Hardcore Holly On His Friendship With Chris Benoit, Matt Cappotelli Incident, Buff Bagwell
Former WWE Superstar Bob “Hardcore” Holly appeared as a guest on The LAW this week promoting his recently released autobiography, The Hardcore Truth, and discussed such topics as his friendship with Chris Benoit, leaving Matt Cappotelli bloodied and bruised on Tough Enough, Buff Bagwell’s infamous brief stint with WWE, and more. Highlights from the interview, transcribed by Chris Maffei, are as follows.
His friendship with Chris Benoit: “For the people that didn’t know Chris, he was the kindest human being you would ever find on this planet. I don’t know what happened, I just honestly couldn’t tell you what happened. Chris was one of the kindest, politest people. I never saw the guy get mad, not one single time. He didn’t get upset about anything. When I was writing the book and reflecting back on him, it was kinda hard because then I started thinking about it again, and it’s almost like it’s hard to believe that he’s not here anymore. Me and him were pretty close; we confided a lot in each other. It was very tough, just thinking about it and talking about it. Back when it had happened, that’s something that you’ve got to push out of you mind right away, because you have to move forward. We’re on live TV every week; it’s a sad situation, it’s hard to heal from something when you don’t mourn over it. It’s something that you have to do, just put it out of your mind. Otherwise it’ll ruin you, it really will.”
Returning from injury after WCW was purchased by WWE: “When I came back, I was like “Wow, this isn’t good if I’m sitting around because of all these new guys coming in.” Your mind starts playing games on you, and it’s like “Okay, am I sitting out for a while now?” I’ve been sitting out for eight months, and I come back and we’ve got the whole WCW thing going on, all these guys coming in. It’s like, where do you fit in? You do worry about that. I worried about it, but then again, it was like “Okay, if they let me go, at least I have a trade to fall back on.” That was always in the back of my mind, that I had something to fall back on. Of course, that’s not what I wanted to have to fall back on, I wanted to move forward with my career instead of backwards. That weighed heavy on my mind when they had all these guys, and you’re seeing all these guys in the locker room, and I was like “Wow, I’m gonna get lost in the shuffle here.” I tried to come up with ideas and stuff like that, and a lot of times it just didn’t work.”
Buff Bagwell’s brief stint with WWE in 2001: “That guy, he blew it huge. He was on his own watch; he thought he was gonna do what he wanted to do, just like in WCW. The rules were completely different with WWE, and that’s why Vince runs such a tight ship. We have certain times he wants us there, and for a good reason. Buff would just show up whenever he wanted to. For example – one night, the show starts at 7, of course, and we’re supposed to be there at 6. He shows up right when the show is starting. He doesn’t change with boys, he’s gotta go find his own little locker room or something. He did generate a lot of heat, and he brought it all on himself. I always got along with Buff, I never had a problem with him, but I think he kinda blew it for himself because I think they had big plans for him. He just kinda threw it away, and he didn’t want to play the game; he didn’t want to follow the rules, and that’s something you have to do.”
Matt Cappotelli incident on Tough Enough: “If that was the case, if I was a bully, as some people say I was, do you really think Vince would have kept me? Do you really think Vince would have kept me if that was the true case, that I took advantage of this guy and roughed him up just for the sake of doing it? No, I wouldn’t be there, trust me. Vince doesn’t put up with that kind of stuff. That’s what I tried to get people to understand; once they start thinking about it, it’s like “Oh, okay, that does make sense.” Also, you’ve gotta understand, it’s like Randy Orton. These guys tell me to do something, well these guys are the ones that sign my paychecks, so I’m gonna do what they ask me to do.
“It’s 50/50 about the Matt Cappotelli thing; a lot of people understand coming from my point of view, and then some people understand from his point of view. I think the people that are on his side about it don’t get the wrestling business. These are people that are not in the wrestling business that don’t get in the ring and wrestle. Matt gets on television and cries because he has a black eye and a bloody lip. I did not break any bones, I did not knock any teeth out of his mouth, I didn’t send him to the hospital. He was perfectly fine, except he got his feelings hurt and he had a black eye.”