Sgt. Slaughter, former world champion and WWE Hall of Famer, answered questions in a live chat Friday. He will be appearing in Dallas with other WWE Superstars as part of WrestleMania Week:
Q: What's the biggest difference between the WWE of today and say the WWE of the late 80s, early 90s?
Sarge: The athlete is much more prepared - training, nutrition - back in the 80s, we didn't have doctors, trainers, chiropractors, massage therapists, the right facilities - most of our rings were different every night, but the rings of today are state-of-the-art...a lot of the injuries were not from your opponent, but from the ring itself. Ropes collapsing, boards separating, mats with tears in them...We were our own doctors, probably hurt ourselves more than we helped - I stitched up many wrestlers in my day instead of going to the ER.
Q: Over/under 1,000 people in your life to challenge you to put the 'Cobra Clutch' on them?
Sarge: Over 1,000. One gentleman wanted me to put him in the cobra clutch, but the secret service officials didn't want me to... (President Reagan) I put the cobra clutch on President Nixon for a photo, and Paul Newman was one of my favorites to put it on, as was The Iron Sheik.
Q: If you could have a match with anyone, who would you want?
Sarge: I would like to have had the privilege to have a match with several wrestlers that I wasn't able to - John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, The Rock.
Q: What do you think of Sting in the Hall of Fame?
Sarge: I'm excited to see that the WWE has reached out to those who weren't in the WWE, but were icons in other organizations. Looking forward to his acceptance speech, and looking even more forward to who he picks to introduce him into the Hall of Fame. I was always a Sting fan.
Q: Is there something you enjoyed about WWE that may not be obvious to some fans?
Sarge: The respect that is given to the legends like myself - it's hard to explain. We paved the road for those who are in the squared-circle today, and for them to acknowledge and thank us means that we did our job right, and made it possible for the road to continue.