Fans of the Attitude Era will likely remember Debra McMichael as a valet to a number of stars from the 1990s, from the Four Horsemen, to Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart, to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. They may also remember her as a former WWF Women’s Champion, or perhaps most infamously, as the inspiration for Jerry Lawler’s “puppies” catchphrase.
With Spandex: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today.
Debra McMichael: Oh, you’re welcome. I’m just sitting here being so boring. I’m such the different Debra, because you know I’m getting my Masters at the University of Alabama. I’m about to graduate. I’m very studious now. I mean, I’m getting my Masters in Criminal Justice at the University of Alabama.
Oh that’s awesome. Roll Tide. So what are you going to do with your Criminal Justice degree?
I don’t know! My expertise, I do a lot of jury study so who knows. I may go on to be a jury consultant. I’ve actually already worked on two capital murders and I picked the jury. How about that? Me going from wrestling to doing this?
Well, you know, you’ve worked with a lot of sketchy figures over your time I guess.
Well, you know what I figure is that the courtroom’s kind of like wrestling. You know, you’ve got your heels and your babyfaces and all that.
So you’re going to be at Wrestlecon in Orlando this year. When people come up to you at these wrestling conventions, because you know, you’ve been doing them for a while now, what do they come up to you, what do they talk to you about? What do they tell you that they remember most about you? What do they share with you?
Well, what I notice about the fans, they’re very loyal. A lot of these people, I’ve seen them for years. You know, or they’ll … There’ll be some [fan] even from the ’90s that I remember at a convention. But then they’re very personable and, um, and they all remember my characters, you know? They all remember Queen Debra, and then they all remember the puppies.
You know what, I just have to be thankful to my fans, because I would’ve never had a job if it wasn’t for the fans. You know, and even doing stuff like this, you know? Wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for fans. I mean, the fans, I owe everything to the fans. Because without fans you wouldn’t have wrestling.
That’s absolutely right. At UPROXX, we have a weekly column where our pro wrestling editor, Brandon, goes back and he watches Nitro and writes about it every week. Is it cool if I talk to you about WCW for a little while?
Yes. Oh, absolutely.
One of the things that we wanted to ask you the most, we wanted to ask you about Pepe.
Oh, Peppy. Little Peppy. How did you say it?
I said Pepe. Is it Peppy?
“Pepe,” that’s cute. You’re probably saying it right. We would call him Peppy.
Was that actually your dog?
How did it come about that Pepe got on the air every week and was dressed up in those costumes and everything?
I’m trying to remember how that happened. Because I know Steve McMichael and I, you know, we were almost … We were very childlike. We would do things just to laugh all the time. I’m sure we just thought it up to bring him because he’s so ugly, you know. The ugly little old chihuahua. He was so ugly!