Article & photos by Paul Stratoti
Just as Bruno Sammartino said 2 years ago at the 2012 induction of his lifelong friend Dominic that Mr. DeNucci may had been shortchanged in wrestling, I too sensed that Greg Valentine was getting shortchanged during this year’s induction of the Fabulous Fargo Brothers and it has been my honor to bring him together here with the forces that be as his sponsor and to clarify what apparently had needed to be clarified.
May 16, 2014
4:44 pm – Greg was so late that I locked him out of the temporary Pro Wrestling Digest security office as shown here. I summoned Lumberjack Leroux to serve as his bodyguard amidst all the confusion. Then later, Valentine left in continued confusion as to whether he was actually invited into this pre-event dinner. Up until this time I had no idea that we were invited as I had sent out my final e-mail to Mr. Velano at 2:30 pm asking him how I should proceed after which the security office was occupied by other personnel for the rest of the evening. As a result and with the unfamiliarity with my new iPhone I was unable to receive messages from this point. Having received no call, I thus believed that we were prohibited from attending the pre-induction dinner although the following day I did read the message sent at 2:45 pm which invited us into the meeting.
Lumberjack Leroux: You worked for us once in Erie and twice in Johnstown, PA.
Greg Valentine: Oh yes, of course. They didn’t like the match because we ate your guys up.
LL: Oh, bullshit!
GV: The guys couldn’t fuckin’ do anything.
LL: OH, bullshit!
GV: What were we going to do?
At this point I turned to Leroux and stopped him in his tracks as he was not the intended interviewee.
Paul Stratoti Lumberjack Leroux, right?
PS: Were you invited here tonight?
LL: Oh really? Was I invited here? I’m not invited to anything.
PS: This room is only for people who have not been invited to the induction.
LL: Good. I’m not invited then. I’m here with you guys.
PS: Alright, I’ll remember that but Greg is still almost an hour late for his interview.
LL: What’s wrong with being an hour late?!
GV: Am I an hour late? I didn’t realize that it was a hundred miles North of the turnpike to get here and I thought it was in Amsterdam, not bumbfucked Egypt!
PS: Alright, I understand. This hotel is in Johnstown.
LL: What’s up with that?
PS: Well, I told him that this was taking place in Amsterdam where in fact we are now in Johnstown.
LL: We stayed in Amsterdam, dammit! Some people said it was in Amsterdam.
GV: This is a looong way from Amsterdam especially when it is pouring down rain. Everybody was driving 5 miles per hour and this is 30miles from Amsterdam… Anyway, I’m here.
PS: Amsterdam sucks. Even my brother Pat would rather be in Amsterdam, Switzerland than in Amsterdam New York… Anyway, Greg, welcome to the2014 Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame weekend where Donnie and the late Jackie Fargo are being inducted tonight.
PS: Oops! My bad…tomorrow.
GV: Are they inducting both of them?
PS: Yes. Anyway, have you been able to keep up with Donnie over the years?
GV: Well, I saw him in Pensacola, Florida in February of this year at the Comic Con. It’s actually the first one that they’ve had there. He came up to see me where he brought one of his students; one of the fellas with whom he taught how to wrestle. We had a nice visit. I hadn’t seen Donnie 10 years prior to that. I did an independent show in Dothan, Alabama where he also came over there to see me so yeah.
PS: College wasn’t for you, was it?
GV: I started to go to college and I hated it. My dad gave me that phone call and I went to the School of Hard Knocks.
PS: There you go and brought out by Stu Hart first.
PS: …and he’s also being inducted tomorrow.
GV: Oh, Stu Hart is too?
PS: It will be a damn shame if you can’t be there.
GV: Yeah, well I don’t know if the guy that runs this thing (is being evasive or what). The last time I was supposed to be here was for my dad’s induction during which time I was in Europe so you’ve got to realize that in this business you are going to have conflicting dates; dates that you can’t make and if you have someone who wants to talk bad about you then they’re going to talk bad about you… and I’ve been in this business for 45 years. I’ve done my part as far as drawing money. I’ve missed a few shows here and there but I’ve been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
PS: Amen to that in 2004!
GV: Right, and Vince McMahon is not an easy person to work for. This business is not easy. It’s very cut throat and if people want to talk bad about you then they will. But I’ll tell you what; even to this day if you put me in the ring I can stay with anybody. That’s why if someone is angry about what happened eight years ago and doesn’t want me here for the banquet … this is bullshit and I don’t appreciate it.
Now I appreciate what they are trying to do and what they’ve done for everybody else and I’m not disappointed that they didn’t do anything for me. I appreciate that they put Johnny Valentine into the Hall of Fame. Vince McMahon did not do that and for the life of my I don’t understand why not but you can’t cry about it.
I’m glad to be here and if they invite me here tomorrow I would come.
PS: I understand. As for Mr. McMahon he can induct Pete Rose if he wants while we’ll induct the wrestlers.
GV: Yes, and he can even induct Tiny Tim and put him in the Hall of Fame. I couldn’t give a damn.
[Lumberjack Leroux laughs]
PS: Moving right along, your first match was against Angelo Mosca in 1970 was it?
PS: …and your very first match in Cleveland, Ohio was at the Cleveland Arena on July 16, 1970 where as Babyface Nelson you lost your match to Luis Martinez.
GV: Well, that’s a good guy to lose to.
PS: Yes he was and you know what? I have this photo here for you to autograph. It is a shot that I took about 40 years ago at Canton Civic Center of him and the autographs that I collect this weekend of his co-workers will go into a short article that I’m working on.
GV: I heard that he was in a rest home. They say that whenever worked in a main event. Well, he made that first match look like a main event. He had a fantastic physique and he was a fantastic guy. I don’t know why whenever was in main events but that wasn’t his job. Back then, the guy would be called a curtain jerker, he was the guy who was in the first match and was very important.
Luis would always put on a great match which primed the crowd for a great card. If a guy stunk on the first match it would affect the crowd and the rest of the matches. Louie Martinez, what a great fella!
PS: On to July 30, 1970 where as Babyface Nelson you drew with another Legend in training in Tim Brooks.
GV: We hit each other so hard that we knocked each other out. We learned a lot about each other, that he was tough and so was I that day. We figured that if we convince the front row we’ll sell the crowd.
PS: Chef White Owl defeated Babyface Nelson in your next Cleveland match.
GV: I didn’t do too well did I? [Laughs]
PS: September 17, 1970 saw Iron Mike Loren defeat you.
GV: Oh my God, pigface Mike Loren. Yep!
PS: On September 24th you were disqualified in your match against Li’l Abner Osborn.
GV: Oh well, gee, I made a step up.
PS: Well, you definitely were doing something right as during the next Cleveland Arena card Donnie was there and he defeated Li’l Abner apparently if not for you then on behalf of you.
GV: Sweet revenge. Later on I gave Li’l Abner a big back-drop and broke his leg. Abner always blames me for doing it.
PS: Bummer for him.
GV: …and I got the credit for doing it.
PS: When you returned to Cleveland Arena you lost to Flyin’ Fred Curry.
GV: He was a very good wrestler with a lot of drop-kicks in his arsenal. Very good.
PS: When 1971 rolled around you became on half of the Fabulous Fargo Brothers after leaving Stu Hart’s Dungeon.
[Bugsy McGraw enters the room and approaches Greg]
PS: On January 7, 1971 at St. Joseph High School you and Donnie finally made history when you defeated Luis Martinez and Chief White owl for the National Wrestling Federation’s World Tag Team Championship. Now that must have been one of your favorite New Year’s presents of all time!
GV: It was great. I learned a lot from Donnie Fargo and was making good money at 1500 dollars a week back then.
PS: In 1971 that was decent money.
GV: Wow, I had enough money to buy a car and everything.
GV: Is this a program that you made for the company here? [Speaking of the bulletin that I offered for interviewees of the weekend]
PS: Yes, for http://www.prowrestlingdigest.com The articles on demolition Ax and our part one interview were published separately. The photos herein where you were wrestling the Junkyard Dog were from a Mira Productions event. … After nearly a year’s absence from Cleveland Arena Johnny Fargo defeated Mad Dog Momberg in NWF action and in the next match you got defeated by the Sicilian Beast. Wasn’t that the same Beast that died in the auto accident that also claimed the life of Adrian Adonis?
GV: Yes, he was an ugly human being but a nice guy.
PS: On May 4, 1972 you and your father worked the same Cleveland Arena card when Johnny Valentine VS Bobo Brazil went to a No Contest. Later, the Fabulous Fargo Brothers VS Tony Parisi and Dominic DeNucci went to a draw in a championship match.
GV: I was instrumental in bringing Johnny Valentine to Buffalo and that area and hooking him up with Pedro Martinez.
PS: You participated in the Wrestling Superbowl during the summer of 72 when in a Men’s Tag Team Tournement Cheifs White owl & McDaniels defeated the Fabulous Fargo brothers who were counted out.
GV: I loved Wahoo McDaniel when my dad and I would watch him all the time in Texas before I even got in the business. Then later when I broke Wahoo’s leg around Mid-Atlantic…
PS: You didn’t break his leg soon enough, either!
GV: …and Chief White owl was a policeman in Ohio somewhere and was another great guy. Defeating us was no big deal and I loved the match up… Now, Johnny Powers VS Johnny Valentine would have drawn a lot more money if Powers wouldn’t have screwed up the match at Cleveland Arena which lead to the Match of the Century.
PS: I remember it well. The match in June where your dad made Johnny Powers’ nose explode with blood was a wonderful thing.
GV: Right. Something happened there….
PS: Rumor had it that a business deal went sour and your dad got revenge for it. Also booked for that Superbowl was George Steele who wrestled at Boston, Garden that night instead.
GV: I love George the Animal Steele. He’s a helluva man and always has been a good friend. When he became an agent for WWE he was a great guy. A lot of times when guys get the power and the pencil things change. George was always the same. He’s a good man and that’s how I feel about him.
PS: He’s very deserving in his place as a WWE Hall of Fame.
PS: After moving on from the NWF the Fabulous Fargo Brothers went their separate ways and you moved on to Texas where as Johnny Valentine Jr. you later changed your name to Greg Valentine where you were billed as your dad’s brother.
GV: My dad was worried about the age conflict because back in that day a 40 year old was considered too old and now it’s not so. I did his wishes as that’s what he wanted.
PS: Then in 1975 you worked for Antonio Inoki and then in 1976 you joined Mid-Atlantic where you replaced your father and developed the Top Rope Elbow Drop.
GV: Of course. After that plane crash and he retired it didn’t matter anymore.
PS:… Then in November of 1978 you entered WWE where you were managed by the late Grand Wizard and became a methodical wrestler who enjoyed breaking your opponent’s legs such as you did to Chief Jay Strongbow. Thank you for breaking his legs in advance, Greg! He once told me to vacate the ringside area with my trusty Strat-camera while I was photographing a WWE event.
GV: I would have broken his nose too.
PS: He was a phenomenal wrestler in his own right.
GV: We made a lot of money together. God rest his soul. Too bad you never got to meet him on a different playing field but he was one of my favorite people in the business. He really was. He took me to meet Vince Sr. who got me over with that Figure Four Leg Lock, I did my rounds with Bob Backlund and he saw what we could do and he volunteered his injury saying I want this kid to break my leg and you know what? We drew money and it didn’t matter whether we wrestled in a pig shack or in Madison Square Garden. We sold out! He was fabulous and it was magic.
PS: Ric Flair became one of your biggest opponents in Mid-Atlantic, didn’t he?
GV: Right! We were a tag team with World Tag Team championship gold a couple of times. We wrestled Steamboat and Youngblood and the Andersons. … Then after we went away to New York and then came back and did a thing where Ric turned babyface. I was always a villain. So he brings me out and asked me Would you wrestle with me one more time against the Andersons? I gave him a short tag in Greensboro and they threw me a cane with which to break his nose. Well, the cane wouldn’t break.
Consequently, I busted Flair up so bad that we took him to a hospital where he got stitches. He had to wear a nose brace. I actually broke the biggest thing next to Ric’s ego which was his nose.
[We all erupt in laughter]
PS: I’d like to see the look on his face when he reads that one… You returned to WWE in ’84 with foresight predicting that Vince McMahon’s vision for national expansion would succeed. What was it, just a gut feeling? You were in the business for awhile and saw things happening, right? I read that in Wikipedia.
GV: Well, Wikipedia sucks because they call me Johnny Valentine Jr. and that is not my name. John Wisniski is not my name either so they don’t know what they’re talking about.
I went back because I just wanted to go back to New York. I had no idea that we were going everywhere. Vince didn’t start going everywhere until I went back. When he did I said, this is fantastic! I went up and had a meeting with Vince and I said I’m going in against all these promoters with whom I worked for and I asked him what was going on. He explained that he wasn’t really trying to put these guys like Eddie Graham, Fritz Von Erich and Verne Gagne out of business but he had just started a national company and this is how he wanted to promote it. He stated, it’s like Coca Cola, I want to go worldwide!
So it now made sense to me and I didn’t feel bad anymore. I did feel bad when Eddie Graham blew his head off though. That was the McMahon pride; he had the right to make it a national company and went for it.
PS: On July 17, 1988 at Bayamon Stadium in Puerto Rico 2014 Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee Bruiser Brody, who was also trained by the Sheik, was murdered by Jose Gonzales. During my visit to the 2012 PWHOF celebration I overheard Tony Atlas who was there that night that Gonzales kept saying to people that he was going to get Brody.
PS: Also during my 2006 interview with Abdullah the Butcher who was also there he merely stated, No comment on that. Greg, what’s your take on this touchy subject?
GV: It is a touchy subject. I never met Bruiser Brody. I brushed by him at a Chicago Stay-Out-All-Nite club. I happened to bump into him; he looked at me and I looked at him but I didn’t know who he was till later. I had heard that he was one helluva tough sonuvabich. I was told that he was hard to do business with from Vince McMahon Sr. He had found his home in Japan. Poeple who don’t make money from McMahon or don’t go by the rules make a lot of money in Japan like Stan Hansen who broke Bruno’s neck. They both made a lot of money in Japan. Brody was making a fortune in Japan and he would go to Puerto Rico and start chewing this little short guy Gonzales out. I heard that he just followed him into the shower and stuck hi with a knife and gutted him like a pig and he got away with it because in Puerto Rico nobody saw what happened between these two people and one of them bled to death. In Puerto Rico if you are 4″8″ tall and the other is 7 foot tall it’s called an equalizer and self-defense. That’s what he got off on. All of us in the business feel bad Bruiser Brody because he was one tough SOB. You’ve got to respect the fact that he did what he wanted in a tough business where promoters are always telling you what to do.
[At this time there was a knock on the door and Lumberjack Leroux let in Bugsy McGraw]
GV: Wow, I haven’t seen you in a long time. How are you doing?
Bugsy McGraw: Hello, Greg. I finally got the chance to see you. People have been asking me if I’ve ever seen you and I tell them No, he’s somewhere in the independents, that’s all I know. Are you doing alright?
GV: I’m doing great. I last saw you in Florida about 3 years ago. I’ll catch up with you after this interview ends…
PS: Do you have any top memory of him?
GV: He did that type of weird clown kind of stuff and I’m a serious wrestler so we had conflicting styles. Nowadays, I can work with him because I am not 100% dedicated to making this stuff look real because the business has been exposed so many times anyway so I don’t care anymore about it. He’s a nice fella.
PS: Nonetheless, I think that kayfabe should be maintained still.
GV: Yeah, me too because I went through the School of Hard Knocks, have tried to make people believe in what I do and when people say that wrestling is fake I still get offended.
PS: I understand.
PS: In 1988 you feuded with a newly turned face in 2014 PWHOF inductee Don Muraco after viciously attacking his manager.
GV: Superstar Billy Graham, yes!
PS: Graham, walking with a cane tried to intervene when you held the Figure Four Leg Lock on Ricky Ataki after already winning the match. You then put the Figure Four on Graham who had a plastic hip. Now, why would you do that?
PS: He was ailing!
GV: I did it because I wanted to draw big money. I wanted to make some more money at the expense of Billy Graham.
[Lumberjack Leroux laughs]
PS: Well, he’s still hanging in there.
GV: …and then I never got to wrestle Don Muraco that much in those blue tights because we all went to Europe. About three months later we were supposed to come back and have this big feud but Muraco had gotten fired, the Bulldogs both got fired and Junkyard Dog got fired because they got a hold of some liquid Valium over there. They were urinating all over the double Decker bus that had a bunch of Italian and French people in it. Consequently, I came back when Muraco threatened Nick Bockwinkle saying that he was going to whip his ass and he was the agent on duty. So when we got back these four guys who were main event superstars were out of a job. I was really looking forward to working this angle with Muraco and even pleaded with Vince McMahon to bring him back but then he said, I’m not going to bring him back. He disrespected my agents and that’s it!
PS: You have a daughter named Vanessa who began training under the Hart Brothers in the late 1990s?
PS: I knew nothing about her. Is she still active?
GV: No and I don’t even know what name she had. She didn’t last very long as she got married and pregnant shortly after… Now I’ve got another daughter who would have become a diva. Her name is Romaine but I could never get her interested in this business.’
PS: Sherri Martel once helped you defeat George Steele during a Heroes of Wrestling event.
PS: Do you have any fond memories of her as Joyce Grable prepares to receive a posthumous induction award for her tomorrow?
GV: They always try to connect me and Sheri as like being together but that never happened. We were just good friends. She was a good lady.
PS: LeRoy McGuirk also is getting inducted tonight.
GV: First of all Leroy McGuirk never saw me because he was blind. Mike McGuirk is one helluva good looking SOB and I like her. She’s a real good friend of mine.
PS: Mr. Wrestling II Johnny Walker is set to receive his award right after the Fabulous Fargo brothers receives theirs.
GV: Johnny Walker is a great guy. His wife made me all those beautiful robes. They weren’t for free and cost a lot of money. He’s one of the stiffest guys I got to wrestle with. A great guy and a good man. I love you, Johnny Walker!
PS: Gary Hart is being inducted also tomorrow.
GV: He’s another great man and a good friend of mine too. He was a great talker and worker during his era with whom I smoked a lot of pot with. [laughs]
PS: Are you still a part of the Insane Clown Posse Theater today?
GV: I did two seasons with them and I had a blast with it.
PS: … and you are being featured in the upcoming documentary, Behind the Ropes: The Greatest Fraternity in the World (also featuring the Boogeyman, Tony Atlas, Jake Roberts, Brutus Beefcake, Jimmy Snuka and Hacksaw Jim Duggan).
GV: Yes. I’ve got a couple of DVDs that they gave me and it looks as though it is really going to be good. It was filmed really well. I’m also on another one too that my friend in New York has a hand in making.
PS: You mean to tell me that you have friends?
GV: Yeah. [laughs]
PS: Did you ever feel intimidated for being passed over for the WWE Heavyweight title?
GV: Well, I was in line for it in 1984 but then they discovered Hulk Hogan so… It’s kind of a roll of the dice. They could have given the title to Orndorff for his height and everything. I wasn’t real tall and Vince always kind of liked guys who are real tall.
PS: What was it like the very first time that you stepped into a WWE locker room?
GV: They flew me up in 1979 to Allentown, PA where they did 3 tapings. The next night in Hamburg they did 3 more. I had pretty well been schooled in wrestling having been on top of the Mid-Atlantic with Ric Flair. Then George Scott who was Booker at the time more or less got the gig for me. The Garden wasn’t selling out and Vince needed somebody who knew how to turn that around. I’m not saying that I did it but that was not wrestling. They had guys in there who were pulling hair, grabbing and doing cheap heat. Nobody seemed to be having a real well put together match that the fans could believe in. I got picked because I knew how to wrestle. So Vince brought me in and gave me that Figure Four Leg Lock which I had never done before. It got over so well with my style which was not gouging eyes, punching and kicking. My wrestling was sheer fighting fury and that turned the whole thing around. Vince started to look at his talent and saw how his guys were not working hard and were not believable and the people were getting sick of seeing it and it showed in ticket sales.
PS: What was the worst match or night you ever had in your career?
Greg laughs out loud and says, I was very particular like a ring General. If I had a match that was not going the way I wanted it to I’d get really, really frustrated because I have this gift that God gave me. I seemed to know things way ahead of time that would take other guys 30 years to learn. I wanted everybody to say that I had the best match on the card…My dad used to say, ‘You are only as good as your opponent is.’ He also said that if you’re a great worker then you can work with a broom stick. So it’s hard to pin point. I think that all of my WWF matches were passable if not great. A couple of times in my younger years I shit my pants.
PS: In the ring?
GV: Yes. [laughs]
PS: I guess that is bound to happen… Have you ever had the Figure Four Leg Lock broken from you?
GV: If I get it on you then you can’t friggin get out!
PS: What if you and Ric Flair had a match today, whose legs would break?
GV: I think his would because he’s now an alcoholic and I don’t drink that much. I’ve only smoked marijuana and that’s why I’m healthier.
[After a brief silence Greg breaks out laughing]
GV: Yes, you can print that if you want because I don’t give a damn as it’s almost legal now… You know, I remember Ric Flair telling Jim Crockett, ‘Greg Valentine smoked 2 joints on the way up here.’ Finally, people are realizing that it is better than alcohol!
PS: Who is better to work for Japan or USA?
GV: USA. Japanese people sit on their hands. Now, I love Japan and love going but these people don’t do anything. The only time that I ever saw them get excited about something is when this stupid little Japanese guy jumped off the top rope. This other guy raised his head up just as he came down and all four of his front teeth fell out and blood was squirting everywhere when the crowd started laughing. That was the biggest reaction. I was just a bystander and I still enjoy going though. You just have to realize that these people are dummies sand they are not going to react.
PS: Moving on to some pictures that I’ve brought along…take a look at this group picture in the IWC locker room. Do you see anything wrong with it???
GV: Norm Connors is in the picture.
PS: That’s what’s wrong with it?
GV: Yeah. [We all begin laughing, after which Greg said,] He paid me good and I never had a problem with him. Now who is this guy with the cane?
PS: That’s what I was really referring to. That’s Mayor Mystery, the Mayor of Parts Unknown, and he’s not wearing his mask.
GV: Oh my God, this is a picture of Anvil over here! I was only around the gym with him. That’s it.??
PS: So what are we going to do now, leave Holiday Inn? I don’t think that we are allowed to attend the upcoming meeting???
PS: Well, I guess we should play it by ear. Since I hadn’t picked up my banquet ticket by the time the last one was sold and you left yours at home we might not be allowed admission. It is just the rules and these one’s cannot be broken. There is no referee around to look the other way. I honestly feel as though I messed up here somehow and since you didn’t show up for your father’s induction a few years back you may be blackballed as well.
GV: Well, I know that I let it be known that I’d love to be here but because of the No Show I was never replied to back. If they want to hold a grudge like that then (that’s their prerogative). I would love to have the chance to make up for it and I thought you were my chance but you ended up getting barred too. So, I’m here for you. If they want to come up to me and say ‘C’mon in I’d be delighted. We’d let bygones be bygones. There’s some kind of Meet & Greet tomorrow, isn’t there?
LL: ‘Yes. it’s right in that room down the hall from here.
PS: Yes, in the same room where at 6:30 pm there will also be a meeting for all the inductees and other notables who are required to attend. By the way, a little while ago I telephoned CAC representative Karl Lauer and asked him for his advice on how to proceed as a true CAC representative would do. He stated that it was his belief that you are definitely invited to attend the 6:30 meeting. I then told him that I had not officially been told of this by Mr. Velano (although there was an unread message in my mobile device encouraging us to attend. I didn’t see it until the next day)
GV: Karl’s a nice guy.
PS: Yes he is and I’m honored to be a Lifetime Member of his fine organization.
GV: I went there last year and had a blast.
PS: …and you lied to me about that too.
GV: What do you mean???
PS: You told me that you were not a member of CAC, remember?
GV: Yes. I never paid for a ticket.
PS: That doesn’t matter. Perhaps you are unaware of it but if you attend a CAC reunion then you have had your dues paid for the year. It must have been the guy who brought you there and with that, Greg, thank you for this interview and for all the memories and thrills that you gave us during your active wrestling career.
GV: Do you want to go outside now and do the photo shoot?
PS: Oh, yeah.
GV: What about this meeting?
PS: Well, Lord Zoltan just e-mailed me that he left Ilio DiPaolo’s restaurant a little while ago and is en route to the meeting. I know nothing more about it.
LL: Other than on TV, the first time that I ever saw Mr. Valentine here live was in 1983 at the LA Forum. Seeing him work that day was unbelievable. There were a lot of great matches that night but his work with Tony Garea was outstanding! The Main Event was supposed to be Jesse Ventura Vs Big John Studd. Now, I’m 8 years old sitting there with my dad. This young man WORKED Garea that night. I had for awhile been arguing with my brother over my being a Tony Garea fan and his being a Greg valentine fan. Later in life after I came out of college and found that here’s our chance to work with Greg … I’m lacing up my boots one night, look up and here he is walking into our locker room. I say to myself, HOLY SHIT! You worked a match against Rocky Reynolds. I’m telling it like it was right now, it wasn’t the main event but it sold like the main event.
GV: All you had to do is grab a hold.
LL: …and it worked. Greg Valentine’s match worked!
GV: What time is it now?
PS: [turning to Leroux] What time is it now?
Lumberjack Leroux opens the door and randomly asks the forming crowd, What time is it now? Somebody responds after which Leroux states, Six o’clock.
GV: 6 o’clock?
PS: No, it’s 6 o’clock.
GV: I just want to tell you that I’m going to go to that thing tomorrow afternoon.
GV: The banquet money was donated to them, right?
GV: Then I’ll just play it by ear. I’ll attend the banquet but I may leave before the end of the Awards ceremony.
PS: With that, let’s do a little round or word association before we do photos… Hair VS Hair Match?
GV: I never lost my hair other than Beefcake clipping a little bit of it off.
PS: How about bitch-slap?
PS: What? You guys have never been bitch-slapped before?
LL: I’ve bitch slapped many people.
GV: I’ve bitch slapped a couple of women in my time.
PS: Cyndi Lip-lock.
GV: Cyndi who?
PS: Don’t you remember calling Cyndi Lauper Cyndi Lip-lock on TV during the mid 1980s? I thought it was hilarious.
GV: Lou Albano was my manager at the time. He took off with her and I called her Cyndi Lip-lock and they let it fly.
PS: Dr. Jerry Graham
GV: I remember meeting him in LA where he was in the dressing room and I was really happy to meet this legend. Then I noticed him sitting in this chair and pissing all over the floor. That’s my top memory of the doctor. He then laughed.
PS: In closing, in the event I may wish to visit Ric and Ashley Flair for my next big Legends assignment what would I have to do?
GV: I can set that up for you. I have nothing against Ric and I know that a lot of people say a lot of bad things about him. He’s had a lot of problems with marrying too many people. Now let’s go take these pictures and then I’ll go home. I’m not invited. I just came here for my buddy Paul.
6:28pm – Just before Don Fargo arrived Mr. Velano standing at the entrance door monitoring the attendees of the pre-induction event asked, Where’s Greg? Didn’t you get the message that I sent you earlier to attend this meeting?
PS: No, sir. He just left a couple of minutes ago to go back to his hotel. He will return tomorrow probably at the Meet & Greet.
The following night when it was time for the induction of the Fabulous Fargo Brothers, Ray Apollo (dressed as Doink the Clown) who was appointed by MC Brian Blair to do the intro proceeded:
Ray Apollo: I’ve heard more stories about the Fargo Brothers I think than anybody else. A couple of years ago this tattooed guy pulls up in a Harley Davidson and I didn’t know if he had shoes on or not. I said ‘Wow, who is that guy?’ and John goes, ‘That’s Donnie Fargo’. I then said, ‘Wow, alright, that’s really cool’. I looked at him and said that everything must be true. He’s got no clothes on but motorcycle patches, tattoos and his hair is blowing in the wind.
Anyway with that being said, I’d like to bring up a guy who has hit me harder than most people and his dad certainly did one time in Tampa, Florida. Mr. Greg Valentine will be talking about the induction of the Fabulous Fargo Brothers. [The crowd claps]
GV: I’d like to give a shout out to my father Johnny Valentine who was inducted here several years ago. [The crowd claps and cheers louder] He never wanted me to be in the wrestling business so he sent me up to Calgary to train with Stu Hart. That will discourage anybody. I remember Stu picking me up in a limousine with a bunch of vegetables hanging out the back and I had bare feet and it was about 30 below zero. So I got a great education there and I didn’t have any wrestling boots. This story goes into my meeting Donnie Fargo. Later on I begged my father to please get me out of Calgary. The Harts are here so I’m sorry. ??So he sent me to the original Sheik Eddie Farhat which was one step warmer…
I lived in Eddie Farhat’s basement with his kid and had a ring set up out back but he got me into the ring and he never showed my anything. I went out on the road and kind of learned things from scratch. He gave me this name that I hated because I wasn’t ready to be a Valentine yet. This name Babyface Nelson… I just had nightmares about it every night. I didn’t even know who Babyface Nelson was; he was a notorious criminal. He said that I had a baby face and that would be good. Then in Findlay, Ohio I first met Don Fargo. He stared at me and I stared at him. He had the blond hair and I had the blond hair. He was done being a Hell’s Angel and a Dalton Brother so he asked me if I would be his partner and I said that I’d do anything to get away from Babyface Nelson. ??You think about the golden era of wrestling and I’m not saying that Donnie is real old or anything but you had the Graham Brothers, the rest of the blond tag teams and you now had the Fargo Brothers. I was never fortunate enough to meet Jackie Fargo but I met Sonny Fargo. Me and Donnie Fargo took off and we terrorized this area right up here. Buffalo, New York with Pedro Martinez and the NWF and Johnny Powers ran the thing from Cleveland and Akron, Ohio on up through Pittsburgh and back up through here. I mean we really did terrorize this place.
One of the first photo ops that Bill Apter did was when Don and I were doing pushups while we had cigars in our mouths and 2 bottles of red wine. He said this is how we train. I’ll never forget that. When we went to Pittsburgh for the first time we had our first big matches against Bruno and Dominic DeNucci and we sold out that Civic Arena about 3 times in a row. All Donnie would say is, ‘I hate Pittsburgh’, and so we sold it out. He taught me how to take bumps… He was very instrumental in my career and without further ado here’s the great Don Fargo… Put that cigar in your mouth!??DF: You know all the stories, all the crazy things that we did on the road together. These are all things that I can’t mention but wish I could but I’m writing a book and I’m going to put them in there. I was a little worried because I spoke to Scott Teal and said, ‘I’m supposed to get in the ring, you know. … Don’t publish this book until it’s all over’. I never said anything bad about the boys. My life and the way I’ve lived it was, PHEW, bad! I’m lucky to be alive today.
GV: Of all the guys whom you think would have passed on it would have been you.
Don Fargo: Yeah.
GV: I don’t mean to be harsh for saying that. I mean there are a lot of guys who have done crazy things and those seem to be the guys who live forever.
DF: I’ll bet nobody could ever hang from a rope with no clothes on.
GV: You were a shooter too, right?
DF: I thought I was. [laughs]
GV: He really was a shooter because this guy had 2 little six guns when he was running around as a Dalton and that’s what I meant.
DF: OK, so they cut me own from the building where I was hanging about 15 or 20 stories up and they lowered me down to where Vince McMahon was at where they were having a party. I lost my job.
GV: Can I tell this one story? We were booked in St. Louis together in one of Johnny Valentine’s big towns. He wasn’t on the card that night. They put me and Donnie on the card there and Sam Muchnick or somebody was sitting in some little bar on the other side of St. Louis and we found out where they were at and Donnie went out… can I tell this story?
DF: Go ahead.
GV: He took off all of his clothes except for his beetle boots and he said ‘Go inside and wait for me. I’m going to go in and order a case of beer to go. So he walked into the bar totally nude with just his beetle boots on and walked up to the counter where everybody is looking and they all started exploding in laughter. He ordered a case of beer and then we left. That was the last time we were booked in St. Louis, although I got booked later on.
DF: …and I’ve done worse stuff than that. I will tell you one thing; that I was very fortunate and made a lot of money and sold a lot of houses out but it wasn’t just me.
After the induction, Paul Vachon offered a final memory of the Fabulous Fargo Brothers:
Paul Vachon: So Donnie has this idea that he was going to rib the guys in the follow up car which included his brother. He began pouring lines of this gunpowder all over the road ahead of them while smoking his cigar. Ashes were falling into the gunpowder when all of a sudden, BOOM! He caught on fire and when it was all over he was standing in the middle of the road half naked wearing only his shorts and his shoes.
Standing nearby, Donnie closes with, I had no eyebrows and no mustache. I was in instant pain and the closest hospital was 60 miles away. It was also a dry county but we still had our case of beer in the car. I told Sputnik Monroe who also was in the car that I couldn’t take the pain so he poured beer all over my face to cool me down. I then wrestled the next day!