During his appearance on WINCLY, Mr. T. spoke on how he ended up working the first Wrestlemania. Here’s what he had to say:
When I met with Vince McMahon and Hulk, Hulk was telling me about it because remember, me Hulk Hogan, we go back because we were in Rocky III together, then he did a couple episodes of The A-Team. He was friends with Cyndi Lauper, and everyone came in and said, ‘Wow, you’re getting Mr. T in!’ We did the contract, and now it’s serious. Now we gotta train. Now I gotta learn the moves. I knew wrestling in Chicago. Two-time state champ, but like I said, this is professional wrestling because I remember as a kid, Dick The Bruiser and The Crusher being from Wisconsin. I remember Sweet Daddy Siki and Bearcat Wright.
They would come in Comiskey Park in Chicago, but now, here, I’m involved in WrestleMania. I was like, man, Madison Square Garden. I was thinking about the pressure. I was like, oh man, I gotta hold my own. We’re going up against Piper, he’s one of the meanest, toughest wrestling heels. He’s the ultimate bad guy, and now I gotta go against him. I was like, oh man. Hulk was training me, showing me, throwing me around. I was like, man, I can’t lift you up. We’re moving, and we’re practicing. I was like, man, what did I get into? We kept practicing. I felt some pressure because I didn’t want to let the people down. Then also, there was a little pressure from other wrestlers.
They didn’t understand that. They probably thought I was maybe a cream puff or somebody trying to come in and make a joke of their sport, but I didn’t. I came in. I was already with Vince because he wanted to advance the sport. You got Cyndi Lauper. You’re getting more eyeballs because before that, they had a certain crowd. Now, we’re bringing in everybody to see wrestling. ‘Hey, this is the guy from Rocky III and A-Team! Cyndi Lauper from the MTV!’ Now, I got to deliver. I got to do my part. I gotta stand toe-to-toe with Piper. It was thrilling and exciting at the same time. I was really pumped.
You can listen HERE.