This is the 105th 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.
In 1974, Ron ‘The Mighty Zulu’ Pope wrestled ‘Cowboy’ Frankie Laine on the under card of a show in Canton, Ohio. After the match, the two wrestlers were in the showers when according to Laine, Pope asked him for a ride to the next show. Laine told Pope no that he couldn’t do it and the two began arguing. It became so heated that Laine turned his back to Pope. That is when Ron Pope grabbed an iron pipe and allegedly hit Laine over the head with it.
The blow knocked Laine unconscious and he suffered a fractured skull. Laine was hospitalized for 17 days, while Pope had a warrant issued out for his arrest. As far as anybody knows, Pope was never arrested for the assault, because he never returned to Ohio to wrestle again. Some have speculated that incident was perhaps induced by “roid rage” at the hands of Ron Pope.
On January 5th, 2012, a report came in that there was a car fire in a cemetery in Mobile, Alabama. After firefighters extinguished the vehicle, they made a gruesome discovery of a body inside of it. The body was that of a 31-year-old man named Michael Jerome Adkins. The autopsy showed Adkins had been stabbed over 35 times before being set on fire.
The main suspect turned out to be an independent pro wrestler named Carley Joseph Lonnie Capps. He was a regular on the Alabama indie scene as ‘The Trooper’ CJ Shooter. Capps had left the state and was found and arrested in Missouri 3 years later.
As of this writing, Capps is awaiting extradition to go back to Alabama to stand trial. The judge in this case refused to set bail. Before this arrest, Capps had only one prior arrest and that was for possession of marijuana in 2011.
During the early 1970’s a bitter real life feud developed between Tennessee promoters Nick Gulas and John Cazana. For reasons unknown, the two did not get along and their personal issues trickled down to the wrestlers who worked for both Gulas and Cazana. One wrestler, in particular, was named Jack Donovan. Donavan worked for both promoters and did well for each of them.
The story goes, Gulas wanted Jack Donovan to screw over Cazana’s promotion and Donovan refused seeing how well he was treated by Cazana. So, in an apparent act of revenge for Donovan’s refusal, Gulas “ordered” an ambush on Donovan at a TV taping by Gulas loyalists Jerry Jarrett, Jackie Fargo and Tojo Yamamoto. Fargo and Jarrett held Donovan down while Yamamoto used one of his gimmicked wooden shoes as a weapon and repeatedly hit Donovan over the head with it.
Donovan was left legitimately bloodied and battered by that territory’s top babyfaces. If Donovan had gone public with the assault, it would have surely ruined Gulas’ promotion. Donovan, however, didn’t squeal on his fellow wrestlers, nor did he press charges feeling that if he did, he himself would be blackballed from pro wrestling.
Former WWE “Diva” AJ Lee was trained by current Ring of Honor star Jay Lethal. The two would fall in love and begin dating in 2007 and would eventually get engaged. That is where this ‘love story’ takes a turn for the worse. AJ Lee would sign with the WWE after getting a tryout with the company.
While employed early on with the WWE, it was heavily rumored that Lee would fall for fellow WWE wrestler Trent Baretta. The two would begin seeing each other and thus, Lee would split from her mentor Jay Lethal. Lee and Baretta would remain an item for a while until it is alleged that a woman who Baretta was seeing on the side sent some nasty Tweets to AJ.
The couple would split in 2012 and Baretta ended up being released from the company. While his release and their break up might have been coincidental, Baretta did re-tweet a comment made by friend and fellow former WWE developmental wrestler Briley Pierce aka Dolph Ziggler’s real life little brother.
The tweet read: Remember on The Office when the little nerdy intern nobody liked somehow got a promotion and then he instantly went on a huge power trip?
He Came, He Hacksaw, He Kicked his Ass
‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan was wrestling in the Georgia territory in 1981 when he met a woman named Gail. The two would begin messing around despite the fact that Gail was engaged dating another man. The man found out that his girlfriend was screwing around with Duggan and became jealous. He first broke into Duggan’s apartment and stole his handgun, leading Duggan to buy another gun for protection.
On Thanksgiving, Duggan went to Gail’s home to spend the holiday with her and her family. When the night ended, Duggan found all four of his tires slashed on his brand-new Trans Am. Jim Duggan finally snapped and found out that her boyfriend was at a bar in the area. Duggan took his friend Terry ‘Bam Bam’ Gordy with him as backup just in case.
Duggan waited for the boyfriend to get up and go to the bathroom. When he followed him inside, the two began to fight, that is when Duggan began pummeling the boyfriend into a bloody mess. Gordy had to step in and break it up before Duggan did any serious damage. The boyfriend was hospitalized and pressed charges against BOTH Duggan and Gordy. The two would surrender to police, be jailed and released on bond.
You can read all previous ‘Wrestling with Sin’ pieces here.