This is the 111th 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.
In 1999, the then World Wrestling Federation decided to expand their brand by opening up a restaurant called WWF New York in Times Square in New York City. The wrestling-themed restaurant was a marginal success at best…so the WWF decided to turn the restaurant into a night club after hours called ‘the World’ to try and muster up more revenue. In 2001, while the restaurant was going through renovations, its manager Kenton Jenkins was allegedly embezzling money from the WWF. He was signing checks over to a construction company called CSG construction. In reality, the checks would go into an account controlled by the restaurant manager.
These transactions would go on for over 9 months. In the meantime, the Kenton Jenkins bought a boat worth over $160,000 and paid off the mortgage on his house. WWF accountants noticed that certain renovations weren’t being done so they investigated CSG construction and discovered it didn’t exist. The trail would lead them directly to the Jenkins who in total allegedly embezzled $437,000. The irony is, two months before the discovery, the Jenkins was fired as manager due to the restaurant not living up to expectations. The Kenton Jenkins was arrested and charged with four counts of grand larceny. Led in part by the scandal, the WWF decided to shut down the Times Square eatery three months later.
A Starla is Born
Malia Hosaka is a veteran wrestler of close to 30 years. While she was competing in WCW, a young, hungry wrestler named Nora Greenwald was looking to break into the company. She approached Hosaka and allegedly begged and pleaded for Hosaka to use her vast connections to get her foot in WCW’s door. According to Hosaka herself, Greenwald was broke and couldn’t even afford a good pair of wrestling boots. Hosaka wound up taking the young wrestler under her wing and got her some dark matches at WCW’s TV tapings as Starla Saxton.
Hosaka said, that after Starla got into WCW and made her own connections, she was tossed aside and Starla no longer talked to her mentor and friend. Starla would later reach fame as “Miss Madness” in Randy Savage’s female entourage. Hosaka felt betrayed and the two were no longer friends. Hosaka did say that the two talked and made up years later…but also says their friendship will never be the same again. Starla would later go to the WWE and become a star as Molly Holly. Hosaka continued wrestling for several independents as well as TNA before retiring.
Mexican luchador Hector Garza wrestled all over Mexico but was trying to “make it” as a top Latino star in the United States. He wrestled for a few years in WCW and was trying to become a top star for TNA wrestling. In early 2005, however, Garza was arrested at a Houston airport with illegal steroids in his luggage. The drugs were Primobolan and Deca-Durabolin, which were both legal in Mexico but illegal in the States.
His brother claimed that Garza had a prescription for the muscle building drugs but Garza wound up pleading guilty to possession and spent 15 days in jail. His arrest caused him to miss the TNA pay per view Final Resolution and he was subsequently deported back to Mexico. He was not allowed to apply for another U.S. work visa for 5 years and that in itself ended his wrestling career in the States. Garza died of lung cancer in 2013 at the age of 43.
Don’t Cop an Attitude
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a wrestler walks into a bar, I guess you have if you’ve been reading this series since the beginning. When a pro wrestler walks into a bar, usually not much good will come out of it. This particular story has the legendary Dick the Bruiser entering a saloon co-owned by football great and part time wrestler Alex Karras in 1963.
Karras and the Bruiser were scheduled to have a wrestling match later that week and Bruiser went into the bar to “drum up business” for their match. The Bruiser starts making fun of the bartender and calling out Karras in a “worked” manner. Many of the local bar patrons didn’t realize that the Bruiser was just putting on an act and confronted Bruiser about his attitude. A brawl broke out and the cops were called.
It took a total of 8 policemen to subdue the Bruiser but in the melee a cop suffered a broken wrist. Dick the Bruiser was arrested and charged with assault and battery. While Karras and his business partner refused to press charges, the Bruiser still had to answer for roughing up the police. The officer who had his wrist broken sued Dick the Bruiser and was eventually awarded $10,358 in damages.
In the summer of 2005, 16-year-old Shanna Poissant told her parents that she was going out with friends but she never returned home. A large-scale police search took place that lasted over two weeks. Sadly, her body was found in a shallow grave on the outskirts of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Her skull was bashed in with a blunt object. The prime suspect turned out to be a 23-year-old pro wrestler named Kurt Lauder. Kurt Lauder was known in independent wrestling circles as ‘Career Killer’ Kurt Lauderdale. He predominantly wrestled for the International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS) based out of Montreal. Police said that Lauderdale became sexually obsessed with the 16-year-old girl. He allegedly followed her around and told friends of his that he “had plans for her” meaning he was intending to have sex with her.
Lauderdale was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Not only that, but both of his parents were arrested for being accessories to the crime after the fact. Kurt Lauderdale eventually took a plea deal and was charged with second-degree murder. Lauderdale admitted to using a heavy metal bar to strike Poissant over the head over a dozen times. He was later sentenced to life in prison in 2006 with the possibility of parole in 15 years. Lauderdale had since become depressed and attempted suicide while serving his time in prison.
You can read all previous ‘Wrestling with Sin’ pieces here.