Marc Mero has discussed working with the late, great American Dream Dusty Rhodes and says the WWE Hall Of Famer is responsible for the most fun in his wrestling career.
Mero joined World Championship Wrestling in 1991, first working as an enhancement talent before catching the eye of Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes came up with a whole new presentation for Mero taking his inspiration from a rock and roll legend – Little Richard.
Speaking on the It’s My House podcast, Mero described how the son of a plumber transformed him into the flamboyant, eccentric, and wild Johnny B. Badd.
“Johnny B. Badd was Dusty Rhodes’ creation. When he told me he had this character, this gimmick for me — I was just Marc Mero back then, trying to make it into the business. When he saw me he said, ‘I think I got this gimmick.’ He said to me, ‘Did anyone ever tell you that you look like Little Richard?’ Now, I thought he meant a wrestler named Little Richard, which I’d never heard of, so I said, ‘I’ve never heard of Little Richard.’ He goes, ‘You’ve never heard of Little Richard?’ and he starts singing and doing Little Richard songs. I go, ‘Oh, the singer Little Richard.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’ve never heard that before.’ He goes, ‘Oh, I think I’ve got a gimmick for you.'”
“The next thing I realize is he had this Johnny B. Badd character in mind and I got to tell you, Chris, it was probably the most fun I ever had in the business. When I look back on my career – the laughter and joy we had because here he is teaching this kid from New York to be this flamboyant personality from Macon, Georgia, with this outrageous character. He would show me how to walk and talk like he saw I should do. I’ll never forget the first time he wanted me to walk up to the microphone, he says, ‘You walk up to the microphone and say, ‘I’m so pretty I should have been born a little girl.’ I’d walk up and he’d go, ‘Oh, no no no no no.’ He kept doing it over and over and I got to tell you, Chris, we got laughing so hard we couldn’t even finish the promo of what he was trying to teach me because we were just busting out laughing at this outrageous character.”
Marc Mero couldn’t resist slipping into his Johnny B. Badd persona one more time before going on to say just what working with Dusty Rhodes meant to him.
“[In Johnny B. Badd voice] ‘I’m a bad man. I’m so outrageous it’s contagious. I love to rock and roll. I strut and stroll and you, I’m going to drive you out of control.’ That’s what Dusty Rhodes would work with me on. The greatest time though, Chris. Even when I think about it I get this joy that just overwhelms me sometimes when I think about how blessed I was to work with the American dream because he made my American dream become a reality.”
Marc Mero competed as Johnny B. Badd for the rest of his run in WCW, winning the WCW World Television Championship three times. In 1996, Mero left WCW for the World Wrestling Federation where he let his wild side free as he became ‘The Wildman’ Marc Mero. Mero’s debut coincided with that of his wife at the time Sable. Sable went on to become a major star of the Attitude Era and became the first woman in the WWF to pose for Playboy. Mero went on in the interview to describe why he felt Sable posing in the adult magazine was a “horrible decision.”