Karl Gotch and Jake Shannon chat (11/14/04) Part Two

Jake Shannon - June 15, 2017
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KG: He's just like the guys. He said, "Oh, you can't take me down," and I just laughed.

JS: It was a challenge.

KG: And that's when I really got the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They were laying on their back …

JS: Yeah …

KG: They rolled it. They look out for two things -- a stranglehold and the thing. An armbar …

JS: Yeah …

KG: Because they need to do that.

JS: Well, it seems like laying on their back and their legs around your waist …

KG: Oh, what are you talking about? Your legs around your waist. When I stood up, one guy to me … I said, "That don't go. Where I come from, we call it the whorehouse hold." And the guy lay right back on his back.

JS: Well, it seems like you could get some good toeholds and leglocks out of that, too.

KG: Recently -- the guy-- he said, "Well, okay, let's see." He went on the mat. He fell on his back. And I sat back. I said, "Come on. Now, come on. Let's see what you can do from there." So he said, "Yeah, but you're not coming. What's the matter? Are you scared to come in?" I said, "I'll show you how scared I am, asshole."

So, he got both legs up, right, for kicking me off, and as soon as I come in, he's going to scissor me. So when he kicked off, I grabbed both [his] legs under the ankles. Pushed in. Pushed him in. Pulled him up and he switched. And he spun around like a top and by the time he came around, I dropped down with my knees and place him in an armbar. He sung like a canary.

I said, "Now I'm going to do it your way completely. Here I am." And I went in. And let him sit on me. When he sit on my other leg, I dig my elbows in. He started. He opened up just like a woman giving birth. And I spun sideways and toe hold in three different angles.

And then I put the leg over me around and I said, "Here," because if he kicked each side, he can't kick your face, because you push the leg over you and you toehold him from the outside. You know, there's a long toehold.

JS: Yeah, right.

KG: He says, "I can't kick you." I said, "Sure. What did you think? I was going to give you a bonus? I have to kill you not to get me killed." There's a difference.

JS: Yeah. I like to call that a Saturday night ride. When the guy's leg is wrapped around you and you've got him pinned to the mat.

KG: We used to call that a whorehouse.

JS: A whorehouse ride, huh? That's funny.

KG: Yeah, a whorehouse. Of course, you could name it. No wrestler uses it. No wrestler ever goes for that. Or gives that. Jesus Christ. You've got to be the target. You don't have to be a wrestler. I don't say wrestlers are smart. Don't get me wrong. I only had seven years education.

JS: Hello?

KG: I thought it was going off.

JS: Yeah, that's weird. Well, I really have kept you much too long. Now it's going to be five o'clock before you eat.

KG: No, it's four thirty. Three thirty. It's three twenty-five now.

JS: It only takes you an hour. Well, I hate to waste your time.

KG: No, that's all right. No, but it's okay. But you're always calling me and it costs you money and it's all the way from over there.

JS: Oh, I get one of those calling cards. It costs you like $20. There's a ton of minutes. There's one I got 670 minutes for $20.

KG: Well, good for you, but still you're paying $20 to talk to some old has-been.

JS: Hey. I'd pay ten times that.

KG: One guy told me one time, "Well, all you guys there …" Oh, I forgot what words he used. Just to look at it, I forgot what he said. He said, "But you're a has-been." Because I was from the old school. I just smiled at him. I said, "That's right. But you know what the trouble is? Yours never was."

JS: Right.

KG: At least I have been there. Where the hell are you going?

JS: Right.

KG: I said, "Even goddamned kindergarten seems like college to you." He walked out. He didn't like me too much anymore. I said I have a lot of people that I talk with and afterwards, they never talk to me again or they never could say anything good about me. And nobody liked me. Well, what do you want? That's what you get when you say you're a dangerous man. And you know when you're a dangerous man? When you're outspoken and you say the truth.

JS: The truth, yes.

KG: Because the truth only hurts a fool. Well, I found out the world is full of fools, because nobody can take it.

JS: That's the truth. That's the truth. Well, I know how you feel. I've got plenty of people that don't necessarily like me, either, right now, but it's only because I want to get the facts.

KG: Well, you ain't going to get too far, because there is nobody that knows the facts anymore. You understand what I mean?

JS: Yes. It seems like everybody changes history to suit their own ego.

KG: And everybody wants to toot his own horn. Me? No, I don't talk about me or what I was. How I won the championship for Europe and this and that. So what? That's all gone. Because nobody knows it anyway. They'd rather talk about a guy like Buddy Rogers or Lou Thesz. Well, everybody called him the great champion. I have to give him credit for one thing -- he looked good.

JS: Yes.

KG: He kept in sharp shape. He worked with light weights and he liked to play handball. That he liked. And he was lucky. He had a good tan. Me, the only time I get brown is when I keep my shit up for three months. Pigments … Like most of the Wigan boys, they looked like raw dough because they all worked in the mines, so they never had that. And there was no sun in England, anyway. And he was very afraid -- he lost his hair. He was always dressed very well outside and inside the ring he went with that long thing. He learned that from …What do you call that?

JS: Robe?

KG: That long robe. He learned that from "Strangler" Lewis. But he looked like a million dollars till, they rung the bell. And when they went and they rang the bell and he walked in the middle to shake hands, you could see he was unconfident. It was the same old shit. That headlock. And then he just throwed you over. And when he throwed you over, he wanted you to body scissor him. He gets a body scissor.

JS: To a stepover toehold?

KG: And then he tried a stepover toehold. That he did. He'd push you in the rope and he'd give you that elbow and slap his hand. And then he got the whole match. When they told me … I looked at him. I told him. He said, "What do you think?" I said, "Jesus Christ. You don't want to know what I think."

JS: Try something new.

KG: From there, life was the same after all those years. I worked once with a guy, too, and he said, "Gee. What is this and this and this?" I said, "Go over to the gym." He said, "I'm not a shooter." I said, "I know that. The only thing is when you go over to the gym, you shoot the shit."

JS: Shoot the shit.

KG: And when you go there, learn to work. Make something decent. It's your trade. It's your business. Nobody [does]. What they do is push some weights.

JS: Yes. They're a bunch of bodybuilders, now.

KG: That's it. They're all counterfeits.

JS: The one thing I think is promising is at least the mixed martial arts … I don't like the striking -- the punching and kicking -- but I think that it's really revived a lot of interest in grappling.

KG: Oh, well … How are you going to get that, because the guys that do that … The older crowd of them … There's nobody who can wrestle. I looked a couple of times. Don't get me wrong. I thought in the beginning, too, that maybe that would revive it. The same old shit. There they go. They do eternally the same. They watch him. They park the guy. And when they get in, they kick him or they try for an arm bar. Or a stranglehold. Not even a sleeper. A stranglehold. That's the same thing I taught. Well, nobody wants to know. See, there it is. Nobody learns. They just take the easy way out.

JS: I would hope that someday there's going to be some large promotion that starts doing things like that …

KG: No …

JS: … without the punching and kicking.

KG: No, they won't do that. Because every promotion now -- they don't look for the sport. They look for goddamned money.

JS: Yes, true.

KG: And how are you going to draw money? And who do you have to draw money with? And those guys that do it -- they don't spend a goddamned minute thinking or should they this or that. Sometimes when you see a takedown, it's the lousiest, goddamned double leg that you can ever imagine that they sometimes do. And the double leg -- a good pro, he would never do that because you give yourself open. You go for a single and your head inside. You never [leave] your head outside, because they will beat us up until you look at your ass.

JS: Right. With the face lock or something.

KG: Sure. You just bought it and that's it. So, there you are. How are you going to make magic when you've got no material? Do you understand what I mean? Me, I hoped the same, as you just said and I was looking. I looked a couple of times. It went from bad to worse. I said, "Oh, forget it."

Because the dream I had -- I thought before I die, I hope wrestling come back to what it was instead of that Kickapoo shit. Back to the real McCoy. Well, there's nobody there. And the guys, they talk about the word and this and that. How are you going to teach what you don't know? Nobody knows anymore and everybody looks for the easy way out. They don't look for wrestling. They look for the buck that they can make.

JS: What do you think about Sambo?

KG: It's very good.

JS: Have you heard of a guy named Wade Schalles, a wrestling champ? Do you know him? An amateur.

KG: The name rings a bell.

JS: He actually holds the world's record for the most pins. Like the Guinness Book World Record. He's a younger guy. He's retired now.

KG: It rings a bell. I think I met him once.

JS: He's a very interesting guy. Maybe I'll send you some stuff in the mail about him. But not only was he a national amateur champ, but he also was an NCAA in judo and then went to the World Championships in Sambo and I think he took 2nd place. I'd have to look it up. I don't know the specifics. But he's a very interesting character.

KG: Well, you'll find a guy here and there if you've got so many million people here in the United States. You've got 50 states. You'll find a guy now and then, right?

JS: Yes.

KG: From where was he? Was he from Iowa?

JS: I'd have to look up all of that. He wrestled for Clarion University. He actually is in Florida, now. That's where he lives. The Amateur Athletic Union? AAU? He's like the head of that for wrestling. Maybe I'll put a little something together for your…

KG: Oh, that will cost you money. Oh, I feel bad.

JS: Oh, you know what? You spend so much time with me in talking. Don't even bother with that.

KG: Yeah, but that doesn't make you no money.

JS: It's okay. It's okay. If I was poor or if that was a problem, I would appreciate your concern, but it's the least I can do. Let me try to put some stuff together. I think you might be interested.

KG: The name is familiar. I think I met him once or something.

JS: He's like the Grubmeyer type. He doesn't look like a wrestler. You would look at him and you'd think maybe he was an accountant or something. But he is a real terror on the mat. Like I said, he was a Sambo champ, a Judo champ and an amateur wrestling champ, so he has that overall grappling … He's very complete, I think, as a grappler. I think you'd be really interested to hear about him. I'll try to put as much as I can together in a little thing and mail it to you.

KG: It's too bad, because especially in this country, it was so great what you say. How moneymakers can kill it, huh? They had the greatest here. But they didn't want it because they couldn't control it. Well, in boxing it's controlled, too, but not like in wrestling. Wrestling, they really killed it.

JS: I think the difference is that when there were works in boxing, they just said, "Look. You have to go down to the fourth. I don't care how it happens. You just have to go down."

KG: No. They wouldn't know that. You may be taking the guy out and he's working with you. You understand what I mean?

JS: Yeah.

KG: Because you're the one guy that knows it. And sometimes, when the guy was pushed to do it, he didn't want to do it anyway. And he kept going anyway.

JS: Yeah. Kind of throwing a monkey in the works. A monkey wrench.

KG: That was completely different but for hours. When I say hours, I wasn't really in there because everybody gave me the cold shoulder. That wasn't a wrestler. It was a joke. One guy told me one time. He said, "Well, what'd you think about it? At least, we got wrestling." I said, "Yeah, but it resembles wrestling like my ass resembles a bowl of soup." So, he never asked me no more.

JS: Oh, man. You know, either you could have been a politician or a comedian, if you didn't work in wrestling.

KG: For a politician, I'm too honest. For a comedian, I lose my cool too quick. I think I got a little bit of a temper.

JS: Well, I'm going to let you go, sir, because I know it's getting late there.

KG: Well, all right. So, I get myself together now. I'll tell you what I'm going to do and then you can goodbye. I've got a sirloin steak. And I've got to grind it twice. And then I'm going to chop in a couple of cloves of garlic real thin. And then I never use butter. All I ever use is olive oil -- on bread or anything. Then I mix that with olive oil. And then it's all mixed. Then I put in the something seed. Oregano. Sage. And basil. And real pepper and salt. And you mix that nice up and you get yourself a good glass of Paisano and get some black bread. Farmer's rye bread.

As much as I can, I choose a dinner because in a couple of more weeks, I think I'll get my other [pieces]. That will be really something. So now you know why I've got to get busy.

JS: My goodness. It sounds really good, though.

KG: Well, if you get the core seasonings in. I learned a lot from the... Like, I told you, I lived in a mixed neighborhood, and from one and the other I learned. Just like this Greek rice. When the guy he said, "Jesus Christ. What the hell is this?" I said, Greek rice." He said, "What do you call that?"

I said, "You get ground beef and you fry it up in a pan with the onions and garlic and the olive oil again. And you get the seasoning in according to what you've got or what you like and then you cook the rice on the side. You mix that in the same pot and you've got some spinach on the side and you put it in the same pot and you mix it altogether. And hallelujah, there you go."

JS: That sounds good, man.

KG: Oh, it is good. It's very simple, but oh, it's tasty and it's good.

JS: Well, you're making me hungry, now.

KG: See, like I told you. It's just like wrestling. You don't have to know enough. You just have to know what, when and how.

JS: The ingredients. Yeah.

KG: Well, okay, Shannon. I'll let you go there now.

JS: Okay, sir. Well, it's been a pleasure. Like I said, I'll find out this information and I will talk to you in a week or two.

KG: Okay, fine. Any time you like. As long as I pick it up, you know I'm still around.

JS: Hey, you know what? I'm going to call you like every week, then. Every single week. It will be a Sunday thing.

KG: Yeah, but that's too much money.

JS: Ah! You need to forget about that.

KG: Yeah, but you can spend it on better things than just talking to an old has-been.

JS: Well, you've got to give me the option to make that call.

KG: All right, fine.

JS: All right, sir. Enjoy your Paisano.

KG: All right. Thank you.

[End]