Tugboat Shoot Interview

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US Steel. Tugboat. Typhoon. Shockmaster. The man has been known by many names, and all of them have made an impact one way or the other. The man behind the names, Fred Ottman, is the latest guest in RF VIDEO’s shoot interview series. A down to Earth, humble guy, Ottman talks about his entire career; from his buzz-worthy stint in Florida, to his top-of-the-card run in WWE, all the way to his epically disastrous appearance in WCW. No stone was left unturned as we asked every question possible to a man who has been in some of the biggest locker rooms in wrestling history.

Ottman started his career between Memphis and Texas, and we got him to discuss what it was like working for two of wrestling’s biggest all time stars in Jerry Lawler and Bruiser Brody. What were both men like outside the ring? What were the politics going on behind the scenes? What was it like working with guys like Gary Hart and Bill Dundee? Working with Dusty Rhodes in Florida, we got the scoop on how Ottman got the name US Steel along with what he thought about all the guys in the territory such as Oliver Humperdink. Ottman explains in detail the offers he received from WCW and WWF and explained why he went to New York.

Working for Vince McMahon opened up a whole can of worms and Ottman told us what it was like to work with Hogan right off the bat. We got a ton of backstage WWF stories as all the big names were still there including Andre the Giant, Iron Sheik, Honky Tonk Man, Ted DiBiase, the Road Warriors and Randy Savage. What really happened the night Nailz attacked McMahon? You’ll hear that story along with insane tales of what Lex Luger and Ultimate Warrior would do behind the scenes.

No Ottman shoot would be complete without talking about one of wrestling’s most unforgettable debuts…SHOCKMASTER. Ottman speaks of that infamous Clash of the Champions moment and is hilarious as he recalls the event. This is truly a must see moment on the DVD. We also covered all his major matches and feuds in WCW including Steven Regal, Ricky Steamboat, Sid Vicious, and appearing in War Games. Tugboat fans and basically anyone who grew up during the 90s will enjoy this interview as Ottman was in the two biggest wrestling companies during a fantastic time. You’ll get Von Erich stories, where the name Tugboat came from, and stories of working with all those fantastic WWF tag teams of the era.

Howd you get started
Was the training more difficult than you thought
Memories of your first match
How did you get into Memphis
Who gave you the name Big Bubba the Belt Collector
Memories of matches with Jerry Lawler
Thoughts on Lawler
Was he fair to you
Thoughts on Bill Dundee
Do you think part of the problem today is that there aren’t places like Memphis
Who did you work with down there
Any good road stories
Why did you leave
Memories of Texas All Star Wrestling
Memories of Gary Hart
Memories of Bruiser Brody
Memories of matches with Al Madril
Memories of matches with John Boyd
Why did you go back to Memphis
Did you have more respect now that you were more experienced
How did you wind up in Florida
Initial impressions of Dusty Rhodes
Who’s idea was US Steel
Is it true that you were sued because of that name
Memories of matches with Dusty
Memories of a young Dustin
Memories of being managed by Oliver Humperdink
Memories of Dallas Page
You wrestled in the WWF as the Big Steel Man with Slick, was that a tryout
How did you wind up going to the WWE
Did you have any negotiations with WCW
Was Dusty upset
Were you surprised when he went later
How difficult was it for him to run a territory in 1989
Initial memories and thoughts of Vince McMahon
Memories of Pat Patterson
What was the dynamic of the locker room back then
Were you accepted
Who did you ride with
Who came up with the Tugboat gimmick
Why did they drop the last name from the name
Did you like it
Memories teaming with Hulk Hogan
Was the plan for you to eventually turn and feud with Hulk
How huge was it to debut with the immediate rub from Hogan
Did you encounter any jealousy from the other guys
Memories of matches with Earthquake
Memories of matches with Rhythm and Blues
Thoughts on Honkytonk Man
Memories of being in the main event at Survivor Series
Memories of matches with Dino Bravo
How tough was the travel schedule
How hard was it to travel on planes comfortably
Did you like working the SWS shows
Thoughts on Tenryu
Memories of matches against the Iron Sheik
Any good Sheik stories
Were you originally supposed to wrestle Undertaker at WrestleMania 7
Memories of Kerry Von Erich
Some of the guys have told stories about Kerry just being out of it, true
Memories of matches with Undertaker
Memories of matches with Ted Dibiase
Do you think it was a bad thing to debut with Hogan on top, being that you can’t go any higher when you debut at the top
Memories of Roddy Piper
Memories of Andre the Giant
Whos idea was it to turn you heel
Did you like it
Did you like tag team or singles wrestling
Thoughts on your team with Earthquake
Thoughts on being managed by Jimmy Hart
Jimmy has been accused of being an office stooge, do you agree
Memories of matches against the Road Warriors
Did you like working with them
Memories of matches with Money Inc
Memories of matches with the Nasty Boys
Memories of matches with the Beverly Brothers
Do you get bored working the same match on the road
Memories of matches with Duggan and Slaughter
Were you surprised when Ric Flair came over
Memories of Randy Savage
Were you there the night Nailz attacked Vince
Thoughts on Lex Luger
Did you prefer working as faces or heels
What did you expect after you broke up the team
How did Vince change when he was indicted
Do you think he did provide steroids
Did you ever feel pressured to take them
Were you frustrated that they didn’t give you a big push after the Disasters
Memories of matches with Bigelow
Thoughts on matches with Yokozuna
Was there a match or conversation when you thought you could see the writing on the wall
Do you think you still could have drawn money
How did it end for you in the WWF
Did you leave on good terms
How did you wind up in WCW
What were the plans for you in WCW
Can you talk about the night you debuted
What happened
What were you thinking after it happened
How did the locker room react
Are you surprised that the angle is still one of the most remembered angles in wrestling
Did you realize how big it was or did you just think it would pass over
Why did they use Ole Anderson to pre record your voice
Who was the booker at the time
Who’s idea was Super Shockmaster
Who’s idea was it to play off of the angle and turn you into a klutz
You teamed with Hardbody Harrison in WCW, how shocked were you when he went to jail for running a sex slave operation
How different was WCW run as opposed to the WWF
Memories of matches with Ricky Steamboat
Memories of matches with William Regal
Memories of teaming with Paul Orndorff
Memories of the War Games
Memories of matches with Sid Vicious
Why did you wind up leaving
What did you do after WCW
Were you prepared to retire
How did you wind up back for the gimmick battle royal
Did you like it
How were you received by the locker room
How had Vince changed
Was the door open to return
Any good Iron Sheik stories
How had things changed
How were you treated that night
Do you think you should be in the WWE Hall of Fame
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
What do you think about the media attention pro wrestling is getting now in regards to drug abuse
Is it hard to adjust to life after pro wrestling
What do you do today
Fav and least fav guys to work with
Fav ribs and road stories
Any chances of coming back
How did the story WWE.com did on you come about
What do you miss most and least about being a full time wrestler