Show: Interactive Wrestling Radio
Guest: Col. Robert Parker
Date: 05/31/18
Your Host: James Walsh


Call him Col. Robert Parker formerly of WCW and currently of MLW, Tennessee Lee of the WWE, or Robert Fuller before all of that as an

accomplished wrestler, it is truly are to speak to such a wrestling legend. Think of this. This man managed Steve Austin before he was "Stone

Cold" and gave Hulk Hogan his first wrestling pay check before Hulkamania. I'd say those are unique credentials, wouldn't you?


Today, we bring you an exclusive interview with the Col. as he ventures into the Epicenter for the first time ever. We discuss MLW Fusion on

Bein Sports, his owning and operating Continental Wrestling in Alabama with his brother for years, his relationship with Jeff Jarrett, the origins

of the Col. character, and more in a half hour long exciting interview.


  • Download the MP3 here!


On working for MLW:
"Well, we're only about 4 or 5 weeks in to Bein Sports and there's been over 50,000000 watchers which is quite an audience."


On managing the Dirty Blondes:
"These are two fine young boys. They probably care about our sport of professional wrestling than anybody I've ever met in my life. Now, that's saying a lot because I've managed and promoted eight Hall of Famers. That's a lot to say. These boys (laughs), they work! One day, they're in Atlanta, Georgia. The next day - Dallas, Texas. And then the next day, Dothan, Alabama. They get in their car and they drive. These boys, I'll ask them sometimes, "Where are you going this weekend?" They will have 4 shows in 2 days! They just want to work. They want to be in the ring! It is just a pride to be with them. When they called me to ask me about managing them and promoting them in Major League, I took the job. I mad met them in Dothan, Alabama at a reunion show a couple of years ago. I thought a lot of them. I said, "Of course I'll go!""


On the quick growth of MLW:
"To get back out of the box, at that time, they weren't on Bein Sports yet. They were just, I guess, on YouTube. But, I knew this was a growing company. You can just walk into the back and see the people they have involved in every element of it. You can see, for a guy like myself, I can see they are going places and they are going places very quickly. So, being with these two boys (Dirty Blondes) and being with this company has been a real pleasure for me."


On the younger fans being aware of the classic characters like himself:
"You know, when I run into younger fans who are anxious to get my autograph, in particular I do some of these autograph shows and sign some pictures and autographs and that sort of thing, I'm always overwhelmed. I look at the lines and I say, "My Gosh! Half the people in the lines weren't born when I was in WCW!" (laughs) It is incredible. They are getting their information from the Internet and I guess Vince McMahon's 24 hour Network... Places you can go and watch matches from WCW, I guess, from the whole time I was there! It has really gone places and grown our sport. I'm very proud to see those long lines because it means more work for me and I don't mind work! (laughs)"


On the origins of the Col. Robert Parker character:
"It is a long story but I'll shorten it for you. I had a gentleman that was called Downtown Bruno, Remember him? (Dr. Harvey Whippleman) I was doing the booking with my brother. We owned the state of Alabama at that time. We were running Birmingham, Mobile, all the way to Tallahassee. He (Bruno) had sent me pictures. I thought, "What an awful looking guy. I don't see any hope for him at all." He bothered me so much that I told him, "You're a little, bitty guy. Find me a monster! I need a guy, I'm going to put the Lord Humongous outfit on. I need a monster to do it." He sent me pictures of people and I just threw them in the garbage. Then, he sent me a picture of Sid! Sid Eudy who is Sid Vicious. I looked at that picture and I said, "You know what? You've got yourself a job, son!" From there, I brought him in, put the Lord Humongous suit on Sid and actually gave Sid a serious start in this business. Later on, much later on, 10 years or more, I was working at Smokey Mountain Wrestling up in Knoxville with Jim Cornette and his people when I got a call from Sid. He had acquired a job in WCW and he wanted a Col. manager and he was interested in me doing the spot. So, I went in and the first night that I did the Col. Parker in the suit, I was Robert Fuller in reality. Sid saw that and said, "Oh no! No! No! We need Foghorn Leghorn! We need the Col! Big cigars! Belly sticking out!" I was in pretty good shape. But, he said "Stick your belly out there. Get a little Col. going. Get your voice out there!" He was exactly right! I remember going in to see Dusty Rhodes the second week I was there. WCW would write all your material. I read all the material they wanted me to say and I was like, "Ah man, I don't care for this at all." So, I went in to talk with Dusty. He said, "Well Rob, we've got all these writers and the writers do all their stuff. If you don't say what they write for you, it offends them and it makes it hard for you to get along here at WCW." I said, "Well, to be honest with you, this stuff they've got me saying is a bunch of crap! I've got something better!" (laughs) I had a bunch of notes from the writers in my hand. Dusty said, "OK, baby. Run some of that shit by me." I laid down an interview I wanted to do for him that evening. I added in all the things Sid had said. All the Foghorn Leghorn and all the stuff that I was going to say. I said it to him. He (Dusty) said, "Throw that shit in the garbage!" They never wrote another interview for me in the 7 and a half years I was in there at WCW. Somehow I got by having heat with the writers who maybe would have caused me a lot of problems."


On if he minded it being more comedic than some:
"That is what they wanted. They weren't into major heat. They just wanted people to be entertained. As a matter of fact, Sid and I had a problem with that from time to time. Sid saw himself as the worst, most horrible man that ever worked the business. I, on the other hand, realized they wanted something a little different. We butted heads over it. They were very happy with what I was giving them. Sid had a problem with that. He wanted that extreme heat. He'd look at me and say, "That's funny, I don't like it!" I'd say, "Hey! It's funny and it's great!" (laughs)"


On transitioning to manage Steve Austin in WCW:
"I went on with Sid until he had his problem with Arn Anderson. Then, I went on to split the "Hollywood Blondes" (Steve Austin and Brian Pillman). Steve and I became great friends. Just really had a great time in WCW. "


On Steve Austin leaving WCW and becoming the huge star he is now:
"I was with Steve for about a year, maybe more, in WCW. We had the run with Brian Pillman and the Chicken Match and all that. It was just a real good time. During that time, I was making a trip with Steve and he told me he would be leaving. I was just shocked because he had a good contract, a really good contract. One well up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars! He had said he was done with WCW and wanted to go to WWF. As an old timer, I advised him "You don't burn these bridges because if you do, you can never go back. If you do, things are never the same. Maybe you should do your year up and finish your contract and doing business on the up and up and then going in (to WWE)." He was like, "No, no, no. I'm very unhappy." Of course, he did not advise me about the new character of "Stone Cold" and shaving his head and all the stuff that had happened that made a lot of his success take place. Nevertheless, he went against my advice. When I saw Steve when I went in there in 1998 in WWF and he was doing so well and he and Vince were having the big feud. That year, he had made $10,000,000! (laughs) He was able to look at me from across the dressing room and laugh. He said, "You know, Col. He's got all his stuff together. He's got everything. But, don't let him handle your money!" (laughs) He was exactly right!"


On his relationship with Jeff Jarrett:
"It is funny how things come back to help you after you help somebody. I had also spent time with Jeff Jarrett working for his father in the USWA. He was having trouble. Guys said he was too young or too small and they didn't want to put him over or do anything for him. I went in and I said "Hey, I can really do something with this kid." I went in and we worked a program for probably 2 years, he and I. He never forgot it so when I finished up in WCW, they called me right away at the WWF. They said "Jeff Jarrett needs a manager. We can bring you in right away as Tennessee Lee." I was just sitting around considering retirement and all of a sudden, because of all the nice things I had done for Jeff, I wound up in this position and getting some time up there with WWF."


On first booking Hulk Hogan in Alabama:
"We gave Hulk Hogan the first dollar he ever made. He came in for us as Terry "The Hulk" Bolder. He had a very hairy body and he shaved his chest like Superman. We taught a lot of these guys how to work the business. We put Hulk with real good workers like the guys that run the school for Vince, Danny Davis and some of these people that worked for us as Nightmares, and we'd just marry them until they learned the process of the way we wanted them to work. They didn't last. We brought in his "brother" Ed Leslie and called him Eddie Bolder. They went right off to New York.


On the Honky Tonk Man:
"I gave him the gimmick. I told Honky Tonk Man to go ahead and get a Elvis suit and bring a guitar to the matches. I'm going to play rock and roll music going to the ring. He was like, "I can't play a guitar." I said, "You don't have to. Just act like you are and be as goofy as you can be." Later on, when he left the WWF, Vince sued him for using the Honky Tonk Man. He said it belonged to the WWF. He showed them, in court,a program from our show where he was the Honky Tonk Man from our show. That was the end of the deal."