Monday, November 5, 2012





1018 Seals Street
$10 Adult Tickets....$7 for kids  5 to 10
6PM Bell Time   

James Storm has just beed added to the big card on November 18th. 
The family thanks James and all the other wrestlers for coming
together to aid in this worthy cause.  Thank you Mr. Storm. 
It's been quite awhile since I've updated and my apologies to the faithful readers that have frequented this page just to see what I've written.   Sadly to say,  this year has been the WORST YEAR of my life personally.   As most of you know who follow me on FACEBOOK (, or on Twitter at dirtydutchman1 or read the wrestling websites,  we lost a cherished member of our family this year. 
On August 14th, 2012,   my 16 year old granddaughter was killed in an horrific 2 car crash in Maryville, TN.  She was hit headon by a man who was speeding trying to outrun a Tennessee Highway Patrolman when he suddenly veered left over three lanes of oncoming traffic  right directly into the path of my Amelia.   He collided with her at 73mph...she was doing 55.  There were no brakes skid marks were found.  He just hit her.  He turned out to be an ex convict on parole who had been convicted of 17 felonies in his life but was still allowed to go free thanks to our great TN. Dept. of Parole.   Amelia died instantly and for that,  I thank our Creator.   That was the only saving grace of the accident.  She didn't have time to feel pain, get scared,  cry or feel helpless.  Our Creator yanked her out of that car immediately upon impact and took her home.  A home to where that man could not hurt her.   The man that hit her however...lived about 10 hours severe pain.   At least,  Karma played its role that day. 

My favorite photo of Amelia. I took this
as we were going to an outside concert in 2010
 in Nashville.  She was 14. 

The loss of Amelia devastated our family.  Our STAR was gone.  Its been three months but  even now,  I have trouble talking about her for an extended period of time without emotion.  Even writing this right now brings tears to my eyes.  My wife and my daughter break down at unexpected times in crying spells.  It has been an horrendous experience and I would not wish it upon my worst enemy.  
Amelia was more my daughter than my granddaughter.  I helped raise her from day one.  I was there the day she was born and the day she left.  I thank God for giving us 16 years with her.  She was a gift that our Creator gave us.  There's not a 15 minute period that goes by without me thinking of her.  We loved did everybody that met her.    

Amelia and me when she was about two in 1998.  She was a great companion
who would listen to my BS and agree with me.  Of course,  she couldn't talk
at the time and still made more sense than I did.  I had just come in
from Puerto Rico and I was so glad to see this baby. 

BUT....unexpected emergencies bring unexpected costs.  Therefore,  I am inviting all the wrestling fans of Middle Tennessee to gather on Sunday,  November 18th for a benefit show to help Amelia's family.   She was a FAN of wrestling but not a huge one but still appreciated the athletic ability that it took to be good at it.  But I do know that she knew the political value of knowing famous people.  She was proud to tell her teachers and friends that she knew a a few of of the wrestlers. She knew the Undertaker,  Kane,  Stone Cold,  Jeff Jarrett,  Abyss,  Sting having met them at different times in her life when I was in WWF or TNA.   She always knew that if she brought those names into a conversation,  she would always have an attentive audience.   She was a smart girl.  

100% of the benefit's proceeds will go toward Amelia's family.  The BATTLE OF THE BORO will  be one of the better independent cards presented this year in the area due to the talent that are donating their time and expense.  I thank each and every one of them.  Already agreeing to appear are Jocephus Brody, Abriella,  Crimson,  Brian Lee (the 2nd Undertaker),  The Crippler Jeff Daniels,  Dianne von Hoffman,  Wolfie D. of PG13 fame,  Jeremiah Plunkett,  Kerry Awful,  Mike Jabonski,  plus making a special appearance...TNA Senior Referee Rudy Charles plus a lot of others.   We've had offers as far away as New York,  Canada and Texas from talent wanting to work the show.  Ricky Morton called me as did Bill Dundee and have told me they're going to try to make it.   
$10 for ADULTS
  $7 for KIDS 6 to 12 

Amelia and my daughter Amanda,  on vacation at
DisneyWorld 2009.   They looked more like
 sisters than mother, daughter.
Amelia was a beautful young lady turning into a beautiful woman.  She had her whole life ahead of her but her life was snuffed out in one second by the thoughtless, selfish whims of a man who never added much to society.  At her funeral,  there were over 1200 people in the church during the funeral service.  Over 2.000 people signed the visitor logs.  On her online website petition,  over 8.000 people signed the petition from as far away as Japan, Canada, Mexico,  Puerto Rico,  Australia and the UK.  For that,  my family thanks you.  If you want to know more about Amelia's Law,  please click on    Amelia's Law is a way to make something good come out of something horrible.  It will give teeth to a 3 strikes and you're out law in TN. which if it had been in effect and  used on this man, he would still have been in prison.    
For tickets you can purchase tickets via PayPal at 

For those who can't attend the benefit,  online donations are being accepted via  PayPal at

For all questions, contact us at the email address above.  

Please help out this worthy cause.  This will be one of the top cards presented in the Mid-Tenn area this year.  

More information as it becomes available

Dirty Dutch





Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Tribute Story to the Macho Man

by Dirty Dutch

(click on the link to the right)


a personally autographed copy is now being offered. Details below!

TALES FROM A DIRT ROAD is my second book in a series of three. My first book, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO DUTCH was well received and TALES FROM A DIRT ROAD is just a continuation of the first one. It picks up right where the first book left off...right in the middle of one story after other.

To purchase a copy of TALES FROM A DIRT the photo IN THE UPPER RIGHT HAND CORNER of this blog. You know..where it says order the book here??? TALES FROM A DIRT ROAD is not your typical wrestling book. It's a 338 page book of which every word is 100% written by me.  No ghost writer in this book  It's a book book that takes in more than just wrestling. Its a book that has story after story of unheard of events and situtation that 99.9% of wrestling fans have never heard before.

The book covers 30 some odd years, 3 continents, 7 countries, WWF, WCW, TNA, Memphis and Florida promotions, Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Vince McMahon, Scott Hall, Iron Sheik, Mr. Wrestling 2, Vince Russo, Abyss, Ron and Don Harris, Dusty Rhodes among others. I also talk about a famous murder case, a suicide, being on a creative staff, going to Mexico, wrestling on small islands in the Caribbean and once meeting the Ku Klux Klan at a wrestling match down south. Order today and if you haven't read my first book, you can also order it too. It's all in the boxes on the right.


If you want a personally autographed copy of the book, you can obtain that for just $35 with FREE SHIPPING via PayPal!!! Your book will be personally autographed per your specific instruction and shipped immediately after payment is confirmed. 

To order a personally autographed copy, submit $35 via PayPal to:
We also accept personal money orders with prior approval. Contact us at the above
addy.  Sorry no credit cards are accepted at this time. 

1953 - 2011


I've known Randy 'Macho Man' Savage for almost as long as I've been in pro wrestling.  A long, long time.  I first learned of Randy's passing when a friend on FACEBOOK messaged me and gave me the news.  I was shocked and stunned because Randy to me was the type of guy who would live to be 90 and then kick your ass.  I knew Randy's father, Angelo and his brother, Lanny.  My condolences to the entire Poffo family. 

In memory of Randy, this is a chapter of my first book,   THE WORLD ACCORDING TO DUTCH,  in which I wrote an entire chapter on about him,  Hell,  I could write a few more.  Randy was a reality show before reality shows were even a thought in anybody's mind.  The chapter was titled Savage Meets the Police Dog.  RIP Macho.  This is for you.


Everybody knows Randy "the Macho Man" Savage from his days in the WWF. Not a lot of people know the Macho Man in his earlier years. I've written this story before but the story never changes. It is about an incident in Nashville, Tennessee where Randy took on the Nashville Police Department including their prize police dog. Authors disclaimer...this is a true story. I don't think even Steven King could make this up.

It was late on a Wednesday night in the late 70s when Randy "Macho Man" Savage walked into a Waffle House on the Harding Place exit right off I-24 East in Nashville.  Earlier that night,  Savage and I had worked the Nashville house show  in front of a sold out crowd. Randy was hungry and needed to eat so a Waffle house restaurant suited him just fine. It was right down the street from where he lived , easy in, easy out.

If you've never seen or been in a Waffle House, they're all over the South. On some interstates down south, you might be surprised to learn that you can find not one but two Waffle Houses on the same exit but on different sides. I guess that gives new meaning to the term, ' getting you coming and going.' Waffle Houses are 24 hour never close diner type restaurants which features fast food at a cheap price. When you mention cheap, that was exactly in Macho Man's price range.  Randy was noted for his frugality years before Mick Foley made it an art form. 

Actual photo taken by me
in a Waffle House somewhere.
In Waffle Houses,  its not uncommon to see a lot of things including music stars or famous people.  Kid Rock is a huge Waffle House fan as is Cathy Griffin.  On interstates,  I've seen a lot of country music bands in the customized buses stopped at 2 or 3AM while they were working their way to their next gigs.  Believe me, you can see a lot of crazy ass stuff in a 24 hour Waffle House. 

The time was around 11:30PM when Randy walked into the Waffle House. Usually, people who go to a Waffle House come in, sit down, order their food, get up and leave. Unless they're drunk and then they pass out. The Waffle House has also been noted as a sobering up place after a long night of drinking. But, for the most part,  it's a pretty laid back environment especially on a week night such as Wednesday.

Since the matches had just ended, Savage had come directly from the Fairgrounds Arena to the diner.  Savage was accompanied by Rip Rogers who at the time was going by the name of the Disco Kid.  I don't mean to date myself but hey, this was way back in the Donna Summers Boogie Nights era. 

Savage and Rip entered the Waffle House and sat down in a booth. When they entered, the place was empty. Unbeknownst to them, at the time, was that it would get real busy in about 15 minutes. 

Waffle Houses are compactly built.
Not a lot of space to move around.

Savage, according to Rip, who relayed the story to me afterward,  was not feeling any pain when he walked through the door. What that means is any body's guess. Let's just say Randy was feeling good.

Savage and Rip had only been sitting there for a few moments when their waitress came to take their order. While they were giving the waitress their order, a skinny little cowboy type walked through the door and in a loud voice boomed out the news that he had just GOTTEN MARRIED!!!  He intended this for the third shift Waffle House staff behind the counter and not for Randy.   I heard later that the cowboy was a frequent customer and knew all the Waffle House employees.

The waitresses were elated.  They immediately walked away from the table where she had been taking Randy and Rip's order and gave the cowboy a high five which Macho took as a sign of disrespect.  Randy was hungry and he wanted food not some bullshit happy go lucky story.  As all of the waitresses and cooks congratulated the cowboy, in Randy's mind all that was being accomplished was his food was being delayed.  On the surface, it was a feel good happy moment for all of them.  All of them...except Savage. Savage wasn't very happy.  The announcement had interrupted his meal order.  Savage wanted a waffle.  NOW!!! 

Savage had heard what the cowboy said when he entered. As the conversation about the marriage continued, the cowboy said that he was really in love with this girl. Savage, out of nowhere, had to to add in his two cents. Savage said, out loud and to nobody in particular but to everybody that could hear him,  "who gives a f**k!!!"

The conversation in the Waffle House came to a screeching halt.  Everybody heard what Savage had just said...especially the cowboy dude.  Everything just stopped for a moment.  Waffle Houses aren't that big to begin with and when Savage made his comment,  the cowboy and Savage were only about 15 feet apart. 

The skinny little cowboy didn't like what Savage had said. He looked squarely at Randy and asked,  "what did you say?"

Savage looked back at the cowboy and repeated what he had first said, not that there was much doubt in what he said but this time,  he slowly oozed the words out just to put more emphasis on them.

"I...SAID...WHO...GIVES...A...F**K," Savage slowly replied.  Now dem's fighting words down South especially at 12AM in a Waffle House. 

Why Savage even said anything to the cowboy in the first place is beyond me. But Savage just didn't give a f***.  Savage, I learned later, liked confrontation.  I'm sure this wasn't the first that Savage had uttered some words to really tick someone off nor the last.  But now the cowboy was on the spot.  His manhood was being challenged in front of his buddies.   Savage not only had disrespected and embarrassed him in front of his friends but Savage  also disrespected his marriage and the woman he loved. Down South, that behavior can't be ignored.  Whether the cowboy wanted to make an issue of the statement or not,  or whether he knew who Savage was,  he was being forced to make a stand.   He, more or less had to do something because he had testicles between his legs.  Testicles sometimes make a man do things he wouldn't ordinarily do like act stupid at 12 Midnight.

The cowboy walked just a few steps toward where Savage was sitting, looked down at him and asked "You got a problem?"

Savage then arose from his seat like an old western gunslinger and stood up facing the cowboy eye to eye.  The cowboy, who weighed in soaking wet at a buck fifty listened as Savage countered with a question of his own.  

"I don't know, do we?"  Savage answered in the gravelly 'oh yeah dig it' voice that would years later be his trademark sound.

OK lets slow down for a bit and analyze this. Savage goes to eat after he had just wrestled a 40 minute match with me that night at the Fairgrounds Arena. He's hungry and tired and wants something to chow down on before he goes to bed. That's innocent enough I think. So he walks into a Waffle house diner, sits down and within 5 minutes of sitting down, makes a comment to a guy he doesn't even know nor has  ever seen  before in his life and now both of the men are confronting each other over a remark that Randy had made just moments earlier.  That escalated much too quickly for me. But that was the way it went down and it was about to go down a lot more.

This story I got from Rip himself as he was an eye witness to the whole thing so hey, I'm just relaying it. 

Both men now stood facing each other. They looked like two cats ready to fight. As they stood eyeball to eyeball with their body English giving every indication of turmoil,  the fight just broke out.

I don't know who swung first but. according to Savage, it was the other guy. Savage grabbed the cowboy in a headlock, which I didn't even know he knew how to do, and they both went down on the floor and were punching and kicking and screaming at each other right in front of a huge Wurlitzer jukebox.

Time out. In case some younger folks are reading this, Wurlitzer jukeboxes were, in short, over sized "record" players and yes, I said record players. Jukeboxes were pay as you play music machines in which you could drop a quarter in a slot and in return, you could select three songs that you wanted to hear. Nowadays, you don't see jukeboxes at all except in antiques or collectible shops.  No we didn't have MP3 players or Ipods in those days. Hell, we sometimes felt lucky to have AM radios in our cars. 

Anyway, back to my story. As Savage and this cowboy guy wallowed around on the floor in front of the jukebox, the Waffle House people panicked and called the cops because their friend was in a fight with Randy Savage, the crazy wrestler.  They knew who Randy was. They thought he was crazy.  Everybody in Nashville thought he was crazy.  Hell, I even thought he was crazy. 

Rip thought that Savage was crazy too. What did Rip do when all this was going on? From all accounts, Rip did what all good friends do when their buddy got into a fight.  He bolted out the door to the parking lot.

On the floor, Savage and the cowboy were kicking and punching each other but no real damage was being done. Somehow, the cowboy guy worked his way free from Savage, reached down in his pocket and pulled out a knife. Now, this fight was going a little too far at this point.  But the cowboy wasn't stupid.  He knew who Savage was.  Everybody in Nashville had seen this crazy character on the Saturday afternoon wrestling show.  The wrestlers were as recognizable as the 5 o'clock news anchors and a helluva lot more entertaining. 

When Savage saw the knife,  he panicked because Savage didn't have a weapon.     As the cowboy brandished the knife in front of him,  Savage took a good look at the silver blade and then in a split second, he jumped over counter to the grill area and grabbed the nearest knife he saw.  

Savage jumped back over the counter and both men squared off against each other with both of them doing their best fencing moves at each other. The cops had been called and about this time, one of the waitresses started yelling at the cowboy that the cops were coming. Outside,  the sound of sirens could be heard off in the distance.  The cops had gotten a distress call from the Waffle House that a fight was in progress. 

Butter knives are good for butter. 
Inflicting damage, not so much. 

The cowboy, when he heard the sirens, had the sense to take off and he ran out the door. Savage, however, didn't feel the same urge. Savage believed that he was the victim of this whole incident and it was the other guy's fault totally. Savage then looked at his 'weapon' that he had picked up behind the counter. It was a butter knife.

The police car screamed into the parking lot and two officers rushed into the Waffle House. By this time, Savage was in full Macho Man mode saying "oh yeahhhhhhhh" and "can you dig it" at no one in particular. I said earlier that Savage was feeling no pain, didn't I?

Right as the police entered, the entire Waffle House staff all stooged Savage as the instigator of the whole thing. The cops looked at Randy and knew exactly who he was.  Randy had made a serious impact on the TV viewing audience in Nashville in only a short few months.  The police knew who he was.  They were all wrestling fans too.  He was the Macho Man, the guy who acted like a complete crazy man on TV.  Actually,  Randy was very convincing in his interviews because he had the whole town thinking he had mental problems.  Savage blurred the lines between reality and make believe.  Now the cops were more wary than they really had a right to be because not only were they dealing with a wrestler but a wrestler they thought was crazy.

Randy wasn't as big or muscular as he would become later on in his career but he was still 6'1 and 215 and no fat on him   

The cops turned their attention to Randy telling him to turn around, he was under arrest. Savage didn't see it that way. In Randy's was he who was the victim.  not the aggressor.  In his mind,  the cowboy was the one who started it, not him.     Randy pleaded his case and tried selling his story but the cops weren't buying.    Randy started getting louder and again,  the cops told him that he was under arrest.

Randy wasn't cooperating. The cops now had no choice but to physically try to overtake Savage and handcuff him.  Randy was having none of that nonsense.  A struggle ensued.   With a police car outside with its flashing blue lights on and more sirens in the background, a crowd started gathering outside to see what the problem was. It was easy to see the action from the street as Waffle Houses have floor to ceiling full pane glass windows.  You can see every inch of the place from the parking lot outside.  Most of the onlookers saw who the cops were fighting with. They were fighting with the Macho Man.   I'm sure some of them thought that this was better than the matches on Wednesday nights. 

The entire incident moved with blinding speed.  In real time, Randy had just walked through the door  about 10 minutes earlier.  But there was a lot more to come.  

The police were struggling with Randy as they attempted to put the handcuffs on him but it wasn't working.  Macho kept resisting.  Randy kept screaming at the cops that they were letting the guilty one get away and he was the one who had been attacked.

The cops were having no success handcuffing the Macho Man so they decided to amp up their strategy a bit.  Mace or pepper spray came into the picture.   Mace's appeal to cops was that it would change most suspect's minds of resistance if used properly with 'properly' being the key word.  But using the mace turned out to not be a wise decision.

These two cops apparently could have had starring roles in the Keystone Cops series.  They were as inept in using pepper spray as they were in using handcuffs.  As one cop went to Mace Randy in the face, Randy ducked and the Mace got the other cop right in the eyes.  But, at least Mace proved its claim that it took a lot of fight out of whomever received the Mace. From that point on, the Maced cop was out of the melee.  The scoreboard now read...COPS 1...SAVAGE 1.  Randy had tied up the game.  Randy was left fending off the one remaining cop while the other one was screaming on the floor behind him.  It was a friggin clusterf**k. 

Now it was a one on one situation. One cop and one Macho Man. The remaining cop pulled out his billie club and tried to subdue Randy which met with the same result as the earlier attempts to overcome the Macho Man.  When the cop pulled out his club,  Randy looked for a weapon himself and conveniently saw the the downed maced cop on the floor behind him.  Beside the cop was his club that he had lost possession of due to the macing that had just gone down.   Quickly,  Randy grabbed the convenient club to defend himself.   To the Macho Man's credit, he didn't use the club against the cop but only used it as a shield against the cop's attempts to subdue him.   Randy was holding his own but for how long.  The sirens in the background got louder and closer.

The crowd outside, which was getting bigger and bigger, was getting a helluva show. It was easy to see the action from the parking lot due to the huge windows that Waffle Houses are noted for. There was not a bad seat in the parking lot.

So the scorecard at this point read, an out of control wrestler fighting two inept police officers or one if you count the cop that got maced by his own guy...with more cops expected to arrive shortly. The people watching hadn't seen such a spectacle since Muhammad Ali and Georga Foreman in Rumble in the Jungle. 

Inside it was a standoff between Savage and the lone remaining cop.   In less than 60 seconds,  more cops arrived with their sirens screaming.  To an observer just coming onto the scene,  it was CHAOS.  Sirens,  flashing police lights,  cops,  pandemonium,  crowds watching.    When the other police cars screamed into the parking lot,  cops piled out of their cruisers ready to combat this incident who the police would call a 5150 call.  A 5150 call was one that all the police know all too well.  Its police code for 'crazy man'.  

When the cops entered the Waffle House,  Savage, who just minutes ago was giving his order to the waitress now had 6 Nashville Metro cops looking at him including the Shift Supervisor.   As the cops entered,  Savage backed up into a corner as they tried to negotiate his surrender.  Savage had no intention of surrendering and he wasn't obeying their command to lay the weapon down and give up.  The cops were screaming for Savage to give up but Macho Man wasn't obeying.   Apparently,  somewhere along the way,  Savage had missed reading the manual on the protocols of surrender. The Waffle House by this time was only filled with cops and Savage with all the employees in the back of the restaurant and a parking lot full of spectators. 

So as the cops confront Savage, the Shift Sergeant walked through the door.   Ironically, I found out later that the Shift Sergeant had actually worked the wrestling matches earlier that night as security.  He knew who Randy was.  As he called for him to give up,  he used Randy's name in addressing him.  In a calm voice,  he said  "Randy drop the club and turn around."

Savage's adrenaline was pumping and he had no intention of dropping the club.  If you knew Randy,  not only was his heart beating 150 beats a minutes, his brain had shifted into overdrive.  As he looked at the people who he thought should be protecting him,  he instead saw a group of people intent on doing him harm.

The shift Sergeant repeated his request using Randy's name for the second time . Needless to say, Savage didn't comply. More police cars arrived at the scene.

This was a wild scene.

Finally, the shift Sergeant ordered his men to back up.  In through the door at that very moment entered a 75 pound German Shepherd police dog. WHOA!!!  This dog I learned later was one of the most aggressive dogs in Nashville police department history.   The handler, who had brought the dog inside the Waffle House, now ordered Savage to surrender or the dog would be set free.  Well,  Savage was never good at waving the white flag.  Surrender just wasn't in the Macho Man's vocabulary.  In not giving up,  a change of events was unleashed...not to mention the dog.  The dog was in attack mode...and was straining at to be unleashed. When Savage didn't comply with the police orders,  the handler unleashed the DOG who had been trained for years to subdue humans in physical confrontations. 
Well, what fight was left in the Macho Man suddenly went south as the police dog came after Savage. Savage didn't have a chance against this dog but he told me later that he did get one good kick in. Savage also admitted that was a BIG MISTAKE.  Right after the kick which did very little to slow the dog down,  the dog ripped into Savage and held on long enough for the other officers to overtake Savage and handcuff him.    Randy was handcuffed and taken immediately to the police car and thrown into the back.  From all accounts,  Randy was bleeding from the dog attack from a gash that was in his right butt cheek area that would later require medical attention.   The old saying "I'm going to tear you a new a**hole" suddenly took on a whole different meaning to Savage after that.

After Savage was arrested, he was taken to the Davidson County Night Court and booked on a charge of resisting arrest,  assault on a police officer including the dog, failure to comply with police orders,  disturbing the peace and all other kinds of regulations and rules that he broke that night.   Rip ended up calling Randy's father,  Angelo who bailed Randy out a couple of hours later.  After that,  Savage was treated at a local hospital and sent home.   

The next morning I got up and unaware that anything like that had happened the night before,  I picked up my copy of the Nashville Tennessean as I sat down for breakfast.   In those days,  yes, we actually read the newspapers.   There was no such thing as the INTERNET.  It was either the paper or the TV news.   On the front page the headline read, "WRESTLER ARRESTED AFTER SKIRMISH WITH POLICE DOG"...story on Page 9.  What??? Wrestler arrested??? Police Dog??? What the hell???
I then quickly read the whole column about what had happened the night before. Of course the report didn't lay it out like I did above but the gist of the whole incident was there. The opening line of the report was good though. I almost laughed when I read it.
The first line read, "Apparently Randy "Macho Man" Savage didn't get enough action last night when he took on Dutch Mantell in the Main Event at the Fairgrounds wrestling event. He also ended up fighting a Nashville police dog as well." It then went on to detail what had happened.
I called Savage around noon that day just to check on his condition. He had to go to the hospital the night before to get checked and stitched up. He was still in Macho Man mode when I talked to him and he told me ALL the details even to the point of kicking the dog. I asked about what happened to the cowboy but Randy said he was the lucky one in that he got away.   But he was joking around and he said he wanted to give me some advice.  He said if you're ever confronted with police officers,  just give up and do what they want.  He also said he didn't recommend picking a fight with a police dog.  Randy said,  "they are quite serious animals."  

I told Randy that I had read about it in the paper that morning and Randy told me that he had read the same article.   After reading it and talking with me,  Randy couldn't just let that go by unchallenged or unanswered.  Later that day,   Savage actually called the reporter who had written the story to rebut the story and get his side out. The reporter was more than happy to have Randy in a rebuttal story.  This was in the days before TMZ but reporters love the idea of people in the news commenting on what happened.

In the report, Randy said that the situation had gotten completely out of hand but he persisted in his belief that he  had been the victim.  He had been the one that had been attacked by the cowboy and that the real culprit had escaped scot free.  Savage played the real babyface in the article even complimenting the Nashville police department and especially the dog.  I wish I still had the article as it was pretty funny reading it.

Savage didn't work for a couple of days due to the soreness and the stitches in his butt area.  I saw him a couple of days later in Chattanooga as we prepared for the Saturday night show.  He even pulled down his pants to show me the bite.  The bite was covered in gauze but he pulled that back so I could get a good look as it was time to redress the wound.  I had never seen a dog bite before but it looked nasty.  The bite had to be at least 9 inches long and I could plainly see the puncture wounds where the dog's teeth had dug in  
Randy went to court a few weeks later on the charge of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and battery on a police officer when, in fact, it was battery on a police dog. But the law stated that a police dog is an officer of the police force just like a real policeman so technically, that was a correct charge.  Nick Gulas, the promoter, pulled some strings downtown in the police department and donated some money to one of their favorite charities and Randy was charged with a much lesser offense, found guilty. paid a small fine and put on probation.
I knew Savage and I knew how the thought about things.   Since he lived on the edge of paranoia,  the mere thought of someone getting the upper hand on him was something that he would never forget.  And even to this day, I still think Randy wonders about that night and still harbors a desire to get even with that dog.   The dog has probably been dead for over 25 years but I wouldn't be surprised if Randy didn't find out where the dog was buried and go out and dig him up just to even the score.


1953 - 2011

Editor's note:  Randy was one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.  He started out at 150 pounds but he worked at it so hard, that he perfected what he set out to do.  He embodied what this business was supposed to be.  His skill, technique and execution commanded attention and coupled with his personality and interview skills,  he was the total package.    He worked with the best that this business had to offer and with the top talent in the world.  From his days in running his own small independent company out of Lexington, KY. to the Glory Years in Memphis to his WWF runs,  he worked with everybody who was anybody.  His opponent lists resembles a Who's Who in the Wrestling Hall of Fame.  Steamboat,  Lawler,  Hogan, Jake,  Ultimate Warrior,  George Steele,  Flair,  One Man Gang,  Ronnie Garvin,  Rock and Roll...and the list goes on and on.  We've lost wrestling brethren before but this one hurts me just a little more than normal.  It still hasn't really dawned on me that Randy is gone.  I'll miss you Randy but I won't be the only one.  Hundreds of wrestlers mourn your passing as do millions of fans.  Macho Man was one of a kind and I predict there'll never be at another Macho Man again.   

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Ernie Ladd vs. the Brisco Brothers in a REAL STREET Fight

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TALES FROM A DIRT ROAD is my second book in a series of three.   My first book,  THE WORLD ACCORDING TO DUTCH  was well received and TALES FROM A DIRT ROAD is just a continuation of the first one.  It picks up right where the first book left off...right in the middle of one story after otther. 

To purchase a copy of TALES FROM A DIRT the photo IN THE UPPER RIGHT HAND CORNER of this blog. You know..where it says order the book here??? TALES FROM A DIRT ROAD is not your typical wrestling book. It's a 338 page book of which every word was written and composed by me.   It's a book book that takes in more than just wrestling. Its a book that has story after story of unheard of events and incidents that 99.9% of wrestling fans have never heard before.

The book covers 30 some odd years, 3 continents, 7 countries, WWF, WCW, TNA, Memphis and Florida promotions, Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Vince McMahon, Scott Hall, Iron Sheik, Mr. Wrestling 2, Vince Russo, Abyss, Ron and Don Harris, Dusty Rhodes among others. I also talk about a famous murder case,  a suicide, being on a creative staff, going to Mexico, wrestling on small islands in the Caribbean and once meeting the Ku Klux Klan at a wrestling match down south. Order today and if you haven't read my first book, you can also order it too. It's all in the boxes on the right.




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Video of the Day: 

Someone sent me the link to the following video of a match taped in the late 80's in a completely sold out baseball stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Puerto Rice was noted for their HUGE MEGA shows which sold out arenas all over the island and their wide open hard core style.  We were doing hard core eons before WWF finally picked up on it.  This video is a match of me versus the Wild Man From the Sudan,  Abdullah the Butcher where over 18,000 fans gathered to see this card.  Abdullah was a HUGE guy...400 lbs. and it was a challenge to wrestle him no matter what the situation was.  I actually wrestled Abdullah twice that night.  My first and last time we were ever in the same ring together in a singles matchup.  Needless to say,  that might have been a blessing.  As you watch the video...the ringside area was jammed...and ringside seats were a rarity in Puerto Rico but on this night,  it was completely full.   In years past, a sellout was a rarity unless its WWE.  Wow..this business has changed.  Enjoy.  Here's the link.

 My wrestling training facility,  the University of Dutch, is now accepting applicants for the spring training session.  The facility is housed in a 3.000 square foot training gym located about 20 minutes from downtown Nashville.  If you're interested in training to be a pro wrestler, contact us today. Flexible payment plans available.  Course runs for one year. is a complete chapter from my book...TALES FROM A DIRT ROAD in its entirety.  The complete chapter is here with no breaks and no come back tomorrow.   Enjoy.  

Ernie Ladd versus
The Brisco Brothers
In a ‘REAL STREET’ Fight

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away...well it wasn't that far away, it was Tampa, Fla., mid 70's or so. I hadn't been in the wrestling profession very long and I was still learning. 

This whole chapter is a legitimate fight between men that has been noted but never documented. It involved several wrestlers, who I knew and respected. This fight was not about money but it was about respect. It centered around a meeting in a parking lot in Tampa where the Brisco Brothers, Jack and Jerry, held a late night 'word of prayer' session with The Big Cat, Ernie Ladd over an incident that they had taken major offense to. I heard this story directly from Ernie Ladd but as a disclaimer, and in fairness to the Brisco Brothers, I never personally heard their side of the story. But I heard the story directly from Ernie and it was more or less the way I heard it from some of the other wrestlers as well.

Late summer...1977...Tampa, Florida

Ernie a legit 6'10 inches tall and 360 lbs, 
he wasn't much smaller that Andre. 

Ernie Ladd was a big man. A huge man. Andre the Giant was said to be the biggest man in pro wrestling but The Big Cat, Ernie Ladd, wasn't far behind. Ladd stood at a legitimate 6-foot, 10-inches tall and weighed in when he wrestled at about 360. When I stood next to Ernie Ladd, it was like a kid standing next to an adult. Ernie was freakishly huge and fast, which served him well in his professional football days when he played for the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs in the early days of the old AFL football league. He didn't get nicknamed the Big Cat for nothing.

Jack Briscoe...former NWA Hywt Champion
and former NCAA Amateur Wrestling
All American. 

Of course, the Brisco Brothers need no introduction, with Jack being a former NWA World's Champion and Jerry holding down an advisory/agent role with Vince McMahon's WWF/WWE for years.  A lot of younger fans might have trouble placing these men but suffice it to say that these three were in the top echelon of the wrestling business at the time. 

So what brought all these men together on a late summer night in August 1977 in a parking lot at 2 o’clock in the morning? Well that's why you're reading this.  Hell, it you knew what happened..then why would you read on?  If you have never heard this story before, it is one of those stories that unless its documented, it most likely will be lost forever.

So here we go. As I said, this is how the story was related to me. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride, it’s a wild one….

When I was working in Florida, the Brisco Brothers had bought into the Florida promotion quietly, and no one knew they had any points in the office - or at least it was kept a secret from the boys. Wrestlers always referred to the other wrestlers as the 'boys'.  That was the accepted term.  At that time, Jerry was also one of the bookers with the main booker being Johnny Valentine and assisted by Eddie Graham.  

As was the custom in those days, bookers were always on the lookout for talent or wrestlers who could put butts in seats. This was years before Vince McMahon would boost the WWF into the mainstream consciousness of every wrestling fan in the world and most promotions, like Florida, were FREE to pick up whomever was on the market looking for work. Everybody was more or less a free agent in those days. In today's wrestling environment, the true free agent doesn't exist except on the independent circuit.  

The way it worked years ago was that talent would float in and out of territories with some of them staying six months to a year and then they would be replaced with newer wrestlers when they became stale or their novelty had worn thin.   This system worked quite well for a number of years and was healthier for the wrestling business in general than the system that is employed now. When fans stopped buying tickets, that told the promoter it was time to look for new talent. It was a simple concept. 

Ernie Ladd was one of those FREE AGENTS. Ernie was probably one of the first free agents in wrestling although we didn't use the term , free agent, in describing them then. A free agent would book himself into a territory for a few months anchoring all the main events for that period and when his run was up, he was off for greener pastures.

One of the most notable FREE AGENTS of all time were guys like Andre the Giant who would come into a promotion, stay one or two weeks and then be gone until a HUGE MEGA show would be promoted and then he'd be brought back to help anchor that show. Or guys like HayStacks Calhoun, or the girls or the 'midgets'. Yes, I said midgets because that is what they were called in those days. Today, with political correctness surrounding us, they would be called "LITTLE PEOPLE" or "LITTLE WRESTLERS".

Abdullah the Butcher would be another FREE AGENT as would Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen and the like. All of these men didn't want to stay in a promotion long term but made better money by working in stages. But Ernie Ladd was one of those guys that made me marvel at how he made it work.

Ernie one time the biggest,
baddest man in pro football. 
Being a former All Pro AFL defensive lineman didn't hurt his chances of getting booked either. His professional football background played right into the hands of local sports editors all across the country and getting positive press in daily newspapers meant so much more back in those days than it does today. Everybody read the newspaper back then due to no Internet, limited cable and only 5 or 6 channels on TV. I know, contrasted with today, we were the equivalent of the stone ages. I never realized I was so deprived until I started writing this chapter.  Sports editors loved Ernie. He made them feel like they were talking to a bonafide STAR and the truth was, they were. Sports writers treated Ernie like royalty and therefore, he got the STAR treatment.

Ernie had a track record at the box office. He drew money as he was a gifted performer, a great talker, a great worker and he had the ability to get people into seats. Ernie had worked in Los Angeles, Detroit, New York and Atlanta where he worked in front of sellout crowds and in HUGE buildings. Its not like today where some small indy group runs a recreation center that will only seat 200 people. Ernie sold out Madison Square Garden, Detroit's Cobo Arena, LA's Sports Arena. It's hard to get younger fans today to really feel what it was like to be a fan back then. It was a different era. Wrestlers were perceived more along the lines of MMA fighters  today..but the difference was…pro wrestlers had real emotion behind them. 

So it was a stroke of luck that found both Ernie and I working in Florida at the same time. Ernie had always liked me and I have always loved the Big Cat due to having met him a few years earlier. When we both met up again in Florida, we renewed our friendship and we started traveling together. I also like Ernie because he always did all the driving. He told me that I drove too slow and he was always in a hurry to get to wherever he was going. Ernie drove like a bat out of hell most of the time. Once Ernie got stopped on I-4 as we were headed from Tampa to Orlando by a FLORIDA STATE TROOPER.  Ernie was doing 90 in a 70 mph zone. Guess what? The STATE TROOPER was such a huge wrestling fan…that he let Ernie go without even a warning. He walked up to the car…saw Ernie..put his book away and started talking wrestling. That was just one of the perks that came along with being on TV every week and fans knowing who you were. Fans knew Ernie and that trooper was delighted that he had stopped one of his heroes. He let Ernie go but not before he got a couple of autographs and Ernie gave him a couple of photos. The trooper even knew who I was and I was actually just a second or third match talent at the time. So I signed an autograph for him as well.  

Ernie was a very interesting man to travel with.  Ernie had played college football at an all Black college...Grambling University which was acclaimed nation wide as one of the greatest college football programs in the country.   His stories of Grambling University football and especially those of one of the greatest football coaches of all time, Eddie Robinson, held me in awe for mile after mile while we traveled to town after town. I was a football fan and a history fan too.   Ernie, I found out, was also very well versed in the history of the Civil War, and listening to him talking about the Civil War was fascinating.

In listening to him, Ernie gave me an education that I had never read from any history book or from any history lesson I had ever taken before. He gave me a history lesson but from a different point of view. Usually, Civil War history is framed by huge battles that pitted Union soldiers against Confederate soldiers such as the Battle of Vicksburg, Gettysburg or Bull Run or Robert E. Lee vs. Ulysses S. Grant, and white men vs. white men. But Ernie's view came from a more personal nature. It came from the Afro-American viewpoint.

Ernie told me things that I had never heard before, such as the term lynching or being sold down the river or Afro-Americans being sold at 'auction' such as cattle. Ernie told me some vicious stories and while there was no way to check the accuracy of what he was telling me, he told me with such conviction that I tended to believe it. He and all his other brothers, sisters and cousins had all heard the same stories from their grandmother or grandfathers as they all gathered around a fireplace on a cold January night and listened in rapt attention to the tales of yore.  Ernie told me they were mesmerized for hours with stories about slavery and the existence of black families during and after the Civil War as told in the voice of their grandparents. It was a fascinating time in history but a more fascinating time for me personally, as I was riding down the highway listening to an All Pro AFL player, tell me about a side of history that I never knew existed. He spoke of how the term 'lynching' came into popular use that I had never heard before. The term came from a man named John Lynch who used the practice as a way to keep slaves in line.

Ernie also told me the term 'sold down the river' came into vogue. Being sold down the river was a slave related term. Slaves were bought and sold like cattle…and when the term 'sold down the river' was used, it meant one thing. Slaves were put on Mississippi river boats and shipped 'down the river' to be sold at auction in New Orleans. It's simply amazing that these things happened in our country years ago and most people have no idea of how it used to be. I had never viewed the Civil War in such a brutal way before Ernie Ladd opened my eyes to it. Honestly, it was a view I had never seen written in any high school or college history book that I'd ever read up to that point. Needless to say, traveling with Ernie was like going to college because not only was Ernie a very intelligent man in relating these tidbits of world history, I could drink beer and listen to him on the way back home every night. For a young kid like me to have this experience was truly amazing. I was living a dream and having the time of my life.

Ernie had only been in Florida for a short period when I found out there was some sort of disagreement with management and Ernie that lay right underneath the surface. Ernie never told me the core issues involved or disclosed the nature of the problem, but I assumed it was monetary. Most things in wrestling were then. Even today, it still is.

I'm not positive of this but I think Ernie Ladd
was the first wrestler to call himself the King
of Wrestling before Jerry Lawler made it
more famous.   This is the Big Cat with the 
crown adorning his head.   

The issue carried over for a few weeks and as more time passed, Ernie would tell me that the problem wasn't fixed. Finally, after a couple of months, the parties reached an impasse. As a result, it was mutually agreed that Ernie would leave the promotion and lose a match to Rocky Johnson on the way out. Ernie was fine with it, Jerry Brisco was fine with it and for a time, even though the financial situation wasn't solved, at least there remained civility between the parties so that a future relationship could be revisited at a later date.

That's the way the wrestling business always worked in the past. If you left a promotion, you always wanted to leave on good terms so that door remained open in the future. You never wanted to leave under conditions that were less than honorable. If that happened, the departure was referred to as 'burning a bridge.' On a side note, I have left a few wrestling promotions in my time and I left 'burning a bridge.' Later on I amended that statement by saying, 'bridges can burn on both ends.' 

 It was agreed upon that Ernie's last match in Florida would be in Jacksonville, and he would do the time-honored favor for Rocky. But there was one final stipulation Ernie insisted upon and that no cameras be present recording the match. Ernie did not want the match taped or recorded. That request was accepted by the office.

Now a lot of you might say, what difference did it make if the match was recorded and shown back on TV because that would explain Ernie's absence? But one needs to understand Ernie and the wrestling mindset at the time. Wins and losses meant more back then. Since Ernie was a FREE AGENT, any match that showed him losing, undercut his drawing power.

Ernie had believed he had a certain deal with the Florida office when he came in to work but in reality, he didn't. The Florida office thought they had a certain deal with Ernie when they booked him into the territory but in reality, they didn't either. So it was either a misunderstanding on both ends or somebody was lying. I think the truth probably lay somewhere in the middle. But when the feelings of mistrust surfaced and the problem not being corrected, the best thing for both sides was to just move on. Ernie had no problem doing the favor for anybody but he didn't want any cameras around recording it. So far, everybody was fine with it.

When Ernie and I used to travel on some of the long trips in Florida, sometimes we would fly private airplane. There was a small entrepreneurial airplane pilot who was a huge wrestling fan and somehow, he had made contact with Ernie offering his services if Ernie needed to fly to some of the Florida towns. Ernie took him up on his offer and since we were traveling companions, he often asked me to accompany him on the long trips such as Jacksonville or Miami.

This was not the actual plane that we flew on
but its a very similar looking aircraft.  As you can see,
Ernie didn't really have a lot or room on
this aircraft.  But it was the best way to
Jacksonville was a three-hour drive from Tampa but we could fly there about an hour. The pilot gave us such a HUGE discount that really all we were paying for was the fuel. He was such a fan that he would have probably paid Ernie if he has asked. The plane was a four-seat Cessna, so on the flight there were only three people on the flight—Ernie, the pilot and me. With a nearly 7 foot guy onboard,  there wasn't any room for a 4th person.  Ernie took up all the space.  By flying, we could leave two hours later and get back two hours earlier. And the price was right. I could fly from Tampa to Jax, round trip, for $25. Today, its $25 to walk across the street. That was only $10 more than what it would cost me to car pool to Jax and back and four to five hours quicker.

We always landed at a small private airfield about 15 minutes away from the downtown Jacksonville Coliseum and one of Ernie's fans would pick us up and drive up to the building. Everything was fine...I had my match and I had time to take a shower and get ready to watch Ernie's match which was in the semifinal slot.

On Ernie's last night in Florida, the card that night was one of the better cards that I saw presented. The date was Thursday night, Aug. 11, 1977, as I've saved a few programs from that time. Both Brisco Brothers were on the card, and Jack and Jerry were over strong with the fans in Florida. The fans in Florida had been witness to watching the evolution of their adopted wrestling son, Jack, winning the NWA Championship which Eddie Graham used to convince the fans that Florida wrestling groomed champions.

This is the original program that documented this HUGE
card.  This was probably the biggest card I had been
on up to that time.  As you can see,  as you read
down the lineup,  I was in the second match and
I actually won.  In todays' world, this would 
qualify as a PPV.  But this was pre-PPV days
so we took the show on the road and every night.  
The card was packed. This card probably, at the time, would have qualified as one of the first SuperCards or one of the biggest cards I had been on at the time. I was just glad to be on it. Jack that night was facing SuperStar Billy Graham in the Main Event in a WWWF title match. SuperStar Billy Graham was the equivalent of the modern day WWE champion so the match was being billed as the first time in Florida wrestling history that a former NWA champion and Florida favorite, Jack Brisco, would challenge for the WWWF title.  
Ernie Ladd was facing off against Rocky Johnson in the semifinal and Jerry Brisco was working with Pat Patterson. With a card like that, Jacksonville was a good house. It was nearly sold out but not quite. In all the times I've been to Jacksonville, I've never seen it sell out.

I had my match that night and of course, I argued with an idiot fan in Jacksonville, Nesbitt, whom I had to settle a score with later on that year. When it came time for Ernie's match, I was late getting out to see it start. As I got in place on the stage to watch the match, I looked up to the second tier where I spied a camera with a red light on which meant that it was taping. I knew that Ernie had asked that no cameras be present during the match. I wondered what Ernie's reaction would be if he saw it. Not long after that, Ernie apparently looked up on the second deck of the Coliseum and saw the BIG RED EYE glaring back at him and not long after that, I witnessed Ernie Ladd walking out of the ring to the dressing room. The referee had no choice but to count Ernie out. Ernie had taken a count and had not done the favor for Rocky as laid out beforehand.

Ernie went into the dressing room, grabbed his bag and told me that we were leaving. I grabbed my bags and out the door we went to our car parked right outside the back entrance to the Jax Coliseum. We hopped back into Ernie's friend's car and out to the air field we had landed on just a few hours earlier. Ernie wasn't talking much and the airstrip was totally deserted. I remember it was a warm summer night and even the pilot commented that it was a beautiful night for flying.

The pilot had gone and purchased wine that Ernie always drank when he would fly, and I was just drinking beer. I didn't want to ask Ernie what had happened that night with Rocky as it was none of my business. But as we took off and got into the air, Ernie started opening up a little about what had happened. As he was talking, he pulled out a joint and fired that stogie up. Hey, people, it was the ’70's...everybody smoked dope. Even the ones who denied doing it. It was the Age of Aquarius and FREE LOVE and Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, Woodstock, Dr. Timothy Leary and mushrooms. It was actually the time where everything was still possible.

As we shared the joint, Ernie told me the whole story...about them screwing him on his original deal which meant his money, then not negotiating in good faith when he wanted to fix it and then reneging over not taping his match with Rocky. Ernie did most of the talking as I was a fly on the wall. This was Ernie's deal and I was merely a bystander. But I did learn something that night. Ernie had some pretty good weed. And he also had great taste in music. The plane was equipped with an eight-track audio player, which you can't even find anymore, and Ernie loved Aretha Franklin, and as we flew back, drinking and laughing and listening to Aretha, I sat back and listened to Ernie tell some of his favorite football stories.

We landed an hour later...and I thanked Ernie for the time we spent together and for the arrangement with the plane. I didn't know when I would see him again. I told him that I hoped to work somewhere with him again. He said the same. Then it was a handshake and we separated. actually shook hands years ago..instead of the body hug. I don't know when that thing started.

My phone rang early the next morning and it was Eddie Graham's son, Mike calling me. Eddie was the promotions owner and it surprised me that Mike would call me. I had never gotten a call from him before, even though I'd worked with him 100 times and been in the company for 8 8 months or so at the time. His call was unexpected but his reason for calling so early was that he wanted to know what happened last night with Ernie and the Brisco brothers. I told him the story about Ernie leaving the ring in Jacksonville and that nothing had happened between them.

Mike said, "I'm not talking about Jacksonville. I'm talking about last night in Tampa. What happened between Ernie and the Briscoes?" Hell, I don't know what happened I told Mike. Nothing that I knew of, I said.

Mike said, "Something happened between them last night because Ernie dropped them off at an emergency room at around 2:30 in the morning bleeding and left them laying on the sidewalk outside the hospital. So something happened."

I said, "Where did you hear this?" and Mike said, "Everybody knows about it." Apparently, everybody but me, I thought.

I didn't know 'nothing bout nothing' or not until Mike had called me that morning. But I was damn sure was going to find out. I hung up the phone and called the source, Ernie.

He answered 'Yo' and I asked, "Did something happen last night between you and the Brisco brothers last night?"

"News travels fast in this town, don't it." I told him it sure did, and Ernie commenced to telling me the story.

Ernie said that after he got to his place last night, he got a call from Jack and Jerry Brisco at about 1:30 a.m., who were upset over what had happened in Jacksonville and were not at all pleased with the way Ernie had handled the situation. Ernie told them that he was not at all pleased about how the 'office' had broken their word to him...first on the work agreement and then on the 'no camera' request. As Ernie continued, he said that Jack and Jerry had been drinking and they wanted to meet and discuss the issue so they could determine how best to correct the problem that Ernie had created.

Ernie said the he hadn't created the problem, they had.

Out of the blue, one of them asked Ernie if he could meet them at the office in about 15 minutes. Ernie said it would be better if they met the next day. But, according to Ernie's story, Jack and Jerry didn't want to wait until the next day, they wanted to meet THEN. Ernie told them he would meet them there in a half hour.

I asked Ernie, “why did you go down to the office at 2 a.m. to meet with them? Wouldn't it have been better if you guys had waited until today to meet?” Ernie said he agreed to meet them because he said that if he could talk to them, he could get them to see his side of the story and they could work on another exit plan for his departure which sounded kind of screwy to me. If I had put myself in the same position, I would have never shown up to meet with two guys like the Briscos at 2AM especially if I knew them to be a tad upset with me.

Long story made short...when Ernie drove up in the darkened sandy parking lot of the Florida wrestling office at 108 Albany Street, Tampa, he saw Jack and Jerry Brisco standing there waiting for him. The street was almost deserted and the lot was illuminated by one low-powered street light.

As Ernie pulled in and parked, Jack and Jerry met him at his door with beers in hand. Before Ernie could say anything, both brothers started unloading verbally on Ernie and started cutting a promo right in his face. They were saying what he had done in Jacksonville that night was wrong and how it was so unprofessional and low rent how they had both gone out on a limb just to get him to Florida and this is how he repays them? In short, they started chewing his ass out pretty good and since they were drinking, they were loud and very aggressive. It didn't take Ernie long to realize that he might have been better off staying at his apartment and dealing with this issue the next day. But, in Ernie's words, he was 'balls in deep' now.

According to Ernie, he tried to talk them off the ledge but they were getting more aggressive in their tone, and Ernie said he knew where this was leading. He knew the brothers well enough to know that they had hair-trigger tempers and he started feeling that this encounter had all the ear-markings of a physical confrontation. There were two Brisco Brothers, he told me and there was only one Ernie.

Ernie said he knew the Brisco Brothers really weren't interested in working out the situation, they wanted revenge. Revenge for the way that he had stuck it to them in front of everybody in the company. They were angry. Angry white men he said. And I knew where Ernie was going with he then played the race card.

Ernie likened the situation to the slave master and the rebellious slave and that when the slave got out of hand, or 'uppity' as Ernie put it, the slave master would have to put the slave back in his subservient place. Hearing these words from Ernie, I knew what was coming on.

Ernie told the Brisco Brothers, ‘let’s calm down...and smoke a doobie (joint) and talk about it.’ That seemed to slow down Jack and Jerry just a bit but Ernie told me he was buying time. Ernie then stepped to the back of his car to open up his trunk, where the joint was supposedly hidden. But what Ernie brought out of that trunk was not a joint. It was a short tire iron...that is used to loosen wheel nuts on a tire when it needs to be changed. When Ernie had that in his hands, he said the entire dynamic of the scene, Ernie said, there were two Briscos and two Ernies.

The scene moved quickly then, as Ernie told me. When Jack and Jerry saw that Ernie had been playing them, they surrounded him, with one trying to get behind him and one staying in front of him...and suddenly, Jack tried to leg dive Ernie in one of his amateur wrestling moves. However, as the story goes, Ernie caught him in the head with the tire iron knocking him silly. At exactly that same moment, Jerry came from the back and, as luck would have it, Ernie knocked out Jerry on the back swing as he was preparing to hit Jack on the front swing. It was ‘bam bam’ and both Jack and Jerry Brisco were down and out.

Ernie then told me that both of them were bleeding pretty badly and they were not moving on their own and the scene scared him. He told me he didn't dislike either Jack or Jerry and hadn't wanted the situation to deteriorate but he could see that they needed to get to a hospital. He knew they couldn't drive themselves to the hospital, which was about 10 minutes away, so he knew he had to get them there himself. A problem popped up right away...if he put them in his car, he ran the risk of one or both of them regaining consciousness which could result in retaliation against him as he drove, which wouldn't be good, he surmised. Plus they would bleed all over his seats. So the safest thing for him was to place them in the trunk area of his car and take them to the ER. That's what he did.

It took about five minutes to make the 10-minute drive to the hospital because Ernie was now freaking out. He was freaking out that if he got stopped by the cops, he knew he was going directly to jail. He was speeding down the main intersection of Tampa, Florida and he had not only assaulted two men and placed them in his trunk section, he had basically kidnapped them as well. He again took the entire episode back to the black/white racial thing as he told me, 'I'm a 7-foot tall black man with two bleeding white men in my trunk and the police aren't going to take my side. Especially in Tampa, Florida’.

I didn’t' tell Ernie that actually Jack and Jerry weren't really of 'Caucasian heritiage', they were of native Indian ancestry which made both Ernie and the Briscos both minorities. But I got the point.

Ernie said he pulled up in the hospital ER driveway, opened his trunk and pulled Jack and Jerry out and left them laying on the of an unknown hospital and drove away as fast as he could. He said that he had gotten a ton of calls that morning some calls that morning with one of them being from Eddie Graham who told him that Jack and Jerry were OK but they needed stitches and they would be out of action for awhile.

But Ernie did tell me that Jack and Jerry hadn't reported what had happened to either the hospital staff, who are required by law to report assault cases, or the police. I suppose that Jack and Jerry were operating under the ‘Wrestler Code of Honor’ which was the rule of thumb back in earlier wrestler days. It was an unwritten code but it basically said that 'whatever happened between wrestlers, stayed between wrestlers.' Ernie never heard from the police, Jack and Jerry recovered and the incident was largely unreported and forgotten. It was basically unknown except for those deep inside the wrestling business. There was no such thing as dirt sheets or the Internet in those days so the only circles that the news traveled in was only in insider loops.

I never spoke to Jack or Jerry or even heard any comments that they made regarding the issue so the total accuracy of the account I heard was told to me by one man and he took it to his grave.

But to anybody reading this...if you ever encounter a somewhat enraged Afro-American man who is around 7-feet tall, weighing about 360 pounds standing in front of you with a tire iron in his hand at 2AM in the morning, I would highly suggest that the best way to disarm him would not be a front side single leg dive. That move has been disproven to not work.

Ernie and Jack have both passed on...and gentlemen, my highest respects to each of you. It was a pleasure knowing you.

Ernie Ladd passed away 4 years ago but he is one of the
greats that I will always remember.  Not only for being a
great talent but for being a great human being.  It was
guys like Ernie who taught guys like me how
the wrestling business worked or didn't work. 
 My book,  TALES FROM A DIRT ROAD, is full of stories just like this one.  The wrestling business is full of them...and in my book,  I document a lot of them.    Hope you've enjoyed the story.

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Look for my next book, Wrestling Rulebook 101 or alternately entitled, Conversations with Idiots hopefully coming out in time for Christmas 2011.   I should have no trouble with material for that one.  I'm still debating on what stories should go in and what should stay out.