Sunday, October 1, 2023

Archive Interview: Dusty Wolfe

(originally published 1/20/05)

Anyone who watched WWE-TV in the 1980's or WCW-TV in the 1990's knows who Dusty Wolfe is. He has worked as one of the pro-wrestling industry's most recognizable enhancement talents, helping to make the stars of WWE and WCW look their best. On the independent circuit, Wolfe is a star himself, where he has held the IWF (south Texas/Mexico) Heavyweight, CWF (New Orleans) Heavyweight, WCCW Heavyweight (Arkansas), WWC World Tag Team, PWI (San Antonio) United States, WWC Caribbean Tag Team Heavyweight, United States Tag Team, South American Heavyweight, South African Heavyweight, Mid South Heavyweight, and NWA-SW Television titles. In this interview, Wolfe discusses WWE, WCW, Eric Embry, and more.

Q: How long have you been involved in the business?

A: 22 years

Q: Why did you enter the pro-wrestling industry?

A: It was a dream. Like most guys not born into the business. I wanted to give it a try.

Q: Where did you receive your training to become a pro-wrestler?

A: Here in San Antonio.

Q: What do you like the most about being in the business?

A: The travel and the freedom.

Q: How much attention do you pay to the pro-wrestling media?

A: Depends on my mood. The days of a magazine just putting info/entertainment out there are long gone. All the media today has someone, some promotion they're pushing.

Q: Which persona appeals to you the most: Face, Heel, or Tweener?

A: I have no clue what a tweener is. That's a sheet/smark term that has popped up. Working heel is the easiest.

Q: What is your gimmick?

A: Have none. Maybe that's my gimmick.

Q: Which do you feel has been your best match so far?

A: There have been a few. Main event in Sun City in 1990 w/Lance von Erich. Any number of matches with James Mason or Robbie Brookside or Doug Williams in England. A few times with Ken Timbs against the Rock n Roll Express. One night in Amarillo with Dick Murdoch.

Q: Which has been your favorite match so far?

A: Can't really pinpoint one. I've had somewhere around 3000 matches. And by now, a lot of what I see isn't through rose-colored glasses anymore. It's a business more than anything now.

Q: Whom would you like to wrestle, that you have not yet done so?

A: As crazy as this sounds- Hogan. And I wouldn't mind getting in the ring with AJ Styles. The kid is a great great athlete without a clue how to work. Taking a specimen like that to school would be rewarding. And I mean that in a positive way.

Q: You didn't know a lot about the business when you first began your career. Since then, the business has become much more open. Kayfabe is not as dominant in the business, promoters and talent discuss the inner-workings of the business constantly, and pro-wrestling publications cover the behind-the-scenes aspects of the business every day. Considering all of this, do you now feel that someone can enter the business already knowing everything there is to know about it?

A: No way in hell. And that is what is destroying the business from within. These morons get a pair of hi techs and a pair of cut offs and start. Thinking they are some sort of genius because they can turn on a computer and a TV. And they run with buddies just like them. Then they "promote" a few shows that kill the town for anyone else to run. Like any other job, someone can show how it's done. But NO ONE AND NOTHING can give you knowledge like actual experience.

Q: You worked in various territories during your career: Memphis, Portland, Texas, Florida, and Kansas City. Which was your favorite territory to work, and did you prefer the days of territories instead of the days of working under contract?

A: I've never had a contract with either WCW or WWF. So I always worked under the old system. Texas is home. But I enjoyed my time in Florida and wish I had more time in Memphis. That is, if Lawler hadn't been there. I have a soft spot for Kansas City.

Q: When you worked for WWE and WCW, you were used as an enhancement talent, and you were not given the opportunity to use your pro-wrestling skills and fundamentals to their fullest. Do you think that WWE would have benefited financially if they would have pushed you as at least a midcarder, as many independent promotions have done?

A: Who knows? My ego says yes. Reality? Maybe I was as far up the card as I needed to be in the WWF. As far as WCW? I know I could have done a better job than the Power Plant kids.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: Try and be a father to my kids. Not much else.

Q: What was it like working for Vince McMahon, a man who once stated on WWE-TV, "it takes a real son of a bitch to be successful in this business"?

A: I liked working for Vince. It's takes an SOB to be a success in any business. I understood that. I was grateful for what I had. I was an average sized guy in the land of the giant. I had no family connection. I had no "other" connection. And yet I was in the biggest office in the world for 6 years.

Q: It is often said that during the Eric Bischoff era of WCW (90's), politics were rampant throughout the company. Who were the biggest politicians?

A: Eric, Luger, Bagwell, Nash, Arn, Flair.

Q: You have stated in the past that when you returned to the independent circuit after working for WCW, you found that there were not any true promoters or boys left. In your opinion, what are the definitions of, "true promoters" and "true boys"?

A: A true promoter is out to make money. Take everything else away. He is about money. The boys. Damn, I could go on all day. Bottom line. The boys wanted to make money and enjoy themselves doing it. Now, all the guys in the back are worried about today is how over they get in front of their wife or girlfriend.

Q: You were responsible for Zeus during his time in WWE. Were you ever made responsible for any other talent? Also, Zeus had been brought into WWE and WCW mainly to feud with Hulk Hogan. Do you think that he had the potential to be a bigger contributor to the industry?

A: I've babysat many a guy. But Zeus is all I was ever paid for. Could he have been bigger? Yeah. He understood the concept. He was horrible in those 2-3 matches. But he did that on about a week's worth of training.

Q: Do you have any interest in returning to WWE, or working for TNA?

A: Behind the scenes, sure. I have no interest in trying to get back in the ring with either. Unless they came up with some gimmick for me. Which isn't going to happen.

Q: You have made many overseas tours. Which country is your favorite to work in?

A: England or South Africa.

Q: You once commented that Eric Embry and Memphis scarred you forever. What happened?

A: Eric was a cutthroat. We've made peace since, but he tried to ruin me once I left San Antonio with Ken Timbs. Memphis scarred everyone. It's a great place to work as far as the towns etc. But Lawler is a poison to the boys. And that's not something a man with less than 2 years in this business needs to be around. Today, I'd just laugh in his face. Then, I had no idea what was up.

Q: You once referred to the first time you locked up with Bradshaw as being a, "priceless moment". What about this moment stands out in your memory?

A: He was as stiff as the front end of a Toyota Tundra pickup truck.

Q: What has been your proudest achievement in the business?

A: The fact I've survived this long on limited size, limited speed, no physique, no family, very little politics.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Dusty Wolfe. In 2003, I began running my own website, World Wrestling Optimum, which consisted of news, articles, and interviews, including this one.

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