‘The Mouth of the South’ Jimmy Hart is coming North once again, and Montreal had better get ready.
This Friday night, Hart will be managing Jacques Rougeau Jr., as he takes on King Kong Bundy at the Verdun Auditorium.
It’s a real reunion for Hart, who managed Rougeau way back when in Memphis, then the ‘Fabulous’ Rougeau Brothers in the WWF, and later when Jacques was The Mountie. Hart also managed Bundy briefly in the WWF.
To Hart, it’s a matter of giving back to the people whom he managed in the past. “Everybody I’ve ever managed, I always feel like I owe something back to them because they helped me make a living back in the day,” Hart explained to SLAM! Wrestling.
Bundy will have Amanda Storm in his corner. For once in his career, Hart considers himself there for muscle as much as his mouth. “Jacques says, ‘Jimmy, I can’t hit a woman.’ I said, ‘Jacques, I can.'”
Hart said that managing the Rougeaus was really fun, and compared them to another great Canadian tag team. “I had the Hart Foundation and the Rougeau Brothers, and both of them together were so different and so good. Both teams, Bret of course, when he got in the ring, he was just tremendous. And so was Jacques. Jacques had a lot of showmanship to him. Raymond was more wrestling-oriented, but Jacques had the personality, kind of the way Anvil had the personality for the Hart Foundation.”
Jacques was the funny guy. “Jacques was just hilarious, especially when he was The Mountie,” Hart said, launching into a story.
“I never will forget our first interview when Pat [Patterson, former WWF booker] and them put us together, and I was going to be The Mountie’s manager. I wrote the song, ‘I’m The Mountie’. … The first interview, at the end of the interview, Jacques goes ‘And remember, Jimmy Hart, the man always gets The Mountie!’ And we all laughed. It was supposed to be ‘The Mountie always gets the man.'” The misspoken line is still a source of great joy for the two old friends.
When Jacques and Raymond turned their backs on the fans and became The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers, pledging their allegiance to the United States, Hart said that they were the hottest thing in the WWF for a time. “They had heat, let me tell you,” he said. “They had more heat than anybody in the territory back then. It was just tremendous … The U.S.A. – Canada thing never burns out. It’s just a natural.”
The heel tendencies came easily to the two brothers. “[They were] probably one of the best tag teams because they did everything behind the referee’s back. I’d call the referee’s attention, and when the referee was with me, they’d do the double kicks on the guys, do the double hip tosses together, they worked as a team really good,” The Mouth said.
They were also very professional: “always on time, dependable, if they needed a 20-minute match, they gave a 25-minute match, always kept their outfits updated.”
Coming to Canada was always a blast for Hart, in part because he’s a big sports card collector, and in particular, remembers always buying lots of the McDonald’s hockey cards. (And, in fact, Hart recently met Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning at a personal appearance, and it turns out the young hockey superstar is a big fan of both Hart and the Rougeaus.)
Montreal and Toronto were his favourite cities. Toronto was great because they would stay at the Howard Johnson’s (“eating my macaroni and cheese dinner”) and go to the show at Maple Leaf Gardens.
“Montreal I always liked because there was so much history there,” Hart said, citing Pat Patterson as one of the Montreal greats.
Besides the show in Montreal on Friday, Hart is involved in a project with Hulk Hogan and a major legends night in Memphis. He is fortunate to be able to choose what he wants to do. “I don’t do a lot of shows either, not because I’m a billionaire or anything, but because I didn’t want to prostitute myself out there,” he said. I still have a year left with WCW and that kind of gives me the freedom to have fun with these projects.”