Owe it all to Wahoo McDaniel
By Frank Dusek
for Ole Anderson and Jim Barnett, my career
started in Atlanta, GA. Every Saturday we would arrive
at the old WTBS studios in downtown Atlanta by 8:00 AM,
ready to start TV at 9:00..
long enough to start to catch on, I had been wrestling
for 3-4 months, when Ole booked me on TV with Wahoo
McDaniel. I had watched and refereed many battles
between Wahoo and Johnny Valentine. Consequently
I knew what the man was capable of in the ring and I wanted
to impress him
very young boy who ever entered the ropes to face the
Chief, I came out swinging with my best "hammers" and
"chops." We basically chopped meat (the old term for all
kicking and punching with no wrestling) for about 5 minutes.
Wahoo beat me
was back and blue from the beating. Back in the dressing
room, Wahoo pulled me aside. He told me he had asked Ole
to book us again on TV. Only this time he wanted me to
do more wrestling. If I came out trading punches, as Wahoo
explained, he had to punch back and the match would be
nothing. But if I came out wrestling, then he could wrestle
too. We'd have a real match.
booked us together on Atlanta TV for four or five weeks
in a row. Each week I lost of course, but each week I
wrestled more and more. The more I wrestled, the closer
the matches became. In the last couple of matches there
wasn't a single punch or chop thrown until the big one
at the finish.
actually let me get several 2-counts on him in near pin
situations in an era when job boys never got stars' shoulders
to the mat for even a second
though, like I said, I lost every match, I looked better
every week. At the end of our mini-series I was far stronger
in the fans' minds as a wrestler than I ever was before.
I owed it all to Wahoo McDaniel.
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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