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The Viceland Wrestling Documentaries


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One thing I can't stop thinking about (aside from how fucked up the whole thing is) is if there was suspicion or confirmation of Grizzy being a pedophile then how come nobody contacted the authorities.  I get it's different times and it sounded like he had some pull.  But it sounded like there was more than enough there to bust his ass even in that time period.  Was he really that good at hiding it?  Was the common mentality that things just weren't their business?  Or was there fear of repercussions.  I'm not blaming anybody but I just can't help but wonder what if. 

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Clearly he had some pull in the local and/or state government by the fact that Sam Houston apparently was #1 in the state on the number of DUIs (not sure if that is a legit stat or Cornette doing schtick) and his only punishment every single time was a couple days of hard labor.  Now maybe the feds could look at it but it was probably such a small story they wouldn't have cared

 

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1 hour ago, hammerva said:

Clearly he had some pull in the local and/or state government by the fact that Sam Houston apparently was #1 in the state on the number of DUIs (not sure if that is a legit stat or Cornette doing schtick)...

Quite possibly a legit stat.  Nikla Roberts (Baby Doll) and a couple other people who knew Houston/Smith back then claim he got arrested about twice a year every year during the 80's and 90's.  Stories about Houston's DUI's were making the rounds at least by the mid-2000's on the Wrestling Classics and Kayfabe Memories boards.  

It's worth noting that Houston didn't get sentenced to prison for DUI until 2005 (not sure how much time elapsed between his last arrest and the sentencing).  I'm guessing he didn't miraculously stop drinking and driving between '94 and the mid-2000's.

I can buy Cornette's claim that he was the best worker of the bunch, though I don't remember him showing more than a fraction of Jake's charisma or promo ability.  

I was really thrown by the siblings - particularly the brother who never got into wrestling - referring to each other by their gimmick names.

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14 minutes ago, Log said:

Everyone knowing what Smith was doing and doing nothing reminds me a lot of the Jerry Sandusky situation at Penn State. 

Yep, people in the Penn State Athletic Dept. and State College were supposedly making jokes about Sandusky back in the 70's.

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Posted (edited)

Back then, locker rooms were filled with real men.  Crusty old tough guys who'd carry a pistol or a knife and handle their business.  Unless they had a known child molester in their midst.  Then they'd just crack jokes about it.  But they were real men, make no mistake. 

-- Undertaker, probably

Edited by Technico Support
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I at some point saw old tales of Robin and really liked her work. In this episode she came across like a great person. Still a haunting episode. 

As for the debate...it's hard to know what the wrestlers actually knew. Maybe they saw what they mistook for young adults and just made a joke out of it because of the obvious age difference. Joke in bad taste, I should add. I always have the feeling with child abuse it's always the case of "How could we NOT know in hindsight?" 

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16 minutes ago, ReiseReise said:

As for the debate...it's hard to know what the wrestlers actually knew. Maybe they saw what they mistook for young adults and just made a joke out of it because of the obvious age difference. Joke in bad taste, I should add. I always have the feeling with child abuse it's always the case of "How could we NOT know in hindsight?" 

Probably a combination of this, plus to actually go to the authorities you'd need more evidence than locker room gossip and seeing girls of a questionable age in Smith's company. Getting one of the girls he was grooming to testify would have been difficult if not impossible and as evidenced by Huston getting away with all his drinking offenses Smith was clearly in the good graces of local law enforcement.

This was the first I've heard the story of Robert's other sister being kidnapped and murdered. Is the consensus that Smith killer her or was involved in it because she was going to go public with his history of abuse? The ending with the kids all saying they'd be willing to mend fences with one another and Jake discussing his sobriety added a small uplifting slant to the whole saga.

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Posted (edited)

Not sure if anybody actually kept a tally of Sam Houston DUIs by location but I'd think Grizzly would have more friends in Louisiana's justice system than Texas' justice system thanks to Mid-South's relationship with police officers at live events. Also Louisiana's reputation for official corruption is what it is.

As for Cornette's POV on Sam Houston. He probably worked with Sam Houston in JCP for longer than he worked with Jake Roberts. His only chances of working in the same company as Jake would have been 1996 WWF (edit: and 1994 SMW, of course) or maybe a few weeks in 84/85 (Cornette was in Mid-South and then World Class, Jake was in World Class and then Mid-South around the same time).

Sam Houston also looks like he is trying to carry a Waylon Jennings look through his 50s.

Edited by Cobra Commander
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5 hours ago, HumanChessgame said:

Getting one of the girls he was grooming to testify would have been difficult if not impossible and as evidenced by Huston getting away with all his drinking offenses Smith was clearly in the good graces of local law enforcement.

I think the best chance of it according to the show was when Robyn kept Grizzly from leaving with the one girl. But even then I completely understand that she was more focused on Grizzly GTFOing out of there.  But with hindsight being 20/20 it's easy to say that now. 

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Maybe he's adding up his lifetime total, rather than using the traditional "in a row" method of counting?

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I had to look this up, apparently Jake got into WWEs Hall of Fame in 2014 where he was cleaned up somewhat after working with DDP. Assuming he was somewhat ok for an extended period before that and a quick look around suggesting the process taking 1.5 to 2 years, ten years isn't that far off. He probably ignored relapses and such... 

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6 hours ago, Control said:

Has Jake actually been sober for 10 years? I’ve seen him more recently than that, and I have some doubts about that claim.

Well, I can tell you 120% that Jake was not sober on November 27th, 2010. So that definitely falls within his timeline. But I'll save that story for a different day. 

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It's crazy to me that people are surprised at what a piece of shit Grizzly was. It was pretty clear in Beyond The Mat that he was a child molester, and that was made 20 years ago. This business has always had a wink wink/nudge nudge stance on workers fucking with underage fans for years though, I can see how they would turn a blind eye to Grizzly, especially since he was in a position of power. Pure bullshit.

Even to this day...a few months ago Cornette on his pod said that Justin Roberts looked like he shouldn't be allowed children, after telling a "funny Grizzly Smith story". 

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watched the Warrior ep yesterday. it was fine and his ex-wife did an excellent job of showing the man he was. Nothing really eye-opening but very solid and i'm glad i watched it.

also watched the Pillman 2-parter. WOW, that stuff towards the end with Jr. was rough to watch. it's a miracle he turned out as level-headed as he seems to be. Melanie looking very rough. Her looks remind me of a number of people i know who've had a history with meth. i didn't know a lot of the stuff in this one (pillman's gf killing herself), and didn't know the extent of some of the other stuff (the injury stemming from the humvee accident). heart wrenching stuff in here. 

i am so not ready to dive into the Grizzly Smith ep yet. might be awhile before i muster up for that one. looking forward to Dynamite Kid tho.

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Re: Sam Houston being pretty much buried

I think it was just more than Dusty. This may be conjecture, but based on Arn's story about Sam stopping Babydoll from getting the boys (including Jim Jr.) food one night, I think EVERYBODY at the top had it out for Sam Houston. They all thought they were rockstars (and in the case of Jim Jr., friend and willing enabler of said rockstars who are on your payroll) and the promotion was super hot at the time. So the first thing that would come into their heads is, "Why would this tall blonde Amazon want this skinny punk who hasn't paid his dues yet and only here cause his dad is a legend?" He was fucked from that point on really. Due to that, the fact WWF was Roid Guy Central when he got there, and he never had Jake's unreal promo ability which saved Jake, he was never going to be above TV job guy.

And why nobody stopped Grizzly when they could? If you ever heard either Ross or Cornette talk about the Kentuckians, you would perhaps understand why he was allowed to get away with it unimpeded. He was a childhood hero to a lot of folks who ended up in the business and they talk about his time as a wrestler with reverence, which is kinda lost in the Vice piece. You would think Grizzly was just some regular territory guy, made his money, and then got out to become backstage personnel. There is a reason why a lot of those guys in the 70s, 80s, and 90s were central figures in the booking, finishes, and everything else long after their wrestling careers. They (Patterson, Lanza, Watts, Garea, Grizzly, George Scott, Strongbow, Jody Hamilton, etc.) were big names when they wrestled. Naturally, it would extremely easy to use that influence in order to abuse others and have people just look away. In the case of Grizzly, it just makes it even sadder because his children still look at him as perhaps this larger than life character that was their father even upon his death. They clearly had an issue separating Aurelian Smith (Sr.), their father, from wrestling character and personality Grizzly Smith. They were desperately trying to find at least SOME good or redeeming quality in him. The most heartbreaking part of this whole thing (besides Robin's story about the girl Grizzly brought over) was Jake saying Aurelian Smith Jr. pretty much died decades ago. I dunno if you can ever, ever recover from that.

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2 hours ago, twiztor said:

i am so not ready to dive into the Grizzly Smith ep yet. might be awhile before i muster up for that one. looking forward to Dynamite Kid tho.

I still haven't seen the Owen Hart episode, and I don't know if I ever will.

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