Matt Borne, who portrayed the original Doink the Clown, appeared on Inside The Ropes on Thursday to discuss his time as the character. Highlights from the interview are as follows:
How he was offered the Doink gimmick when he came back to the WWF in 1992: “I worked as Matt Borne on TV. I did whatever they asked me to do. On the third night, Vince called me into his office and he asked me about my history in the wrestling business and from that conversation, he came up with the evil clown thing. It took me a back at first. He thought I could do it given my background but only if I wanted to do it. He told me to go home and think about it and I called him the next week and he flew me back and they had drawings and all kinds of shit and they painted my face different ways. Two weeks later, I was on TV in the nosebleeds section being a clown.”
How much of Stephen King’s ‘It’ and Jack Nicholson’s Joker influenced early Doink: “I’ve actually been told that I have a lot of mannerisms like Jack Nicholson so yeah I watched a lot of Jack and I watched ‘It’ and watched pretty much any evil clown stuff I could get my hands on and you know I ate, slept and drank evil clowns.”
Who his original opponent for WrestleMania 9: “I was supposed to wrestle Hogan at WrestleMania IX and Hogan refused. I don’t know why, but I think it had something to do with a bad relationship between Hulk and my old partner Buzz Sawyer. Buzz and I, people thought we were brothers, we looked similar. Hogan, I don’t know if he was afraid to work with me, so the second choice was Davey Boy Smith and he refused to work with him too. I don’t know why because I always got along with him real well but a lot of people were wary of the clown character, so it ended up being me and Crush at WrestleMania IX.”
Matt’s theory on how Hulk Hogan got his black eye at WrestleMania IX: “Randy Savage gave it to him. I’d bet my left nut and my son’s life on it. Hogan showed his true colours, thats why he got the black eye. Randy Savage was a man. Hulk Hogan has never been a man. Hulk Hogan’s a big ass pussy. I don’t care if you call and tell him I said that. His ex Elizabeth was seeing this small time producer, who happened to be a friend of Hogan. Elizabeth was hiding in the back room when Savage went to see Hogan and he found out about it. Friends don’t do friend like that. Who can you say is Hulk Hogan’s friend? The only people that can say their Hulk Hogan’s friends are the people who are riding his coat tails and trying to make a living off of him like Brian Knobbs or some fat fuck like that. Hogan was supposed to be Savage’s friend and he threw him under a bus and he got a black eye for it.”
Why he doesn’t like Hulk Hogan: “He was an arrogant fuck. I still think he is. I look at him and laugh because I know him for who he truly is. I don’t like him. I really find it hard to even like him as a person. He’s a phony inside and out. He showed that when he did that to Randy. When he said that him and Randy had made up, after Randy had died, well that’s bullshit. Randy hated Hogan.”
Differences between workers from the 80s/90s to today: “I could take Curt Hennig, Randy Savage and Bret Hart, those three guys, they could come to the building, haven’t seen me for three weeks and we’d just meet in the ring and we would tear it up. We wouldn’t have to say a word to each other. We didn’t have to talk to each other. That’s the way great workers do it. You don’t have to choreograph shit. These guys today they’re great athletes, but they’re not great workers. there’s a difference. Working is not going out there and doing a gymnastics thing. working is making the 200 or 20,000 people believe, it’s feeding people and making them like what they’re eating.”
Borne also talks about working the first WrestleMania, his beef with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, the original explosive finish of the WrestleMania 9 match with Crush, Steve Keirn also portraying Doink, Paul Heyman, and more. The audio interview is available at www.facebook.com/theinsidenetwork.