Back in the 80s and 90s, professional wrestling was truly on another level, brother.
Maybe it’s because everything was so new; new fans, new stadiums, new celebrities. Maybe it’s because Vince was taking more risks to get the WWF up on its own two feet. Whatever the case, it was the electric personalities on the roster that launched professional wrestling into the mainstream consciousness, and one of those classic characters was the big, bad, Fred ‘Tugboat’ Ottman.
Tugboat teamed up with the Hulkster once upon a time to feud against Dino Bravo and Earthquake, and brother you’ve never seen such a massive pair of dudes shaking Madison Square Garden to its foundation. Bravo and Earthquake didn’t stand a chance, and the match win catapulted Tugboat into the WWF limelight.
“Hulk is just awesome. For me coming into there (WWF) and them to give me a gimmick (Tugboat) and say we decided we are going to put you with the Hulk. I was nervous, putting me with him is like the Midas touch.”
After his work with the Hulkster, Tugboat went on to challenge The Undertaker before finally getting his shot at the Intercontinental Championship against Paul ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Orndorff. Many Hulkamaniacs will remember that, following his defeat against Mr. Wonderful, Tugboat turned on Hogan to form The Natural Disasters with former feud Earthquake, renaming himself as Typhoon.
“I see him occasionally now when he trains over at (Bushwacker) Luke’s gym in Clearwater. He is a super guy and it was an honor to be able to work with him and work against him.”
The Natural Disasters went on to win the WWF Tag Team Championship, which was a proud moment for a behind-the-scenes Hulkster. There’s nothing like seeing an athlete with true talent make it in the wrestling biz brother, and Tugboat had some serious talent out there; even with a glittery helmet on!