Tony Anthony Discusses Becoming Smoky Mountain Wrestling Heavyweight Champion, His Time in WWE as T.L. Hopper, and Why He Thinks Vince Russo Is an Idiot

September 23, 2017 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Vince Russo

– Speaking on The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast, former Smoky Mountain Wrestling heavyweight champion Tony Anthony, aka The Dirty White Boy and T.L. Hopper in WWE, discussed his career. He also shared his thoughts on former WWE booker Vince Russo and why Hopper thinks Vince Russo is in his words “an idiot.” Below are some highlights

Anthony on his feud with Tom Prichard: “It was just something that comes along every once in awhile where two guys gel together and they just go out and they go at it and they give 110% and they give it their all. It was a painful pleasure to work with Prichard and I can’t put him over enough as a competitor and a great wrestler and an all around cool dude.”

Tony Anthony on where The Dirty White Boy persona came from: “The Dirty White Boy was basically a character that was an all american biker who would kick ass and didn’t take anything from anybody and did things his own way. It started way back with me and Len Denton many many years ago where we started “The White Boys.”

On his time working for Jim Cornette: “Jimmy is something else that is for sure. When it comes to doing the booking and those kinds of things than he has a great mind, he really does. I’ve said this before in some shoot interviews when his mind is set on one particular thing you can’t beat him and he’s top notch and excellent. But when he is trying to book here and he’s thinking about another territory it lacks and starts dropping off because he’s got his mind elsewhere. As long as he stays focused everything is great and it really was in SMW. Smoky Mountain was a dream territory for me because I was home. I could live at home and just make the towns around here and it was wonderful.”

“Anytime the company says they are going to put the title on you they expect you to hold up your end of the deal. There was some pressure but basically with the guys that I had to work with I knew that I was fortunate to have a good group of people and it just kept getting better and everybody worked hard. We got a good response from the fans so the pressure eased up and I loved going to my job. Not a lot of people can say that in the world but when you ask someone and they tell you that I hate my job, well I loved my job. I hope that it showed and the wrestling fans were happy.”

Anthony on going to WWF and working as T.L. Hopper: “At that point in time in the WWF Vince was going through this phase and what he was thinking I don’t think anybody really knows but if you know Vince he’s not the type of person where he says we’ve got this for you and you say back: “Well Vince what about this and let’s do this?” He’s dealing with so many people that he didn’t have time for that so I figured go ahead and go along with it and get your foot in the door and see what happens and see where it goes from there.”

Anthony on how T.L. Hopper is remembered by fans: “I really don’t know. People didn’t like me but everywhere I went they knew me. Everywhere I went up North they knew I was T.L. Hopper but I knew that it wasn’t for me and I was just going through the motions and basically making a paycheck and at the end of the day Vince has got the final say so he can change stuff if he wants to and if he don’t than he won’t.”

Anthony on being paired with The Godwins as Uncle Cletus: “It was great and I love those two guys. They are good people and are very talented and it was good. I honestly thought that we were going to get a good run with it and then we come in and they said they (WWE) were going to change the they (The Godwins) dressed. Right there I knew somebody was killing this and I don’t think it was all Vince’s idea. I think that people were talking hard on it and that nobody wears bib overalls anymore and that is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard anybody say. If you come to the South everybody wears bib overalls so I knew something was up.”

His thoughts on Vince Russo, why Vince Russo is an idiot, and Jim Cornette getting phased out of WWE Creative: “Oh yeah, yeah that guy is an idiot. Plain and simple and I call it like is, he is an idiot. He didn’t like that and he wanted to go his way and the I’m smarter than everybody else but he’s a moron. Jim wasn’t getting as much input as he was used to putting in. I had seen there was going to be a clash and I knew it was just a matter of time.”