repo man
Photo Credit: WWE

Repo Man Quit WWE Because Vince McMahon Refused To Turn Him Babyface

Barry Darsow tells the story of how Repo Man came to be.

Some fans know him as Demolition’s Smash and some may know him as Repo Man. But during a recent appearance on Wrestling Now And Then, the man behind the mask Barry Darsow explained how the Repo Man gimmick came to fruition in WWE.

“Well, I went up and met with Vince, and I didn’t want to leave the territory,” Darsow said. “We were thinking of different gimmicks, and he says, ‘Well what did you used to do before?’ I said, ‘Well, I used to repo cars.’ He said, ‘You repoed cars?’ I said, ‘Yeah, why don’t I be the Repo Man?’ He says, ‘What do you do?’ I said, ‘Vince, here’s what I really want to do. I want to finish up my career here, and I want to be a babyface.’ Why don’t I put a mask on and kind of be like The Riddler in Batman or something. Just be the worst heel ever, you know, steal things from kids and go in and break into cars, and lie, cheat, and do all that stuff and be a heel. Then eventually, turn babyface so then I can do Make-A-Wish stuff and I really wanted to do that kind of thing.”

McMahon thought it sounded like a great idea, so Darsow requested a month to get into shape and drop 50 pounds. McMahon questioned how he was going to lose that much weight, and Darsow knew he would focus on cardio.

“So I ended up 255 when I was Repo Man. I was starved to death, though,” Darsow said. “They couldn’t believe it. They said, ‘You are a different guy.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll work different, I’ll do everything different.’ That’s how it ended up starting. Then I ended up working with all of the top guys. So my job was to put guys over, which I didn’t mind doing that at all because you ain’t gonna beat Randy Savage. You’re not gonna beat Ricky Steamboat. That just isn’t what that position is going to be, but you can have a hell of a match with them. You could screw them one time, they’d come back and beat you, and that brings them up a little bit.”

Darsow recalled how he worked with top guys all over the world before he started beating guys on the lower end of the card. At that point, fans weren’t hating him as much and it was tough for him to work while not getting the desired reaction.

“I went to Vince and said, ‘It’s time to turn me babyface.’ He says, ‘Well, how are we going to do that?’ I said, ‘Well let me go steal the belt from Ted DiBiase or do something for the good guys, be like Robin Hood or something.’ He says, ‘Nah, we’re not going to do that.’ So after about another six months, I said, ‘Vince, you gotta turn me babyface. I’m pulling teeth out here.’ He says, ‘Yeah, I’m not gonna change you to babyface ever.’ I said, ‘Well, Vince, I’m gonna put my notice in then.’ I think he wanted to get rid of me then, but he left it up to me.”

Darsow explained how they were always honest with each other and he would ask for raises when he felt he deserved it. He reached a point where he wasn’t getting his money’s worth, and that’s when he decided to leave.

“But I really enjoyed working it because it was kind of like, you know, I was acting. I wasn’t Barry Darsow, so I wasn’t Smash, I wasn’t Crusher, none of those characters. Every character, I really made like I was that guy. I made like I was Repo Man sneaking into somebody’s place, knocking the window out, and stealing the car. That was what I really took pride in, and I think it came across. A lot of people said, ‘Oh, I hated that gimmick,’ and everything. Well it didn’t matter if you hated it, I like it and I worked hard on everything I was supposed to do and I did it.”

Darsow would go on to sign with WCW in 1994 and work under his real name and as ‘The Blacktop Bully’. After leaving the company in 1995, Darsow would return in 1997 as an evil golfer named “Mr. Hole-In-One” Barry Darsow. He worked with WCW until 1999 before branching out on the independent scene.

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If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Wrestling Then And Now with a h/t to WrestleZone for the transcription.