Greg Valentine was one of the best pro wrestlers of his generation and now “The Hammer” is reflecting on when he got physically involved with a fan leading to a phone call from WWE’s Linda McMahon. This was back in the 1980s when Linda was running WWE with Chairman Vince McMahon. Linda would be named the CEO of WWE in 1997.
The Hammer had a successful career in WWE (then known as the WWF) as an Intercontinental Champion and also had a run as a Tag Team Champion with Brutus Beefcake. In addition to that, Valentine won various titles in the NWA as well as several other promotions.
Valentine was a part of the pro wrestling business when there was no internet or easy ways to learn about the backstage happenings in the business.
In a new Title Match Wrestling video, Valentine recalled a story where he punched a fan and had to deal with Linda McMahon calling him about it:
“I remember this one, Steubenville, Ohio, I’m coming out of the ring and this big tall kid hauls off and spits at me right in the face, and he was a big tall guy, and I hauled off and I hit him. So about five days later I get a call from Linda McMahon, ‘Greg, did you hit this guy? You broke his jaw.’ I go, ‘Bullsh*t, I couldn’t have broke his jaw.’ But they [WWE] paid it for me. I don’t know, he got some kind of deal.”
Valentine also explained that incidents like that were more common back in those days. Valentine added that fans are further away from the ring in present-day wrestling.
“Back in the day we still had believers, and they believe that everything was on the up and up and 100 percent real. Of course my stuff, I always say it was [real], but you get them so mad they’d lash out at you. I don’t even know, they probably don’t have that problem anymore. They don’t let them get [close]. What I see on TV is the fans are kept back. You don’t have that narrow, narrow pathway back to the dressing room.”
Greg Valentine will turn 70 years old on September 20 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.