Before Shoot Interviews: Joel Goodhart

Joel Goodhart at the podium announcing the Battle of the Nature Boys match

At the time of this 1991 interview, Joel Goodhart–with his beard, glasses, and long hair– looked more like a roadie for the Grateful Dead than a successful, albeit controversial, wrestling promoter. Goodhart earned a loyal following by promoting an influential brand of wrestling called (at the time) “shock wrestling.”  In 1992, Goodhart declared bankruptcy and … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: Joel Goodhart

Before Shoot Interviews: “Pretty Boy” Larry Sharpe

Larry Sharpe cutting a promo at the camera

After badgering Larry Sharpe for an interview at a 1991 wrestling fan convention outside of New York City, the “Pretty Boy” allowed me to follow him to his hotel room.  As we got to the hotel room door, Sharpe, who had recently wrestled his retirement match, muttered, “If you want this damn interview, it’ll have … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: “Pretty Boy” Larry Sharpe

Before Shoot Interviews: Cat Garrett

USWA Logo

During my 1992 visit to the Memphis-based United States Wrestling Association (USWA), I was able to visit with African-American prelim wrestler Anthony “Cat” Garrett.  Garrett, who had just won his preliminary match that night, was standing next to a souvenir table and talking to his family, before he excused himself to talk to me.   … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: Cat Garrett

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: 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: Bruno Sammartino–Part 1

Bruno Sammartino

As a religion major at Columbia University, I wrote a senior thesis on ritual and religious imagery in professional wrestling during 1990-1991. I subsequently applied for and received 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 … Read more Before Shoot Interviews: Bruno Sammartino–Part 1