On the most recent episode of Prime Time with Sean Mooney, Koko B. Ware discussed his payout from WrestleMania III:
“I’ll tell you the truth about it. I was so grateful being there. If only I could’ve made a good payday out of it. I mean a good, good payday, then I maybe wouldn’t have to work as hard as I do now.
“It was a good living, but I wish I could’ve made a good lick. I wish I was up there. I was up there with Hogan, but I just didn’t make money. I don’t mind people knowing what I made, and I’ve talked to my other partner about it. It’s no big secret now, it’s water under the bridge now, but it’s still history. I still love the business; I still love WWE and all that stuff anyway. Nothing bad I’m going to say about them at all. But you take $20,000 and you split it, gave me ten, give Butch Reed ten. Is that a good payoff?
“Some people say ‘That was good. Where (else) are you going to make that kind of money?’ It’s not like, ‘Where you going to make that kind of money.’ You’re not going to have these 93,000 people here every week.
“Then turn around, you’re going to give Randy Savage and Steamboat $500,000 apiece. I thought it was unbalanced big time. I thought Butch Reed and I should’ve gotten at least $40,000. I would’ve been happy with $30,000 apiece.
But I had to take it. I couldn’t go in there and fuss about it because I wouldn’t have had a job. I would’ve gotten fired over it. I didn’t like it then, I couldn’t say nothing. I didn’t have anyone to go in there for me or speak for anybody about the payoffs. They said something about a union one time, and man, they got wind of it and said ‘Anybody else (who) mentions anything about a union is fired.’”
Rush’s Analysis: Koko’s comments about his WrestleMania payout came after several minutes of him gushing about being a part of the historical event, so the tone is not nearly as bitter as it might come across should you read the quotes out of context.
If, like me, you’ve always heard about Koko’s work in Memphis and Mid-South prior to his time in the WWF, but never got to see it, this interview shed some great light on things – from the surprising 80’s WWF star that first recommended Koko to Jerry Lawler, to his parting words with Bill Watts prior to heading to New York.
The show wrapped up with a must-hear account of the incident that led to Koko’s departure from the WWF. It’s been mentioned on Bruce Prichard’s show before, but Koko’s first-hand account is unlike anything you’ve heard up to this point.
After testing the waters for the first couple of weeks in his new solo format, Sean Mooney appears to be settling into a groove. With guests such as Brutus Beefcake, Tugboat, and now Koko B Ware, listeners are getting the chance to hear from wrestlers that were stars during Mooney’s tenure with the company, but that haven’t given many interviews over the years. It’s becoming a must listen.
To hear the entire episode, check out Prime Time with Sean Mooney.
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