Interview: March 2001
What are your thoughts on the Red Rooster Gimmick?
Terry Taylor: It was 10 years ahead of it's time. In 1990 people weren't ready for a guy that looked like a school teacher to Mohawk his hair and paint it red. Not to mention clucking around, bobbing my neck like a pigeon. When Vince McMahon told me what he wanted....I just plain didn't get it. Now I do and I am in a position to try and get young guys to do things they don't understand....it's almost poetic.
Are you thinking of making a return to the WWF into booking, management etc.. once your WCW contract expires?
Terry Taylor: I don't have a contract with WCW but I am a Turner employee. The main reason I came back and a lot of people don't know this is....my father. My Dad was in a car wreck and had many strokes causing him to be in a coma for 1 solid year. I made trips from Atlanta to Demorest, (which was my father's home town) every night for 1 year. We never knew which call would be the one. He lived for 2 years after he came out of the coma. One of those years I was based out of Stamford. I couldn't live with myself if something happened and I wasn't there. We weren't close when I was young because he didn't know how to be a dad. When our sons were born, I learned what family was all about. Vince McMahon understood this and said I could come back any time I wanted. He is the best. People knock him from the media, to competitors, to whomever, because he's successful through hard work and doesn't apologize for it. He's the real deal and people resent him for it.
How long do you see yourself involved in the wrestling business?
Terry Taylor: I see myself in wrestling as long as it will have me. I don't know anything else and really don't want to. My greatest joy is finding young hungry talent and giving them an opportunity. It's a beautiful thing to watch grow.
What is your current status with WCW?
Terry Taylor: Like everyone else, wondering about my future, but wanting to stay and help turn WCW around.
Against who was your first match in wrestling?
Terry Taylor: Bugsy McGraw Tampa Florida, August 1979. I was never trained. I loved wrestling as a kid and when Chick Donovan missed his plane they asked me if I had my stuff. I lied and said "Yes" and that was the beginning.
If you had once last match, who would you want to wrestle?
Terry Taylor: Triple H. The reason I wanted to wrestle HHH is because he understands what this business is. So many people get into our sport for the wrong reasons-fame, money, notoriety, whatever. Those are the wrong reasons. If one wants to entertain, to take people that pay for a ticket on an emotional roller coaster, to make his opponent, to make the business better- then he's in for the right reason. So many times guys think the business 'owes' them. The business doesn't owe anybody anything. It is an honor and privilege to be a part of something this good, most of us don't deserve it, but hope we're not found out. HHH embodies everything that's right about the business. He has incredible knowledge and instincts. The "sheets" and smart marks think he doesn't do enough jobs, etc... That's Bullshit! He knows how to stay on top and draw. The people knocking him have never done "it" and are entitled to their opinions, but they're based on ignorance. If you think I am wrong, check it! The rating when HHH was out and what happened when he returned. The week after he returned they continued to climb. He is an awesome performer and an even better person. I am privileged to call him my friend.
Who is your all time favorite performer?
Terry Taylor: Without a doubt Ric Flair. If people knew what Ric did, day in day out, in the ring, and out for 20 years--they wouldn't believe it. He wrestled more, partied more, and succeeded more than a guy his size ever should have. We used to laugh about this, we'd dare an athlete in any other sport to follow us for 2 weeks. Make the trips (drive), put the time in the ring (bumps, blood, injuries), party (drink, chase women, just roaring) and we'd lose the guy in 3 days max. I still believe that to this day.
What is your favorite match of all time?
Terry Taylor: It would have to be the Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat match from WrestleMania. I was fascinated. The pace, the psychology, the execution was beautiful. I was a complete fan just caught up in the emotion of what was going on. I loved that match-still do. They executed a masterpiece based on emotion and execution instead of just risk taking and stunts. It's almost an indictment of the state of our business today.
Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Terry Taylor: That's a loaded question. Some times I think they demand too much based on what they've read on the internet or in the Torch or Observer. On the other hand our audience is more sophisticated and should get more. There was a time when people watched to be surprised, to be disgusted, to be moved emotionally, and it seems that the bar gets higher and higher. What will it take tomorrow to please the audience? It isn't enough to excite them, they now have the means to find out the happenings behind the curtain, they're let into the locker room, and ultimately the innocence is lost. They become jaded from things they were never before allowed to know. Do they have a right to have that access? I think not. They are the audience, they are not part of what we do. Hence the term audience. When ECW and some guys (wanting the smart marks to put them over) allowed the audience to become part of the show. The illusion of what we did disappeared in it's original form. The audience! Now dictated what we did, instead of reacting and enjoying what we were offering...the nature of what we did--changed forever.
Terry Taylor: Great Man
Terry Taylor: Great guy, incredible inspirational story, A fan of his.
Terry Taylor: Incredible, great entertainer.
Terry Taylor: Biggest name in the history of our business.
Terry Taylor: Love his gimmick, great guy too.
Terry Taylor: Wonderful human being and fun to work with.
Tom Prichard (by the way, Terry is very good friends with Prichard, so he had a lot to say about him.)
Terry Taylor: A wonderful human being that should have been financially set for his commitment to our sport. Fate didn't see fit to make that happen. He still works as hard as anyone in our business and has a love and appreciation for our sport in it's purest form. Tom Prichard is one of the good guys. He unselfishly put the business first each and every time. I know he would tell you without a doubt that he would do it all over again if given the opportunity. That's when you find out the measure of a man, when he's been beaten up by life, the business, and fate--and tells you he wouldn't change a thing. If he had the chance to do it all over again-he would. I love Tom Prichard.
Terry Taylor: Hard working honest guy who loved the business more than anything else. Has had an incredible run and thanks God every day for letting him do the only thing that matters. The best way to sum up my privilege of being in this business is: If I had a chance to do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing!