Source: Steve Austin Show/WrestlingInc transcription
“Global Icon & National Treasure” Steve Austin recently called up pro wrestling veteran Bob ‘Hardcore’ Holly for a two-part interview on The Steve Austin Show. Among many other things, Holly talked about his post-WWE life, how his body is holding up after his 15-year WWE career, becoming addicted to painkillers, and whether his pro wrestling odyssey was worth the physical toll it took on his body.
According to Holly, who is now a self-professed wilderness survivalist, his weight hovers around 210 to 215 lbs., approximately 20 lbs. down from his billed weight of 235 lbs. in his physical prime. Holly admitted that he is not as big as he used to be, as he is no longer on steroids and he is older now.
“I’m like 215 [lbs.] right now. I’m not [anywhere] near as big as I used to be. Obviously, I was on the gas too, but I stay right around 210 [to] 215. I still work out everyday, and I eat like a [horse]. I eat all the time.” Holly added, “my training has changed a lot. I mean, it has, but it hasn’t. Like, back when we were riding together, and even with my other riding partners and stuff, I always trained, but I never went heavy. I never went heavy as far as my workouts and [things] like that. And now, I actually have to go a little bit lighter than before. Like, my elbows are really bad. That’s the only thing that really bothers me out of everything. Yeah, I have the back issues, I have that, but my back doesn’t bother me [nearly] as bad as my elbows do. Most of my problems are through mostly my left elbow. Anytime I do any kind of pushing movements or anything or if I press anything, it’s really painful, so I just work through it. I work around it. I just push through it and I just deal with the pain as far as when I work out because I want to work out and I don’t want to lose what I have as far as body-wise, I’m in pretty good shape. Everybody says I’m in good shape. I still work out like a crazy bastard and I still eat. My whole day is revolved around my eating.”
Although Holly has had his share of injuries, they were well worth his pro wrestling career. Holly acknowledged that he feels pretty good at 55 years young.
“It was worth it to me. Like I said, my elbows won’t straighten out. I’d say, they’re probably… I wouldn’t quite say 45 degree angles. I don’t know. I don’t know what degree it would be. My elbows won’t straighten out, both of them. But as far as, like, my neck, my neck doesn’t really bother me that bad because I had the same surgery as [Austin] had as far as my neck. My knees are good. Like, I never have any issues with me knees. My hip is fine. My hips are fine. My back, I had lower back surgery to clean out the bone spurs and I had a few… what the hell was it? They cleaned out the area of like… they opened up the area of the nerve to give it more room or whatever and all that. My shoulders are fine. My elbows are the worst thing on me actually, so I think I got away pretty good. My back gives me problems, don’t get me wrong. Like, if I’m sitting too long, and I go to stand up, it takes a minute for me to stand up, especially if I’m sitting on a plane, and then I go to get up and it’s like my back is killing me, but then after a few minutes of walking it off, I’m fine. But as far as anything else, I think it was actually worth it to me to do what I did.
“As far as the career-wise, I always think, I do think a lot of times, I wonder how my body would be if I didn’t wrestle and I did something else. Would it be something else that’s worse than what’s going on now? You always question your choices as far as the things you do and I have questioned, ‘why did you get into wrestling?’ I got into it because I loved it. Was it worth it to me? Yeah, it was. It gave me a good life. It provided me a good life. I’ve experienced the world. I’ve experienced a lot of things. I’ve pretty much seen it all like [Austin has]. But as far as my body-wise, I think I’m okay. I really do. Being 55, I still move around really well. I’m still pretty fast. Of course, not as fast as I used to be, but I’m pretty agile still. And I feel pretty good for 55 and I attribute that to staying in shape, working out, and things like that. And I stay active.” Holly laughed, “maybe my brain is scattered sometimes, but that’s about it.”
In Holly’s view, the worst thing he did while he was wrestling was getting addicted to pain pills when he famously broke his neck. The former Thurman ‘Sparky’ Plugg divulged that he would take up to 10 painkillers per day and quickly sought professional help when he recognized his drug use was a problem.
“When I broke my neck, I did end up getting into the pain pill thing and getting on those. And I was able to get off that stuff. And so, but that wasn’t easy, so I had to have help. I wrote about that in my book. I had to have help to get off that stuff and I did. But that was the worst I did. I didn’t get into the alcohol. I didn’t get into the cocaine. I didn’t get into anything heavy like that. I mean, I did steroids. Whoop-dee-doo. But that goes without saying. When I broke my neck, that was the worst, the heaviest I got into anything as far as that you shouldn’t be doing, but, like I said, I got off that and everything. I never drank and I never did anything else.” Holly explained, “I started taking too many [pills] and I was like, ‘this is ridiculous – I’ve got to stop,’ so I did.”