Over the Top Rope

Rock Riddle's
Wrestling Revue

by Rock Riddle, the Original "Mr. Wonderful" of Professional Wrestling

Initial Publication Date:   July 19, 2007

Click on any of the smaller photos to enlarge

I did literally hundreds of on-camera interviews during my professional wrestling career.  Being a “bad-guy,” of course, I generally took control of that live television time, even though I was the person supposedly being interviewed.  It was an interesting twist of fate a few years ago, when I went from interviewee to interviewer.  My company, APS Entertainment, was taping interviews for possible use in the opening and closing scenes of our upcoming feature film, “When Wrestling Was Real” (working title).  I was interviewing my friend and living legend, Playboy Buddy Rose.  I knew it was going to be a wild and crazy, fun interview.  I assumed, correctly, that it might be difficult for either of us to keep a straight face, since Buddy and I both possess the well-known pro wrestlers’ extreme sense of humor.

Lighting was adjusted, the overhead microphone was moved into place, and tape was rolling.  Playboy Buddy Rose walked into frame, extending his hand.  “Rock Riddle!  How are you?”  I accepted his outstretched hand as we both instinctively turned to face the camera.  “It is,” I began, utilizing my slightly exaggerated announcer’s voice, “the one, the only … Playboy Buddy Rose!”  “I’ve known this guy,” Buddy began, pointing his finger directly at me, “since the 1970s.”  “Whoa, hold on there, big guy,” I corrected.  “I was born July 12th, 1973.  So it had to be much later than that.”  Except for a slight “Yeah, right” half-smile-half-smirk, Buddy ignored my statement.  “You were in the AWA [American Wrestling Association] driving that Karmann Ghia.  “That’s right,” I responded, a little surprised that he remembered.  “And you let me ride with you a couple of times,” Buddy continued.  The look on my face was telling.  I had no idea what he was talking about.  I had no recollection of his ever riding with me.  The only thing that came to mind for me to say at that point was a questioning, “Yeah?”

Buddy must have detected my I-don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about-or-how-to-respond look.  He was like an excited kid who was happy to have the opportunity to tell me a great secret.  “Yeah, you liked to travel alone, but you let me ride with you that time.” I still had a blank look on my face.  He continued his enthusiastic attempt to help me remember something which, to him, apparently had great significance.  “It was a two-seater,” he continued.  “You had bleached blond hair.  I was about your size and you were about my size.  Now, we’ve switched; now you’re little and I’m big.”  Buddy weighed at least 300 pounds and I probably tipped the scales at about 195 as we were doing the interview.  “But you’re big, though,” Buddy continued, “as far as ‘Look at you now.’  You’re the star of the show.”  “No,” I responded, “you are the star of the show.”  “No, you’re the star,” Buddy corrected, “I’m only a guest.”  “Oh, you are?” I asked, as though I were confused, creating the foundation for a potential comedy bit if Buddy wanted to “play.”  We both smiled.  “I thought you were here to interview me!” I announced to my long-time friend.  Before I had completed the last word of my statement, Buddy said, “NO!”

After a few moments of comedic back-and-forth banter, Buddy decided to become, at least temporarily, semi-serious.  He looked into the camera, pointed once again to me, even though I was only a few inches away from him, and decided to share his thoughts with the fans there at the taping and with all who would view the “show” later.  “Rock Riddle’s a great guy.  He asked me to do this interview,” Buddy explained.  He directed his attention back towards me as he continued, “I want to talk about anything you want to talk about, Rock.”  Because I was interviewing one of my fellow wrestlers, I was intent on having fun with the interview.  I knew we would eventually get serious, but not quite yet.  To set Buddy up for a little joke, as we wrestlers so frequently do, I decided to ask him a question totally unrelated to wrestling.  “Okay,” I responded, “Then, I would like to ask you a question.”  “Sure,” he said.  With a sincere and serious expression on my face, I looked Buddy in the eyes and asked, “What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?”  By the momentary lack of expression on his face, I knew I had “got him.”  But, Buddy was always wonderful on the microphone, a total pro, and I knew he would quickly turn the tables on me.  It took about one second for Buddy to respond.  He rolled his eyes slightly, directed his attention to the audience and “explained” my question.  “His facility for the jocular repulse,” Buddy began, referring to me, “and his mastery of his droll repartee doesn’t strike the measured risibility in me.”  “Okay,” I said to myself, “maybe it is time to get serious.”

“What I would like to do,” I explained, “is to let people know what wrestling was like before it became the carnival-type event that it is today.”  Buddy quickly jumped in, adding,
“with all due respect to the wrestlers who are there and do know how to ‘work’ [wrestle] and who have to work that style.  I mean, the Shawn Michaels, the Ric Flairs.”  “Absolutely!” I agreed.  Buddy continued, “They were in our era.  I mean, they’re making good money.  They’ve got to go 6, 7 minutes per night, hey, why not take it?”  “Hey, why not?” I concurred.

“I’d like to be able to show the younger people, the people under thirty, who never experienced it, how and what professional wrestling really was,” I explained.  “I’d like to take them into that world and allow them to understand our ‘wrestling family’ and lifestyle.  What insight would you like to share with us?”  Buddy was happy to be able to shed light on a way of life that was absolutely extraordinary.  “It was 365 days a year,” he began, “seven nights a week.  It felt funny if you had a day off.  ‘Double shots’ [wrestling twice in two different towns in one day] on the weekends.  Maybe a one o’clock show in the afternoon, and then get on an airplane or drive to the next town, and you wrestled that night.  There was no home life in a lot of the territories [sections of the country governed by a specific wrestling promotion] for a lot of the wrestlers.  I was fortunate enough to wrestle in the Northwest after I left Minneapolis.  In the Northwest, you could be home every night.  But there were territories like Charlotte and Dallas and Amarillo and in Florida…  I could go on and on…  you were only home a couple nights a week.  If you had a family, you sacrificed a lot.  If you had a good wife who totally supported you, which I have standing here off camera, you could make it through anything.  Again, I was so fortunate to be able to work the Northwest.  I could be home every night, and that’s one reason I stayed there so long.”

Next week, we’ll continue with Playboy Buddy Rose.  He will relate his experiences wrestling all over the world.  We will discuss how tough the sport was and how and why we all wrestled when we were hurt.  We will share true wrestling
stories with you and provide a good deal of insight and “inside information.”  Until then, keep those e-mails coming.

This column welcomes your wrestling-related questions.  You may contact the author via email: RockRiddle@hotmail.com or Rock@HollywoodSuccess.com.  Be sure to put "Wrestling Question" in the subject line.

About the author:  Rock Riddle wrestled professionally for over 8½ years and helped sell out major arenas all over the country.  He held numerous titles including the Americas Tag Team Championship (with John Tolos) and the East Coast Tag Team Championship (with Rocky Montana.)  At the height of his career, he was given top billing over the heavyweight championship of the world.  He is extremely well-connected in the world of professional wrestling and knows the business exceptionally well.  His fascinating biography, complete with over 100 photos and lots of additional information, is available at www.HollywoodSuccess.com – just click on "Rock Riddle Bio."    If you have missed any of Rock’s columns, they are all available on the website by clicking "Wrestling Revue."

© 2007 Rock Riddle & Hollywood Success.

Previous Column Wrestling Revue Home Page Next Column

Copyright © 2015 -- APS Entertainment, Hollywood Success Marketing and Public Relations and Rock Riddle -- All Rights Reserved
APS Entertainment, 6464 Sunset Blvd., Suite 740, Hollywood, CA  90028
Serving the Entertainment Industry Since 1978 -- Same address and phone for over 25 years
(323) 462-2777  --  e-mail:  Rock @ HollywoodSuccess.com

Home ] Up ]