Over the Top Rope

Rock Riddle's
Wrestling Revue

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

Original Date of Publication:   June 15, 2006

Click on any of the smaller photos to enlarge

I had heard good things about Lee Field’s Mobile, Alabama-based wrestling promotion.  It was sanctioned by the largest and most prestigious governing body for professional wrestling in the world – The National Wrestling Alliance.  The money was supposed to be fairly good, the trips were reported to be relatively short, and the wrestling talent was unquestionably extraordinary.  Best of all, I could live directly on the beautiful white sands of Pensacola Beach, Florida. 

I booked myself into the “Lee Fields territory.”   My valet for a time in the wrestling business was a tall, blonde attractive lady by the name of Miss Pamela.  Ms. Pamela was my “co-pilot” on many of the longer trips.  I had three days before I was scheduled to wrestle in Pensacola.  I stopped for a few hours to visit with my parents in Burlington, North Carolina.  After lunch, Ms. Pamela and I headed south on I-95.  Five hundred miles later, we entered the city limits of Jacksonville, Florida.  “Great,” I commented.  “Only five more hours at this speed, and we’ll be on the beach in Pensacola. We should arrive just after daylight and have the entire rest of the day to relax and work on our tans.”  It was going to be a fun place.

We stopped for gas about an hour outside of Pensacola.  “Hey, you’re Rock Riddle, aren’t you?” asked the service station manager, “You’re Mr. Wonderful.  You’re going to be wrestling Ken Lucas at the Pensacola Auditorium tomorrow night.”  I hesitated for a moment before responding.  “Yes, that’s right.  How did you know?  I’ve never been here before.”  “Well,” the old gentleman answered, “Look right over there in my front window.”  There was a very large wrestling poster with my name and photo prominently displayed.  I must have been driving for too long; I didn’t even notice it.  “Would you autograph it for me?” he asked.  He didn’t wait for me to answer.  He rushed inside and grabbed the poster so fast that he knocked over his Penzoil display.  “Right there,” he continued, indicating where my autograph would fit best on the poster.  “Make it out to ‘Jim.’  You know, I’ve seen you on television several times.  You’re a cocky, arrogant S.O.B., but you’re really good, and you’re great on interviews.”  That was very strange.  I had not even entered the city limits of Pensacola yet.  I had never done television there, so I wondered how this guy could have seen me.  “I guess you must have taped those interviews somewhere else,” he suggested.  He was right; I had forgotten them.  I handed the guy a twenty-dollar bill for the gas.  “No, put your money away,” he said, “This one’s on the house.”  I thanked him, put the money back in my wallet, and drove away with a half-smile on my face.

We stopped at a grocery store in Pensacola.  I was surrounded by people who knew who I was, especially kids.  They followed me up and down the isles.  I felt like the pied piper.  We checked into a hotel.  Again, everybody seemed to know me.   We spent a couple of hours on the beach, grabbed some lunch, and decided to catch a movie since I wasn’t scheduled to wrestle that night.  There was a fairly long line of people waiting to buy tickets.  We were only in line for about ninety seconds when the manager briskly walked up to me.  “Oh, Mr. Riddle, welcome.  You never have to wait in line at my theatre,” he said.  “Please follow me.”  He took us in a side door.  “These are the best seats in the house,” he said.  “Could I get you some popcorn, soft drinks, anything?”  “A large buttered popcorn, a large Coke, a Diet Coke, and Raisinettes, thank you,” I responded.  A few minutes later, he was back with our “order.”  I reached for my wallet as he walked away.  I looked at Ms. Pamela and smiled. “Free gas, free movie tickets, and free food.  This is going to be a very interesting place.”

The next night, I headed to the auditorium/coliseum.  It was the only major arena I had ever seen that was built on a huge pier on the ocean.  I was the main event, and I would be wrestling the local hero/legend/champion Ken Lucas.  Ken Lucas was cheered wildly.  I headed to the ring amongst a thunderous blanket of “boo’s.” 

Ms. Pamela was there to open the ring ropes for me.  She did her job well; I entered the ring with my beautiful bleached blond hair untouched – not a hair out of place.  I made sure by gently stoking my hair while looking down my nose at the fans.  I stared at my opponent.  “Tell baldy there not to touch the hair,” I said to the referee, again stoking my golden locks.  Lucas made a move towards me.  I grabbed Ms. Pamela and put her between us.  Her eyes became large.  She wasn’t comfortable in that predicament.  I thought it was great.  It kept Lucas away from me for a few minutes, and it brought the decibel level of the “boos” to a new record high.  I knew I was successful; I tried not to smile.  “Now,” I thought to myself, “time to kick it up a notch.”    Lucas wanted to tie up right away, but I had my velvet “Mr. Wonderful” robe and my special wrap-around sunglasses on.  Ms. Pamela’s job was to take my robe and glasses and to get them back to the dressing room in one piece.  My job, as I saw it that night, was to see how long I could take to remove my robe and glasses.  The longer I took, the hotter and louder the crowd became.  After about five minutes, they were at a fever pitch.

Ken Lucas was a brilliant wrestler.  By the time we finally tied up, he seemed totally frustrated.  That was great.  It helped me accomplish what I wanted with the fans.  They loved their humble, soft-spoken hero, Ken Lucas.  They already hated the arrogant, condescending, hide-behind-a-women “bad-guy” Rock Riddle.  They badly wanted to see Lucas give me a great wrestling lesson and thoroughly defeat me.  My job was to disappoint them.  If they got what they wanted, they wouldn’t come back over and over to see rematches.  I did my job well.  It was my first match in Pensacola, and I defeated their local hero.  Of course, I used a few “short-cuts,” which infuriated the fans.  I smiled as I was escorted back to the dressing room with Ken Lucas’ Pensacola Heavyweight Wrestling Championship trophy.

A few days later, I did a live Pensacola TV interview.  “I’m a little disappointed,” I began, “I thought you had tough competition here.  This Lucas guy is supposed to be the toughest, and I beat him easily.  Oh, by the way, I’m used to gold, jeweled championship belts.  Look at this pathetic, championship ‘trophy.’  This is unacceptable for someone of my class and stature.  Follow me, mister camera man.  I want you to document me throwing the Ken Lucas trophy off the end of the pier.”  I tried not to smile.  “We’re going to sell out lots of arenas here, Rock,” I said to myself, “You’ve just laid the foundation for a good nine to twelve month run.”  Ah, yes … Pensacola Beach.  And it was, indeed, a great run – for a year and a half!  Until next week, keep those emails 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."

© 2006 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 ]