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As the legendary Gorilla Monsoon would often say, today’s guest had one of the best drop kicks in the history of the wrestling business and now the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling welcomes, Jumpin’ Jim Brunzell and his amazing drop-dropckick to the podcast. Jumping’ Jim is also one of the most accomplished tag team specialists to ever grace the squared circle and with that skill became a 2 time AWA tag team champion alongside Greg Gagne as part of the High Flyers and of course he was also a part of the iconic Killer Bees tag team with longtime partner and former TMPToW guest B. Brian Blair but now as the author of his new book: “MatLands: True Stories from the Wrestling Road” by (Blurb books) Jumpin’ Jim Brunzell chronicles his journey through the uncertain and sometimes dangerous road of professional wrestling as well as cover all aspects of his legendary career.
Full Episode Download Link:
Jumpin’ Jim Brunzell on The WWF Tag Team Scene of The 80s:
His book “MatLands: True Stories from the Wrestling Road”:
It was 5 ½ years in the making. I like to tell stories about the road and the wrestling and entertain my friends at different parties and somebody you should write a book. My wife got me a little Dictaphone and after a while I had like 50 stories and from there I just would make notes and then would write a story down and over the course of the 5 ½ years we finally put it together. First it was going to be a photo book and when you try to self-publish this photo book would have cost $72 so I didn’t think that would sell many on the market so we made it into a trade book. I couldn’t have asked for a better response. It’s an easy read at 162 pages and I’m very happy with it. I didn’t have an axe to grind so I just sort of told stories from the very beginning on how I got involved and through the years, my various partners and some of the crazy things that happened on the road and it turned out to be “MatLands”.
The recent passing of Rowdy Roddy Piper:
Roddy Piper was a tough, city kid who came from Winnipeg and was tough as nails. Roddy realized what he had to do to be on top in this business and he did it. His wit and savvy were second to none, he knew what the promoter wanted, he was incredible on the microphone and he had probably the quickest hands I’ve ever seen on anybody. He would have been a great prize-fighter and he would have been a great boxer. He beat the crap out of Mr. T in that one WrestleMania and he was head and shoulders above everybody. He had an agenda and that’s what he stuck to. But he was totally different outside the ring. When he left the ring, I know he was a hard partying guy but I know his family meant everything to him so once he was off camera that was it, I never saw Roddy.
Memories of Piper:
I may have partied with him once or twice in the six or seven years I was with the WWF. When I had gone down to North Carolina, he had just left and he and Flair just did unbelievable business down in North Carolina. He was a hard living guy and partied like a son-of-a-gun. I remember one time we were in the LA Sports Auditorium and he got done wrestling and we had separate rooms, not like a locker room but just different rooms that you would go shower and when he reached around for a towel he stuck his finger in a socket and it was live and he went down like a ton of bricks shaking on the floor. He was lucky he didn’t get killed being electrocuted but he overcame that and when you think of someone dying in their sleep of a heart attack but look back on his life, he partied hardy and he was doing whatever he could to further himself and further his career. GOD bless him, he will be missed dearly.
Preference of working as a singles or a tag team wrestler:
To be honest, I wanted to do whatever would make me the most money. That’s why I was in pro-wrestling. I never let any ego get involved, I thought whatever I can do and you can’t fight City Hall. I was down in the Mid-Atlantic in (19) 79 and 80 by myself and I enjoyed it, came back worked with Greg as a tag team and enjoyed it. Went out to New York saying hopefully they will use me as a singles but they had so many guys that they had to throw guys into tag teams. That was fine, I just have no regrets, I worked hard in every town I went into the ring and tried to have a good match no matter what. I was a little disappointed in the way things went in the WWF but that’s the way it went.
Wrestlers from the Old-School still working to this day:
When you look at the guys that wrestled during my time-slot or my “era” everybody has to work. Hulk, he was the golden-goose but everybody else still had to find a job. You get anomalies like Greg Valentine who is six months older than me and is still wrestling and Ric Flair, he’s eight months older than me and he owes so much money he can’t quit. It’s a shame but that’s the way it is and I think we all knew that getting into the business and that’s the life that we chose.
Does pro-wrestling experience translates to post retirement work outside the business:
I have no regrets. But the only regret I may have is I would have left wrestling sooner. But when you are making good money, wrestling does nothing for you in the real world. It doesn’t prepare you for anything. You live in a sheltered world where you are told where you are going to be, who your opponent is, what general things to say and then given a book of tickets and on you go. When you get out in the real world people ask you what’s your background? You say, well I’ve been to a lot of airports, a lot of motels, a lot arenas and gyms.
Jumpin’ Jim Brunzell also discusses his picture perfect drop-kick, training with Verne Gagne, becoming a team with Greg Gagne, traveling to Japan, Getting to the WWF, Being Teamed With Brian Blair, Hulk Hogan’s Influence, The Tag Team Scene, How Competitive The Company Was, His Exit from the Business and more about his book, MatLands: True Stories from the Wrestling Road.
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