HARVEY WIPPLEMAN DISCUSSES THE “TALENTLESS” GIANT GONZALEZ, HIS BIZARRE WRESTLING OUTFIT, WHY HE FAILED IN WWE, AND MORE
The 125th edition of JG’s Radio Free Insanity is on the air and available right now at WorldWrestlingInsanity.com (Flash and MP3 download) This week’s show features WWE employee and brand new author…Bruno “Harvey Wippleman” Lauer.
Bruno joined James Guttman on ClubWWI.com for a 46 minute shoot interview that covered many backstage stories from his 30 years in the wrestling industry. With his brand new book, “Wresting With The Truth,” now available (http://www.crowbarpress.com/), Lauer has plenty to discuss. As someone who has watched Bruno throughout most of his career, James had lots to ask and you can hear it all for yourself not only on ClubWWI.com, but on today’s Radio Free Insanity (always free and always on WorldWrestlingInsanity.com)
Among the topics Bruno and James discussed in the full ClubWWI.com shoot are:
His New Book “Wrestling With The Truth” (From Crowbar Press)
His Time With WWE
Breaking Into The Business at 14
How He Started
Where “Downtown Bruno” Came From
Kurt Angle‘s Decision To Jump To TNA
Working With Giant Gonzalez
When He Knew Gonzalez Was Doomed
The Wrestlers Who Tried To Help Him
Bryan “Adam Bomb” Clark
His Feud With Kwang
The Tuxedo Matches With Howard Finkle
The Big Rib Vince McMahon Pulled On Howard At MSG
The Famed McMemphis Angle
Jumping On Vince’s Back
The Only Time He Ever Said “No” To Vince
Feuding With Scott Bowden in Memphis
How Vince McMahon Is a Victim of His Own Success
Heat With Rhonda “Bertha Faye” Singh
Personal Disdain For Her
Managing Well Dunn
Why Nick “Big Bully” Busick Didn’t Work Out
His Original Names Before “Harvey Wippleman”
How a Mistake Lead To That Name
Today’s Young Stars
Stories Of Respectful Rookies and Ignorant Ones
Lex Luger and The Ultimate Warrior
Winning The Women’s Title
…and Much More!
James then speaks about the return of D-Lo Brown to WWE this past week. As many know, D-Lo has been one of ClubWWI.com’s audio hosts over the past year. As host of “The Lo-Down,” Brown spoke out on so many topics regarding the wrestling business and always did so with insight and class. James and everyone at World Wrestling Insanity wish D-Lo huge success in this opportunity. He’s a solid guy and deserves nothing but good things.
Brown’s show, “The Lo-Down,” is now archived on ClubWWI.com. You can hear all his past shows as well as Ivory‘s “Smacktalk,” Orlando Jordan’s “Club OJ,” Bull Buchanan’s “Bullpen,” Kevin Kelly’s “Big Picture,” and Tom Prichard’s “Tuesdays With Tom.”
James Guttman welcomes Bruno Lauer to the site and asks how things are by him. Lauer says he just got back from a WWE tour through the Carolinas. He just got back “to God’s country” in Mississippi. JG says that it must be great to be home after so much traveling. Lauer says it is but he’s also conscious of the fact that all that traveling helped to pay for the home he’s so happy to be in. The first thing he always does when he returns home is thank God for allowing his home to be protected during his absence.
JG then brings up Bruno’s new book and asks him to tell the listeners a bit about it. The book is called “Wrestling With The Truth” from Crowbar Press and can be ordered through their website or 1wrestlinglegends.com. In it, Bruno aka Harvey Wippleman aka Downtown Bruno tells the truth.
“It wasn’t just one of those books that I’ve seen so many of where every match, you know, that I was ever involved in wasn’t great. Every promotion I ever worked with, for, in wasn’t fantastic and I wasn’t treated like a king and a top guy everywhere I went, you know. The business doesn’t owe me anything either. I’ve seen so many books where every match that person was involved in was fantastic. Through the roof. Number one. They drew HUGE money. They drew record ratings. The promoter was begging them to come in. Hell, that wasn’t me. Why would I want to lie? Why would anyone want to read some self-serving bullsh*t like that? That’s why I did…I hope I can say bullsh*t on the air.”
James tells him he can and Bruno continues. He admits he’s not a top guy. He’s a “self confessed multi thousand-aire.”
-ClubWWI.com Break –
In progress, Bruno is talking about Giant Gonzalez. He was big and imposing, but something just didn’t click for him. Lauer calls him the “most awesome guy” you could look at it due to his size but then says he was, “one of the worst performers you’ll ever see in the ring.”
James then transitions over to Gonzalez. He asks about the bizarre outfit. It almost made him look like Slim Goodbody. Did Bruno see this whole thing as a shot in the pan too? JG wonders if there was a point when Harvey thought it was “doomed.” Lauer laughs and answers.
“The first time he stepped in the ring. Nothing to do with the outfit. Ah, what the hell. The outfit was maybe to sell toys or something like that. You can make a creature out of it to, you know, little plastic figurine to sell toys.”
Wippleman doesn’t know that for a fact, but it make sense considering the time period. He looks back on others at that time and how they were promoted more to sell merchandise than they are today. Everyone had a gimmick then. From pirates to Dean Douglas – everyone was gimmicked up. Gonzalez couldn’t work. That was the problem.
“Andre wasn’t Shawn Michaels, but he could perform reasonably well for someone his stature. Basically he was looked at as an attraction, not a featured wrestler, but you had to do something and Gonzalez couldn’t do anything. He was literally talentless and I hate to say it because he’s a dear friend of mine. I stay in touch with him to this day and I love him like a brother but he just didn’t have it in the ring.”
Aside from Bruno Lauer, over 125 star interviews are available on ClubWWI.com for less than five dollars a month. Among the other guests you can hear from are: Jesse Ventura, Terry Funk, Jerry Lawler, Vince Russo, Eric Bischoff, Ahmed Johnson, Bobby Heenan, Terri Runnels, Kevin Nash, The Iron Sheik, Sid Vicious, Paul Bearer, Bruno Sammartino, Bryan Clark, Sean Mooney, Scott D’Amore, Tito Santana, Al Snow, Tod Gordon, Charlie Haas, Tom Prichard, Jacques Rougeau, Paul Roma, Tammy Sytch, Too Cold Scorpio, Ole Anderson, Kid Kash, Ivan Koloff, Jackie Gayda, Scotty 2 Hotty, Dawn Marie, John Heidenreich, Jimmy Hart, Jimmy Valiant, Rick Martel, Bad News Brown, Nick Bockwinkel, Dory Funk Jr, Diamond Dallas Page, Rob Conway, Sylvain Grenier, Buff Bagwell, Christian Cage, Jazz, Demolition Ax and Smash, Koko B. Ware, Ricky Morton, Dustin Rhodes, Damian Demento, Fred “Shockmaster” Ottman, Cpl. Kirchner, One Man Gang, Scott Steiner, Shawn Stasiak, Ted DiBiase, Ivory, Chris Masters, Elix Skipper, Kamala, Samoa Joe, Giant Bernard, Bill DeMott, Juvi “Juice” Guerrera, Nora “Molly Holly” Greenwald, Nick Dinsmore, Harley Race, Bull Buchanan, D-Lo Brown, Road Warrior Animal, Missing Link, Rikishi, Slick, Nidia, George Steele, Christy Hemme, Disco Inferno, Paul Ellering, Vito, Steve Blackman, Bushwhacker Luke, AJ Styles, Chris Daniels, Dennis Stamp, Shawn Daivari, Kevin Sullivan, B.G. James, Ron Killings, Zach Gowan, Dan Severn, Earl and Dave Hebner, Spike Dudley, Rodney Mack, Larry Zybszko, Rick Steiner, Mae Young, and many, more.
James Guttman’s second book, “World Wrestling Insanity Presents: Shoot First…Ask Questions Later,” is available for pre-order on Amazon.com.