The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts on February 10, 1985 · 349
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · 349

Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 10, 1985
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TWENTY-ONE By D. C. Denison Vince McMahon CONTENTS February 10, 1985 Wince McMahon, the most successful wrestling promoter in the United States, is the man responsible for bringing Hulk Hogan, Captain Lou Albano, and other grapplers into living rooms all over the country, via syndicated and cable television programs. His World Wrestling Federation also books at least one wrestling event a month at Boston Garden. We spoke in McMa-hon's office in Greenwich, Connecticut. 1 . Who gets the strongest negative reaction from the fans, the Iron Sheik, who is Iranian, or Nikolai Vol-koff, the Russian? It depends. If the Iron Sheik is wrestling a preliminary match, it's almost a foregone conclusion that the Iron Sheik is going to win. So there's obviously less reaction to him than if he was going to meet Hulk Hogan or Superfly Snuka. Steve Taylor, Titan Sports. Inc. Ul W 7 Yf 2. How did you get in volved with wrestling? It actually goes back to my grandfather, who was promot- mmm m ing boxing in the old Madison Square Garden in New York. Boxing was very popular, but my grandfather saw more entertainment value in wrestling and began to spend about half of his time on wrestling. Then my father became involved, and the pendulum swung a little bit more in the direction of wrestling. Now we don't do any boxing at all. 3. Did you always know that you'd go into the wrestling business? I always wanted it. But my dad wanted me to do something else. Any form of sports entertainment can be risky, and he wanted something better for me. But as a matter of fact, at one time I wanted to be a wrestler. 4. How did he feel about that? He was adamantly opposed to it. It was something along the lines of, "Over my dead body." But I really wanted to participate in some fashion, and during the summers I began putting up wrestling rings, taking tickets, and so on, and I just fell in love with it. 5. What do wrestling and rock V roll have in common? A number of factors, really. For one thing, if you go to a rock 'n' roll concert or a wrestling match, like it or not, you will not D. C. DENISON IS A BOSTON-BASED WRITER. EACH WEEK HE POSES 21 QUESTIONS TO A NOTABLE PERSON. "There have definitely been some melees in the locker room that have been better than the matches out in the arena." in the sports entertainment field. It's important not to try to determine what wrestling is not. It doesn't fall into one particular category. It's not in the category of sport, in the strictest sense of the word. And it's not entertainment, in the strictest sense of the word. Its demographics are broad-based Americana. There are as many different reasons why people go to a wrestling event as there are people in attendance. 9. How do you get the tal- fent? t We're the only national or for that matter, international producers. There are a lot of local and regional promoters, in the South and the Midwest and in little pockets here and there, and they develop quite a bit of talent. Also, a lot of our people are foreigners, and so there's no shortage of wrestling talent. be bored. It's like a concert by the J. Geils Band. At one time I owned the Cape Cod Coliseum, and I really enjoyed some of the rock shows I saw there. 6. How long did you own the Coliseum? For five years. I sold it about a year ago. 7. What effect has pop singer Cyndi Lauper had on wrestling? I think she's had a positive effect. Among other things, she has rekindled an awareness for women's wrestling. The women's champion, Wendi Richter, whom she supports, is real tough, much like Cyndi. Cyndi is a tough little lady. She stands her ground. She may be somewhat diminutive in size, but in her heart she would be in the ring. She very much relates to everything that Wendi does in terms of wrestling, and she relates in general to the wrestling audience, which is somewhat similar to a rock audience. Our demographics are somewhat broader than the traditional MTV audience, but a good chunk of our audience, the 18-to-35 age group, is the same. 8. How do you respond to that eternal question about wrestling: Is it real or fake? Or is it Memorex? I really don't respond to that question. I think it was done to death in the '20s. But"! hasten to say that we're 10. How often are you approached by someone with a concept or a gim-mmmm mick that he thinks will be the next big wrestling sensation? Oh, many times. Under normal circumstances, when an athlete comes to us with a concept of what he would like to be, we don't give him the time of day. Because the first thing that a wrestler has to have is the ability to wrestle that innate sense of timing and charisma that far exceeds in importance any kind of concept or gimmick. If that's all they have, it just won't work. They will forever be in Oklahoma City. 1 1 . So what do you tell all these kids who want to be wrestlers? We say, "Don't," from a number of standpoints. It's one of the roughest existences in sports entertainment, rough in terms of the physical abuse that you take, and rough in terms of the constant travel. It's just a grind, and unless you're extraordinarily gifted, we would generally discourage you from attempting to enter wrestling. 12. How many shows do you have on television now? We have three shows on the USA network on cable. We have two events that are on WTBS, Ted Turner's superstation. Then we produce two different syndicated events, in addition to producing, for cable television, events for Madison Square Garden cable and Philadelphia Prism television. We've just entered into two other agreements in terms of Continued on page 23 Cover illustration by Patrick Blackwell Leigh Montville A touch of Evel 6 The Other Campus Massacre While the shootings at Kent State remain a tragic symbol, history has all but forgotten what happened in Orangeburg, South Carolina By Nicholas Bromell 8 Terms of Endearment Photographs By Jerry Berndt 10 Turns for the Worse In Boston traffic, the right-of-way goes to the wreck By Christina Robb 12 Food Warming up to winter salads By Sheryl Julian 58 Fashion Swimsuits that are a cut above the rest By Gail Banks 60 ; k Letters 4 Ask The Globe 14 Ask Beth 57 Getting Around 62 The Globe Puzzle 63 Editor Ande Zellman Design Director ronn campisi Editing Layout: David Cohen Copy: Cynthia Dockrell Louisa Williams Assistant Designer Jacqueline Berthet Staff Writers Peter Anderson Maria Karagianis Charles Kenney Christina Robb Tkt Boston Globe Magazine does not assume responsibility for unsolicited material. Trademark of Globe Newspaper Company. Copyright 1985 Globe Newspaper Company (formerly Nik England i.).

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