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Roddy Piper Goes Alligator Hunting

By Frank Dusek

In the "Message Board" section of theWebsite someone asked me about the time I watched some wrestlers go alligator hunting. Most of what follows is true.

I was wrestling in Florida in the 1984. My regular traveling companions were "Big Nasty" Angelo Mosca, Kevin Sullivan Kevin Sullivanand a referee by the name of Bill Alfonso. On this occasion, Mosca had gone home to Canada to take care of some business. To help support the cards in Nasty’s absence, Eddie Graham brought in Rowdy Roddy Piper for a few dates.

On the way to Miami from Tampa there are literally miles and miles of canals, all filled will alligators. Piper had decided that he wanted to bag one of these gators to make himself a belt and a pair of boots. On a semi-deserted stretch of highway we sighted a potential target and pulled off the road.

Across the black water of a canal was a gator about six-feet long. Since alligator hunting is illegal, I won’t say who actually fired the shots, but it was clear that at least two hit the mark. The gator just floated there, 20 feet from where we stood. All that was left was to retrieve the trophy.

Kevin Sullivan said that he had read that pearl divers in the Pacific would slap the water to keep the sharks away while their partners dove for pearls. Sullivan said he would go into the water and slap it if Piper would retrieve the dead alligator.

Both Piper and Sullivan stripped to their tights (a lot of planning had gone into this since both wore their wrestling tights under their clothes). Sullivan entered the water to about his waist and began to slap the surface. Understand that the water in these Florida canals is as black as midnight. There’s absolutely no way to see anything more than a few inches below the surface.

Piper followed Sullivan into the water and began to wade toward the "dead" alligator. Just as Piper reached the level where he would have to stop wading and start swimming the worst of all possible things happened. The alligator moved. Not only did it move it began to swim and then disappeared under the water.

I won’t claim it was a miracle, but I did see two mortals "walk on water" that day as both Kevin Sullivan and Roddy Piper made their way, rather quickly, out of that canal.

Needless to say, Piper didn’t get the hide for his belt and boots.

Frank Dusek is a second-generation wrestler from one of the most famous wrestling families ever. He had a solid career as a wrestler and later managed several wrestlers to major titles. He also spent time as a broadcaster, promoter and matchmaker. His first memories of the wrestling business are selling programs for his father when he was 4 years old.


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1998 Wrestling Classics: Frank Dusek, Mark Nulty
1998 Design: Jan Herod
Created: November 1998