Over the Top Rope

Rock Riddle's
Wrestling Revue

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

Scheduled Publication Date:   November 9, 2006

Click on any of the smaller photos to enlarge

One of the highlights of my wrestling career took place in Atlanta, Georgia.  I had been a wrestling fan since I was fourteen years old.  I watched every televised wrestling show that I could find.  I even built a large high-powered antenna in order to view more distant stations.  A few of those stations produced barely comprehensible audio with only “snow” for video.  But, I was hooked, and I wanted to experience as many of the best-of-the-best as I possibly could, especially since I was determined to become one of them.   I was very impressed with a number of wrestlers.  Interestingly enough, I was also fascinated by an amazing wrestling commentator and announcer – a man whom I consider, to this day, to be the greatest wrestling announcer of all time.  He was the definitive voice of professional wrestling.  That man was none other than the legendary Gordon Solie.

I had just begun my Georgia “tour.”  It was to be my third match in the three days that I had been wrestling for Georgia Championship Wrestling – A National Wrestling Alliance-sanctioned promotion.  I was in the dressing room at the TV studio in Atlanta.  In about thirty minutes, I would be wrestling on live television.  There was a knock on the dressing room door.  Three or four of us simultaneously said, “Come in,” with a couple of the guys responding with the typical, “Go away.”  Gordon Solie came in – the living legend!  He walked up to me and introduced himself.  “Hi, I’m Gordon Solie.”  “I know,” I said with a smile on my face.  “I’m Rock Riddle.”  Gordon responded with “I know.  Mr. Wonderful.”  There was a pause.  Then Gordon spoke.  “Rock, I wanted to get a little background on you since I’ll be announcing your matches.”  “Okay,” I responded.  “So, what do you want to know?”  “Well,” Gordon continued, “did you ever play other sports?  Did you ever play football, for example?”  “Aha!” I thought to myself, “an opportunity to 'audition.'  I responded as though I were on camera.

“Football is for sissies,” I said.  “I hate football.  People who play football are wimps.  They wear all of that padding and they still complain about getting hurt.  And they have ten or twelve – however many of them that are on a team – helping them.  They wear helmets and face guards and teeth guards and elbow pads and shoulder pads and hip pads and knee pads.  What a bunch of wimps.  They wouldn’t last two minutes in a professional wrestling ring.  They probably have somebody dress them, because they’re obviously not very bright.  I would be very surprised if any of them had any higher than double-digit IQs.  My IQ, of course, is triple-digit – 147.  That falls within the ‘genius’ category, Gordon.  And, guess what?  When I go out there and wrestle on live television in a few minutes, I won’t be wearing a helmet.  I won’t be wearing layers of padding all over my body.  And, I won’t be depending on a team of other people.  It will be me, my magnificent body, my superior wrestling ability, and my amazing aptitude to out-think my opponent.  That’s what will cause me to win my match, along with the hearts and alleged minds of the fans.”

Gordon had the beginnings of a grin on his face.   He rubbed his chin as an outward indication of the “Rock Riddle interview possibilities” running through his mind.  If there had been any doubt as to whether I could handle a live interview, that doubt had been eradicated.  Now it was time to play.  Gordon was going to take the mock interview a step or two further.  In fact, his hand instinctively came up towards his face, as though there were a microphone in it, as he asked his next question.  “Did you ever play basketball?” Gordon asked.  I pointed to the back of my hand.  “Do you see that, Solie?” I chuckled.  Gordon shook his head back and forth.  He couldn’t help but smile.  His unspoken message was clear:  “Yes, I see the joke you’re going for, and, no, Rock, you know you can’t get away with that on live television.”  He attempted to get back on track with the mock interview. 

“So, Rock,” Gordon began, “it’s obvious that you aren’t a football fan, but what about basketball, seriously?”  I responded sarcastically.  “Basketball?  Wow, what a great game.  Now, that’s how I want to spend an afternoon – watching a bunch of seven-foot-tall freaks bouncing a ball.  Want to talk about IQ’s?  The combined IQ of a basketball team may total two digits.  Now, we have seven-foot-tall human skeletons who know how to bounce a ball.  But they can’t put a sentence together.  Their so-called words are incomprehensible.  I, on the other hand, understand the English language.  I have the ability to convey an idea, a thought, even to carry on a conversation, without needing a translator.  You see, I, being superior in every way including intellectually, do not need to resort to vulgarities in order to make a point.  Did you notice, Mr. Announcer, how many times I said ‘ahhh’ or ‘uh’ or ‘you know’ or ‘I mean,’ or used any of the other moronic crutches upon which the intellectually-challenged routinely rely?  None!  Not a single time.  That’s why we – you and I, Gordon Solie – can have an intellectually stimulating discussion.  We share a command of the English language.  In fact, this must be a great thrill for you, to be able to interview someone of my caliber.  This is obviously a career highlight for you.  Interviewing me must be an absolute dream-come-true.”  Gordon stayed in character.  “Yes, well, this certainly is, thankfully, a rare and unusual interview indeed, Mr. Riddle,” Gordon responded as only he could with a combination of condescension and class.  Gordon Solie was so extraordinarily gifted that, with a smile on his face, he could “one-up” a wrestler on camera without the wrestler even becoming aware that he had just been “put in his place.”

I looked at Gordon Solie.  We were both smiling.  We had just had fun and we knew there was much more to follow.  “One of the great things about you and me," I said to Gordon, “is that we are so good that we can insult someone is such a way that they won’t even realize they have been insulted until they go home and think about it for two or three days.”  Gordon looked quickly to the left, then to the right, making sure no one could see what he was about to do.  He took his forefinger, put it to his lips, smiled, and whispered, “Shhhhhh.  Don’t tell anybody.”

It was a wonderful introduction to a wonderful man.  Once again, I was able to meet one of my heroes.  No matter whom I wrestled while in Georgia, I always looked forward to TV matches that were hosted by the most amazing Gordon Solie.  I considered him to be a friend, and I am a better person for having known him.    He was the best of the best.  I, along with an entire generation of wrestling fans, miss him greatly.  I am proud to dedicate this column to the late and great Gordon Solie.

Next week:  The Money in Wrestling, Living on the Road, The Legends, and more.   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."

© 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 30 years
(323) 462-2777  --  e-mail:  Rock @ HollywoodSuccess.com

Home ] Up ]