Just goes to show ya that you never know what you'll see in the 3-Stooges fan site....(grin)
Without going into too much detail, I have ties to a few of the talent strewn about in the WWE, and was around quite a few of the kayfabes in past paid "wrestling" events, mostly in the 80's/90's..............I'll tell ya a funny story, before I get to George Grey.......
When I was in Nevada and going to school at UNLVsome 500 years ago, I struck up a friendship with a group of guys that, at that time, were working for Verne Gagne's "A.W.A." wrestling company. We'd see each other quite often at one of the less popular watering holes out there, and, because of the industry they were in, got invited to a few of their shows that were held at the now-defunct Showboat Hotel, Casino and Bowling center. It was a kick sittin' around and talking to these guys...We'd talk about UNLV, the NFL, baseball, crackin' jokes and one-liners about players and terams.....all kinds of crap, but hardly ever about the wrestling industry. I think that's why it was easy for them to shoot the breeze with that skinny guy (me) -- "He's not a groupie or fan." (Laugh) You could say that...It was interesting to watch the people's reaction to these guys out there, and it was REALLY interesting sitting with them backstage while they shot the breeze with each other, all friends in the dressing rooms, then hating each other for show, ten minutes later. Hey, I admired their work ethic, and their camaraderie...
Anyway, one of these guys ended up becoming a big star in the World Wrestling Federation....Mark Callaway, who, when I met him at the bar, was known as "Mean Mark Callous." (One night I told him his name was a little dopey, and he told me he thought of it himself, whereas I told him that I really liked it, NOW....He's six-foot-eight...LOL)
He doesn't go by that name any longer. He's now a character known as "The Undertaker." I knew that because of his size and the way he spoke, that he could have become a big star, but, WOW -- Mark told me about three years ago that he pulls in about $11M a year. (And he thought of his NEW name, too, one that I thought was a lot better...hehe)
Well, every time his wrestling organization films out here in Anaheim, I'll either get a call from him, or his mom, or his buddies, saying that he wants to get together while he's out here, before the show, to harass me about my allegiance to the Chargers. (He never forgets a thing, damn Steeler fans. LOL) So, he gets out to SoCal three days before, and he'll be in town on Saturday, the same weekend that we're throwin' my son's eighth birthday party. He asks me if i'd want him to put in a quick appearance at the party, and i'm thinking, "OMG, my son will be a GOD at school, if Mark comes over for a bit. His friends will never forget it." Now, I tell Mark that my son hasn'r ever SEEN him, but he says no prob.
That is, until MOM finds out.
True, pro wrestling isn't something that's ever on in our house, just one of those things. Maybe once every three months, i'd turn it on at night to see if I could catch Mark on, but it's not something that either of my sons have even heard of, or have watched, and that goes for Mom, too. She knows about wrestling and it's goofiness, but I tell her that one of my old friends is going to be in town, and wants to pay a visit, and show up for my boys' birthday party. She asks, "Which one?" So, I tell her i'll get ahold of a recording of him....I go down to Blockbuster, and rent the latest PPV event that Mark was in, take it home, and pop it into the machine. She gets one look at the heavily-tatted Mark walking down the aisle with funeral music playing, and stuffing some poor losing opponent into a casket, and says, "I do NOT want that man anywhere NEAR my house. N -- O, NO!"
She knows it's fake, but she's scared that this giant of a man is gonna scare the CRAP out of my son. (Probably would have. LOL)
So, Mark comes over, I tell him the tale, and he's not insulted or anything -- Actually, he's relieved. He says the kids beat the crap out of him, when he does things like this. Well, on Monday, I go down and watch him film his show at the Arrowhead Pond, and everyone LOVES his character. He's made it. And, he dodged a tough crowd, at my kid's bash. He wins twice. hehe...
So, back to George Grey. I wandered to a few shows of the then-WWF, back in the 90's and early Y2K, and got to talk to George Grey about his "Akeem" character.
He HATED it.
Always DID, but, if he hadn't done it for the show, he told me that the WWF wouldn't have renewed his contract, and they paid him good money to turn into the "Jive-Soul-Bro" from Africa. I asked him, "Are you a good dancer, bud?" I'll never forget what he told me -- "Hey, man -- For $18,000, i'll dance an irish jig, if they ask me." Hey, I can definitely believe that. About six months ago, I asked Mark if he knew whatever happened to George, and he told me that he thinks he hooked on with the Louisiana prison system, and works as a guard out there. Still doin' fine, still fairly heavy, but lost the beard, and lost that goofy yellow bedsheet he used to wear. He was a pretty cool guy, pretty funny, too.
Oh, one other thing -- Mark can't stand Jim Helwig, metaldams. Calls him the biggest loser the industry ever saw. Hope he's not related to you. Mark told me he actually changed his NAME to "Warrior." Says he's "losin' it." Aren't we all, Mark, Aren't we all.........