Kayfabe, Lies and Alibis: King Kong Bundy Shoot Interview Review

Bundy answers an “avalanche” of questions on his career and holds nothing back!

From “Kayfabe Commentaries”

Hosted by Sean Oliver 

“Supercard: Wrestlemania 2”

This shoot is designed to have a major superstar relive one historical night of wrestling action that they were a key part of.

Bundy debuted in the WWF in March of 1981 as “Chris Canyon”. He was a jobber. He came up short against S.D. Jones in his first outing.

The jobbers got paid $50 dollars to lose three matches at a taping. Bundy thinks today’s jobbers have it made since the WWE gives them a few hundred dollars and often gives them a hotel room to boot. (I’m not sure about the latter part of that.) Wrestling for so little was part of paying your dues.

Gorilla Monsoon surprised Bundy one day and booked him as part of the house show roster.

S.D. Jones made Bundy nervous that first night by playing cards in the back and not making his scheduled appearance at the exact time that was planned.

Bundy admires Oliver’s suit and asks if it comes in a man’s size.

Vince McMahon Sr. was never seen at the TV tapings, so Bundy did not have any experiences with him to share with us.

Vince Jr. has contempt for the mid-card guys and others on the lower portion of the card.

Being on TV was not a huge thrill for Bundy because he wasn’t making any money. He didn’t even have his friends watch.

The vets did not go out of their way to show appreciation to Bundy for putting them over.

Bundy was asked to drive Mil Mascaras to the airport after a taping. The office did not give Bundy any extra cash for doing this and Mil did not offer any bonus money for his efforts either. Mascaras was not giving in the ring, and was only out to get himself over.

“Mil was the size of my cock!”

The WWE gives away headline matches each week on TV, and Bundy can’t figure out why anyone would pay to watch PPVs or house shows with that being the case.

February of 1985 saw Hulk Hogan clash with King Kong Bundy in Japan. It was their first match ever. Bundy had yet to head to the WWF, but this match gave Hogan the incentive to get Bundy a spot.

Hogan was nice outside the ring. His only issue in the ring was that Hogan would occasionally land his ass on Bundy’s face while executing the leg drop.

Hulk would ask Bundy if he wanted him to bleed to help get Bundy heat during their matches.

Vince Jr. brought Bundy in for a guarantee of 10 matches a year for at least 150 bucks a match. Everything after that was gravy.

Bundy debuted in March of 1985. He now wishes he had given up his name and let Vince come up with a new gimmick, because Vince would always push his own ideas ahead of others.

Pro Wrestling is about physical stature. Promotions need monsters to gawk at to draw fans and give heroes beasts to overcome.

“I take shits bigger than Chris Jericho.”

Nash was a good choice for WWF champion in 1995 because he had size and could work.

Bundy alludes to Steve Lombardi having a long term job due to making sweet love to Pat Patterson.

Bundy did not have an ego, and it was to his detriment. Tito Santana explained to him one day that the agents were not watching the matches, so if they asked how your bout went, fib and say “Great! The fans were buying into everything.” Bundy never had the heart of a wrestler, which was to tell tall tales and spew bluster.

Bill Watts gave Bundy the 5-count pin gimmick.

Jimmy Hart was Bundy’s first manager but Bundy did not feel Hart was a good fit. He loved Hart but Heenan fit Bundy better.

At Wrestlemania 1, S.D. Jones made it point to screw up the match with him and Bundy. He was to lose in 9 seconds, but intentionally dragged out some spots and the match ended up being much longer than it was booked to be. Jones would tell Bundy for years afterward that his payday was bigger than Bundy’s for that match. (Actually, it would make sense for Jones to be bonused for being willing to be squashed at the big event.)

A few months after Mania, Big John Studd and Bundy ran an angle where they laid out Andre the Giant and “broke his sternum” with several splashes.

Bundy worked on top for years on the territories, so he may not have took the time to appreciate his WWF success as he was living it, since he really did not see it as much different than headlining elsewhere.

Studd would kiss Andre’s butt all the time, but Andre did not like him.

Andre let Bundy slam him for a week straight when they worked a series of matches in WCCW.

Andre did not like Bundy because Bundy joked to Andre that he was ready for the WWF now that he worked Andre for a week in Texas.

Bundy made it a point to have Andre come to him and thank him for their match after they clashed at MSG. He wanted Andre to show a little humility.

He and Andre headlined MSG and sold 18,000 tickets.

Hogan and Bundy first met in the WWF in September of 1985 in Boston. Bundy liked the crowds in Boston for their heat more than MSG.

Bundy claims to have signed a 12-year deal with New Japan, but Vince made him drop out of it and stay in the WWF. (Perhaps he meant to say 12-week deal, which makes much more sense.)

“Macho Man” Randy Savage and Bundy were both up for the headline spot at Mania 2. Bundy mocks Savage’s size and relays the fact that he told Hogan that a match with a big man like himself would sell much better than with Savage.

One night in Memphis, Savage and Angelo Poffo made fun of Bundy for being fat and they told him he would be dead soon. Bundy talks about Savage’s roid abuse and thinks it killed him. He tells Macho Man and Angelo to fuck off since they both died and his big ass is still kicking.

“Savage was always an asshole.”

Macho Man would steal food when he was still working for his dad’s outlaw territory. Bundy thinks it’s disgusting that he’d do such a thing when his family had the money to pay for it.

October of 1985 saw “Saturday Night’s Main Event” headlined by Hogan and Andre clashing with Studd and Bundy. NBC would pay the guys around 2500 dollars for working, and the WWF paid them on the house as well.

The WWF did a bunch of goofy vignettes in this era, and Bundy felt it hurt the product to have the monsters doing goofy stuff.

When he came back to the WWF in 1995, Vince promised Bundy a big push, but then stuck him in a Santa suit and pasted him on the cover of the WWF magazine looking like a goof.

The guys were not paid for participating on “The Wrestling Album”. They were given a buffet and it happened to be horrible quality food. The Slammy’s were the same way. No money for the guys who took part in the awards.

Bundy’s first wrestling figure netted him 26,000 dollars in royalties. That was for only one of four quarters for the year. Sheik made 96,000 dollars a year earlier on his toy.

Big men need to work like big men. Bam Bam Bigelow doing top rope spots was a mistake. Studd and Bundy were not great workers (he admits) but they worked a smart style.

Gary Hart was booking WCCW when Bundy was headlining. He asked Hart to book him in Dallas one night because his mother was coming to visit. Hart instead loaned him out to Bill Watts and Bundy had to drive to Oklahoma instead of being at home with his mother. He snapped on Hart about that years after the fact. Bundy accuses Hart of being a drug user on top of being an asshole.

Vince did not come to Bundy and look for feedback on how he wanted the angle with Hogan to go. McMahon really disrespects the talent in a lot of ways.

“Wrestling is bullshit. It’s two men in their underwear pretending to fight.”

Bundy did not care about doing jobs. He was a legit high school wrestler, so he saw the show biz for what it was and did not take it too seriously despite spending 20+ years in the business.

In February of 1986, “Saturday Night’s Main Event” saw Hulk Hogan clash with the Magnificent Muraco. Bundy ran in after the match and mauled Hogan with a series of splashes. This set up Mania 2.

Hogan claimed in his book that Bundy legitimately hurt his ribs. Bundy suggests he’s working everyone.

Vince did not tell Bundy he liked the way the angle went or anything like that.

The WWE runs too many angles and it makes it hard for anything to get over.

In the mid-90’s the WWF was still paying the roster a scant amount to work TV tapings because the guys were “getting over” and should be thankful for the exposure.

Bret Hart wrote in his book about the Hart Foundation and Bundy being spat on and attacked by fans often in the mid-80’s. Bundy says the fans were hot, but they knew it was phony and the days of fans assaulting wrestlers was a thing of the past. Bret is fibbing.

The WWF cut things back in 1995 and the talent started getting smaller payoffs. Plane tickets started to become one-way tickets, with the guys expected to pay their own way home.

Bundy was given an interview on “Regis and Kathie Lee” to promote Mania 2. Gifford tried to skip out on the segment because Bundy was just a wrestler. Bundy made it a point to call her out and make her take part in the bit.

The party scene never interested Bundy and he skipped out on the wild nights much of the roster took part of.

Food was never an issue as Bundy was not picky. The late hours the wrestlers kept meant that Bundy ate lots of Domino’s Pizza.

The wrestlers had their hotels paid for during Mania weekend.

Vince would listen to your ideas, but Bundy (admittedly foolishly) did not take advantage of this to get himself a better spot.

After Bundy left the WWF, an outside business contacted the WWF about wanting to use Bundy in an ad. The WWF claimed they did not have his contact info. In fact, the WWF was still sending him royalty checks every few months and simply chose to not give out the info in order to fuck with Bundy.

Bundy took part in a semi-famous computer ad in 1988 after he left the WWF. This apparently stuck in Vince’s craw because when Bundy returned in 1995 he had two different office workers tell him Vince will never push him because he was upset Bundy got himself an outside gig.

Being a heel did not stop Bundy from being nice to fans. If it wasn’t in the arena, then the fans were okay to talk to in Bundy’s view.

TV tapings used to be easy. A few squash matches and then back to the hotel. Now it’s high pressure for the talent who have to remember scripts and worry about time ques.

Bundy would read books or the newspaper while waiting for his match each night.

Toru Tanaka, who lived in Los Angeles, showed up at Mania 2 to visit. Bundy was thrilled to see the legendary wrestler/actor.

319,000 fans came to arenas across the country for the Mania 2 closed circuit broadcast. The WWF grossed around 4 million dollars at the event.

The celebrities at Mania that year made 12 grand each. Bundy made 50 grand for headlining.

The rumor was that after Mania 1 Hogan was given a check for $500,000 for the evening. Hogan then went to Vince and asked, “Where’s the other half?” and was cut another $500,000 check.

The celebrities were nice, but they did not appear to be fans of wrestling.

Howard Finkel was a great guy. He buys into all of Vince’s B.S.

A casino promoter once tried to get William “Refrigerator” Perry and Bundy to do a series of goofy challenges like mini golfing as a promotional lark.

Jake Roberts’ snake spent a lot of time trapped in a bag, which made Bundy feel bad for the poor thing.

Mr. T worked Bob Orton on “Saturday Night’s Main Event” and was totally blown up afterwards. He needed six handlers to tend to him as he gasped for air. Orton came back at the same time and lit a cigarette.

Bundy indicates Sean Oliver paid him well over 3000 dollars for doing this interview. I am pretty stunned if that’s true. I figured most of these guys would be lucky to get a third of that.

Chicago did not sell out for the live wrestling portion of Mania it hosted. Bundy is floored by this fact since Chicago always sold out.

Sgt. Slaughter had good size and was a good promo, Corporal Kirchner could not live up to that standard when he was given the slot of replacing him on the roster.

Bundy did not mind the NFL guys coming in to work the Mania battle royal since they were big guys and real athletes.

William Perry was paid $135,000 to work the Battle Royal. He was a hot mainstream celeb at that point.

Dynamite Kid was a total asshole. Kid would look for weak people and exploit them for his amusement.

In a cage match both guys should blade to put over the gimmick. Vince forbade Hogan from blading at Mania 2, but Bundy bladed.

One time, Uncle Elmer asked Bundy to walk on him, then brought in old X-rays and tried to claim Bundy broke his ribs.

Adrian Adonis was a gross human being. A genuinely unclean person. In addition to that, Adonis would walk around airports and tell kids there was no Santa Claus. Bundy hated him.

Honky Tonk Man taught Bundy how to blade.

Bundy wishes he had bladed better in the Mania 2 main event.

One time Bundy hit an artery in his forehead while blading and he actually was scared for his life as he watched the blood spurt from his head.

Bobby Heenan’s mentality was that as long as both guys are not hurt, then the match was a success.

Bundy spent most nights alone in his hotel room. He could not stand rooming with others. Jimmy Hart left his mustache hair on the sink the one time he roomed with Bundy, that was enough for Bundy to never room with him again. Another time Mean Gene and Jimmy Snuka walked with Bundy to their hotel rooms, Snuka went toward his room and Gene joined Bundy in a room they were sharing. Gene got right on the phone and called Snuka to gossip more instead of just going down to his room. That annoyed Bundy and added to his reasoning to stay alone.

Tully Blanchard would keep his blade in his mouth. Bundy thinks he was nuts for that old school trick.

After the Mania 2 match, Bundy went out for a really nice dinner and then caught a flight to the next town.

Final thoughts: Bundy is a fun interview, and Oliver is a talented interviewer, so that, along with Kayfabe Commentaries usual high standards of production, made for another excellent product from KC’s team.

Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.