Skip to comments.5 Insane True Tales of Wrestlers Refusing to Break Character
Posted on 09/17/2012 6:51:11 PM PDT by EveningStar
Today, everyone knows that professional wrestling is a predetermined stage show -- Vince McMahon himself publicly admitted it 23 years ago. However, for most of the last century, wrestling fans believed every storyline and bit of pageantry as the God's honest truth, and if you made your living as a wrestler, it was your sworn duty to protect the illusion at all costs. Some went a little further than others, though. And some went a lot further ...
(Excerpt) Read more at cracked.com ...
"for most of the last century, wrestling fans believed every storyline and bit of pageantry as the God's honest truth"
This is quite a generalization. Pro wrestling has always had its share of marks, but nearly all the fans I met, knew it was fake. In fact, they liked it because it was fake. And this was during the kayfabe era - before Vince McMahon's public revelation. Incidentally, McMahon was not the first to go public on the true nature of pro wrestling.
They looked at me in total astonishment and one guy said, "You're NUTS. Some of these guys are so mean they have to lower them into the ring in cages!"
Destrucity: tri-fold in its definition, therefore meaning... 1. The name of the Galaxy in WARRIOR wherein the "Terrain of Testament" lies. 2. The Living of one's life in the Way of a Warrior according to a Warrior's 8 Disciplines. Those are as follows: 1) Physical, 2) Beliefs, 3) Moment of Mastery, 4) Attitude, 5) Commitment, 6) Association, 7) Integrity, 8) Wisdom. 3. The creating of a truce between one's Destiny and one's Reality. Promising to stay true to what one is destined to be, yet accepting what is the now... one's reality.
I’m sure some will remember what happened to journalist John Stossel when he suggested that wrestling was just a show or fake (to paraphrase him) to a wrestler he was interviewing. The wrestler, whose name I forget but I’m sure others will remember, promptly boxed Stossel’s ears (causing serious injury) and threw him violently to the ground, exclaiming, and again I paraphrase, did that seem fake?
The story about George “The Animal” Steele reminded me of a gym teacher I had in elementary school in Chicago. I went to a wrestling match, the only one I ever attended in Chicago, and there he was! He had never mentioned his side job.
I sure hope that evil banker didn't foreclose on her mother's farm. I used to watch GLOW every week, just to make sure she was OK.
Wrestling is no more a fake than the Obama presidency!
The wrestler was a guy named "Dr. D" David Schultz (not to be confused with Philadelphia Flyers enforcer Dave Schultz from the 1970s.) Schultz was fired, and quickly faded into obscurity. Stossel sued the WWF (as it was known then) as well as Schultz. However, Stossel's attorneys soon decided against pursuing the lawsuit against David Schultz, because Schultz was already broke.
Stossel ended up suing the WWF and settled out of court for $425,000.
A friend told me of his experience as a child. He loved TV wrestling and his heros got into a knock down drag out with the bad guys!.
One day his dad had to go to OKC and they stopped at a cafe on the way. Inside were TWO of his wrestling heros. Suddenly in the door came two of the bad guys! OMG he thought! A war was about to break out!
Instead they greeted each other as long lost friends, ate together, one paid for the meals, and when they left one carried the bag for the other.
My friend, as an 8 year old child got his eyes opened and realized, WRESTLING WAS FAKE!
In the 1980s, a colleague went down to FL for business. While waiting for the airport shuttle, Hulk Hogan shows up for the shuttle, and would not break character.
I watched enough matches to see the wrestlers standing off in a corner after their match shooting the breeze. The fights in the stands were real though LOL.
I do remember one night some fans took things way too serious and stabbed either Whitey or Ron in the parking lot that night out in the parking lot. One rushed the other to the local hospital best I recall.
My father was a letter carrier and Black Jack Mulligan was on his route. He said that many times, Wahoo McDaniel was at Black Jack’s house (they were bitter enemies) working out.
This year, they are naming the high school stadium after Coach Jim Myers, who is in the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame.
Heels and faces always kept separate until the mid 80’s. Violation of the rule could get you fired.
I actually respect Ric Flair even more after reading that. To be the man, you’ve got to beat the plane. WOOOOOOO!!!
And Nikita Roloff and George Steele are mighty trolls.
I met Danny Hodge about 25 years ago He was selling siding for houses. I shook his hand and I swear there were muscles on his hand where I don’t have muscles!
I would have hated for him to put the squeeze on it.
I think Hulk is one of those guys where he’s like that in real life.
My favorite was Andy Kaufman wrestling girls.
Back in the late 1950s we used to watch WRESTLING FROM CHICAGO with RUSS DAVIS Ringside!
One old man we talked to also watched the show and said he used to listen to the same matches on radio.
Those were the days! Women wrestlers! Midgets! Gorgeous George! The Great BOLO! Killer Brooks! Killer Carl Cox! Kitt Fox!
Flying Mares! Airplane spins! Atomic Drops! Full Nelsons!
Klobuchar inevitably asked Verne if wrestling was fake.
Verne grabbed Klobuchar and put him in his signature move, the sleeper hold.
Klobuchar went unconscious and Verne laid him on the floor and then took over the show explaining to the TV audience that wrestling was indeed real.
Sidenote: Verne recently killed a fellow nursing home resident via bodyslam but no charges were filed due to Vernes dementia.
I remember Verne Gagne. He was an old timer who undoubtedly participated in real wrestling matches (like Lou Thez)before wrestling trended toward show biz in the late 40s. But by the 70s and 80s wrestling had been scripted for a long time.
And how could a hold like that ever be faked?
Man those guys were furry!
He also wrestled some men, one of whom pile drove his head into the canvas. Andy was a very eccentric guy who liked to antagonize. Like the wrestlers he emulated, it was hard to tell where his act ended and he began.
The Animal throws out the first pitch.
Danny Hodge was quite a BA amateur wrestler and professional boxer back in the day. Even as an old man he can apparently still crush an apple with one of his hands.
As a young girl I knew Gorgeous George. He was friends with our next door neighbors. I was told what he did, but had no idea what they were talking about.
I believe this rule may have been what led to Ken Patera and Mr Saito getting into a fight with a dozen police officers in the eighties which led to their incarceration for said brawl.
After a match the tag team went to McDonalds to eat but they saw their opponents, possibly The Crusher and The Baron, inside, so they decided to go through the drive thru instead.
When Patera and Saito arrived at the drive thru window they were told the restaurant was closed. As the tag team was told this they could see inside the window and witnessed an employee throwing a tray filled with burgers into a garbage can. This enraged Patera who then threw a boulder through a large window.
Police were sent to the tag teams hotel room where a fight ensued with the police losing.
Back up arrived and another fight took place where the tag team was maced but continued to fight a dozen police officers while blinded from the chemical spray and yet still were winning the battle royal. A female police officer suffered a broken arm in the fray and finally police had enough and were ready to shoot the wrestlers who finally gave up rather than be killed.
Bother wrestlers were sentenced to 2 years in prison and served 1.5 years, all because they couldn't be seen with faces.
The heel/face rule was relaxed after this fiasco.
Someone a long time ago—I don’t remember who—described professional wrestling as Shakespeare for the masses because of its drama of evil villains and flawed heroes, and dramatic scenarios.
“I think Hulk is one of those guys where hes like that in real life.”
He is. I live in Clearwater, Fl and would see him often around town on his bike. Bandana and all..
He had an on-going rivavlry in the AWA with a "not-so-good-guy", and soft-spoken gentleman by the name of "Mad Dog" Vachone, whom Nick Bockwinkel once referred to as "not even human."
Whos got the gif of the midget wrestler doing the forehead slide across the ring?
Maybe in Ammurica, but in Oz it was recognozed that they were buds when not performing.
And the staging became fairly obvious in the early 70s WCW War
Well the WCW's most popular wrestler Marion Milano (persona: Italian Nice Guy. and dare I say it, Unobservant Dumb Muscle) was wrestlen some nobody when one of BBJ's wrestlers interferes and clocks him from behind and knocks Milano even more unobservent. While Milano is staggering around the ring (he did good stagger) and the heel is strutting, in comes KKK and attacks the heel. SHOCK!
Now MIlano clears his head, sees Kox, and, assuming a second BBJ interferer, atacks Kox. Crowd: "No Mario, you are under a misapprehension, the erstwhile Killer has come to assist you in the fight for niceness"
This played out in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and on the studio televised show. Milano never seemed to get Kox's heel-face turn.
** OK there isn't a very big Hawaiian community in Oz, but I suppose he could have been generic Pacific Islander. But he was one of the most popular faces in the WCW and the Peoples Army was outnumbered anyway so..
And, Yes, in Australia, King Curtis was a face.
My earliest memories are from the 70's down here in Florida (CWF I believe it was) with the legendary Gordon Solie doing the commentary on wrestlers like Dusty Rhodes. Quoth Dusty:
"He was the man -- the absolute best to ever call a match. Back in the '70s, the announcer wasn't in on everything that was going on in the ring and behind the curtain, so Gordon had to call it like he saw it."I also remember Ted Turner and Superstation TBS on cable going into the '80s. That's when wrestling started to acquire a national structure and the regional promotions became less prominent.
And the rest, as they say is history. With the WWE, Vince McMahon has created a behemoth entertainment empire which is more popular than ever, and still growing.
I must admit that I've gotten sucked into pro wrestling again over the last 3 years. What else am I gonna do, watch the news or some propaganda-pushing sitcom?
Pro wrestling is just pure, mindless entertainment which probably serves some psychological function in modern society. It's like the ancient gladiatorial contests, without all the death. Heros, villians, love, hate, scantily clad females, damsels in distress, virtue, treachery, betrayal, redemption: wrestling has it all.
“The Animal” shows himself to be a friendly, convivial guy with a sense of humor in that clip. Thanks for link. The ballplayers showed him respect. I think his hairiness gave rise to the animal persona he used in the ring. Too bad no audio.
Dick The Bruiser went off script ( at least I think it was off script..you never knew with bruiser) and went bat-shit crazy on everyone in the house.
I live for off-script. I saw Wahoo McDaniel on TV in the old NWA go nutso. His opponent kept setting himself up for the next move and McDaniel kept choppin him
We would see heels and faces in the same restaurant(Darryls but they didn’t eat together) in Greensboro when the big matches would be going on. The official response to “Aren’t you going to fight?” was “There’s no money in it”.
Heels and faces weren’t supposed to travel in the same car. That’s why a lot of guys worked under a hood(mask). George The Animal Steele worked under a hood in Detroit because he was teaching school in a nearby town.
Gordon Solie was left out of the loop on outcomes by his own decision. His reactions were legit.
I remember a wrestler chastising him on TV for smoking which Solie tried to hide from the fans.
Thats gonna leave a mark !
The Animal shows himself to be a friendly, convivial guy with a sense of humor in that clip.”
Seems like a really good guy to me too.
I have a friend who had two boys and one was a huge fan when he was real young. I had to keep my mouth shut when the uh matches were on the tube at my friend's house and his kid was watching. But my old man was merciless in his ridicule of the pro wrestlers when I used to watch them at an early age. I wasn't quite sure...but my Dad would laugh hysterically at some of the action. Looks real when you're about ten or younger.
I used to watch Gagne in the sixties. It started dawning on me before I was a teen that it was all faked. Snide remarks from my father probably helped as well.
Not hard to find. It's right next to the Unicorn Races betting window.