face in the picture. In the angle, because the angle was so hot.


The 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.


If you remember, almost everybody in the territory was involved…


Chappell: Oh yeah…


Garvin: Road Warrior Hawk was the one that saved her…it wasn’t me. It was Hawk. Everybody was climbing that cage…


Chappell: I remember, you had the Varsity Club, the Powers of Pain…


Garvin: I had them all…everybody!


And you know what…that was sabotage.


Chappell: Sabotage?