Wrestling With Sin: 78 Degrees


Brian Damage

This is the 78th installment of the ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ series. A group of stories that delves into the darker, underbelly of pro wrestling. Many of the stories involves such subjects as sex, drugs, greed and in some cases even murder! As with every single story in the Sin series…I do not condone or condemn the alleged participants. We simply retell their stories by researching interviews, newspapers, magazines and various other sources of media.

Porn to Wrestle


Otis Sistrunk was a former Pro Bowl NFL defensive lineman that played for the Oakland Raiders for 7 seasons. After his football career was over, Sistrunk trained to become a pro wrestler. He teamed with Michael PS Hayes in the Georgia territory and won the NWA National tag team titles in 1981.


Before his brief pro wrestling career, Sistrunk tried his hand at acting appearing in a few movies, one of which was a hardcore porno called ‘Babyface’ in 1977. The movie starred such porn legends as Paul Thomas, Linda Wong and John Leslie. Sistrunk played a cop and had a non sexual role in the film.

Oh Joshi Didn’t


A joshi puroresu (Japanese women wrestlers) tag team that consisted of Cuty (Cutie) Suzuki and Mayumi Ozaki were multiple time tag team champions in Japan. They were also even briefly featured on WCW’s Monday Nitro. Back in 1992, the duo posed for a pictorial in a magazine that featured nude pics as well as a “lesbian kiss.”



The tag team also did a lesbian film that was released in 2003. It is not publicly known (At least by me) if Suzuki and Ozaki are/were a couple in real life or if they just played the role so to speak. Honestly it doesn’t matter either way, but the pictures and videos must’ve been a bit salacious for the time. Much like it was when Missy Hyatt and Tammy Sytch did Wrestling Vixxxens.

Smoky Mountain Low


It all occurred in 1995 for Jim Cornette’s now defunct Smoky Mountain Wrestling Promotion. Backstage, the wife of Ricky Morton and the girlfriend of Tracy Smothers had some sort of an argument. The argument quickly escalated into a full fledged brawl between the two women.


Hair pulling, kicking, scratching, punching and high heels used as weapons all were involved. After the fight was broken up, Ricky Morton’s wife decided to press assault and battery charges against Smothers girlfriend. Jim Cornette (Who was old school and believed in handling these matters internally) pleaded with Ricky Morton not to have his wife go forward with the charges.

Despite Cornette’s pleas, Morton’s wife went ahead and pressed charges. Because Jim Cornette feared a backlash to his promotion, Cornette fired Ricky Morton from Smoky Mountain. He was rehired a little while later, right before Smoky Mountain Wrestling shut down.

The Sour Side of Being Sweet


‘Sweet and Sour’ Larry Sweeney was both a wrestler and manager for several independent promotions including Ring of Honor and Chikara. Many fans and wrestlers alike have said that Sweeney had a natural charisma and the gift of gab, something that just couldn’t be taught.


Sweeney even made a brief appearance on WWE television in 2006 in a parody segment with Randy Orton. Sweeney got to travel the country and wrestled several places around the world. In 2009, Sweeney (who suffered from Bi Polar disorder) went into a mental breakdown and called it “The worst moment of his life.” While wrestling and training in Louisiana in 2011, Larry Sweeney took his own life after he hung himself on a turnbuckle pole at a wrestling school. Sweeney was just 29 years old.



In the late Summer of 1962 in Columbus, Ohio, ‘The Nature Boy’ Buddy Rogers was scheduled to defend his NWA world heavyweight title against Johnny Barend. The match never took place because earlier that night, while Rogers was talking with promoter Al Haft, wrestlers Karl Gotch and Bill Miller assaulted Rogers.


They allegedly beat down Rogers and then took his arm and slammed it in a door breaking it. The question remained, why did Gotch and Miller attack Buddy Rogers? According to some, Karl Gotch had a longstanding issue with Rogers due to ‘the Nature Boy’ refusing to defend his NWA title against him. Many felt that Rogers feared Gotch (Who was a legitimate grappler or hooker) would shoot on Rogers during their match and take the title away from him. Something that was not uncommon with hookers back in the day.

Rogers would break kayfabe and press charges against both Gotch and Miller having them arrested for assault. Both Karl Gotch and Bill Miller were freed on $25 dollar bonds.

You can read all previous ‘Wrestling with Sin’ pieces here.


4 thoughts on “Wrestling With Sin: 78 Degrees

  1. I remember seeing Sistrunk on GCW on TV during the time when Hayes & Gordy split.Then he disappeared. Larry Sweeney was with ROH heading Sweet and Sour Enterprises and yes he did have the gift of gab.


  2. I used to correspond with Larry Sweeny on myspace pretty frequently and have a few mutual friends with him. It was such a tragedy what happened. I can only imagine if he stayed healthy he’d have gone really far.


  3. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 31 | Ring the Damn Bell

  4. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling 2016 week 31 | Ring the Damn Bell

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