In Funk's Corner

"How Much Money am I Going to Make"

Ichi Ban Otoko

I have always been interested in developing and helping young talent for the wrestling business.

From my first days in the wrestling business I have been approached by young athletes who wanted to become pro wrestlers. In the beginning it was because of my father's notoriety in the Amarillo Territory and the name recognition and visibility Terry and I had in the West Texas State University football program.

Dusty Rhodes, Tully Blanchard, Ted Dibiase, Bobby Duncum Sr., Bruiser Brody, Dick Murdoch, Tito Santana, (Merced Solice) Barry Windham and Stan Hanson all participated in the West Texas State University football program and followed us into the wrestling business.

My next influence came in Japan where I had the opportunity to train and work with in the development of Jumbo Tsuruta, Tenryu, Misawa, Kobashi, Kawada, Kabuki and Akiyama.

In the Mid Atlantic Territory, it was Jay Youngblood, (Steve Romero) Later as the booker in Florida I had the opportunity to work closely with David Von Erich and in Japan with Kerry Von Erich.

In the mid eighties I worked an indy show in North Carolina and met and became good friends with a young future brilliant talent, Rob Van Dam. We made many trips together to Japan.

Later it was a privilege working with such future stars as Kurt Angle, Test, Christian, Edge, Matt Hardy, Lita, Prince Albert, Rikishi, Crash Holly and many more.


I was sitting in my living room one morning just after we had moved to Florida in the late eighties. The phone rang and it was one of the young athletes I had worked with in Florida Territory. He talked to Marti first and said, "Please help me, I am stuck out here in Portland working for some independent promoter and the business is terrible. I have no money. I had to call my mother and ask here to send me enough money to get home. Please ask Dory if he can book me in Japan."

This kid was a quality athlete (Badketball) and college graduate with a degree in business and had been working for Honeywell Corp. He had made the decision with his wife to give wrestling a try. Together they decided to make a three year commitment to making in in the wrestling business. He was close to the end of the line.

I took the phone and said I would do my best.

In five minutes I had Mister Baba on the phone and had confirmation that my friend could go to Japan on the next trip for All Japan Pro Wrestling. I called back to the Portland number and informed my friend he was booked for the next tour. He thanked me profusely then hung up.

Less than a minute later, the phone rang again. It was my friend on the phone from Portland. He said, "Hey Dory, How much money am I going to make?"

My first thoughts were, "Holy Moley this guy just called me starving in Portland and now he is asking me how much money he is going to make?" Later, I thought, "This kid has a lot of guts."

I did talk to Mr. Baba about this young talented athlete and the contributions he could make to the wrestling business. They did come up with a financial deal that began the very successful portion of  his career.

This young cosmetically appealing athlete became the number one Gaijin (Term used to describe out of country wrestlers) wrestler in Japan. Not only was he a great worker but learned the business in total. All Japan Pro-Wrestling became known as the best company for in-ring performance in the world. They did capacity business with clean finishes in the ring, winners and losers. To explain it in common terms, "no bull-shit finishes." My friend was the man behind the scenes, the writer for All Japan Pro-wrestling.

He is now an indispensable part of the Future of WCW.

In Japanese the Characters say, "Number one Man"
Ichi Ban Otoko
Johnny Ace.

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