Attention! Detroit's Slaughter Has the Floor
It's all about the chin.
Sgt. Slaughter has a jaw line like a ski slope, and in the 1980s and early '90s, he rode his exaggerated features straight to the top of the sports entertainment business.
During a visit to The Detroit News last month, the WWE Hall of Famer and Detroit native sat down and spoke about his feud with Hulk Hogan, getting hit with chairs and how he helped pioneer the practice of entrance music.
How did you get started in professional wrestling?
My first assignment off-the-air was to do a promo with Vince McMahon, who is our leader now. At that time, his father was running the company; he brought me in and said, "I want you to do a promo with my son." He asked if there was anything he could do to set it up, I said, "Well, you can play this tape." It was the Marine Corps theme, and he said, "Music, hmm. I kind of like that." They had never had that before.
You were the first guy to incorporate entrance music?
Yeah. We were actually talking about it the other day, a couple of us veterans and legends, like what would it be like for these wrestlers now to go out without music? When we went out without music, we had the people as they were, then you built them up to a frenzy. Now, as soon as you come out and they hear your music they're as high as they can get and you haven't even done anything yet, so it's a battle to keep them there.
What is your current role with the WWE?
I'm a producer. If I see Shawn Michaels struggling with an idea, or HHH or John Cena, you just go to them and say, "What about doing it this way, or that way?" And they say, "I never thought about it like that," so you're kind of an artist in one way, where you take a picture that's been started and try to finish it to be sold.
What do you remember about headlining WrestleMania VII against Hulk Hogan?
It was a better match that I got out of Hulk Hogan than I thought I would.
How was it working with Hogan?
He was a little temperamental. He hated to get hurt; unfortunately, he got hurt a lot when I was in there.
If you would describe Hogan as temperamental, how would others describe you in the ring?
I was a perfectionist. I didn't like mistakes on my part; I would grab you and let you know if you did something wrong. Some of my greatest matches probably were in the locker room after the match.
What does a chair shot feel like?
The hardest ones that I've been hit with are those plastic chairs, because they don't give at all. Metal will bend, but plastic doesn't go anywhere, it just kind of stays right in there. It's a sting that you can't wash off and can't do anything about. But those steel chairs can be rough: I've got cuts on the back of my head, on my back, on my knees. The chairs are something you have to watch out for.
You can reach Adam Graham at (313) 222-2284 or agraham @detnews.com.