For episode #310 we welcome a very rare and long form interview with "Flamboyant" Eric Embry. Discussing his upcoming appearance at the Legends of the Ring-Pro Wrestling Fanfest on October 21st in Monroe, New Jersey, Embry gives TMPT the low down on his entire career including all of his blood-feuds with the likes of Jerry Lawler, "Superstar" Bill Dundee and Jeff Jarrett as well as intimate looks at Mick Foley and Stone Cold Steve Austin during their early days in the wrestling business. We also get inside stories behind some of the booking Embry has done in nearly all of the big territories of the old school era and why that may have been the hardest work he ever encountered in the industry. The following excerpts showcase highlights from the 90-minute episode. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.
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Percy Pringle's (Paul Bearer) role in helping him get over in WCCW:
"He (Percy) played a very instrumental part in my mind of getting me over in Dallas and along with Cactus Jack (Mick Foley) and Gary Young, Iceman Parsons and whatever talent I had to work with in Dallas. I'm not sure what the word would be but it is not that the people were tired of the Von Erichs because the Von Erichs were like Gods in Dallas but no one wrestling fan had ever seen anyone surpass a Von Erich to the top and past the Von Erichs and I was the first. It just clicked and Percy as a baby face manager played a big part but all those guys did and I couldn't have done it without the talent they had and they got me over like a big dog there and still to this day am so thankful for the fans of World Class."
Helping a young Mick Foley early in his career:
"Mick was great. I had flew into Memphis for a Memphis TV on a Saturday and I was watching the matches and was already booking in Dallas already and I saw Cactus and Gary Young and they had been beat, I went to Lawler and said what are you doing with them and he told me that they had been there for awhile and he wasn't doing anything with them so I just asked him if I could have them in Dallas."
"Mick was the riskiest bump taker in the history of our business that I am aware of. He would take the craziest bumps in the Sportatorium from the ring onto the hard concrete floor and it was unreal. I would beg him and say please when he'd try to call that spot and I'd say there is no way in hell I am going to do that with you. But during the match he would talk me into it and I'd be so afraid that he was going to cripple himself while he was working with me which would be because either way but if he was working with me I'd feel that I would have let it happen. But as far as calling spots with Cactus you just didn't have to. Cactus would just follow you and you didn't have to lay out each move like with the people you had to and did. In his book Cactus put in there that his last match in Dallas (Loser Leaves) he was disappointed because we went like five or six seconds and for me at the time it was the best way to book him because it wouldn't hurt him losing on our TV because that would look like a fluke. That hurt my feelings so bad when I read that. A few years later I made contact with Cactus and we cleared all that up because if Cactus had come to me that night and said he didn't feel comfortable doing this we would have changed it and done whatever he wanted to do that is how much respect I had for that guy. My feelings are not hurt anymore and I talk to him periodically and he is a super great guy. "
Long-standing heat with Jerry Lawler:
"It's not a secret in the wrestling business that Jerry Lawler and I do not get along well. We work with each other; we make money with each other and had super matches with each other. Personally, I do not like him at all and personally, he does not like me. That was part of my deal to take the book in Memphis where Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett and I would understand that I do not work for him and that is why I did not work Memphis before then and Memphis was my home territory since I am from Kentucky. I always avoided that and I only worked there one time and stayed there maybe two or three weeks because of the personality clash. As a a talent Jerry Lawler is one of the best professional wrestlers performance wise that ever laced up a pair of boots. He was that good."
"I am not dogging him. His feelings towards me are the same and I like I've said, we would work together and have very stiff matches but we couldn't have a conversation like you and I are having right now."
Is it hard to work with someone that you do not like or is that just the respect you have for the wrestling business:
"I have the utmost respect for him as a performer and as a wrestler because he was that good. But our personalities just clashed but like I've said he is one of the best that ever laced up a pair of boots cut and dry, bar none and that almost hurt me to say that but not really."
Helping Steve Austin get his first break in wrestling:
"Chris Adams wanted to start a school. Chris was a money making son of a gun and he wasn't afraid to work and he came to me with this idea to start a school at the Sportatorium and I thought it was a cool idea so the next time Jerry Jarrett came in I hooked those two guys up so they could discuss the business agreement for it."
"We did Channel 11 TV on Saturday morning that played in Ft. Worth and Dallas on Saturday night so at one of those TV tapings, Chris came up to me and said he had this guy he wanted me to look at in his school. I went up to the Crow's nest in the Sportatorium and watched Steve in the school for two-three minuets (not long) but Steve had what everybody calls the "it factor."
"After he had been in the school for two or three months I had kept asking Adams when can we start using that Austin guy? Chris kept saying he wasn't ready yet but Chris was also milking him for that money Steve was paying him every week. Finally I told Chris that it is real simple and it is either he talks to Steve and you hook him up with me to come to work or I go to Steve and talk to him and offer him a job. He understood and we met with Steve and Steve started working. Austin and Cactus Jack both have thanked me for getting them on the radar and putting them on the map because I was the first person that had enough confidence in them to put them out there and put them on TV. Now I had no idea that Austin would go as far as he went but I knew he would be special."
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