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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report: EXTRA!

Solie's 300th Issue!!

Friday Morning Edition

An Interview with Buddy Landel: Part 3

Conducted by Jeremy Hartley for TWC Online
Transcribed by Earl Oliver

Volume 3, Issue 300 - April 10, 1998
This marks the 300th Edition of the Solie's Newsleter. I want to thank my many loyal readers for making this Newsletter a success.

Here's a story sent in by Scott Braddock:

From Tampa Tribune 4/7/98

A man who repeated the expression "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" so many times before boxing matches that he came to view it as his personal property had been named in a lawsuit seeking to free the words for everybody else's use.

Infinity Broadcasting Corp. filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Friday seeking a declaration by the court that it has not infringed on the rights of Michael Buffer and his company, Ready to Rumble Inc. of Delran NJ.

Infinity said in court papers that it filed the lawsuit after receiving a March 11 letter from Buffer's lawyer demanding $195,000 for copyright infringement and unfair competition.

Infinity said Buffer has appeared on one of its radio stations, WFAN-AM in New York, prior to a Las Begas boxing match several years ago and had recorded the phrase for the radio station's use.

The recording was played several times on WFAN's "Imus In The Morning" show, prompting a letter last October from Buffer's brother and business manager, Bruce Buffer, rescinding the station's rights to use the phrase.

Looks like it's going to his head.

Scott Braddock

From the Bob Ryder news service:


A special website has been set up for the Brian Pillman Memorial show.

The event will take place on April 29 at the Norwood Middle School, and will feature appearances by stars from the WWF, WCW, ECW, and from independent groups. Scheduled to appear at the show are Steve Austin, Sunny, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Chris Candido, Al Snow, and others.

Ringside seats are sold out, but General Admission tickets are still available. Proceeds from the show will help benefit the Brian Pillman Memorial Fund.

The show will be available to Internet fans in a special Real Audio broadcast. Les Thatcher will call the play by play for the broadcast. There is no charge for the Real Audio event, but fans are asked to make a contribution to the Brian Pillman Memorial Fund to help offset the cost of the broadcast.

Donations can be sent to:

The website address for the Brian Pillman Memorial show is:

An Interview with Buddy Landel

Conducted by Jeremy Hartley for TWC Online
Transcribed by Earl Oliver

This is the final installment of a three part interview conducted on Feruary 10, 1998 by telephone with the former Mid-South and NWA star. One of three wrestlers known as "the Nature Boy" (along with Ric Flair and Buddy Rogers).

Part 3

Jeremy Hartley:That leads me to a question I hadn't thought on asking but...about you and managers, did you work with any other managers?

Buddy Landel: Yeah, actually I was one of the first guys that Jimmy Cornette managed. I think my first manager was Jimmy Hart, as a matter of fact at one time, Jimmy Hart, Jimmy Cornette and Andy Kaufman were my managers as a trio, me and Dennis Condrey (of the original Midnight Express).

Jeremy Hartley: Was the role of a manager to work a lot of outside influences, or did they just stick you with a guy..?

Buddy Landel: It depended on what kind of clout they had in the office, JJ pulled a lot of weight as the assistant booker in Charlotte. When you're talking about private jets leaving Butler Aviation on the tarmac, you're talking about Ric Flair, Jim Crockett, Dusty Rhodes, Magnum TA, Buddy Landel and JJ Dillon - I was in. You couldn't have gotten more in then I was in.

Jeremy Hartley: That's always interesting to hear about how these guys put themselves over...have you tried any promoting or booking?

Buddy Landel: My futile attempts...yeah I have, but you know what, I was in charge, I guess it was about 1991. I love helping people, doing charity work, and God gave me an idea about making a wrestling match, getting some sponsors and having a show where you didn't pay to get in but brought an unwrapped gift or toy. We called it Christmas for kids. So I went out and got my corporate sponsors and flew guys in and took the gifts at the door and worked with the Sheriff and the Police Department and Goodwill the first year with the Marines and give out gifts. We've been doing that every year since in Knoxville. So my stuff is charity, I've never really been a greedy person, and I think that's a perequisite of being a promoter, you have to be greedy. I've just never had that bug bite me.

Jeremy Hartley: So you also never really had any desire to be on any booking committees...

Buddy Landel: Well, I've been on several booking committees, I mean I was in Sholin in '85 that sat in and gave ideas. Of course I was Jimmy Cornette's assistant booker while I was here in Smoky Mountain and helped in Memphis and in Puerto Rico. I mean, everywhere I've went people really saw that I knew what I was doing, so I was never the booker but I always had a lot of influence. Especially on my angles...

Jeremy Hartley: It's funny because a lot of people say they can pick out the fingerprints of an angle as far as who booked it, they mention guys like Terry Taylor, and it seems to me like the best bookers are the ones who who were big stars in their regions but they never really quite hit it huge...

Buddy Landel: But you gotta understand, Terry Taylor's a lot like myself, Terry Taylor is a student of this business...

Jeremy Hartley: That's what I was getting at...

Buddy Landel: Terry Taylor's been in Florida where they made the big money, he's been in Charlotte where they made the big money, you know he helped book and had a lot of say-so in UWF and Mid-South. He's been in situations where he cared more about just then getting in the car at 5:00 and just driving and showing up at work, he went that extra mile. That's the kind of guy Terry Taylor is. He always had input...

Jeremy Hartley: That's what I was getting at, the real students are the one who really need to work for it, judging from what you're saying - to get where you went and to get to where Terry Taylor went, you really had to work for it. You didn't have anything, seemingly, handed to you.

Buddy Landel: No. As a matter of fact, you got a guy in the back with a knife in his hand waiting for you to foul it up. There were only so many's even worse now - I mean , hell, back then you had twenty territories - now you got two, and there's the same amount of guys if not more. I mean hey, all the old stories and all that stuff is fine. It really tickles me nowadays you got young guys trying to do what we did twenty years ago, you know pissin' in public, getting drunk and taking there clothes off - all that stuff was funny back then, but it's not funny anymore. It don't impress anybody. You're just cutting your own throat, now you have to be a businessman. You know, they want to hire people that they can depend on.

Jeremy Hartley: So when you broke into the business you had the legends that made sure you respected the business. When you came back in '90 in NWA-WCW - at that point what was the atmosphere like in the dressing room? Was it more top heavy, did you have the people who were making the big bucks, whether they were young or old were the ones who had the say, what was the pecking order?

Buddy Landel: Well, let me tell you something, back when I broke in if you didn't want to do a finish, hey, you were fired. See yuh...nowadays, if you don't want to do a finish it's negotiable. I remember Flair one time was supposed to drop the strap in Michigan to Luger and before the match he said, "Naw, I don't want to do it." And it didn't happen...

Jeremy Hartley: So even then things were beginning to change, and now they're way out of control...

Buddy Landel: Yeah. But I'll tell you this, Terry Taylor tells it like it is...

Jeremy Hartley: Oh, does he..?

Buddy Landel: Oh yeah, Terry taylor tells it exactly how it is, I've got all the respect in the world for that guy.

Jeremy Hartley: It's good to hear you say that because we don't get to hear that - all we hear is - "Taylor screwed up that booking..." and you know that's by people who don't know what their talking about...

Buddy Landel: Yeah well, Taylor just says, "Were going to go with my idea and if it screws up it's going to be my job, you're going to do what I tell you to do, or we'll put you in Peet, Montana or Tupelo, Mississippi with, you know whoever - you're gonna do it." I think the problem that's in the business now, Jeremy are these promoters have built there companies around a few select guys, and these guys started out as a little tumor and now it's malignant...

Jeremy Hartley: Yeah (laughs), I think that's a very fair assessment...

Buddy Landel: It's way past benign, it's malignant. I don't want to call any names out, I don't think I have to - Ray Charles can see that, I don't mean any disrepect, but I mean it's really ridiculous...

Jeremy Hartley: And so you have been fortunate, I suppose would be the word, to have worked for pretty much every promoter that meant anything in this business.

Buddy Landel: Yeah...

Jeremy Hartley: Besides Bill Watts, any other promoters that you felt, "Wow, I'm getting treated nice, they care about their athletes - this is what I'm getting at, a lot of promoters don't seem to care...

Buddy Landel: They basically take care of the guys better today then they used to because, use to, if you worked with Bill Watts, and you had a broken finger - you worked, if you had a busted ear drum - you worked, you had a seperated shoulder - you worked. Nowadays, go in with a know. And I have to say that another great mind that I had the pleasure of working for was Jerry Lawler. Famtastic mind...

Jeremy Hartley: Yes, I'm glad you brought that up...

Buddy Landel: He helped a lot of guys in the business with their gimmicks, he gave the Rock & Roll Express their gimmick, Kamala his gimmick, I mean the list goes on and on. Just a tremendous mind, the best the South had to offer. You know everybody came through Memphis at one time or another...

Jeremy Hartley: That's good to hear because now he's a commentator and you don't really see that anymore. It would interest me, and I'm sure everyone, if you could just explain say an average week for a wrestler in the Mid-South territory, wrestling many nights a week. A lot of peole say, you know, no matter what you do this stuff's not real - nobody gets hurt, nobody gets lonely, nobody gets tempted...and I just tend to think that's a buch of bull.

Buddy Landel: Well you know you were married to the guys that you ran up and down the road with. I mean you were in a different hotel in a different town every night, you were never home. You took care of each other, you worked hurt, let me tell you something, you did not miss a shot for Bill Watts. I mean everything is out there, every kind of temptation in the world, it's out there. You either say "yes" or you say "no". You know, if you say "yes" too many times, it gets a hold of you and the next thing you know you got another problem. Bill Watts on you and you got your problem on you...

Jeremy Hartley: And he was good about that? Keeping tabs on the boys?

Buddy Landel: Oh my God, he had Grizley Smith...

Jeremy Hartley: (laughs) Now that's the father of the Snake Man (Jake Roberts)...what was his occupation in those days? Enforcer...

Buddy Landel: Private eye...he could tell you what bills you owed...

Jeremy Hartley: (laughs) So to bring us up to the present day, from the guys you've seen now, in todays' wrestling, who do you think will be the next generation of wrestlers, the ones who won't be flashes in the pan after a few years in the spotlight.

Buddy Landel: Well, I think that Hulk Hogan until he decides to walk away, Ric Flair forever, I think that Scott Hall and Kevin Nash can write their own ticket, I think that Shawn Michaels is probably the best athlete in the business today. Of course you got Bret Hart who can write his own ticket. My top pick for the future of this business is of course Steve Austin. I think that the promoter has to build up a trust in the person that they are going to put their time and money into. Give him the microphone and he can be creative on any night. I don't think they expected Steve Austin to get over with the fans, but he's a creative genius, he created his own character and ran with it. I don't think they know what he's going to do night to night. I think they're as big of marks for him as we all are. I think we're all big marks for Steve Austin because we're just waiting to see what he's going to do next. So my top pick is Steve Austin.

Jeremy Hartley: Another guy, you know, he announced his retirement, wrestled a big card in Texas, the next thing you know he's coming out af a crate wielding a chainsaw...of course you know who I'm talking about...

Buddy Landel: Yeah, I hope when I'm 54, I hope I can do that (Editors note: actually Terry Funk is 52). I mean I'm 36 and don't do moonsaults...I'm gonna wait till I hit 40 at least...

Jeremy Hartley: (laughs) For someone like myself, who never got to see the whole Funk dynasty, what did they mean to wrestling..?

Buddy Landel: They just had their own style. They went out and they worked their hearts out. I mean they were credible, they were rough, tough, Southern, kick-ass. And even know I was supposed to be his partner, this month, the 28th for Dennis Corraluza - but I had to cancel that out because I had a prior engagement. But I loved working with Dory, I love watching him and I loved being around him. He's a true gentleman, now here's a guy who was on top in an era where he was beating guys with headlocks, really rough guys. And I don't think any one was giving them anything, even though they were second generation wrestlers, they had more to prove then anyone else. Their dad was great, and I think they had to prove it too, you know, and prove it they did.

Jeremy Hartley: That they certainly did. Another guy from the Texas era comes to mind, and I'm wondering if you ever worked with Dick Murdoch.

Buddy Landel: Great, crazy Dick. Yeah he was great. I can't think of too many guys that were from Texas - you know, all the guys from Tennesee were great and all the guys from Texas were great. I think it all has to do with who you grew up idolizing, who you grew up in the business around...

Jeremy Hartley: And when we talk about the Funks and when we talk about Murdoch - they both had fathers in the business who used to fight each other - so they both had something to prove... You know I was just reading somthing about the whole Von Erich family - did you ever work for Fritz Von Erich?

Buddy Landel: I never did work for Fritz other than being loaned out by Bill Watts. I had the pleasure of woking for Carl Bosch, the best payoff man in the business and of course I always admired all the Von Erichs. My wife says that the two nicest guys she ever met in the business were Kerry Von Erich and Bobby Eaton, just gentlemen, really respectful gentlemen. And you know I was in Japan when Kerry's life ended, I'll never forget it. I think their father put a lot of pressure on them. When I first met Kerry in 1981, he was driving a new Corvette, he had $20,000 Rolex and was living in a $750,000 home - there was a lot of pressure out on those kids to carry on, and it was really sad - I thought I had pressure on me but you could imagine to carry on a dynasty, with Fritz being the patriarch that he was, I'm sure it was intense. You know the Von Erichs were like Flair is in Charlotte only two-fold in Dallas. I mean when they screwed up it wasn't like the average guy on the street screwing up - I remember talking to Kerry, it was several of the brothers who died or committed suicide...I mean what one of them got busted for, I think it was Mike got busted for pot - and I mean when I got busted for pot it was like, okay will go to court and boom, boom, boom but for them, they were local heroes and the shame just drove them over the's sad, it's really sad - we've seen a lot of tragedy in this business...

Jeremy Hartley: know I was going to say something and it just went right out of my mind...

Buddy Landel: You want to know who to make the check out to...

Jeremy Hartley: (laughs) You said you were in Japan when you heard about Kerry Von Erich's death - and I always hear from other guys, Dory Funk, and Lou Thesz mentioned it, wrestling in Japan and how different it is...

Buddy Landel: Well, I went over there thinking I was the consumate worker, expecting to get a pop from the crowd. Well there was no pop from the crowd. Over there, there's no babyface and heel, there's strong and weak - if you do something good they clap - I'm out there with a high spot, I'm looking for a pop and there just sitting there looking at me - that really threw my timing off, I went over there really out of shape - they kicked the hell out of me - it was yars later before I went back. So it is a lot different. #1 - to wrestle in Japan you have to have credentials, you have to be an amateur this or an amateur that, I mean you're not a local yokel from K-Mart over there. You're actually something. You know those guys eat, breathe and sleep wrestling, which I respect and it's totally different. Yeah they kicked the hell out of me over there. I couldn't wait to get back home is what I'm saying...

Jeremy Hartley is a longtime friend of Solie's and a regular contributer to the newsletter. His "EYE on Wrestling" columns can be found in the "Articles" section of the web site. His previous interviews with Bob Blackburn and Lou Thesz are currently to be found in the "Interviews" section.

Thunder Report

The travails of the nWo play out in video clips.

Live from Tallassie, Fl. The announcers are talking about Savage's injuries - it is apparently up in the air whether he will fulfill his committment for the next Title match. But he has ten days... The suspect is Hogan - though why Hogan would jump into a car and speed away after attacking Savage is a mystery to me...

Magnum Tokyo vs. Saturn - Saturn just creams this kid. He grabs a Rings of Saturn in the middle of the match - then turns it loose. Wrestles some more, then takes the fall. Then he calls out Goldberg! The monster comes to the ring and just decimates the Flock in a matter of moments. Goldberg is rather stiff and struggles some with the big guy Reece, but he is, as always, an impressive presence. This guy has got to be the most interesting thing happening in WCW right now. What if they brought in the Ultimate Warrior to really put him over..? Cut to commercial.

Prince Iaukea vs. Yuji Nagata - Nagata holds most of the cards in this match but the Prince is getting the push so he holds his own. It is noted that Iuakea is on a winning streak... Nagata takes over toward the middle of the match and things slow down considerably. The Prince tries to come back with a roundkick but Nagata avoids the contact and retains his advantage for a bit longer. Now the Prince has gotten his second wind and has Nagata on the mat. Sonny Oono grabs at the Prince's foot and ends up on the receiving end of a suicide splash. Back in the ring the Prince wraps things up pretty quickly with a Northern Light's suplex then has to stand there while Chris Jericho harrangues him. Jericho threatens to bring a scale to weigh the Prince, who, he claims is over the Cruiserweight limit. Cut to clips of Mortis making his bid for Flock membership then to Kevin Nash standing up for his absent partner Hall then to commercial.

Raven is mid-rant when a fan or somebody drags him bodily from the ring. The intruder is subdued and vanishes while Raven crawls back into the ring and tries to continue his rant - but his mic doesn't work. The crowd gets louder and louder and Raven's mouth continues to run...but nothing is coming out. They hand him another mic which works, but he has to wait a moment for the crowd to subside. His continued rant lacks for any effect because the crowd has stopped paying attention to him. Cut to commercial.

Buff Bagwell comes down the ramp backward so we can see his face painted on the back of his shirt. He want a match with Lex Luger over the right to use the "Total Package" moniker. He calls himself the "Real" Total Package.

Konnan (w/Vincent) vs. Chris Benoit - this has possibilities. Vincent is on the apron right away so Benoit is facing two guys from the opening bell. Chris comes on in his usual buzzsaw fashion but then Konnan executes his drop-kick-to-the-chest-of-his-seated-opponent early on, so Benoit is somewhat subdued through much of this match. He eventually comes back and attempts the crossface maneuver a bit too early and fails. He tries again, after dealing out a little more punishment, and takes it easily. Could have been a longer match. Cut to commercial.

Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude) vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan - Hennig blindsides Duggan on the bell and starts working on the big guy's neck. Duggan turns things around right away and just start to pummel Hennig. Rude leaves the broadcast position (did I mention he was in Tenay's chair..?), goes directly to the apron, grabs Duggan's outstretched arm and cuffs him to the ring rope. Duggan gets punked until the Hart brothers-in-law show up to save his bacon. Cut to commercial.

The announcers discuss the Hogan/Nash situation.

Glacier vs. Lex Luger - Luger dominates the early going until Bagwell shows up sitting on the ramp. Luger is distracted and allows Glacier an opening to get in some of his martial arts moves...but it's a short flurry then Luger comes steaming back with a series of clotheslines. The Rack takes it's toll. Cut to the replay then to commercial.

Kidman (w/Reece) vs. Psychosis - the Flock are trying to count coup on Psychosis these days because the latter injured their boy Lodi. Both of these guys are suicidal anyway so this is a real flying display. Toward the middle of the evenly fought match, Kidman executes a suicide splash on the outside that hurts himself as much as his opponent. Kidman starts to take the lead but then Jericho appears ringside carrying a bathroom scale. Kidman is distracted and downed - Psychosis climbs the corner only to be smashed with a chair from behind by La Parka...(yawn) Kidman throws his 7 Year Itch to take the pin. Jericho enters the ring and takes the mic to talk about the Prince's weight, waving his scale around. The Prince comes down and weighs in a 218 - well within the Cruiserweight limit of 125. Jericho hits him with the scale and then slaps on a Liontamer. Cut to commercial.

Disco Inferno vs. Scott Steiner (w/Buff Bagwell and the trophy) - Disco is a skillfull wrestler but Steiner is a machine and totally dominates the contest. Plus he has Bagwell around ringside to provide distraction so Disco is in trouble from the get-go. He fares poorly except for a major flurry just before the end. "Big Papa Pump" catches his opponent coming off the top and hits a belly to back. That's all she wrote... cut to commercial.

Clip from Lost in Space - it is very strange because the music and effects part of the sound track is missing - all we hear are the voice over's and the spoken words during the various scenes. I saw that movie over the weekend and was pretty disappointed. The trailers are better then the movie, unfortunately.

Chris Jericho vs. Booker T - TV Title match - Jericho takes his lumps through the opening moments, gets knocked to the outside a little later and decides to bail. Booker grabs him and drags him back to the ring. Jericho needs an eye gouge to turn the tables. He dominates for several moments then the match see-saws. Booker T turns things around and goes for his missle drop-kick but Jericho pulls the referee into harms way. The match continues until the ref comes back to life and disqualifies Jericho. Cut to commercial.

Tony apologizes for the Nature Boy not showing up tonight. I have heard that he had some previous engagement that was causing some embarrassment. Eric Bischoff comes down with Scott Steiner to interrupt. Tony looks on disgusted as Bischoff rants about Flair not "being Hogan". He then shows a trailer from "3 Ninji's" - Hogan's new movie. Hogan shares the spotlight with three young boys. Steiner claims that Flair stayed away to avoid facing him (Steiner) - Arn Anderson decides to stick in his 2 cents worth - he almost gets attacked by Steiner - but Luger breaks that up before it gets started. Steiner turns on Luger and we see Bischoff backing away from Anderson...right into the waiting arms of Rick Steiner! Bischoff gets suplexed then we cut to commercial.

Kevin Nash (w/Konnan) vs. Rick Steiner (w/Ted Dibiasi) - Nash makes a speech against Hogan. He then claims he has Sting beat at Nitro until Hogan interfered. He then asserts that he is the leader of the nWo - not Hogan. He then taunts Roddy Piper and the Giant. The program is into overtime before Steiner makes it to the ring. The Nash grabs the mic again to call attention to his cohoorts surrounding the ring. Steiner ducks a raised boot then starts dishing it out on Nash. But he is distracted by the thugs at ringside (particularly his brother) and loses the initiative. It is all Big Sexy for several minutes then Steiner comes back with a suplex and a flying bulldog. Konnan invades the ring and causes the disqualification. Steiner is punked then Power Bombed. Security shows up but is held off rather brutally by the thug patrol. The Giant is intervening as we leave...

At least that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter

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