Months ago, an interview with King Kong Bundy was set up to promote a personal appearance he was making in southern Ontario. Repeated phone calls never got the Master of the Five Count on the line, so SLAM! Wrestling’s Greg Oliver headed to the Hamilton Convention Centre in Hamilton, Ontario for an ICW show.
Armed with a digital camera, a tape recorder and a list of reader questions, he finally cornered the Monster of the Mat.
Bundy knew exactly who Oliver was, and considered tossing his interviewer around the ring as payback for the repeated phone calls. Saner heads prevailed, and King Kong sat down to do the interview.
As you read the Q &A, an attempt has been made to show when Bundy (real name Chris Pallies) is in character, and when he is not. It is the first Q&A interview that SLAM! Wrestling has done in person, which definitely changes the dynamic a bit, mostly in favour of the interviewee.
Below is the transcript of the 20-minute interview. Credit has been given to the readers who sent in questions.
Q: What is your current weight? Are you close to the same size as you were with the WWF? [Jay Fox]
A: I just weighed myself — 427 today, and I’m down a little bit. I’m trying to get to 390 to create a new, slimmer, better Bundy. Still as big as a rhino as fast as a cheetah.
Q: Which do you think is better, WWF or WCW and why? [Dr. Placid Lasrado]
A: I’m not in either one, so I think to say either one of them is any good would be foolish, don’t you Greg? The great Bundy’s not there, brother, c’mon, they’re just stroking themselves.
Q: There’s more than one of these questions. Are you headed to WCW or the WWF? [Conan, Ben Ortmanns, Tammie Thomas, AndreW, Adam Gonshor]
A: [In character] Big man, right now, that’s on a need-to-know basis, and Oliver, you don’t need to know and neither do your people out there. [Changes tone, more thoughtful] I really don’t know. If I got the right offer, I’d like to go to WCW, but who knows. If. There’s a lot of if’s. What if my parents never met, you know. It’s one of those what if’s.
Q: Who trained you for a career in wrestling? [Dr. Placid Lasrado]
A: Larry Sharpe. Pretty Boy Larry Sharpe of the Monster Factory. Before it was formally the Monster Factory. I was basically trained by the Monster Factory.
Q: When did you start your wrestling career? [NJM]
A: 1980, brother. I was just a baby. I had to get permission when I first started. I was in elementary school back then in 1980. I had to get permission to leave school for matches if they were more than a couple of miles away.
Q: Were you a wrestling fan to start with? [NJM]
A: No. I liked football, baseball and roller derby, that’s it.
Q: So did someone say to you, ‘you should be a wrestler’? [Greg Oliver]
A: Yes. I just fell into being a professional wrestler.
Q: When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered? [Dr. Placid Lasrado]
A: Well, Greg, you know what I’ve learned in all my years? When all is said and done, there’s usually a whole helluva lot more said than done, except when the Great Bundy is talking. I’d just like to be remembered as one of the premiere super heavyweights in the history of the sport. And I think I have been. I mean, my longevity, I think I have been. I’m still King of the independents, wrestling all over the world. I’ve been to Africa this year, Malaysia, Japan. Still Bundamania’s running rampant everywhere, brother.
Q: Ever considered going to ECW? [Usercpsta]
A: I wrestled there one time when I first started back. Those boys are a little too extreme for me. Brother, it’s like everything else. If the money’s there, I’d be there. I mean, who’s going to beat me? That Chris Candido? He’s about as big as my leg. Taz? Like he’s going to give me one of those super-duper hurricane-o suplexes? I don’t think so, bro!
Q: Why did you leave the WWF? [Dr. Placid Lasrado]
A: Well, the situation it was in, it was bleak. I was with the Million Dollar Corporation, but you know, Ted Dibiase couldn’t manage his way out of a wet paper bag and he was keeping all the money. And the business at the time was on its ass anyway. I just figured it was time to leave and go out on my own.
Q: In all of your years on the pro wrestling circuit who would you rate as your toughest opponent? [martin riches, mriches]
A: I would say the toughest opponent was, Hulk Hogan definitely would be one of them. Andre the Giant was tough. There’s been a lot of tough ones. Those are definitely the two that stick out in my mind.
Q: Are there any plans to do more televisions or movies? [Rich “Clutz” Yang, Vincent Degiorgio]
A: Well, you know, I just tried out for an HBO movie yesterday in Philadelphia. To get the kind of roles I get, they’re small, specialized roles, you really have to live on the West Coast. I thought about doing that years ago, but I’ve got no interest in that now.
Q: Have you ever encountered any serious health problems concerning your 300+ pound weight? [NJM]
A: No, not really. No, I’m allright. So far, so good Greggie.
Q: Do you have any plans on starting a wrestling school? [Ed Podniewicz]
A: I think I might do that some day. I think it’s time for me. I like to say, those that can do, and those who can’t, teach. But, I think, y’know, I could do both. I’ve proven I can do it in the ring. If I could do it in a wrestling school, I think there’d be no problem proving that either.
Q: Is it true that you’re a fan of the wrestling card game called Champions of the Galaxy? If so, what made you a fan of it? (I also play this game and have been told that Bundy enjoys it, too. If this is out-of-bounds for your interview, that’s fine. Just thought it would be interesting to hear his reply to this. Champions actually has a big Canadian following, too.) [MDA]
A: Yes, from Phil Singer Games, Champions of the Galaxy. It’s a very entertaining, very fun, wrestling board game. I know it sounds kind of dull, a wrestling board game, but it’s a good one. How’d you find out about that?
Q: This guy [MDA] emailed me about it.
A: Brother, your arm is long. You’ve got your finger on the pulse of this business.
Q: What made you a fan of this game? [Greg Oliver]
A: Well, I met the guy. He’s a college professor, Tom Filsinger. I met him through a friend up here in Canada, and he sent me a copy of the game. I just got to playing it with my nephew and my son, and we just really enjoyed it.
Q: What do you think of Hulk Hogan? [Shane Bennett, Ben Ortmanns, Ranjit Sandhu, Rich “Clutz” Yang]
A: Hulk Hogan is wrestling, anybody who says anything but that, even though he was rated before Reckless Youth in this year’s PWI 500 — which I think everybody should boycott PWI for that reason. He is wrestling. Whether he’ll make a run for President of the United States, I think is another story. I don’t if he can do that or not, but hey, he couldn’t be any worse than what we have now.
Q: Were you guys friends? [Ranjit Sandhu]
A: No. Associates. I wrestled him a lot. I wouldn’t call us friends.
Q: Did the Married With Children people call upon you because of the last name likeness? [unknown]
A: Well, you know, my name … that show was named after wrestlers. I was the reason they were called the Bundys. If you remember when the show first started — I never knew this until I was on the show the first time — the producers, the creators rather, Michael Moyer and Ron Levitt, were big fans of wrestling. And remember the next door neighbours were the Rhodes? And the Dusty Rhodes? The playboy shoe salesman was Luke Ventura after Jesse The Body, now Governor of Minnesota, Ventura. And I was the Bundys. … I did that show three times. It was a lot of fun. I wish it was still on the air because I really enjoyed doing it.
Q: My question is did you enjoy your relationship with Bobby Heenan? [Wayne Reifferscheid]
A: Yeah, Bobby was a great guy, a great manager. Funny guy, entertaining guy. One of the great guys in this business.
Q: Would you agree the greatest tag team of all time was King Kong Bundy and his partner Big John Studd? [Wayne Reifferscheid]
A: Well, obviously a man who knows his wrestling right there, because I agree 100%. Who could ever beat us? Who did ever beat us? I can’t remember ever losing a match.
Q: What do you remember about the match in Toronto where you broke Andre’s ribs? [Greg Oliver]
A: I remember the Giant was getting a little too big for his britches and Studd had already cut his hair. Remember he used to carry his hair around in a bag? I mean we cut his hair, broke his ribs, what else could we do to the man, know what I mean?
Q: How did it feel to get the record of the fastest match in the WWF, at Wrestle Mania against S.D. Jones? [Jodi Feldman, Juan]
A: Well, that felt good. I always thought it should be a second or two sooner, because I think that record has been broken, hasn’t it? But I think it was someone pinning Bobby Heenan, it wasn’t actually a wrestler pinning another wrestler. So, in my mind, Greg, I still have that record.
Q: Is there any special opponent wrestling in the WWF or WCW today that you would like to wrestle, but never got the chance? [Chris Kitching, Dr. Placid Lasrado]
A: I would like to wrestle Sting. I’d like to wrestle Sting because I think I could have given him an ass kicking.
Q: How do you feel about the current state of wrestling? With all the new age stuff that has taken wrestling into a new era do you fell that this will kill wrestling in the long run. [Chetjang]
A: Back when I started in this business, son, we had wooden ships and iron men. Now we have iron ships and wooden men, basically. But you’ve got to give them credit. They’ve got people talking about wrestling — nWo, Stone Cold. I believe in giving someone their due. I hate these guys who’ve been in the business a long time, and say the guys were tough when I was in, business was better. Hey, the business is great right now, so I give the guys all the credit in the world.
Q: Do you miss the big cards of the WWF? [SM111963]
A: Number one son, wherever I’m at, Greggie, is the big show. Some young punk said to me the other day, ‘what are you doing in the minor leagues?’ And I said, when I’m here, baby, it’s not the minor leagues.
Q: Was beating Hogan on Saturday’s Main Event your career highlight? Bundamania, Bundamania, Bundamania!!!! [Graham MacDougall]
A: That, and being in the main event of WrestleMania 2, I would say were career highlights. I’ve had so many, how can I rate them all, you know?
Q: Who do you admire most in wrestling? [LlVIN]
A: Besides myself? Oh, I don’t know. That’s hard to say. I admire a lot of guys. I admire Roddy Piper. I admire Bret Hart for what he’s done. I mean, back in the eighties, he was nobody, and then all of a sudden, he’s the man in the WWF. He’s got the big deal down with WCW. So, they’re both a couple of good guys.
Q: Is there a Bundy a fan club. I’m sure a lot of people would join. I would. [Mike]
A: No. Well, they wanted to start one, but the size computer you’d need to manage the membership rolls to keep track of it all, they haven’t come out with something that big yet. [Laughs, yells to the Bushwackers, who are being interviewed by Adam Burchill. “Bushwackers! Are we making gone like the wind here or what?”]
Q: The WrestleMania 3 match with yourself, Lord Littlebrook, and some other midget wrestler whose name I can’t seem to remember against Hillbilly Jim, Haiti Kid, and Little Beaver, was, in my opinion, one of the funniest moments in WWF history. Sure, it was a little cruel in some people’s eyes, but it made me double over in laughter (Hey, I was only 10 at the time!) [Stephen Laroche]
A: Well, I remember Little Beaver popping me with that moccasin and that thing stung like a son-of-a-bitch. So I was a little hard on the Beaver that night, know what I mean? But he deserved it. [Suddenly quiter.] But, you know, I hope I wasn’t responsible for his early demise. I wouldn’t want that on my conscience.
Q: Ten years ago it was easy for a big man with limited speed and ring skills to get over with the fans and get the big matches. Today fans want to see smaller guys with quick flashy moves. [Kevin Nagle]
A: Let me tell you, the fans think they want to see the dwarves with the flashy moves. Most of the fans don’t know what they want to see. The fans all want to see the Great Bundy. [Spits out] Limited skills!
Q: Whose idea was the “five” count? [Craig Malin]
A: My idea. I got tired of people saying they didn’t get beat by King Kong Bundy. When I beat a man, Greggie, he knows he’s been beaten. He knows he’s been beaten by a better man, by a far better man.
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