Adventures in Larryland!: Life in Professional Wrestling

Adventures in Larryland!: Life in Professional Wrestling

Language: English

Pages: 240


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Wrestling’s self-proclaimed “Living Legend” may never wear a championship belt again, but he’s definitely not down for the count, as this memoir shows in its entertaining, often hilarious story of a remarkable ascent to wrestling notoriety. Voted Rookie of the Year in 1974, Larry Zbyszko enjoyed 30 glorious years as a top draw in the wild and wacky world of professional wrestling. Attendance records were shattered when he wrestled the original “Living Legend,” Bruno Sammartino, in 1980 and won by hitting his former mentor with a chair—a rarity at the time. Chronicling Zbysko's transformation from baby-faced hero to one of the most hated wrestlers of his time, this uninhibited narrative reveals an insider's view of some of the most successful and controversial stories and scandals in pro-wrestling history.

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finally going to be my turn to wear the gold. As the miles ticked by, running up my odometer, it was hard to wipe the smile from my face. The reigning awa world champion at that time was one of the many “kings” the wrestling business has produced over the years, Jerry Lawler. I had never wrestled the Memphis legend before, but I was looking forward to it. Our program should have produced some great matches, but when I arrived to fulfill my destiny, Lawler and the heavyweight championship belt

a game plan. Their idea was to put wrestlers into groups, giving some of the new guys a rub from encounters with big-name veterans. Again, this was a pretty good idea, but I hated to see the premature demise of the Enforcers. I also did not like being part of a group — I had spent too many years building up my own reputation. One way or the other I was not going to be involved for long. The fact that the group idea would get good tv exposure for a while, along with the fact that every other

accent, “Do you knowa what thisa is?” I replied, “No, I don’t.” He answered, “Thisa is a Polish flashalight.” Everyone was laughing. Well, even then I was famous for my quick wit, so I blurted: “You know why Italians don’t have freckles? They slide off their face.” No one laughed. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Bruno moving his thumb back and forth across his throat. He was giving me the universal sign for “Shut your stupid mouth, you idiot!” I had no clue why as the old man slowly shuffled

the commentary work. My dream of becom- 161 adventures in larryland! ing like my childhood hero was still evolving. And because tempting fate never worked for me in the past, when it came to wrestling with my destiny, I tapped out. Being a perfectionist, I was determined to be the best color man I could. I did not know a lot about broadcasting at the time, but I realized that if I’d be making comments about all of the talent instead of just a single opponent, I’d need a lot more material. I

It was a ten!” It was clear that with Nitro locked in a ratings war with the wwf, wcw would need something more. As you’ll remember, Bischoff, Greg Gagne and I were leftovers from the awa. Some years earlier we were disappointed that the “invasion of wcw” angle had never come to fruition. But with Turner Broadcasting throwing money around like they had a printing press in the basement, there was no reason we couldn’t make it work now. A little more than a decade earlier, Vince McMahon, Jr. broke

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