WWE.com: Your parrot Frankie was a huge part of your career. Can you bring WWE fans up to speed on what happened to him?
Koko B. Ware: It was about four years ago. We were getting ready to move to a bigger place, so we were renting a home in Tennessee. We went to church with the kids that morning, and 45 minutes later the Deacon comes over and says you need to go home because your house is on fire. We get back home and it was a disaster. The fire trucks were there but we lost everything. It was faulty wiring. One of the firefighters even apologized because he said he couldn’t save my kid. He had heard a voice saying “Get me out of here,” but it was Frankie, of course. He was trying to get out of the cage. Still, it was like losing a kid. The fireman gave him back to me in a garbage bag. I never opened it. I grabbed a shovel, took him to the backyard, said a little prayer and buried him right there. I had him for about 15 years.
You know, I always just kind of assumed that Frankie was another '80s WWF literalization of a nickname, like turning Ricky Steamboat into a fire-breathing dragon. I figured he was already the Birdman because he came off the top rope, so they gave him a bird. (When I started watching, he already had the bird, so I'm just guessing here.) Considering that, I find it really cute and kind of touching that he kept the bird for 15 years and loved it so much, which I first discovered in Beyond the Mat.
He had heard a voice saying “Get me out of here,” but it was Frankie, of course. He was trying to get out of the cage.
I knew about Frankie dying in a fire, but that's just heartbreaking :(
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No, my grandmother has never referred to a Nature Boy, only Ric Flair. My parents also claim to have seen Flair on Wrestling at the Chase when they were little kids, which would have been in the mid to late 60s.