Tony Anthony remembers WWF’s T.L. Hopper

TONY ANTHONY DISCUSSES THE INSPIRATION AND DEMISE OF T.L. HOPPER, HEAT WITH VINCE RUSSO, WHY RUSSO KILLED OFF THE UNCLE CLETUS CHARACTER, AND MORE By WorldWrestlingInsanity.com

Get ready to plunge into our dirtiest, whitest, shoot interview yet as “Dirty White Boy” Tony Anthony joins ClubWWI.com for a 46 minute shoot  like only he can!

He’s captured titles all over the United States from SMW to Memphis and even managed the Godwinns to the WWF Tag Team Championship as Uncle Cletus. Now, he joins The Club to talk about it all. Hear about a ton of topics from Tony’s entire career including: The Origin of T.L. Hopper, What Killed Smoky Mountain Wrestling, Heat With Tully Blanchard, The Two Sides of Jim Cornette, When Cornette’s Good and When He’s Bad, How Cornette’s Debts Lead To His WWF Debut, Harsh Words For Bill Watts, High Praise For Bill Watts, Psychology, Highspots, Today’s Wrestling, His Retirement, The “WWE Style,” Wikipedia Errors, Zipper Boots, The Origin of The “Tony Anthony” Name, Rookies With Flashy Britches, Tom Prichard, The Rock, Roddy Piper, The Godwinns, Stone Cold, The Rock-n-Roll Express, and Tons More.  You can read a full list of topics right now at http://www.worldwrestlinginsanity.com/am2/publish/newsnotes/ClubWWI_Tony_Anthony.shtml

Tony Anthony and James Guttman speak at length about the wrestling industry in general and how it has changed in the 29 years since Tony debuted.  One thing Anthony always focused on was his character.  No matter what role he played, he worked to make it believable.  Case in point – T.L. Hopper.  Despite his short run as WWF’s resident plumber in the mid-90s, the gimmick is still remembered today.  James asks how it came about and Tony gives the back story to ClubWWI.com listeners…

“Everybody heard Dusty Rhodes (doing a Dusty impression) – I’m a plumber’s son, workin’ in the ditches, baby.  Well that’s a bunch of garbage.  I actually was a plumber’s son.  My father owns his own company and basically from the time I could walk, I was going to work.  My daddy’s my best buddy in the whole darn world.  I always wanted to be with my daddy, so he put me to work.  So I’d go to work with him and (WWF) said OK.  So that’s where the plumber is from.  I wasn’t really big on that.”

Tony talks about how Cornette’s debts lead to that debut, the meeting that brought him in, and more.  Guttman mentions that the quick run was surprising and asks Tony if it came as a shock that it didn’t last longer.  It wasn’t.

“I knew my spot.  I knew what it was.  I knew it wasn’t going anywhere.  Vince had no intentions of pushing it or anything like that and I knew that.  I was there basically for a payday.”

That didn’t end his time with WWF, though.  After a brief while, he came back as Uncle Cletus, manager to the Godwinns.  Tony talks about the role Hillbilly Jim played in that debut, working with the Godwinns, his new character, and more.  But he also talks about the end.  It was sudden and, as he explains on ClubWWI.com, it all ended with Vince Russo…

“I can honestly say that I managed the tag team champion in the WWF.  That was a lot of fun and then, I think it was Vince Russo come up and convince Vince (McMahon) that people don’t wear bib overalls in the real world.  Well obviously, he’s never got his feet off concrete.  Because, buddy, I know people around here.  Older gentlemen go to church and they’ve got their Sunday Go-To-Meetin’ bib overalls on.  And I mean, you know, I think the fact is that they wanted to bust (me and Godwinns) up.”

The clashes didn’t end there.  The man from New Yawk and the overall-wearing Southern Boy had a number of run-ins including this one that gave them both a better idea of where they stand:

“He kinda had a smart mouth and I’m the type of person where, you know, you’re not going to get the better of me running your mouth.  So I’d fire back at him and he looked at me one day and I said, ‘You damn yankee bastard.’  (Russo replied) ‘Well you’re a damn rebel bastard!’  I said, ‘There ya go.’  (laughs) I said, ‘OK.  There’s our relationship, buddy!”

The full 46 minute shoot is up on ClubWWI.com right now and along with 200 stars, you’ll have plenty of superstars to put on your Ipod, Phone, burn to CD, or just listen through your computer. Stars you can hear the minute you sign up include: , Lance Cade, Jesse Ventura, Bobby Lashley, Vince Russo, Jerry Lawler, Hillbilly Jim, The Killer Bees, Ron Simmons, Magnum T.A., Kevin Sullivan, Mr. Fuji, The Iron Sheik, Rory McAllister, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Tommy Rich, Tully Blanchard, Ken Patera, Bobby Heenan, Terri Runnels, Kevin Nash, Kenny Dykstra, Outback Jack, Paul Orndorff, Headbanger Mosh, Terry Funk, Trevor Murdoch, Eric Bischoff, Nikita Koloff, Nunzio, John Cena Sr., Kizarny, Armando Estrada, Dangerous Danny Davis, Ronnie Garvin, Clarence Mason, Dave Taylor Colin Delaney, Jim Mitchell, Chris Harris, Ahmed Johnson, Glacier, Balls Mahoney, Francine, Sid Vicious, Paul Bearer, Brian Knobbs, Bruno Sammartino, Bryan Clark, Sean Mooney, Scott D’Amore, Tito  Santana, Al Snow, Tod Gordon, JJ Dillon, Charlie Haas, Tom Prichard, Jacques Rougeau, Paul Roma, Jim Powers, Tammy Sytch, Too Cold Scorpio, The Honky Tonk Man, Ole Anderson, Kid Kash, Ivan Koloff, Jackie Gayda, Mr. Hughes, Scotty 2 Hotty, Dawn Marie, John Heidenreich, Jimmy Hart, Jimmy Valiant, Rick Martel, Manny Fernandez, Bad News Brown, Nick Bockwinkel, Dory Funk Jr, Diamond Dallas Page, Rob Conway, Sylvain Grenier, Mike Bucci, Samu, Oscar, Erik Watts, Buff Bagwell, Christian, Jazz, Demolition Ax and Smash, Koko B. Ware, Ricky Morton, Lance Russell, Bruce Hart, Dustin “Goldust” Rhodes, Damian Demento, Fred “Shockmaster” Ottman, Justin Credible, 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 Black man, Bushwhacker Luke, AJ Styles, Chris Daniels, Dennis Stamp, Shawn Daivari, B.G. James, Ron Killings, Zach Gowan, D-Ray 3000, Dan Severn, Earl and Dave Hebner, Sivi Afi, Baron Von Raschke, Spike Dudley, Rodney Mack, Downtown Bruno, Larry Zybszko, Rick Steiner, Julie Hart, Mae Young, Sam Houston, and many, more.

James Guttman’s two books, “World Wrestling Insanity” and “World Wrestling Insanity Presents: Shoot First, Ask Questions Later,” are available at BarnesandNoble.com or wherever books are sold.