Exclusive Black Bart Interview Online!

Posted By James Walsh on 07/04/24

Show: Wrestling Epicenter
Guest: Black Bart
Date: 07/04/2024
Your Host: James Walsh

Last year, we were honored to help promote an event by the East Texas Wrestling Alliance as they raised money to help wrestling legend Black Bart with his medical bills. We were blessed to have promoter Mike Andrews and the legendary "Hollywood" John Tatum come on our humble program to promote the event. A year later, we are happy to say we had the chance to interview the man himself - Black Bart! Why? He's got a book out! So stand by for the baddest, meanest, toughest wrestling book you'll ever read!

In a brand new chat, the former Mid Atlantic and World Class champion discussed life in and around the wrestling industry in a very open and honest way. His book gets into far more detail on the subjects discussed. You can pick that book up at www.WrestleVille.com.

NOTE: We transcribed a lot of the conversation below. But, so much is on the audio that isn't in the transcript like Roddy Piper introducing him to cocaine, why he feels he was never contacted for Dark Side of the Ring subjects he could contribute to, and a lot more! The audio is free and can be heard on our site via the YouTube video!

To hear more interviews like this, please check out www.WrestlingEpicenter.com.


On his health:
"Well, have chemotherapy to help with my cancer next week. There will probably never be a time for the rest of my life that chemo isn't a part of it. But, I'm still here and am still blessed by the good Lord."

On his faith, if he discovered it later in life or always had it:
"Always, brother. All my life. He (Jesus) is my life. I give him all the glory and all the praise. I was baptized when I was 16 years old. Some things happened that I don't really want to go into and I had to turn away from that faith - Well, not the faith but that church. I was to give my testimony and the Pastor looked down and said, "You're an athlete?" And I said, "Yes, sir." He said, "You can't be an athlete and serve Christ." I never went back to that church. But, I never lost my faith. Now, I'm a Baptist. I don't believe in pushing that. I don't care if you're a Baptist or a Catholic - As long as you serve Jesus Christ and give your heart up to him."

On it being difficult to be a wrestler and a Christian:
"Back in my day, wrestling was a lie. How could I justify being a Christian and being a pro wrestler? I'll tro to explain that. Wrestling was a job. I left Black Bart at the building. I tried to not ever bring Black Bart home with me because Black Bart would do things different. (laughs) The way we did it, we protected the business. We kayfabed the business. If we went to a restaurant and there was a babyface at that restaurant, we'd leave and go to another restaurant. You understand? I've got stories about about almost getting into fist fights in public with good friends trying to protect the business. I believed in protecting the business... I still believe in it. WHen I run shows, I put on little shows and I run the locker room - I demand respect for the business. The business is what put food on my table in the glory days, so to speak. I always said the good Lord was my co-pilot on my journey. He wasn't my co-pilot. He was my pilot!"

On if he regrets the match where he won the World Class World Title not actually happening:
"No, not really because of who I would have had to have had that match with. (laughs) Chris Adams wasn't an easy guy to get along with. The reason I was awarded that title and they said I won it in a match with him in Los Angeles is because he was being deported."

On not liking his matches with Kevin Von Erich:
"Brother, I hated working with him. Now, you have to understand. I grew up in Fort Worth. Fritz Von Erich was my hero. I looked up to him. But, the only one of the Von Erich boys that wanted to actually wrestle was David Von Erich. The rest either wanted to play pro football or wanted to start a professional discuss throwing promotion. But, David wanted to do this."

On not being included in The Iron Claw movie:
"The one guy that should have been in that movie was me. But, Kevin probably didn't even remember that I was the one who stood up to him. I have a branding iron from a match I had with Kevin that is still banged up. He didn't like to sell some of my things so one night, I hit him pretty good with it and busted him open. Fritz wasn't happy about that."

On his WWE run not being as successful as it could have been:
"I was supposed to go there for a 3 day trial years before. I had a job working Crockett and I didn't want to lose that if they found out They would have fired me! If they wanted me for a tryout because they didn't know if they wanted to hire Black Bart after I had put 25 years of my life, at that point, in this, then don't hire Black Bart! They didn't tell me that they were going to put me and Bass together again as the Long Riders, have Sarah Jo (his wife at the time, Bonnie) and JJ Dillon as our manager. They didn't tell me none of that! I was not So, I didn't go then and when I finally did go there, I was making top money. Brother, he was giving me top money! But, then I started getting over and he (Vince) was like, "No, no, no, no!" Then some of the agents started wanting me on the house shows to go on in the 7th or 8th match on the card because that was the lull. They knew I could jack the crowd up. I always could. But, Vince said no. Then, 4 days before Desert Storm started, he gave me and 16 other guys our notice. He told me I should have come when he wanted me before."

On Vince McMahon being blackballed from pro wrestling now:
"He deserves it! But, he's a billionaire now, right? So, what does he care? Poor Vince? He is anything but poor."

On the success of Global Wrestling Federation:
"I don't think we realized how many people were watching it while we were doing it. Between ESPN and the channel 11 Superstation, we were being seen all over the United States. It amazed me over the years to have people from all over the country say they saw us doing our thing from that time."

On the magic of the Dallas Sportatorium:
"Brother, it was a dump! (laughs) There were two Sportatoriums in the world of professional wrestling. I guess one of them is still there but it doesn't have anything to do with wrestling anymore in Tampa, Florida. The other was in Dallas, Texas. If you didn't come through one of those Sportatirums, you weren't going to make it. That is a fact. You mentioned Madison Square Garden as well. I have to tell you, I was so disappointed with Madison Square Garden. You had to part 6 blocks away and if someone recognized you from where you parked, you'd come back to your car turned over. Then, after you got to the building, if you really looked at the place, there were rats everywhere just like at the Sportatorium. I wanted to work those big arenas but I do say that I was disappointed with Madison Square Garden. "

On having Kerry Von Erich's final match:
"It was a cage match and the Von Erich boys did not lose cage matches. But, they lost this one. Kerry was going through a lot of personal problems. He had asked his wife if there was any chance of them reconciling their marriage and she gave him the bad news that it was over. The next day, hetold Fritz he was taking the car out and he'd see him later. Later that avernoon, he was gone."

On who was more stiff, Bobby Duncum Jr or JBL:
"(laughs really hard) Who was more stiff? I'd have to say that would be a draw! They tatered you on everything, brother! I mean, I don't just mean punches. They tatered you in a lock up, brother!" (laughs again)

On the East Texas Wrestling Alliance paying tribute to him:
"You know, it wasn't about the money. But, it was about the boys thinking of me to do that which really means so much to me. It was about 4 hours from where I live and I had to be brought back after I got there. The paramedics were called out and they had to bring me back that night. Then, the next day they had to come out to my hotel room and bring me back again. I probably shouldn't have made the trip. But, it was special to see some of those guys honor me. JBL was there and he'd come over and hand me money he had made from the event. But, the best part was when Iceman King Parsons came in through the back door. That really meant a lot. Iceman, if you're listening, I wanted you to know that, brother."

On what people can expect to find out about him from his book:
"Well, they'll find out my actual real name! (laughs) I think it is a book people can read and take a lot from. It is me leaving something behind. Most people in pro wrestling know who Black Bart is. But, this really tells the story. I know a lot of people laugh at me when I say this but I would love to see my book, "Wretle Black Bart", on the New York Times best seller list."