This is an excerpt from the book, Brisco - the Life and Times of National Collegiate and World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Jack Brisco. You can get your personally autographed copy in the WrestlingClassics.com Video Store.
For many years, ever since the birth of the video taping technology, nearly every title change has been filmed. This was not only for the champion but to send to promoters world wide to promote any upcoming title defenses in their territory. Buddy Rogers' win over O'Connor in 1961 was filmed, Dory's victory over Kiniski was filmed; even Harley's upset of Junior was filmed.
wasn't. I have always believed that Dory, Sr., saw to that. He may not have been
able to stop me from eventually getting the title, but he sure as hell was
going to make sure I wouldn't have a video record of it. One might think that
with Paul Boesch in charge of the booking that night, he could have arranged for
my match to be taped. He may have wanted to; I don't know.... but no matter what
the case, Dory Sr.'s, power and influence in the NWA trumped whatever thoughts
Boesch may have had.
there was one more bit of icing on the cake for me that night. My old
"friend" Billy "Red" Lyons was in the opening match that
night. Billy, as you may recall, was the one who talked Fritz out of putting the
Texas title on me years before. He was the one who predicted that I would
probably wash out of professional wrestling and if I didn't, I wouldn't amount
to much anyway. So there I was, the new world champion and there he was in the
"curtain jerker" match. I am not one to gloat and I didn't that
night as much as I would have liked.
a title changed hands back then, only a select few were in on it. Only the
participants, the referee and some promoters knew. None of the boys were let in
at all. Billy didn't know, he may not have stayed around if he had. When I got
back in the dressing room, there he was sitting in the corner getting ready to
leave. I walked over to him wearing the belt and didn't say a word. He wouldn't
look at me. He looked at the floor, to the right or left of where I was
standing. There was no eye contact, no congratulations, only silence. Nothing
had to be said. The belt spoke for itself.
Eddie Graham had flown in
for the match and to take me out to dinner afterward. He had weathered the
political storm with me, and for me, on my way to the title. I don't think I
ever would have gotten close to the title if it hadn't been for his lobbying and
advocacy on my behalf, along with some of the other promoters he convinced to go
along with him. To a large degree, my title victory was due to Eddie. So we went
out and celebrated. Eddie didn't always buy but he did that night. We had steak
and all the trimmings; since he was buying I wanted the best.
the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Post ran a fairly long press release on
the match the next morning. It was the third time that the world heavyweight
championship changed hands in Houston. In 1939, Lou lost the belt to
All-American and All-Pro football star from Minnesota, Bronko Nagurski, and in
1942 Bobby Managoff took the title from Canada's Yvon Robert. The story reported
on my amateur career and gave a fall by fall account of the match. They also
detailed the ceremony presenting the new $10,000 belt that was specially crafted
for the NWA champion.
wouldn't let the belt out of my sight but I knew there was work to be done, so
after dinner I caught the red eye from Houston to Atlanta. I took off at two
a.m., which was three a.m. back in Atlanta. I had to take that flight back to
Atlanta at that awful hour because I had to be at a television taping at ten in
the time the plane touched down and I collected my luggage it was four-thirty in
the morning. My thoughts had moved from the title to just getting a few hours
sleep before I had to wrestle again. I was living
in a condo I had purchased in Decatur located on the opposite side of town from
the airport. When I was a block from home, an Atlanta police officer pulled in
behind me with his blue lights flashing and siren blaring. I pulled over to the
side of the road and waited for the officer to get out of his car. He asked me
what I was doing out at that time in the morning. I started to explain to him
the best that I could, trying to collect all my thoughts after the night I had
and not having slept for the better part of two days. I managed to tell him that
I had just got back from Houston and I was on my way home.
the time he was talking to me he kept shining his flashlight in my car. The beam
fell on the case, which held the championship belt that was next to me on the
front seat. He must have thought it looked like a case gangsters would keep
their guns in.
that?" he asked. I told him I was a professional wrestler and I had just
won the world heavyweight championship in Houston and the case contained the
belt. I don't think he believed me because he asked me to open it up, slowly.
His hand moved toward his gun, instinctively, I am sure. I slowly opened the
case, thinking, "I have got to get to bed, this can't be happening”
matter what I had been saying, I still think he had convinced himself I had a
gun or some drugs in the case. When I opened it and his light shone on the gold
of the belt his eyes almost popped out of his head.
my God, can I touch it?" he asked.
go ahead," I answered. The belt was brand new and with all ten pounds of
gold shinning on that red velvet strap, it was a gorgeous thing in that case. It
took away his breath. His entire tone changed and we stood outside my car and
talked for about thirty minutes. He kept saying he just couldn't believe he
was talking to the new world champion.
guess the best thing was that he didn't give me a ticket. As I was getting
back in my car he asked me where I lived. I told him just a block or so up the
road and he asked if I would like him to follow me home.
Click here to get your personally autographed copy of Brisco.
Brisco stars in Ringside Retribution on iN DEMAND Pay Per View in April.
Click here for information about Ringside Retribution.