Ht: 6' 2
Wt: 350 lbs
I started wrestling in 1974 at the age of 15. I trained for about 6 months before debuting on March 1st, 1975, one day after my 16th birthday in North Carolina. My trainer was the old school NWA wrestler Johnny Hunter.
The training itself was brutal! It was stiff because back in those days you had to earn your way in the business. I trained 7 days a week unless Johnny was on the road. And when I tried to skip a workout because I was sore and aching, he would say "Hell no - get out of here!" or "I'm finished with you!!".
Johnny set up his ring in my backyard and we trained whether it was freezing or it was in 100 degree heat. That mindset has stuck with me with the students I train today. This included my nephew who started at the age of 16. I was real hard on him but he's learnt to love and respect the business like an old school guy.
I lucked out in my first year in wrestling and got in with IWA, a big promotion running opposition against Crockett in the Carolina's in the 1970's. I was on TV for over a year and learning from their top guys such as Johnny Powers (who was also the Booker), Bulldog Brower, The Love Brothers, Don Fargo, Killer Buddy Austin, Killer Karl Krupp and Karl Von Stronheim.
It took a few months of getting stretched before they warmed to me. A few years later in 1979 I got my first NWA booking in Atlanta, Georgia for Booker Ernie Ladd who was also a big American football star before he broke into wrestling. I continued wrestling in Atlanta through 1980-81with Bookers George Scott and Buck Robley. In 1982 I hooked up with Macho Man Randy Savage and worked for his ICW promotion and TV tapings in Tennessee and Kentucky. He was a great guy to me. I worked with talent such as Ronnie Garvin, Ox Baker, Rip Rogers, Pez Whatley (who later became a great friend), Angelo Poffo, Lanny Poffo and Tio and Tapu, the Samoans. Then later in 1982 things really got rolling when I worked for Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling first Caribbean tour in Antigua and Monserratt in the West Indies.
On this tour I worked with Bret Hart, Dr D "David Schultz", Gama Singh and JR Foley.Then of course 1983 brought me to New Zealand where I worked with Lars Anderson, Mark Lewin, Curt Kummala (now deceased), Steve Rickard and with Barry Darsow as one of the Mongols. I also worked in Tonga, Samoa and Hawaii during this tour for Lia Maivia. I returned to the US and worked during the next several years for Jarrett and Lawler in Memphis, Tennessee, with six or seven good runs during the 80's. I also worked during the 80's in Kansas City for Harley Race, Pat O'Connor and Bob Geigel.
I toured New Zealand, Tonga (the King of Tonga was present at the show), Samoa, Antigua and Monserratt in the West Indies.
Amongst some of the talent who I wrestled against during my career were Tully Blanchard, Randy Savage, Harley Race, Avalanche Buzz Tyler, Manny Fernandez, Ivan Koloff, Nikita Koloff, The Mighty Igor, Bulldog Brower, Blackjack Mulligan, Mr Wrestling 2 (Johnny Walker) and Jerry (the King) Lawler. I also fought Austin Idol, Abdullah the Butcher, Rock and Roll Express, Midnight Express, Ole Anderson, One Man Gang (we grew up together as kids in the Carolinas). Also the Wild Samoans - Afa and Sika and New Jack - so so many!!
And many more - !
My toughest opponents were Bruiser Brody and Abdullah the Butcher!!
My best memories of this business was when you learned respect for it when you first broke into it or you got your ass kicked!! And my worst memories were probably of some promoters who would scoot with the gate takings and rob the boys out of their pay off. This did happen. I had a few injuries which needed surgery: torn bicep, torn shoulder, torn cartilige in my elbows and numerous neck injuries as all real wrestlers have!
Today I still wrestle for various promoters, train students and promote shows in North Carolina. I'm actually in the best shape of my life now at 48 years of age.
I celebrated my 24th birthday in New Zealand along with Ric Flair who was also celebrating his 34th birthday in New Zealand at that time. My birthday is February 28th and Flair's is February 25th. We stayed out until sunrise. The only other wrestler who stayed and hung with us all night was Steve Rickard.
I have made lots of great friends in my 33 years of wrestling and just a few enemies.
Cheers to my New Zealand mates and bros
Man Mountain Link