Feature: Steve Anderson on Those Wacky Rasslin’ Promoters


A friend of mine in the wrestling business once told me that he wanted to be a promoter of local shows.

I told him to set his standards higher.

While Mr. Behrens continues to out non-paying, pseudo â<80><9c>P.T. Barnums,â<80> I will share a couple of anecdotes that tell of less-than-honest individuals who ran wrestling shows. Yeah, maybe Iâ<80><99>m beating a dead horse, but if that dead horse stiffed a wrestler, beat on it I will.

So to speak.

The names have been removed to protect the non-innocent.

My first whiff of a scurrilous wrestling promoter was early on in my â<80><9c>careerâ<80> as a hanger-on. I wanted to have a task so badly, that said promoter told me I could sell tickets at the door as people came in. I jumped at the chance. Oh, the glory.

One caveat, the promoter wanted me to set aside the larger bills for security reasons. Do you see where this is going?

So people began filing in, paying their hard-earned money to attend the show. Occasionally, there would be twenties and fifties involved in the transactions. Like a good soldier, I tucked them away inside the cash box, out of sight of any potential thieves. Every so often, the promoter would walk by and ask for those larger bills, again for security reasons. I complied.

The house was good, according to my estimates. However, when payoff time came, the promoter sang the blues about how the money just wasnâ<80><99>t there. The house was bad. There were a lot of comps for friends and family. Some people snuck past the gate. And so on and so on. He said all this with a pocket stuffed with twenties and fifties while paying the boys in ones, fives and tens. I would not be surprised if there were change in those envelopes too.

A retired AWA star was running showsâ<80>¦badly. In fact, he made his own trailer with a painted on logo. The problem was that his company name was too long so it emblazoned the upper part of the trailer and then trailed down the side.

As an aside, this is a guy who showed up late for a show and entered a side door to the arena, taking all the attention away from the match. He immediately set up the ever-popular â<80><9c>gimmick table,â<80> which consisted of non-commercial dubbed/pirated videotapes and Xeroxed pictures of him and Hulk Hogan. Actually, the Hulkster was the prominent one in the pics with pinhead sticking his head over his shoulder while off in the distance.

Anyway, so former AWA guy is ready to provide the payoffs for the night. The late â<80><9c>Lethalâ<80> Larry Cameron wanted his money. Larry was bigâ<80>¦not fatâ<80>¦but huge and legit tough. Promoter tells Larry that the house was not as good, so he wouldnâ<80><99>t be able to pay his full payoff. Larry took issue. Said promoter stood up and removed his glasses, looking at Larry eye-to-chest. This diminutive idiot either thought he could either intimidate Larry or take him on. Sensing impending death, Baron Von Raschke stood up and held the two apart, imploring them to not engage in fisticuffs. Not that he didnâ<80><99>t want to see an a$$-kicking. He was merely saving a life.

To be continuedâ<80>¦obviously.

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