By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
On starting out as a pro wrestling trainer: “I bought a gym right downtown in Minneapolis. We had a ring in there and everything. Then we had a few of the boys realize I owned the gym and they asked me to train them (for pro wrestling). The first two guys that came in and wanted me to train them were Jesse Ventura and Bob Backlund.”
Meeting the Road Warriors: “Well, I worked at a place called Gramma B’s, a really tough place in Minnesota and I noticed a few of the bouncers. They were big, they looked great, well I don’t need to tell anyone they looked great, everyone knows they did, but I saw something in them. That was Hawk, Animal, and Rick Rude. None of them had any money, but I agreed to train them. The only one who really had money was Hawk, but that was ok. I called Ole Anderson and told them about the guys, and the rest was history, I knew they would make it. I ended up after that class with the Road Warriors to start charging the students about $3,000 to come and train at my school. I never made so much money in my life, it was a great time for me, thanks to those guys. Stayed in business a very long time because of that, a wrestler, a referee, a trainer, a promoter, everything, you name it.”
His resume: “Well, I did have the best resume of any wrestling trainer for a long time, up until Vince McMahon started to open up schools and train his guys. I’ve trained so many great wrestlers, I couldn’t even name them all anymore. It wasn’t me, I was just at the right place at the right time. I don’t think I was a great trainer or anything, I just got lucky that’s all. That’s really life though too, you just get lucky sometimes.”
His relationship with Harley Race: “Harley was such a nice guy, fun guy, nice guy to be around. Just a great guy. Of course, he was a great worker too. He was a really tough guy too, and a bit of a street fighter. He was always getting into bar fights and winning. He was a great heel and he stayed that way away from the ring, that’s pretty much his real life, what you saw of him in the ring. No bologna there with him, he was that tough. He actually lived with me for awhile and paid rent to me, about $20 a week back in the 1960’s.”
Other topics include his run in AWA, Verne Gagne, becoming a trainer, finding the Road Warriors, Rick Rude, living with Harley Race, Danny Hodge, and more.
You can listen to other shows apart of the TMPT Empire including Shane Douglas’ Triple Threat Podcast, Taking You to School with Dr. Tom Prichard, Talking Tough with Rick Bassman, Taskmaster Talks with Kevin Sullivan, Pro Wrestling 101 with Justin Credible and the University of Dutch with Dutch Mantell.