WWE News KELLER'S WWE HALL OF FAME REPORT 4/4: Bill Watts (via Jim Ross) - final webcast segment prior to USA Network special
Apr 4, 2009 - 7:16:55 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
KELLER'S WWE HALL OF FAME REPORT
APRIL 4, 2009
LIVE FROM HOUSTON, TEX.
WEBCAST ON WWE.COM
-After a video aired on "Cowboy" Bill Watts, Jim Ross stepped out and gave a shout out to Oklahoma. That drew a few scattered boos. He made a comment about the hair stylist for Dog the Bounty Hunter being flown in to do Hayes's hair. He said Watts was a childhood hero of his and it's an honor to induct him. He said Watts was in the principal's office a lot and left school to play for the Houston Oilers and Minnesota Vikings. He said Wahoo McDaniel talked him into taking a pay raise and becoming a pro wrestler. He said he ended up main eventing MSG just three years later. Ross told some classic Watts stories about swallowing an eyeball of a Navy Seal he got in a fight with. He said as a promoter, if a wrestler ever went to a bar drinking and lost a fight with a civilian, he'd fire him. Ross said Watts gave him his start and instilled in him that being "okay" or "average" was not acceptable. He said he was "blunt, combative, and sometimes hard to get along with." He said Watts called him "Dumbass" for the first six months he worked for him. "I am a better man for working with Bill Watts," he said. "I loved working for my coach." He said he had a Vince Lombardi, Bill Parcells approach. He said he'd bring it tomorrow night at WrestleMania because Watts will be in the house.
-Bill Watts walked out and accused Ross of stealing his script. He said he'll be 70 on May 5 and this is a great birthday present. He said he's so happy to be there because his children and grandchildren are there to appreciate it. He said hocks like him always wanted sons "until you have a daughter." His daughter stood up and waved. He pointed out his son Erik and some of his grandchildren. He acknowledged that Biff, Mike, and Joel couldn't be there, but he said he knows they're watching and he loves them. He then said, "What took them so long to put me in the Hall of Fame. I came out of the womb ready!" He said he was talking to Dusty Rhodes about how you either have it or you don't. It wouldn't be a Watts speech without gushing over Danny Hodge. He also brought up Jack Brisco. He said he began wrestling in 1962.
He told a story of being mistakenly introduced as "Big Dick Watts" by "Wild" Red Berry once. He said he climbed over the top rope and a fan said, "Well, hello Big Dick!" He said he never stepped over the top rope again. He talked about fighting for Capital Sports for Vince Sr. and Toots Mondt, facing some opponents such as Killer Kowalski and Bruno Sammartino, whom he said was one of the best people he ever met. He said back then, "We didn't even know what a steroid was" when talking about bench pressing 585. He said once they set a record attendance at MSG when the fire marshall didn't show up.
He spoke about Ernie Ladd. He said they were brothers in faith and when he died, he cried for four days. He talked about how proud he was in Baltimore, Md. when he won the [WCW] World Title. He talked about Junkyard Dog. "That kid had it all," he said. "He had that charisma, smile, dynamic power. When he died, I think that's when it sunk in I didn't know how much I loved him." He said everybody is running fast and hard, but everyone should take time to show appreciation to those who impact your life. For some reason he then listed other friends of his from over the years: Thunderbolt Patterson, Rocky Johnson, Tony Atlas, Ray Candy, Koko B. Ware, Tiger Jeet Singh. I guess they're all in a category all their own of something.
He said Eddie Graham gave him his PhD in this business. He said there he met Dusty Rhodes, a true American Dream. He mentioned Gordon Solie and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. He admitted he fined Shawn Michaels the first week he worked for him, but he said it worked because he never had to fine him again. Watts said he's so proud of Michaels. They showed Michaels smiling in the crowd. He brought up Dick Murdoch as one of his favorites. He pointed out "Hacksaw" Duggan in the crowd, someone who feuded with Murdoch. He said he thinks somewhere Andre the Giant and Murdoch are having a drinking contest.
He closed: "Whadda run. Whadda career." He said everyone can make things happen for them in this exciting business. He said this is a great finale to his career. He said the real Hall of Famers are the fans because without them, none of us would be here. He said he probably only had 40 or 50 more years to be a stud, but his next biggest moment will be when he gets called home to heaven. "Then I'll get to be face to face with my hero Jesus Christ and I hope each and everyone one of you will be there, too. That will be a great moment, won't it. And from the bottom of my heart, thank you, and watch out for flying chairs."
If saw that, you can tell why he sold so many tickets with his charisma behind the mic, both as a wrestler and a promoter.
-The screen then shifted to promoting the USA Network Hall of Fame special which was due to begin at 10 ET, about 90 minutes later.
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