Fred Ottman, formerly WWE’s Tugboat and The Shockmaster in WCW, discussed his career, working with Hulk Hogan, and more.
His thoughts on working with Hulk Hogan
Hulk is just awesome. For me coming into there (WWF) and them to give me a gimmick (Tugboat) and say we decided we are going to put you with the Hulk. I was nervous, putting me with him is like the Midas touch. Tagging with him and even when I turned on him, it got me over better as a heel when I turned on the Hulkster. He was always a gentleman and great to work with and it was incredible. We shared many adventures on the road. I see him occasionally now when he trains over at (Bushwacker) Luke’s gym in Clearwater. He is a super guy and it was an honor to be able to work with him and work against him.
On teaming with Earthquake and John Tenta
They came to me out of the blue and asked me how I felt about tagging up with “Quake” and even though I thought I was doing real good enough right now, it didn’t seem like a fairly long run. When I wasn’t working I was at the curtain watching other guys work. Watching different moves and watching how they worked even as far as waiting our turn to do interviews. When you have the monitors there for me it was always a great help. So when they asked me about Quake I couldn’t imagine us together, it would be like a couple of giant animals or huge dinosaurs. But the fact that we could move and not just lumber around, we both bump good and were able to do standing dropkicks. Being with Quake it was easy on the head. I didn’t have to worry about him. I was blessed to be in there with Hulk and when they shot me in with Quake and put us with Jimmy Hart they never had to worry about us. A lot of guys on the road get into a lot of mischief.
On life on the road
On the road we were working 300 plus days in a year at that time, but my entire career I worked like that. Most of the territories I was working in did that. Especially when I got up there (WWF) they added in personal appearances, sometimes you had double-shots working twice in one day. You would fly to Europe or Japan, come back and get right on the road and start hitting TV. When you were home, you were home for a day, maybe two, maybe three sometimes. You have to realize when you are on the road that’s what you signed up for with that kind of business.
On becoming WWF tag team champion and working as a heel
It was awesome. The first time I went to Japan and we ran the Tokyo Dome, we were booked against The Road Warriors. We were lucky having the management we had. The angles we were doing up there were really good. It was a great time to be there for me. I also couldn’t have had a better partner, it was outstanding.
On leaving WWE
I went down to WCW for a brief time when we wound up doing The Shockmaster deal. When I had initially left, I had put together some businesses in Key West, Florida and just before we opened my brother in law was shot and killed here in Tampa. That took me off the road. I gave my notice and about three to four weeks afterwards and then I left there. I was out from around the business. I had a lot of money tied up, I had a house in Tampa. It took me off the road for a while and I ended up a year and a half or so after all that went down to WCW.
Tags: Hulk Hogan, Shockmaster, Tugboat
Source: Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast