This is the 22nd installment of the ‘Wrestling with Sin’ series. A series of pieces that focuses on the darker…sometimes seedier side of pro wrestling. Some stories involve sex, drugs, assault, rape and even murder! As with every single piece in the Sin series…I do not condone nor do I condemn the alleged participants.
Paying the Piper
Pro wrestling is much different today than it was years ago. Nowadays, it isn’t uncommon for wrestling fans to know that the business is all predetermined. The fans are sort of “in” on the joke so to speak. Back in the old days…it wasn’t like that at all.
There was a time when wrestling’s biggest secrets…remained under lock and key. Fans would not only be vested into the action..but take certains circumstances very personally. In the summer of 1982, a “bad guy” named Roddy Piper was wreaking havoc in the Carolina territory. On one particular evening in Raleigh, North Carolina …after a match…a disgruntled fan named William Isom attacked Piper with a large hunting knife.
Roddy was struggling with the attacker getting multiple cuts on his hand…when he felt someone punching him on his hip. Piper mistakenly took his eyes off the attacker and was stabbed in the chest. The blade missed his heart by about an inch. The attacker was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill. As for who was the person punching him in the hip…the attacker’s young daughter.
Lucha Too Mucha
In Mexico, Lucha Libre saw two of its promising stars involved in two separate widely covered incidents. Sadly, neither had anything to do with wrestling itself. First, luchador Estrella Dorada Jr. (Gold Star Jr.) was arrested for his involvement in a kidnapping of an individual and demanding the family to pay a ransom of roughly $50,000 dollars American. He along with four other accomplices were caught and arrested in 2011.
Secondly, luchador Negro Voltaje (Black Voltage) was arrested with several other men for their involvement in bursting into a casino in Monterrey, Mexico and setting it on fire with employees and gamblers still inside. That incident killed 52 people and critically injuring 11 others.
Black Voltage’s real name was José Alberto Loera Rodríguez and aside from his wrestling career….he was believed to be a member of a powerful drug cartel called Los Zetas. It is alleged that Voltage and other members of the gang burnt the Casino Royale down to send a message to the casino’s owners. According to reports, Los Zetas demanded the casino to pay a weekly fee for protection and when the owners said no…the cartel then burned down the establishment in retaliation.
Don’t be a Hater on Dick Slater
As the story goes…as told by several different wrestlers including Jim Cornette….Dick Slater was dating valet Dark Journey back in the UWF days. The couple eventually broke up and Slater who was her traveling partner…decided to abandon her and refused to drive her to the next arena. Without a ride and fearful of being stranded in a strange town…Dark Journey asked a young Sting to drive her.
Sting agreed to drive her and when they arrived at the arena…friends of Slater reported back to him. Dick became incensed and went from the heel locker room across the hall to the babyface locker room and attacked Sting. He then proceeded to take Sting into the bathroom and put his head in the toilet and flushed several times. Lesson learned…don’t upset Dick Slater.
Less Than Perfect-Sean
Sean O’Haire seemingly had it all going for him. He had looks…talent…and an overall bright future in professional wrestling. Behind the curtain however, was an individual battling a darkness inside of him. O’Haire was arrested multiple times for assault and battery. In 2004, he was arrested after shoving a woman to the ground at a night club and when a female friend of the woman tried to intervene…she was punched and kicked in the back. O’Haire was charged on two counts of assault….but was only convicted on one of those charges.
In 2009, O’Haire was arrested again…this time for allegedly assaulting his own girlfriend in her home. According to reports, O’Haire went on a rampage throwing and breaking items in the house…he then proceeded to choke his girlfriend while calling her a bitch and a whore. O’Haire’s girlfriend told police…that this wasn’t an isolated incident with him…as he had beat her up numerous times in the past.
In 2011, it was reported that O’Haire was once again arrested for battery…but the details surrounding that arrest were never made public. In 2014, Sean was found dead in his bedroom by his father. He had apparently hung himself. O’Haire was just 43 years old.
Del Wilkes wrestling career only lasted for 9 years…with six of those years as the masked man known as the Patriot. Wilkes wrestled under the Patriot mask for the GWF, All Japan, WCW and the WWF. After various injuries and an addiction to prescription drugs…Wilkes disappeared from wrestling. The Patriot gimmick…however…never left.
That’s because a wrestler by the name of Tom Brandi continued using the gimmick in the independents. When asked why Brandi was using another wrestler’s gimmick..Brandi claimed that while both were wrestling for the WWF in the 1990’s….Del Wilkes sold the rights to the gimmick to him. Del Wilkes disputes that claim..saying that it just isn’t true. Brandi allegedly stole the gimmick once Wilkes ran into legal and personal problems that took him away from the ring.
Tom Brandi allegedly would profit from the gimmick by signing WWF pictures of the Patriot at indy shows. That is when Wilkes was the one under the mask. Despite the claims, Brandi was also believed to be booking wrestlers to play the Doink the Clown gimmick. The original Doink…Matt Borne passed away in 2013. So why after all these years did Del Wilkes suddenly have a problem with Brandi using his gimmick? Apparently, Wilkes was attempting to take bookings again and it cost Wilkes several of them because of Brandi using it.
You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
“The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith was married to the second youngest child in the famed Hart family…Diana. Together, the couple had two children…Harry and Georgia. The relationship as in any marriage…was filled with ups and downs. The problem though was their downs involved steroid and drug abuse.
The downfall of their relationship occurred in 1998….when Davey cracked a vertebrae and developed a staph infection in his back. Davey Boy became severely dependent on morphine to just get through an average day. Seeing her husband wasting away from consistent drug use…Diana took a handful of Xanax in what she called a halfhearted suicide attempt. Deep down though, she was hoping her overdose of pills would scare Davey Boy clean. It only worked temporarily…as Davey Boy continued abusing steroids and perhaps other controlled substances. He died in 2002 at the age of 39.