The Rhythm and Blues: Shake, Rattle, and Roll Comedy Tour starring The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine kicked off their tour this past week.
The tour started at New England Fan Fest 7 in Rhode Island. Scott Wilder Promotions brought the tour in starting from Rhode Island, Troy, NY, Syracuse, NY & Jamestown, NY. I caught the tour in Syracuse.
Before the show started, The Honky Tonk Man was talking to a group of fans for at least fifteen minutes sharing stories. The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine did their meet and greet first. They were very personable during the signing.
Once the meet and greet was over, The Honky Tonk Man started the show. "I'm just The Honky Tonk Man; I'm cool, I'm cocky, I'm bad," and funny too!
The Honky Tonk Man shared funny stories of training, being in various territories, working with The Harts, and the World Wrestling Federation. Honky is also incredible at voice impersonations. The man has Stu Hart and Good Ol' Jim Ross down.
Honky shared a funny story about himself, The Ultimate Warrior and Manager, "Mouth of The South," Jimmy Hart that is a must listen. Honky's set time was a half hour, then Greg Valentine was up next.
I know what some of you are thinking, How can Greg Valentine do comedy? While Honky Tonk Man had me laughing, Greg Valentine is just as hilarious!
Valentine started with sharing stories of his father, training, and various stories throughout his career. One thing these two surely have in common is their Stu Hart impersonation. Valentine shared funny stories when it came to dying his hair for The Rhythm and Blues tag team, especially when it came to his wife. Valentine's set went on for a half hour.
Afterward, The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine did a forty-minute question and answer segment. Below are highlights from the question and answer portion below.
Q: Can you play the guitar?
Honky Tonk Man: "No, I cannot play the guitar. I've never learned how to play. Hillbilly Jim is a good guitar player. He tried to show me how to play a few things. The only thing I ever learned was bump, bump, bump. Hulk Hogan was a bass player. That became the thing I would do; I tried; I want to. I wished I could have, but I never could.
Q: You were the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time Honky Tonk Man. What happened to Greg?
Valentine: What? I held it for 290 days. I had to do an hour-long broadway. Honky didn't do that. Before I came to New York, I had the United States Belt. I used to say, "I was the greatest U.S Champ of all time." I don't know if he ever heard those interviews.
Q: Was Jimmy a good manager? What was the most significant thing he ever taught you?
Honky Tonk Man: Jimmy was fabulous. He was good. Jimmy and I worked together in Memphis. Jerry Lawler brought him in because Lawler wanted to do music.
Lawler was the first to wear the jumpsuit. He was dress like Tom Jones. Hart did music and videos. Hart played with his band around Memphis. Hart and Lawler cultivated each other.
Hart understood the southern style of wrestling. When we got to New York, I didn't have a manager. Hart had the megaphone and music; I was in a jumpsuit.
I was on a plane one day, and Hogan was sitting across from me, and Jimmy Hart was behind me. I said, "You know, I could do some really good business if I had Hart with me." Hogan said, "I'll mention it." He mentioned it to Vince and the next week; we're on TV together.
Jimmy Hart is a very good manager because he did not take away from his talent, and he did not do the interviews. Valiant would do the talking for The Dream Team of Beefcake and Valentine.
Rick Rude wanted to kill Bobby Heenan every day. Rick would be in the ring working his a** off trying to get people to watch him, and Bobby is out here doing silly s*** getting the people going weasel, weasel, weasel. Well, that's taking away from the guy in the ring working his ass off. That's a problem.
Greg Valentine could talk. Beefcake wasn't much of a talker, but Greg can do an interview. He'll tell you with Johnny Valiant; when Johnny takes over the interview, the man that does the talking, is the man the people are going to watch and listen to, so the other guys are just standing there doing nothing. When Iron Shiek and Nikolai Volkoff were teaming, they didn't have to really talk besides say something bad about the USA.
Freddie Blassie did all the talking, which was fine because they were foreign guys, and it didn't really affect them. When you have a guy who can talk, work, and Rick Rude can do those things.
Jimmy always knew; Jimmy worked off of me, and never did anything we didn't agree upon what was going to be going on. I knew where he was every minute. I didn't have to look to find him. I knew where he was going to be, and that was important.
Jimmy Hart pushed me. He'd get me up at four in the morning to call radio stations. We got our message out to a whole bigger audience than just wrestling fans. That helped me get my persona and character over to more people. You don't get popular by sitting at home. Jimmy always said, "If you dress like the audience, one day, you'll be sitting in the audience." Hell, I'd dress up for radio even though the people couldn't see me.
Q: Who were other good managers beside Jimmy Hart?
Honky Tonk Man: Jimmy was good. Bobby Heenan was good, but as I said, he would take away from his guys. Johnny Valiant was good, but Johnny had been remembered as a wrestler. Johnny was a good talker.
Valentine: Captian Lou Albano. Even though he would talk and do crazy s***, he always left room for his wrestler to talk.
Honky Tonk Man: Captain Lou was really good. J.J Dillion was good at what he did. At different times, he managed Arn and Tully, The Four Horseman. He had a different style. He did pretty well. The good ones are the ones you can control.
Honky Tonk Man on Goldberg Undertaker match
"We were talking about Taker and them. If you watch it back, both of them, both of them on separate occasions. This guy picks this guy up, drops him. His head misses this much from breaking his neck.
Goldberg's head just happened to slip forward he would have broken his neck. If his head would have went backward instead of slipping forward, where he tucked his head into his chest, he would have broken his neck.
Q: Was there ever a point the Rhythm and Blues were going to get a title run or a shot at them? What caused the team to disband?
Honky Tonk Man: Greg, you can tell them about that. We were just talking about it yesterday.
Valentine: We were in line to get the belts. We worked with The Hart Foundation at WrestleMania V. Then WrestleMania VI with the guitars and all that concert. We were in line, and we were getting over big time. We had a lot of heat. We were in line to get the belts, and all of a sudden, Vince signed The Road Warriors.
Honky Tonk Man: He signed The Road Warriors, and that was it.
Valentine: They put him (Honky) in the broadcast booth with Vince and Piper. Vince told me, "Well, I'm going to let you off, but you're not fired. I'm going to send you to Japan once a month." So, that's what he did with us and all that money I spent on that friggin jacket.
Q: Where is the jacket at now? (Earlier in the night, The jacket in The Rhythm and Blues Promo Photo, Valentine admitted that jacket cost him $6,000)
Honky Tonk Man: I can't say anything I've got one of my jumpsuits on eBay right now. I never kept that stuff; I'd throw it away. This was before the internet or eBay. They never let us do signings typically.
That was baseball, football, basketball players, hockey. We didn't know anything about these signings. Then the market started to open up. God bless Virgil. Virgil went out and started doing comic cons and we didn't know anything about them. Virgil had been doing them for ten years. That how we all found out and that wrestling memorabilia was popular.
By then I'd thrown away most of those jumpsuits. They went in the trash when I moved to Arizona. I had every one of those big rubber action figures. My son played with them. They were sitting in a crate at a yard sale in Memphis, and a guy said, "How much for the dolls over there?" I said, "I don't know. Twenty Bucks?" And he gave me twenty bucks. There had to have been forty of them.
Some lady came around with one of my ring jackets that I had when I first started in the business. She said, "I worked for The Memphis Theatre and were always looking for costumes." I said, "Her you can have it." And gave it to her.
Valentine: The original I.C. belt is green, right? I beat the **** out of it when I lost it in Baltimore in a cage match. I left the ring, and Tito came in and grabbed it. He started crying, "This belt's all beat up."
That was set up to give him a new belt. I should have went in and grabbed the belt and took it home because it'd be worth a lot right now. A couple of years ago, I asked Tito; I said, "Whatever happened to that belt that I beat the **** out of?" He said, "Oh, my wife threw it in the garbage." That would have been great on this memorabilia market.
Honky: Jimmy Hart kept stuff. He's got a whole warehouse. He talked Hogan into keeping stuff. Now Hogan has a warehouse full of ****. Jim Cornette is a big collector.
Q: Is there anyone on the current roster you're fond of?
Honky: Randy Orton. Best guy in the world. The best talent there. We were there at WrestleMania, going through the lunch line. He was in front of me and he went to get something and look back.
He said, "I could just feel you in the building." Randy, every time I say something good about you, you get heat on you. So I'm not saying nothing. If I do an interview, I say Randy Orton is the greatest talent there. Randy can do it all. He can wrestle; he can talk; he's believable. His stuff is believable, and he is good. I don't watch the product, but I've watched him progress along the way.
Overall the show was great. Both Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine were in good spirits, very personable with the fans before, during and after the show. If you'd like to see The Rhythm and Blue Shake, Rattle, and Roll comedy tour in your hometown, contact Scott Wilder Promotions here.
Published 18 Jun 2019, 21:12 IST