Chapter 1: One Fabulous Evening

Evansville, Indiana – 1982

Some things never change. Then again, some things do. It had taken a few years for things to settle down after the split with Nick Gulas, but for the past couple of years, business couldn’t have been better. That mess with Andy Kaufman had been a lot of headache, but Teeny had to admit that it certainly had a lot of people who normally ignored professional wrestling talking about it. And as everyone in any kind of entertainment business knew, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Teeny beamed with pride every time she thought about how well her son Jerry had learned the lessons of the business. He had long been a major attraction in the area, but now that the two of them were running the promotion and owned the territory, Jerry’s genius was really beginning to show.

 

Christine “Teeny” Jarrett had been running shows in Evansville and Louisville for 12 years now – ever since reopening the territory for Nick after Wilbur Snyder and Dick the Bruiser went dark back in ’64. Tonight, though, was shaping up to be one of those nights that didn’t exactly go off as planned.

 

As usual, Teeny had taken her seat by the back door near the dressing rooms at the Evansville Coliseum at quarter till seven to check in the wrestlers as they arrived. The show was to start at 8 o’clock sharp, and all the boys knew they had better be at the Coliseum by seven o’clock unless they wanted to get an earful from “Ms. Christine” as most of the boys called her.

 

Things were going along fine at first. Teeny checked the wrestlers off the card as they came in and took a minute or two to say hello. Jacque Rougeau. Terry Taylor. The Dolls – Troy Graham and Rick McGraw – came in together as did The Sheepherders. Dutch Mantell. Crusher Brumfield. Steve Regal. Spike Huber. Robert Gibson. Buddy Landell. Bobby Fulton. Carl Fergie. The Angel. The Spoiler. Even Lawler was on time tonight, and Nick Bockwinckle. Teeny especially appreciated the time Jimmy Hart always took to sit with her and ask about her family. He would always be one of her favorites.

 

Jerry’s latest stroke of genius, The Fabulous Ones – Steve Keirn and Stan Lane managed by “Fabulous” Jackie Fargo, scooted in the door just as her watch read 7pm. As she reviewed the card, however, she realized that Koko Ware, who was now wrestling under the name Sweet Brown Sugar, and his partner Bobby Eaton still hadn’t arrived.

 

Usually, this fact wouldn’t have been cause for much concern. As much as she tried to keep the boys in line, they were all a little late occasionally – all but Koko anyway. He had only been working for the Jarretts for a couple of years, but Teeny had immediately taken a liking to him because of his sweet face and impeccable manners. Teeny was a woman who not so much demanded but simply required respect. By the time Koko joined the territory, she was already a legend in the business as well as a grandmother six times over, and he neither questioned her authority nor the fact that the rules she laid out weren’t personal. They were simply business. Her business. And they weren’t complicated either.

 

First, be on time.

 

Second, do not, under any circumstances, use foul language.

 

Third, stay away from the “arena rats” – regardless of whether or not you’re married.

 

Finally, and most importantly, NEVER break “kayfabe.”

 

Kayfabe was a term left over from the days before professional wrestling had left the carnival sideshows. Kayfabe referred to wrestling’s big secret – the fact that things weren’t necessarily what they seemed in the ring.

 

Koko had started wrestling a few matches in Missouri and Arkansas where he had the opportunity to work a show in 1978 attended by Jerry Lawler, the territory’s big star. Lawler saw his potential and asked him to come to Channel 5 for the Memphis TV taping to meet Teeny’s son Jerry. Based on Lawler’s recommendation, Jerry booked him for the show the following week against Jos LeDuc. Koko’s work was good, and he quickly showed he had a knack as a jobber, a no name wrestler for TV who made the stars look good. Koko was a good example of the fact that a wrestler didn’t necessarily have to be physically imposing to be good at the job, at least in those days. His “official” stats listed him at 5’9”, but anyone who met him would call that a bit of a stretch. But Jerry, from very personal experience, knew that size was only a small part of the story. Skills in the ring were a lot more important, and Koko had shown he had what it takes.

 

After Koko had put in his time as a jobber on the TV show, Jerry put him on the circuit. Monday nights in Memphis. Tuesday in Louisville. Wednesday in Evansville, and Thursday either in one of the spot towns or at the monthly event in Lexington.

 

The first night Koko showed up in Louisville – on time because he had been adequately warned by the other guys – Teeny was in her usual seat where Koko immediately went to greet her, extending a warm handshake.

 

“Hello, Ms. Jarrett. I’m Koko Ware.”

 

“Well, hello, Koko! I’ve seen you on the TV show. You’re a good worker,” she said with a smile.

 

“Thank you. Thank you very much.”

 

“Have a seat. I’d like to have a little chat before you go get ready.”

 

“Yes, ma’am. I’d be happy to.”

 

“Now tell me, where are you from?”

 

“I’m from Union City, up in northwest Tennessee. Have you ever been there?”

 

“No, I can’t say as I have although I’ve been to Dyersburg quite a few times.”

 

“Well, there ain’t much to see. One post office. One red light. One grocery store. One po-lice man.”

 

“Aw, that sounds nice.”

 

“It’s OK, but I was looking for something a little bigger. By the way, I sure do appreciate you and your son giving me a chance like this. It’s not every day a poor black boy like me from a small town like mine gets to perform at big arenas like this in front of so many people. I sure am thankful.”

 

“Well, you’re welcome, Koko. You’ve obviously been working hard, and you deserve it. But say, that’s what I wanted to talk to you a little about.”

 

“OK.”

 

“You know, Koko, I’ve been in this business a long time, and it has been very good to me and my family.”

 

“Yes, ma’am. Everybody knows the Jarrett family in this business.”

 

“Yes, well, I can’t say I know how things work everywhere, and I know you’ve done a little work in other territories, but I think you may be with us for a while so I wanted to let you know how I expect things to work here.”

 

“OK.”

 

“In my towns, there are a few rules that I expect you to respect. Now I don’t make these rules because I’m your mother. I make them because everything that happens in my towns is my business. If you get in trouble and it affects the business, well that affects my family and how I can support them. These rules are all about running a successful business, OK?”

 

“Yes, ma’am.”

 

“Now first, I always want you to be on time – an hour before the first bell. That will give you the chance to get in, get ready, go over your match, and do anything else you need to do before the show so you’ll be ready to do your best.”

 

“Yes, ma’am.”

 

“Second, I don’t want to hear any foul language.”

 

“Yes, ma’am.”

 

“I’m not just talking about on the mic in the ring. If you do that you’ll be done no questions asked. I’m talking about anywhere – out on the floor on your way to the ring, in the dressing room, behind the curtain. Nowhere.”

 

“OK.”

 

“You have to always remember that this is a family event, and parents don’t want their children to hear foul language. If that starts happening, parents will leave their kids at home, and I’ll only sell one or two tickets to a family where I could have sold four or five if everyone came. If you get used to using foul language backstage, you may slip up and accidentally use it in front of the fans. And that wouldn’t be good for anyone, you understand.”

 

“Yes, ma’am.”

 

“Third, stay away from those arena rats.”

 

“Ma’am?”

 

“Those little girls who hang around the back door, dressing like the filth they are.”

 

“Oh, uh, well, OK.”

 

“Now you may think I’m getting a little too personal when I tell you who you can and can’t hang out with on your own time. But just remember, when you’re in this town, you’re on my time whether you’ve already finished your match of the night or not. I can’t have you causing problems in my town because you got some little girl pregnant and her father starts coming around making trouble for me. Besides, none of those girls are any good anyway. They’re all trying to hook themselves a rich husband and take your money. As soon as we put you over, you’re going to have little girls coming on to you like bees to honey. I’ve seen it too many times, and if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself locked in to child support payments for a little rug rat you never wanted in the first place, and I will have lost a good wrestler. Do you understand?”

 

“Yes, ma’am. No arena rats.”

 

“Good. Now the last rule is the most important one.”

 

“OK.”

 

“Never, never, never break kayfabe. As you already know, our business depends on our fans accepting at face value what we give them at the show. If they learned the truth, we’d all have to pack our bags and go home. So no matter what, whether you are here at the matches or at home or at the supermarket or wherever, you stay true to the business. If you’re working as a babyface, I never want to see or hear of you being seen with a heel except in the ring and vice versa. You don’t ride to the town with the other side. You don’t enter the building together. You don’t socialize together. Nothing. And you always stay in character. If you turn heel, I don’t want to see you outside the dressing room signing autographs. Your job as a heel is to make the fans hate you. And never under any circumstances will you smarten anyone up to the business. A mark is a mark. Got it?”

 

Teeny rarely broke kayfabe even amongst those in the business who obviously knew that the “matches” the audience came to watch were actually a “show” designed to provide entertainment to unsuspecting marks. She believed whole heartedly - and mistakenly as it eventually turned out - that if people ever found out that the whole thing was basically a con, they would not only stop coming but would openly revolt against those who had deceived them. Just as she didn’t tolerate cursing from the wrestlers even backstage for fear they would forget and use foul language in the ring, she didn’t let herself break kayfabe unless absolutely necessary to protect against the same inadvertent slips of the tongue which she felt could sink the whole ship if word ever got out.

 

“Yes, ma’am. I understand,” Koko replied. "It’s all about the business.”

 

“Yes, exactly! I’m glad we understand one another. Now you run along and get ready for your match. I’ve got to run up to the ticket office and check on things up there.”

 

“Yes, ma’am, Ms. Jarrett. Thank you.”

 

“You’re welcome, Koko. And from now on you can call me Christine. I can tell you’re a good boy.”

 

Under other circumstances in the South, Koko may have objected to being called a “boy” by an aging white woman, but he could tell Teeny meant no disrespect and was simply addressing him as his own grandmother might have done with the same matronly good nature. “Thank you, Ms. Christine” was his only reply before heading off to the dressing room.

 

From that moment on, Koko had never been anything but the picture of professionalism. He was always not just on time, but early enough to take a few minutes to visit with Teeny after he arrived. She had even given him permission after a year or so to call her “Teeny,” but he could never quite bring himself to get that familiar with his esteemed employer. Teeny is the name by which she was known to her entire family, including both children, and close friends ever since her son Jerry had mispronounced her first name “Christine” as “Teen” as a young child. The name just stuck, and she was known as Teeny ever since to those with whom she was closest.

 

To Koko and most of Teeny’s “boys,” however, she would always be “Ms. Christine.”

 

***

 

By the time her watch showed 7:15 and Koko and Bobby Eaton still weren’t there, Teeny began to get a little worried. She had to put from her mind that horrible night back in 1976 when Sam, Pepe and Frank had died. The first bell was approaching, and she needed to help Donna in the ticket office.

 

She grabbed Jim Cornette, who was taking some new shots of the Fabulous Ones backstage for the picture table. “Jimmy, please keep an eye out and let me know when Koko and Bobby get here.”

“Sure, Teeny. No problem,” Jimmy said between clicks of the camera.

 

What was she going to do without Jimmy? Jerry had recently decided to try him out as a manager on the Memphis TV show. If he went over, she was going to lose her photographer and announcer and all around “gofer”. His mother, Teeny’s close friend Thelma, would also have to stop working the picture table because of the gimmick Jerry had planned for Jimmy. But Teeny couldn’t think about that right now.

 

An hour later and after the first match, Teeny was helping Donna clear out the last of the advance ticket buyers for next week’s show when a call came to the Coliseum box office.

 

“Hello, Ms. Christine? This is Koko.”

 

“Koko! Where are you? What’s wrong?”

 

“Bobby and I got into a bit of an accident comin’ over from Louisville.”

 

“Oh, no! Are you OK? Is anybody hurt?”

 

“No, no. We’re OK. Bobby got a little bump on his head, though, so they made us go into the hospital to check him out.”

 

“Oh, thank goodness! Now tell me, are you gonna make it to the matches?”

 

“No, it don’t look like it. The radiator’s busted.”

 

Well, the show must go on, and this certainly wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. Teeny sent word down to the boys that Koko and Bobby’s match with Jacque and Terry would be cancelled for the night, and all other matches would be bumped up one in the schedule. It was still a great card.

 

For the most part, the event ran itself as any well managed event should with proper preparation – something in which Teeny took great pride. Teeny made her circuit through her three regular stops:  the box office, the picture table, and backstage. Her niece Donna, who had practically grown up in the family’s home in Nashville on 22nd Avenue, had the box office operations well in hand. Thelma Cornette, who had been coming to the matches with her son Jimmy every week for years and had started working for Teeny about 4 years ago, was 100% reliable at the picture table. And the boys knew the rules and what was expected of them when the bell rang. With Jimmy Cornette working the music and handling the announcing, Teeny was free to move from post to post, offering her help as needed.

 

The challenge for Teeny was to keep moving and not to get bogged down by the fans. This was a challenge both because of her sore feet, which she was recently forced to put into what she considered the ugliest orthopedic shoes on the planet after too many years of walking the concrete arena floors in fashionable high heels, and also because of the fact that so many of the fans wanted her to stop and chat. As much as she loved them, she couldn’t let herself get trapped. Teeny always understood that the success of the business, and by definition therefore her own success, depended on the love and respect of the fans.

She had taught that lesson to Jerry back in the late 50’s. Once while working a small town for her previous employer, dear friend and mentor Nick Gulas, she had taken her young teen children, Jerry and Carolyn, with her. After the matches, Carolyn was cleaning up the concession stand. Jerry was stacking chairs, eager to get home and still sore that he’d been denied a night out with his friends. One of the fans who had not yet left the building tentatively approached Jerry and asked for his autograph.

 

“What do you want an autograph from me for? I ain’t nobody. Go find a wrestler,” Jerry replied.

 

Teeny, who was also stacking chairs but at a much quicker rate than Jerry, watched the fan walk off dejectedly and promptly marched over to Jerry. She grabbed him firmly by the chin, squeezing his cheeks with her thumb and fingers so that his lips stuck out – a move wrestlers in the territory who had also felt her wrath would later dub “The Grip” – and looked him straight in the eye. “Jerry Jarrett, what do you think you’re doing?”

 

“Nothing, Teeny, just stacking chairs like you said,” Jerry mumbled awkwardly through puckered lips.

 

“How dare you talk to a fan that way! Do you know who’s paying your wages tonight?”

 

“You are.”

 

“Wrong! That young fan is! If he and others like him weren’t here buying tickets, none of us would go home with any money. And now you’ve ended his night by making him feel horrible. The next time we come to this town, do you think he’s going to forget how you’ve treated him?”  She squeezed tighter.

 

“Ow!”

 

“If you think I’m hurting you now, you just wait and see what I do to you if I ever catch you disrespecting a fan like that again, do you hear me?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Yes, what?”

 

“Yes, ma’am.”

 

As the success of the business showed, Jerry would never forget that lesson, and Teeny’s love of the fans never waned. For her, the tricky part came in not letting their affection for her smother her to death. And that required that she always keep moving.

 

When she first re-opened Louisville and Evansville as sites for matches, the fans simply knew her as the mother of Jerry Jarrett, the top babyface in the business at that time. As Jerry worked in the ring less and less, however, and the fans kept seeing Teeny there week after week, they quickly understood that she wasn’t just an over-attentive mother who managed to get a job working the matches. She was the boss and the grand matron of their home away from home – the wrestling coliseum.

 

The crowd was, by and large, the same every week. It might vary a bit among the general admission audience, but the ringside ticket holders held the equivalent of season tickets for the matches. Since 1970, Teeny had run a show every Tuesday night in Louisville and every Wednesday night in Evansville – totaling more than 600 shows in each town through the fall of 1982. With the same crowd there every week, she couldn’t help but know pretty much all of them by name, and she knew many of their family histories.

 

“Hello, Ms. Jarrett, how are you tonight?” said an older man, wearing tattered overalls and a flannel shirt.

 

“Well, I’m fine, Mr. Thompson, thank you,” she said without breaking her stride.

 

“Ethel couldn’t make it tonight. Her angina was actin’ up again,”  Mr. Thompson offered as he struggled to keep up.

 

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Please tell her I hope to see her next week,” Teeny said as she continued toward the picture table.

 

“She wanted me to give you this.”

 

For the first time, Teeny noticed the paper-bag wrapped bundle Mr. Thompson was carrying. “Oh, well isn’t that sweet,” she said. “She shouldn’t have done that.”

 

“Well, we had some late peas come in, and she knows how much you like ‘em.”

 

Peas. Corn. Potatoes. Tomatoes. Yams. Squash. Green beans...you name it. If it will grow in a garden, sometime over the years fans had brought it to Teeny in enormous quantities to express their thanks for the entertainment she provided every week.

 

If they could have done more, they would have. But with only a few exceptions, the professional wrestling fan was not part of what one would consider the affluent population of the South. They were the working folk. Farmers, factory workers, and others who struggled to get by. Uneducated, mostly. Unsophisticated, certainly. And to them, Christine Jarrett was royalty, and they happily and regularly brought her the alms they felt she so richly deserved.

 

After graciously accepting the gift from Mr. Thompson and continuing to make her way through the crowd, Teeny finally arrived at the picture table and stashed the bagful of harvest underneath for later.

 

“How are things, Thelma?” she asked as she accepted another $2 from a star-struck fan who had chosen another two 4x6 photos of Jerry Lawler for her collection at home.

 

“Fine, but we already sold out of those new 8x10s of the Fabulous Ones that Jimmy gave us tonight,” said Thelma without missing a beat with the next customer in line.

 

“Hoo-whee! Those guys are going over like hotcakes. I’ll have to tell him to double the order for next week. I saw he was taking some new shots tonight. Jerry has done it again.”

 

“He sure has. I just hope he knows what he’s doing with Jimmy. He’s so excited about getting a chance to really be in the business he can hardly contain himself.”

 

“I have to tell you, Thelma. I’m a little worried about Jimmy becoming a manager. I’m just afraid he’ll get himself hurt.”

 

“I know, Teeny. I am, too. But he just wants it so bad. Besides, he’s almost 21 years old. I don’t think I can stop him.”

 

“Well, I don’t know what I’m going to do without you two around to help me. You know you’ll have to stop coming around for the gimmick to work,” Teeny said under her breath so the mass of fans around the table couldn’t hear.

 

“I know, and that breaks my heart.”

 

Just then, the lights went out, signaling the time for the next match. As the New York Dolls and Jimmy Hart made their way to the ring, the crowd erupted in a roar of disapproval. After Lawler had been out of commission for the better part of 1980 with an injury, there was a big question whether Jimmy would be able to stand on his own as a manager without Lawler there to carry the team. But Jimmy Hart had surprised many in the promotion by proving himself in his ability to rile the crowd into a frenzy, both with his interview skills and the interference he ran at the ring for his wrestlers. Tonight was no exception.

 

“Tonight is the greatest night of my life!”  Hart yelled into the microphone after getting to the ring. “The New York Dolls get the chance to show Jackie Fargo exactly what it means to be fabulous!”

 

“Booooo! Booooo! You suck!”  The capacity crowd of more than five thousand yelled in ecstasy.

 

Right on cue, the music started, and within three beats, the crowd went nuts. Jerry Jarrett had long since proved his talent for creating stars, writing storylines, coming up with new gimmicks, and booking cards that would satisfy the crowds. But this time, he had demonstrated an ability to tap into popular culture that would ultimately change the face of professional wrestling forever.

 

One of the things about drawing crowds that Jerry understood perhaps better than anyone in the business was the power of a pretty face. If you booked wrestlers the girls would like, they would show up. And if the girls showed up, the boys would follow.

 

The music blared on…

 

You see 'em comin' at you every night.

Strung on pretension, they fall for you at first sight.

 

Jerry also liked to work tag teams because a good tag team could keep the momentum of the match up better than most solo wrestlers. While one babyface was down, the other could work the crowd. When a heel was getting the short end of the stick, the other could jump in the ring to stir things up.

 

You know their business, you think it's a bore.

They make you restless, it's nothin' you ain't seen before.

 

Jerry had been experimenting with several combinations lately, looking for the right mix of talent and charisma to create the next great tag team for the promotion. He landed on Steve Keirn and Stan Lane, two middle card workers who really sizzled when you put them together. To top it off and perfect the gimmick, he recruited long-time territory star Jackie Fargo, Fabulous Jackie Fargo, to be their manager and anoint the Keirn and Lane duo as the inheritors of the Fabulous throne. The Fabulous Ones were born.

 

Get around town, spend your time on the run.

You never let down, say you do it for fun.

 

But Jerry’s real genius was not to be found in creating the team but rather in how he promoted them. MTV had launched just a year before, and the pop music world was on fire with music videos. Jerry saw and recognized the power of this new medium of expression, and decided to use it himself by making his own video of the Fabulous Ones, dressed up in sequined tuxes and top hats with Billy Squier playing in the background.

 

Never miss a play, though you make quite a few.

You give it all away - everybody wants you.

 

The video had played for the first time on the live, top-rated Memphis TV show the week before and aired in a condensed, taped version in Evansville to promote tonight’s event. Clearly, this crowd and the one the night before in Louisville had seen it, and the Fabulous Ones were instant superstars. Jerry and Christine both understood the power of TV and the importance of a good TV show to support the promotion. That’s part of what made the coming years and their failure to adjust to the changing nature of television so personally tragic.

 

Tonight, however, things could not have been looking rosier - except for one thing. As the music continued to play, there was still no sign of the Fabulous Ones.

 

You crave attention, you can never say "no."

Throw your affections any way the wind blows.

You always make it, you're on top of the scene.

You sell the copy like the cover of a magazine.

Puttin' on the eyes 'til there's nobody else.

You never realize what you do to yourself.

The things that they see make the daily reviews.

You never get free - everybody wants you.

 

As the first chorus began, Christine headed backstage from the picture table. The crowd was in enough of a frenzy that she was able to travel uninterrupted.

 

Everybody knows you.

Everybody snows you.

Everybody needs you, leads you, bleeds you.

 

Jackie was at the top of the stairs behind the curtain. “Where’s Steve and Stan, Jackie? You all should be at the ring by now. You know I don’t like to keep ‘em waiting.”

 

“I know, Teeny. I know. They were just downstairs 10 minutes ago. I don’t know where they are now.”

 

Nights of confusion and impossible dreams.

Days at the mirror, patchin' up around the seams.

 

“You know I don’t need this right now. With Koko and Bobby not making it, the card is already short. I sent word down that the matches after theirs would be moved up.”

 

“I know. I know. But you know the boys only listen to Jimmy with half an ear anyway. If you didn’t say he had to take their pictures, they’d just as soon punch him in the mouth as look at him.”

 

You got your glory, you paid for it all.

You take your pension in loneliness and alcohol.

 

“Well, I’ll deal with that later. Right now I’ve got to find those boys.”  Christine headed down the steps toward the dressing room.

 

“I told you they ain’t down there, Teeny.”

 

“I know, but maybe somebody down there knows where they are.”

 

Say goodbye to conventional ways.

You can't escape the hours, you lose track of the days.

 

Ordinarily, Teeny would stay out of the dressing rooms unless going in was absolutely necessary. She respected the boys’ privacy as far as she could, but when business required it, she would enter, pull out who she needed, and leave with no self-consciousness at all. Business was business, with or without one’s pants on.

 

As she stuck her head in the dressing room that night, however, something was definitely amiss. Except for Nick Bockwinckle, who was passing through the territory defending his Southern Heavyweight Title, the room was empty.

 

The more you understand, seems the more like you do.

You never get away - everybody wants you.

 

“Where is everyone, Nick?”

 

“Oh, Ms. Jarrett!”  Nick said, obviously startled. “Um, I’m, uh, not sure,” Nick stammered with a furtive, unintentional glance in the direction of the parking lot.

 

“Oh, no!” Teeny said with a quiet intensity that made Nick very happy he’d been quietly preparing for his match.

 

As Billy Squier’s lyric faded out in the background, Teeny could hear the crowd becoming restless. Jimmy Hart had grabbed the mic from Jimmy Cornette again and could be heard shouting, “This is the greatest night of my life! The Fabulous Ones are too afraid to face the New York Dolls!”  Thankfully, Jimmy Hart had enough stage presence to know something was amiss and needed to be covered. She also knew he could ramble indefinitely on the mic to keep the crowd occupied.

 

As quickly as she could, Teeny made her way within earshot of Jimmy Cornette and yelled, “Rewind it!”  Then she made for the back door as the crowd continued to shout profanities at Jimmy Hart.

 

As she hit the back door, she knew right where she was going. She spotted the van that Steve Keirn had recently purchased – it seemed as if all the wrestlers were opting for vans over the Lincolns and Cadillacs that had been the favorites for years. Even from a distance she could see that the windows were fogged, and she could hear muffled grunts and giggles coming from inside as she drew near.

 

When she reached the van, she pounded on the side and yelled, “Steve Keirn, you get out of that van right now, and get in the ring! I’m coming in.”

 

When she threw open the back doors, Teeny could hardly believe her eyes. Although this was certainly not the first time she had interrupted a “party” in the parking lot, she had never seen such a tangle of bare legs, hairy butts, gold sequin tuxes, discarded halter tops, and top hats in all her life.

 

“Get out of that van right now!” she screamed. “Steve and Stan, I’ll deal with you boys later! Go get in that ring! If I ever see you girls hanging around here again, I’ll call the police! Now you get out of here right now!”

 

“Yes, ma’am, Ms. Jarrett. We’re sorry, Ms. Jarrett,” Steve and Stan shouted as they pulled their trunks from around their knees and dashed for the back door of the coliseum. They already feared the double-fisted Grip they would get from Teeny later that night far more than any punishment the New York Dolls had waiting for them in the ring.

 

“I don’t want to hear it. You just get in that ring!”

 

As the girls scattered, halter tops in hand and polyester skirts still hiked up around their waists, Teeny’s shock only  worsened as she shut the van door and headed back inside. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of something moving. She quickly darted around the van to see four more girls slinking off in one direction and four wrestlers, with Lawler leading the way, tiptoeing their way back toward the coliseum from their respective vans.

 

“The Fabulous Ones have turned my parking lot into a whore house!” she hollered so all could hear.

 

Yes, some things change. She and Jerry were now calling all the shots, and the face of wrestling had changed tremendously over the 36 years she had already been in the business. But some things – like the fact that some men can’t seem to stop themselves from being drunks, cheats, or both – well, those things always seem to stay the same.

Copyright © 2017 Brennon Martin..
All rights reserved.

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