Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Interview with J.J Dillon from 2006

Quick Highlights


---Debut:  1962
---National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) 1982-1989
---Served as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF)   front office executive from 1989 to 1997
---World Championship Wrestling (WCW) 1997-1999

---Manager of  the original  4 horsemen Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Ole& Arn Anderson, later Lex Luger

---Author: Wrestlers are like seagulls : from McMahon to McMahon
---Pro Wrestling Illustrated Manager of the year: 1982, 1983, 1988

 ---Has appeared on WWE Raw in 2007

DP:  Few people realize it, but you actually started out

as a WWWF referee in Pittsburgh if I recall right?
JD:  Actually it was in Philadelphia. The year was 1962 and I was in college. I met and got to know Vince J.McMahon (Vince, Sr.) as a result of my job as a referee. Vince, Sr. helped make one of my lifelong dreams come true later in my career.

DP: Though you have always been predominately a manager, you also wrestled several matches?
JD: I had well over 3000 matches as a wrestler during my career. Another wrestler that I knew early in my career needed a manager to keep his career on track. I was approached to be his manager and the rest is history.

DP:  When I was a kid, Arizona got the old Texas TV tapes for a long while, when Kurt Von Steiger ran Phoenix. I recall seeing one really bloody bout with you and Dick Murdoch. Does it ring a bell?
JD: I had been wrestling full-time for just under three years when Dory Funk, JR. recruited me to work the Amarillo territory. I spent all of 1974 in West Texas and I feuded with Dick Murdoch. Some of my most Memorable matches from my active career as a wrestler were with Murdoch, and yes, many were blood bathes.

DP: Then of course you went into managing and really hit it big. Of all the things you have done, is managing your first choice?
JD: I was first and foremost a fan, and my dream was to be a wrestler. I was not blessed with tremendous size, so much of my early success I attribute to my interview skills. I enjoyed great success as a manager, but I never lost my passion for performing in the ring in tights.


DP:  What do you think makes a good manager as it seems to be a dying art?
JD: You're right, managing is a dying art. But, I fear That professional wrestling may be a dying art as
Well. A good manager can make a good wrestler become great. The system has changed and with the changes there is no longer a role for the manager in the current system.


DP:  You just recently wrote a book, correct?
JD: I worked for seven months with Scott Teal, who co-wrote Ole's book, and with Philip Varriale to write my life story. It is to be released the first week of June.

DP: There have been loads of biographies, Autobiographies and tell-all books out there already.
Where would your book fall into as far as category?

JD: "Wrestlers Are Like Seagulls" from McMahon to McMahon, is definitely an autobiography.

DP: What would you say makes it different from other books by other people already out there?

JD: I have done it all. As you read my story, you will see that I started out selling programs as a kid and helped set up the ring. My journey spans over forty years through six decades. I was part of Vince McMahon's inner circle for almost eight years and few others have had my perspective, from the inside through many of the changes in modern wrestling.

DP:  How do you feel about the way wrestling has changed from the time you started, until now?
JD: I recognize that change is inevitable with all things, Including the wrestling product and the business itself. However, change is not always necessarily for the better.


DP:  I assume a lot of this is covered in your book?

JD: I devote a whole chapter in my book to my views on this subject. The business would be healthier with a Second major promotion that is successful. Readers maybe surprised as I share my suggestions about where the Wrestling business needs to go from today. I feel that I have the credibility to make a valid assessment of the current situation with my years of experience in the business. I have rubbed elbows with all the Movers and shakers in wrestling, and I have gained alot of knowledge along the way.

DP:  Where can people order it, and will it be available in bookstores?

JD: I suggest that interested readers check out which will direct you to   to actually place an order.
My goal is to sign, and where possible to personalize, as many copies as possible from the initial printing, Without any additional signing fee. This was the best way to provide signed copies, and to make the book Available at the earliest possible date. Eventually down the road the book will be available in bookstores.

DP: Have you thought of going on the road with this and doing the wrestling conventions or the autograph shows?

JD: I am scheduled to appear at the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Reunion in Charlotte, NC, on August 19/20/21. I am also doing the Wrestle Reunion in King of Prussia, just outside Philly on August 26/27/28. I look forward to seeing Bruno Sammartino and to help honor him in PA. I also look forward to meeting readers and getting individual impressions and feedback about my book at both shows.

DP:  Interviews for this page tends to be short and to the point. Is there anything we missed that you would like to talk about?
JD: I have always been a detail person, and it is difficult for me to not go into great depth with all
the questions I get. With my book, I have had the opportunity to tell "the whole story" and that is part of what I hope will make my story in print unique.

 DP: Closing comments?
JD: Writing a book was a one time deal for me. Before we started I told Scott Teal that I wanted to do it right, or not do it at all. I am very proud of the effort. We have gone to great lengths to be accurate and factual. I speak with open honesty and address aspects of my time in the business that I have never discussed before. I really believe that there is something of interest for all fans of all ages.

Thank you.
J. J. Dillon




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