Karl Gotch and Jake Shannon chat (04/08/05) Part One | Welcome to ScientificWrestling.com, the VERY Best in Catch Wrestling!

Karl Gotch and Jake Shannon chat (04/08/05) Part One

Jake Shannon - July 19, 2017
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KG: Hello?

JS: Yes, Mr. Gotch, please.

KG: That's him.

JS: Hey, this is Jake.

KG: Hello, Jacob.

JS: How are you?

KG: Okay. How about yourself?

JS: I'm doing good. I'm doing good. I've been thinking about all that stuff we were talking about -- the Maxick exercises.

KG: Yeah.

JS: So, he was originally German?

KG: Yeah.

JS: Because I looked on the Internet, and I couldn't find hardly anything by him except I found one old book, but it was in the original German.

KG: Yeah, that's the one I've got, too. Because written on it was … Well, the translation is a second edition. [Great Line] and Company. Leipzig and Zurich. That was in 1914.

JS: Oh, geez. Wow.

KG: The one that he made before was in 1904 or 1905. The original one.

JS: That's like you do a series of constricting kind of motions with your muscles and then relaxing.

KG: No, I do that every day. But it's not easy, because you learn both -- your mind and your muscles. First you have to learn [that] from the back you've got 28, from the front you've got 32 -- the muscles that you have to learn. Then when you know, they translate them from German, because otherwise a word he couldn't get out of it -- he got them then he'd [get laughed at].

JS: Okay.

KG: The thing is this. The hardest thing of them all, when you know all the muscles and you know where they lay -- the hardest thing of them all and which is the most productive is you relax from head to toe. It's not easy. If you think about a muscle like the one in the front throat. Then the neck. You go down. And your shoulders. Trapezius. Your pectoralis. And they've got three parts on your pecs. You know that, don't you? The upper one, the side, and the middle one.

First you've got to tense them, then you've got to relax them. It's like two big holes that goes in. Then you can see the three muscle laying there. It's like two big pits that you've got to pump up on your chest. You've got to work your mind and your muscles together.

JS: And so when you're doing the relaxation, I take it you're laying down somewhere.

KG: No. You always stand up. All you need is just stand-up room. You don't have to move. You're [tensing]. And a mirror. But you don't practice by the mirror. The mirror you look in it only to see the result. I've got two that I got -- one that I turn a little bit so I can see the back and the front.

JS: Okay. And so, as you go through each muscle group, you get a pretty good workout from that, you said.

KG: Oh, yeah. It takes around a half an hour to go through them, when you know how. He said at the end of the book, too… He says, "Have patience and learn one exercise at a time. And the hardest one, which is the most productive, is to relax." You know, in the beginning, when I tried to relax all my muscles, the trouble that I got with the hips and then the [feet], those implants -- it takes me a while. And then you do that several times. I don't know -- about three or four times. Relax completely and then tense all of them.

JS: That's really interesting.

KG: It is. It is great. Even when you're handicapped, like me, with implants and everything, you can work every muscle in your body.

JS: So, it's like almost anybody can do the workout.

KG: Yeah, but you know it's not easy.

JS: Yes. If they practice [and learn how to relax].

KG: Yes, and if they practice, you're like one at a time. And you've got to go through. Because if you get your shoulder, you can only tense your shoulder and you've got to learn how to do that. So, your shoulder you're working three ways. The front. The back. And then, you know, when I work the trapezius, they stand up like a mountain -- the back of your neck.

JS: Really?!

KG: Oh, yeah. And like when you work your biceps -- your biceps have about five muscles in there. And when you do that, you hold your hand position in five different ways.

JS: Wow. It sounds pretty complicated.

KG: It's not easy. I had a guy, too, one time. A friend of mine. He said, "Oh, yeah, I know. I tense them all." I said, "You know, fuck off." I said, "I'm not too popular, even with my friends, because…"

JS: Was this the guy you said looked like he was holding in a fart?

KG: Yeah. No. There was another one.

JS: He looked like he was going to fart or something.

KG: Yeah. I said, "You look like you're holding up a fart. Go ahead and shit."

JS: That's funny. What do you think about yoga?

KG: Yoga is very good for agility, but yoga is not for your muscles. It's for your insides. When you practice yoga, you practice with your lung and then you tense. It's like your intestines, your liver, your kidneys. That's all that you do. And the position that you do is to get the result from the organ that you get inside.

JS: It's interesting, because remember we were talking a little while ago about Gama and his brother?

KG: Yeah.

JS: I started doing a little bit of research and it seems to me…

KG: His brother was younger than him, but according to the legend, he was tougher than him.

JS: That's what you were saying. Yeah, he was really good.

KG: I forgot the name. Was it Razul something? Because he said I was lucky I met the Hindu, because I never made it to India. I got the visa and they paid my ticket, but at that time if you didn't belong to the British Empire, you've couldn't get in. You've got to get the visa. They had everything done for me. They wanted me there, but I would have sat in Karachi and they wouldn't have even sent my ass back out.

JS: What year was that?

KG: Oh, that was in the early fifties. About 1952, 1953.

JS: Wow.

KG: But I met the Hindu while I was in England. His name was Akram [Razul]. And he showed me different things, too. And he had trained with Gama.

JS: Wow.

KG: Well, I traveled around and then I was lucky that I met some people, too. And they didn't mind to spend the time with me.

JS: And show you new things and stuff.

KG: Yeah. And then I got the idea about the squats. And the guy was here and he said, "Yeah, he was doing the squats and the cards." You know, the Scotchman? And he knew me. He said, "You had whole -- they hate your guts here for doing…" So, I got wise to it and I said, "You're doing it all wrong. The way you do it is like a bunch of shit. You know, you divide the cards up." And the red ones, what do you call them? The hearts? What's the other one?

JS: Hearts and diamonds?

KG: Hearts and diamonds? They do this for your arms, let's say. And then the clubs and the spades. Diamonds, I always said it's pretty good, then. And the clubs is you do double the number, and you do them for your legs.

JS: Interesting.

KG: Now, when you shuffle the deck, you've also got two jokers in it. And one joker you do ten for the arms and twenty for the legs. Now what comes up -- it has a surprise on it. That's like in wrestling. Expect the unexpected. When you turn your card… Let's just say you got hearts. And you've got clubs. And again, you've got the diamonds. And then you got like same clubs. Spades. You get hearts again. Say you got three red ones. You got a black one. That's for the legs, right?

JS: Right.

KG: So, you get two reds again. Now you've got five black ones. Then you come up with a red one again, you get two black ones again and now you get three arms again.

JS: It's a great idea. It really is.

KG: Well, I'm sorry to say it, but I invented that.

JS: Yes, everybody's cursing your name, now.

KG: Oh, yeah. So, when I wrote to the guy, I said, "That's the way you do it, you clown. Not the whole squats." So, when he wrote me back, the Scotsman, he said, "They hated you before because it was hard. Imagine what they think of you now, now that you've got this one." He said, "You were right. The other one was nothing. This is really murder." I said, "That's all right."

JS: Where did you pick up the Indian Club work?

KG: When I was in Iran.

JS: Wow.

KG: That's where I saw it the first time. You know, they have the smaller ones, too, for the fast movement?

JS: Yes. Meels. They call them meels.

KG: Yeah. I'm just thinking what they call it in Indian. Gada?

JS: Karida?

KG: You know, Gada? They're like Gada. They're like daddy, you know? And meels. And they have a thing like a big shot put, 10 kilos, around the ball. Like them old-fashioned cannon balls. And because I stole one like that the first time from the old fortress that they had where I used to live in the old country. And I had the guy weld it on a piece, and then I didn't do the [wooden part]. It's a long stick. The stick comes about like say in half of your chest…

JS: Oh. Gada.

KG: Yes. So when you swing that one, because on one hand, I only have three good fingers. I lost one in an accident. Saved the guy's life. And the other one was cut the tendon through, so they bend only in half…

JS: Oh.

KG: …it made the knot a lot bigger because you turn left, you turn right. You turn first on the left side. Then you turn from the right side. Then you turn one left, one right.

JS: Now, wait. Are you talking about the one with the cannon ball with the stick?

KG: Yes.

JS: …or just the two meels?

KG: No, the meel, the gada. Say you turn on the left side. Circle from left. Then you circle from right. Then you make one from the left and then you go right in and circle one from the right. You know what I mean?

JS: Yes. That's got to be a great workout. There's a guy who's been making Indian Clubs, and I started working out with him. And they're really great for your grip. Like they really make your grip strength…

KG: Which one? The small one?

JS: These are like 15 pound ones, right now.

KG: 15 pound -- that's about it. A good three kilos. That's the ordinary one. The little ones.

JS: Yes.

KG: They got them. They twirl them around. You know, you can do a lot of things. We used to call that, in German, like kagle. Kagle, like club? We call that club gymnastic. I'd do all different things with it, but the last one I didn't do. I see the guys doing that, but I never messed with that one. They'd twirl them and they'd throw them up. They'd throw them up as high as 10 meters.

JS: I've seen books -- it's like juggling.

KG: Yeah. Then when they come down, they pick them back up. But the normal thing -- the throwing I never did. Well, I never went in a place that high or nothing. But that's just like a salute for the end of it.

JS: I see.

KG: But the other ones are heavier. They're built different.

JS: How much…?

KG: Conical and there's one short grip on it…

JS: How much did the bigger ones generally weigh? Like when you're only wielding one club…

KG: One at a time…

JS: Yes. How much do they weigh?

KG: You do two, but you do one-one. Like left, right; left, right. It all depends. You start off, say, with 10 kilos.

JS: Wow.

KG: And believe me -- even then, when you go up like 2.5 kilos, like 12.5 from the 10 to 12.5 -- your asshole opens up pretty good.

JS: Geez.

KG: I was pretty good at those things. You've got them like you're saying -- you've just got 'em overhead and the first thing they do is you just hold them rectangle. You know, like your arm, a rectangle and you hold the clubs in. And you hold them. You balance them. Don't move them at all. That's very hard on your forearm and grip.

And then you start. You just dump them straight over your shoulder. One. And then you bring them back over. And you do the left one over your shoulder. Bring them forward with a back rectangle and do the right one over.

And then the other -- then the last one that comes. That's the one that they do. You get the club, let's say, from your right hand. And you lift the club up and go like on an angle over your left eye. Like 45 degrees. And when you get up -- your elbow comes up -- you twist it behind your head. And you turn it around, and you bring them back forward to right angle until in the front.

But by the time you do that, when you bring them down, the left one goes. You go, one, two; one, two. Twirl them like that.

JS: Geez.

KG: That's a hell of an exercise. And good for your shoulders. And even your legs. It works the whole body. And your grip becomes pretty good with that, too.

JS: Yeah. I need to learn a little more about them -- like the different variations of exercises you can do.

KG: There's not too many you can do with it, but what you're doing right. The thing is this, too. When you do that, you don't use power. When you push that club up -- like on that angle, just to get behind your head -- you just push it up and then you let it drop. What do they call that -- centrifugal force?

JS: Yeah.

KG: Bring that club around and then when it comes to an angle, you just pull it straight in front of you again.

JS: I see.

KG: But see even then, it's not easy. I've seen guys that tried one time and they all saw Jesus walk on the water. I never forgot. I had some real big ones. They were [wood] and they were tall. Goddamned. I think they were about twenty-year-olds. I had to shorten them up because you couldn't do… You got to do one and then instead of go up, up, up, up, up -- you don't get that rhythm.

And there was a black guy, a real big muscle man. He was some pro, but he was a weight lifter. So he said, "Uh huh." He came to my home. It was in Odessa. I must have given him the address. I was living that time, still on the lake. My wife was still alive. So, he came in. I said, "What the hell is this?" They had a big car and a fancy suit. Flashy. And he was a big guy. Like I told you, a muscle man.

He says, "I hear that you swing them there clubs." I thought, "Oh. I got myself a biter here, you know."

JS: Okay.

KG: So, I said, "Yeah." He said, "How do you swing them there clubs?" I said, "Well, I swing them outside." I put him outside. He said, "How do you do it?" I said, "Well, you just lift them and swing them over your head." So, he picked them up. When he picked them up like this, he… And I said, "No, no, no." You've got to hold them in a rectangle. So, when he pulled them up, it was a little different then, you know?

JS: Yeah. I'm sure he was in for a bit of a surprise.

KG: So I said, "Now, swing them over your head." He swung them over and he hit himself in the noodle. I got them quickly so I could save the clubs. And he went up. He says, "How do you do it?" I said, "This is it. I'll how you." He said, "You're a strong dude." I said, "No, I'm a smart dude and I don't hit myself in the head." He went in the car and left and I never saw him again.

JS: Oh, that's funny. That's funny.

KG: You always say I'm funny.

JS: Because I think it's hilarious.

KG: I don't think that guy thought it was too funny.

JS: Well, you didn't think it was funny, but it…

KG: Hell, no.

JS: … but it's funny when it's not happening to you.

KG: Yeah, that's right.

JS: That's a good one. Now, I was reading some story. It was something that happened where you got in a fight in a locker room before or after a show and it was with like Buddy Rogers or somebody.

KG: No, no. It was not a fight.

JS: No?

KG: No. I knocked the shit out of the asshole because he was a gutless wonder. He tried to put me up with immigration, and I had to spend all that money just coming over here. I spent all my savings on it to immigrate here. I came over with my family and I had just put a down payment -- like two-thirds -- on a house. I had to use all my money up.

All of a sudden I started getting things. Letters from immigration. They're checking up. Because he was a conniver and all that. So, I got him in the dressing room. I said, "I heard you're trying to fuck me up. Let's see how good you are or you wouldn't do nothing." I slapped him around. Snot and blood ran out of his kisser. It was not a fight.

JS: After that, he didn't do anything else?

KG: No, and even then, he jumped right through the door. He knocked the door off its hinges and everything. And Bill Miller was standing… My friend, Bill Miller, you've heard of him?

JS: Yes. You guys worked out a lot, right? You and Bill Miller worked out a lot?

KG: Some, yes. So, when I went in, Bill closed the door and he stood in front of him. So, that guy was so desperate because I slapped him around, he jumped right out of the door and the door get out off of its hinges, and Bill went down. He run right over the door and over Bill and he was gone. I didn't see him anymore for years.

You know what was a funny thing? You know how the wrestlers always used to fight in the dressing room and in the ring? So, you know the stories.

JS: I've heard stories. Sure.

KG: So, he got me in court.

JS: Who? Buddy Rogers?

KG: Yeah. He sued me saying I attacked him in the dressing room.

JS: Oh, my God. Are you serious?

KG: Yeah, no, no. I'm serious. But you know, I laughed him out of court and even the judge… The judge was an old guy and he had that shoot that happened in Columbus, Ohio with the… Oh, I forgot the name. One guy -- he was an old-timer. He was a tough son of a gun. He came from Europe. John Pesek.

JS: Oh, Pesek. Yeah.

KG: So, when Pesek got charged for something because he didn't want to lose the title and he roughed the guy up, so the judge laughed him out of court. I got the same judge.

JS: No way.

KG: Yeah. So, that was lucky for me. Woodrow, the guy's name was. Jed Woodrow. He's dead. It was a long time ago. So, when I came in he said, "What is this?" He says, "Yeah, he attacked him in the dressing room and all that." So he says, "And what do you got to say?" to me. I said, "I don't understand what's going on here." I said, "Everybody's fighting in the dressing room, but when I fight, I get sued for it." He said, "Case dismissed." That was it.

JS: Wow. What are the odds? I mean, that's unbelievable that you got the same judge.

KG: Yeah. That happened just because I was living in Columbus, Ohio. Just outside. He was in Ohio. I forgot the name of that other time that he… That piece he got wrestling.

JS: I'd have to research that. I don't know off the top of my head.

KG: So many years ago and you never use that or think about it, so you forget sometimes. I even forget goddamned Pesek's name for a second. And John was a pretty good friend of mine. He was a salty son of a bitch.

JS: Yeah?

KG: Yeah. He could really wrestle. He didn't look like nothing, but Christ almighty.

JS: Yeah, there was another guy that I heard about that was like Pesek. He didn't look like much, but he was really a tough guy named Charles Olsen.

KG: Olsen?

JS: Yeah. Have you heard about him?

KG: No.

JS: I'll send you some articles that I've read about him.

KG: I knew about all the all-timers. There were the guys because they talk about this one and that one. So, the toughest son of a bitches in the olden days -- they all lived in the States. There was nobody that could hold a candle to Ed "Strangler" Lewis.

JS: Yeah, Ed Lewis, huh.

KG: He was the best of them all. He was the daddy of them all.

JS: That's what I keep hearing.

KG: Oh, yeah. I was a good friend. He spoke German.

JS: Yeah. Friedrich…

KG: Friedrich was his name. His mother was from Dienheim. His father was from Mannheim. He wanted to see me, so I went to see him. He was living in Nebraska.

JS: Okay.

KG: No. Omaha. Omaha.

JS: Yes. That's Nebraska.

KG: No. Is that that close to Oklahoma?

JS: Oh, Oklahoma. I thought you said Omaha.

KG: No, he was close to Tulsa.

JS: Tulsa, Oklahoma. Okay.

KG: That's where he lived. And then I went to see him. And then, lucky that I saw him. I talked with him a couple of times. And boy, he was really happy to see me. The guy that was with him that everybody was always blaming about everything because he was a sharpie. Eh, Toots Mondt.

JS: Yes, Toots Mondt was from Colorado.

KG: They were very good friends and they always worked out together. And I talked with Mondt, too.

JS: Wow.

KG: Mondt was a tough son of a bitch.

JS: Wow. I didn't know that you had talked with him. He's the Gold Dust Trio.

KG: Yeah. It was Sandow with Mondt and Lewis. Lewis was the kingpin. But the guys behind the thing -- the brains behind the whole thing -- was Mondt.

JS: I remember you saying something about Ed "Strangler" Lewis mentioning that Hunky couldn't wrestle that well. Do you think Lou ever had any shoots?

KG: The only shoot he had was when he shit on the shit house and he took a shit.

JS: Really?

KG: Yeah. He never shot in his life. He was a bluffer. And the guys that he could bluff, he put the fear of God in them. It was easy because nobody could wrestle anymore when he was around. All the tough guys were gone. There was this poor guy that he slapped around and he was a booker at that time. I forgot his name. A booker in Montreal. Quebec. The province of Quebec?

JS: Yes. This girl staying with me for this month -- she's from Quebec.

KG: And this guy -- I forgot the name. He was the booker at the time. And he wrestled, then, too. So we were all in the show and it was in Chicago. So, Lew was over that poor guy because he had to be watching me, too. And that's when I threw the first time that Suplex and everybody shit themselves. The guy -- Lanza? The guy that took the pictures all the time, Tony Lanza?

JS: Oh, sure.

KG: Yes. He took the picture of me throwing that first Suplex. Then I watched him and he really slapped that poor bastard around. Well, the guy couldn't do nothing, you know?

JS: Yeah.

KG: But, you see. If you're a wrestler, you don't slap nobody around. You're wrestling. That's all I ever seen him doing. Because he was a good handball player. He looked real good. He was always in good shape and he had a good tan on him. But he was a bullshitter. So when he came out of the ring, he said, "I watched your match." I said, "So did I." They were all looking there. They were all in the dressing room. You know how it is on television. Because right now they've got the big match in that big auditorium there that they took down. They built the new one there, now.

JS: In Chicago?

KG: Yes.

JS: I don't know.

KG: So, anyway, he said, "Yeah? I really liked what I saw about that thing." Because he used to drop back and fall sideways and I would do the bridge. So, I said, "Yeah, I saw what you did to that guy, too." He kind of laughed. I said, "Yeah, that's real nice if you can do it, but I tell you one thing. If you ever did that to me and everybody dropped his shoes and socks, one of us is going to stay in there and I know which one." But I buried myself because he had all the pulls. He was in with the promotion at that time.

JS: Why do you think that Ed Lewis protected him so much?

KG: Well, Ed Lewis was broke and this and that. And then there was that Sam Muchnik. Billy [Longson]. And he was then at the championship. He never wrestled for the championship. It got given. It was like a Christmas gift and he always carried it. So, when he wrestled somebody, you had to lose [to] him from time to time because he wanted to beat Ed Lewis' record. He lost it just one of six times. But he did it on the level, the old man. The last time when he shot with that one guy there from… There were two brothers. One was a real good wrestler.

JS: Stecker?

KG: Yeah. Stecker. Then they shot for that long because he [made Stecker pack] and that was Lewis' thing. He wore you out. You couldn't do nothing to him. He was built like a bull and had a tremendous chest. Big, powerful arms and he had that long body. His legs -- [too far to dive at]. And he just mauled you to death.

JS: Don't you think, though, that Gama would have been able to have beaten him?

KG: In his day? I think so.

JS: Yeah. I mean, everything I read about Gama is just like unreal.

KG: Well, that's like you say you play music and you think you're a Liszt or a big composer. Beethoven. You know what I mean?

JS: Yeah.

KG: They come around once in a blue moon, right?

JS: Right.

KG: And if you don't see a Beethoven, Ludwig von Beethoven or another one. What's the other guy, the big composer?

JS: Bach or…

KG: Bach. You don't see them coming around every week, another one like that. They come once in a lifetime, right? Or once every hundred years. So, Gama was like that to me.

JS: [Based on] everything that I read, definitely I agree with that.

KG: Because from what I heard and then Razul?? talked to me about it. [Akram Razul]. And I talked with some other guys. I wanted to meet him, but when I couldn't go that time because that would have been from the British Empire -- I could have met him. That was at the end of his life and shortly before he died because he had a very high blood pressure. He lost a lot of weight. He died when he was only in his early sixties.

JS: Because he had that match with Zbyszko and beat him in like 40 seconds and Gama was 50 years old at the time, I think.

KG: No, Zbyszko was older.

JS: Yes, I think they were both old, but I know that Gama was 50 during that time.

KG: No, not 50. He was younger than Zbyszko. Zbyszko was older.

JS: Well, they met the first time in 1908, but then…

KG: And nothing happened…

JS: Yeah, there was a disqualification.

KG: No, no. Gama took him down quick. But then Zbyszko was on the mat in the ring and Zbyszko just started to go forward. He couldn't do nothing with him. So, at the end, he got up and he walked away disgusted. But the second time they met, he challenged everybody. Nobody wanted to go. Zbyszko had a lot of heart. Now the brother Wladek, he was the shits. He was a better wrestler than Stanislaus.

JS: Oh, really?

KG: Yeah, a better wrestler, but he had no guts. The old man, he'd fight a couple of gorillas. He didn't give a shit. So, he went there and the second time he went, he got beat quick because he was in the sand. He wasn't used to that.

JS: Yeah, it happened in India, right? They did the match in India.

KG: Sure, because nobody wanted to go and Zbyszko said, I'll go.

JS: Wow.

KG: He was not scared. He didn't give a shit for nobody. But when they lost [zip zip] and under Hindu rules, so Gama, when he hit the deck -- well it was not like it was like here on the mat and he couldn't get his bearings in the sand.

JS: Yeah.

KG: I don't give no excuses for Zbyszko. Don't get me wrong. But you've got to tell it as it is, right?

JS: And you're right. Zbyszko was game. Wrestling takes two people. Somebody wins and somebody loses.

KG: Right. But then it depends what it is. All my life, well, I started when I was a young boy, but we didn't even have no mats. It was in an old box and there was sawdust in it in the back of a tavern. We didn't have no schools like here…

JS: With mats…

KG: Then later we got mats. You know, a little later. They all got mats. But it was never in a school. It was always in the back of a tavern -- but we had 38 clubs.

JS: Wow.

KG: Where they had room, they built it and they made a club. And then the boys from around the neighborhood, they all used to go there. It was the same as boxing. It was in the back of a tavern. When you had the room, you had to put up like a little gym.

JS: What was it like being there for that Inoki fight with Muhammad Ali?

KG: What a load of shit. I didn't know -- and they called me up first. I thought I was to go for the ring. So they said, "Oh, there's a match," when I came in. I said, "What do you mean, a match?" I didn't know nothing. So when I walked in, [somebody] said, "Hey. You're not allowed to be in here." I said, "What the fuck's going on here?" He thought that I was going to jump the ring or something.

That was the shoot. That was the shits. He trained with the guy, Yamamoto. You know, the karate guy. And he's laying on the floor. He's kicking the other guy's legs. It looks like he's been knocked down all the time. I watched there for a little while. I walked off. I said, "What the hell of shit." And the black guy -- when they asked me to walk in with Inoki -- and the black guy jumped out. You know how he is. He's always wisecracking.

JS: Sure.

KG: And then he'd pat one guy on the back but at the same time, he's got his other hand like he's tapping you on the ass, too. So, I told him. "Hey, don't fuck around with me, will you," because I know what he's doing all the time. He said, "What are you saying, man? What are you saying, man?" I said, "Not just what I said. I said don't fuck around with me because you've got the wrong guy." He said, "What do you mean?" And I had a track suit on and I had a pair of tights underneath and it showed because I came in the last minute.

They just gave me that stuff so I could work inside the ring. I said, "I'm ready for action." He jumped over the top rope and run away. He said, "No. [Go back] Get that guy out of here. Get that guy out of here." He wouldn't come back. He was scared shitless. Because you know with me, he wouldn't have lasted at all.

JS: Yeah.

KG: A couple of minutes and I would have ripped him to pieces.

JS: Do you think the Indian wrestling, like Gama and them -- do they have toe holds?

KG: I don't know. I don't know how they did. I think the Indian wrestling is more like the amateur style.

JS: It's like Greco-Roman kind of huh?

KG: No, no. Greco is just from the waist up.

JS: Oh, they do leg holds, too?

KG: Oh, yes. They can do those, too. It's like Freestyle. Like a Freestyle thing. Greco-Roman is from the waist up and it's a lot of agility. Lifting and bridging.

JS: So you think, then, that the Hindu stuff is mainly about the fall?

KG: Yes. That's a fall, the way they go. That's because then you've got a touch hold. Then you took him down and that was it. It used to be because they couldn't even get around. In that low sand, that's not so easy. But there's no excuse for it. Thinking about that guy -- he was a hell of a guy, but Indian style. He had to wrestle guys like Mondt or Lewis.

They asked Lewis, one time, to go over. And he said yes, but Gama wanted six months to prepare himself. Lewis went there. He said, "I ain't going to wait six months. You know the money I'm going to lose? Fuck that shit." I said, "If they challenged me, I'd only ask for six days and then I'm ready." Boy, that had a lot of guts.

JS: That is a lot of money back then, too. Like six months of bookings.

KG: Yes. And you know, Lou was always hanging around getting publicity. Well, he knew because, like I told you, Sam Muchnik was the boss and [Billy Longson] they had what they called the National Wrestling Alliance in St. Louis, so they made him the champion. He's never shot for it and he always worked the guys. Like when he lost the title. At one time, they had this guy Kiniski.

JS: Yeah.

KG: Gene Kiniski and he was champion. I wrestled with him and he said to me. "You're a real [massive] Pollack." You know, a football player. He had been a football player. He said, "Hey, take it easy. I'm no shooter." I was laughing. I said, "Hey, Gene. For fuck's sake, don't be like those other guys. When I go to the store, they don't ask me about Karl Gotch and who the hell I can beat. When they ring up the cash register, they just say so many dollars and so many cents." And if I don't pay, they say, "Leave the merchandise there and get the hell out of here." I said, "I got to eat, too."

JS: Yeah, right.

KG: So, that's it.

JS: That's funny. Did you know Jack Brisco?

KG: Oh, yes. Very well. He's a nice guy. I like him. He's a real nice guy. He's brother's a prick. He's an asshole.

JS: Really?

KG: Jerry, yes. He's just the opposite from Jack. I told him one time, too. I said, "You know, don't push your luck. When he was around me, he tried to show off a little bit. I said, "Don't push your luck". I said, "There are better guys in the dressing room, too." So, they left. But Jack was a real nice guy. He was a good amateur wrestler.

JS: Yes, he's really talented.

KG: You know, amateur boxing and pro boxing is a world apart, and that used to be the same in amateur wrestling and pro wrestling.

JS: Right. Because you knew the different…

KG: It's a complete different style. You're a pro. You're not an amateur.

JS: I told you that story that I saw Gene LeBell about two weeks ago. He wanted me to tell you that the way that you showed this double wrist lock or a chicken wing -- that he had shown that to one of his kids at his school that fought in the UFC and used that technique to win in the UFC. He wanted me to be sure to tell you that.

KG: I don't even remember it.

JS: He said it was that it was after a show in the dressing room in the back and you were showing him how to put on a double wrist lock and it was like twisting the wrist.

KG: I don't know.

JS: You don't remember?

KG: No. Yes, I remember him because he was the son of the promoter. His mother was a promoter in L.A.

JS: Yes, for the Olympic…

KG: Yes, for the Olympic Auditorium. He brother was a real snotty guy.

JS: Yeah, nobody likes his brother. That's what made me think about him. (sneeze). Excuse me

KG: It's like when you see that asshole, he's like a fashion show. He's always all dressed up.

JS: Really?

KG: Oh, yeah.

JS: It was like you were saying about Jack Brisco. He was the nicest guy in the world, but his brother was horrible. That's the same thing I always hear about Gene LeBell. Everybody loves Gene LeBell. That's he's a really nice guy, but that his brother was just really horrible.

KG: Well, he was like a fashion show. He'd come in real stuck-up. That I cannot understand. You make a living boxing or wrestling as a promoter. You should be grateful that you've got [that] because those guys are making the money for you.

JS: Yeah.

KG: Because you can be the greatest promoter in the world, and you've got no talent. What are you going to do? By talent, I mean not you. The boxers.

JS: Right. The guys that you're booking.

KG: That's what we call them. They say "the talent." Because you've got a couple of rinky-dink guys you can't get no place either, right?

JS: Right.

KG: So, you need the right guys. So, that's what you're grateful for, because they're making the money for you. Especially in boxing, because they take 33-1/2% out of your purse.

JS: Wow.

KG: Yeah. The promoters always wind up with the money and the boxer -- the bigger the purse and he's real good -- the bigger the cut to the promoter. But he can only go so long. How long can you box?

JS: Yeah. You don't want to be taking shots to the head for very long…

KG: Let's just say you're top and you're 20 or 22. When you're 30 or 32, forget it. That's it. You're at the end of the line. Those guys out there now that came back and they were 40 and they were still Boxing -- yeah, because all you've got now is a guy for Boxing oranges. Because here in the States, they really had the greatest boxers in the world. They could do it all. They were tough.

JS: Really.

KG: Yeah, because I always followed them and I liked it. I liked Boxing. But now, you don't even see it on television. They killed it with television. You had so much boxing… Like steak is nice, right? Everybody loves steak. But if you get three steaks a day, eight days a week…

JS: You get tired of it.

KG: You don't want to see or taste steak no more. You'll go for the hamburger.

JS: That's funny.

KG: Now, listen. I don't want to cut you short, but you're already an hour on the phone. It's going to cost you a fucking fortune.

JS: Oh, it's okay. I always enjoy it. But I should be going… [End]