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YouTube Finds: Dr. D’s diagnosis for Jerry Lawler isn’t promising

February 2nd, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments
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Although he’d wrestled for years, with runs in the Memphis, Southeastern and Stampede territories, and later had big-money feuds with Hulk Hogan both in the AWA and the WWF, “Dr. D” David Schultz didn’t make huge headlines until the infamous slap heard ’round the World Wrestling Federation, when the good doctor struck “20/20” TV news magazine reporter John Stossel across both ears in late December 1984, allegedly causing permanent damage…and emotionally scarring co-host Barbara Walters for life.

At the time of the incident, Stossel was doing an “exposé” on how wrestling in predetermined (shocking, I know) and how it was “faked”–the most memorable moment being disgruntled ex-wrestler Eddy “Continental Lover” Mansfield getting juice (i.e., blading, cutting his forehead) to reveal how wrestlers bleed in matches. Schultz, who later claimed that Vince McMahon implied that he wanted Dr. D to physically intimidate the reporter (“blast him”), was eventually fired for the Former Fed shortly after a lawsuit was filed by Stossel, who later settled out of court with Vince’s lawyers  for $425,000. Some speculate that Dr. D was really fired for challenging Mr. T to a fight backstage as part of a ploy to work his way into the main event at the first WrestleMania.

Schultz bounced around several promotions after that and even had a NWA World title bout with Ric Flair in the months that followed. He even returned to Memphis for a few bouts in 1985 as the tag partner of Randy “Macho Man” Savage, who had recently turned heel to feud with Jerry Lawler over the Southern title. Needless to say, Dr. D’s first promo back in the area was memorable, diagnosing Lawler as having a contagious life-threatening disease, which is why no one wants to be the King’s tag partner. (His wardrobe choice certainly does him no favors as well.) Savage also cracks me up in this clip, crowing about being “the Southern heavyweight champion of THE WORLD.”

  1. David Fullam
    February 2nd, 2011 at 12:43 | #1

    Question about Mansfield’s motives. In the show he rats out the biz for not taking care of it’s wrestlers, having a union, etc. But I also hear the real reason for him outing the biz is that he was promised (or believed he was) the sun, moon, and stars, in terms of a push, and never got it. Has anyone else heard this?

  2. February 2nd, 2011 at 12:52 | #2

    “Dr. D” David Schultz showed up in Montreal in 1986, as a fan favourite, wearing a mask and interfering in a Steve Strong match, setting up a feud between the two. Dr. D eventually captured the International Wrestling title later that year, but ended up losing the title to Hercules Ayala early the next year.

  3. David
    February 2nd, 2011 at 16:29 | #3

    @ David Fullam: No, the late Jim Wilson (the other wrestler on the show breaking kayfabe) was the one pushing for a union… Mansfield was just disgruntled. Wilson wrote a book called “Chokehold” that details alot of the underhanded things going on in the NWA.

    I cannot believe Dr D was allowed to wear that shirt on television. Can you imagine the amount of heat wearing something like that in Memphis today would generate?

  4. Steve
    February 3rd, 2011 at 06:17 | #4

    I wish Schultz would hunt down Stossel and slap him around again. Can’t stand Stossel and his “Give me a break-better than you” attitude.

  5. Tyler from Charlotte
    February 3rd, 2011 at 17:33 | #5

    Does anyone know if there was any legit heat between Brody and Schultz? Brody is a pretty fascinating guy to me and from most accounts that I have heard he was not to be messed with. I could see those two having some problems if they were ever in the ring together, especially since Brody was always known to take liberties with jsut about everyone he faced. I would assume that they would have crossed paths in the AWA at some time, but I just can’t recall.

  6. David Fullam
    February 4th, 2011 at 10:03 | #6

    @David, oh yeah. Knew all about Wilson and his serious problems with the business. Have never read his book though. Had the slap not happened and Stossel focused more on Wilson’s beefs, would history have been different? Could Wilson have won his battle with the industry? A really interesting what if.

    @Steve, I think the slap rattled Stossel’s brain a little too much. He has seemed to go off the deep end in recent years and has turned into a serious wacko (IMHO). Personally, I wish Doc had crushed him like a beer can.

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