As previously noted, WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin recently caught up with pro wrestling veteran Bob 'Hardcore' Holly for a two-part interview on The Steve Austin Show. Among many other things, Holly talked about WWE Superstars being too busy for hobbies, how he traversed the ups and downs over his 15-year WWE career, and whether stepping away from the bright lights of WWE was difficult for him.
According to Holly, WWE Superstars often do not have hobbies or learn trades because they do not have time when they work for WWE. Apparently, Holly always knew he wanted to spend more time camping once he had time for it.
"Once you're signed to the WWE, and I mean your life belongs to them, you don't really have time to do anything else other than what you're doing and that's wrestling and traveling because you really don't have time to do anything. And it's something that [has] always been in the back of my mind, when I get time to do it, that's what I'm going to do. And that's spend more time outdoors and in the woods and stuff like that." Holly continued, "a lot of guys don't have any hobbies and also they don't have anything to fall back on as far as a trade, which I think isn't a good thing. You should always have something to fall back on, but [Austin] is right - a lot of guys don't have hobbies and all they do is eat, sleep, and breathe wrestling. And it's like I can't do that. I've got to do some other things other than that."
Holly shared that he kept his sanity on the road by working out.
"My outlet was my working out and sometimes, on the road, like [Austin] said, back when I first got there [to WWE], we were working 30 or 40 days on the road without a day off and double-shots on the weekends. My outlet was the gym and sometimes I did two-a-day, which, obviously, in the workout world two-a-days [are not] really good for you, especially when we didn't get much rest and wrestling at night. But that was how I kept my sanity. And back then, you were stuck with three other guys in a car, so you were with each other 24/7. Working out was my outlet to get away from everything and get my mind off of wrestling."
When asked how Holly managed to stay with WWE for so long, the six-time WWE Hardcore Champion indicated that he would keep a positive attitude and remind himself that he chose to get into pro wrestling.
"I had a lot of highs and lows and the way I kept going as far as getting through the lows is [thinking] things are going to get better, things are happening. And they did. They did. In the [pro] wrestling business, everything is up and down. Everything is up and down. It's like a rollercoaster ride. It's a rollercoaster of emotions. And you go through every single emotion that there is in the wrestling business. And it's tough dealing with that and people don't understand if you're not in the wrestling world, like, if you're not in the type of business we're in, a lot of people don't understand, like, what we go through as far as being away from our family and having to be on 24/7. And it's tough because your mind, it's on overload all the time, as far as what we do, because we constantly have to be on and the days off are far and few between." Holly explained, "the things we went through, that was our choice as far as our job decision. That was our career path and that's how I looked at it. Everything that came around with the [pro] wrestling business, I looked at it like, 'okay, this was my choice to get into this kind of business, so I just need to deal with it.' And that's what I did. And as far as the up and downs, it was one of those things where I just dealt with everything and I just tried to handle it as best I could. And I think that's another reason why I lasted 15 years [with WWE]."
With that said, Holly admitted that he always worried about other people stealing his spot while he sat at home on the injured list.
"Dealing with injuries and stuff like that was always a setback because there's always that next person that wants to take your job, take your spot and you always had to worry about that." Holly recalled, "and so, that was something else I always had to worry about, 'okay, if I'm off because I'm hurt, is somebody going to take my spot to where I won't be back?' But I weathered that storm and I lasted 15 years and I attribute that to working hard and doing what I'm told to do, being on time everyday because I was never late. I was one of those guys who was always early and never late. I was always on time."
In Holly's learned opinion, not being a big star helped him leave WWE when he did because he never needed external validation in his life. Moreover, the former 'Spark Plug' is a mechanic and welder by trade, so he never worried about finding work after his WWE career.
"It's funny because the way I always looked at myself, I was never a big deal and so walking away was actually easy for me. When I talked to Johnny [Ace] and we came to an agreement, I was like, 'let me go', and they sent me my release. I didn't think twice about it because I didn't think like, 'okay, what am I going to do now?' I was just like, 'life moves on. I'll figure it out along the way.' And that's what I did. And yeah, I'm a welder by trade. I'm a mechanic. I'm a heavy equipment mechanic. I can do anything, so work was never an issue for me. It's like the whole time I was wrestling, if [WWE] let me go midway through my career, guess what: I can have a job today if I wanted to. It's like right now. If I wanted to go out and find a job, I could find one right now, today. If we hung up from this phone, I could find a job right now. So it was never an issue for me. As far as having the validation of walking down that ramp and hearing the cheers from the crowd, that stuff, it doesn't bother me." Holly elaborated, "I'm comfortable enough within myself that I don't have to do that. I don't need validation from people verifying that I was 'Hardcore' Holly, 'hey, you're a big deal.' I don't need that. If I was never on TV again, I'm okay with that. If I was never recognized again in my entire life, I'm okay with that. I'm okay with being Bob Howard. I'm okay being that person. I have no problem with that. I could stay in my house. I don't have to go out. In fact, I don't like leaving my house, to be perfectly honest with you."
Check out the interview here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Steve Austin Show