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WCW Veteran Recalls Choking Out Rick Rude In A Backstage Encounter

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• Old School WCW Veteran Celebrates His Birthday

Old School WCW Veteran Erik Watts celebrates his 51st birthday today.

He’s the son of Old School Wrestling Legend Bill Watts, and worked for Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling from 1992 to 1994 and again in 1998 & 1999

In between, Erik joined the World Wrestling Federation as ‘Troy’, one half of the infamous gimmick Tag Team ‘Tekno Team 2000’.

His last major Wrestling deal was working for TNA Total Nonstop Action! from 2002 till 2005.


• WCW Veteran Recalls Choking Out Rick Rude In A Backstage Encounter

In this flashback article, we take a look at an old shoot interview with WCW Veteran Erik Watts, where he talked about his backstage encounter with Rick Rude.

Below are the highlights:

Host: The story that kind of gets circulated is that your dad kind of had a hand in kind of pitting you against each other (Rick Rude). What are your memories of that the confrontation with Rude?

Erik: What did you hear that happened?

Host: The story that gets circulated a lot is Rude was blowing up, as you put it, and basically saying that you didn’t deserve to be there or whatever Rude was saying and Watt said, “Why don’t you try him and see if he deserves to be here or not.”

Erik: What did you hear happened?

Host: You stretched him.

Erik: In wrestling, back in the day you were green for 5 years. Period. Back in the day, you had to fetch the beer, send them back in the car, put the beer in the cooler, make sure that everyone was happy. You had to go get the bags. You had to carry the bag to the airport. You had to check people out. You had to pull up the rental car. You had to go in and buy the food. I mean that’s the kind of stuff you did.

I don’t know how long I was there, about a year-two years. I can’t remember. End of a long road trip, all the guys were there. Everybody, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, Sting, Vader, I mean the whole crew, all your big guys (were there). And I actually had a match that night with Steve Austin.

And I went to the dressing room. And I hear Rude, “Yeah, me and Hennig, we’re friends. I don’t know if you guys know that we’re best friends”. Everyone knew they were best friends. He said, “I mean Hennig was a great amateur wrestler. We really didn’t ever really go at it, but we were getting drunk and we were hanging out and I remember when Hennig couldn’t turn me.”

I’ve just been listening to this and the road had been brutal, the heat from the guys. I was sitting there dressed outfit and he was in like slacks and a shirt.

I’m sitting in my locker and I got Tourette. I don’t even know him. I never met Hennig but I feel like he’s a brother of mine.

Number two, you don’t talk about other people that were amateur wrestlers. So I’m sitting there listening to him and I go, “Well, he must have sucked as a wrestler then?” All of the sudden Rude turns and I go, “Oh god!”

So now I’m sitting in the locker and everyone was talking and they just shut up and they stare. He comes over. He goes, “You got something to say?” I go, “You know what? No. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to say anything. I don’t even know Hennig. I don’t know you really. I’m sorry.”

He said, “You ought to be sorry. You don’t talk about my best friend.” I said, “You’re talking about your best friend. He couldn’t turn you. You’re a boxer. You’re stud. Everyone knows you can find.”

I mean he was known as an animal in the streets. And he said, “Well, I don’t think you have anything to say.” He’s looking and all the boys are coming in from outside and they’re getting amped up and I’m just sitting there. I got my head down. And at this time, now I’m contemplating: If he gets close enough to me, I beat his brains out or try, however you want to say it respectfully or don’t.

Or if I keep my head down long enough, he’s going to nail me. So I’m sitting there listening. And as I picked up, I caught, of all people, Sting. And Sting is the Politician, the Peacekeeper. Sting goes, “No more, bro. No more. Let it go.”

I was just popped up and I said, “You got a problem?” And Sting jumps in and Sting goes, “Well, let’s see if he can turn you.” And Rick goes, “Yeah, why don’t you try me boy?” I said whatever you want man. Go ahead. So he gets on floor. Sting goes, “All right! I’ll be the ref. Ready? Go.”

Well, as soon as he said go, I just take him and dump him headfirst in the cement. You could just tell, he’s kind of ding man. He wasn’t feeling good. I just slammed him. And he goes, “I wasn’t ready. I thought you’re gonna say 1 2 3. Sting goes, “1 2 3….. 4 5 6 What do you want me to say?” He say, “Do 1 2 3.” So Rude gets back down. Sting goes, ” 1 2 3 Go!” And Rude goes to stand up. And I just take him and toss him.

I said, “Well, is there anything else you want to try there, stud?” Now I’m a little worked up about the whole thing. And so I said, “Well, I’m gonna go freestyle since you know so much. Why don’t you get on floor. I’ll just put my hands in the middle your back. I’m gonna stand up. See, if you can get up.”

He goes, “Well, the reason you got me was because the first time I wasn’t ready and the second time I thought I’d stand up but I shouldn’t have stand up because the contest is about turning me over. I said, “Do whatever you want brother.” And at that time, that’s when I took a little further.

I choked him out and did some other stuff. That’s when Sting thought we had enough. It was kind of embarrassing. I shouldn’t have done what I did. But then, I was in a hallway and I was on the phone. I was talking and I don’t know someone comes up and pulls me by the waist and picks me up when I’m on the phone. He said, “What would you do now?” I said hold on, just a second. And it was easy. Just put my hand and switched him and slammed him.

And from what I understand, he walked outside and there was a guy that was coming in talking trash, he hit the guy in the mouth and split his palate open and got sued for like I don’t know how much. And after that he was cool with me.

He said, “You cost me X number of dollars.” And I said, “I didn’t cost you anything.” He goes, “You’re a good kid.” And and then he started letting me into the recruit. In a weird way wrestling world can be corrupt and then all the sudden turn awesome.

Here’s a guy that probably didn’t like my dad and had worked for him before and was mad at him but he wanted to take it all out on me. Plus I was the easy target because the boys wanted it plus the boys would probably like to take out a little bit of the Bill Watts problems on me. First of all, like it would bother my dad. It’s not (going to).

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