This is the 24th installment of the ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ series. It is a series of pieces that deal with all the behind the scenes antics of wrestlers, managers, promoters etc…Many of these stories take on a darker, sometimes seedier side. Some stories involve sex, drugs, fights, arrests and even murder. As with every piece in the Sin series…I do not condone nor do I condemn the alleged participants.
Extreme Tempers Rising
In the history of professional wrestling, there has been a number of shady, underhanded promoters. The promoter of the ill fated ‘Extreme Rising’ promotion based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was apparently no different. His name is Steve ‘Mr. Miami’ O’Neill. According to several wrestlers who have worked for O’Neill and Extreme Rising…O’Neill ran what seems like money scheme disguised as a wrestling promotion.
O’Neill would book wrestlers for his shows…only to either cancel their bookings at the last minute, underpay the talent or not pay them at all. In many cases, O’Neill would allegedly advertise an Extreme Rising show and cancel it at the last minute…seemingly bilking thousands of dollars from wrestlers and fans. Former Extreme Rising wrestlers like Axl Rotten have publicly denounced O’Neill’s unscrupulous actions.
Axl Rotten said, “I can honestly say I’ve been fired by the best. That being Vince McMahon Ted Turner and Paul Heyman. I also can say I’ve been beguiled by the worst, Steve O’Neill.”
O’Neill virtually disappeared and cut off all communications with his staff, wrestlers and fans…leaving many out of money for their hard work and or support. Recently, however, Steve O’Neill re-emerged in a production capacity for a friend’s wrestling company called ‘Stonecutter wrestling.’
Jaynie Mae Baker once had high aspirations to make it in the WWE. In 2004, Baker auditioned and made the initial cut in the 2004 WWE Diva search contest. She made it as a semi finalist before getting eliminated with the eventual winner being Christy Hemme. This isn’t where Baker’s story ends…however…..but where it truly begins.
In 2012, Baker was arrested for her involvement in a multimillion dollar prostitution ring based out of New York City. Baker had allegedly negotiated a girl on girl sex session with an undercover cop. As it turned out, Baker was not only a high priced call girl who charged clients $1,000 per hour…but was also allegedly a match maker who brokered deals for other high end prostitutes.
Jaynie Mae Baker would go on to enter a guilty plea and help prosecutors by giving information about the NYC brothel and its alleged Madam…Anna Gristina. In return for her cooperation, Baker was only charged with a misdemeanor and was set free. Baker has since resurfaced recently doing stand up comedy in New York.
Down in the Dumps
Duke “The Dumpster” Droese was a wrestler who competed in the WWF during a time when cartoonish characters were all the rage. He portrayed a sort of wrestling garbage man during the late 80’s to early 90’s. In 2013, Droese was arrested in Tennessee for selling prescription drugs not once but twice…to an undercover officer. At the time of the arrest…Droese was working as a teacher.
Many readers of the old “Apter mags” like Pro Wrestling Illustrated and others will remember a female wrestler who frequented its pages through the years….Misty Blue Simmes. She was a former female boxer who was trained by the late Walter “Killer” Kowalski. The same wrestler/trainer who trained the likes of Triple H and Perry Saturn.
Misty competed in places like the AWA, WCW, Puerto Rico and the LPWA. She even had a brief feud with manager Jim Cornette in the NWA. Before her debut as a professional wrestler in 1985…Misty along with future pro wrestlers Kat Laroux and Linda Dallas (Who would later form a tag team called The Nasty Girls)…did both softcore and hardcore porn movies.
One film in particular was called…”Alley Cats: The Saga of the Raging Cow” and starred hardcore porn legend Ron Jeremy. One anonymous indie promoter from the northeast believes their involvement in porn before their wrestling careers…perhaps had them blacklisted from ever wrestling for Vince McMahon and the WWF.
Have a Rockin’ Birthday
Former AWA interviewer…the late Larry Nelson…relayed a story about a rather interesting day that transpired while doing an AWA TV taping. As Larry Nelson tells it, it was Shawn Michaels birthday and his then Midnight Rockers tag team partner Marty Jannetty decided to get him a very “special” birthday gift. Jannetty hired a prostitute to come down to the studios where they were taping and “greet” the birthday boy Shawn Michaels.
During an interview segment with the Midnight Rockers….this woman went down on Michaels as he was talking. It took everything for Jannetty and Larry Nelson to keep a straight face during the interview…let alone Michaels.
Speaking of AWA interviewer Larry Nelson, he was anything but an innocent bystander in all the behind the scenes hi jinx. By his own admission, Nelson was heavily using cocaine and alcohol during his wrestling days. He would often coax other wrestlers to skinny dip with him in the pool with many female fans. His days in the AWA ended when he was arrested for a DUI and when Verne Gagne confronted him about the arrest…simply quit the promotion and left.
When asked why he and so many of his peers were into drugs and alcohol…Nelson responded by saying that pro wrestling was like a different reality. There was the wrestling world and then there was the outside world. The AWA might have been old fashioned inside the ring…but anything but…outside of it.