Former announcer says Vince McMahon Made him Shave his Mustache During his Job Interview
Ken Resnick talks about his move to the WWF in 1986
Ken Resnick co-hosts Wrestling with History every Wednesday night at 930ET on VOC Nation. On the latest episode, Ken talked about his move to the WWF (WWE) in 1986, the toll that the travel takes on your body, and Vince McMahon making him shave his mustache to get hired. Here are highlights of what Killer Ken had to say:
On how hard the wrestling business is on your body: “Just the constant travel alone takes its toll. Then when you factor in wrestling sometimes 25 or more nights in a month…there were times in both AWA (and WWF) where you would wrestle somewhere Sunday afternoon and wrestle in a different city Sunday night. It takes its toll. I used to say that when I die, they’re going to open me up and find 2000 airline cheese omlettes.”
On leaving the AWA for the WWF: “I didn’t jump from the AWA to the WWF. I made the decision to leave the AWA, and until I had already left I had never spoken to anyone about going to the WWF. The day after Wrestle Rock, I told the AWA that I was done. I was a district sales manager at Chrysler before I was in the AWA, and I had already talked to them about going back to work. Shortly thereafter, I was contacted and ended up going out to New York.”
On his reason for leaving the AWA: “Just the way I was treated, and the way that other people were treated. I had enough. The fact that AWA might be going downhill was not a part of the thought process at all.”
On who recruited him to the WWF: “I was very close friends with Blackjack Lanza. We spent a lot of time together. Jack left the AWA and went to the WWF. Jack called me to just see how Wrestle Rock went, what the finishes were, what kind of crowd they had, and we talked. I told him that I quit and he didn’t believe me at first…He (asked) what I was going to do. We were to have breakfast together, and he told me that he’d pick me up at 6am and to wear a coat and tie…we are going to New York, Vince wants to see you. Jack was not about pulling a rib on someone, so I had to call Northwest Airlines (to make sure I really had a ticket). It was the week right after Wrestle Rock.”
On his meeting with Vince McMahon: “The flew us to LaGuardia and had a limo pick us up and take us to Stamford. When we got to the office, they took me in and I had a meeting with Terry Garvin, then Pat Patterson, then George Scott; I had the feeling that I was meeting with Vince’s underlings so he could get their impression (first). Then I was finally taken into Vince’s office and it was just the two of us for well over an hour.”
On having to shave his mustache during the interview: “Within the first five minutes, Vince said to me, ‘tell me about your mustache.’ He wanted to know when I grew it and how long I’ve had it. He said ‘I just want you to know, I really do not like facial hair on my announcers.’ Then he stopped and looked at me. I said if everything else worked out, that wouldn’t be a problem for me. He asked me how much money I was being paid in the AWA…when Vince asked me, I answered him totally honest with the exact amount. I’m guessing he may have thought I was going to embellish it. He finally said to me, ‘if I were to offer you XX (substantially more than I was making in the AWA) when would you be available.’ I looked at my watch and told him (today). He then opened up his desk drawer, pulled out a razor and a can of shaving cream, and said ‘bathroom is right over there.’ You should have seen the face on his secretary when I walked out and the mustache that I had was gone.”
On his WWF role and how it evolved: “After I had been there a while, they had me to color with Gorilla Monsoon for a lot of the matches that aired on Prime Time. I did color in the Boston Garden, Maple Leaf Gardens, Madison Square Garden; I did the Garden tour. We also did a lot of matches at the old Summit in Houston, Texas. I also did the interviews, which were market specific. There were weeks where we had to do over 100 interviews. We would always hit the card, the date, and then something local. There would be sometimes a dozen basic interviews (with the same person) about the same match, the same angle, just for a different city. In those days, the matches for TV would have been already done and edited. The interviews had to be either a minute and 54 seconds, or two minutes and 54 seconds. If you went a minute 56, you had to re do it.”
On his WWF departure: “They told me that Gene was going to come back and start doing the interviews again full time. Gene had been out with some health issues, and for a time I was the only person doing the house show interviews. They had me do more color with Gorilla, but it began to be less and less. In the middle of 1988 they hired a new head of television. He called me one morning and told me that it would be my last month with us, and that was it.”
On not watching the WWE Network: “I just can’t justify paying Vince to watch myself. Thank you but no thanks. For all of the people that did the television back in those days, they don’t give anyone any residuals from the (WWE Network) at all. I’m just not going to pay Vince to watch myself again, I was there.”
Wrestling with History featuring Ken Resnick and VOC Nation founder Bruce Wirt airs live on VOC Nation every Wednesday night at 9:30PM ET with legendary guests and listener calls.
The VOC Nation Radio Network was born out of AM Radio in Philadelphia, and has grown into one of the most successful independent Internet radio networks in the world. Aside from Ken Resnick, current VOC Nation podcast hosts include former WCW star The Maestro, former TNA star Wes Brisco, and Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Brady Hicks.
Featuring guests from wrestling personalities such as Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Joey Styles, Matt Hardy, and Mick Foley, to entertainers like Lou Ferrigno, The Insane Clown Posse, Roberta Flack, and Kristy Swanson, VOC Nation has given listeners insightful programming for nearly 10 years.
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Link to the interview here: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/vocnation/episodes/2019-10-14T18_46_34-07_00
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