During the latest Oh You Didn't Know? podcast, Billy Gunn spoke about how he got his start in the World Wrestling Federation.
“When they hired us [himself & Bart Gunn] at WWE, I have no idea why they did that. I honestly don’t. We really hadn’t done anything. We were still green as grass. We literally went to a show just to go to a show because Blackjack had hooked it up to meet with Dave Hebner. He said, ‘Just go, introduce yourself, they’ll give you tickets. Go sit in the stands and enjoy and see what the upper echelon does.’ So we did that. Of course, we bought every new outfit. We were Garth Brooks from head to toe. New hats, new shirts, new boots. We went decked to the hilt. We went to the show, introduced ourselves and they said, ‘Hey, thanks for coming. Here’s some tickets, go enjoy yourselves.’ So we watched and then they asked us to come do a tryout. We did the tryout and I think the best thing for us is we follow directions. We didn’t do anything cool anyway because we didn’t know anything. We just did personality out the ying-yang. We did, ‘Woohoo, ropes, and all kinds of stuff.’ I could do some rope tricks, so I did some rope tricks out in front of the crowd.
Then we went home and got a letter that said, ‘Hey, thank you for coming but right now we’re not looking for any talent.’ We went, ‘Ah, that’s cool.’ You know, we don’t anything, so we went, ‘Hey, thanks for the opportunity.’ We were in front of a crowd and that was good for me. I got to wrestle in front of a WWF crowd. Then they sent us the letter, I had called Dave Hebner just to thank him for doing everything that he did and, I thought he was mad at me, and he hung up the phone. About 15 minutes later he calls me back and he goes, ‘Okay, you guys are coming to our next taping again.’ I went, ‘Hold on a second.’ He goes, ‘No, I heard that was a mistake.’ Somehow the wires got crossed and they wanted us to come back. So we came back and had another tryout. The funniest thing, we finish our tryout and, I guess all the stars were aligned, they took us from the ring into Vince’s office and Vince and JJ Dillon were still there and he looks at us and he goes, ‘Hey, nice to meet you, I’m Vince McMahon.’ I went, ‘Cool,’ I don’t have any idea who you are. They go, ‘Hey, we’d like to offer you a contract. We’ll send it to you. Have a lawyer look it over and get back to us and let us know what you think.’ I looked at Vince and I said, ‘Well, I have a job. Do I do this on the weekend? Is this a weekend thing?’ So I don’t know how any of this goes. I just figured, hey, I’ve been doing it on the weekends, I guess they’re going to hire me to do it on the weekends. Vince laughed. He goes, ‘No, I think you’ll be alright.’ Not knowing I’m going to have a thirty-year career, but obviously, Vince knows talent.
So they sent us a contract and it said, ‘You’re going to work, twelve days a year are guaranteed,’ and it’s like $100,000 and I literally went, ‘Oh my god, they must have added a zero.’ So they did it, we looked it over, I thought about it for about 3.2 seconds and sent it back. Little did I know, the first year I worked it was 300 days. The next year I worked it was 320 days. I said, ‘What happened to the twelve days?’ Luckily for us, they put us with The Headshrinkers for a year when we got there and probably the two most underrated guys. They were amazing. I have the utmost respect for them because they – of course when we first got there and learned we were working them, we went in there and they looked at us and then wouldn’t talk to us at all and thought it was hilarious. But you know, that’s how it is. Then they just came and, luckily for us, they kind of let us lead the way knowing that it was all wrong. It was a learning experience for three months and it was brutal. Back then I was young and could go really fast and show everyone how athletic I was and how high I could jump, and they just let us go. Then they said, ‘Okay, do you have that out of your system yet?’ I went, ‘I guess. Am I doing something wrong?’ It’s learn on the go. They let us do that and then went, ‘Okay, we’re going to do the same thing, but do it this way,’ and it was amazing the first time we did it. I walked back and said, ‘Well, could you not have told us this from the start?’ They went, ‘No because it would have never clicked. If we tell you what to do and you just go through the motions, then what are you learning?’ But by the time we got everything clicking it was amazing."
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