This is the 58th installment of the ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ series. A group of stories that looks at the darker, sometimes more sinister side of pro wrestling. Many of these stories involve sex, greed, drugs and in some cases….even murder! As with every piece in the Sin series…we never condone or condemn the actions of the alleged involved.
Maeda in Japan
One of the most controversial individuals in Japanese pro wrestling history is Akira Maeda. Maeda, who was of Korean descent, was not only a professional wrestler…but also an MMA fighter. Maeda has found himself on the wrong side of the law several times during his career. Mostly for assault and violent threats made to other individuals.
Akira Maeda has attacked promoters, wrestlers and writers who he felt slighted or disrespected him in any way. He was most notably involved in a wrestling match turned shoot against Andre the Giant and also “sucker kicked” Riki Choshu in the face breaking Choshu’s orbital bone. There has been speculation in some circles that Maeda has some connections within the Yakuza (The Japanese Mafia) as well.
Maeda attacked an editor of a fighting magazine for being critical of one of Maeda’s MMA organizations. He followed the editor into a bathroom and attacked him. He also was sued for assault and lost a case where he allegedly attacked the chairman of Pancrase and was arrested for threatening to kill another MMA executive.
3 Wrestlers Walk into a Bar…
In October of 1961, 3 local Tennessee territory based wrestlers…Joe Costello, J.B. Garrett and Richard Demondreun walked into a Nashville, Tennessee bar called the Snack Bar. During the course of the night…the three wrestlers got into a verbal argument with the bartender. Feeling threatened, the bartender took out a gun and shot all three wrestlers.
Costello who was badly injured, got into a cab and asked to be taken to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The other two wrestlers who competed as a team known as The Mighty Yankees survived their wounds. The bartender was arrested and charged with murder. He plead self defense and in March of 1962…the bartender was acquitted of the murder charges. Joe Costello was only 30 years old when he died.
All “Gail” Kim
Former WWE Woman’s Champion and current TNA Knockout Gail Kim posed nude for a Korean Cell Phone company back in 2005. Asked why she did the numerous nude photos, Kim said she had to be talked into it. She ultimately decided to do the nude layout, because the company also did various other nude layouts of various Korean celebrities.
Now You Sivi…Now You Don’t
Sivi Afi was a Samoan born pro wrestler who spent time in the WWF as enhancement talent. After leaving the WWF, Afi wrestled all over the world including places like England and New Zealand. After his career ended, Sivi Afi turned to a life of drugs and crime. He was allegedly the getaway driver in a robbery and because of his past history of arrests involving drugs…was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Some of his family claimed the judge who sentenced him was a racist against Polynesians. Afi managed to turn to God while in jail and has written several books as well as become a minister preaching the word of God. Sivi Afi has since been released from prison.
Have A Few Drinks And Stay Lou-se!
In 2008, during wrestling legend Captain Lou Albano’s 75th birthday party at La Lanterna restaurant in Yonkers, New York….former ECW star The Sandman got drunk. That of course, is not the story…the story is what happened after Sandman got drunk. During the evening, Sandman began getting loud and belligerent with several of the staff at the restaurant. He allegedly got into a physical altercation with the restaurant’s owner and started throwing glasses at the employees.
The cops were eventually called and when they arrived…Sandman threw objects at them as well. Not only that, but Sandman resisted arrest and the SWAT team were called in to restore order. Sandman was charged with resisting arrest, criminal mischief and assault. He plead guilty and was fined $1,000 dollars plus court costs and given a one year conditional discharge. He was also slapped with a restraining order against the restaurant’s owner and barred from ever setting foot at the restaurant again.
You can read all previous ‘Wrestling with Sin’ pieces here.