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The WWF Sex Scandals


sek69
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I was reading the back issues of the WON from 1992 on their website, and Dave's devoted the better part of the March 1992 issues to discussing the sex scandals plaguing the WWF at that time. These days it seems to be the conventional wisdom that Terry Garvin and Mel Phillips were more likely than not guilty of what they were accused of doing, but that Pat Patterson was thrown under the bus for being openly gay.

 

What I'm wondering is that there were several wrestlers claiming they were told by a "WWF official" that the only way they would get employment and/or a push with the company would be in exchange for sexual favors. A few mentioned Patterson specifically, and he clearly seems to be the only person mentioned in connection with the scandals that would be in a position to determine in a wrestler would get hired or get pushed. It wouldn't seem that anyone's career would suffer if they told Mel Phillips to GFY, so that would leave you to draw the likely conclusion.

 

Dave also mentions several off-the-record stories he's heard where he states he believes the people who told them. The 3/23/92 issue has a letter written by a former wrestler who said he was told flat out the only way he would get hired for WWF job duty would be in exchange for favors from Patterson. Did something happen in the years since to make him change his mind? I seem to recall any mentions of the scandals in recent years showing that Dave is firmly in the "Patterson was fired because the company thought having someone openly gay as a VP during a sex scandal was bad publicity" camp, which seems pretty ham-fisted even by WWF standards. I sometimes get the feeling that some of the sources Dave has gained in the company in recent years have been able to work him about company history, perhaps the old chestnut about people in the business being the easiest to work extends to sheet writers as well?

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It should be noted that Murray Hodgson, who was the most notable open accuser of Patterson at the time, was completely full of shit.

 

True, but his allegations prompted several others to make similar claims. Surely they can't be dismissed as full of shit because Hodgson was.

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Guest Kenta Batista

On the subject of people being gay and being fired. Its interesting to note (as a side to this thread) that Kanyon, TO THIS DAY,claims he was fired because the office found out he is gay. So that begs the question, should homosexuality keep a person from being employed in wrestling today? I am not talking about office jobs or anything like that, but specifically the in ring stuff.

 

As for the topic, I believe Pat was a scapegoat much like Chris Masters was for the steroids. Someone had to be thrown out front and so the most likely suspect was done so. Both were made examples of. Its crazy to sit and think about some of the WWE jobbers back in the day LITERALLY DOING ANYTHING TO GET SIGNED.

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It should be noted that Murray Hodgson, who was the most notable open accuser of Patterson at the time, was completely full of shit.

True, but his allegations prompted several others to make similar claims. Surely they can't be dismissed as full of shit because Hodgson was.

I think I have to agree somewhat with sek here. We all know the reason why the Brooklyn Brawler was employed by the WWF for so long, Sylvan Grenier too. So the chances are a few of the allegations about Patterson may have been true. The difference is Terry Garvin and Mel Phillips targeted the young ring boys, while Patterson went after the jobbers, all of whom were of age.

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It should be noted that Murray Hodgson, who was the most notable open accuser of Patterson at the time, was completely full of shit.

True, but his allegations prompted several others to make similar claims. Surely they can't be dismissed as full of shit because Hodgson was.

I think I have to agree somewhat with sek here. We all know the reason why the Brooklyn Brawler was employed by the WWF for so long, Sylvan Grenier too. So the chances are a few of the allegations about Patterson may have been true. The difference is Terry Garvin and Mel Phillips targeted the young ring boys, while Patterson went after the jobbers, all of whom were of age.

 

 

Yeah I do believe that Pat was unfairly roped in with the pedophiles because he was gay, which is something I'd like to think even pro wrestling has evolved past at this point.

 

Also when talking of Patterson stories, the one about how Virgil got hired was the first one that popped to mind. I also think that he's the guy Meltzer keeps talking about in these issues when he keeps mentioning a guy on the roster getting a (midcard) push beyond his abilities just because of his willingness to do favors.

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Guest Kenta Batista

So the Brooklyn Brawler was only employed because of doing favors? Same with Virgil? What's the story with Virgil? Anyone have a list and brief summary of what these people did? I know its hard to break into the big leagues, but jesus...I wouldn't drop to my knees for ANY male, I don't care how big my push would be.

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As far as the Tom Hankins bar story goes, Dave has since dismissed it as Tom being kinda naive while Patterson was grandstanding in the bar (something he did a lot) with no intention of using him as a TV job guy or having a sexual encounter with him.

 

Dusty Wolfe (I think others may have echoed this but I'm not sure) said he saw nothing to suggest that Patterson and Lombardi had anything going on and noted that Patterson seemed incredibly loyal to Lou Dondero so it would surprise him if true. That said, Dondero worked for the WWF in the office and connected to the wrestling side while all of this was going on, so if it was true, it's not a huge stretch to think that maybe he knew about it and was okay with it, plus Irv Muchnick was able to call Lombardi Patterson's boyfriend in an article without getting sued. Oh, and Bret Hart seemed pretty sure Lombardi and Patterson were involved in some form. So I dunno, but whatever...

 

I dunno whether or not to believe the Virgil hiring story because it's so ridiculous on every level, but it's funny.

 

Grenier we can be pretty sure about, but they seemed to be in more of an actual relationship than straight up casting couch (Patterson's heart attack was while they were eating dinner at his house).

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It should be noted that Murray Hodgson, who was the most notable open accuser of Patterson at the time, was completely full of shit.

True, but his allegations prompted several others to make similar claims. Surely they can't be dismissed as full of shit because Hodgson was.

I think I have to agree somewhat with sek here. We all know the reason why the Brooklyn Brawler was employed by the WWF for so long, Sylvan Grenier too. So the chances are a few of the allegations about Patterson may have been true. The difference is Terry Garvin and Mel Phillips targeted the young ring boys, while Patterson went after the jobbers, all of whom were of age.

 

 

Yeah I do believe that Pat was unfairly roped in with the pedophiles because he was gay, which is something I'd like to think even pro wrestling has evolved past at this point.

 

Also when talking of Patterson stories, the one about how Virgil got hired was the first one that popped to mind. I also think that he's the guy Meltzer keeps talking about in these issues when he keeps mentioning a guy on the roster getting a (midcard) push beyond his abilities just because of his willingness to do favors.

 

That thing about Virgil just smells like total bullshit to me. I mean, the guy hardly got a push at all outside of what like 2 months after he broke away from DiBiase? I mean considering how over the guy was, he got UNDERPUSHED in my view, even though I agree that he wasn't much in the ring.
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Allegedly Virgil got hired by whipping his junk out on Patterson's desk, which seems like the typical exaggerated stories pro wrestlers tell. The other part was that he was given his minor babyface push after turning on DiBiase because he allowed favors to be performed.

 

The Hankins story could be dismissed as drunken bar posturing, but it seems odd that Pat's drunk posturing seems to match other stories/rumors/legends floating around. Unless of course Pat knew that and was just (figuratively) screwing with this guy hitting him up for work in a bar.

 

Dave seems pretty sure about the off-the-record stories he keeps referring to in these 1992 Observers. In fact, it seems in retrospect that he was intentionally trying to not mention Patterson until the story broke nationwide.

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  • 4 months later...

Didn't Dave have a cryptic message about Dino Bravo getting the "push for sex" treatment in the early 90s during his house show run with Warrior?

Looking at old posts and noticed this went unanswered. I always thought Dave finding the Bravo house show runs suspect was a Montreal mob reference, not a casting couch reference.
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So the Brooklyn Brawler was only employed because of doing favors? Same with Virgil? What's the story with Virgil? Anyone have a list and brief summary of what these people did? I know its hard to break into the big leagues, but jesus...I wouldn't drop to my knees for ANY male, I don't care how big my push would be.

What if it was coming from the Big Show?
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Yeah I do believe that Pat was unfairly roped in with the pedophiles because he was gay, which is something I'd like to think even pro wrestling has evolved past at this point.

Tom Cole claimed Patterson inappropriately grabbed him. And Cole was apparently believable since he got paid off.

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Yeah I do believe that Pat was unfairly roped in with the pedophiles because he was gay, which is something I'd like to think even pro wrestling has evolved past at this point.

Tom Cole claimed Patterson inappropriately grabbed him. And Cole was apparently believable since he got paid off.

 

Did he say that? I remember Superstar Graham saying that he saw Patterson grab a ringboy's crotch but everyone seems to think he was lying. I don't remember Cole saying anything about Patterson, just Garvin, and Phillips.
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From the '92 Penthouse article:

 

"...Cole says Phillips wasn't the lone perpetrator. 'Patterson would walk by while I was setting up the ring, and he'd grab my balls. I'd hate it, but there was nothing I could do. He's the boss.' "

 

A quick look-see at my WONs finds:

 

"Tom Cole, the WWF ringboy who was largely responsible for much of the negative publicity that surrounded the WWF last year, filed a $1.6 million suit against Titan Sports, Pat Patterson, Mel Phillips and Terry Garvin this past Tuesday. This is a long, involved story with many twists and turns. The lawsuit is a three-parter. Part one re-opens the claims of sexual harassment of a homosexual nature by top WWF officials. Cole first brought forth these claims last year in a front page article in the San Diego Union. The story didn't name any names, but did detail certain situations and had other ring boys claim sexual abuse was prevalent. Almost immediately, Patterson, Phillips and Garvin, who were the three men Cole's initial claims were about but whose names had yet to be brought out in the public, resigned their positions. Patterson was brought back several months later but Phillips and Garvin never returned. Cole's attorneys brought forth a complaint that was settled before a lawsuit was ever filed..."

---6-7-1993, WON.

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Maybe I never read the full version of the Penthouse article, then. Was Cole's claim about Patterson supposed to be from after he turned 18? Graham was the only one who was calling Patterson a kidtoucher and he was discredited. It doesn't make it good if he groped Cole, but it would clear some things up. All of that said, Dave Meltzer, who has the best grasp of the scandals, hasn't mentioned Patterson w/ Cole in recent years, just Garvin and Phillips.

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When it comes to Patterson, I always felt Dave kind of held back on him and I can only come to one of three conclusions:

 

1. Dave didn't want to be seen as furthering the gay=pedo stereotype.

 

2. Pat was somehow a source and Dave didn't want to burn any bridges (unlikely).

 

3. They were bros and he didn't want to have his friend's rep sullied in any way (like how he goes apeshit when someone suggests Pillman was anything less than perfect).

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It also doesn't make sense that Patterson would stay secretly employed and then come back if he was involved with the Cole stuff given that Phillips and Garvin never came back for that very reason, even if Patterson was closer to Vince & Linda. Also, when talking to Meltzer, Vince kept defending Patterson long after he gave up defending the other two.

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Pat Patterson was a source. Dave has mentioned many conversations they've had about various things through the years, most notably Patterson not expecting Flair/Hogan to do huge business because Flair was new to the WWF audience.

I think that was more them just running into each other after shows. Meltzer has always said that they don't talk much, and JJ Dillon was the front office guy that was supposed to be talking with Dave back then. I also don't think Dave would cover for a pedophile because the guy was a source or childhood favorite or whatever.

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Wouldn't he have been afraid of a lawsuit? Even if the suit had no legs the legal costs could be huge and he'd risk alienating his sources.

 

The last thing the WWF wanted was to have another lawsuit involving the sex scandals, that's why they were buying everyone off left and right to avoid any of them making it to court.

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I also don't think Dave would cover for a pedophile because the guy was a source or childhood favorite or whatever.

Pedophile would be the wrong term, ephebophile would be the correct term. But please, this is wrestling. I'm sure Dave knew all the jokes about Mel Phillips' love for young boys feet before the sex scandals became public. Not to mention Ric Flair's love of exposing himself in public. Dave has covered for delinquent behaviour in wrestling since becoming an insider. So he's not above giving the benefit of the doubt to a long term source and childhood favorite.

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