Highspots Presents: Old School with One Man Gang

This was released in January 2017

Steve Corino is the host

The interview runs about two hours and six minutes long

 

Gang is first asked about being a wrestling fan growing up and he confirms that he was while living in Spartanburg, SC he watched Mid-Atlantic Wrestling while ten years ago and was immediately hooked. When he went to his first show, Gang decided that he was going to be a wrestler. He would have stacks of wrestling magazines and would read every article as he compares it to a religion. Gang even made his own shirts for Johnny Valentine and Bulldog Brower as Gang said the “stiff” wrestlers were his favorites and loved to see them in person.

 

Both guys talk about how they would pretend to cut promos as kids and go into being fans as Gang tells the story of how he got into wrestling in 1976. Gang said he was 16 years old when a man from an insurance company saw his shirts hanging out on a clothesline in a backyard (Gang said he lived with his adoptive mother and never had a father as he grew up poor) and said he knew two guys who could train him and they were Jim Wilson and Jim Holcomb, two “job” guys that Gang called them as Gang talked about how he hates that term and that the enhancement talent are the backbone of wrestling. Gang said those two would beat him during training as eventually he learned how to fall as Gang said they chopped him hard and took complete advantage of him but he never gave up.

 

One day, someone no-showed an event and Gang wrestled his first match and got his ass kicked while having no idea what he was doing. He wore his regular clothes as he did not have any gear while using the name “Big George” as George is Gang’s birth name.

 

His first territory was Georgia in 1981 as he was called up and asked to work the Omni as Gang as no idea how they got him over. They put a mask on him and named him the “Blue Angel” and put over Bruiser Brody. Gang said he was in shock to see stars like Jack Brisco and Bob Backlund and put it over as a great experience. He also got $200 as a payoff.

 

Gang then worked for Angelo Poffo in ICW. He rode up with a friend and went backstage to the show as Randy Savage asked the friend about him and if he was interested in working for the company. Savage then asked Gang if he wanted to work for the company. After going home and talking to his mother, Gang packed up and went up for the show. However, on his first day of TV, he blew out his knee so he went home and healed up then went back and used the name “Crusher Broomfield,” which was given to him. Gang said he lived with Savage for a couple of months and did angles with Lanny Poffo and Ronnie Garvin. He talked about how they worked shows in Kentucky and West Virginia and made about $600-700 a week. He also did not drive and would go to the shows in back of a ring truck as he did not get his license until a few years later as his mother never had a car and he never had an opportunity to learn.

 

He ended up going to Mid-South after working with Ernie Ladd a few times in ICW as Ladd put him over to Watts. He would go back-and-forth between the territories and in Mid-South he was given the One Man Gang name. Gang puts over how the pay and crowds were both much bigger too. Gang said that Bill Watts gave him an advance so he could get an apartment as Gang was sleeping in his car when he first arrived. Gang said he can never say a bad thing about Watts then talks about how he made the guys show up one hour early and to maintain kayfabe as the fans really bought into the face/heel dynamic. He puts over his first Superdome and how he teamed with Harley Race against Andre the Giant & Dick Murdoch and just how star struck he became.

 

When asked about Andre, Gang said they clicked right away and how Andre was very unselfish with him, especially since he was so young. He then tells another story about Andre when he was working in Florida. Gang was the monster heel at the time and Andre came in to work against him. Andre pulled Gang aside in the locker room and told Gang that he was there to get him over as Gang still couldn’t believe how nice and humble Andre was to him.

 

Corino then talks to Gang about meeting him for the first time in ECW and how nice he was as Gang said they are all in the same business trying to make a living.

 

He left Mid-South as Watts told him it was time to move on and he was sent to Memphis where he was back to using the Crusher Broomfield gimmick as he was known in the area with that gimmick from ICW. Gang said he wanted to use the One Man Gang gimmick but Jerry Lawler wanted to beat the former big man for ICW. They talk about the feuds between the two companies as Gang said Savage was as intense on TV as he was in real life. Gang was paired up with Jim Cornette as Gang knew nothing about him as he was Cornette’s first client. Gang said he was “starving” and barely making any money and would resort to eating raw potatoes.

 

Gang tells a story about how one day he went to the show and the promoter told him he was not on the card. Gang showed him the booking sheet, which displayed his name, but the promoter said it was wrong and that he might as well leave. Gang went outside to his wife as they drove two hours to the show when he saw Koko B. Ware outside. Koko asked him about his situation and went back inside and came out ten minutes later with $20 for gas money as Gang said he did not even know Koko at the time.

 

He called Watts as he was starving in Memphis then Watts called him back in 30 minutes as he got sent to Mid-Atlantic as Gang was ecstatic. Gang is asked why he used Chicago as a hometown as Gang said he was born in Chicago and left when he was six as his mother was from Spartanburg, SC. He stayed in Mid-Atlantic for over a year as Gang said the pay was much better. He also said that Dory Funk Jr. was the booker and puts over the star power on the roster.

 

Dusty Rhodes gave him an opportunity to work in Florida. He left after dropping the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Titles, that he held with Kelly Kiniski, to Rufus Jones & Jos Leduc. He teamed with Ron Bass for a bit and said working there was like a vacation as the travel was easy. He tells a story of how they had a riot in the Bahamas after he hit Blackjack Mulligan with the brass knuckles as the crowd charged the ring as Gang said he had to fight them off with his chain and fans chased him into the dressing room and were throwing cinder blocks at the door. After a few hours the police snuck him out of the building. Gang puts over Dusty’s mind for wrestling as Corino brings up how Kevin Sullivan told him a story about Eddie Graham selling sponsors on “pure” wrestling like Dory Funk vs. Jack Brisco but filled the card with gimmick matches as that drew the tickets. Gang said they gimmick matches all of the time in Florida and he had a great paycheck and a few days off a week where he could go to the beach and fish.

 

Gang did a tour of All-Japan Wrestling then came back to Florida. Michael Hayes was the booker now as Dusty went to Mid-Atlantic as Hayes told Gang there was not a spot for him in the territory but that Fritz Von Erich needed a heel in World Class so Gang got set up and went to Texas where he was managed by Gary Hart. Both guys put over Hart’s book and how amazing it is as they talked about how he was a great manager.

 

Corino wants to know how Hart convinced Gang to tattoo his head. Gang said he showed up in Texas with a Mohawk as Hart laid out the idea and even came up with the idea of wearing a denim vest and saying he was from Halsted Street in Chicago and changed his outfit from the singlet.

 

Gang said that Fritz Von Erich kept telling him to take care of his sons and he would take care of him as Fritz did pay him well.

 

Corino asks Gang about having his marriage survive while on the road as Gang said he told his wife he was interested in wrestling and did not need or want other women, drugs, or alcohol.

 

His only regret in wrestling was when he wrestled PN News in WCW. The match stipulation was that you had to win by hitting a splash. Mike Graham was the agent and told Gang News was going over as Gang said his ego got in the way and he refused to put him over as Graham called Dusty, who told Gang he was going to send him home. A week later, Dusty asked if he was able to come back and said he would have to put News over on TBS then everything would be back to normal. Dusty told Gang he was sorry but had to let him go as looking back, Gang said he should have been a professional and did the job.

 

Gang then said he also regretted the way he left the WWF but that he had a five year old son at home and barely saw him and told his wife after a tour he couldn’t take it anymore as he would be crying in his hotel room at times as he never saw his family. Vince called him up and asked what was wrong as Gang said his paychecks were shrinking and toward the end it was losing him money on tour. Vince asked if he wanted a few weeks off but Gang said he could not take the travel anymore as Vince told him it was bad business as the Survivor Series was coming up and the promos were all taped as Gang still refused to work the PPV. A few weeks later, Pat Patterson called up and told him he could get $10,000 for a tour in Japan then Vince would bring him back. Gang still refused then Patterson slammed down the phone.

 

He tells the story of how he was presented with the Akeem gimmick. One day at TV, Vince came up to him and asked if he knew how to dance and if not Slick could teach him. Vince & Slick then approached him with the gimmick and he got sent home for a few weeks to grow his hair out. Gang also tells a funny story of how he was told to keep dancing during his entrance until the music stopped as the agents would rib him by keep playing the song for about five minutes as Akeem said he was almost blown up as a result.

 

Gang says he has been the luckiest man in the world for getting to live his dream and travel all over the world as Corino talks about loving these videos to get a chance for guys to show off their personalities. Gang wraps up by telling a story of how his friends blew up pictures for Ric Flair while they were kids and asked him if he could sign them as they were huge Flair fans. Flair told them he’d be back in ten minutes as they were waiting for him at the back door and sure enough he came out and signed the pictures for them and shook their hands as Gang said he tried to do that as much as possible for fans when they approached him as those fans put their hard-earned money down for a ticket and that he appreciates that very much.

 

Final Thoughts: I thought this was a really good interview. It felt like listening to a podcast more than a “shoot” but it still breezed right by and its cool to see just how big of a wrestling fan Gang was as a child. He really loves wrestling and seems like a great guy too.

I am a fan of this interview series. At the beginning of this interview, Corino stated how he does not want this series to be about bashing people or about everything negative so it was refreshing compared to some other interviews I’ve seen in the past.

Overall, I recommend this interview and thought it made for a great listen.

You can purchase the DVD, Download a Digital Copy, or view this by subscribing to the Highspots Network by visiting Highspots.com