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Owe it all to Wahoo McDaniel

By Frank Dusek

Working 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..

Just 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

Like 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

I 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.

Ole 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.

Wahoo 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

Even 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.

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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1999 Content: Frank Dusek, Mark Nulty
1999 Design: Jan Herod
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