Since 1980, Sgt. Slaughter has become a prominent figure in WWE history. The WWE Hall Of Famer was able to work with WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon and his father at the same time.
Speaking to Wrestling News, the former WWE Champion gave some insight on the early years of Vince before becoming who he is today. While Vince is more than willing to take a bump every now and then today, back then it was a bit different. He had to hide his desire from his father, who wanted him to remain behind the scenes.
“Vince never was able to become a wrestler, his father wanted him to be behind the microphone, so he could control things a little better,” Slaughter stated. “One night we were driving in the car together and he says, ‘One thing I miss Sarge is getting in the ring.’ I asked him if he wants to get in the ring, he says yes, so I tell him to go put a mask on one night when we have a smaller event and I’ll wrestle you. So we did, and it wasn’t the funnest time of my life, but we got it done.”
When it comes to character work, Slaughter’s military persona became a real hero to many. His no-nonsense attitude and ability to take risks resulted in a Hall Of Fame ring. He impressed Vince Sr. when he arrived to the scene, especially after confronting Vince Jr. during an impromptu promo class. He used the current WWE CEO’s pet peeve towards his advantage.
“Vince hates sneezing, he hates smoke,” Slaughter continued. “When I first came into the WWE, he had you do promos about wrestlers. Vince just wanted to see if you could do a promo. I met his father and he said to go out and do a promo with his son and see how it goes. Nobody had ever seen me before. I played the marine for him, put the sunglasses on, I had my swagger stick and by the time I almost got to him I almost caused a riot. He went to say something to me and I said, ‘Shut your hole puke, who gave you permission to speak?’ It kind of stunned him a bit. I berated him and his magnificent body that he worked so hard to chisel up. I heard through the grapevine that he spent $200 on a haircut so I took my swagger stick up and down his hair and I said, ‘Who cut your hair, Ray Charles?’ When we were all done I got my cigar and took a big puff of it, I blew it in his face and I didn’t know that he hated smoke. He started turning blue and red. I walked back to the dressing room and all the wrestlers were giggling, saying that poor guy (me) got fired before he got started.”
That one moment ended up being something that gave Slaughter a true opportunity to shine.
“In comes Vince’s father and he starts walking around me,” Slaughter went on to say. “He told me to follow him and we went into this little room. He walked around me a few more times and said, ‘Sgt. Slaughter that’s the greatest character I’ve ever seen in my life. Even my son hates you.’ He told me I needed to start right away.”