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The women’s pet, Fred Ward’s regret

October 29th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments
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The late Eddie Gilbert used to love telling the story of how Austin Idol won a battle royal in Columbus, Ga., in 1980…and later cashed the $5,000 check presented to him in the ring by promoter Fred Ward. (Think Memphis promoter Jerry Jarrett would have actually signed a battle royal gimmick check? And if he did, do you think the elder Double J would have forgotten to retrieve the check once they were back in the dressing room? Not on your life….especially if the winner was from Las Vegas.) I would have loved to have seen the look on Ward’s face when he realized his mistake. Back in the days of kayfabe, Ward likely would have wrestled with the decision to go to the police; after all; Idol did win the check in the ring, at least in the eyes of the fans.

I have heard the tale repeated numerous times over the years but wasn’t sure if I ever quite believed it…until now. According to Idol’s recent shoot interview with highpots.com, the legend is true. (Although, I’m not exactly sure I follow the Universal Heartthrob’s take on the Robin Hood mythos.) I’ve heard the shoot is fantastic, thanks to Idol’s excellent memory and frankness. Hope the Idol’s upcoming book is just as compelling.

Sure, Jerry Lawler could be clever when booking battle royals. (On a few occasions, he struck deals with local car dealerships, offering them free on-air promotion in exchange for a great deal or a short-term lease-type arrangement on a new vehicle…which the King promptly “won” in the battle royal.) But nothing holds a candle to the Idol story. Classic.




  1. SStrout
    October 29th, 2009 at 13:43 | #1

    I was 8 when I walk into the Lewiston Armory and it was Austin Idol who waived me over with a finger, shook my hand and gave me an autograph i still got nearly 30 years late, that”s why I”m a wrestling fan. Thanks Mr. Idol

  2. James Truepenny
    October 30th, 2009 at 15:16 | #2

    Bizzarely after reading this this morning I found at the market a VHS (I go old school for bargian rasslin” action) of a classic Memphis Battle Royal for one of your English pounds. Also The King and the Macho Man in a cage, The King and Austin Idol versus the Road Warriors. True Memhis classics indeed.

    Hope you well Scott, I keep reading even if I don”t get chance to write anymore, they made me Mayor so I”m a lil busy.

  3. Old School Sammy
    November 1st, 2009 at 16:51 | #3

    I was a Northeast kid when Idol was coming up-and never understood why he never had a bigger career. The Apter mags made him seem like a huge star, and I have heard tons of stories in the intervening years that his ability wasn”t huge, but his charisma was off the charts. If anyone could have made a guy with muscles and charisma minus huge workrate a giant star, it could have been Vince—I guess he had one too many muscular peroxide blondes for his liking.

  4. November 16th, 2009 at 15:34 | #4

    That check story is one of my favorites. I had originally heard it was one of those giant, blown up checks which just made the story even better in my eyes :)

    Over the past two years I”ve become a huge fan of The Idol. Definitely one of the most underrated stars of the 80”s

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