Jimmy Valiant talks changing the business, influencing others, Hall of Fame and more
Jan 4, 2014 - by Steve Gerweck
Chris sent in:
Jimmy Valiant talks changing the business with music, influencing younger generations, WWE Hall of Fame, and more
WWE Hall of Famer, “The Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant recently joined Steve and the Scum on WGD Weekly for a near sixty minute interview that can be heard in its entirety here: http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=c4-feed-u&v=r0dpLBzPxxA .
The former WWWF World Tag Team Champion speaks on a wide range of topics with Steve and the Scum including being an innovator in the business by introducing theme music, the WWE Hall of Fame, Bobby Heenan being responsible for the Valiant Brothers becoming a team, being told he has been an influence on younger generations of wrestlers, working under a mask as Charlie Brown and much more. Highlights of Valiant’s chat with Steve and the Scum include him discussing:
On being an innovator and changing the wrestling industry through the introduction of entrance music: “…In 1978 in Memphis with Jimmy Hart, I made my own record with him, “Son of a Gypsy.” So, I started coming out to music in Memphis, man. Now nobody is doing this in the country, guys, nobody…so, I was the first to come out to it in Memphis. Then after a while, Dundee started with music, Lawler started with music, so then in 1980 or ’81, I went in as “The Boogie Woogie Man.” I went into Charlotte for the Crocketts, and that’s how I got over so fast was “The Boy From New York City,” The Manhattan Transfer and brother, I came out to music, and came out dancing, and I’d be kissing everybody. Man, it didn’t matter, man, woman, child, grandma, grandpa, blue, green, purple, it didn’t matter who. I kissed everybody. No one was doing that, nobody probably wanted too, but I was kissing everybody. I was dancing, I was hugging, and the
music was so strong…so I got over like a million dollars…I was the original…”
Influencing younger generations of wrestlers and his advice to young up and comers: “…DDP, man, he told me personally. He had a card out and he named his favorite performers. He named a couple of basketball players, because he was into basketball…then he had Jimmy Valiant…”Superstar” Billy Graham…he told me personally he took stuff from me and of course Dallas told me personally…Also, the “Governor,” man…Jesse “the Body.” I tell my kids at BWC, Boogie’s Wrestling Camp, take something from a performer, watch somebody. Who do you like?
You like Orton, you like the Rock, you like Flair, you like Hogan? Take stuff from the people you like. Just take one thing…maybe a couple of things from somewhere else and then really, really put all this together with your own stuff, too. You have to have some original stuff, too, and hone this all down, don’t copy nobody, but take a little bit…”
His WWE Hall of Fame induction in 1996: “…What an honor to be any professional sport, to be recognized to their Hall of Fame…We got the rings, it’s the big deal, brother. It’s something that I am so proud of…they flew Angel and my girls up…they took us red carpet all night, nice big hotel suite, and of course there was the big banquet that night. This was one of the earlier classes, of course, Andre was the first class in 1993, so we were the fourth class, 1996. It was when they inducted myself and Johnny, Captain Lou, and Jimmy Snuka, Pat Patterson was in that class and Vince McMahon, Sr. was inducted that year. Killer Kowalski…what an honor…It’s the highlight of my life and to have it and to enjoy it and not after I was gone to the big ring in the sky. This was something that I take, this great award from the WWE Hall of Fame to help my kids, I call them my kids at my camp, to help them anyway that I can. Guys, I just want to be a
goodwill ambassador for this business that has been so good to myself, Angel, and my children. I just want it to continue…I’m 71 years old and still doing it…”
Bobby Heenan being responsible for the pairing of the Valiant Brothers: “…Bobby said, Jimmy, remember that big, good looking kid, blonde, he had a good body, man. You two guys, you’re the same size, the same age, same look, man, you guys could go as the Valiant Brothers. It was Bobby’s idea. He goes, ‘What do you say, man?’…I said, ‘Bobby, that’s cool with me, go and do your deal, and bring him in. So, that’s how Johnny and I got hooked up…”
His time under a mask as Charlie Brown from ‘Outta Town’: “…Next year will be fifty years in wrestling…that lasted six months and in six months, I get people asking me all the time about it. That thing was such a hot angle, but they say, ‘Charlie Brown man, from ‘Outta Town,’ and it is just something that was so over, people, you know, you don’t forget it…It was great, I had a great feud…going with Kabuki and Gary Hart at that time…it was just a super deal…”
In addition to these items, “The Boogie Woogie Man” also spoke at length with WGD Weekly about his first becoming interested in wrestling, the origin of his “Handsome Jimmy” gimmick, joining the WWWF and working for Vince McMahon, Sr., working at MSG with Bruno and Jay Strongbow, the Memphis territory and Jimmy Hart, Jerry Lawler, and Bill Dundee, going to work for Jim Crockett Promotions with manager “Lord” Alfred Hayes as “King” James, the repackaging as the “Boogie Woogie Man,” the first few Starrcades, the many great managers he had including, Lou Albano, the Grand Wizard, Gary Hart, and Bobby Heenan, his long feud with Paul Jones and his army including Kabuki and Abdullah the Butcher, battling the Midnight Express, Miss Atlanta Lively, his training facility and the advice he gives to his students and much more
WGD Weekly with Steve and the Scum presents new material every week, with the first episode of Season Two set to debut in early January. Each week, they sit down with a different figure from the “glory days” of wrestling. All of the past shows, as well as their new ones when they debut are available at WGD Weekly’s Facebook page that can be viewed here https://www.facebook.com/WGDWeekly. All of their shows are also available on their YouTube channel and iTunes.