This final part of the interview was conducted on 8/22/04
Now moving on to the WWF Hall of Fame. You
were inducted in 1996. Tell me a little about getting the call and what it was like to be inducted along with
Andre and all the other big names. And you hadn't been in the WWF for ... well this was 96 ... so about 15 years. So
how did that feel?
Well Graham, it was really a wonderful honor to even
be mentioned with these other legends and superstars. Vince McMahon and WWF thought enough of me to put me in there.
First of all, JJ Dillon called first when he was with them and soon after that Howard Finkel followed up on it. And JJ
went over to WCW; it was that time.
So I did all the dealing with Howard. Of course,
I was there when Howard - back in the 70s - when he got his first job with them. Great guy. They flew me and Angel
up and my daughters up from Chicago and it was wonderful. It happened on a Saturday night...
Then they had the pay-per-view the next day, Survivor Series?
Yep, exactly. I had to fly back out for BCW. No matter what, I'm committed here. Which is fine though because me and Angel took the early flight out; we got in to Roanoke early and we were here in plenty of time for camp at 12 noon on Sunday. But it was a wonderful evening, lovely evening, I enjoyed it so much. My daughters stayed and Monsoon, who was a good friend of the family, three of my daughters went home with him for the next couple nights. And Joey, god bless Joey.
Yes. The man left us so early from a car accident. Great referee. In the 70s when I was out in Willingboro, NJ, that's where Gorilla lived and that's where I lived, my oldest daughter Robin and Joey they were the same age. They were just 3rd, 4th grade, whatever and they were sweethearts. But anyway, they stayed and Gorilla took care of them and they flew out of Philadelphia back to Chicago.
You're been running this school here for how long?
We opened the doors in September 1992. Our first graduating class was September 93. This September 12th, in just a few weeks, will be our twelfth annual graduation. It will be BWC Class of 2004.
And tell me a little about what you emphasize and what you try to teach the
We teach the kids here, well the first thing is family. Your family is what you belong in. And meeting you, Graham, I welcome you with open arms. And, man, you're so knowledgeable about this and your project which you almost have completed. It's just like, if I see them showing the interest I'll help anybody, any time, and especially BWC students. They live out the life that I have already; that's what I'm trying to do for them, let them live out their dream to become a professional wrestler, valet, or referee, or whatever they want. There's a place for you. If you really want to get into the world of professional wrestling, there's a place for you. And I told you, Graham, we're starting TV next year and that's another dream of mine for the kids and for BWC and for the two different companies that spun off of BWC, we have New Age and we have Bruiser Wrestling Federation. And this is not for myself, it's not for me because I've already done it. I'm retired this year and I'm going to follow up with a book of my life and of course to be here every Sunday for the kids.
Can you tell me a little about those two different companies you mentioned?
Well one here is out of Christiansburg, right here at home. That's New Age Wrestling. It's Mike Williams and Rick Kelly and Superstar Scotty Rocker. Them three have formed a corporation and started that wrestling company. And Bruiser Graham, the kid that travels with me for the last nine years on the road, he started one out of Appomattox, VA. Both Virginia based companies. And that one's called Bruiser Wrestling Federation. And our goal and our dream is not to fight each other but to work together with BWC to have work for these kids and students every single week. This is independant for them but it's a good part-time income.
And learning experience.
And learning, you better believe it. Everything's here. And we can do the total deal from TV to training to learning to matches to everything. Just like the WWE only on a real small basis. Jerry Lawler's doing it right now and it's called Memphis Wrestling. In fact next Saturday I'm down there in Memphis and Funk's there, Terry Funk, Jerry Lawler. It's the 28th. They just signed me to go and in fact I did a call-in interview for the show they showed on TV this week. They've got Jimmy Hart there and Rikishi, Lawler's boy Brian Christopher, and they have their own little stars too. Kamala's going to be there, a lot of the old timers. And Dundee's going to be there. So it's a big thing. But they do their own TV every Saturday. Now next Saturday I'll be on live TV for them and also I'll go straight to the house show. I'll wrestle at the Memphis Coliseum next Saturday night, then me and Bruiser will drive all night and I'll be back here by 12.
That's going to be a long drive.
You better believe it. Well last night we were in Milan, TN and it took us ten and a half hours to come home. I got home at 9 o'clock this morning. But next week I'll get home between 10 and 11.
I noticed in the museum that some of your students have had some success after
BWC. I believe one student had a few try outs with the WWE. Can you elaborate a little on that?
Yes. Mike Williams has had try outs with WCW. Frank Parker has had try outs with the WWE. In fact he had a couple different try outs. And of course I took them all down to Memphis and Power Pro. Bruiser of course was with me. Many, many of the boys have been down there to the Memphis territory with Lawler. Also Parker went down to TNA in Nashville with Jarrett. He was on the very first show. They do, they get looked at, they get shots. But what we're trying to do here is do what the Memphis wrestling is doing. And even on a smaller base than Memphis. All we want is the New River Valley area here and just to work every weekend and let them do their thing.
You're retiring at the end of this year. Can you tell us a little about where and
who you might be facing?
Christmas night, Graham. It's me and Jay Eagle against the Assassin and George South. So we're all old timers. And it's going to be my very last match. It's going to be at the American Coliseum in the Spartanburg / Greenville area, SC.
As you're about to retire, and you've got the school here, and you're working on a
TV deal for your students. You've been in the business for forty-plus years so what do you have to say to all
those fans who used to see you in Boston or Madison Square Garden or Memphis, all the different territories that you've
worked now that you're about to say goodbye?
Well, I tell them this. A lot of them are sad and I say don't be sad for me, I had a great life. And there's a whole different part to everything; you can come to see me in person every Sunday at BWC from 12 to 4. Be part of this. There's no charge for the fans and friends that come to enjoy this great facility with us. And soon, and I hope you're going to be part of this Graham, they will soon be able to sit in on live TV filmed every Sunday. I got big plans for you so I hope we can work that out.
I appreciate that and I thank you very much for your time and letting me conduct
this interview with you.
Contact information for Boogie's
Jimmy would like to welcome one and all to visit his school and museum each and every Sunday from noon to 4pm, absolutely free of charge.
2916 Alleghany Springs Road
Shawsville, VA 24162 (about 15 miles south of Roanoke)