Jimmy Hart interview from Pro Wrestling Daily

For years, Jimmy Hart has managed every champion imaginable. Honky Tonk Man, Hulk Hogan, and the Nasty Boys, just to name a few. Not only has Jimmy made his name in managing, but he has also made a name in the music industry. As part of the Gentry’s, his records sold thousands upon thousands of albums. Now here what the mouth of the south had to say when Shannon Rose recently interviews him. This is Part 1 of three and took place back in July.

Shannon Rose: How are you doing, Jimmy?

Jimmy Hart: Man I am doing great.

Shannon: Thank you for being here. Now you started out with the Gentry’s in the 50’s.

Jimmy: I’m pretty old but I’m not that old. I started back in 1965 at a high school in Memphis, Tennessee. I was part of a group called the Gentry’s. I had a million seller record called "Keep on Dancing." After we had our hit, Chips Moment signed the Boxtops, and all their hits, Sandy Posely, "Born a Women." He cut Elvis Presley and the ghetto. We were kind of running with a great bunch back then. That was the first year we put the Gentry’s together, and won the Ted Mack’s original amateur hour, which a lot of young kids like you don’t know who Ted Mack is. He was a guy who was kind of responsible for Frank Sinatra, and a lot of the big stars back then. Kind of like a talent scout type deal. We went on to do "Where the action is." We toured with Sonny and Cher, the Beach Boys, Dave Clark 5, the list goes on and on. Of course that led me to professional wrestling.

Shannon: Now you actually went to school with Jerry "The King" Lawler. Is that correct?

Jimmy: Absolutely. I graduated one or two years before Jerry. He was a big music buff, and I was a big wrestling fan. After we toured for about three to four years on the road, and came back to town. I flipped on Channel 5 one day, and there was Jerry Lawler, the guy I went to school with. It was so crazy about how we met up. Jerry always loved music, and I always loved the wrestling. I was at the recording studio one day, and I got a phone call saying Jerry Lawler is cutting a brand new album. He would love to see if you would like to sing backup on it. Well being a wrestling fan, I said, "Man I love this!" So Jerry came over, and said, "You know Jimmy I knew you in high school, and I’m a big fan, and everything else." So I told him how I was a big fan of his wrestling. It was so funny. We stood around in the studio. The guys who were doing the studio passed around a joint, right? I said, "I don’t smoke." Jerry goes, "I don’t either." So I said, "Okay, Fine." So then they passed around a big bottle of wine. I said, "No thank you I don’t drink." Jerry goes, "I don’t drink either!" So he goes, "Jimmy, at school you played football, baseball, and everything else. You know Sunday’s in the winter I play touch football. In the summer I play softball. Would you like to play?" I said, "Man I’d love it!" That’s how we really hit our situation off together.

Shannon: Now I remember the days of Memphis wrestling, which you started out pretty much doing. You feuded in the ring and out of the ring with Andy Kaufman. The infamous Andy Kaufman stuff going on. Also Randy Savage with the piledriving through the table incident. Various angles... What would have to be your highlight while you were in Memphis?

Jimmy: What some people don’t realize, is that when Randy Savage first came into the territory, he really ran opposition against us. Jeff Jarrett’s daddy, Jerry Jarrett, was really the promoter back then, along with Jerry Lawler. I think Jerry had a third of the company back then. They were running the opposite than we were, and they would challenge us every week, and Jerry Jarrett’s motto was, "Never talk about your opponent’s competition. Never talk about what they‘re doing, when they‘re doing it, or anything else. Pretty soon they‘ll go away." Which was right, but it was so funny. I remember one time I was at Jerry Lawler’s house later on, after all the Andy Kaufman stuff of course, Randy Savage called and wrote a big letter of apology about wanting to join our company, and Lawler goes, "What would you do?" I said, "I’d hire him. He’s great!" So that’s what lead to Jerry, Randy, and myself, along with Jerry Jarrett, and having a good working relationship back then. The first person I ever managed was Jerry Lawler. Then I had the first family there, which was King Kong Bundy. I came in and managed him. A young Rick Rude with his valet came in from one of the other territories. I managed him for a year. A lot of the people who really got their start in the business really got their start in Memphis, and I was lucky to be apart of that.

Shannon: Now how did the angle with Andy Kaufman come about?

Jimmy: Well it’s really kind of crazy. I think Andy was originally through Bill Apter, was trying to get in with Vince McMahon up in New York, and they turned it down, so Bill Apter had called Jerry Lawler, and he said, "Jerry, would you like to do something with Andy Kaufman? He’s on Taxi, and he’s been wrestling women around the country. He’d like to have some television exposure. Of course we jumped at the chance being a local territory back then, cause that was a big deal for us. Lawler told me, "I got Andy Kaufman coming in, and I want to do something with him. After about three weeks I want to do a thing where you manage him because he‘s going to be pretty green in the ring, and we need somebody at ringside with him that can kind of keep him in line." So that’s what really put me with Andy Kaufman.

Special thanks to Kyle Niblett for transcribing the interview.Join me right here next Monday for Part 2 of my interview with Jimmy Hart. Next week, he discusses such items as entering the WWF for the first time and how he met Hulk Hogan. So join me here every Monday as we explore the personal side of your favorite wrestler.

This is part 2 of my three part interview with legendary manager WCW's Jimmy Hart. I conducted this interview back in July with Hart as he was selling his own fireworks brand. So grab a chair, sit back, and enjoy as the words come flying at you.

Shannon Rose: Why were you not in the recent Andy Kaufman movie, Man on the Moon, starring Jim Carrey?

Jimmy Hart: Well they sent feelers out to see if I wanted to participate. At that particular time, I think we had a lawsuit with WWF against WCW. So our people thought it would be a conflict of interest if I was participating on a show with Jerry Lawler. So I was never able to get in touch with him to do it, so I brushed it off.

Shannon: Now what do you think the impact of that angle did? It was on the David Letterman show. Everybody pretty much still to this day basically thought it was a shoot. Even at the movie itself they tried to do another angle. What came about from that?

Jimmy: I think it was great for us in Memphis, because of being a small territory like most of the other territories back then. It was big news for us. It hit the front page of our newspaper here in Memphis, and of course most of the papers across the world. They didn’t know what was really happening. Here’s a comedian Andy Kaufman, as a wrestler, and nobody really heard from him before. He was working for Jerry Lawler, being in Memphis, Arkansas, Missouri, parts of Alabama, Kentucky, and Indiana. People have heard of Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Hart down there, but not New York or anywhere else. It was a home run for us really. It turned out great.

Shannon: Now how did you come about entering the World Wrestling Federation (WWF)?

Jimmy: Well it was a crazy situation. A friend of mine named Hillbilly Jim at the particular time had been wrestling for us as Harley Davidson. He went up to Arkansas to see someone, and Chief Jay Strongbow, and goes, "Man your a big boy! How would you like to be a hillbilly? Hillbilly Jim?" So he left us a joint in New York. We always stayed in contact. At that particular time I was managing Eddie Gilbert, and Flyboy Frazier. I never will forget this. We were in Nashville, Tennessee getting ready for a Thursday night show. Once a month we ran in Nashville. We ran on Thursday night. Usually we ran on Saturday night. So I called home, and when I got home, I said, "Did I get any phone calls lately?" So they went, "Yes. Vince McMahon called your house." I laughed, and went, "Please!" I thought it was Austin Idol, because he use to call me, and play like he was Jim Barnett. Jim Barnett was a big promoter back then, and he would call me and go, "Oh my boy, we would love to have you in Atlanta. This is Jim Barnett." You know, playing around with me. So I thought it was Austin because I was managing Austin locally at the time. So I brushed it off, and I didn’t event call back. The next week we were in Louisville, Kentucky. I called home during the day, and George Scott had called. George Scott was the booker for Vince McMahon then. So I thought, "Man, that’s Austin Idol." So I called Austin, and said, "Idol, what do you need?" He said, "What do you mean?" I said, "You called me last week acting like you were Vince McMahon." He said, "No I didn’t." So I’m going, man that’s odd. I was at home one day and Hillbilly Jim called me. "Jimmy how are you doing man? I love it up here." So I said, "You know the craziest thing happened. I got a call from a Vince McMahon. And he goes, "Jimmy, I’m going to be honest with you. We’ve been giving Howard Finkle a lot of the tapes from Memphis, and they love you! They love your enthusiasm, your southern accent, and he realized, for them to get to the south, that you would be a plus for these guys." Everybody hated New York back then. I mean if you even mentioned their name you would have two broken legs, and two broken arms, with an apple in your mouth. So I went, "Oh my god." He said, "Jimmy, are you going to be at home? I’m going to call up Howard Finkel, because I have to get my travel for the next day." He calls me back in less than five minutes, and goes, "Jimmy, Vince McMahon is fixing to call you." Man, after I picked myself off the floor, I went, "I can’t believe this." I was nervous as heck, because everybody hates New York. I’m going, "Oh my god." Vince McMahon called, "Jimmy Hart, Vince McMahon. I tried to reach you a week ago. We saw your videotapes and were really interested in bringing you up here. Would you be interested?" I said, "Yes sir." He said, "When can you come?" I said, "When do you want me?" He goes, "I want to put you in touch with our travel, we’ll bring you up tomorrow morning." Oh my god. I hang the phone up, and travel calls. This is back in the time where everybody was scared of New York coming in and taking the territories. The company calls. The travel agency calls. I’m on the plane the next day going to New York City. George Scott picks me up, and I meet with Vince McMahon in his office. He said, "Jimmy, we love your tapes, we think we can do a lot with you. When can you start? How about now?" I said, "Only one thing Mr. McMahon. I’ve got to run television Saturday. Jerry Lawler is in Japan wrestling and Jerry Jarrett is hunting, and they left the television for me to do." He said, "I like that loyalty. I’ll give you $1,000 a week, until you come in. You’ll come in in two weeks. Give them a two week notice." I went, "Oh my god." So I got back on the plane, went back home. Saturday television I thought how I could get out of that without hurting them? I’ll get myself suspended! I got with Lance Russell, and I said, "Lance, this is what were doing on television tonight." Andy Gilbert helped me with the show, because there were about 40 people, and it was snowing outside. We had had a match coming up Monday where it was a scaffold match, where on the scaffold, we had these 50 pound bags of flower. The loser had flower dumped on him with syrup, and he was tarred and feathered. So I was showing Lance how it worked, because Lance was going to be in charge, and I said, "Lance, whatever I do to you, suspend me." So I busted the powder over his head, hid underneath the ring. Ran around the ring, the police were after me, so he suspended me. So Lawler comes back, and says, "Jimmy you got suspended Saturday." I go, "Yeah, the reason why is I’m going to New York." He goes, "Man you can’t do that, Jerry Jarrett will sue you." So he called me and said that Jerry was going to sue me. I said, "Sue me? I should sue him for impersonating a promoter!" Boy I really got the hot head then, about how the boys were treated. We did a loser leaves town where Eddie Gilbert came out to my house and we did an interview together, about if I lost Monday night, I’d be gone. I’m probably the only one ever to do a loser leaves town that’s been gone for 15 years.

Shannon: With Lance Russell, was it something where he wanted to stick to commentary?

Jimmy: I think what happened is you see so many announcers that want to be involved and try to be the show, instead of letting the guys really do it. Now, if you watch wrestling now, you’ll see a lot of the girls doing interviews. Well to me, it doesn’t really make any sense. If your really trying to sell a product, why would you want girls to do it. Have t**s and a**. If you do that, the guys at home are looking at the girl and not paying attention to the interviewer. So it’s so stupid to do that I think. I think Mene Gene, and Lance, and people like Gordon Solie, these guys are so good, because they get the guys over, and don’t have another agenda.

Shannon: Now you worked for WWF. You went from Memphis to WWF, basically like an explosion. You went from a couple hundred people to a couple thousand people. Wrestlemania 1. Let’s bring you up to that point. How was it to be apart of the biggest event ever, and how does it feel to be apart of something that is yearly now?

Jimmy: Well it was unbelievable. Some of the shows in Memphis we use to draw 5-6 thousand people, when we had the dream matches, when I beat Lawler for the Southern Heavyweight title. For one week when Kevin Sullivan was down there, I was managing Kevin and Honky Tonk Man. That week I had won the belt, and pulled a swerve. Everybody thought the territory was dying. Jimmy Hart had won the belt, and it was only a one week thing anyhow. The following week, we drew almost 9,000 people. The biggest house they had, to see Lawler break my leg, send me to the hospital, and win his belt back. It turned out great. I remember the first show I did the first show I did which was Madison Square Garden which was Wrestlemania. I remember I had Greg "The Hammer" Valentine against Tito Santana, and King Kong Bundy vs S.D. Jones. He won in about 26 seconds. It was a thrill for me. I think on that show we had Muhammad Ali. It was just like unbelievable. It’s kind of like going from the outhouse to the penthouse. I remember looking at USA today, and seeing it in color, and then right next to it a thing about Memphis in black and gray.

Shannon: Now when did you align yourself as a friend to Hulk Hogan?

Jimmy: Well, Hulk had come into Memphis originally. When Lawler broke his leg playing football for real, Jerry Jarrett took me to Louisville, Kentucky, along with Lance and everybody. Everything was built around Lawler at the time being top heel. The top babyface was Dundee. It’s the first time they had been without them. So Jerry Jarrett said, "What I’m going to do is build this whole territory around you. You can be our top heel until Lawler comes back. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, then were out of business." Behind Lawler, I was managing him for about six months. I really never hardly said anything. So we went up and turned the matches upside down at the Days in with the camera’s set up. That’s where I did the interview where I got my jaw broke. What do you do when a horse breaks his leg? Lawler was in the Baptist Hospital listening. Of course when Lawler came back I got my jaw broke. He said it was an accident to this day and I believe him. That’s what really turned our territory around back then, was me trying to be the heel and keep it alive. When Lawler came back, one week he would fight Handsome Jimmy, one week I’d bring in Austin Idol. The next week it’d be the Funk brothers. Finally one week I managed Hulk Hogan. It turned out great because what happened on Hulk’s deal. Hulk was in the ring,
Lawler and them kind of wanted a long three count. I was so nervous, that when I jumped in the ring with my cane, it was like one, boom, boom, boom. I’m hitting Lawler with the cane, and in the back, Lawler yelled, "You jumped in to soon!" Thank god I did, because in the long run, he could have really kept me out of New York. People don’t really understand. I knew Hulk, but we weren’t really tight back then. When I walked in the dressing room in New York for the first time, Hulk went, "Man I hope you coming to manage me!" Just as a nice gesture. He knew me from Memphis, and by me working up there all those years. I think what really helped me with Hulk is one time Bobby "The Brain" Hennan didn’t want to go on the road with Ric Flair. He was managing Ric Flair at the time. For whatever reason, Bobby didn’t want to do it. Vince was furious, so Vince says, "Jimmy, will you go on the road with Ric Flair for two weeks?" I wanted to pay him for wanting me to go on the road with him, because I always thought Ric Flair was fabulous. For two weeks, Ric Flair and I fought Hulk every night. It was just the greatest experience of my life. I think, along with going in from Memphis just a tiny weenie bit, and knowing my dedication when he needed someone at ringside, we formed kind of a bond. Still not real, real close till the last year I was in New York when he asked me if I would like to manage him, and switch babyface, because he was getting ready to go do movies. A lot of people don’t understand that Hulk Hogan believed in me so much back then with my work ethic. Unless I was sick, I have never missed a day for WCW. I never ever missed a day in Memphis or New York. Sickness or not, broken jaw or broken hand, we always made it to the show, and that’s the way I was brought up. What happened on the deal, is Hulk said, "Jimmy, what did you make last year with Vince?" I told him, and he said, "I’ll give you a cashiers check if you would like to come work for me for a year." So I talked to Vince about it, and Vince hugged me, and said, not that he might mean it this day in age, but he said, "If you ever want to come back the doors always open." So I had a great time with Vince. I really did.

Special thanks to Kyle Niblett for transcribing this interview. Join me next Monday for the 3rd and final part of my interview with Jimmy Hart. In part 3, Hart discusses Hogan leaving WCW, wrestlers that have been let go by WCW, gimmicks he has come up with in the past, and more.

Can you take the heat?

Part 3

Shannon Rose: There’s a lot of criticism towards Hulk Hogan. I’m sure you've heard. You recently did the A & E biography on Hogan's career. What was ironic, is at the end, A & E said that wrestlers like Hulk Hogan are passe. Do you feel that that is true, and do you feel that the criticism towards Hulk Hogan from the sheets and insiders, are correct?

Jimmy Hart: Here’s what happens on everything. People have their opinions because they’re not really with the person all the time. A lot of people ask about Hulk. You kind of really have to be with the guy to know what really goes on. A lot of the time he really does have a bad reputation. A lot of the people who sit back on the internet or on the sheets only see one thing. They here rumors that Hulk’s booking the territory, which he’s not. When our territory has been up or down, sometimes it’s not because of Hulk Hogan, it’s because of the overall situation, when things change around. I know this. When people need a big toy deal, or to New York for a toy deal, the first person they call is Hulk because Hulk still draws more people than most of our other guys. Goldberg’s coming on really, really strong. I think he’s tremendous. Just being friends with him is wonderful.
He has a big draw too.

Shannon: Do you think it was great for him to turn heel {Editor's Note: This was conducted back when he was a heel a few months ago} though?

Jimmy: Well you know what, it’s in the eye of the beholder. If it was me, I wouldn’t have. I might not be the smartest guy in the world. Whatever these people wanted to do, or whosever’s idea is was to do it, I’m sure they had a reason for doing it. Me personally, I wouldn’t, but that’s just me. I’m not in the position to make decisions like that. As far as the Hulk thing
goes, going back to that to, they don’t know how many time’s Hulk’s gone to the ring when he’s been hurt. Through the years, I’ve been in a lot of other territories where a lot of the other people would have stayed home. Hulk’s never refused radio interviews or television interviews, or going to the children’s hospital. He doesn’t get a lot of credit for it because he
didn’t try and publicize it. I always thought the best wrestlers were the ones who made the most money. The only way you make money is if people really care about you and really hate you or really like you. I think a lot of times he’s really had a bad rep. It’s going to be hard to explain to anybody whether it’s me or you or anybody else, unless they were really there with us for a week on the road with Hulk or myself, or just could see what
really happens behind the scenes. I think they would have a different opinion.

Shannon: What about the rumors of Hogan leaving (WCW) in July {Editor's Note: This interview was conducted back on July 3rd}, and starting his own deal with Fox?

Jimmy: Well you know there’s been a lot of speculation on that. There’s so many things going around in the wrestling world now about wrestlers leaving, going here, going there. I think right now’s it’s just a bunch of rumors flying out there. I’m sure if anyone wanted their own wrestling company, and if anyone wanted to give somebody something, it’d be Hulk. Going back to the
biography that was on a couple of weeks ago. Even though I filmed part of it (They sent me a copy), I hadn’t had a chance to see it because we were working that particular night. I think the last statement you said was some of the wrestlers like him are passe by now. I think they’re so brainwashed to about what they read on the internet and the media, that these particular guys aren’t happening one way or another. I really don’t think that’s the case. I think you have to have a mixture of everything. It’s like Metallica. All these groups are still rocking and bringing the fans in. But on the shows they might have a kid rock with them too. I think that’s good because it brings the people up like Kid Rock. Of course Kid Rock’s hot. Down the line like in five years, if he’s still hot, I’m sure Kid Rock will have another young group with him. I think you have to have a mixture of young and old.

Shannon: Speaking of music, because of the fact that you were with the Gentry’s, you were actually doing the music for Paul Roma, and different people in the WWF at the time. You were basically the person behind the intro music in wrestling.

Jimmy: Well back then Jimmy Dotson was kind of really in charge of the stuff, but Vince really liked some of the stuff that we did, which was flattering for us. We did the Demolition stuff, and the Honky Tonk Man stuff, and Snuka.

Shannon: I was actually talking about this on one my columns the other day. The time that you and Honky came out with DDP, driving the pink Cadillac in the WWF. I’m sure you remember.

Jimmy: You know what I forgot about that. He even drove the Cadillac back then. What a memory that is, that’s great. We had a lot of fun. We used a lot of stuff. "Eat your heart out," with Rick Springfield was on one of our wrestling album’s. Vince was always very gracious to me, letting me do some of the music. Of course Jimmy Dotson does a tremendous job doing the music for those guys. If your with our company, they use some stuff, some
instrumental sound bites. It’s so strange that you ask that too, The studio I got and the people I use different people doing a lot of music. We can be heavy, bubble gum, whatever you want. The music we do now is basically what the wrestlers ask us to do. That’s why our music is not as heavy as a lot of the other music companies. That’s because this is what the wrestlers pick
out and kind of lean towards.

Shannon: What music have you done for WCW?

Jimmy: Oh my gosh. Of course "American Made" with Hulk Hogan, the new song for the "Franchise" Shane Douglas.

Shannon: Also the Wolfpac song?

Jimmy: Oh yeah. The Wolfpac song has been one of our biggest sellers. West Texas Rednecks; Disco Inferno. I’m giving you a variety. The Wall’s song; Billy Kidman’s; Kronik; Madusa’s; oh my gosh, as you can tell we have a crazy variety. Randy Savage’s when he was here. It’s quite a variety. We go from heavy to bubble gum to whatever.

Shannon: Now how did it come about that you left the World Wrestling Federation?

Jimmy: Well I told you. Hulk came to me and told me he was leaving to go promote his movie Mr. Nanny. I need somebody with me. I’m going to do this television series called Thunder in Paradise. If you would like to be apart of that, maybe we can go to Vince and see if you can do this. So that’s how it all really took place.

Shannon: In your days with WCW, you’ve gone through your realm of bookers that have been there from Eric Bischoff to Bill Busch. Talk a little about the booking regimate.

Jimmy: When I got in there, Eric was the booker at that particular time. I’ve been through Kevin Sullivan. Then Terry Taylor took over. Then Kevin Sullivan took over again. Then Kevin Nash took over. Of course Eric was overseeing everything at that particular time. Then Vince Russo came in, and then he left. Then it was Kevin Sullivan, and then he was out. Then Vince
was back, and then Vince left again. Then it was Terry Taylor. Its been very confusing. I’ve been here quite awhile with a lot of changes.

Shannon: Being from the old school , how do you see wrestling with the crash television at times? People call it that. Vince Russo does. It works sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s like throwing something against the wall and seeing what hits. Do you feel that way towards alot of the booking Vince Russo has done?

Jimmy: Well it’s not anything particular. Here’s what I think. I always compare it to this. Once upon a time Disco music was really hot. One labeled Donna Summers. One labeled the Village People. One label had Vanilla Ice. One’s everybody starts doing the same thing, it hurts. Then finally Disco Music faded off. Rock and Roll music always stayed around. I think now with what Vince does, which I think is great, don’t get me wrong, because he started over in New York. He does it here with us. But now if
you watch Battle Dome they’re doing the same thing with skits in the back. If you watch Roller Jam they’re doing skits in the back. ECW does almost the same thing. I think once everybody starts doing the same thing, everybody will weaken. I think Vince being as smart as he is, both Vince’s, will come up with a new trend on what direction they really want to go.

Shannon: Now what happened with your first family. The first family is not a family anymore.

Jimmy: It’s like everything else. We had the first family, but we had new bookers come in. They like to change things around, which is fine. It’s like working at Sear’s. Somebody wants to sell the sweater for $29.95. It’s not up to me to sell it for 15 bucks. So my main thing is they wanted to break it off and have Knobbs go in his direction and do hardcore, and of course he at the particular time had concussions.

Shannon: Where is Knobbs by the way?

Jimmy: He’s taking a little time off right now. I talked to him a couple of days ago. At that particular time Hugh Morris had some concussions, so that took him out. Then Jerry Flynn was hurt, and that took him away from us. Then Barbarian had gone overseas for a tour. It was just one of those things that took place. It wasn’t necessarily breaking up the first family. It was just like everybody got hurt at the same time. Then I was in the hardcore
matches. All of a sudden it was a little error that had run its course at its time. Before that we were in the Dungeon of Doom, when Kevin was here years ago. It’s just different people taking talent out, and stretching it a bit more. There’s not always a lot of great talent out there sometimes. There is and there isn’t. There’s not a place for the guys to really train and learn anymore, which makes it pretty tough. That’s why every now and
then you have to take people out. I had some good people in there, so that put them in singles matches, which helped the overall program.

Shannon: Is Meng, Flynn, and Barbarian, still with the company {Editor's Note: Meng has returned to the company since this interview took place}?

Jimmy: As far as I know, I talked to Meng a few weeks ago, and he was at home right now. Jerry Flynn I think was getting married this Saturday week, so he called me and invited me to his wedding. He didn’t say anything about being let go, so I’m sure they are. {Editor's Note: Jerry Flynn and Barbarian have been let go since this was conducted}

Shannon: What happened with WCW Saturday Night? When you talk about that, I guess you can talk about some of the gimmicks that you brought about for WCW such as 3 Count and the Jung Dragons.

Jimmy: 3 Count, the Jung Dragons, Kid Romeo. We were kind of giving a little push to Chuck Palumbo at the time. I thought there were some good kids from the power plant. They just never really had a chance to do anything. That’s why we try to put them on the Saturday night show, to try to groom them and bring them along. Devon Storm, who I always thought was tremendous. At that
time I asked Chris Benoit, who I think is great, would he work with Devon Storm for us for our main event. He agreed to do it. Because of that I was able to take the video of Devon and Benoit with did a 2.0 by the way, to our guys up there. They loved it so much, Vince Russo did, they used Devon Storm as Crowbar.

Shannon: How did 3 Count come together ?

Jimmy: Well what happened was Evan was signed with us, and the other two kids, Shannon and Shane were on kind of a small contract that Eric had brought it. Well when Eric took the hiatus or whatever happened on that, the other two kids were going to be let go. So I scrambled as fast as I could. I always thought the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync thing was pretty hot. I thought this would be a really good heel little move, because I’m smart enough to know that if you put those type of people in a predominantly male building, they’re going to boo them out of the building. So what a great team of high flyers, and also a team that could get some attention and help the show. I came up with the name 3 Count, and got different music, and then Neil Pruitt rushed a really quick job of putting the video together for me. At the time, Kevin Nash was the booker. I asked Kevin, and he said, "Hey, I love the idea. Do it." Well in the meantime, I got the video done, and Vince came in, so I gave it to Bill Banks, and Bill Banks said Vince loved it, and as soon as they had a chance they were going to push it, which they did. A lot of thanks to Vince Russo for doing that and Bill Banks.

Shannon: How did the Jung Dragons come about?

Jimmy: Almost the same thing. Kaz had been signed with us, and not doing to much. I wanted a team that could go with 3 Count for a Saturday night show that could really bump. I knew Jamie could and Jimmy Yang. So I bought their outfits and had the seamstress who works for us put the logo on the back for us, and we kind of put them together for the Saturday show. It was so good after the first week, that the office, which at that time was Kevin Sullivan, put them on Monday Nitro right off the bat.

Shannon: Great. Now to close up this interview. How old exactly is Jimmy Hart? I know we want to crash those rumors and get the exact date if you want to dispel it here.

Jimmy: Well first of all. I’m younger than Dick Clark, but I am two years older than Jerry Lawler. {Laughs}

Shannon: Thank you Jimmy.

Jimmy: Hey thank you very much. Remember before I go, never trust a midget...

Special thanks to Kyle Niblett for transcribing this interview. Special thanks, of course, to my friend Jimmy Hart, for taking the time out to do this great interview. Join me ringside next Monday as we interview another top star.

Can you take the heat?

Shannon Rose

Shannon Rose is the ring announcer for IPW Hardcore Wrestling. He has worked in the wrestling business for over 14 years and has interviewed everyone from "The Rock" to RVD. Rose also has wrestled WWF announcer Kevin Kelly in his pre-WWF days.