Friday, May 09, 2008

A Piece of my Mind May 9th 2008 by "The Big Cheese" Sal Corrente

I never saw him in a real fight so I don’t know how tough he actually was but I do know that one of the most believable heels I have ever been in the ring with was Dr. D David Shultz. I first met David when he came to the WWF and he was being managed by Roddy Piper. If you hung around David for any length of time it wasn’t because you were looking for a lot of smiles.

David was a very different type of individual. I think he was “working” almost every minute. I remember George Scott telling me that he once told Ric Flair that if he couldn’t be the Nature Boy from the minute he put his feet on the floor until the minute he got back in bed to let George know and he would give the gimmick to someone else. In other words Flair understood how to walk, talk and act like a star 247. In many ways I can say the same thing about David Shultz.

On my first overseas tour I was one of two referees on the tour but I was the lead referee. We first went to Doha in Qatar on the tour that was run by my mentor Afa “The Wild Samoan #1”. I found David to be very intimidating I could work with everyone in the ring and work well. One night when we were being driven back to the hotel on the bus David came over and sat with me and said "Sal don’t be afraid of me in the ring". I said "I am not afraid of you David" and then he yelled “YOUR'RE SCARED OF ME". I said "ok so I am afraid of you". He said "what are you afraid of?? Well in those days I was a one hundred and eighty pound kid. He told me that he had psyched out some other guys who really thought he was mad. He named Hulk Hogan and Tito Santana. So I was in good company.

I also remember him telling me "Sal, I don’t give a shit what the finish is, if any wrestler hits you, you ring the bell and end the match". I can see that conversation like it was yesterday. I lost touch with David long ago but I would like to see him again I bet he hasn’t changed a bit. He was great in the ring and so easy to work with he was the perfect heel. There are just some guys, as a referee, I found to be easy to work with. I can tell you that David, Charley Fulton, and Chief Jules Strongbow are just a few of them.

I have been very blessed to have accomplished so much in a business that I loved from the first time I ever saw it. I hang out with guys that I used to buy tickets to see. I learn still to this day from guys who sold out arenas all over the world. I reflect on my career every time I write one of these articles and realize how lucky and blessed I have been. I don’t know where or when it will end so I just keep walking the walk and living the dream.

The picture for this article comes from Rob Russen’s IWA tour of Australia. In the picture is James “Sugar Bear Kamala” Harris, Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff, Eric Russen and I was Friday Kamala’s handler. This tour was one of the most memorable and enjoyable moments in my career. We were the first since Jim Barnett to bring wrestling back to Australia and I got to stay a whole month. It also gave me my start as a manager.

This has been a piece of my mind