This is the 97th installment of the ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ series. A group of stories that delves into the darker, underbelly of pro wrestling. Many of the stories involve 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.
A Rocky Relationship
Pro wrestler Rocky Johnson and, the daughter of wrestler ‘High Chief’ Peter Maivia, Ata Maivia were married for over 25 years. In that time, Rocky and Ata had a child Dwayne aka wrestler/turned actor ‘The Rock.’ The marriage was a very turbulent one as Rocky carried on several affairs while traveling the road.
It was alleged that Rocky had one affair that lasted for nearly as long as his marriage to Ata with a woman by the name of Luan Crable. A 15-year-old Dwayne Johnson found out about the affair and allegedly stole one of Crable’s credit cards and fraudulently charged over $3,000 on it. Ata became so depressed and upset over Rocky’s infidelities that she attempted suicide.
According to the Rock, his parents had a huge verbal fight over Rocky’s mistresses that caused Ata to get out of the car she was in with Johnson and walked into oncoming traffic. It was her teenage son Dwayne who helped pull her off the road and to safety.
There was also an incident where Rocky slept with a 19-year-old girl from one of his stops in the Tennessee territory. Rocky was arrested on an allegation of rape but those charges were eventually dismissed. Rocky and Ata finally divorced in 2008.
Not So Wonderful Family
In August of 2013, both the son and granddaughter of wrestler ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff were arrested. It was alleged that his granddaughter Brooke Orndorff got into a fight with a family friend when Brooke assaulted the unnamed male individual. Brooke’s father Paul Orndorff Jr. threatened the male not to get up and fight back or he would physically harm the victim. Paul Jr’s supposed girlfriend then stole the victim’s wallet before the victim drove off.
The victim allegedly suffered two facial fractures and several cuts and bruises. Paul Orndorff Jr. took the victim’s credit cards and used them twice. Brooke was charged with battery and robbery while her father Paul Jr. was charged with robbery, party to the crime of battery and two counts of financial identity fraud.
No Tank You
Tank Morgan was a pro wrestler who competed in several territories during the 1960’s and 70’s. One of the highlights of his career was challenging then WWWF champion Bruno Sammartino in a 2 out of 3 falls match for the world title in the late 1960’s.
After his retirement, Tank resided in the Las Vegas, Nevada area. In 1991, while walking his dog, Tank became a victim of mistaken identity. A car pulled up beside him and began firing shots, striking Morgan several times and killing him.
James Tupuola Aiono aka ‘The Volcano Kid’ was a wrestler of Samoan descent who competed briefly in the WWF as well as the independent circuit. Aiono battled depression in his later years and on December 5th, 2015 committed suicide. While it was not made public how he ended his own life, Aiono died in Utah and was laid to rest in Hawaii. The Volcano Kid was just 51 years old.
Dangerously Too Close
During the 1980’s, while competing for Continental Wrestling Federation based in Alabama, a young, skinny and brash photographer/reporter for Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine approached Stan Hansen. The young reporter began asking Hansen questions about his relationship with Verne Gagne. Not recognizing who the reporter was and simply not caring, Hansen politely asked the reporter to leave.
The reporter, however, did not heed the request and that angered Hansen to the point of him standing up and yelling at the kid and cursing him out. The reporter fearing for his well-being began to leave the dressing room. However, Hansen felt the kid wasn’t moving fast enough and picked up a steel folding chair and hurled it at the young man. In utter fear for his life, the reporter ran away and did not return.
That young reporter turned out to be future manager/advocate/promoter Paul Heyman.
You can read all previous ‘Wrestling with Sin’ pieces here.