In 1996, Anthony signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He was given the gimmick of "T.L. Hopper", a wrestling plumber. After a series of vignettes showing Hopper at work, he debuted wearing jeans that hung low and a stained undershirt. He carried his plunger (named "Betsy") to the ring with him, and he celebrated his victories by sticking the plunger in his opponents' faces.
Although he did not wrestle in any WWF pay-per-views, he made an appearance at the "Bikini Beach Blast-Off" during the Free For All show that preceded SummerSlam 1996. Based on his kayfabe experience as a plumber, Hopper was chosen to investigate a "brown object" that resembled feces on the bottom of the swimming pool. The segment was meant to parody a scene in the movie Caddyshack.
He returned to the WWF in September 1997 as "Uncle Cletus", coming from the audience to help the heel tag team of The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas Godwinn) in a match against The Headbangers. He hit Mosh in the head with a horseshoe, allowing Phineas to make the pin. He was revealed to be a kayfabe relative of the Godwinns, and he became the team's manager. At Badd Blood 1997, Henry and Phineas won the WWF Tag Team Championship with Cletus in their corner. On October 7, Cletus interfered in another match, but his interference backfired and allowed the Legion of Doom to win the titles. Following the match, the Godwinns attacked Cletus, who was never seen in the WWF again.