The Original G.I. Joe in Wrestling, Sgt. Slaughter joined Chad Dukes on Radio Row at WrestleMania Fan Axxess. The Sarge, a WWE Hall of Famer and icon, discusses his legendary feud with the Iron Sheik, the Iraqi sympathizer storyline, and Jack Swagger.
Being seen as an American Hero for so many years, back in 1991, Slaughter took on a dangerous assignment from Vince McMahon: the infamous Iraq storyline. Sgt. Slaughter turned his back on America and joined up with the other side. The storyline did not come without peril for the legend.
I had to wear a bullet proof vest, I had to go to my airplanes not through the terminal. They took me up the side of the airplane on stairs. I never flew with any of the other talent. I never dressed at the arenas, I dressed at the hotels, they would come and pick me up. Lot of death threats, bomb threats, Mr. McMahon’s family and my family were given death threats. Our houses were threatened to be bombed. Our children were threatened to be killed.
Slaughter also described the process of turning such an American Icon into a hated villian.
When I got the call from Mr. McMahon to come back, I was expecting him to take G.I. Joe and really take it to as high as it could go. He had different ideas. He wanted me to do the opposite.
I think it was the right time, right thing to do. He needed an opponent for WrestleMania for Hulk Hogan or Ultimate Warrior or whoever might have been the champion at that time. So, they were kinda looking a year ahead. I came back after WrestleMania VI and started doing our vignettes and promos of Sgt. Slaughter, the turncoat.
Vince assured me, he said, no matter what we do here, one day when we decide to cut it off, they’ll accept you back. The Americans and the WWE Universe they forgive you. I just didn’t realize it was going to go that far, that deep. He gave me the reigns, he said if you go too far I’ll pull you back. There were suggestions of burning the American flag, I said no I can’t do that.
While addressing the current Zeb Colter-Jack Swagger program working on the same nerve that the Iraqi storyline touched, the Sarge dropped a bombshell and and a glimpse of a different Jack Swagger.
Sgt. Slaughter was supposed to be Jack Swagger’s man. But he was gonna go in the other direction, he was gonna come to me. I was gonna put him through boot camp and have him come back as a hero.
A huge thank you to Sgt. Slaughter for joining CDW at WWE Fan Axxess at WrestleMania 29!
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