This is the 145th 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.
Dog Day Afternoon
During the heyday of the Junkyard Dog in the Mid South territory in the early 1980’s, the Dog was by far that territory’s most popular wrestler. Thousands upon thousands of fans would cram into an arena to watch him compete. He was constantly on the road leaving behind his wife and daughter.
His marriage suffered because of his immense popularity in the region and it ultimately ended his marriage in a divorce. His wife would suffer a nervous breakdown and be institutionalized at a mental hospital for a couple of years. In 1985, with JYD now with the WWF, his ex-wife reportedly escaped the hospital and kidnapped their daughter. JYD was notified of the kidnapping and immediately left the WWF tour to get back his daughter.
JYD found out that his ex-wife took their daughter to her brother’s home. Her brother just so happened to be a police officer. JYD allegedly went to the brother’s home and broke into the house where he immediately got into a scuffle with the brother. The two were fighting over the brother’s gun when it went off hitting the brother in the stomach. JYD was arrested and eventually released when it was determined the shooting was accidental. The brother survived his wound and JYD’s daughter was returned to him.
A Different Angle
On September 20th, 2015, WWE and TNA Hall of Famer Kurt Angle’s older brother David was involved in a domestic dispute his wife Donna. The argument allegedly started over a bottle of vodka. The two shouted at each other and eventually escalated to where both began slapping one another.
David Angle allegedly tried to restrain his wife by putting his knee on her chest while she was on the floor. She suddenly became unresponsive and David tried to resuscitate her by using CPR. He then called 911 and when the EMTs arrived, she was pronounced dead. The medical examiner determined Donna Angle died from asphyxiation.
David Angle was charged with a homicide and was set to stand trial. His brother Kurt was there in the courtroom every day to support his brother. David eventually took a plea deal of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 2 1/2 to 10 years in prison.
Oh What A Feeling….Toyota!
Manami Toyota was considered by many to be the “Ric Flair” of women’s wrestling and undoubtedly one of the all-around greatest wrestlers in the entire world. A huge star in her homeland of Japan, Toyota held almost every single female title in All Japan Wrestling.
In 1996, she and All Japan Women’s Wrestling came out with a photo book entitled BBomb.In it, Toyota posed for several photos of herself in various states of undress. She posed in lingerie, bondage, nude and also some wrestling photos because, after all, she was a pro wrestler.
It was during a television taping for the old AWA promotion run by Verne Gagne. Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey was cutting a scripted promo on wrestler Kevin Kelly (Also known as Nailz in the WWF) Sheik Adnan was running down Kevin Kelly and doing a pretty good job of it, almost too good.
Kevin Kelly was becoming visibly upset and started cutting his own unscripted promo on Al-Kaissey. The two began yelling and screaming at each other as if it was legitimate. As it turned out, it was becoming a real-life argument. They went from screaming in each other’s faces to exchanging real punches. Wrestlers came from the back to break it up and the two went their separate ways.
The King’s Ransom
Around 2004 or 2005, Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler was at a strip club in Memphis, Tennessee, when he allegedly bragged to one of the dancers that he had about $250,000 hidden in a jukebox back at his home. The stripper then allegedly told her boyfriend, a man named David Tate about the hidden money. Tate was a corrupt Memphis police officer who allegedly ran an illegal escort service and tipped off strip clubs about vice raids.
David Tate made plans to break into Lawler’s home and steal the money hidden in the jukebox, but somebody tipped the police off to his plans and he was subsequently arrested. Tate would plead guilty to several of the charges made against him and was sentenced to 14 years in jail. Jerry Lawler would deny ever telling the stripper about the hidden money.
To add to this scandal, it was revealed that the corrupt cop David Tate was the son of a well known Memphis news anchor Jerry Tate.
You can read all previous ‘Wrestling with Sin’ pieces here.