Story: Billy Jack Haynes is one of countless professional wrestlers burned into my memory, part of the epic 80s run of the World Wrestling Federation. His match against Hercules at Wrestlemania III is his most memorable clash to me, but he was an upper card worker in one of the biggest boom periods, so he had a number of rivalries and showdowns. His gimmick was inspired by Tom Laughlin’s Billy Jack movie, with the wrestler adopting the name, as well as the signature hat. An 80s WWF star like Haynes has to have all kinds of wild stories, memories, and first hand accounts of the business’ inside track, but as he shows here, he has a lot more than to get off his chest!
Entertainment Value: This is likely one of the more infamous shoot interviews, although his later session with RF Video would be even more outrageous. Billy Jack Haynes was such a babyface for WWF and seems so soft spoken, so it took me surprise the first time I heard this interview, as he goes off the deep end and beyond here. The session begins like so many other shoot interviews, with a question about how Billy Jack started in the business, but he turns things around and details some tragic family drama and events, to say the least. The interview is instantly, deeply personal and Billy Jack holds nothing back, even speaking directly into the camera to the audience at times. He wraps back around to answering the question however, proving himself to be a candid, very vocal subject, going into great detail about his time before he entered the business and his early days as a worker. He shares his thoughts on Portland and the wrestlers he encountered there, then launches into some personal attacks that are barbed even by shoot interview standards.
The rest of this over two hour shoot interview follows a similar patterns, his memories of the business blended with very personal anecdotes and fairly vicious personal attacks on his peers, so it is a wild interview, without question. The personal drama can be very intense, but even beyond his deeply personal revelations, this is a terrific shoot just for the wrestling stories, especially since Billy Jack is open and direct with his feelings. I don’t know if I would take all he says without a grain of salt, but aside from perhaps exaggerating his drawing power and position in the business (which countless wrestlers do in these shoots), he seems genuine and never tries to side step a question. His second RF Video shoot would fall into chaos and total craziness, but this one tempers the personal drama with great content on his time in the squared circle, well recommended.