This is the 123rd 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.
The Dark of Knight
In August of 2005, after a bad fight with her husband pro wrestler Ricky Knight, the self proclaimed ‘First Lady of British Wrestling’ “Sweet” Saraya Knight ran off. Saraya would vanish without a trace for close to 4 months. Her family feared the worst, as Saraya was battling severe depression and seemed suicidal.
The police were called in to help find her while Ricky Knight and the rest of the family asked about her whereabouts all over the internet and news outlets. It got so bad at point, that Ricky (A recovering alcoholic) relapsed and began drinking heavily again. Their daughter Saraya-Jade (better known as WWE’s Paige) who was 13 at the time, collapsed from stress and exhaustion and was hospitalized.
Ricky night wound up entering himself into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, as things started to fall apart for him. It turned out that Saraya was hiding out at different relatives homes or sleeping in her car for months. She eventually did return home and the couple reconciled their differences.
A Japanese pro wrestler named Yohei Fujita posted a rather disturbing act on Youtube and his personal blog. Fujita who worked for a promotion called Dragon Gate posted himself abusing a 10 year old macaque monkey named Cora. It was apparent in the videos that Fujita was extremely drunk during the incident.
He is shown numerous times choking Cora until the monkey vomited, sticking her in a box too small for her to move around, giving her sake to drink, lighting fireworks on her and simply dropping her without warning. In Japan, there are laws that prevent people from keeping macaque monkeys as pets without proper permission. According to reports, Kora was indeed illegally owned by Dragon Gate.
The news of this incident made headlines and Yohei Fujita was immediately fired. Dragon Gate President Takashi Okamura also faced disciplinary actions and his pay was reduced. As for Cora, she was sent to a foster family and has since been well taken care of.
F.B.I. (Full Buddy Investigation)
In 1986, wrestler Buddy Landel was at the height of his drug abuse days. His drug dealer allegedly asked to borrow Buddy’s handgun which Buddy carried for protection. A while later, U.S. Marshals came to Buddy’s home and took him to their headquarters. The drug dealer that borrowed his gun was arrested for trying to transport 33 kilos of cocaine into Memphis, Tennessee.
The serial numbers on the gun were traced back to Landel, so the FBI asked Landel why did this dealer have his gun. Landel tried to cover it up at first but the FBI warned him that if he wasn’t truthful, he would be facing serious charges. They then showed a surveillance photo of Landel in a car with that drug dealer snorting coke. Buddy Landel came clean and told them the truth and was eventually released.
During the territorial days, it wasn’t uncommon for fans to bring weapons like guns and/or knives to the arenas. Heel wrestlers were always told after their matches to go straight to the back without stopping. Never interact with the fans and risk getting hurt. Ox Baker was someone who never really followed this rule as he loved to get into it with rabid fans. Ox Baker would do this several times despite ‘Big’ John Studd asking him continuously to stop it.
One night, Ox Baker started yelling at some fans again and it finally set off John Studd. Once Baker got to the back, he sat down on a bench that was bolted down on the concrete floor. Studd went up to Baker and yelled at him for continually doing something he was told not to do. Baker just looked at Studd and told him to fuck off!
That’s when John Studd kicked Ox Baker so hard he flew backwards, ripping the bolted down bench from the cement. Studd then started pummeling Baker with punches despite a number of wrestlers trying to hold him back. The fight broke up once the promoter walked in but the two allegedly hated each other for several years because of that incident.
Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
Independent wrestler and promoter ‘The Hardcore Hero’ Bobby Rogers is no stranger to the law. In 1998 he once allegedly stole over 200 lottery scratch off tickets from a convenience store he worked at. In 1999, Rogers was accused of stealing $3,000 he was asked to deposit from a newsstand he worked for. He also tried selling one of his kidneys on ebay. Selling bodily organs is illegal.
In 2003, Bobby Rogers wrote a bad check for $9,500 for DVDs and other merchandise. That last offense violated Rogers probation from the previous offenses and Rogers was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in a Federal prison in Miami, Florida. He was eventually released in 2007.
You can read all previous ‘Wrestling with Sin’ pieces here.