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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report: EXTRA!

WRESTLERS JAILED
FOR NOT FIGHTING

IronMan: The History
of the Road Warriors: Part 4

by Ervin Griffin Jr.

Volume 2, Issue 164 - April 24, 1997

An interesting email...

Here is an email I received from Ray Grady. Thanks Ray.

Mr. Oliver,

Here is a story that appeared on the front page of THE PARKERSBURG NEWS in Parkersburg, WV. Thought you might be interested.

WRESTLERS JAILED FOR NOT FIGHTING

Bleached blonde Tommy '"Wildfire" Rich and a partner on the professional wrestling circuit, "Dangerous" Doug Gilbert, were arrested after they took $500 cash for a Tyler County performance, but left without taking the stage.

The 40-year-old Rich - who reached celebrity in the 1980's in professional wrestling realm of outrageous costumes and comments - and Gilbert, 28, were released from jail Monday afternoon after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of false pretenses.

Authorities said the pair was fined and the $500 was returned to the Sistersville Area Jaycees, who sponsored the River City Wrestling show to help fund a youth football league.

More than 100 spectators showed up Saturday evening at $7 a ticket to watch matches like Bunkhouse Buck vs. Killer Kyle, Doink the Clown vs. The Punisher and Playboy Derrick vs. Jamie "Wild Thing" Howard in the Sistersville Community Building.

Sistersville Police Chief Robert Haught said headliners Rich and Gilbert asked to be paid up front. When Gilbert then went to their Chevrolet Geo to retrieve something, Haught said, Rich apparently saw an opportunity to follow him out and drive off with the money.

While the other wrestlers performed, Rich and Gilbert were stopped near St. Marys, WV by state police Trooper Gene Yoho, who had been alerted to watch out for the fugitives. Yoho sited the pair for alleged possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana and returned them to Tyler County for prosecution on charges there.

Rich - actually Tommy Franklin Richardson of Atlanta - and Gilbert - Dougles Fred Gilbert of Lexington, Tenn. - each held on $2,000 bond at the Tyler County Jail in Middlebourne, according to magistrate court records.


IronMan: The History of the Road Warriors

by Ervin Griffin Jr.

Part 4

Chains, Championships and Scaffolds

In the mists of their feud with the Koloffs, the Road Warriors won another championship in April of 1986. Along with Dusty Rhodes, they won the now-defunct NWA World Six Man Championship from Ivan Koloff, Nikita Koloff and Baron Von Rashcke (who subbed for the injured Krusher Krushev) in Baltimore, MD in a brutal cage match.

Also during this period,then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, and Arn Anderson started to make some noise directed at the Legion Of Doom. The threesome (who was in the midst of a feud with the Rock n' Roll Express) obviously wanted revenge for what the Road Warriors and Dusty Rhodes did to Ole Anderson in Atlanta. The Warriors also were making noise about some single matches against Flair as well.

In June of 1986, Ric Flair was getting ready to wrestle some jobber on TBS' World Championship Wrestling (now known as WCW Saturday Night) when "Ironman" suddenly started playing. Out came Hawk and all hell broke loose!!! As Hawk was dominating Flair, Ole Anderson came out of nowhere and drove a knee into Hawk's back. The other Horsemen (Tully and Arn) then came out and joined in the assault. Animal tried to help but then he got ganged up on as well!!! It was one of the rare times that the Warriors were left laying. Granted, it was four against two but to see Hawk and Animal laid out was an awesome sight!!!


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Both Warriors recieved NWA title matches during the legendary Great American Bash tour in 1986. The only one that I have ever seen was the one between Hawk and Flair (Which is available on the Bash '86 tape, if it is at your rental store, get it!!! It is worth the money!!!). Hawk practically dominated the match but Flair won by DQ when Hawk shoulderblocked the referee (who was Tommy Young by the way). Animal had about the same success as Hawk did as Flair also beat him by DQ. Still, the Warriors showed that they could stand on their own in singles matches by wrestling Flair, who was (and still is) considered one of the best world champions of the modern era.

Also during the Bash, the Warriors took on the Russians in a series of cage matches and double-chain matches!!! One of those matches is also featured on the Bash '86 tape!!! It was brutal and had many groin shots (the shot on Nikita was priceless!!)!!!

By the fall of 1986, the Warriors was looking for some NWA World Tag Team Title matches but an obstical by the name of the Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey/Bobby Eaton) and Jim Cornette was getting in the way. During a taping Championship Wrestling (predecesor to WCW Main Event), Jim Cornette came out and verbally assaulted Paul Ellering. Ellering responded by decking the manager!!!

Later, as the Warriors were beating the tar out of some poor jobbers, the Midnights hit the ring!!! During the assault, Bobby Eaton delivered a knee to the back of Animal from the top rope. Jim Cornette also delivered some blows to Animal's back with his (loaded) tennis racquet!!! Cornette, as usual, bragged about how his Midnights put the Warriors out and how Eaton was the greatest high-flyer in wrestling (which he was at that time). Ellering, in a shrewd move, tricked Jim Cornette into signing a match for his team to wrestle the Warriors at Starrcade '86. Cornette assumed that it was a straight tag team matchup but later learned that the match was an anything goes scaffold match in which the only way to win was to throw both of your opponents off of the scaffold to the ring or to the concrete floor!!! This scared the living sh*t out of Cornette!!!

Well, the match was a classic and the Warriors got their revenge on the Midnights and Cornette was also thrown from the scaffold, injuring his leg!!!! Meanwhile, one of their fiercest enemies, Nikita Koloff, had turned face and joined the Warriors and Dusty Rhodes in their battles against the Horsemen.

Next: The Horsemen Wars

Readers, in various parts of this series, you will read the term "The Human Sacrifice" in reference to the Road Warriors' finishing manuvear. Now, best to my knowledge, the Roadies never gave their move an official name. I got this name from my childhood neighborhood in Bluefield, WV. We called it "The Human Sacrifice" because Animal would lift the "offering" (usually the hapless jobber) on his shoulders and Hawk would "accept" the offering with a thunderous clothesline!!! Actually, it was more of a sacrifice for the opponents rather than the Warriors. Anyway, tell me what you think of the name. Do you love it or hate it? That's how the move will be known to me but I want to hear from you anyway. My e-mail address is griffiev@hotmail.com

Ervin Griffin Jr. is a regular contributor to Solie's as well as the Ringside Insider and other publications.


That's all for today. I'll be back on Sunday with the weekend news. Until then...

Anyway, that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver,
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


Bret Hart's Weekly Column The Calgary Sun has started publishing Bret Hart's column on line so rather than continue to summarize it here from now on I will be putting this link to it so you can go peruse it for yourselves.



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This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie. Copyright 1997 - Jump City Productions

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