Before Shoot Interviews: Jeff Jarrett

Jeff Jarrett struts in white suit

After an hour of pestering the promoter of Memphis’s United States Wrestling Association (USWA) at a 1992 show, the promoter brought out one of the promotion’s top good guys (or “faces”), Jeff Jarrett, to talk to me. Sporting a mane of shiny blond hair and a friendly demeanor, Jarrett patiently described his wrestling career before … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: Jeff Jarrett

Before Shoot Interviews: Wade Keller–Part 2

Wade Keller sitting in from of a microphone

In part two of this 1991 interview, Pro Wrestling Torch editor Wade Keller talks about incorporating interviews into his relatively new newsletter. The interviews were a feature that set the Torch apart from The Wrestling Observer. KELLER: I decided to start doing interviews. I thought that would be good because there weren’t any in wrestling, and … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: Wade Keller–Part 2

Before Shoot Interviews: Wade Keller–Part 1

Wade Keller in front of painting of Verne Gagne

Wade Keller had been editing and publishing the Pro Wrestling Torch from a Minneapolis suburb for four years at the time of this 1991 interview. Keller started his newsletter as a high school student and featured interviews along with news.  Although there are a variety of sources for “insider” pro wrestling news today, in the … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: Wade Keller–Part 1

Before Shoot Interviews: Dave Meltzer

Dave Meltzer surrounded by paper in his office.

The Wrestling Observer newsletter, one of the first, and likely the most influential, professional wrestling newsletters is written and edited by California-based Dave Meltzer. When I was an intern at Marvel Comics in 1990, the editor with whom I worked was a professional wrestling fan and told me about this newsletter, and I have been … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: Dave Meltzer

Before Shoot Interviews: Eddie Sharkey–Part 2

Eddie Sharkey turns his attention to his Pro Wrestling America (PWA) promotion in the second part of this 1991 interview. In addition to describing the dynamics of trying to be an independent promoter at a time when the World Wrestling Federation had driven many other regional wrestling promotions out of business, Mr. Sharkey provides some … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: Eddie Sharkey–Part 2

Before Shoot Interviews: Eddie Sharkey–Part 1

Eddie Sharkey posing in black trunks

“Just look for the beat-up-looking old wrestler,” Eddie Sharkey advised me over the phone as we set up our 1991 breakfast meeting at a Denny’s restaurant in Minneapolis. As of 1991, Sharkey had just about done it all in professional wrestling: grappling, training, refereeing, and promoting. Sipping cup after cup of coffee, Sharkey’s tall tales … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: Eddie Sharkey–Part 1

Before Shoot Interviews: Teddy Long

Teddy Long as a manager

When I talked to Theodore “Teddy” Long in 1992, he was working as a television commentator for World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the second most popular wrestling promotion in America. Mr. Long was able to accomplish much during his several years in WCW, where he served as a referee, wrestling manager, and commentator.  LONG: I’m from … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: Teddy Long

Before Shoot Interviews: Rockin’ Robin

Two images of wrestler Rockin Robin

As with Bruno Sammartino, I met Rockin’ Robin at a 1991 New York wrestling fans’ convention.  Robin sat at a table displaying her championship belts and pictures of herself in different poses that one could purchase for five dollars. Robin gave a photo to me after this interview and signed it, “Live, Love, & Laugh!” … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: Rockin’ Robin

Before Shoot Interviews: Bruno Sammartino–Part 3

Bruno Sammartino with statue of self

In part 3 of this 1991 interview with Bruno Sammartino, Sammartino describes the stress of his long-term WWWF championship runs and his concerns about steroid use among professional wrestlers. SAMMARTINO: Overnight, everything turned around. The Italians started following me. Not bragging, but the WWF became the number one organization. I had an enormous career, a … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: Bruno Sammartino–Part 3

Before Shoot Interviews: Bruno Sammartino–Part 2

After I graduated from college in 1991, I was awarded Columbia’s Henry Evans Traveling Fellowship, which allowed me to travel around the United States and interview people in the professional wrestling business. I collected eighteen interviews, which will be now be released twice a month in the PWSA Ringside blog series “Before Shoot Interviews.” In … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: Bruno Sammartino–Part 2