Due to space restrictions, I wasn’t able to include my entire interview with Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter into the WWE Championship book. Here are just a few of the more interesting items that were omitted from the book:
Considering how many children looked up to you, how difficult was it to turn heel and become an Iraqi sympathizer?
It wasn’t difficult for me to make the transition. I had left WWE to go work for Hasbro to be a GI Joe. When that contract was over, Vince McMahon called me and said “are you ready to go back to work?” Come to my home tomorrow; I have an idea for you. I was thinking that he was going to take the real American hero to all types of different avenues that have never been reached with Hasbro. I sat down with my family that night and told them it was going to be a big meeting and I’m sure when I get back, we will have all sorts of things to celebrate. When I got to his house, he had the complete opposite idea. He wanted to make me the worst bad guy of all time because he needed an opponent for Hogan for WrestleMania VII. So I listened to what he had to say. He said he wanted me to be an Iraqi sympathizer and side with Saddam and look at the Americans as weak.
Here we are the most powerful country in the world and here’s a small country like Iraq pushing them around. It sounded good to me. The more he talked, the more I liked it. He told me to go home and talk to my family because it was going to be pretty rough. I talked to my family that night and they all thought I was crazy. They said it was impossible for Sgt. Slaughter to do that. I said that anything is possible in sports-entertainment. Plus Vince told me that the fans would always forgive you when you ask them to.
So we went for it … I didn’t have any particular direction that I was going. Then all of a sudden the ultimate puke and Randy Savage were in a program and Randy was trying to get the title and Randy broke his arm or wrist or hand and so all of a sudden Vince came to me and said I hope you’re ready.
How great was it to beat the Ultimate Warrior, somebody who had a less-than-stellar reputation in the locker room?
He was anything but a business person. All he thought about was himself and what was best for him. I was always taught by people who trained me that the respect you have for you fellow combatants and that your badge of honor is to never hurt anybody. Ultimate Warrior didn’t care…