There was a lot of response to my previous article about my time in Charlotte during the recent NWA Legends Fan Fest. So much so, it was suggested that I do another piece on my past career!
So, this week’s “Top 5” is something I draw from experience.
I have held the microphone for many of the greats in Pro Wrestling during my career. Because of my years of co-hosting World Championship on TBS, I am forever linked to Ric Flair, the Four Horsemen, Dusty Rhodes, Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express, Ivan and Nikita Koloff, and Magnum T.A., among others. I am often asked the question: Who gave the best interview?
That’s a very tough question, because there were so many good ones. Even though a wrestler may have given one great interview (or promos, as we called them), it did not necessarily make him good at doing interviews.
Interviews, or promos, are the backbone of the business. They are what draws fans to the arenas, and, let’s face it, it is the reason people watch–much more than the wrestling itself! We don’t always remember what the guys did in the ring, but we remember what they said.
So, with that in mind, here are my Top 5 wrestlers, or managers, doing an interview. If you have a favorite, let me know on our Facebook page, or on Twitter.
5.) Roddy Piper
Rowdy Roddy Piper was one of the best improvazational speakers ever. I knew this even before his great run in the WWE. I had the honor of doing many interviews with him about his “Dog Collar Match” against Greg Valentine at Starrcade ’83. But once he went to Titan Sports and started doing “Piper’s Pit,” he became a legend. Piper died unexpectedly last summer. I feel terrible that we hadn’t talked in 15 years.
4.) Dusty Rhodes
No one could get a crowd going like “The American Dream.” He connected with blue-collar fans like none other. Sometimes his interviews went 5-6 minutes, but who cared? He brought with him a confidence that very few had. Sadly, Dusty also passed away last summer. I did get a chance to talk with him on the phone last April. He was a genuinely funny man, and I told him many times he should have gone into stand-up comedy. He had a large ego and a larger-than life presence.
3.) Arn Anderson
Some of the best promos Anderson ever did, you probably never saw. These were done back stage in front of the wrestlers and to great applause. Still today, Anderson works with the WWE helping young wrestlers develop their in-the-ring style and on-camera mic work. Anderson’s delivery was one that made fans take notice. Plus, he is one of the two funniest men (the other being Bobby Heenan) that I have ever met. Ric Flair had great Ric Flair interviews, but Arn Anderson had great Four Horsemen interviews.
2.) Jim Cornette
Some of the best matches I’ve ever seen were the Midnight Express with Jim Cornette against the Rock and Roll Express. One of the main things that drew fans to those great matches was the microphone work of Jim Cornette. I was (and still am) absolutely amazed at how he could rattle off words. He was amazing and unbelievable. I’ve been asked many times if I ever broke up during Ric Flair interviews. Yes, but not half as much as during a Jim Cornette interview.
1.) Ric Flair
Of course Flair is number one, and why not? The “Whooo” is attributed to only one man. What was Flair like in “real life?” He was exactly like you saw on TV: full of himself, loaded with confidence and never at a loss for words. Whether it was a funny interview or a serious one about an upcoming bout, Flair was always one step ahead of everyone else.