Fred Ottman talks about working as “Tugboat” alongside Hulk Hogan and more in this interesting interview with Steve and the Scum on WGD Weekly.
The entire interview can be heard here:
Some of the highlights from Steve and the Scum’s chat with Fred include him touching on:
His thoughts on the “Total Divas” reality show and a wrestling reality show he would like to see: “…I’ve watched a little bit of it, and I just have no interest. I mean, that is just me though. God bless them, and I hope they do really, really well with it, but you know, there is so many special ed series out there to begin with, you know…I would rather a series that was more like the ones when they did the ones with MTV…or like they do with the MMA fighters, where they are at the school and go through the training, I really like that show. Then you could do the in house…they all got to live together with the shoot misery and attitudes. You get that much testosterone in one area and one building and add some women in with it, there is likely to be some twists and turns to it…”
His interest and thoughts on WWE’s current product, TNA, or indy shows: “…I’m really interested to see where it is going to go, which direction it is going to go with what they have got going on right now. I watch TNA, there are a lot of times where I will go out and watch independent shows locally down here…I like a lot of the new talent that is coming up and everything, I’d like to see more with WWE, they are trying to do some tags, but some new gimmicks, some more diversified characters and stuff like that…”
Working with Hulk Hogan as Tugboat and his thoughts on Hogan in general: “…It was incredible…they put me together with him and I am this big ‘green” guy, ‘cause I’m still green as goat crap as far as my experience in the ring…He was unbelievable. Such a gentleman, such a nice guy, I mean, it was incredible, in and out of the ring…He was awesome…he was down to earth, he had a big heart. I feel real bad about some of the stuff that he has gone through in the last few years and stuff like that, and I hear a lot of different things from a lot of different people, but my memories, with me is that how he has always been is a professional and a great guy and a super wrestler. The people love him, they even love him when he is bad, and then when he comes back from being bad, they love him ten times as much…just think of the longevity that this man has had in this business and there is a lot to be said about that…I couldn’t lace this guy’s boots, or the other guys that I was working with, but having the opportunity to be there, it was one of the highlights of my career…it was just truly, truly, truly, a tremendous experience…”
Being one of the first performers to work with the Undertaker when he came into the WWF in 1990: “…I love the gimmick…wrestling now a days is missing the individual gimmicks, too many people are the same…the ‘Taker, he was awesome. I had his first match, him and Paul Bearer, and Paul was a great guy…the big man, he is awesome. I knew that he would be great, the first time that he was laid out there and he sat up and the people popped…he was tremendous…Here you got a guy that was about 6’9”, and to be doing the kind of stuff that he was doing, tremendous…Very methodical in the way he worked, the matches he had were just tremendous…the gimmick was always full of surprises, and the thing is with that Undertaker gimmick, you can do so much with it, it is an untapped entertainment source. Everybody loves the Deadman, it is that kind of gimmick…”
Looking back at the infamous “Shockmaster” incident, twenty years later: “…They just celebrated it, twenty years in the archives of wrestling history…All you can do there, is the show must go on, like I said, that board that was added, was right at the height of my knee and it went all the way across, just below my knee, right where it bends. That was the piece that screwed everything up, other than me, I’m a big screw up, you know, so I must take the hit, I was very upset when it happened, but I did the best and made it because it was live and, you know, the rest is history…I look at it a lot and I laugh at it now, it’s funny and it’s goofy, but you know what I tell people all the time is the most entertaining parts of the movies now are the outtakes, where the famous actors screw up, so I can kind of put it in that same realm I guess…its history, it happened, hey, I have my own award, the “Shockmaster” award in WWE, for some lucky people out there, Woo Hoo…”
In addition to these topics, Ottman also discusses his start in the business and training for a career in wrestling. His stops in Florida Championship Wrestling, Memphis, and working early in his career with legends such as Rocky Johnson, Jerry Lawler, Scott Hall, and others. He also talks about his different gimmicks including Big Bubba, Big Steel Man, Tugboat, and Typhoon, a pie eating contest with him and Hulk Hogan vs. Roseanne and Tom Arnold, his WWF run starting as the Steel Man with Slick. His friendship and partnership with Earthquake and battling in the great tag team division as the Natural Disasters, the entire lead up to the Shockmaster gimmick and incident on live TV, in addition to doing several of his famous imitations and so much more.
WGD Weekly with Steve and the Scum presents new material every Sunday, where they sit down with a different figure from the “glory days” of wrestling. All of the past shows, as well as their new ones when they debut are available at WGD Weekly’s Facebook page that can be viewed here https://www.facebook.com/WGDWeekly. All of their shows are also available on their YouTube channel and iTunes.