“Hollywood” John Tatum on Missy Hyatt and Tessa leaving him for other pro wrestlers, the World Class tragedies, the Von Erich family and his friendship with Kevin, the Global Wrestling Federation


By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with “Hollywood” John Tatum
Host: JP John Poz
Twitter: @TwoManPowerTrip
Website: www.tmptempire.com
Interview available at Tmptow.podomatic.com

On the World Class Championship Wrestling tragedies: “I was there when David [Von Erich] died in Japan, that was pretty much the downfall. They put a lot of bread and butter into David. Kerry [Von Erich], of course, grabbed the reigns after David passed. But Kerry couldn’t hold a candle to David Von Erich as far as ability. And he just had looks, that’s all he had. But David was a superstar. Fritz [Von Erich] was in the NWA, and always was. And they were actually going to put the title when he got back from Japan. They were going to put it on David and ended up putting it on Kerry in the Cotton Bowl. David was the Grand Marshall and the one that was carrying the whole torch.”

On the Von Erich family: “Wrestling, we all know what it is. But it was different then, and especially when they own the company and it’s their television and they’re paying you. You better have your strap tightened up, buddy. They wouldn’t play, especially Kevin. Kevin would kick you with those bare feet and think because he was barefooted that it didn’t hurt. Kevin, last time I talked to him, I was having some problems. And he’s the type of guy, he said, man, just come stay with me in Hawaii. I’ve got horses. I’ve got everything you want. Just please come stay. And that’s just the kind of people all the Von Erichs were. I knew Chris. Chris is a sweetheart. And Mike was a sweetheart. When David died, that’s the day it all changed. Everything changed. It’s like Chris wasn’t involved anymore after that.”

Working for the Global Wrestling Federation: “I pretty much did my job. I didn’t care about anything except entertaining the people, and what was going on in the office, I never studied that or cared about it. I just needed to get there and make the people who paid their hard earned money happy that they paid to see me. There was some crazy office goings on. Pretty much the wrestlers weren’t in tune with, you know, you just did your job and kept your mouth shut, unless you were Bruiser Brody.”

On the UWF and the relationship between Missy Hyatt and Eddie Gilbert: Missy and I, we’d been together a long time. And it wasn’t a good relationship, just business. And Eddie, who we traveled with every day. It was really kind of out of the blue sky. I had no idea. He just came to me like a man and said, ‘Hey, I like your woman, and she likes me. And we want to be together.’ And I said, ‘Hey, awesome. I appreciate you coming to me like a man and telling me.’ And that’s exactly what happened. Eddie and I tried to put a little program together where, of course, he got the girl. And it was a chance for me to turn babyface. In all honesty, I’ve never been a babyface. I got over more than a babyface being a heel. People love the bad guys. They don’t want to admit it. But when I beat the shit out of Eddie, they just didn’t have the same reaction as when I was a bad guy doing it.”

On controversial angles involving women: “I’ll tell you exactly what it was, it was exactly the same thing with Bill Dundee and Tessa. Bill Dundee was single. We’d actually stay at his home when we were in town, and we were all friends. And like a man, he came to me and said, ‘Hey, I like your woman.’ And he was the boss. And I said, ‘She’s yours, I’m fine with it.’ That’s what happened with her. As far as me kicking her, I must admit that was one of the most artistic and beautiful kicks that’s ever been done. I watched that back when it happened, and it was unbelievable, what a beautiful kick that was. It was my boss’s woman. I ain’t going to kick his woman in the damn head.”

Other topics include breaking into the business, UWF, GWF, USWA WCCW, Rod Price, CWA, The Von Erichs, Missy Hyatt, drinking stories, controversial angles, and more.


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