Height: 6' 6" ?!?
Weight: 400 pounds ?!?
From: Mobile, Alabama
Career Highlights: Hardcore Champion (5); Tag Team Champion (2)
Hardcore Holly was a tired man. A veteran of the World Wrestling Federation who, along with X-Pac (then known as the 1-2-3 Kid), became Federation Tag Team Champions several years ago, Holly had been through it all. He even held the NWA Tag Team Belts with Bart Gunn as the New Midnight Express.
He joined the Federation under the name Sparky Plugg in the early 1990s. He is a licensed NASCAR driver, after all. He thought it would be an instant ticket to fortune.
It didn't happen. He became disenchanted with the Federation front office. After a brief stretch in the J.O.B. Squad, Holly developed a harder edge. With that, he focused his attention on the Hardcore Championship. He beat Al Snow at the St. Valentine's Day Massacre to secure the vacant Hardcore Championship, lost it, regained it at WrestleMania XV, and again at this year's WrestleMania.
Holly is hardcore to the bone. He's not above cracking a glass pitcher or coffee mug in someone's face so long as it results in victory. That attitude is perfect for the Federation's Hardcore Division. In addition, he's one of the most technically sound competitors in the Federation. His dropkick is considered by many to be the best in the business.
In June 2000, Bob "Hardcore" Holly shattered his forearm during a match with Kurt Angle. Although he was able to return to action, he continued to experience discomfort -- which only grew as the months went by. Finally, this past September, Holly couldn't take it anymore. He had the steel plate surgically removed from his left arm and was expected to miss six months while his arm heals.
On Thursday, Holly -- who will be a trainer on "WWF Tough Enough 2" in spite of his injury -- hosted the SmackDown! party at WWF New York. While there, he granted an interview to WWF.com.
WWF.com: How are you doing?
Holly: I'm doing OK. I'm doing better. All my pain is gone. I don't have to live with the pain anymore. I still hold a lot of resentment towards Kurt Angle. Well, not resentment towards Kurt, because s*** happens. But I was on the way -- I had a good push going, which I earned. Nothing's ever been handed to me. I've earned everything. And then (the broken arm) happened. And all of a sudden the brakes were slammed. I've worked my ass off all these years and I thought I was getting to the point where I wanted to be, and then all of a sudden I had the rug pulled right out from underneath my feet, so to speak, with the broken arm. I thought after the broken arm healed and the doctors released me, I'd be able to come back and slide right back into my spot. That wasn't the case. And I was kind of disappointed in that aspect -- I'm not going to lie about that.
I'm not going to sugarcoat nothing. Yeah, I was really disappointed when I came back. I came in, kicked the s*** out of Kurt, and that was the end of it. "Now, what do we do with Bob? I have no idea." This broken arm has caused me a lot of pain -- I've been uncomfortable every single day since it happened. I came back for almost a year from the injury and I dealt with the pain. I thought the pain would go away; it kept getting worse and worse and worse. I tried to work out though it; it got worse and worse. It got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore. I had to have the plate taken out. It was a chance I had to take. I've come to find out, the plate was causing pain in my arm -- all the pain in my arm -- so now there is no more pain. It's gone. But this injury here has cost me a lot of money and a year in my career. There's no telling where I would be right now if I would've never broke my arm, as far as climbing the ladder in the WWF.
WWF.com: So, to clarify, you're not saying you're mad at Kurt Angle?
Holly: No, no I'm not. I mean, I read his book. It was a move he'd never performed -- he had performed the moonsault before, but he had never landed on anybody before -- and I was just kind of surprised when he said he'd never done it before, after the fact. He admitted it in his book. I don't know, I was at a loss for words basically. I really didn't know what to think. I didn't know if I was angry. You've just kind of got to move on with it.
But I can't get past the thought that I had a good push going and it all came to an end after that.
WWF.com: So you're more disappointed in the situation itself than at Kurt?
Holly: The circumstances that followed -- I was more disappointed in that, yeah. Because the writers called me and everybody told me, "Don't worry. When you come back, we'll slide you right back in your spot. (You'll) take right off where you left off." That never came to pass.
WWF.com: Have you watched the tape of the match in which your arm was broken?
Holly: I watched it for the first time this summer. There was a race at Langley (Speedway in Hampton, Va.), and it was on the satellite at the place I was staying. They were playing it on DirecTV. It was two nights before the Langley race. I was lying there watching TV and it came on. And that was the first time I've seen it since I broke my arm.
WWF.com: What was that like?
Holly: It pissed me off. I was pissed off.
WWF.com: Was it like two years of aggression boiling over?
Holly: Yeah, but I still haven't got none of that aggression out yet. I haven't. [People in the room laugh.] You think I'm f***ing kidding. I haven't.
WWF.com: You think about the match often?
Holly: I think about it every day. Every time I look at that scar I think about it. This scar is a constant reminder of what happened. That's all it is.
It's like if you had a scar running across your face and you looked in the mirror every day, that would remind you of what happened - how you got that scar.
WWF.com: What's your relationship with Kurt like backstage? Is it at least cordial?
Holly: Oh yeah, he's really nice. He's very apologetic. And I know he still feels bad to this day. I know he does.
WWF.com: Yeah, didn't he bring you to the hospital the night it happened?
Holly: He didn't actually bring me to the hospital. They carried my ass in a damn ambulance, and I didn't want to go in an ambulance. But they said that's the quickest way I'd get in there. The ambulance took me, and Kurt wasn't finished working that night -- he had something else to do -- and after he was done, he drove over. (Federation official) Bruce Prichard drove over too. But Kurt did take me back to my hotel room. He got me back in there, got all my stuff back in the room. He went and got me something to eat, brought it to me, and the next morning he picked me up, took me to the airport, and got me situated. I mean, he really and truly did feel bad about it. He was sincere about. It was an accident. Yeah, I still get pissed off about it. But when I think about it, it was an accident. He didn't mean for it to happen.
WWF.com: You can forgive him, but you won't forget.
Holly: Yeah, I can forgive him, and I do forgive him. But I won't ever forget. It goes back to (the fact that) it just f***ed up my whole push.
WWF. com: How is the injury?
Holly: All it is is scar now. After they went in there and took the plate out -- and it f***ed my muscle all up in there too when they went in there and cut it -- all the screw holes had to heal up and you had to treat it as if it's a broken arm. They were going to put a half-cast on it. After I went back the next day to the hospital for a reevaluation -- to get the dressing taken off and get everything looked at -- they decided not to put a cast on it, which I was really glad about. That would've hindered me I think. But it's healing well. It feels good. I go back to the doctor in a couple of weeks to see how the bone is healing, because the bone's really brittle with all the screw holes in there. I think it's coming along, because it doesn't hurt me at all. I'm not supposed to be working out, but I am. That's no secret, I'm sure. (I'm not working out) to the level that I want to be working out -- not to the intensity -- but I'm taking it easy. I know how far to push myself. I know how far to go without re-injuring myself.
WWF.com: How long do you expect it'll take before you can return to the ring?
Holly: They said it's going to be six months but I think it's going to be a lot less than six months. It's been about six weeks. It feels good. My arm feels good.
WWF.com: And you'll know more once you visit the doctor in a few weeks.
Holly: Yeah. They'll just do the X-ray and see how the bone is healing.
He'll tell me if I can workout or not, and what I can do and what I can't do. But I already know what I can and can't do. They ain't gotta tell me jack s***.
WWF.com: So you definitely plan on being back around WrestleMania time.
Holly: "Tough Enough" is for nine weeks. It's starts Nov. 19. So it'll be over. I'm sure I'll be out there (at WrestleMania). I'm hoping I'm in the damn thing. Hopefully I'm in a storyline where they'll put me in the damn thing.
WWF.com: In addition to working out, what else have you been up to?
Holly: Getting fat as hell. (laughs)
WWF.com: No racing cars?
Holly: No, haven't done any of that.
WWF.com: Just chilling at home?
Holly: Yeah. "R and R." Bored out of my gourd. That's about it. Driving people crazy around me.
WWF.com: What do you think of Survivor Series "Winner Take All" stipulation?
Holly: To be honest with you, I think the WWF has made a name for itself. I don't think WCW needs to come in and screw it up. I just don't think it's right that they can come in and take over like they've done, and take all of our TV time. We've got good talent just sitting in the back. I mean, I'm not taking anything away from the WCW guys or the ECW guys, but this is about the WWF. It's not about them. It's about WWF.
WWF.com: Who are some examples of "good talent just sitting in the back"?
Holly: Look at Billy Gunn. He's probably one of the best athletes that we've got. And what are they doing with him? Nothing.
I can't tell you when I saw him on RAW last. And then you've got Val Venis. He's sitting at home. Why is he sitting at home? He's a hell of a talent. [Val is actually currently competing for Heartland Wrestling Association, a Federation talent development camp in Cincinnati.] He can work, he can cut a promo. He's good. He looks good. I just don't understand it.