In case you missed it, porn star Cherie Deville is legitimately running for President of the United States with rapper Coolio as her Vice President, a cabinet of situationally appropriate Instagram models, and Wrestling Superstar Virgil as her head of defense. With a WWE Hall of Famer already leading the Free World, we aren’t very many realizable steps away from a White House featuring the guy who used to stand in the background of Million Dollar Man promos and fan his money.
Shortly after announcing her campaign, Deville held a press conference in Hollywood to explain her positions — which are real, I feel compelled to remind you, and considered — and released video of the event. If you’ve watched it, we were there, and I event make an (audio) cameo. After the press conference, I went on the offensive with Deville’s head of defense.
Originally, I’d planned to write up the Virgil interview as one of those prestige longform pieces like the ones we did on Glacier or Diamond Dallas Page, where we frame the quotes with a narrative that sheds light on the subject’s legacy or personality. About midway through, I realized I’d have to just present Virgil’s dialogue as-is, because how do you top it?
I found myself sitting at a table in Hollywood with Wrestling Superstar Virgil and porn star Samantha Rone. The building was full of porn stars. You’d think that would get Virgil’s attention, but he couldn’t get over her bizarre, previously unimaginable lunch. Choosing to leave this first line intact.
Virgil: I don’t know what the fuck the flaky shit is.
With Spandex: All right, so-
Virgil: I’m like a old school guy. Just give me a goddamn like chicken or turkey, you know.
Samantha: It is turkey.
Yeah, it’s turkey in a croissant.
Samantha: Turkey and cheese.
Just think of it like a really fancy turkey and cheese sandwich.
Samantha: No? Just take a little bite.
Samantha: Look how little it is.
Virgil: I know, I see how little it is.
Samantha: Come on.
Virgil: Look real greasy.
(It goes on like that for a while.)
Talking to Virgil is an event. The first time I met him was at an event called “Wrestle Fan Fest” in 2008. He had his merch set up under a big sign that said MILLION DOLLAR MAN TED DIBIASE & VIRGIL, even though DiBiase was at another table across the room. Bill Hanstock and I had a long conversation with him about the Great Muta, and how the original Great Muta had died from AIDS, and had been replaced with a younger version. None of that was accurate, but he sold it. It was weird, and solicitous, and perfect Virgil.
For a guy who didn’t talk much when he was on WWF television, Virgil’s dialogue comes out like beat poetry. During the press conference, he namedropped his relationship with Donald Trump thanks to Trump’s longstanding relationship with WWE, and, of course, his love of the Olive Garden. He’d tie them together, then let the threads drift apart.
With Spandex: So, you said you went to Olive Garden with Donald Trump.
Virgil: Yeah. It was cool, man. Right, NYC, man. He’s a cool guy. Real cool guy. I respect him 100 percent, bro.
Do you remember what he got? When he went to the Olive Garden?
I think he got regular spaghetti, or maybe a lasagna. Not too sure, but he’s one of the coolest guys in the United States, or the world.
So you met him when he was doing WrestleMania IV, I suppose?
Earlier than. And he’s a cool guy when you meet him in person. I mean Donald is a businessman. And why shouldn’t the country be ran by a businessman? And look, Pittsburgh, where I’m from, was a big steel industry. There’s not one steel mill in Pittsburgh at this point. Or Erie, or Birmingham, Alabama, or Buffalo, New York.
Didn’t we use to pump out a bunch of steel, didn’t we? And everyone was making good salary pumping out the steel. Okay, why not go back to it, man? Okay, they got steel mills now over in Japan. And Jones & Laughlin steel mills? I’ve seen that before in while I was in Tokyo, Japan. I couldn’t believe that. I remember as a young kid coming out the interstate. Interstate 376? I see Jones & Laughlin Steel Mills. I’m in Tokyo … I see Jones & Laughlin Steel Mills, made in Tokyo, Japan.
So, what got you involved in this presidential campaign?
I figure it’s great and giving something that people need. Give them something that people will love. Give it back right again, man. Okay? Get it back right, man where guys were making a livable salary, okay? I mean, you get guys getting the steel gloves back or the coal mines back. Manufacturing automobiles, I don’t think they build one car now in Detroit, do they?
They were pumping out cars in Detroit, man. All of them guys come in there for wrestling match, man. You know what I mean? Downtown Detroit. Joe Louis arena. Forbes Field. They come to the action. They come see the wrestling and all that, man. Now they don’t build no cars in Detroit.
Got no money to come to the wrestling show, right?
Yeah, how they gonna get money to come to the show? Okay? Okay, you got to use steel and cars. Okay, you got to use coal. Okay, coal mines dropped to help manufacture cars, okay. We’re U.S. manufactured steel, you have coal. Coal help makes steel. And look all the coal mines sat there.
I mean, you don’t have to be no brain surgeon to sort it … figure it out. You’re Pittsburgh, or you grew up in Buffalo, or you grew up in Erie, or you go over to Cleveland. There were steel platforms, man. Even go down to Birmingham, Alabama. They used to pump out steel. What we got now?
I lived in Cleveland for a while. Our major export was trains leaving the city.
Right, cause people were leaving. I mean, look … What mill or steel plant is still going? Why not have the jobs where guys can go in there and make an honest day living? Not no 7 to 10 bucks an hour. Pay us back what they were making when they were pumping out steel. What was that? $25 an hour? I see some guys working in the steel mills as a regular laborer making $20 or $25 dollars an hour. Just a laborer. That means sweeping up and mopping. Not like manufacturing steel. Those are the guys working over a hot furnace. Them guys are making about 50 dollars or 60 dollars an hour.
That’s pretty sweet, ain’t it? 60 bucks an hour. You multiply that by eight. It’s pretty sweet. Five days a month plan out five, five days a week. How can you go buy a house or buy anything if you making 7 bucks an hour? You can’t even buy the time of day. That’s why you get outta here. And say sorry, you gotta go somewhere else.
To get away from the business aspect for a second. You’re going to be tasked with defending the President, should she be elected. So, what do you want to bring to the defense? Because as far as I can tell, you’ll basically be replacing an entire secret service. So, what does Virgil bring to defense?
Because you had a contentious relationship with the Million Dollar Man. You guys didn’t get along all the time.
No, I mean, we got along most of the time. And you know, I don’t drink or nothing like that. I’m strictly business. And it was like my job makes sure that didn’t happen to him. And I made sure of that. Ya mean? Like, to the business right here on hand. Don’t take no shit. Okay? If they wanna bring it, bring it. You’re there to help and protect. That’s what security do. Help and protect. I mean, that’s the name of the game. Right?
So, what’s it like being in a cabinet with all these beautiful women?
They’re beautiful, but you gotta just wash that right out of your head, man. And you think of the type of job is to protect these beautiful women.
You think that makes your job here a little bit easier? Because they’re all so beautiful?
It could make your job harder. You know what I mean? Yeah, cause some guys always want to mess with them or say something out of line or something smart. You know how some guys, their brains run like marbles. Be knocking all into each other like that, man. You just gotta keep your mind right.
Keep your eyes open constantly. And I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. So, I know what’s happening at all time. And you can see in people’s eyes almost what’s on their mind. Okay? Just keep these beautiful women safe.
You’ve mentioned you were one of the original nWo guys. Do you have any memories of how that group was put together? How you became a part of that?
It came together … Hulk put it all together. It was Hulk-
Are you still good friends with Hulk?
Oh yeah, Hulk is very cool guy. Very good person, man. They started … Hulk was number one, Nash was number two, Hall was number three. They came in and got Ted, number four, I was number five. Okay? X-pac was number six.
That’s why they called him Syxx.
Yeah. Cause of six. Remember they called him Six Pack? Okay, and then number seven was Eric Bischoff.
They had to … what’s that? The guy from Mexico?
No, they had all them guys down there like … I mean, I had nothing against none of the guys, I mean, they’re all guys pretty cool, you know what I mean? And I just … they start like fronting … But you mean, like, it could have still gotten off. Cause it was … it gave the WWF a run for the money. Cause that was the biggest program. The biggest thing was that whole nWo, man. That was Hulk’s baby right there. And he rolled with it and it rolled, man. They dumped.
At around that point, people who were working on the press conference video came by to check in with us. That quickly reverted the conversation back to the President. Having finished her croissant, Samantha joined back in.
Virgil: Yeah. I mean, he’s a cool guy, man. The President, he’s a cool guy. That thing about … he’s a businessman that run a company or run a country, we got to be a businessman. Okay? At 7:00 AM, he might lost $2 billion. But by 4 PM, he got back $4.5 billion.
Samantha: But do you believe Cherie Deville will be the next president?
Virgil: I mean, like …
With Spandex: Are you gonna turn on her and join Donald Trump? Because you’ve got a history of turning on people, Virgil.
Virgil: No, just make me, make me a believer. Okay? Make me a believer. And I’m dancing, man. I’m dancing all the way to the bank.
Our conversation turned to our favorite Virgil moments, which of course correspond with our favorite Million Dollar Man moments. Most people’s favorites are the segments in which DiBiase would offer children and/or poor people cash money to accomplish simple tasks, then sabotage those tasks so he didn’t have to give them anything. These included a bit where he made a young Rob Van Dam, future WWE Champion, kiss his feet.
Another involved a kid being asked to dribble a basketball 15 times without messing up. After bounce 14, DiBiase kicked the ball away.
I ran into that kid.
The kid with the basketball?
What’d he say?
No no, this guy. He’s about around 19 years old. He’s going to University of Colorado. He said, “That’s the best thing to ever happen to me.” [After we did the segment] I said, “Vince [McMahon], the kid’s just so good, Vince.” Gave the family $25,000. But it was so good, they gave the family another 25 grand and started a scholarship auction for that little kid dribbling the ball. That paid for his whole education … mother, father didn’t have to pay for the education because he went to the University of Colorado.
He got drafted in the second round I think by … either Florida …
What did he play?
He played basketball, man.
Yeah. Pro basketball. That’s where he’s at now, in the NBA.
You remember his name?
I forgot how he even looked, he came up to me. He came up to me talking to me, right. I didn’t know who the fuck he was. He says, “Do you remember at the Joe Lewis Arena, I was asked to dribble a ball 10 times. And takes about nine and Ted kicked the ball from here to the goal post down there.” I said, “Holy shit that was you?” He said, “Yeah.” I didn’t know he was going to be 6-9. Yeah.
Man 2: Y’all got to come back on RAW and do it again. Now that he’s six foot nine and famous.
Man I had a lot of guys that grew up watching wrestling. Another one was, he used to be the owner of the Yankees.
Yeah. Okay. It was down, listen, in Orlando, Florida. Okay. And I remember Derek Jeter coming up to me. He’s like a young boy then. He played A-ball down there. They’re such big fans, these guys want to come to wrestling matches … Him and two other guys. They said, “Shit yeah we’ll come with you.” He said, “If I ever make the Yankees, you can get tickets anytime you want.”
Did you take him up on it?
Yeah. He used to give me free seats right behind home plate.
Would you say that’s your most famous fan?
No. My most famous fan was the Mailman, Karl Malone.
You guys got to work with Karl Malone eventually.
No, thing about it, I knew Karl when he was … When I was at University of Iowa, Karl was at Louisiana Tech. And I’m the one that got Karl banging the fucking steel. And Karl when he came out of high school man, about 209. I got him in there banging that iron, he got about 295 almost 300. That’s why me and him were always cool friends.
Is that how Malone got involved in WCW?
Yeah … Rodman too. You see how they run the ring. You can’t blow these guys up, how the fuck you blow them up. They run like fucking stallions in the ring man … he’s a fucking athlete bro. And he came right in and did the whole nWo thing. He could run. You ain’t going to blow him up in the ring. Him and Malone. They run up and down, you can’t never blow them two guys up right there.
Well fuck, then they can body slam your ass too. You hear me. Yeah Karl ain’t no joke man. He’s the real deal man. Karl Malone is the real deal.
Is there anybody, like any celebrity that you wish you had worked with in WCW, that maybe you could have gotten involved with but never did?
You know who I used to think could have done great in there? Ray Lewis.
I heard Ray Lewis was supposed to work at Wrestlemania a few years ago and then it fell through. You think he would have been good?
Yep. I know he would have been good. He’s an athlete. He’s still one of my friends man. I remember I brought him … to a show down here in Atlanta, Georgia man. I was about 19, and he was like about nine, nine or 10. And I said, “Man, he’s a great kid man.” And I said, “Man, anytime I come there I have three seats down ring side for you, your mother, and father, man.” And that bullshit came up [with the murder trial] was bullshit. It’s a bunch of fucking crap. I hate even hearing the crap, you know what I mean? I mean he’s a good hearted guy. He’s not even into that type of bullshit. Murder wrap and all that other crap.
[Celebrities] sit down and they talk to you, man. And you’re just on equal grounds you know what I mean? Some people just want to talk about people and they don’t know even how they are. They don’t know nothing about you know … as a person how they are.
So do you think you’ll ever make the WWE Hall of Fame?
Eventually, man. Eventually. I think it’d be real cool, where they got like a year and nothing is really jumping, okay. Put me in the Hall of Fame and Ted DiBiase inducts me. That would make that thing big. Where people say, “Damn. I do remember that motherfucker. I remember both of them.”