Billy "The P" Donald, Wrestling Manager
(retired): 14th July
Man Australia conducts part 2 of the interview with
Billy The P!I
Why do people become wrestlers
and wrestling managers? is
it a personality trait?
I think that personality is definitely a factor, but
there are a lot of heel wrestlers that could just
as easily be a manager because they are such good
talkers, and there are some managers that could as
easily be wrestlers because they understand the psychology
of setting up a story and telling the story through
in point for both: Bobby Heenan. In fact, Bobby told
me once that he always just tried to wrestle like
a manager and manage like a wrestler, which made perfect
sense to me. He did both, and did them well because
he knew what it took to tell a story not only out
of the ring through interviews, but in the ring as
like Jim Cornette and Jimmy Hart had this talent too.
They had great minds for the business, and that is
why I will always consider Heenan, Hart and Cornette
the best trio of managers in the history of wrestling.
That is starting to become a lost art now, unfortunately.
find that most managers are guys that used to be wrestlers
that had a career ending injury (Paul Ellering and
Ted DiBiase come to mind) or maybe they are just retired
(such as Harley Race or Superstar Billy Graham were),
or guys that are just too small to wrestle, such as
I was, or a guy like Jimmy Hart.
the "rush" that you get in the ring, and
performing to a crowd?
like no other feeling, that's for sure. And I've been
on both sides of that fence as heel and babyface.
I've gotten a great pop when I was a babyface and
insane heat when I was a heel. Of course, I always
far preferred getting that heel heat, because I just
liked to piss people off. It came naturally to me.
other wrestlers have been the most supportive of you?
can honestly say that nearly everybody I ever worked
with was always there for me and were very supportive.
Guys and girls like Ian Rotten, Bull Pain, Doug Gilbert,
Mad Man Pondo, Sherri Martel, Les Thatcher, and so
many more were nothing short of helpful to me. It
was a real blessing.
things ever got out of control in or around the ring?
I'd have to say that the IWA Mid-South had the kind
of environment that often led to things getting out
of hand, but that was acceptable. It was part of what
made the IWA so much fun, really. Probably the most
famous out of hand incident was when Wolfie D. of
the team PG-13 started shooting
on Ox Harley during a hardcore weapons match after
Ox did something that Wolfie apparently did not particularly
care for. The whole dressing room cleared to break
them up. We also had an incident at only our second
show where all of the fans in the arena threw almost
every chair in the building into the ring on Mad Man
Pondo until he was eventually buried under a mountain
of steel chairs. It was something unusual almost every
the media been fair to the wrestling business over
not. We got yet another glaring instance of this in
the recent HBO Real Sports program. Particularly if
you live in the Southern United States as I do, where
even "respected" journalists refer to it
in their articles as "rasslin" and the usual
song and dance about it being fake and what not.
don't see the same writers reviewing movies and talking
about how fake the blood is or how fake the action
is, yet, both the movie industry and the wrestling
industry are clearly identified as entertainment.
So in effect, how is a guy like Steve Austin different
from, say Robert DeNiro?
are both generally respected and admired for the work
they do, the credibility of the characters they play
(even though it is safe to say that they are both
just usually playing a variation of themselves), and
they are considered to give the people their money's
worth when they buy a ticket to see them.
DeNiro may get an Oscar or a similar award, and Steve
Austin is just some redneck "rassler" according
to the media. Professional wrestlers, referees, managers,
work very, very hard. Just like construction
workers, surgeons, policemen, and just about any "normal"
profession. Wrestlers have bills to pay and children
to feed too. Wrestling is generally escapism for regular
people, just like a movie is.
to the wrestling matches is a great way for hard working
people to go to unwind from their jobs and to enjoy
themselves, as well as being a place for kids to forget
about their problems or their schoolwork for a while
and have fun. But, it will be an eternal struggle
for the wrestling business to get positive media attention,
so why the hell try, huh?
other promotions did you work for?
worked for the IWA Mid-South Promotion, the Heartland
Wrestling Association. The Hardcore Wrestling Federation,
and a couple of other small promotions in Indiana.
you, or are you involved in any other forms of entertainment?
at all. I lead a very quiet life now with my Wife
in Louisville, Kentucky, and that is the way I like
it, quite frankly!
else you want to let us know about?
I'd just like to invite everybody to come out and
check out my official website www.geocities.com/billythep2003/home.html
to see the stories from my career and enjoy the photos
and memories, and everybody is free to write me if
they have any questions or comments.
it has been a pleasure being your guest. Thank you
very much for having me, and keep up the great work.
The P official website
Tingle interviews Billy The P (part a) - 9th July
Pro Wrestling Directory (Greg Tingle's)
Managers (Greg Tingle's)
Wrestling Promotions (Greg Tingle's)