Neal Snow of All-Star Championship Belts departs from his usual Apter-mag mockup greatness to capture recording superstar Jerry Lawler in all his glory.
I'm not going to touch the irony of the title of his new hit single.
The King sings “Wrestling With Girls” on this episode of “The Jerry Lawler Show.” (As Jimmy Hart might say, this Lawler song wasn’t released; it escaped.)
Of course, this song doesn’t hold a candle to the King’s groundbreaking collaboration with Ray Parker Jr, which inspired the movie “Ghostbusters.”
The lyrical brilliance and raw emotion of Lawler’s musical stylings with the Nunnery Bros. Band is often compared to Springsteen’s “Nebraska” album. OK, OK, so it sounds a lot like Handsome Jimmy’s “Son of a Gypsy,” but it’s not every day you hear the names “Joe LeDuc” and “Karl Krupp” rhyming in song.
And for all you rednecks out there who question Lawler’s ability to compete at a World championship level while writing the songs that make the young girls cry, don’t you realize he can do everything?!
Bill “Superstar” Dundee had it all: the gift of gab, a creative mind, excellent psychology, desire, superior in-ring ability, a great-looking right hand and a natural charisma as either a heel or a babyface. Well, almost everything. At around 5’6″, “the scrappy little Australian” (as Lance Russell often referred to him) was too short to be taken seriously as a big star anywhere but Memphis, a territory that catered to smaller workers. To his credit, Dundee had several outstanding bouts with the likes of AWA champion Nick Bockwinkle, which drew very well in the area. Memphis fans absolutely believed in the Superstar, but if he’d have been about 6 inches taller, Dundee could have been a headliner nationwide. (Conversely, if I had been about six inches shorter, I’d have been more effective as a manager.)
At the height of his feud with Ronnie Garvin in ICW, Randy Savage was arrested for shoplifting a steak from a Kentucky grocery store. (Hey, the ICW heavyweight champion of the world should never have to pay for anything.) Instead of ignoring the publicity over the incident, which made the area newspapers, Garvin announced the news to ICW audience to humiliate his rival–good stuff. (For more on Savage’s early starving-artist days, click here.) Apparently, the Macho Man liked his steak rare.
Oh, what could have been. Gino Hernandez oozed heel charisma. He wasn’t a great worker by any means, but his promos and heat-inducing nastiness more than made up for it. If the partying and substance abuse hadn’t been issues, Gino would have been a major player in the industry in the mid- to late ’80s. (Granted, I could say that about plenty of guys, including the late Eddie Gilbert.) Instead, Gino passed away of a cocaine overdose at the age of 28 in 1986; however, some speculate he was murdered.
Belt-maker Neal Snow, of All-Star Championship Belts, continues his humorous series of would-be Apter mag covers that break the kayfabe code:
Just what were in those Hulk Hogan Vitamins (“the Hulkster’s Powerful Python Pack”) all those years? Only Dr. George Zahorian knows for sure.
When a blogger named Kelly Stewart moved into his home in Nashville about six years ago, he found some battered 35mm negatives in the attic of what appeared to be “men in underwear and one man as an Elvis impersonator.” He says, “I carried the negatives around for a year meaning to get prints made of them. I finally did that and here were the results.”
The man in his undies and the Elvis impersonator turned out to be one and the same: George Gulas, son of longtime Nashville promoter Nick Gulas. George, arguably the worst second-generation wrestler ever to receive a major push (which covers a hell of a lot of ground), was the catalyst for Jerry Jarrett breaking away from Nick to form his own wrestling company. Nick had aleady pushed George to the moon in Nashville, including a 45-minute time-limit draw for the NWA World title (poor ol’ Harley Race), which had caused the houses in Music City and the surrounding towns to plummet. Even Jet Set tag-team partner Bobby Eaton (pictured above), already an exceptional worker shortly after breaking into the business in the ’70s, couldn’t hide George’s many shortcomings. Jarrett refused to put George over strong in Memphis and convinced Jerry Lawler, the area’s biggest star, to make the jump with him. The rest is Memphis wrestling history.
Mulkey Mania runs wild on WTBS
The Mulkey boys were an infamous jobber tag team for Jim Crockett Promotions who developed a cult following as they were beaten unmercifully by the likes of the Midnight Express, the Road Warriors, the Steiners, and the Andersons on WTBS. The legend of the mullet-wearing, pasty-white Mulkeys was cemented when they scored an “upset” win over the Gladiators to a huge pop at the WTBS studio, which landed them in the 1987 Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup tournament. (The Gladitors were billed as “champions from the West Coast;” in reality, they were fellow JCP jobbers George South and Gary Royal under hoods.) Randy and Bill Mulkey, who looked like skinny, nonathletic versions of Ric Flair with mixed-up chromosomes, disappeared from the scene a year or so later.
Male wrestling fans from other areas often ask me something like, “How the hell did the Fabulous Ones get over in Memphis with the pretty-boy gimmick and borderline homoerotic music videos?” Well, that was only part of the story. The Fabs were not only great brawlers and talkers, but they also had the personal endorsement of the original Fabulous One, Jackie Fargo, a legend in the area who strutted his stuff in high hats and sequined jackets when Stan Lane and Steve Keirn were still in diapers, pally.
Believe it or not, male fans in Memphis in the early ’80s thought the Fabs were cool, and no one questioned their sexuality (the Fabs’ exploits in their van were the stuff of legend), except maybe “Lumberjack” Joe LeDuc, who often pretended to mistakenly refer to them as “The Fags.” OK, OK, maybe I suspected Stan and Steve were more than friends when they released this video:
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