Teddy Long Shoot Interview

RF Video sat down with legendary NWA Referee..WCW manager/WWE Referee/Smackdown/Monday Night Raw/ECW GM Teddy Long for a near 3 hour tell all shoot interview. Teddy has been around the business for the past 20 years getting his start running errands for Abdullah the Butcher during the Georgia heyday and paid his dues and broke into the business as a young referee. During this interview you will hear how he paid his dues and started to get friendly with some of the more influential names in the business like Kevin Sullivan and Eddie Gilbert. How did Teddy get noticed for having the gift of gab? This is a great interview from start to finish if you love road stories because Teddy has driven the roads with some of the biggest names in the business and has seen it all.

You will hear how Teddy used to get tea for Dusty Rhodes and JJ Dillon during early booking meetings during the Crockett era and how Dusty would keep Teddy in the room to listen to early booing meetings which later Teddy connected the dots and gives his reasoning why Dusty did that and explains how that helped him. Teddy experienced a lot of racism in wrestling with some of the biggest names calling him the dreaded “N” word as Teddy holds nothing back and tells you who those top guys are and are still big names on TV today. You will be shocked to hear who some of these guys are. Teddy had a lot to prove and once he was given the mic with Normal the Lunatic/Mike Shaw his career took off as a manger which soon led him to manage Sid Vicious/Dan Spivey who would be known as the Skyscrapers. Ff course Sid did not last and Teddy gives his thoughts on why and how Mean Marc Callous took his spot and how he transformed himself to be one of wrestlings biggest phenomenon’s known as the Undertaker. Teddy has been a top official ref too before all of that and has seen some major shoots take place in the ring like Steve Williams and Ric Steiner go at it!!! Teddy’s biggest run in WCW was with Butch Reed and Ron Simmons as he managed Doom. He talks all about their program with the Horseman and their main angles when he was a limo driver for Ric Flair and his thoughts on Ric Flair and Arn Anderson, and you will hear first hand why he did not like them both and why he wanted to prove something to them even when he was in WWE. Teddy was there for the Monday Night Wars and for the first time ever you will here a brand new perspective on the Chris Benoit/Nancy Sullivan/Kevin Sullivan drama that got started backstage at WCW and what lead to the tragic passing of Nancy and of course the Chris Benoit murder/suicide story. Teddy talks about working for all the major owners/bookers in WCW from Jim Herd, Kip Frey, Bill Watts and of course Eric Bischoff. You will hear why he had issues with Sid Vicious and did not really care for Marcus Bagwell and why. Managing Johnny B Badd and having locker room issues with the Horseman that were real. What major promoter called him the N word in the NWA and told him to get off his plane?

When Teddy left for the WWE in 1998 he gives his reasons why and how it was like for him to restart as a referee in the WWE before he was asked to once again manage talent in the WWE and eventually become on of wrestlings biggest GM’s on Smackdown and Raw. Teddy has been around the biggest names in the WWE and has seen it all. He was there for the locker room fights between Vader in Orndorff in WCW and knew the story that took place in the bar with Marc Henry and Michael Hayes. He was there the night that Owen Hart passed away and of course the tragic day where they found Eddy Guerrero passed away in his hotel. Teddy has stories on everyone and incredible stories on what it was like to work with Vince himself behind the scenes and of course Steph and HHH. His WWE behind the scenes stories are awesome and hilarious. His feuds on TV with Vickie Guerrero, John Laurinaitis are all covered and we talk about everything he did in the ring in the WWE by working with the biggest names in the company in front of the camera’s and behind the scenes. Vince loved Teddy that is why he lasted so long and you will hear why. Teddy talks why Vince loved him during TV tapings and what made him stand out. From the wedding where he had the heart attack to becoming the GM for ECW and working with Booker T during his run as US Champion Teddy Long has been apart of WWE story lines for a seemingly decade and we get him to talk about everything that happened during his WWE run. There are stories on the Undertaker, John Cena, CM Punk, Randy Orton, and the biggest names that you see on TV every Monday night.

Teddy pulls no punches and gives very open and honest opinions on the entire roster and if he don’t like someone he will tell you why during this shoot. This was a great interview that I know you will enjoy if you grew up watching NWA, WCW and the WWE…Holla, Holla…Playa!!!!

Were you a wrestling fan growing up?

What are your first memories of the wrestling business?

Who were your favorites growing up?

The legend is that you met Tommy Rich and Abdullah the Butcher in the
80s and helped them out running errands and driving them to shows – how
did you first meet them?

Why do you think that they let you in during an era where kayfabe was
so strong?

What are your favorite memories of Abdullah during that era?

What do you think are the secrets to his success?

What early lessons did you learn about the business from Abby, if any?

Same questions for Tommy Rich?

How did you get hired to work for ring crew for Jim Crockett Promotions?

How did you segue into becoming a referee and what was the training

Did you train with the idea of becoming a wrestler?

What were the most important aspects of being a referee in that era?

Memories of working with Tommy Young, Earl Hebner, Dick Kroll, Nick
Patrick and Dick Woehrle during that era?

What makes a great referee?

Has refereeing changed over the years? If so, how?

What are the biggest mistakes new referees make? What mistakes did you
make early on?

Talk about the role of a referee when it comes to interacting with
managers at ringside?

Memories of working with Jim Cornette, JJ Dillon and Paul Heyman?

Was it easy or hard to become accepted by the Crockett locker room?

Early memories of Jim Crockett and Dusty Rhodes?

Memories of working Techwood Drive Studios as a referee. What was the
atmosphere like?

Thoughts and memories of working with:

Ric Flair – was it hard working long title matches?
Ole Anderson
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
Barry Windham
JJ Dillon
Bam Bam Bigelow
Midnight Express
Rock N’ Roll Express
Nikita Koloff
Magnum TA
Ronnie and Jimmy Garvin
The Varsity Club
Eddie Gilbert
Dick Murdoch
Michael Hayes

Memories of working The Crockett Cup tournaments?

When Crockett began to expand nationally, how much did your schedule
change in terms of traveling?

Memories of working the early Crockett PPV shows?

Were the paydays better for referees on PPV shows?

Crockett began purchasing different territories in the late 80s.
Memories of working Florida and doing the heel referee gimmick there?

Ron Simmons was breaking into Florida at this time. What are your
memories of him when he began? How has he changed over the years?

Crockett purchased The UWF and that led to a huge influx of talent.
How did the talents mesh in the Crockett locker room?

How did that era compare to when WWE purchased WCW and their talents
began meshing in the WWE locker room?

Early memories of Sting. Why do you think he became such a huge
success in such a short time?

Could you tell there were financial problems within Crockett before the
wheels came off?

Dusty’s booking is often blamed for the end of Crockett Promotions and
the Dusty finish is often brought up. Do you think it was being
overused during that time period?

What was your reaction when you learned Ted Turner was buying the

Were you surprised when Dusty was let go as booker?

Memories of the night Ricky Steamboat won the title from Ric Flair in
Chicago, where you were the second referee who counted the pinfall?

When did you first find out about plans to change you from a referee to
a heel? Who’s idea was it? How far in advance were you aware of the

Where did the idea for you giving the Varsity Club the NWA Tag titles
via a fast count over The Road Warriors at Clash of Champions 6 in New
Orleans come from?

Since the idea then was that you had been legitimately hurt during the
match, do you think fans realized it was a heel turn?

WCW took time before announcing that you would be removed as a referee?
Did you know where it was all leading at the time or were they
planning it as they went along?

The storyline became that Jim Herd fired you and you told the fans and
WCW they would be sorry for firing you because Steamboat never would
have won the title without you. When you think about it, that was a
natural argument for you to make and it was a realistic reaction to the

Talk about creating your heel manager persona?

WCW began a storyline where you were scouting talent. Who were the
first names you were told they were considering putting you with?

Where did the Peanut Head chant come from?

WCW began giving you a chance to do commentary at this point. Memories
of working with Jim Ross? What’s it like being put into that position
of sink or swim announcing on TV?

In 89, there was a lot of new talent that debuted. Let’s get some
memories of them:

Great Muta
Brian Pillman
The Samoan SWAT Team
Terry Funk
Ranger Ross
The Dynamic Dudes
Tom Zenk

They begin to tease you would be managing Ron Simmons, including
handing him foreign objects and you began to manage Butch Reed. Was
the plan always to put them with you as Doom and if so, how did they
instead end up with Woman first?

Memories of working with Norman the Lunatic/Mike Shaw?

WCW began experimenting with some more cartoonish storylines, such as
you having the key to put Norman back in the insane asylum, which were
a departure from the more straightforward sports presentation that
Crockett Promotions had. How did you feel about it?

The storyline initially was that you and Norman were childhood friends,
but that aspect was later dropped. Any idea why?

Memories of Norman’s debut at Clash of Champions 7 in Fort Bragg

Memories of Jim Herd, if any?

Memories working with The Skyscrapers, Sid Vicious and Danny Spivey?
Compare what it was like working with each of them.

Memories of doing Funk’s Grill TV segments with Norman?

You began doing segments titled The World According to Theodore R Long
on WCW TV. What led to those segments and why did they get dropped?

What led to Spivey

WCW began building a feud between Sid and Dr. Death on TV. Any insight
into why that feud never really took off?

Sid was hurt and unable to compete at the Iron Team tournament at
Starrcade 89. Any idea what the original plans for the tournament were
before the injury?

They did an angle where you replaced Sid with Mean Mark Callous in the
team – what are your first memories of the man who would become
infamous as The Undertaker?

Compare Callous to Sid in 1990 as a worker and which version of the
Skyscrapers you preferred?

Memories of the new Skyscrapers vs. The Road Warriors. What was it
like working with LOD in their prime, both as a referee and later as a

Same question for Paul Ellering? Memories of your boxing matches and
the hair vs. hair match with Ellering at Capital Combat 1990?

What happened that caused Dan Spivey to miss the Chicago Street Fight
at Wrestlewar 90 vs. The Warriors?

You finally end up with Doom that night as they protect you from The
Warriors. Was that a move made because the Skyscrapers were done due
to the Spivey situation?

Compare working with Doom to working with the Skyscrapers?

We talked a little about Ron Simmons earlier. Talk about working with
Butch Reed.

Memories of working six man tags with Doom vs. The LOD & Ellering?

Memories of Doom vs. The Rock N’ Roll Express

Memories of The Horsemen vs. Doom

Talk about the back and forth angles where Flair would offer more and
more money to get a rematch against Doom and then finally offers his
boat and rolls Royce to get their chance.

Memories of filming the angle where you were Ric Flair’s chauffer for
the day and Doom beat the hell out of Flair

Dusty returns to WCW as the booker in 1991 – how does the company
change with him back at the helm?

Memories of the Freebirds coming in as DDP’s mystery team against Doom.

Memories of losing the belts to the Freebirds after the Freebirds had
already lost them to the Steiners – when something like that took
place, did anyone ever try and voice their concern over it exposing the

Thoughts on DDP as a person and as a performer. Did you ever see him
as someone who could make it to the World title level?

What led to Doom being broken up? Why was Ron Simmons the one who was
turned babyface as opposed to Butch Reed?

Memories of the Reed vs. Simmons feud?

Did WCW get enough out of the Reed vs. Simmons feud or did it end too

What led to both you and Kevin Sullivan both managing One Man Gang in
WCW in 1991?

There was a TV taping where you managed Dan Spivey & the Angel of Death
after the Doom split. What were the plans for that team and why did
that not go anywhere?

WCW brings in Marc Mero aka Johnny B. Badd about the same time. Early
memories of working with him? What did you think of the Badd gimmick?

Let’s talk about some of the other talents that debuted or returned to
WCW during that era:

Steve Austin
El Gigante
Matt Borne as Big Josh
PN News
The Southern Boys
Dustin Rhodes
Cactus Jack
Bill Kazmaier
Larry Zbyszko
Big Van Vader

Memories of the Johnny B. Badd vs. PN News feud?

Thoughts on Jim Herd firing Ric Flair whle he was WCW champion? What
did that do to the morale of the locker room?

Were you surprised when Herd was removed from power?

Any thoughts on Kip Frye’s run as the head of the company?

Were you surprised when Bill Watts was brought in? Was it a lot harder
working under Watts than it was Herd or Crockett or Frye?

Eric Bischoff joins WCW as an announcer in 1991. By early 1992, you
are co-hosting Main Event with him. What are your early memories of
working with him and how was he on a personal level during that time

Why was it that you were moved away from managing and towards
announcing at that time? Were you disappointed WCW made that move?

WCW turned you babyface as an announcer and began showcasing some of
the fundraising and charity work you were involved in. What led to
them taking you in that direction and why were they promoting your
outside of the ring endeavors?

Thoughts on Ron Simmons winning the WCW World title in Baltimore?

Why do you think Jake Roberts’ run in WCW was so short?

Memories of Erik Watts’ time in WCW?

Are you surprised Bill Watts’ run with WCW ended the way it did?

There’s always a lot of talk that Watts was allegedly racist based on
comments he made in an interview with a newsletter. What were your
dealings with him like? Do you think he gets unfairly maligned?

Were you surprised when Eric Bischoff ended up running WCW? How did he
change upon getting the job?

Who decided it was time for you to begin managing again?

Memories of managing and working with

Marcus Bagwell & 2 Cold Scorpio
Ice Train

Memories of feuding with Missy Hyatt during the Nastys vs. Scorpio &
Bagwell feud?

Thoughts on some of the talents in WCW in 1993:
Paul Roma
Paul Orndorff
Kevin Nash during the Vinnie Vegas era
Johnny Gunn

Memories of the Hollywood Blondes tag team – do you think they were
broken up too soon?

Thoughts on the Slamboree Legends concept?

First memories of working with and meeting Harlem Heat?

What were your first thoughts when you learned WCW signed Hulk Hogan?

Were you surprised some of the WCW fans rejected Hogan early on?

How did the company change as the Nitro era began? Talk about the
differences that you noticed as a long-time employee in terms of how
the company was run and perceived by fans before and after Nitro began?

WCW began having you manage a number of different talents during the
Nitro era. Your memories of working with these talents:
Joey Maggs
Craig Pittman
Jim Powers
Hard Work Bobby Walker
Bobby Eaton

Were you upset that older members of the roster like you weren’t being
pushed and a lot of former WCW names were instead getting more TV time
or were you just happy the company was more successful?

How did success change Eric Bischoff?

How often did he talk to the locker room about trying to put Vince
McMahon out of business? How did you you and others feel about
Bischoff having that goal?

Memories of Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, Jericho, Konnan during this time

There’s a lot of talk now about how the harder working performers like
the names we just mentioned were being held back and how frustrated
they were – how much of this could you see at the time in the locker

A few last WCW names to discuss:

Lord Steven Regal
Bill DeMott
The Giant

Do you think Turner Broadcasting ever really had a clue about pro

What led to your WCW departure?

What were your favorite and least favorite things about working for WCW?

After you left WCW, did you think you were done in the business? If
so, what did you plan to do?

Talk about how you went about getting hired by WWE? Did you reach out
to them or did someone call you about coming in?

Jim Ross was in charge of talent relations during that era. What were
your dealings with him like and how had he changed from WCW, if at all?

What was your first meeting with Vince McMahon like?

Were you disappointed they only wanted you as a referee or were you
happy just to be working in the business again?

Did they ever tell you it was possible they would segue you into a
character down the line?

Talk about the differences behind the scenes during a Raw and a WCW TV

What’s the difference between working for a booker and working for a
writing team when you are a performer?

Which do you think works better?

Was it hard becoming accepted by the WWE locker room?

Was it hard becoming accepted among the other WWE referees?

What were the differences between refereeing in NWA/WCW and WWE?

What aspects of officiating in the NWA would you like to see WWE adopt?

Memories of the night Owen Hart passed away?

Memories of referring the night Droz was injured?

What led to WWE turning you into a heel manager?

Were you happy to be back in that role?

What were the differences between the WCW Teddy Long character and the
WWE character?

How different was it managing in WWE?

Memories of working with:

D’Lo Brown
Rodney Mack
Christopher Nowinski
Mark Henry
Mark Jindrak.

Do you think WWE missed the ball with some of the aforementioned

You were drafted from Raw to Smackdown. What were the differences in
the locker rooms between the two brands like?

It’s often said that Raw was more business-like and Smackdown was more
of a frat on the road. Is that fair?

How had Undertaker changed in the years since he left WCW?

How had Mick Foley changed in the years since he left WCW?

Thoughts and memories on working with:

Kurt Angle
The Rock
Steve Austin
Shane McMahon
Stephanie McMahon

Thoughts on WWE buying WCW?

Why was it so hard for the WCW talents to integrate themselves into the
WWE locker room?

Do you think there were guys who got screwed by politics coming in? If
so, who?

Were you worried about your own job since there were only so many spots?

What’s it like working a Wrestlemania card?

Memories of the angle where you were named GM of Smackdown, replacing
Kurt Angle – were you surprised when you heard the news?

What made them decide to make you a babyface GM? Were you surprised by
the turn?

Thoughts on the New Talent Initiative idea on Smackdown?

Thoughts on working with
Bobby Lashley
Mr. Kennedy – why do you think he flamed out in WWE
Mark Henry

Any thoughts on the incident where Michael Hayes was suspended for
allegedly using the N word towards Mark Henry during a Wrestlemania
weekend conversation? Thoughts on Hayes?

What were your thoughts when WWE hired Eric Bischoff? Was he humbled
by the loss of WCW? Was he accepted by the locker room? Were you
surprised when you heard Ric Flair tried to assault him backstage?

Did you see your move to the ECW brand as a demotion?

What were the differences between how ECW was perceived backstage vs.
Raw and Smackdown?

Memories of Eddie Guerrero and his passing.

Were you surprised when WWE hired Vickie Guerrero?

Thoughts on how she improved and evolved over the years?

Memories of wrestling Eric Bischoff at the 2005 Survivor Series?

Memories of working with Booker T in WWE during the angle where Booker
kept trying to get out of defending the U.S. title?

Why did Booker succeed in WWE where so many other former WCW wrestlers
failed? What did he do that others didn’t?

Thoughts on the Benoit tragedy?

What led to the angle where you fired Melina and John Morrison from
Smackdown? How much heat did Melina really have backstage?

Thoughts on the following talents:
John Cena
Rey Mysterio
Trush Stratus
Dudley Boys
The Hardy Boys

Memories of the romance storyline with Kristal Marshall and the crazy
wedding angle where you had a heart attack.

We’ve heard the storyline was going to lead to Marshall having been in
cahoots with Vickie to take over Smackdown and then Marshall would be
Edge’s on screen valet, similar to Lita’s old role – but then Marshall
quit. What are your thoughts on the entire scenario?

Memories of the feud with Vickie over the power in Smackdown?

Memories of working with Tiffany in ECW?

Thoughts on the rise of CM Punk in WWE? Do you think we’ve seen the
last of him in pro wrestling?

Memories of the Punk vs. Undertaker conspiracy angle? It never really
was explained but the entire idea was that Punk was working with Vince
McMahon, correct?

Memories of Drew McIntyre as the chosen one and Long having to pander
to him? Why do you think WWE lost interest in McIntytre? Was it the
real life issues with his wife where she got arrested during a
Summerslam week in California?

You worked with Dolph Ziggler during the time period he was with Vickie
on screen. Thoughts on his work and whether WWE has used him correctly?

Thoughts on:
Randy Orton
Zack Ryder
Daniel Bryan
Santino Marella
Wade Barrett
Cody Rhodes

Memories of the angle where he feuded with John Laurinaitis?

Where did the Aksana romance angle come from?

Were you disappointed when WWE decided to end your run as the Smackdown
GM during Wrestlemania 28 in the Raw vs. Smackdown tag?

Memories of the vignettes where Long was forced to become Laurinaitis’
second and be humiliated?

What led to WWE finally taking you off TV? Did you ever get a straight
WWE announced that they released you, but we’ve heard that your
contract actually expired – so what were the circumstances of your

Were you hoping they would move you into another role for the company?

Would you ever want to go back full-time?

After so many years of referring, how do you feel physically these days?

What were your favorite and least favorite things about working for WWE?

What are you up to today?

Do you want to do independents?

Any final words for your fans?