Blurred lines: Zubaz, The Road Warriors and the greatest pants in the history of the world

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July 29, 2013

WWECLASSICS.COM: How were you able to start a business relationship with the NFL?

ANIMAL: Part of getting in with the NFL was this guy Bobby Monica, who was an equipment manager for the Miami Dolphins. His brother, Teddy, worked for Riddell and that’s how we got all of our shoulder pads for all the spikes and stuff. He would send the shoulder pads over to me and I would drill them out in my basement or garage. It kind of evolved together with the Zubaz and the shoulder pads and the spikes.

WWECLASSICS.COM: So did The Road Warriors hold official titles with the company? Did employees report to Executive Vice President Animal?

STOCK: No, it wasn’t that official. You’ve got to remember that back then they were on the road. They wrestled like 275 days a year, so, unfortunately. They weren’t around that often.

ANIMAL: Hawk and I had stock in the company. We were about 25 percent owner each. We had Dan and Bob run the ins and outs of the business. Hawk and I would come back and be part of all the big decisions of the company like, when to go on the NFL and all that.

STOCK: We used them in a lot of different advertising — billboards, all types of print ads. Also, there was obviously no internet back then, so they played a big part by wearing it around and being seen in Zubaz in interviews and magazines. We kept them supplied with product and you can’t miss those guys walking around the airport or down the street

WWECLASSICS.COM: Eventually, every Superstar in the early ’90s was wearing the uniform of Zubaz pants, fanny packs and jackets from Ribera’s Steakhouse in Japan.

ANIMAL: Every wrestler in the United States was wearing them, because we always brought a big box of them with us on the road and handed them out to people in the locker room.

STOCK: It was like a form of sponsorship. That was how the word of mouth spread and they did a great job. They were obviously looked up to, they were stars in all the promotions they were in and I’m sure it was a big deal to the guys that got them.

WWECLASSICS.COM: It really became an international fad, didn’t it?

ANIMAL: Everybody who was wrestling in Japan at the time wore the Ribera jackets with the Zubaz pants.

STOCK: We always did really well there. Obviously, wrestling is huge in Japan and The Road Warriors were very, very popular over there. I’ve actually tried to get in touch with the guys at Ribera’s Steakhouse — I know that’s a classic place.

ANIMAL: I gave “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith a bunch of pairs and he took them over to Great Britain and gave them out to people when he went on tours overseas. We were on one of the first “European Rampage” tours that WWE did and I was in this novelty shop with Bret Hart in Glasgow, Scotland. Bret Hart’s buying leather jackets and lo and behold there’s a rack of Dallas Cowboys Zubaz pants hanging in the store. I told the guy that I was part owner of the company and he was like, “Yeah, sure, Animal.” I showed him a business card and he couldn’t believe it.

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