Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
Recently, NWA legend Dory Funk Jr. had a lot to say about the upcoming match with his top student of the Funking Conservatory [current NWA Florida Champion Adam Windsor]. Windsor, who seems to have adopted the Funk spirit, responded accordingly. Their exchange [which appeared on both www.1wrestling.com and www.dory-funk.com appears below]. The two square off this Tuesday night at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa as part of the "Tango in Tampa 2000" show. Bell time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, $12 and $15.
I have had my differences with Howard Brody [current NWA President] over many issues. Most recently over the Florida Heavyweight Championship Belt. Howard wanted to strip me of the belt saying, I had not defended the championship for over a year. My answer to Howard was, ‘Hell Howard, how many shows have you run in the state of Florida in the last year?' Only one that I know of in Gainesville Florida and Brody's immaturity was the reason I wasn't there defending the Florida Championship.
On Tuesday August 15th in Tampa, Florida we began to work things out. I relinquished the Florida Championship for a tournament under the condition that my most dedicated and persistent student from the Funking Conservatory, Adam Windsor be allowed to compete in the eight man tournament. Not to my surprise, ‘The Royal Stud' won the tournament and the Florida Heavyweight Championship in his first venture outside the Funking Conservatory. To quote an old friend, Adam went through the competition like a knife through 'Borden House Pie.'
The next logical step in straightening things out was for me to issue the first challenge for Adam's newly won Florida Championship. Adam seemed surprised even though he shouldn't have been. His quick temper got the best of him and he challenged me on the spot. [No chance in Hell he could take on me after having wrestled three matches]. I told him to cool down and we would settle the issue on the next show in Tampa.
Adam has a quick temper at times. It showed itself that night when I, ‘in all honesty' was the victim of a sneak attack. Windsor got my shoulders to the mat one time but he can bet his ‘candy @ss' it will never happen again.
It has been an excellent experience for Adam, winning the Florida Heavyweight Championship in his first outing as a pro. A feat that to my knowledge has never been accomplished in pro-wrestling. Adam has gained recognition beyond the Funking Conservatory as an excellent wrestler. With only three matches as a pro, he has an undefeated streak. With this in mind, is there any way "The Royal Stud" is in a class with me???
He is good, maybe the best I have coached. Keep in mind I only teach ninety percent of what I know. So, the answer to the question is: Not by any stretch of the imagination.
Prediction, Funk over Adam Windsor in seven minutes."
"In my coach Dory Funk Jr.'s last column, he commented that in the Florida Heavyweight title tournament (which I won) last month at the Tampa Armory in Florida, I went through the competition like a knife through ‘Borden House Pie.'
Yes, that night was one heck of a roller coaster ride for me. To Have Dory in my corner made winning the title in the same building that he won the NWA Heavyweight championship in 1969 even more special.
After winning the belt and going through 3 long grueling matches, Dory then told me that he wanted to issue the first challenge for the Florida heavyweight championship. Obviously wrestling Dory anytime would be a great honor, so I was ready to go then and there. Dory wanted me to recuperate but I was ready and thus rolled him up for a 2 count. This roll up had nothing to do with a quick temper, I was just ecstatic about being given the chance to wrestle the very man that has been teaching me and looking after me.
At the end of that night Dory and I stood tall together in front of all the fans at the Armory. Yes, I had rolled him up for a 2 count, and yes he did bust me with some devastating Forearm shots, but we still ended up side by side the way that things should have been.
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Adam Windsor
On September 19th at the Tampa Armory in Florida, I will have the privilege of wrestling a legend in this business. I will have the privilege of wrestling a man that could possibly take the Florida Heavyweight Championship from around my waist.
In Dory's last column he said that he only teaches his students 90% of what he knows, and that he is going to beat me in 7 minutes.
This is where I feel I must say something . . .
On September 19th I will bring all of the 90% that Dory has taught me to the ring, and I will also bring everything else that I know and have learned over the last 18 years of my life. There is no way that I am going to back down in this match. Dory may be my teacher and my best friend, but once we are in the ring, I will be doing everything that Dory has taught me. Lets just see if Dory can beat me in seven minutes, because if I can get through those first 7 minutes then fate may be on my side.
Dory is truly a legend and he is the greatest teacher in the world, but on September 19th when I face my greatest challenge yet, Dory had better be ready because The Florida Heavyweight Championship will not be moving from around my waist."
Also commenting on the situation was NWA President Howard Brody.
To read Brody's comments, please visit www.nwa-wrestling.com and click on "Notes from the President," or visit www.nwa-florida.com and click on "Commentary."
At the same time, I find that with the direction the majors are taking, I am finding it more and more difficult to maintain my interest in their weekly trials and tribulations. Title belts, for instance, have become so trivialized in both promotions as to have become, for all practical purposes, meaningless. The scattershot approach to angles and storylines taken by both the WWF and WCW is engaging my interest less and less. I just can't find any justification for sitting down for 8 to 10 hours a week and typing up descriptions of boring promos and meaningless matches.
I have therefore come to the decision to cease publication of my program reports. All of this is being covered in other places on the web, and in much greater detail then I have been able to provide for quite some time.
Solie's Vintage Wrestling is, and has always been, about the history of pro-wrestling - and so that is the direction that the newsletter will take from now on. I will continue to publish articles, historical and otherwise, interviews, and my own topical rants when I feel the urge to vent about current goings on. I will continue to present breaking news, such as title changes and other things that I think will interest my readers both here and in my weekly Solie's Wrestling Radio broadcasts.
With that said, we open this edition with a new article from Solie's Southern California correspondent, and trainer of champions, Ric Drasin.
By Ric Drasin
A decade ago there was a force known as the State Athletic Commission. They had jurisdiction over Boxing Events and Pro Wrestling Events. The commission had good points and bad points about them. It was not unlike Screen Actors Guild of today for Actors.
You had to be licensed through them in order to wrestle or you didn't work. If they were in force today, about 90% of the local wrestlers would not be working.
I'll tell you why. There were very strict rules to become a Wrestler. Like I said, you had to be licensed through the State of California, which meant you had to have a physical from a commission Dr., eye test, blood test, chest x-ray, fingerprints (police) background check and a fee of $20. Sounds pretty simple if you meet the criteria. But not only that, you also had to have a booking date and it had to be through a State of California Promoter who was licensed through the state.
A Promoter's License was even harder to get. Not only did you have a $500 fee for the license, but also you had to post a bond of ''$5000.00' and provide 2 Million dollar liability insurance, have a steady venue that was specifically made for Wrestling. Funds to insure payment to wrestlers and then a load of paper work before each show with every 'licensed' wrestler listed, ticket sales, and tickets had to be attained through a specific ticket company ok'd by the commission and numbered in sequence and counted before and after each show by a representative from the commission. I had to get a promoter's license in my wife's name so that I could wrestle. You couldn't hold two different licenses.
They would show up at every match, check your license have a Dr. on hand to check your blood pressure and health and if you didn't pass or have a license you couldn't work. The commission also collected a % of ticket sales at the end of every event for the state. Paper work had to be in their office 5 days prior to any show with all changes or you couldn't run.
If there was another promotion in town which then was not considered 'Indy' but opposition or 'outlaw promotion', the commission did everything they could to make it tough on them to run a show and scrutinized all the paper work and sometimes at the last minute wouldn't let them run.
Since Vince McMahan declared Wrestling under the terms of Entertainment he got the commission debarred in some states, Calif. being one of them. But, by doing that he also exposed the business for what it is today. Back then there was still a certain mystery about it being real or not. No one really went behind the 'Kafabe'. Even the commission was in the dark about it. Today as you know, everyone knows the 'high spots' and finishes. Too bad cause who wants to really know the secrets of wrestling or magic. It's much more fun to wonder as through a 'kid's eyes.
When I say the commission compared to the Screen Actors Guild, I meant that you just couldn't join SAG. YOU have to have a film or commercial lined up through a Producer that needs your type and sends a letter to SAG for you to join. Otherwise you can't get in. You need to be a member to work and you can't get work unless you're a member. This was how wrestling was then. It wasn't flooded with unskilled talent like today and people who claim they're wrestlers after 3 lessons.
To get a license back then you really had to know how to work and be approved by the promoter.
There was a rumor that came passed me about a month ago that the commission was going to be back in force. Now it may just be a rumor but if it comes to pass, all the old rules will apply again and you can see where that will lead. They still have a commission in many places such as Oregon and Nevada and they are very strict in those areas. Remember the State wants all it's tax money from every source. Wrestling is 'hot'. They got it before and they'll try to get it again. Especially now.
Be thankful that you can work today the way it is. But on the other hand maybe it's better that it should be limited to those who qualify.
Ric Drasin, an actor and personal trainer, created the bald bodybuilder logo for Gold's Gyms, trained Arnold Schwarzenegger for many years and played the "demi-Hulk" character on the Incredible Hulk television series. He currently runs the American Wrestling Federation training school in Southern California.
Congratulatuions are in order for Booker T, who regained the WCW World Title by defeating Kevin Nash in a cage match with a clean pinfall Sunday night at FallBrawl. While I didn't see the PPV (I had a music gig last night - rare enough for me these days), from most reports it sounded like it was uneven at best. At least this one thing was certainly done right.
I saw some comments, including one in an email to me personally, that Goldberg losing to Scott Steiner was not credible. I have to disagree. Steiner would be judged the better wrestler of the two by a long shot, and I believe they have credible parity in power. And...Steiner had a lot of help from what I heard.
I believe that WCW did the right thing in the beginning of Goldberg's career, to establish him as a legit monster via his massive win streak. I also believe that they are doing the right thing now, showing that he can be beaten in order to create something for him to strive against, and ultimately prove that his win streak was not a fluke. I have to go with WCW on this one.
On the subject of Hacksaw Duggan, I have to say that they pulled the wool over my eyes. It seemed only logical to me that the old war horse would actually hang it up at this point in his career - but hey, if it revives his heat, who am I to say him no. I say, go for it Hacksaw!
On the subject of congratulations, Solie's would also like to extend them to Stone Cold Steve Austin and Debra, who were married just last week. With the Rattlesnake getting ready to make his wrestling comeback it looks like this could be a good year indeed for him. I want to personally extend my best wishes for his full physical recovery and a happy life with his new bride.
On Nitro tonight (live from Ontario, Canada), WCW took the unprecedented step of restarting a match that was cut short at the PPV when Paul Orndorff was legitimately injured and had to be carted away. That they chose to stop the match last night may say more about the current climate in the wrestling business since the unfortunate death of Owen Hart, then it does about WCW's sensitivity to the feelings of their athletes. Still, it was probably a good idea, and certainly provided an exciting opening for tonight's program as Tigress ended up facing and defeating the remaining two members of the Natural Born Idiots to save the Tag Team Titles for her team mates. It's to bad they turned around and threw them away on one of Disco's harebrained schemes...
Mike Tenay continues to attempt to cast himself in the role of heel interviewer (without a corresponding heel turn in his ringside announcing, by the way) - he needs to find another tack 'cause this one ain't flyin'. Meanwhile, David Flair seems to be finding himself in this jilted lover going over the edge character. Speaking of characters, has Mike Awesome blossomed in WCW or what? Regardless of the silliness of his portrayal, this guy is proving he can cut a promo. I remember how they barely let him speak when he was the ECW Champion. Paul Heyman has got to be kicking himself...
Meanwhile Goldberg failed to show up tonight. The report is that he was complaining of stiffness in his back after that brutal match against Scott Steiner Sunday night.
In another departure tonight, Nitro announced one main event (Sting vs. Booker T for the World Title) then threw together a tag match at the top of the show, only to change it mid-program, then deliver a completely different match (and a far superior one, for my money) toward the end of the second hour. The denouement came when Vince Russo showed up just in time to get himself roped into a title match against Booker for next week.
Over at the competition, RAW was on the USA Network for what was announced as the last time and came to us live from Chicago, Illinois. According to Dave Meltzer, the judge in the WWF/USA lawsuit rejected the network's appeal, thus clearing the way for RAW to make the move next week. So I wonder if ECW will be on this Friday...
It was more of the same as the Angle/Helmsley/Helmsley-McMahon triangle continues to go on, and on, and on, and on, and on... They did come up with a nice twist tonight as HHH kept his cool and turned the tables on Angle with his own video package to counter the one shown by the Olympic hero moments earlier. However, you'd think Stephanie would learn by now not to lay expressions of affection on Kurt Angle when her husband is nearby...but noooooo...
So what was up with Eddie G tonight? Did he really stand by and watch while Rikishi squashed his girlfriend?
Steve Regal (calling himself Steven William Regal) finally made his re-debut on RAW tonight and had the good fortune to get to share the stage with the Millennium Bug - who interrupted Sir Steven's etiquette lesson with hilarious results. Never mind that Jericho was immediately attacked by X-Pac with nunchucks in hand...
Has anyone else noticed that Chris Benoit claims to be the best wrestler in the WWF but he never gets a chance to wrestle? He always seems to draw brawling competition like Kane and the Rock. What I wouldn't give to see Benoit in match with an actual wrestler... Benoit vs. Angle? Yep, that's the ticket...
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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