During the 1980s and 90s WWE was home to some of the most colorful characters in its history.
Barry Darsow portrayed Smash of the tag team Demolition and earlier the Repo Man, two popular superstars of those decades.
Fans will get to meet the veteran, along with other wrestling legends 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 at Hogan’s Beach in Tampa for a special WrestleReunion event. The restaurant and bar is connected to the Best Western Bay Harbor Hotel.
Mean Gene Okerlund, Bobby Heenan, the Nasty Boys, Jimmy Hart, Koko B. Ware and Darsow’s Demolition tag partner Ax (Bill Eadie) will also participate.
Darsow is excited to see his former WWE colleagues and meet those who have followed him during his career.
“It’s incredible that for so many years we didn’t get to talk to the fans or anything,” Darsow said. “Now we are in the ring having fun, signing autographs and getting to talk to everybody…They are going to have a lot of fun. Both Ax and myself enjoy meeting every one of our fans. We’d love to hear what they have to say about some of the matches we’ve had, and what they’ve felt about them. It will be a really enjoyable time.
“Bill and I get out probably about once a month. We get calls all the time. We could be out every weekend if we wanted to, but we kind of pick and choose what we want to do. We don’t like to get in the ring too often. It’s mainly just autographs session.”
These days the multi-time tag team champion has built a life away from the ring and is busy running his own printing company, Added Value Printing, in Minnesota. Over the last seven years he and his business partner have gone from working out of a garage to a 10,000 square-foot space. They customize logos on hard hats, safety vests and other equipment.
This venture doesn’t leave much time to watch the current crop of talent out there. However, he does enjoy watching his son, Dakota, perform.
“When my son was wrestling, then I kind of paid more attention to it,” Darsow said. “The last he was on TNA, and they told them he was going to have a job. He waited and waited and ended up moving out of Florida. He ended up moving up to Michigan. So he just works some indie shows up there. I don’t know if he is fired up anymore about TNA, but I’m sure he will call WWE again.”
Dad says the next generation Darsow is training hard and is fun to see in action. When his son told him about entering the family business, naturally the former NWA, WCW and WWE superstar offered some advice.
“I told him to finish a four-year degree and then get a two-year degree and become a lawyer or a doctor,” Darsow said. “When he signed his contract with WWE to go down to the training camp, I was in the driveway and gave him a big hug. I said, ‘Son, I just want to give you some words of wisdom.’ He said, ‘Yeah Dad, sure.” I said, ‘OK, here is what I want you to do. I want you to go down there and train hard. You listen to [FCW executive] Steve Keirn and everything he says. You don’t get a steady girlfriend. You don’t get a lease on a house where it’s long-term. You don’t buy any furniture. You just buy what you can fit in your car, and for sure, do not get a girlfriend.’