If you have not read my wrestling posts, I have at least mentioned the word Kayfabe. Kayfabe according to the wrestling dictionary is the fact or convention of presenting staged performances as genuine or authentic. It basically means living the character on and off the field. In Kayfabe you are not out of the ring hanging out with a wrestler that they are in a fued with or just had a match with. it breaks the vision on whether a storyline is reality or not. The topic of Kayfabe was explored in Dark Side of the Ring’s episode on Dr. D David Schultz where he was taught to never ever break Kayfabe. Unfortunately when he slapped reporter John Stossell to keep his character from being realistic it pretty much ended his career in pro wrestling. So I thought why not watch that episode and give the 10 things that I learned watching Dark Side of the Ring’s episode on David Schultz.
10. David Schultz was trained by Herb Welch.
There have been a lot of notible trainers throughout the buisness, however I really don’t know much about the older days of pro wrestlers who are training wrestlers back in the day. Herb Welch was a big star during the Great Depression up until the 1950’s and when he retired he became a very notable person to get training from in pro wrestling. So Schultz went to Welch to get training and they agreed. Welch’s would often take wrestlers to his farm and train them in his barn. Welch would beat the living hell out of the wrestlers he trained.
There was one story Jim Cornette tells where Welch would often take a dump along with rubbing it on his armpit and hold wrestlers in these long head locks. First off that’s disgusting, and second it is clear that his training sessions were brutal. Welch’s goal was to hurt people physically and mentally to see if they had what it took to be a part of the wrestling business. Luckily David Schultz did survived the trainings however he thought pro wrestling was real. So Herb Welch taught him about the importance of Kayfabe.
9. Hulk Hogan and David Schultz were Roommates
Before watching this documentary I had no idea who David Schultz even was, but it turns out he and Hulk Hogan were very close when both were starting there career in the business. They worked in the same territories in Florida. Of course when Hogan started wrestling he was broke and homeless. It was to the point where Hogan was living in a van. Shultz and Hogan like I said were close and David invited Hogan into his apartment and both became roommates. That I never new about, although I know Hogan was Homeless and lived in a van. When Hogan finally signed with the WWF, he got David Schultz a contract as well, because he convinced McMahon that he can make money bringing Schultz in.
8. Schultz was such a master of Kayfabe that the Police had a warrant for his arrest
Now this was super crazy hearing this as in this part of the documentary it got into his first few months in the company. Schultz most did a few promo where he was ordering his wife and son around the house. He even accidentally fired guns in the house in that promo and it really got him over as a heel in the company. However, that level of believability and Kayfabe got the police to investigate. They went to Vince McMahon’s office trying to find Schultz as he had a warrant for arrest on child and spousal abuse as it was that believable on TV. Vince had to tell them it was part of the show and just an act. Vince supplied Schultz with those guns and the women/child in those promos were not his family. The house they shot this in was not even theres as well, but the fact there was a warrant out for his arrest showed that the Kayfabe was working.
7. Why Eddy Mansfield went on John Stossel’s 20/20 documentary?
So now we get into Eddy Mansfield who was the wrestler featured on Stossel’s documentary. So Mansfield wrestled as “The Continental Lover” and started to wrestler in the many Territories after his baseball career came to an end. Mansfield loved wrestling, but was shocked with how low the pay was. Not only that, but with wrestling not having any medical insurance or a 401K. Which I agree is a massive problem and it still is an issue to this day.
So Mansfield got blackballed from the buisness as he did not give 20% of his money from the booker of the promotion. Which was something everyone did in the old days of wrestling. Mansfield not agreeing to resulted in all of his bookings stopping. So Mansfield wanted to go on the documentary and exposed the promotors in the way they handled buisness along with trying to get insurance and a 401K. Problem with that is, he was really looking for himself going on the documentary and not for others. He was trying to get back at the promotors for what they did to him.
6. The 20/20 crew pushed for Mansfield to show how pro wrestlers bladed.
So now we get into the documentary where Eddy Mansfield was being interviewed by John Stossel. By the way the full 20/20 episode is actually on youtube. If you want to watch it the video is down below of Mansfield’s interview and Schultz slapping Stossel.
So Mansfield is in the 20/20 showed Stossel how to hit moves in the ring and admitted to wrestling being fixed. He even admitted that wrestlers were told to loose or win matches. The most memorable part on Mansfield side is when he showed everyone how to blade and how to hide it. What I did not know was that Mansfield was pushed and peer pressured into doing it. He did not want that to be the whole part of the 20/20 documentary and wanted to express the lack of insurance, 401K, and how brutal the promotors of the industry were. However they were more interested in the way wrestlers got themselves to bleed in the ring. Mansfield even would later go on and say he got tricked as he wanted to help the business not expose it. Yes because it totally helps the business by showing many on TV how to bleed and how to wrestle in the ring, am I right.
5. Eddy Mansfield warned John Stossel to not to interview Dr. D David Schultz.
So now we get into the slapping incident and I already knew what happened. Vince knew Stossel was going to interview wrestlers and sent Schultz to him. Vince told Schultz to be in character while in the interview as he was making fun of the business. Vince apparently told Schultz to “tear his ass up”. Of course with how much Kayfabe was behind Schultz’s character he cut a promo while being interviewed. I watched it and that promo was fantastic. Stossel got terrified of Schultz and what does he do, he asks Schultz that he believed wrestling was fake. Which was just a disaster waiting to happen and Schlutz slapped him multiple times.
That I kind of already knew, however what I didn’t was that Eddy Mansfield had told Stossel multiple times to not even interview, nor go near David Schultz. That is advice Stossel should have taken as Mansfield knew how dedicated Schultz was with Kayfabe and if Stossel was to bother him with questions, he knew something bad was going to happen.
4. The Real Reason Why David Schultz was fired/blackballed
I originally coming in thought that Schultz slapping Stossel blackballed him from the company. Well turns out that the Slap was not the reason Shultz was out. Did it contribute absolutely, but what sealed his fate was with his beef with Mr. T. This was around the first ever WrestleMania where Vince wanted to takeover the business. Mr. T was a big part of the event and including him lead to Schultz being left off the card which angered him.
There were rumors that Schultz and Mr. T had a confrontation with each other. Schultz said that he never did, but the man who apparently started those rumors was Hulk Hogan. Hogan at the time had a falling out with Schultz, which of course hearing that is like saying roses are red, as Hogan just has a falling out with almost everybody. So Schultz and Chief Jay Strongbow spoke to each other and Strongbow told Schultz to stop bothering Mr. T or he would be fired. Schlutz said, “Then fire me” and of course that is what Strongbow did.
This is what got me angry as Schultz before he left went to go see Toru Tanaka wrestle and I guess say goodbye. However Strongbow decided to call Security and the police to kick Schultz out of the arena as he was a dangerous guy. Schultz got hogtied, handcuffed, and had shotguns drawn on him. They then tossed him out the backdoor and he was gone. Strongbow really just went overboard here with Schultz and that was a very terrible thing for him to do. So Schultz was then officially fired by Vince McMahon.
3. Eddy Mansfield does not come across great in this documentary
Throughout this interview Eddy Mansfield was a talking point as he was the wrestler on John Stossell’s documentary on pro wrestling. However in the Dark Side of the Ring documentary, Mansfield just does not come across well at all. Some of his statements he makes in this are not adding up at all and his motivations for going on Stossell’s show seem suspicious to me.
You know what really got me annoyed with Mansfield when he basically said that “Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, but he forgot to free the pro-wrestlers.” Excuse me, but that is not a comparison for somebody to make and you sound ridiculous just saying that. I agree with Jim Cornette for when he said that Mansfield was a has been and never was that pretended to do this for the boys.
Also once that documentary aired he got death threats and had cocaine planted on him, which of course is uncool. However I call nonsense where he stated that 4 FBI agents were assigned to protect him along with getting him out of the south. I really doubt the FBI would have 4 agents sent to bring someone like Eddie Mansfield to safety. So I call nonsense on his statements here and most of what he said in this documentary made him look worse.
2. John Stossel does not come across well either in this documentary
Yeah after watching the documentary, Stossel does not come across great either. Not only do I not believe him about trying to expose the scam of pro wrestling, but with how he handled Eddy Mansfield to push him to use the Razor Blade and many more about him.
What annoyed me the most was with his lawsuit with WWE and yeah he comes across like a piece of garbage here. So after the slapping incident he claimed that his ears were ringing and he wanted to teach the WWE a lesson. So he decided to sue the company and he had to let a doctor examine him from the company. The doctor diagnosed him and said that he said that he is holding onto his pain for the lawsuit. Keep in mind that he was not even examined once. So years pass and he settled with WWE and got 285 thousand dollars. Which seems ok, but then Stossel with a smug look on his face admitted that the doctor may have been right in that his pain got better once he was paid. Which, wow making that statement just makes him look worse than it does.
Looking back at the slap, you can tell Stossel was full of it. Why? Well Schultz’s slap was nowhere near Stossel’s ears and I guarantee that he only sued for a quick and easy pay day. Turns out that is what his goal was.
1. David Schlutz worked as a bounty hunter, once his wrestling career ended.
With Schultz now out of wrestling he needed to make money. So Schultz decided to work as a bounty hunter. It was at a time where nobody was doing it and that was an opportunity. As a wrestler it was very easy for him to get accustomed to being a bounty hunter as he had a lot of moves from his wrestling days. What is probably his best trait was being so noticeable with his Dr. D gimmick and it made a lot of criminals trust him. So it was easy money to pick them up and claim there bounty. They even had footage of this one guy clearly on I believe it was cocaine and while walking to the police with Schultz he said “I feel good going in with you man.”. Schultz then became a very reliable Bounty Hunter.
The one story and this is insane when told of how he caught a guy who kidnapped two girls. He even tied them to the toilet and were only allowed to drink the toilet water, which is disgusting. So Schultz actually found this guy in I believe he said Puerto Rico. Dr D tracked him down as the two girls were seen stripping at a club. So now that he apprehended him, Schultz actually got the girls home along with a few dogs and even a baby. Schultz was risking his life on the streets and he was doing good in the world getting these evil people locked up behind bars.
My Thoughts on the Documentary
Coming into this documentary I had no idea who David Schultz even was, excluding the slapping controversy. This documentary did a fantastic job going through what happened to him along with career and life. Lets be real John Stossel deserved to get slapped for the shenanigans he pulled on that date. Mansfield while having good intentions trying to unionize the business went the wrong way doing it. David Schultz really got screwed here and he could have made WWF/WWE a lot of money if this incident did not happen. In regards to Eddy Mansfield from all the stories I have heard about him this documentary like I said earlier does not paint him well at all. I already knew as well that Stossel as well is not a class A type of character as well and this documentary did not paint him well.
The MVP of this documentary is the man himself, Dr. D David Schultz. Schultz has had an insane life and he just comes across as a very likable guy. Schultz is in the category as a What if as I think Schultz would have been a big heel in the wrestling business if he never slapped John Stossel. This episode also shows about how deep Kayfabe was back in the day and how it can go too far sometimes. Schultz was the true victim here, not Stossel or Mansfield. I strongley recommend that you watch this as I learned so much in this.
Hello my name is Nicholas and I am a writer for Moore Than Sports. I am a graduate from Farmingdale State College. Currently I am enrolled at Canisius College going for my Masters Degree in Sports Administration. My favorite sports teams are the New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Charlotte Hornets, Buffalo Sabers, New York Rangers, and New York Yankees. I enjoy watching sports, analyzing transactions, scouting football players, and of course writing sports articles.