Stan Hansen, Former Star of the Detroit Wheels
"I'm Gonna Be A Big Star Some Day"
Ladies and Gentlemen in the red corner from Hamlin Texas at 260 pounds, The Future Star of the Detroit Wheels, "STAN HANSEN."
It was the way Stan wanted to be introduced all week long. He had gotten a call from the new World Football Leagues' Detroit Wheels. They wanted Stan, a former football player from West Texas State University to come up and try out for their team. Stan was going on to bigger things with the well funded start-up competition to the NFL. Everyone was well aware of the success of the American Football League and the big salaries spawned by the AFL / NFL competition.
At every exposure to the wrestling fans in the Amarillo Territory, Stan was introduced as the, "Future Star of the Detroit Wheels." There were pictures of Stan in the program in his West Texas State University football uniform with the caption, "Future Star of the Detroit Wheels, Stan Hansen." On the Saturday Television show, Commentator Steve Stack discussed how this would be Stan Hansen's last appearance on Championship Wrestling as he was going to be the, "Future Star of the Detroit Wheels."
When the Saturday Television show was over, we all wished Stan success with the Detroit Wheels. We had a going away party for Stan with a cake and one candle for one year in the wrestling business. In attendance were some of the wrestlers, Ricky Romero, Ted Dibiase, Terry, Myself, Jumbo Tsuruta, Jerry and Nick Kozak, and Nick Roberts. Also there were the TV production staff headed by producer Johnny Mont and commentator Steve Stack. Stan was a good wrestler and showed lots of potential and many times would sit in with Steve to do color on the wrestling show. We all would miss Stan Hansen.
The next week I walked in to the channel 10 Television reception room and was surprised to see Stan Hansen talking to Terry. I wondered what had happened. We had just last week introduced Stan everywhere as the future star of the Detroit Wheels and now he was back. Terry came to me and said, "Stan is back and he wants to work." "Work," I said, "He has just last week been introduced all over as the future star of the Detroit Wheels, What are we going to say now?"
We looked at the card for the next week in Amarillo, Texas. We would be doing promos for it in just a few minutes. It would be possible to insert Stan in to the simi- final against Ivan Cormiux, (The Beast) from Moncton New Brunswick. Stan could do the promos in just a few minutes, just before the start of the weekly TV wrestling show.
The Amarillo Promos were a five minute and three two minute promos to be inserted into the show latter. The first one up on the five minute promo would be Stan, followed by the participants in the main event. Announcer Steve Stack opened with the card rundown for Thursday night at the Amarillo Sports Arena and then turned to Stan and said, "And now we have a few words from the, Former Star of the Detroit Wheels, Stan Hansen" Stan Just turned and walked off the set.
Terry was in charge and yelled, "Stop, Stop, Cut, Let's do it over again, Stan Hansen is trying to kill the business, and Steve, let's lay off of Stan, Don't call him the former star of the Detroit Wheels, pretend he never left." The cameras and tape were reset and the Amarillo Promos went off without further incident, but we knew Stan was sensitive.
The Set Up
Johnny Mont and the boys in the control room went through all the motions of the start up of the television show. Even though they were taping, there was no intention for this taping to go out to the public. This was a rib only for the benefit of Terry, Myself, and the TV crew.
Steve Stack welcomed everyone to Southwest Championship Wrestling and opened the show. Then he introduced Stan Hansen, of the Detroit Wheels as the special guest commentator. The first question from Steve was, "Stan, Tell us about your experience with the Detroit Wheels, How did you like it up there?
Stan responded, "Well Steve I really had a great time and met a bunch of good people. It was a great experience playing for the Detroit Wheels.
The next question from Steve was, "Well Stan, If you liked it so much up there with the Detroit Wheels, What are you doing back here in Amarillo so soon?
Stan in his very serious voice said, "Well Steve, I just had a slight problem with my knee, nothing serious, but I decided to take a leave of absence and get it checked out to make sure everything was alright.
Steve looked Stan right in the face on camera and asked, "Well Stan, If you can't play football, How in the heck do you think you are going to wrestle.
Stan, thinking that this was all going out on the air continued to try to explain his situation. Perspiration was showing on his face as he mentioned the technical analysis of the condition of his knee and at the same time trying to aver that it would be alright to wrestle-----
Steve Stack could take no more. He just drooped his head on the table and went into convulsions. In the control room, Johnny Mont fell off his chair. The rest of the crew was rolling in the floor. A red faced, mad Stan Hansen was on his way back to the control room. I decided that discretion was the better part of humor today and eased my way out the back door of the channel 10 television studio.
I got into my car and slipped in a cassette tape and sped across the north side of Amarillo toward my home in Bishop Hills. The song I was listening to was an old Buck Owens country song, "I'm Gonna Be a Big Star Some Day."
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