Larry Zbyszko May 24, 2015 18:56:00 GMT -6
Post by The Ultimate Nullifier on May 24, 2015 18:56:00 GMT -6
WWE Hall of Famer Larry Zbyszko recently appeared on The RCWR Show, which airs Mondays at 11:15pm ET after WWE RAW on YouTube.com/TheRCWRshow and Tuesdays at 10pm ET on Spreaker.com. They sent us the highlights below, you can check out the full interview in the video above:
Being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame:
"Oh it was a thrill of a life time. You know I tried to keep it simple and not talk too philosophically. It was a real interesting night because I didn't write any speech. I just wanted to go out and talk to the fans and tell them a quick story, a true story about how I was one of the biggest fans ever and just wanted to be like my hero. One day I end up crawling through these stupid giant hedges cause I caught a glimpse of him (Bruno Sammartino). It was like going through a rabbit hole. Next thing I know I'm on the stage and in the hall of fame. Got the same ring and my dream kind of came true. But it was a wild experience because I mean all the energy in the room was really cool, I kind of went into a different dimension. I remember looking up and seeing people I knew and it through me off for a minute. I remember saying I lost my train of thought and then I don't remember saying a word until afterwards.
"Vince (McMahon) thought it was great. Arnold Schwarzenegger pulled me over and said: 'You have the greatest act ever, that was the greatest speech I ever heard!' I said really? I think I blanked out, I don't remember what the hell I said.Then some guy in a big three piece suit come running up, said I am so and so from the WWE Board of Directors telling me that was the greatest speech he ever heard and I couldn't remember what what the hell I said. I was in a different dimension. I was watching replays of it and I was like I did say that, I did say that! Vince said yeah you were in the moment brother! That's what I wanted! I'm in a twilight zone man! It was wild!"
Hecklers at the ceremony:
"Unfortunately it's like every other thing in the world, there's 98% percent of humanity that are great people and it's 2% of humanity that are psychopaths and idiots. To be honest with you after my speech I went off to twilight zone. I didn't see the rest of the hall of fame. I really can't comment about the heckling, what was said and everything they were doing. The WWE is such a great company. I mean I look at it and see some of their policy and they are just so nice. I mean if it was me running it you think I'd put someone through rehab ten times? I'd give them one shot. You want to go to rehab? Here, great! You messed up? You big dummy too bad! The company bends over backwards to help people like the Connor thing and the hall of fame."
When he first heard he was being inducted:
"It was a normal day and I got a call from WWE office. I hear that Vince just came out of a meeting working out the hall of fame. I got a call saying they'd like to have me in the hall of fame. I figured it was long overdue and said well thank you very much, I'd love to. It was a dream come true. The hard part was keeping my mouth shut cause I knew a couple of months before the announcement was official. There was some rumors about Ray "The Crippler" Stevens and me. There was a RAW in Pittsburgh and it was originally scheduled to be shown in Pittsburgh. Then there was rumors where they postponed it an extra week and showed it the next week which through people off. It was hard talking to people and denying things, keeping my mouth shut. That was the hardest part of the whole thing. Not even my kids and when they and everyone else found out they were like 'Oh you son of a b***' you got us! Ah man!"
Working for Verne Gagne in the AWA:
"Well you know what, Verne was a fun guy. He was one of the last of an era, of an old-school promoter. He was a guy who was an old school wrestler, a tough guy who appreciated tough guys and that kind of style. The AWA was in those days really a premium territory and one of the territories that was hard to get into. WWWF was like the big territory, cause it had the whole northeast, and the population, the magazines at that time which would come out of the northeast mostly. The AWA was a great territory to work in because in the winter time which was long and horrible, it was great for us cause we'd go to Minnesota, maybe all the way out to Denver, San Francisco, Chicago and all the cities, Las Vegas…It was a great place to work. There was only nine months out of a year when it's pretty busy, normal everyday schedules and you'd work. Three month during the summer when the weather was good we didn't work because everybody wanted to get the hell out of the house cause for months they were snowed in so it was a gold mine in the winter with a nice break in the summer. He was a good payoff guy because his overhead was different. There was a difference. If you were the opening bout in Madison Square Garden, you'd make $300. If you were the opening bout in St. Paul, Minnesota you'd make $1500. It was a good place to make money cause Verne didn't have all the high overhead like the state, New York State income tax, city income tax, Madison Square Garden 50% of everything tax and all that overhead stuff. So yeah it was a great territory."
Differences between Verne Gagne the AWA wrestler and promoter versus Verne the father-in-law:
"In terms of a father-in-law, he was a great guy. Him and granny would come over play five hundred with me and Kathy. Me and him would play against the laddies and there would be cursing, it was a cartoon. He was a very loving, grandparent, always took care of his grand kids, very jovial guy. He was a good guy! It was really sad because in the last 4 to 5 years, I mean poor guy... the Alzheimer's was so bad. He had no idea he was even there. The family was kind of sorry because we had a pacemaker put in him some years ago because... just wanted to basically keep the body alive, but he wasn't in there. Then he couldn't get up, staying in a wheelchair 24/7, no leg circulation as they were all black, purple, and blue… If he got up he fainted, he couldn't talk... It was pathetic. You wouldn't put a little dog through that. So that went on for a while, he was in hospice for the last year. It got to the point where…God bless him! He had a great life, and was a great guy, it got to the point where he should rest in peace. Now he's resting. He had a great life and left a great legacy."