John Tatum Shoot Interview

RF VIDEO, your trusted source for the best shoot interviews available, is happy to deliver a 1980s wrestling superstar from two well remembered, and beloved, promotions; World Class Championship Wrestling and Bill Watts’ UWF. Hollywood John Tatum, the man who brought us Hyatt International, sat down with us in the studios to record a very entertaining shoot that goes into great detail on some of the most amazing years, and territories, in recent wrestling history.

Tatum discusses his entire career, including how he met the lovely Missy Hyatt and got his first break with Fritz Von Erichs’ World Class. All of the big names of World Class were talked about, including: Chris Adams, Gino Hernandez, Sunshine, Rick Rude, and, of course, the Von Erichs. Tatum even talked to us about the disastrous appearance of cousin Lance Von Erich, which is one World Class memory the entire state of Texas would like to keep buried! You’ll be very surprised to hear Hollywood’s thought on that subject.

It was in Bill Watts fabled UWF that Tatum received the lion’s share of recognition during his career, and in this exclusive interview, John discussed the ins and outs of the promotion while giving his thoughts on all the big angles and wrestlers during his stay with the company. You knew we would have to confront Tatum point blank about what happened between Missy Hyatt and Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert, and Tatum answered every question we threw at him while giving an amazing recollection of how the events went down so many years ago.

Tatum finished his career after stints in USWA and Global, so John was more than happy to give his thoughts on Memphis’ own Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee while also dishing the dirt on guys like Scott “Raven” Levy, Mick Foley, and Jerry Lynn. We concluded the interview by getting Tatum’s thoughts on anything and everything in the world of wrestling from the past through today. You wont want to miss this fantastic addition to the RF VIDEO shoot interview series!

Were you a fan growing up
Is it true you grew up with Michael Hayes, Robert Gibson, and Percy Pringle
Who did you enjoy watching
How did you break in, who trained you
What was his training like
What was the hardest thing to pick up in training
Memories of your first match
Is it true you started out being booked as Michael Hayes’ cousin
How heavy of a partier was Michael back then
Did anyone mentor your and if so, who
What were some of the territories you worked early on in your career
Memories of the mid-atlantic area
Did anyone mentor you there
How did you meet Missy Hyatt
Early memories of Missy
Was she a fan
Was she hesitant about valeting early on
How did you get into World Class
Initial memories of Fritz
Initial memories of the Von Erichs
How crazy was the party lifestyle in WCCW
Are the stories about the Von Erichs being heavy partiers true
Who was your favorite Von Erich and why
Memories of your series with Iceman Parsons
What happened the night Iceman no showed your match and you got the belt
What do you think happened to Gino Hernandez
Memories of Gino
Memories of your series with Chris Adams
Did you and Missy get along well on the road
Memories of your series with Sunshine and Scott Casey
Do you think Sunshine tried to test Missy
Did Missy get you any heat with the office
Who did you and Missy travel with
Were you on the Israel shows
Memories teaming with Rick Rude
Thoughts when they brought in a new Von Erich, Lance
Memories of working the Von Erichs in Dallas and Ft Worth
What was the groupie scene like in World Class
Whos idea was it to put you with Jack Victory
Early impressions of Jack
What do you remember about when Mike almost died
Memories of your World Class series with Missing Link
Memories of Jake Roberts
What was the road schedule like
Why did you leave
Did Ken Mantell leaving as booker and going to Watts influence your decision to leave
Did you leave on good terms with Fritz
Favorite matches from WCCW
How did you wind up in the UWF
In 1986 you were charged with possession of marijuana, what happened?
Early impressions of Bill Watts
Compare Bill and Fritz
How different were the locker rooms from UWF to WCCW
Was it by design or coincidence that you and Jack went to the UWF together
Early impressions of Eddie Gilbert
Did Eddie tell you what his plans were for you initially
Memories of the mud matches between Missy and Dark Journey
Was there legit heat between the two of them
Memories of matches with the Fantastics
How strict was Bill Watts
What was the road schedule like
Did anyone like Crockett or Vince ever send feelers your way during this time
Who’s idea was it to merge your group with Gilberts
Memories of a young Sting and Rick Steiner
Memories of Steve Williams
Memories of the Freebirds at this time
Memories of Hacksaw Duggan
Memories of matches with Terry Taylor
Memories of working the Missing Link. In his book he says he used to do a lot of drugs back in those days. Were there ever any problems working with him
Who’s idea was it to split Missy from you
Were you guys for it
What was the first sign that you thought something was up with her and Eddie
How did you confirm the affair between the two of them
Who did you confront first? Missy or Eddie
Did you feel betrayed by the boys who knew
How do you think they pulled it off
What was Bill Watts’ reaction to the mess
Who’s idea was it to make a program out of it on screen
Did anything between you and Eddie ever turn into a shoot
Was it hard sharing a locker room with Missy after this
Are you surprised they got married
Are you surprised at the longevity Missy had in the business
Thoughts on her today and her reputation
Did you read her book and if so, thoughts
How did you wind up leaving the UWF
Did you leave on good terms with Bill
Thoughts on his recent revelations of being a born again Christian
Are you surprised he wound up selling to Crockett
How did you wind up back in Texas
Did you try to work for Crockett or Vince
Did Fritz change at all
What happened when Tony Atlas no showed your tag title match and you guys wound up with the belts
Memories of Bruiser Brody
Did you and Jack make a pact to stay together
Do you think that your legacy as a team is underrated
Memories of your series with the Simpsons
Memories teaming with Jimmy Jack Funk
Were you surprised when you found out Kerry had his foot amputated
Thoughts on how the whole Von Erich played out
Are you surprised that Kevin is the lone remaining Von Erich
How did you wind up in the USWA
Who was booking at the time
Thoughts on Jerry Lawler
Thoughts on your series with Bill Dundee
Thoughts on Global
Thoughts on teaming with Rod Price
Memories of a young Mick Foley
Memories of a young Scott Levy
What did you think when you watched the Kid-Lynn matches
Memories of working with Jerry Lynn
Memories of working with Austin Idol
Was it strange working with Eddie again in Global
Is it true that Eddie gave you free reign in how you wanted to book your angles
Memories of being managed by Gary Hart
What lead to your retirement in 1995
Do you regret it
Were you surprised at how successful Percy went on to become
How much do you miss it
Were you surprised to see Jack last as long as he has
Thoughts on how the business has changed since you were in it
Thoughts on the disappearance of the territories
Do you get asked to do a lot of reunion shows
What have you been doing with yourself since your retirement
Do you still keep in touch with anyone
Thoughts on the death of Eddie Gilbert
Thoughts on Kerry and Mike’s suicides
Is it true that you are going to open a school
Do you have any regrets
In ECW a few years ago Steve Corino mentioned you in a promo, what were your thoughts when you heard that
Did Paul Heyman ever try and bring you in
Thoughts on the lack of kayfabe today
What do you miss most and least about being a full time wrestler
Best ribs you ever saw
more road stories
Are you surprised by guys like Terry Funk and Flair who have been around this long
Favorite guys to work with and why
Least fav guys to work with and why
Can the southern style of wrestling still get over today
What do you think about Vince buying WCW and limiting the options for wrestlers today
What makes someone a good heel in your opinion
Is there anyone that made it that surprised you and is there anyone who didn’t make it who you thought would
Do you still watch wrestling
What are your thoughts on all of the deaths of the past few years and which in particular hit you hardest
Thoughts on UFC and comparisons to pro wrestling
Do you want to write a book
Do people recognize you