“Time For a Deep Dive Into the VICE TV / ‘Dark Side of the Ring After Dark’ Censorship of My ‘Live-to-Tape’ Interview About the Ongoing Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka Murder Cover-Up in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=14399
“Muchnick on Irish Podcast ‘Off the Ball’ Pro Wrestling Edition, Discussing Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka’s Murder of Nancy Argentino and Other Topics,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=14403
“VICE TV’s ‘Dark Side of the Ring’ Producers: We’re Not Responsible For the Train Wreck That Was VICE TV’s ‘Dark Side of the Ring After Dark’ on the Jimmy Snuka Murder Case,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=14410
“What to Make of the Intriguing Testimony of Sam (Tonga Kid) Fatu in the ‘Dark Side of the Ring’ Episode on the Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka Murder of Nancy Argentino?”, concussioninc.net/?p=14417
“Muchnick Discusses Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka Murder Case on ‘Hannibal TV’,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=14437
“The One and Only Law Enforcement Voice in VICE TV’s ‘Dark Side of the Ring’ Episode on the Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka Murder Case Was a Local Police Chief Who Got Fired the Year I Broke the Story,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=14441
“How Jimmy Snuka Got Away With Murder. How the Allentown Morning Call Helped Cover Up the Historical and Ongoing Corruption in Lehigh County Criminal Justice. Here’s the Story VICE TV’s ‘Dark Side of the Ring Was Afraid to Tell,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=14447
by Irvin Muchnick
I’m sure everyone else’s hearts were warmed as much as my own by word on Twitter that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, America’s coolest action movie hero, was, as a kid, so very impressed and inspired by the sight of wrestler “Dr. D” David Schultz twice slapping to the ground ABC 20/20 reporter John Stossel for saying to Schultz on camera, about his chosen form of livelihood: “I think it’s fake.” The footage appeared on 20/20 in 1985, and Vince McMahon’s then World Wrestling Federation and its insurance carrier wound up settling a civil lawsuit claim by Stossel for $750,000.
The full story of the Schultz-Stossel pas de deux is next on the VICE TV documentary series Dark Side of the Ring — which, as we all know by now, is no-holds-barred except when circumstances otherwise dictate. Such circumstances include the occasional urgent need to pander to its wrestling fan audience.
Sheltering in place here, I have little to do right now other than to clean out my notebooks for interested readers. And as it turns out, I had my own encounter — completely non-violent, I hasten to add — with the mercurial Dr. D back in 1992. At the time, I was writing an article for People magazine exposing that Hulk Hogan, then at around the peak of his popularity, was a long-time steroid abuser.
Yes, the erstwhile Terry Bollea, he of “say your prayers, eat your vitamins” messaging (and who even boasted his own brand of one-a-days for impressionable kids — and adults), got by with a little help from his friends Deca and Durabolin. What a shocker. The People story would be reprinted, under the title “Hogan’s Zeroes,” as Chapter 7 of my 2007 book Wrestling Babylon.
A stringer for People’s San Francisco bureau, I’d been pitching the piece for a year, or ever since the WWF wrestling crew’s infamous Pennsylvania steroid connection, Dr. George Zahorian, went to federal prison in the first conviction under a statute criminalizing the prescription of anabolics for non-therapeutic purposes. In legit sports, they call these “performance-enhancing drugs.” In pro wrestling, the performance is to a large extent the look. Same difference.
In the first known major intervention of WWF’s superlawyer, Jerry McDevitt, Hogan succeeded in quashing his subpoena to testify at the Zahorian trial. But the wire services circulated an image-adverse photo of Hulk and McMahon with Zahorian, most likely backstage at a 1980s WWF television taping in Allentown.
The People editors finally got off the dime when I told them that the Los Angeles Times was readying a similar article for its front page. Once they set me in motion, my root source was Schultz. He had left the wrestling world, where he was the meanest, roughest villain ever seen until the guy in that role in the next match, and had become a New Haven, Connecticut-based bounty hunter for bail bondsmen whose clients skipped out on court dates.
For whatever vindictive or spotlight-starved reason, it was Schultz who amassed fellow wrestler witnesses’ statements about watching Hogan self-inject ‘roids or even injecting them for him. Dr. D transmitted his documentation via the then swiftest means, the fax machine. (Taking the cue of Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, I spelled the last name Shults, though I’ve always felt that the Dr. D part was what he most cared about properly spelling.)
Schultz’s information, consisting of his own on-the-record testimony and a group of affidavits signed by other old Hulkster colleagues, checked out. One of the affidavits was signed “The Assassin.” This was a guy named Randy Culley (sometimes spelled Colley). A native Alabaman, Culley had wrestled with a young Terry Bollea (then variously known as Sterling Golden and Terry “The Hulk” Boulder) under a mask as Assassin #2, during their younger days in the Gulf Coast territory. In WWF / WWE, Culley would become better known as Moondog Rex of the Moondogs tag team; later as Smash of the Demolition tag team.
A Time Inc. outside lawyer vetted my People copy on deadline, and just before it went to press expressed satisfaction with all the backup, with one exception: Who was this Assassin guy?
There was some concern, and believe me when I say I had no earthly idea where the concern could possibly have come from, that an affidavit from The Assassin might not hold up in court if Hulk Hogan or Vince McMahon were to go to the mat.
I learned that Randy Culley was by now an agent or producer for WWE’s chief promotional rival of the time, Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling. I reached Culley by phone at the WCW offices in Atlanta. He cheerfully unmasked himself for People.
I thanked Culley, but before we rang off I had one more question.
“You know, Randy,” I said, “there are a lot of Assassins floating around out there. Jody Hamilton was The Assassin. Tom Renesto was The Assassin. Even Hercules Hernandez was The Assassin.”
“I guess,” Culley replied, “you could say I was the real Assassin.”
Order WRESTLING BABYLON: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal through your favorite online seller (the Amazon link is https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001Q3M7EM/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1). Or get an autographed copy direct from the author for US $17.95, postage paid. (PayPal to [email protected], or money order to Wrestling Babylon, P.O. Box 9629, Berkeley, CA 94709. Canadian orders, add US $5.00 for postage; all other foreign orders, add US $10.00 for postage.)