Illinois State Crime Commission Director Jerry Elsner
newspaper that. "People have to realize this is not real....also
referring to professional wrestlers as, "Steroid-induced freaks."
The politicians' hope is to eventually take the law nationally."
It could require the repeal of an existing document
Loud Mouth Bastard
Fake Television Shows
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Nashville Tennessee, on a Friday Morning in 1970.
"Look here Boy, Twenty seven members of the National Wrestling
Alliance were in attendance at the last meeting in
Las Vegas, all doing big business and making lots of money. Do you think any of those *#@!&* promoters will think
to thank me that they can run their businesses and make all that money? Nick Gulas answered himself, "Not no but,
"Do you know what this is?" Nick,
The, Owner of the Tennessee Territory reached into his desk and pulled
documents attached to a clipboard. "This is what allows all those *#@!&* promoters to be on television. Television is
the life blood of our business. In the days of Charles Van Doren and those *#@!&* quiz programs, The Sixty Four
Thousand Dollar Question and Twenty One, congress investigated what was going on in those *#@!&* television shows
because people said they were rigged, Son, fixed!!!The contestants had the answers ahead of time!! When the public
found out, there was a congressional investigation and they passed a law saying that anything that was produced on
Television had to, in fact be true as presented. Well son, I had a friend on the congressional committee that drew up the
legislation, Senator Estes Kefauver. I told him, "My God, If they pass legislation like that, It will kill the wrestling
business, We can't tell the truth, Son! We will be deader than *#@!&* Kelsey's nuts." Since Estes Kefauver and I were
good friends, "I gave lots of money to his campaign here in Tennessee, you know, Boy."Estes Kefauver made sure there
was dialog in that legislation that specifically said that anything that was produced on Television had to, in fact be true as
presented "Except in the case of professional wrestling." Now Boy, I keep a copy of that piece of legislation right
here in my desk. I say Son, Do you think any of those twenty seven *#@!&* wrestling promoters will ever think to
thank me for what I did for their business??? "Not no but, Hell no!!"
Over behind one of the desks in
the office sat Christine Jarrett with a smile on her face. She was Nick's
mother of the very young booker in the territory, Jerry Jarrett. Nick's partner in the Territory, Roy Welch was behind
another desk. His aluminum walking cane leaned against the side of the desk. Jerry Jarrett, who brought me to the
office was standing beside me listening to Nick rave on.
Nick continued, "Now Son, I want
you to make sure you get your money tonight when you go to Knoxville to
for that #@&*# thief, John Cazzana. (John was the Local promoter in Knoxville, which belonged to Nick's Tennessee
Territory) Nick went on, "You make sure that #@&*# Cazzana gives you your transportation money too. He is nothing
but a #@&*# kaniving thief. (I had heard that Nick Gulas was pretty tight on pay-offs myself and wondered how he
could be so critical of John Cazzana)
At about 9:00 I showed up at the
Knoxville, Tennessee Fairgrounds Arena. Promoters knew that they could
count on me
to always be there for a show. The only one I ever missed in a 30 year plus career was because of a pickup truck
accident on my father's farm and the Houston promoter, Paul Boesch knew well in advance I would not be there for
I walked in the dressing room, dropped
my bag and looked around. Sitting in the room were friends, Lynn Rossi,
Walker, (Before he became Mr. Wrestling II, but not before he lost his hair) Dennis Hall, Don and Al Green, Sam Bass,
Frank Hester, Big Bad John, Pepe Lopez and a few people I didn't recognize. I said, "Who am I wrestling tonight?
(In those days with the travel schedule of 300 shots a year in a different town every night, there were many times I would
not know who I was wrestling when I got to a show. Many times I met my opponent, in the ring for the first time ever.)
Dennis Hall looked up and said, "You're wrestling old Whitey over there. I looked where he pointed and there was a
sandy haired kid of about 24 who weighed no more than a hundred eighty five pounds. I looked at Dennis and said, "Oh."
I sat down and began opening my
bag thinking Dennis was just kidding me. Whitey certainly didn't look like
a wrestler to
me. I thought to myself, "surely by the time I go into the ring, somebody is going to tell me who I am wrestling tonight?"
About ten o'clock, the bell rang for the main event and Whitey got up and walked to the ring. He was wrestling me for the
NWA World Championship! He had won the tournament the week before to earn the right.
I wrestled Whitey Caldwell to a
sixty minute draw that night in Knoxville. I did not make it easey on him.
We had a return
match in six weeks that sold out in advance of the show. Whitey Caldwell did one hell of a job that night and earned my
respect as one tough wrestler.
In the days of the territories wrestlers
spent a lot of time on the road making the trips by car. Four from that
room died in two tragic car wrecks. Both in the Tennessee Territory, traveling to towns to wrestle. Pepe Lopez, Whitey
Caldwell, Frank Hester, and Sam Bass. Whitey gained the most fame because of the two NWA World Title matches.
Sam Bass was so proud of himself because he got to make one trip to Japan for the old company, Japan Pro Wrestling.
Pepe Lopez teamed with Big Bad John and drew lots of money for Nick Gulas in the old Tennessee Territory. Frank
Hester was a nice guy who loved professional wrestling.
To this day, maybe all of professional wrestling owes Nick Gulas, "The Loud Mouthed Bastard," a debt of gratitude.
Thank you, Nick, for the legislation
Senator Estes Kefauver, (1903-1963)
As for the Knoxville Promoter, John
Cazzana, He paid me all my transportation and a better pay-off than the,
Bastard," Nick Gulas. Thank you too John.
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As Americans learned that television could reveal the truth, they also learned that it could be
used to deceive them. In 1959, after several grand jury investigations and a Congressional
hearing, Columbia University professor Charles Van Doren admitted that his 1957 winning
streak on the NBC quiz show Twenty-One had been rigged. Rather than reacting with outrage,
most Americans identified with and supported Van Doren, reflecting a new worldliness and
cynicism that some critics attributed to the impact of television.
Estes Kefauver was running for president in 1956
and reporters were on
hand when he visited the last surviving veteran of the Civil War, a 108-year-old
man whose immortal words to Kefauver were duly reported, and then preserved
in our eternal scrapbook:
``I haven't had a bowel movement for three days.''
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