Kayfabe, Lies and Alibis: Dr. D David Schultz Shoot interview

From RF Video
Schultz grew up in a tough part of Tennessee where you had to fight for what you got, and if you had something, you’d have to fight to keep it.

He didn’t start watching wrestling until he was 20. He saw Jerry Lawler and Jackie Fargo and could tell they were making a lot of cash.

Schultz stopped by promoter Roy Welch and asked to be trained.

The training was brutal and Schultz could barely walk after some sessions.

Promoter Nick Gulas brought in shooters and Schultz kicked their ass. Welch got upset that the wrestlers got their ass kicked and they tried to explain to Schultz that it was fake.

His trainer told him that he had to keep his legit ass kicking skills on the down-low or he’d never be given a title out of fear that no one would be able to beat him if he chose not to do business.

His first matches were in Missouri and it cost Schultz 40 dollars to get there for a 25-dollar pay off. The promoters used the same guys over an over on the card and Schultz would work a singles match, another singles match under a mask, a tag match and then a battle royal.

The fans would throw scissors and knives at the heels. Having eggs thrown at you and tobacco spit on you was common as well.

Schultz would make sure not to mingle with the fans to keep his mystique.

Dr. D had so much heat while touring India that he had to be escorted to the airplane with a machine gun toting security force.

A promo from after his WWF run was over in the Spring of 1985 sees Schultz wearing a swastika on Memphis TV, and then accusing Jerry Lawler of something so horrendous, it has to be heard to be believed.

Bill Dundee was really short, and Schultz had to bend over to try and hide how tiny Dundee was.

Jerry Lawler was a wimp. Schultz had to team with him when both were heels and he saved Lawler from gun toting fans.

Lawler would try and talk himself out of fights, Schultz would just wallop the marks.

Lawler had booking powers and held Dr. D down since he knew Schultz was a threat to his top spot in the area.

Phil Hickerson and Dennis Condrey were also local boys who Schultz feels Lawler held back to protect his spot.

Dutch Mantel was a good worker who was smart in the ring. Mantel was a stooge though.

Lawler would start shit between the workers in the locker room.

Schultz was constantly aware of the con artists that promoted wrestling from town to town.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage would challenge the smaller Memphis area workers to shoot fights, but never messed with the bigger guys like Schultz who could kick his ass.

Savage was a good wrestler and got himself over everywhere.

Roger Kirby was a nice guy who kept himself in shape. Schultz liked teaming with him.

The Gulas/Jarrett territorial split is discussed. The boys didn’t really know what was going on, but they figured Lawler was paying his way into the office. Suspicions also arose that the split was faked and this was just a way to expand the territory.

Schultz next went to Southeastern Wrestling and worked for the Fuller Family. Ron Fuller was a good man but his brother Robert tried to cheat Schultz out of money. Robert got roughed up in ring by Schultz and then agreed to pay him the cash owed.

Bob Armstrong was great in the ring. Bob never had an issue with Schultz.

Rookie Hulk Hogan was also in the area, sleeping in a van. Schultz took him in as a roommate and they became good friends. Hogan was scared of Schultz’s ability to kick his ass and that caused problems later.

Austin Idol is buried. Schultz doesn’t think he could work or talk.

Billy Robinson was a bully. Schultz threatened him after seeing Robinson stretch guys in the ring.

Stu Hart was one of the best promoters Schultz ever worked for. Hart’s only complaint was when Schultz busted open his son Bruce hard-way with punches.

Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith roided themselves to ridiculous proportions to survive in the WWF. The Bulldogs would spike your drinks if you left them unprotected.

Bad News Allen was rumored to have chased Schultz out of the Stampede territory but David denies any issues.

Calgary was nice and the weather wasn’t an issue for a southerner like Dr. D.

In this comical promo, Schultz complains about only being able to find transvestites in San Francisco.

Hogan got Schultz his AWA gig since Verne Gagne was looking for a new heel to work on top.

Schultz says he cut a bunch of promos on Hogan at the end of their AWA run, knowing Hogan was already gone to the WWF. Then he did another round of promos vowing to retire if Hogan would show up for the return matches (since Hogan wasn’t there for the first match). That time around Schultz no showed the cards as well and went to the WWF where he and Hogan then feuded on WWF cards in the AWA area.

Verne was a good promoter, but David didn’t think much of Greg’s abilities.

The Gagne’s flipped out when Schultz quit and nearly started a fight with Schultz at the TV station when the news broke.

Masa Saito was a tough man and worked hard.

Mean Gene and Hogan were close in the AWA and following Hogan to the WWF wasn’t a shock.

Jesse Ventura was a pro but Schultz never got to work with him in the ring.

Bobby Heenan was an office snitch to the promoters when he worked for Verne and in the WWF.

Nick Bockwinkel thought Schultz was a loose cannon and was leery of him.

Jerry Blackwell was a nice man and could move well for a big guy.

Verne had a nice cash flow coming in from his big towns and didn’t have the desire to expand the territory like the WWF did.

Portland promoter Don Owens didn’t like Schultz because Owens wanted to push small guys. Schultz’s run there didn’t last long.

Buddy Rose was pathetic. Rose was the main bad guy in Portland and had a lot of stroke in the office. Schultz started to get serious heat and Buddy wanted to cut his push off at the knees.

Schultz took five trips to New Japan. Inoki paid him very well. Schultz refused to put Inoki over on TV and was essentially fired.

Mad Dog Vachon was clumsy and hard to get a good match out of.

Hogan started to big time the boys once he became a star.

Hulk still owes Schultz money from when they were roommates.

Schultz makes fun of Hogan’s lack of endurance, thanks to the steroids.

Superstar Graham was a nice guy who was breaking down physically by the time Schultz got to know him.

Andre the Giant was easy to work with and didn’t cause problems.

Vince Jr. fed Schultz a line of crap and threw him out with the garbage when Schultz became an inconvenience. Vince promised him a 5-year run and millions of dollars.

Roddy Piper and Dr. D cut a very racist promo on Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson. The interview then pans to Hulk Hogan who is clearly just off camera and he botches a promo-then tries to restart the bit and Mean Gene just keeps them rolling along. Hard to believe either of these promos made the air, for much different reasons.

Roddy Piper was given Dr. D as a manager. Schultz thinks it was done to steal Schultz’s heat. He thinks Piper was a two-timer.

Paul Orndorff was always in shape, always on time and could work.

Tony Atlas couldn’t work a lick and had to be carried by the heels. Rocky Johnson was a good worker.

The racist promos Schultz cut are discussed. Atlas had an issue with them, but Johnson saw the promos as business building. The WWF could have edited them off if the office had an issue with them.

Snuka was willing to sell like crazy for the heels and then save himself for the big comeback.

Piper and Schultz feuded with Snuka and Andre, this included Andre being laid out at MSG for the first time ever.
There was tension in the WWF locker room when the expansion started and a lot of the older heels were bitching about the actions of the new comers.

If you’ve somehow never seen the vignette above WATCH IT NOW! Implied spousal and child abuse has never been funnier.

They discuss the infamous “At home with Dr.D” segment. Schultz says that the house was rented and his family was all actors. Schultz says the kids cried at first since he was so rough on them. Schultz had child services called on him over the skit.

Bruiser Brody was a tough guy and all business.

Schultz takes partial credit for the name “Wrestlemania” but doesn’t recall exactly if he was the guy who named it.

Vince tried to keep Schultz and Hogan apart on a personal level. Vince told Schultz he was too rough in the ring and they exchanged harsh words. Schultz figures that was the day he became a marked man.

Schultz claims Vince told him to “blast” John Stossel when Stossel came around to ask if wrestling’s fake. Dr. D bitch slapped him twice on TV. The other guys knew it was coming, which is why you can see Fuji and others watching in the background.

Vince sent Schultz to New Japan where Inoki asked Schultz to rough up a reporter to help get himself over.
Schultz refused to take the heat for the Stossel incident and ratted Vince out to the court about telling him to strike Stossel. Stossel claimed Vince directed him to Schultz, Vince says Stossel didn’t have permission to run around interviewing the WWF guys.

Schultz claimed to have documented a number of wrestler’s negative experiences with Vince on tape and planned on writing a tell all book on the statutory rape, drugs and other issues.

Schultz’s book was ruined when his lawyer told him he had to show Vince all the tapes in order to avoid slander and Vince “lost” the footage.

Lawler’s statutory rape charges in 1993 are discussed. Schultz figures Lawler paid the girls off. If it was his kid, Schultz would’ve killed Lawler.

Schultz tried to run his own angle with Mr. T and took a lot of heat for going off script.

Dr.D is proud of how stiff he was in the ring. He knows nobody can ever accuse him of being a phony.

Attacking Stossel costs Schultz a Hollywood career (in his mind) because he now had a rep as a wild man.

After being fired by the WWF, JCP and the AWA weren’t options because they couldn’t offer him the 1500 a night he was getting in the indy scene.

Schultz went on to become a bounty hunter and caught over a 1700 suspects. He was rated the top bounty hunter in the world.

The Japanese have done two movies on his exploits in bounty hunting.

He was suppose to be on “Regis and Kathie Lee” to talk about being a bounty hunter but chased down a criminal that netted him 30 grand instead.

You had to work hard to get something watchable when facing Abdullah the Butcher.

Schultz claims to have taken only prescription drugs to combat the crazy WWF schedule. Never illegal drugs.

Schultz wasn’t afraid to fight any of the other wrestlers. He might lose but he won’t back down. He downplays some of Haku’s aggressive behavior.

The Road Warriors were nice guys who put on a hell of a persona in front of the fans and the camera.

Schultz appeared on Morton Downey Jr’s talk show and argued with Jim Wilson and Thunderbolt Patterson over the ills of the business.

Dr. D defends himself against charges that he is racist. He does state he is against interracial and gay marriages.

He likes George W. Bush’s “kill’em all” policies.

The local law enforcement made Schultz take down signs on his property that warned trespassers that they’d be killed.

Schultz shows us the unedited 20/20 segment he was part of. He was given the raw footage as part of the court case that came from slapping Stossel.

We close with Dr. D telling us all to leave him the hell alone, “I don’t want to see you, I don’t like you, I never liked you”.

Final thoughts: A highly crass and unlikable man – but an engaging interview subject. I highly recommend this shoot for unintentional comedy, car crash level can’t look away drama and sheer entertaining bullshit and bluster.

Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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