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Geekboy
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2004
2275 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
I knew all those guys. I’ve got stories you wouldn’t believe. I worked at the television station in Shreveport that recorded all things Mid-South Wrestling.
Used to bet college football games with Dick Murdoch. Know Bill Watts quite well. Haven’t talked to him in years.
When I started we filmed the matches in the television studio then we moved to Irish McNeils at the Fairgrounds.
Knew Paul Orndorff, Ernie Ladd, Junkyard Dog, Ted Dibiase, Jim Duggan, Skandar Akbar (we called him Scandal At The Snackbar) Andre The Giant when he came through briefly. Was pretty good buds with Dr. Death Steve Williams.
The irony was that almost all the ‘bad guys’ (heels) were really good guys irl. And the ‘good guys’ (baby faces) tended to be arrogant.
I found Grizzly Smith to be a really nice guy. He was retired but was an assistant to Watts when I met him. This was all going on when I started work there in 1973.
Some very interesting years for sure.


bgtiger
LSU Fan
Prairieville
Member since Dec 2004
9065 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
quote:

I also remember opening a door at the Belmont and Sam Houston was standing there, smoking a huge blunt


I will never forget seeing the same exact thing at the Belmont. I knew these guys weren’t angels, but it did shock me a little bit.
This post was edited on 6/7 at 9:49 am


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Chief Hinge
New Orleans Saints Fan
There and Here
Member since Sep 2018
1566 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
quote:

I’ve got stories you wouldn’t believe


Do tell


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40
pioneerbasketball
Arkansas Fan
Team Bunchie
Member since Oct 2005
106471 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
quote:

I’ve got stories you wouldn’t believe.

We are waiting


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DemonKA3268
LSU Fan
Parts Unknown
Member since Oct 2015
15098 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
quote:

This was all going on when I started work there in 1973.


Damn, how old are you?


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Hoodie
Donaldsonville, LA
Member since Dec 2019
1276 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
quote:

I knew all those guys. I’ve got stories you wouldn’t believe.


Let's hear 'em, brother. Like others here, I'm a big fan of Mid-South Wrestling going as far back as 1981. Those wrestlers were nothing short of gods to those of us who grew-up in South Louisiana and followed that territory...

I listen to the Mid-South Wrestling Television Review podcast, regularly. The hosts often discuss a fellow who sat opposite the main camera for months at shows in the early 1980s. He was an older gentleman who wore a cowboy hat and smoked cigarettes during the matches. Can you shed any light on his identity?


Cajunhawk81
Member since Jan 2021
90 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
Sweet Jesus, the youngest brother calling himself the lucky one for being given up for adoption. That's one messed up family.


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Maximus
Florida A&M Fan
Member since Feb 2004
79416 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
quote:

I listen to the Mid-South Wrestling Television Review podcast, regularly. The hosts often discuss a fellow who sat opposite the main camera for months at shows in the early 1980s. He was an older gentleman who wore a cowboy hat and smoked cigarettes during the matches


Is that all they said about him?


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Geekboy
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2004
2275 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
quote:

Can you shed any light on his identity?

Sorry, don’t recall him. That must have been at Irish McNeils.
One quick story. When we were filming the matches at the television studio every couple of months some young tough guy would come and ask Watts if he could try out and start a career at Mid South.

After the taping of the matches everyone had to clear out of the studio. Even us cameramen couldn’t be in there but we would watch from the upstairs taping studio.
Watts would throw these young upstarts in the ring with Danny Hodge. Believe me when I tell you. Within 3 minutes the youngster would be screaming and begging to be let out of the ring. Nobody ever qualified and nobody ever tried to come back for another try out.

Danny Hodge wasn’t big at all but he had vice grip hands. If he got a hold of you you weren’t getting out. NOBODY……NOBODY would frick with Danny Hodge. He was the baddest arse of every single one of those wrestlers there ever was.


pioneerbasketball
Arkansas Fan
Team Bunchie
Member since Oct 2005
106471 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
Stretched him out....


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USA
Member since 2001
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lsucoonass
USA Fan
shreveport and east texas
Member since Nov 2003
66790 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
Watts was the promoter owner and did book. Dundee Grizzly and Ernie Ladd were all bookers and/or agents


lsucoonass
USA Fan
shreveport and east texas
Member since Nov 2003
66790 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
Basically grizzly would report to watts about which wrestlers were late, conduct, etc

He also knew the ring rats for all the towns
This post was edited on 6/8 at 4:24 am


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Tigerpride18
LSU Fan
Bossier City/Benton louisiana
Member since Sep 2017
12024 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
Lol my pops used to workout at gold's gym in bossier city louisiana ,I think it was golds, with junkyard dog. Hes supposedly a really nice dude and strong as shit


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lsucoonass
USA Fan
shreveport and east texas
Member since Nov 2003
66790 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
Correct

Hodge also tore ole Anderson a new one as well.

I think he had double the tendons/ligaments which is why he could still crush an apple with his hand at age 80 or punching the window out of his car while underwater in 1976 then swimming to get back on land


Dissident Aggressor
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2011
1909 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
quote:

. I recall Grizzly making a number of appearances on Mid-South Wrestling as its match-maker during its heyday.


saw him and all the others at St Bernard Civic Auditorium in early-mid 70s


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moontigr
Georgetown Fan
Moon, PA
Member since Nov 2020
433 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
There were gatekeepers like that pretty much in every territory — Dan Hodge, Gene Anderson, etc. They would invite wanna-be wrestlers into the ring and then “stretch” them until they were begging for mercy. If the guy showed up again the next day, they knew he could make it. Even to this day, in order to be successful you have to be a machine, able to handle all of the travel, wear and tear, lack of sleep and recuperation time, and still be able to perform at a high level.

I worked with JYD briefly in Houma, not long before he passed. He was a nice enough guy, but had serious long-term substance abuse issues, namely crack. He was also the only wrestler I knew who pimped himself out to women and actually made them PAY HIM for sex. I remember one story where he wanted to buy some drugs that cost $100 and he invited a girl to his room. After she left, another wrestler came to the room and saw there was only $50 on the nightstand. JYD said, “Don’t worry, I got another one coming in a few minutes.”

I also remember walking into the bathroom at the Belmont and Kamala was in there putting on his paint, talking with Skandor Akbar and Taras Bulba. They paid me no attention and I went and took a piss but they were talking the whole time and I couldn’t believe it, Kamala was talking perfect English. At the time I was still convinced that Kamala really was a wild man from Uganda. When I went out and told some fans who were sitting near me what I saw, one older gentleman said, “Nah, he’s a big country boy from Mississippi.” I was in shock
This post was edited on 6/8 at 1:12 pm


Jack Ruby
Memphis Fan
Member since Apr 2014
14070 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
quote:

Danny Hodge


One of the most legit badasses to ever walk the earth.

- 3 time NCAA wrestling champ (would have been 4 but freshman couldn't compete back then)

- Never was even taken down in college and obviously never lost a match

- Olympic Silver Medalist who lost gold because he essentially pinned himself on a suplex where his shoulders hit the mat.

- Took up boxing after the Olympics with no prior training in the sport and went undefeated as an amateur and 8-2 as a pro.

- Born with double tendons in his hands so his grip strength was literally superhuman.

There are tough guys like Harley Race and Ron Simmons and Meng, etc., who no one would frick with anyway, and then there were guys like Lou Thesz, Danny Hodge, and Karl Gotch who were legitemetly some of best freestyle and catch wrestlers of all time, and all around total killers who would likely be UFC champion types had they competed today.

Those guys were just simply on another level. When I hear those old Danny Hodge stories, I try to think of who he's be comparable to today, and the only guy that comes to mind is someone like Khabib, but with more physical gifts because of his grip.

In other words, there probably wasn't anyone on the planet who could best Hodge.


moontigr
Georgetown Fan
Moon, PA
Member since Nov 2020
433 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
quote:

punching the window out of his car while underwater in 1976 then swimming to get back on land



...with a broken neck


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Geekboy
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2004
2275 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
quote:

One of the most legit badasses to ever walk the earth.

And a soft spoken very nice guy.


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moontigr
Georgetown Fan
Moon, PA
Member since Nov 2020
433 posts

re: Dark Side Of The Ring: In The Shadow Of Grizzly Smith
Here’s a story Dutch Mantell tells about how Ernie Ladd (who didn’t do jobs when cameras were present) was confronted by the Brisco Brothers (who were legit shooters) who were sent to rough him up after he refused to do a job for Rocky Johnson, after he noticed a camera filming.

LINK


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