Copyright © Joe Hamilton and Scott Teal
A few weeks after we arrived in Charlotte, we made a deal with Crockett to bring Grizzly Smith and Luke Brown into the territory. I didn’t know it at the time, but Tom had to talk like a Dutch uncle to get them in there because Crockett hadn’t been too impressed with them when they were there before, and Crockett was very opposed to bringing them in. He didn’t want them back. His exact words were, “Aw! Those guys won’t draw a damn dime.”
Tom said, “Oh, yes, they will. You guys just didn’t know how to use ‘em right. Give us a chance with them. If you let us do things our way, they will draw.”
And that was true. When Griz and Luke wrestled in Charlotte before, the bookers didn’t know how to use them. They didn’t know how to utilize their gimmick. They didn’t know how to get them over. And the wrestlers didn’t know how to work with them.
The problem was, the bookers were trying to take two giant men and make average workers out of them. They told them to work a regular match, just like the normal-sized workers. Griz and Luke were doing headlock takedowns, arm drags, and stepover toe holds. Luke could work that style, but Griz couldn’t. Their opponents did nothing to make Griz and Luke look outstanding. They were taking them off of their feet and doing all of the normal things that wrestlers do to their opponents.
The way Tom and I worked with them was to make super-strong giants out of them. We never took them off their feet. Never!
They didn’t punch anybody. They didn’t kick anybody. All they would do was manhandle their opponent. Since they were so tall, we could emphasize their size and strength by putting them with shorter guys. They could stand in the middle of the ring, put their left hand on their opponent’s head, and hold them at arms length. Their opponent could swing their fists at them and never touch them. When it was time for the finish, Griz would use the upside-down bearhug. Luke would hit the ropes and come down on top of them with a big splash.
Crockett let us do it our way, and he told everybody else who worked with the Kentuckians: If they deviated from that formula, their … was gone. Needless to say, nobody took them off their feet from the day they arrived in the territory.
This is an excerpt from Joe Hamilton’s Book: “Assassin: The Man Behind the Mask”
To get a copy of the book you can go to http://www.crowbarpress.com/cbp-books/03-jh.html