By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Rotunda on his release from WWE and how he enjoys being at home: “Well, I got furloughed in the middle of April along with a number of other people so, it’s been quite some time and didn’t look like it was gonna open back up. I kind of prepared myself for it, but I wasn’t exactly sure what was gonna happen, which I’m fine with it. Like you said, I had a long run there, I’m 62-years old and to be honest with you, it was harder and harder to do all the traveling and keep that pace. It definitely helps being a little younger when you’re trying to keep the pace that you’d have to working for WWE. Especially, my whole time there, we did live shows.
“Like depending on which show you were on, we did both television shows and I did a ton of live events which were like Friday, Saturday, Sunday and then TVs were Monday, Tuesday until they switched to the Friday Night Smackdown. So I definitely put a lot of time in on the road and it’s kinda nice being home. My wife and I have been married, it’ll be 36 years in October and all but three years of that, I’ve been on the road, so I mean that’s a long time and I’m actually enjoying to be home more and be around my wife and see my grandkids some more and get a chance to go fishing more, which I like to do living here Florida. That’s my go-to, my relaxation so it’s given me an opportunity to do more, to me something that’s important to do and it’s fun for me.”
Rotunda on his son Bo Dallas and hoping that WWE finds something for him: “Windham’s [Bray Wyatt] had an opportunity to be world champion a couple of times and I’m sure he’ll do it again and Taylor [Bo Dallas] even had the opportunity to be a tag team champion. And I think Bo has a lot of ability and even his brother will say that because he’s a better worker than I am but… hopefully they’ll figure out something that works for him, that enhances his career. He’s worked there quite a while and he has a lot of ability. They just need to find something to capitalize on that in my opinion. But that’s the biggest thing, just being able to work, a dad and his two kids for the best wrestling company and the biggest wrestling company in the world, that’s probably our legacy. Just being able to get that opportunity.”
On Bray Wyatt’s creation of The Fiend character and not knowing it was happening: “I thought the Bray Wyatt character was out of the box because I hadn’t seen anything like that and he pulled it off so well, you know? Then, I didn’t even know he was gonna start doing The Fiend stuff and all of a sudden, I was like a new fan watching it myself because I wasn’t aware that he was — even though you work for the same company there, you could go a month without being on the same show, because we were running so many shows, different directions. And I’m sure he did have quite a bit of input in it because the fact of the matter is when you do have your own input, you’re gonna be more comfortable with your thinking in that direction. And I’m sure creative gave him some direction too as well but I think he came up with quite a bit of that with his own creative.”
Rotunda further spoke about his sons’ creativity and what they bring/can bring to the WWE product: “Some people, you can do stuff to enhance a character and make it even bigger. It’s like the character my oldest son does when he did Bray Wyatt. They kind of came up with that themselves and it was… developed the character more and more and then they went to doing The Fiend stuff and he was just — Windham, my older son is good on the mic. He can talk well and speak well and he has a creative mind and so does my younger son. They’re both creative. They didn’t get that from me but, they both have creative thinking and have ideas to make it better and like I said, it just depends on the individual I think and also now, the WWE has a much more creative, bigger creative team assembled for stuff like that than they did back in the day. I mean it was more like a, ‘Hey, this is what you’re gonna be doing. We’ll do some vignettes’ and then you get going and then you just kind of feed off of that, try to make it the best you could.”
Other topics include Rotunda’s entire WWF run with Barry Windham as the U.S. Express, his WWF run as “IRS” Irwin R Shyster including being in Money Inc. with Ted DiBiase, NWA, WCW, being in the NWO, NJPW, NWO Japan, AJPW, Varsity Club, and more.
You can listen to other shows apart of the TMPT Empire including Shane Douglas’ Triple Threat Podcast, Taking You to School with Dr. Tom Prichard, Talking Tough with Rick Bassman, Taskmaster Talks with Kevin Sullivan and the University of Dutch with Dutch Mantell.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...