Koko B. Ware can't wait to come home to WWE
During RAW's Oct. 3 Homecoming on USA Network, WWE will pay tribute to many of the Legends who helped pave the way for all of WWE's future success. WWE.com will be posting interviews with many of these Legends as we recognize the vital role they played well before RAW ever became the landmark show of sports-entertainment.
"The Birdman" Koko B. Ware became a WWE Superstar in 1986 and was a major part of sports-entertainment's popularity during this era. Koko competed in many WrestleManias (III, IV, VI & VII) and also appeared in two Royal Rumble Matches (1989 & 1991), SummerSlam (1991) and Survivor Series (1992) before he finally retired. Koko also had the honor of being part of the first match on the very first RAW back on Jan. 11, 1993.
Koko B. Ware spoke to WWE.com about the very first RAW, WrestleMania III and his beloved late parrot Frankie.
WWE.com: How much are you looking forward to being at the show Oct. 3?
Koko B. Ware: I'm excited about coming up there; it's going to feel so good to be back on USA. That's where it all started. I was kind of surprised when they first called me. It'll be great just to be out there and say hello again. WWE is my home. Here I was a small kid from a little hick town (Union City) in Tennessee, and they gave me a chance. I lasted nine years. I'm not sure I would last that long these days. I just thank the Lord for the opportunity that I got. I'm not blowing smoke up anyone's tail; I'm just telling it like it is. They gave a little kid from a little town the chance to see the world four times over.
WWE.com: How do you feel about RAW's move back to USA Network?
Koko B. Ware: I liked USA Network in the beginning, always have. They always seemed to like the product WWE put out. It's great when the network has the same passion for the product. I'm sure it'll be the same this time around.
WWE.com: Who are you looking forward to seeing again or seeing for the first time on Oct. 3?
Koko B. Ware: There's a new generation up there that I have never met. It'll be great to finally meet the guys that I see on TV each week. I know HBK and Ric Flair, of course. But I've never met Triple H. I'm still good friends with Harley Race and Jimmy Hart, so it'll be great to see them.
WWE.com: Which Superstars really catch your eye these days?
Koko B. Ware: Well, all of them are talents now. Everyone who comes out of that locker room is talented. It's a different generation. We were the generation back then, and they took it up a notch.
WWE.com: Do you think there is a spot for WWE legends on RAW or other shows moving forward?
Koko B. Ware: I wouldn't mind being part of some meet and greets with the fans. But I was always a performer. I know I can't go out there and take off from the top rope like I used to, so I wouldn't want to come back to just show up.
WWE.com: You wrestled Yokozuna in the very first RAW match in January 1993. Did you ever think the show would take off like it did?
Koko B. Ware: I'm just so glad I helped pioneer Monday Night RAW. Anything Vince McMahon puts his hands on and puts his mind to, it's going to take off. His goal was to make it work. He's the type of guy that wants the best from his wrestlers, from his production crew, the cameramen, everyone.
WWE.com: You were a big part of WrestleMania III in the Silverdome, wrestling Butch Reed. What are your memories of that historic night?
Koko B. Ware: Any human being that was involved in that night will never forget it. I remember we drove up in the bus that morning and there were thousands of fans lying around the building waiting to get in. That had to be the biggest tailgate party of all time. I had never seen a crowd (93,173 fans) like that, and they were so excitable. I remember thinking I had to give them my very best. For me, there was nothing like WrestleMania III.
WWE.com: Your parrot Frankie was a huge part of your career. Can you bring WWE fans up to speed on what happened to him?
Koko B. Ware: It was about four years ago. We were getting ready to move to a bigger place, so we were renting a home in Tennessee. We went to church with the kids that morning, and 45 minutes later the Deacon comes over and says you need to go home because your house is on fire. We get back home and it was a disaster. The fire trucks were there but we lost everything. It was faulty wiring. One of the firefighters even apologized because he said he couldn't save my kid. He had heard a voice saying "Get me out of here," but it was Frankie, of course. He was trying to get out of the cage. Still, it was like losing a kid. The fireman gave him back to me in a garbage bag. I never opened it. I grabbed a shovel, took him to the backyard, said a little prayer and buried him right there. I had him for about 15 years.