Terry ‘The Warlord’ Szopinski recently sat down with SK Wrestling and discussed how he and The Barbarian managed to get signed by WWF, despite still having obligations to NWA!
The Warlord was asked about initially signing with WWE (then WWF) in 1988, It turns out he and his ‘Powers of Pain’ tag partner Barbarian (real name Sione Havea Vailahi) ran into some of wrestling’s biggest faces quite early on:
“It’s a little bit of a story. Actually, my partner Barbarian got a call one night from Grizzly Adams who was behind the scenes with WWF (WWE) at that time. They call us on the Thursday night, and Barbarian gave me a phone call at my house and said “Terry, listen. WWF would like us to come to Atlanta tomorrow”… So we get to the airport the next morning, we have tickets waiting for us, and we fly to Atlanta. We get there, there’s a limo waiting. Takes us to a really nice hotel close to the airport. Gives us a key, we go up to the room, open the room, who’s sitting there? Pat Patterson, who was the booker, Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon. Which… Wow! This was amazing, you know?”
The Warlord then went on to discuss how he and The Barbarian were signed to WWF, despite still having obligations with the NWA where they wrestled for the Jim Crockett Promotion. Needless to say, They were very keen:
“We sat down with them. They went through the whole spiel with the look and that stuff, you know. At that time my partner, he really didn’t talk that much. And he just looks at them and goes “When would you like us to start?” I was like, Barb, we’ve got this thing coming up with the NWA. (They said) We want you to start Monday. This was a Friday. I’m like, Monday… That quick?! But hey, if Barb wants to do it, we do it.”
Upon their arrival into the WWF, The Powers of Pain were paired with Tito Santana and feuded with then World Tag Team Champions ‘Demolition’ (Ax and Smash). After a successful four year tenure with the company, Warlord headed to the independent circuit in 1992, a few years later appearing (alongside his partner The Barbarian) in WCW – this time billed as the ‘Super Assassins’.
You can watch the interview in full here.