By: Bob Colling from http://wrestlingrecaps.wordpress.com/
Tommy Young interview recap from www.InYourHeadOnline.com
Jack, OIB and Barbie Richards are joined by NWA referee Tommy Young. Young will be appearing at the NWA Legends Fanfest which will be taking place from August 5th to the 8th in Charlotte, North Carolina.
For more information on the NWA Legends Fanfest August 5th-8th in Charlotte, NC go to www.nwalegends.com
Jack brings up Tommy’s style of refereeing where Tommy would fly around the ring and add drama to near falls and Tommy says that he came from a very dramatic family. Tommy talks about breaking into the business originally as a wrestler. Tommy was told by several wrestlers that he was a great referee and should stick to refereeing as he helps their matches. Tommy says he tells young referees that its their jobs to make the wrestlers jobs easier.
Tommy didn’t make to the NWA Legends Fan Fest last year but has been able to make a few of them since they started in 2004. Tommy enjoys talking to fans and credit’s the fans as being the people who made them. Tommy will be refereeing a few matches at the reunion. Tommy hopes that he be involved in matches with legends because he isn’t able to keep up with the younger guys!
Jack brings up Jim Cornette and asks about any stories. Tommy talks about a spot they came up with where Cornette would come into the ring and do pushups after Cornette’s guys involved in the match would be involved in. They spot will include Tommy showing Cornette up by doing pushups and throwing jabs but never connecting with them, and Cornette would run out of the ring.
Tommy Young jokes about having the same birthday with OJ Simpson. They are also 63 years old. His birthday is on July 9th.
OIB asks what was the most hardcore thing Tommy has ever seen a wrestler do to protect the business. Tommy says that Cactus Jack would do anything to make everything look real. Tommy also mentions Terry Funk as being a guy that would do anything to get the fans to think what they were doing was real.
Tommy goes into a story about Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair in 1984. It took place in Charlotte, North Carolina. Tommy says that Steamboat slammed Flair down and put Flair in a front face lock. Tommy went down and proceeded to get the worst smell he had ever smelt! Tommy asked the guys which one farted, but no one farted. Instead, Ric Flair told Tommy that he crapped his tights! Steamboat just rolled his eyes. Instead of stopping the match, they continued the match for at least six or seven minutes because the match was suppose to end yet. They did whatever it took to protect the business.
Tommy is good friends with Steamboat and says that he idolizes Steamboat and Flair. Tommy believes that Steamboat is the greatest baby face he has ever seen and that Flair is the greatest heel he has ever seen in the business. Tommy isn’t close to Flair as he used to be, but stays in touch with Flair sometimes.
Tommy talks about Ricky Steamboat’s WWE DVD and says that they wanted to talk with him about Steamboat’s career. WWE ended up using Young’s statement several times throughout the DVD. Tommy thought they did a good job on the DVD. He hasn’t watched the whole DVD as of the interview.
Jack brings up Richie Steamboat and Tommy likes Richie Steamboat’s wrestling ability and heavily puts him over. Tommy believes that Richie will make it to the WWE as he hasn’t seen any weaknesses in him.
Tommy says that referees need to have their own styles. Tommy jokes about Charles Robinson being his protégé.
Tommy talks about working with Stan Hansen, who had terrible eye sight and would hit people really hard because of that. Hansen didn’t believe in being hit back hard, so when Bam-Bam Bigelow came back at him with right hands Hansen didn’t enjoy that happening. Tommy also talks about Hansen’s match with Big Van Vader where Vader’s eye pops out of his eye socket! Tommy puts over Hansen’s strength but says he was difficult to work with. Tommy also says that Abdullah the Butcher was a difficult person to work with.
Tommy tells a story about Terry Funk. Tommy was hanging out with Terry in a bar and a waitress told Terry he had a phone call. Terry was told that Patrick Swayze was trying to get drinks with Terry. Terry figured it was Dick Murdoch and told Dick to stop calling him and would yell at him. The waitress ended up telling Terry that in between phone calls, she had seen Dick Murdoch and that it wasn’t Dick calling him. Terry couldn’t believe it and went to go call Patrick back but Patrick told him he had his chance and hung up on Terry!
Jackie Crockett ends up calling in and they talk about Tommy jumping over wrestlers and hitting Crockett! They talk about Gene and Ole Anderson being the most professional tag team in the business. Tommy and Jackie would end up having a lengthy interaction with each other telling stories about their NWA days that must be heard for any NWA fans.
Later on, Tommy talked about the NWA invasion of WWE in 1998. Tommy referred a few matches for the WWF during that time. Tommy’s last appearance was arguing with Sgt. Slaughter up the ramp way on a Tuesday.
Percy Pringle III jokingly sent in a question asking if Tommy Young learned everything from the Earl and Dave Hebner. Tommy talks about Paul getting something thrown into his eyes as he was coming to the ring with the Undertaker during the short stint Tommy had with the WWF.
Brandon calls in brings up interviews that Tommy Young would do sometimes following matches. Tommy really enjoyed the promo after the Dusty Rhodes vs. Tully Blanchard match where their was money on the line. Tommy was interviewed afterwards by Tony Schiavone and still has the interview on tape.
OIB asks Tommy how would he have handled the Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels screw job situation. Tommy says that no man would ever want to be put in that place. Tommy never understood why Bret covered his whole body when he wrestled. Young recalls a legitimate fight between Sgt. Slaughter and Blackjack Mulligan where he had to get involved. That was really the only situation close to what Hebner had to deal with. Tommy says that he would have done the same thing that Earl did.
Barbie asks if Tommy was the first person to overrule his decision after looking at video. Tommy doesn’t know if he was the first person to do that.
Later on in the interview, Tommy talks about his career ending injury. The match saw Mike Rotunda vs. Tommy Rich. The incident can be seen on You Tube. November 28th, 1989 was the date of the event. Rich was suppose to shove Tommy in the back and send Tommy into the ropes. Mike was then going to charge Rich and be sent over the top to the top causing a DQ. Rich ended up accidentally stepping on Tommy’s foot and Tommy goes flying forward with his arms going through the ropes. Tommy ended up hitting the ropes and snapping his neck. Tommy couldn’t feel anything from the neck down. Tommy remembers thinking that he was in deep trouble and no one knew it. Tommy ended up going to the hospital and had big time surgery. He had the same surgery that Arn Anderson ended up having and he had to retire as well.
At the time of the injury Tommy went to Jim Herd looking to get into something behind the scenes. Herd ended up telling Tommy that he should sue them. Tommy ended up suing them and got a very small settlement. Tommy knows that he could have kept going another ten years.
Tommy isn’t going to go out of his way to talk to Tommy Rich at the Fan Fest, but feels that Rich was careless for that to happen to him.
Tommy did see some ribs happen in the ring. Tommy talks about Rick Steiner always doing something goofy. Rick Steiner was wrestling Steve Williams in North Carolina and recalls a situation were Steiner put Williams in a amateur wrestling hold and Williams wasn’t able to get out of the hold and just went to the ropes. Another story saw the Briscoe’s taking on Sgt. Slaughter and a man named Don. Don ended up dropping down on Gerry Briscoe and said “two points”. Gerry got up and wasn’t happy about it and let loose on Don. Ric Flair was in the corner, and told Don to drop onto Gerry.
Tommy says that he never met Bronko Lubich and says that he was told about Bronco counting pin falls with his foot!
Jack thanks Tommy for coming on and talking to them for nearly three hours!
Be sure to listen to the full interview with the greatest NWA referee Tommy Young!
Please visit http://www.NWALegends.com/
For the full audio please visit www.InYourHeadOnline.com plus a 5 year archive of interviews and new live shows every Wednesday at 8:05 PM EST !!