Former WWE Superstar B. Brian Blair was a recent guest on the Prime Time with Sean Mooney podcast and shared many fascinating stories about his times in professional wrestling. Blair opens up about the inspiration behind The Killer Bees’ name, working with some of the best teams of the ’80s, not liking the term ‘enhancement talent’ and more. Highlights appear below.
(Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, WrestleZone)
On Receiving A Call From Hulk Hogan To Come To WWE & Team With Jim Brunzell:
I came in right after WrestleMania I. I got a call from [Hulk] Hogan and I was the Florida Heavyweight Champion. I wanted to come back to WWE and I was just waiting for the right time and Vince [McMahon] wanted to create a tag team group to be the focal point to help build the brand, so there was a lot of great tag teams in that era. Hogan called me and asked me if I heard of ‘Jumping’ Jim Brunzell. I’d heard of him with the High Flyers and Greg Gagne. He said, ‘He’s coming in and Vince wants to tag you guys up.’
On The Killer Bees pairing with Jim Brunzell & His Relationship With Vince McMahon:
It came about because Vince Jr. always knew that we had good rapport. I wanted to go back there. I told him that when the time was right and I had more experience I wanted to come back in a better spot. He was all for that. He was a very strong supporter and that’s why I have nothing but good things to say about Vince. He’s cocky. He’s very assured of himself and a lot of people don’t like him for different reasons, but all I can say is he never cheated me. He was always honest with me and I never saw him do anything that was really bad. I don’t have anything bad to say about Vince. He was very good to me. I never paid for a thing when we’d go somewhere whether it was a leer jet, a limousine, food.
On Why He Doesn’t Like The Term ‘Enhancement Talent’:
I don’t like the term ‘enhancement talent’ because of this. I’ve worked on hundreds of main events, lots of first matches just like so many people have and everybody busted their ass. It takes a whole card. If you put a main event in an arena, just one match, that might draw one time, maybe, but it takes an entire card. From the first match – you have to have a good opening match. I was always taught this. I’ve booked before. I know the wrestling business inside and out, upside and down and it takes an entire card to create a package, a total show that will bring people back time and time again. Angles are done in early matches to go into main events in other towns and semi-main events. When you use the words ‘enhancement talents’ and I’ve said this to other guys that use those words, which are seeming to become more and more popular. It used to be a jobber and I hated that. Enhancement is probably better than a jobber, but everybody…worked hard.
On Why Tag Teams Were So Popular In The 1980s & Where The Killer Bees Name Came From:
It was by design. Vince and George Scott designed that and when we came together as The Killer Bees in Ontario, I’ll never forget that. I met Jimmy there and George Scott said, ‘We’re gonna need a name for you guys.’ I’d only talked for Jimmy for maybe an hour. ‘We need a name for you guys, something catchy.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘I don’t know, just something catchy. Think of something. ‘By the way you’re on in an hour. Vince wants a name. I’ll be thinking too. You guys think.’ So anyway we were talking and I said, ‘Jimmy, did you ever watch the Miami Dolphins ’72 football team. Do you remember them? The linebackers all began with a B and they called them The Killer Bees.’ I always thought that was so cool because I was a big Dolphins fan. Jimmy said, ‘The Killer Bees, I kinda like that. Yeah, The Killer Bees.’
Unfortunately we were stuck with Sheik and Volkoff most of the time and they got the most heat, actually, but you couldn’t make a comeback on them. It’s impossible to make a comeback on them – and I loved Nikolai, you can’t help but love Nikolai – you hit Nikolai with a clothesline and the first thing he does is land on his hand, his hip, his knees, his butt, and his back. It’s like a four move bump instead of just taking the bump and then you’ve got to lift him back up, rather than him feeding you. Same thing with Sheik. To lift the Sheik up for an ass bump. You have to really shoot to lift him up and that makes it very difficult to make a good comeback on a team….with Sheik and Volkoff you had to get very creative.
On Working With The Hart Foundation:
Bret [Hart] and I got along great. Him and I would call the whole match. We would sit down and put the whole match together. He had that great psychology from Calgary and I had that Florida psychology and Jim and Jim would both input what they wanted to do until we came up with things that really rocked. A lot of people go back to the Saturday Night Main Event time with Dick Ebersol. We were in LA with the Hart Foundation and we used the Mass Confusion to beat them for our next title shot. That was one of the highest rated segments on Saturday Main Event to that date for that year.
On Working With Demolition:
Demolition were easy to work with. They gave us great comebacks and they didn’t care if they did a job. We didn’t care if we did a job. It was just – we’d work together and we’d always have a good match. I don’t think we ever had a bad match with Demolition.
Readers may listen to Sean Mooney‘s interview with Blair in its entirety below: