Former pro-wrestling star “Wildthing” Stevie Ray was a recent guest on VOC Nation’s In the Room podcast to talk about his time working the UWF and promoter Herb Abrams, and how the promotion eventually crumbled. He also touches on the Dark Side of the Ring episode that chronicled Herb Abrams’ downfall. Highlights are below.
On Herb Abrams being a great promoter:
“He was able to get a no namer which was me (featured) as the 6th most popular wrestler (in Pro Wrestling Illustrated)… I was on that for like three months. Just the fact that he got me put on that… it was from his call of him wanting to tell everybody that he had Dr Death break my nose… When I walked into the dressing room that night, (the wrestlers) really thought I got in a huge fight with Dr Death… When he ran my back into that metal pole, that even freaks me out to watch it…it just looks brutal.”
On the Dark Side of the Ring UWF episode:
“I would say the Dark Side of the Ring covered 1/16 of (the UWF story). I would say there’s so much more that could be talked about… What I would say was that for someone who’s got this reputation of being a bad person or being a fiend on drugs, hookers, and cocaine and stuff, what I experienced with him is – – I would basically take responsibility before the matches that Herb was sober and ready to go, and wasn’t messing around and looking out of a peephole. I was pretty stern on him; he didn’t effect me. I didn’t judge him. I knew we had a job to do, and I knew there was something way more important than what he was currently messing with. He didn’t let me down one time. He would sober up and get his (act) together.”
On his relationship with Herb Abrams:
“He and I bonded because he needed someone like that. He needed someone that wouldn’t tell other people what they just witnessed or dealt with; that was just between him and I. He didn’t let me down. On that aspect, I’ve always found him to surprise the heck out of me. How he was acting at the MGM Grand was probably the worst I’ve seen him. It was noticeable to me, it was a problem. It was a little more comical to me, but at the same time this man was trying to run this whole entire thing by himself.”
On what went wrong in the UWF:
“The only thing that Herb needed was a damn good manager and a good booker to tell the stories. He let his ego get ahead of him. Through time we all mature and we all go through that area where we grow up. I think Herb just needed to get past that. He was too much involved with being part of the story, where he needed to realize the brand itself was the story. I would have gambled on the fact that Herb could have gotten there, especially if he had cleared his mind from his demons.”
On Herb Abrams being more dedicated to talent than his own success:
“His main interest was the talent that he had on hand… He started screwing up because he started bringing in talent that wasn’t that significant… (If it were me) I would want a product where the audience was just as important as the people I was promoting. How he walked away from what happened at the MGM without going through some sort of depression? That would have sunk me… I do my best to look at the best side of everybody. I hate having toxicity flow through my veins… From the good to the bad of what I dealt with with Herb, I would say 85-90% was good… Herb always paid me what he said he was gonna pay me.”
Full episode can be found below.