This is the 241st 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.
Do the Wright Thing
In WCW back in 1995, Paul Roma was placed in a feud with ‘Das Wunderkind’ Alex Wright. Roma had issues with Wright from the very beginning. Roma felt that Alex Wright was a 19 year old “jabronie” who didn’t know how to work a match. Paul Roma claims he agreed to the program with Alex on one condition…he did not want to lose to Wright on a pay per view.
Super Brawl V, Roma and Wright were scheduled for a one on one match. When WCW management told Roma he was going to lose the match, Roma flipped out citing his initial agreement about not jobbing to Wright on pay per view. WCW management told him to do his job, so Roma decided to “go into business for himself.” Paul Roma figured he would expose Alex Wright for the lousy worker he thought he was on a live, unedited pay per view.
Roma basically no sold all of Alex’s big moves and worked stiff on the younger, greener Wright. Apparently, WCW hired female fans to scream and cheer for Wright and during the match…Roma mocked them while in rest holds. The ending came when Wright had Roma pinned and Roma kicked out without warning. The referee had no clue what to do, so he decided to end the match and award it to Wright anyway.
When Paul Roma went to the back, he was met by Ric Flair who demanded to know what happened. Roma just blew him off and went home. A few days later, Roma received his release from the company via mail.
While wrestling in the Florida territory, Dusty Rhodes, his live in girlfriend (fellow pro wrestler) Donna Lemke and Eddie Graham were driving around town. Another car pulled alongside of Dusty’s car and started cat calling his girlfriend Lemke. The people in the other car also began berating Dusty and Graham about their pro wrestling prowess.
Eddie Graham, who was in the backseat of Dusty’s car shouted at Dusty to pull over. Dusty did and so did the other car. Eddie Graham and Dusty jumped out and allegedly assaulted the passengers in the other car. After making quick work of the people in the other vehicle, the three wrestlers got back in their car and drove off as if nothing had happened.
A Gentleman Caller
Towards the end of ‘Gentleman’ Chris Adams wrestling career, Adams personal life was spiraling out of control. He had become an alcoholic and was abusing drugs on a more frequent basis. He was seemingly losing friends and close associates by the day. Two of which were Texas indie wrestlers LA Steele and his wife Miss Lacy.
The one time friends had a falling out after the documentary ‘Beyond the Mat’ came out. Adams felt that most of his parts in the movie made the cutting room floor and felt disrespected. LA Steele and Miss Lacy felt the brunt of his irrational anger and the friends parted ways. One night, Chris Adams in an apparent drug or drunk induced stupor called Miss Lacy in the middle of the night and allegedly threatened her life on an answering machine.
Miss Lacy would hand the tape of the threats over to the police. That just escalated Adams anger, According to his friend Brent Parnell, Chris Adams went to speak to a contracted hit man. Parnell claimed that Adams wanted to hire the hit man to kill off Miss Lacy. The job never went through, because the hit man decided it was too risky and turned the offer down. It should be noted, as it was in the first edition of Wrestling With Sin: The Dark Side of the Squared Circle that Parnell ended up shooting and killing Chris Adams in self defense after Adams went on a drunken tirade.
James ‘Shag’ Thomas was stand out college football player out of the University of Ohio who became a pro wrestler. He wrestled in several territories including Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling and in Los Angeles. His biggest success as a wrestler, however, came when Shag wrestled in Portland, Oregon. He won the Pacific Northwest title on two separate occasions.
When Shag wasn’t wrestling, he had a job as a postal worker in Columbus, Ohio. In 1954, Shag was under suspicion of stealing other people’s mail. When police searched Shag’s car, they discovered over 200 letters and packages that he had stolen. Shag was confronted by police and took off running. He tried to allude police by jumping into a river, but was eventually apprehended. Shag was sentenced to a year and a day in jail.