Cucch’s Book Review: Missy Hyatt: First Lady Of Wrestling.

Seeing that cover alone made me want to just purely despise this book…I was surprised, to say the least.

I became a pro wrestling fan in winter of 1989. I remember watching the Viewer’s Choice PPV teasers, and the trailer for Survivor Series 89 made an impression on me. I loved watching all the pre taped promos from Roddy’s Rowdies, Rude’s Brood, the Hulkamaniacs, the Million Dollar Team…the shit just seemed so surreal and so COOL to this 9 year old. In particular, a hulking black menace with a lazy eye named Zeus really caught this youngster’s attention. I had no clue, back then, of what a good worker was, who was a good hand and who was clearly an actor posing as a wrestler…all I knew then was that Zeus was SCARY AS FUCK, no more no less. And if Hulk Hogan’s offense could not slow him down, then by God, who could stop the man? All of that concern was set to rest a month later, when the WWF broadcast, on PPV, No Holds Barred: The Movie, The Match. Hulk vanquished his large lazy eyed black foe (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Deebo from Friday…) with three crushing bodyslams and a thunderous leg drop.

From that point until now, I was hooked. Of all things, it was Zeus that hooked me on pro wrestling. Sad to say.

Now some of you are probably wondering (hell, most): “What the fuck does this little rant have to do about Missy Hyatt?” Fair enough. I appreciate that you allowed me to indulge myself in that opening paragraph. Well, here it is. Most people my age, who discovered the phenomena known as Pro Wrestling around the same time, list a few seminal events that set off their perpetual slavish devotion to the pseudo sport we have come to know, love, hate, revile, and mock. Zeus was mine. About a month after the No Holds Barred Tag Match, we were treated to the epic criss cross of death between Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior at the Royal Rumble 1990, from Orlando, Florida. Right around those two events, the NWA, by then more or less WCW, was advertising a Clash of the Champions event, to be broadcast on TBS. I had no idea who the players in the main event were, besides Ric Flair and Sting. Even fans with the most rudimentary understanding of the mat wars were familiar with those two. As an added caveat, the Horsemen’s match with Gary Hart’s J-Tex group would be contested inside a steel cage. After being mesmerized (did not take me much back then) by the “spectacle” that was the No Holds Barred match (which, in hindsight, is just Randy Savage carrying three dudes on his back) was likewise a cage match. I was all in.

Now, the match, and the pre-match angle that saw the Horsemen kick Sting out of the group, remains the stuff of legend. I picked a hell of a Clash to be my first endeavor into WCW. The night progressed, Sting blew out his ACL, yadda yadda yada. We all know the story. But that event was what introduced me to WCW, and with the WWF running the Hogan-Warrior bulidup to Mania 6, you knew this nine year old was hooked and fucked for life. So I started watching everything available to me…and with WWF Superstars, Wrestling Challenge, Prime Time, as well as WCW Saturday Night and Main Event on Sundays (Captain Planet y’all), that pretty much monopolized my non-homework time.

Which brings me to Missy Hyatt…finally.

Missy was this wrestling fans’ first crush…back in the early 90’s, she was beyond gorgeous to a young boy who had yet to come of age. At the time I started watching WCW, she was involved with Jason Hervey of “The Wonder Years” fame. In 1990-91, he was very much at the pinnacle of his career, pre-Eric Bischoff, pre-“Scott Baio is 45 and Single”. Most male fans of the era cite Miss Elizabeth as their first pro-wrestling crush, and I would be hard pressed not to mention her striptease at Summer Slam 1988 as one of those coming of age moments for a generation of young, horny wrestling fans. But Missy was something else entirely. Whereas Elizabeth was, more or less, a chaste, fairly innocent figure who played Yang to hubby Macho Man’s Yin, Missy was more or less just a total tramp. With huge tits.

Missy’s book does nothing to dissipate the rumors that have surrounded her throughout the years. Written in 2001, she is remarkably candid about who she blew and worked with over the years. As a teenage fan, she was infatuated with Tommy Rich, to the point where she and an Atlanta territory fan named “Cheryl”, who I can only imagine to be the future Cheryl Roberts of future WWF fame, attended a live event together. They arrived for the event far too early and encountered the Georgian booker of the time…who remains unnamed. Missy was smitten at that point by Tommy Rich. Now, Missy, real name Melissa Hiatt, is, in case you have not noticed, a fairly attractive woman. Especially in those pre-collagen, pre-botox days. The booker made sure Missy was front row for “Wildfire’s” match. The long and short of it, according to Ms. Hyatt…she gave him road head.

Thus begins one of the most glorious and enjoyable trainwrecks of a book I have ever read.

Missy was involved (read: FUCKED) many wrestlers over the years, and she names names here. From Tommy Rich, it was Jake Roberts (who she describes as…well…odd), Road Warrior Hawk, “Hollywood” John Tatum…who was the man who got Missy into the business, and is possibly one of the worst workers of all time. Seriously, I was on a recent Global binge with ESPN Classic running marathon showings lately…and the man just flat out had NOTHING in ring. Or out of the ring. That is where Missy was supposed to come through. Early on in the dying days of the territories, Missy became John’s mouthpiece. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig. But Missy was something different, a hit with fans, and her schtick went down like a fine wine with them. But, for her, something wasn’t right. She was John Tatum’s sidepiece, but she was clearly above him. Her territory was soon turfed during the 80’s Vince McMahon takeover…and none other than Vince himself extended an offer to Missy that she clearly could not refuse.

That offer was for Missy Hyatt to take over the segment that was Piper’s Pit, in the form of Missy’s Manor. Large shows (and Kilts) to fill. Piper had just departed WWF to star in such critical hits as “They Live” and “Hell Comes to Frogtown.” So he had his plate full. “Missy’s Manor” was slated to be the replacement for Piper’s now legendary segment, but it bombed the first night out, as the Missy character was completely narcissistic and never should have been the WWF’s plan for her…Missy was all about Missy, and for her to be trot out week after week as an interviewer when the character remained the clear focus was just counter productive. Both Vince and Missy realized this, and when Vince turfed Missy’s Manor to, instead, have Missy become the head “Federette”, or ring girl, she went back to the love of her life, Eddie Gilbert, who was a partial booker in the recently bought out by JCP UWF promotion.

From there, Missy was made color commentator of the product, with legend Jim Ross as the blow by blow guy. (Resisting…urge…blow…Missy joke…done). While there, Missy was on the outs in her relationship with Gilbert, which she confirms in having a one night stand with, of all people, Dr. Tom Prichard. I cannot accurately describe that hot garbage, so let us move on. Missy did. On. And down.

More or less, this book is a total kiss and tell memoir…Missy throws a veritable promotion under the bus as men who have laid under her. Her next experiences were with a man many years her junior, Marcus Bagwell, Bill Fralic (Studd the Dud, for Mania 2 wonks), as well as some well known hockey players. But chief among these was Jason Hervey. I always thought this relationship was a work…but Missy confirms that it wasn’t. And she all but says it was more or less about the money turning her on more than anything the diminutive Hervey could offer. As I said earlier, what this book lacks in either depth or moral compass, it makes up for in the total TMZ factor. 

From there, and we are talking about page 135 out of less than 200, Missy quickly conveys her ECW experience, where, I think most of us watching the problem at that point can attest, Missy was just bombed out of her mind. Watch her eyes during her angles in ECW…nothing there but, maybe, lust. She conveys a story about how Lori Fullington, Sandman’s wife, treated her like royalty when the red light was off, but when push came to shove in ring, she just stiffed the ever loving fuck out of Missy. Sounds about right. Although this book is written in 2001, there are no mentions as to the WrestlingVixxxens website…just to Missy begging Vince McMahon for a job in 1997, being rebuffed, which led to Missy going back to school. The entire ending of the book, knowing what we know now, over a decade later, is utter horse flop. But don’t let it take away from the rest of the work: Missy Hyatt’s book is the equivalent to picking up that National Enquirer gimmick when in line waiting to check out at the Grocery Store…you know it is likely 95% bullshit, but it is 100% entertaining. That is the best way I can describe Missy’s book…only with less BS than an Enquirer article.