Sgt Slaughter is a WWE Hall of Famer that did a lot in the ring while also providing memories after he retired thanks to working with the likes of Degeneration X. During the Attitude Era in the late 1990s, Slaughter was the WWE Commissioner that had the deal with the unique behavior of the Degeneration X duo of Shawn Michaels and Triple H along with their allies Chyna and “Ravishing” Rick Rude.
“DX fell in love with Commissioner Slaughter and we did all kinds of crazy stuff. Back then, live television, everything was still kind of ad-libbed. The fun part about the business is to try to make each other laugh and do stupid things on live television. DX did everything, whatever they wanted to do. I’ll never forget, I was coming in to give them a piece of my mind, and as Vince said, ‘You’re the sheriff in the OK Corral, but you don’t have a gun and you don’t have a law book—so good luck.’ So, basically, I had to tell these guys what to do, but they didn’t have to listen to me.”
“DX loved that. They knew that they could go as far as they wanted with me and I would go along with it. One night they took their damn clothes off. I mean, they were buck-ass naked in the ring. We were doing something where one of them was being bad and took their pants off and put a towel over them, and they had to do that thing on television where they blur it. They were just doing outrageous things.”
Slaughter recalled the time when he was the WWE Commissioner that put Shawn Michaels in a match against his buddy Triple H where Shawn had to defend the European Championship, which meant that the two best friends had to hit eachother. However, what ended up happening was a joke of a match that made Sarge look foolish:
“Then I made a match between them and we went through the whole show and people were going to see them wrestle at the end of the night. And they kind of played up to where they were going to have a real tough match, and one of them wasn’t going to favour the other one, and Chyna was there and she was telling them that they had to do it the right way to see who the tougher guy was. At the end, they were about to have their match, I think it was Hunter locked up with Michaels, he fell down on the mat and Hunter covered him one, two, three. That was to put egg on my face as I was out there at ringside watching it. I was their punching bag, and I got the heat on them.”
One of the most famous segments between Slaughter and DX was when Michaels and Triple H wore protective shields while Slaughter spoke to them. It was a joke from DX because Slaughter was known to spit a bit when he spoke, so the DX guys played into that as a joke. Slaughter enjoyed it as much as the fans did:
“One night I came to the ring and they were already there, and I saw this paper bag. I was thinking to myself, ‘Here we are, live television, we’re ad-libbing everything, what is in that bag? Have they got some of that crazy green sh*t that they’re going to pour over my head? Is there going to be something coming out of the ceiling that’s going to drown me with green slime?’ I wasn’t sure what was going on.”
“I started yelling and screaming at them, and if you’ve ever seen my promos, spit just comes flying out of my mouth because of my bite. My teeth don’t fit together, my upper and lower, so when I scream and holler, even when I just talk normally, spit will fly out of my mouth. Sometimes I’m very embarrassed by it. I met President Reagan and I was like, ‘Oh, good to meet you, sir,’ and a piece of spit comes flying out of my mouth and hits him right on his face, you know? But when I’m arguing and screaming, it really comes flying.”
“So I started giving DX the law, and they go, ‘Hold it, Sarge, hold it. Hang on.’ They reached down in these bags and they pulled out these masks, like welders’ masks, but they’re clear masks—like people are wearing now for COVID—and I thought, ‘Yeah, that’s kind of funny. It’s funny that they’re saying, ‘We’re tired of being spit on by you’’. I got a chuckle out of it, but it didn’t make me burst out laughing. I continued to make my point and they said, ‘Hold it, Sarge, we’re not done yet,’ and they pushed these buttons and damn windshield wipers started going on these things. I’m telling you, that was the hardest thing I ever had to do, not to burst out laughing. That was just hilarious that they came up with something like that, to have windshield wipers on these masks while I was talking to them.”
All of the interactions between DX and Slaughter meant that Sarge was going to wrestle one of them. Slaughter explained that the DX guys each wanted to wrestle him:
“Eventually, we got down to where they talked Vince into wrestling me and they had a battle over who got to wrestle me in a Boot Camp Match. Michaels kept saying, ‘I’m wrestling the Sarge,’ Hunter said, ‘No, I’m wrestling him.’ They had a big argument over who got to wrestle me. So we did this big thing where they ganged up on me with Chyna, and they hit me in the head with a metal briefcase and knocked me out and tore my shirt off, and humiliated me in the middle of the ring in the lead up to a match.”
“That night, I went to the hotel to check-in and Vince was with Shawn Michaels at the bar. Triple H hadn’t quite got there yet. Michaels was pleading with Vince, ‘Please, Vince, please let me wrestle the Sarge. I beg you, please let me wrestle the Sarge.’ Neither one of them had wrestled me before. They saw matches from my past and the Alley Fight and all those types of things that they grew up watching.”
“So I was listening to Shawn across the bar, and then Hunter arrived. He and Shawn were almost fighting each other and Vince was getting in between them, ‘I’ll make that decision. I don’t know yet. I’ll make that decision.’ ‘Well, it better be me.’ ‘Well, I’m going to do it.’ ‘Well, let’s flip a coin.’ ‘No way. I’m a better wrestler than you are, Hunter. I should wrestle him.’ It made me feel pretty good that they were arguing about who was going to wrestle me.”
Slaughter ended up facing Triple H in a Boot Camp match at In Your House 19: D-Generation X in December 1997. It’s not necessarily a great match, but at least Sarge enjoyed it:
“Of course, it ended up being Hunter and I did him a favour. The rest basically is history, but it was a fun match. I wish I would have been ten years younger though – I could have given him a better match. But it’s just one of those things that you have to endure and I thought it was a hell of a match. Some people criticised it, but what the hell? I was in my late 40s, going into my 50s, having a match with a young stud like that, but it all worked out.”
To read the full interview with Sgt. Slaughter you can order Issue 7 of Inside The Ropes Magazine here or take out a monthly subscription to get great wrestling interviews, features, and a whole lot more delivered to your door. Alternatively, Inside The Ropes Magazine is also available as a download.