This is the 339th 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 Fabulous Kangaroos were a very successful tag team with different variations from the late 1950’s until the early 1990’s. Al Costello was usually a member of the team with different tag team partners or as the Kangaroos manager. In 1973, The Kangaroos were wrestling on a show at the Cincinnati Gardens.
As their match, the team was returning to the back when an angry fan grabbed a fire extinguisher from the wall and tossed it at the team from the balcony. The extinguisher hit Costello on his hip and crumpled down to the floor. The fan was arrested and ultimately served 15 days in jail and was ordered to pay a 50 dollar fine. The fine was for destroying the fire extinguisher.
Meanwhile, Al Costello was legitimately injured from the incident. He had to have a hip replacement surgery done and was forced to retire from professional wrestling for over two years. He eventually returned to the ring in 1975, but his career was forever altered due to the attack.
School’s Out For Murder
Osvaldo Cabrera aka El Gran Davis Jr. was a second generation wrestler whose father El Gran Davis was both a wrestler and referee in Mexico. In 2009, Davis Jr. was spotted leaving a bar with a friend and entering a taxi. A few days later, his body along with his friend and the taxi driver were found in a dumpster next to a school.
All three bodies appeared to have been tortured. No arrests were ever made in their murders. Osvaldo ‘El Gran Davis Jr.’ Cabrera was just 34 years old at the time of his death.
The Birdman of South Philadelphia
During the late 1980’s, ‘The Birdman’ Koko B. Ware and Marty Jannetty were in Philadelphia for a WWF show. After the event, Ware and Jannetty got in their rental car and traveled to the seedier side of Philly to score some drugs. According to Jannetty, Koko told Marty to stay in the car because he was white and would stand out like a sore thumb. Koko walked over to a dealer and told the man that he was a WWF wrestler to which the dealer allegedly laughed in Koko’s face and told Ware that he was too small to be a wrestler.
Insulted, Koko walked back to the car where the dealer spotted Jannetty sitting inside. A few people rushed the car and offered pills to Jannetty to buy. Still angry, Koko waited for the dealer to reach his hand into the car with the pills and then Ware allegedly slapped the dealers hand who spilled the pills onto the floor of the vehicle. It was then that Ware sped off with the dealer allegedly pulling out a gun and started firing at the car.
Jannetty claims the rental car’s back window was shot out and they got away with a bunch of free drugs. Jannetty also said that Koko had to pay for the damages to the car, so it wasn’t all good for the Birdman.
Some Bunny Needs Help
AEW’s Laura Dennis opened up about her struggles with anxiety and depression. She believes it all began when at age 12, her father passed away. Then a few years later, a close friend of hers committed suicide. She began to fall into a deep depression and saw pro wrestling as a vehicle to cope with her darkness.
Unfortunately, two years into her wrestling career, she developed a serious eating disorder. It took a friend to notice that she wasn’t well to suggest she seek help. Dennis says talking it out helped her cope with her personal problems. She still battles mental health issues to this day, but is much better with coping.
You can read all previous ‘Wrestling with Sin’ pieces here.