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THE RIOT THAT ALMOST KILLED PRO WRESTLING IN NEW YORK, IS GARGANO STILL ON THE WWE MAIN ROSTER?, THE HULK MACHINE AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2019-03-28 10:00:00

How many heads do you think were rolling when the Brutus Beefcake WWE Hall of Fame announcement was spoiled by that local radio ad in NYC?

I don’t think any.  It wasn’t something WWE could control.  My guess is the station playing ad copy before they were supposed to.

I read in This Day in History that Hogan fought as the Hulk Machine in the mid 80's. Why was this? Wasnt he WWF Champion and Hulkamania running wild at the time?

Yes, but he worked a few tag matches as "Hulk Machine" playing off the Machines tag team as a house show gimmick. They never hid it was Hogan and he would do a deal where he took the mask off to show the crowd it was him but pull it down in front of the referee.  George Steele and Roddy Piper did some house shows as the "Piper Machine" and “The Animal Machine” as well.  It was just a house show attraction, like “Juan Cena” a few years ago.

Is Johnny Gargano still on the main roster?

Interesting question.  We’ve heard that Gargano has pushed to remain with the NXT brand until Tommaso Ciampa is able to return to the ring so that they can properly close out their storyline and not short-change fans who have been invested all this time.  Given he’s competing for the NXT title at Takeover: New York, I don’t think it would make sense to push him on the main roster right now anyway.  He’s needed in NXT.

Why wasn’t anyone from the Rhodes family at the Dusty Tag Classic finals?  Isn’t Goldust still with the company?

Another good question.  Cody is signed with All Elite Wrestling, so he isn’t going to be appearing on WWE programming.  Dustin Rhodes is, I believe, he is still with WWE currently, so Dustin not appearing at the final is a head-scratcher to say the least.  He’s been doing some law enforcement work in Texas of late and is scheduled for an appearance in Toronto the day of Wrestlemania 35.  The fact he isn’t scheduled to be in New Jersey is odd. I don’t believe anyone else from the family was contacted to appear. 

Is it true pro wrestling was once almost banned in NYC?

Not in NYC, but all of New York State.  There was a riot on 11/19/57 following Argentina Rocca & Eduord Carpentier beating Dick the Bruiser and Dr. Jerry Graham in Madison Square Garden with fans damaging the building, storming the ring and even fighting with police.  This led to $2,600 in fines (which was a lot of money back then), a November show being canceled and the State of New York actually coming close to banning pro wrestling.   Oddly enough, the local press reported on the script going too far, so even back then, for all the talk of protecting the business, it was still being skewered for being a work by certain corners of the media.

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