News took me down with a judo leg sweep and gripped me by the throat—and he wasn’t working! My comeback went straight out the window, as did our match, and as a result, all the business we were expected to do for the rest of the summer.
Bad News was a bronze medalist in judo at the 1976 Summer Olympics so he was legit. The problem was that he had issues putting on coherent matches and Bret hated the fact that he was given so little in their matches together, a theme that would repeat for their 1988 WWF series.
Bruce nonchalantly let slip that News’s four-year-old daughter had just been accepted into Julliard as the youngest piano player ever in the history of New York.
If there is anything you can glean from this book, it is that Bruce Hart is a complete prick. In this case, Bruce decided to screw with Bad News.
“You fucking asshole,” News yelled in a deep, angry voice. “My daughter lost both her hands in a boat accident! I oughta cut your heart out!” He stood up and pulled out his knife. “Get the fuck away from me before I change my mind!”
Like most of Bruce Hart’s Stampede booking, this was a bad idea. Bad News was not to be trifled with, even by Andre the Giant. Bad News heard Andre once use a racial slur on a bus and stood up to the Giant, who backed down. Again, do not screw with Bad News Allen Coage.
He used to say, “The only thing I like to do more than fuck is fight, and not necessarily in that order.”
Bad News Allen Coage the philosopher shares his views on life.
Pat told me I’d be the opening bout with a really green kid from Brooklyn named Steve Lombardi and just to do the best I could. I tried hard, and, all in all, that little match wasn’t bad. Pat was so thrilled with it that I soon realized that Steve was Pat’s boy.
Now in the WWF in 1984, Bret gets word that his first singles match would be against young Steve Lombardi, who was only recently released by WWE after a three decade tenure. Lombardi carved out a pretty lengthy career for an enhancement talent, some of which might be owed to a rumored relationship of sorts with the now openly gay Patterson. I really don’t care about that stuff unless such a thing ends up hurting the product.
One morning—April 27, 1985, to be exact—on a layover in Philadelphia, I read in the newspaper that Thomas Hitman Hearns was retiring from boxing after being KO’d by Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
Hearns and Hagler had maybe the best round in the history of boxing in their April 15, 1985 fight in Las Vegas. The first round of that fight is the stuff of legend, being fought at a blistering pace. Hagler eventually scored a KO in round 3. With the retirement of Hearns, this left the “Hitman” nickname available for Hart.
Here is that 1st round of the Hagler-Hearns fight:
What Jesse Ventura did for The Hart Foundation in our early days shouldn’t go unremarked. He was arguably our first real fan, the one lone voice singing our praises. He raved about The Hart Foundation in his TV commentary, calling us his favorite team and predicting greatness to come.
Much like how Gorilla Monsoon would put over Bret as a great technician in the ring, Ventura in his role as heel commentator ably pushed the abilities of the Hart Foundation team. Ventura had so much credibility for his “tell it like it is” persona and he had a lengthy history in tag team wrestling.