In October of 2020, it was announced by many new sources that the critically acclaimed Wrestling documentary TV show, Dark Side of The Ring would return with a third season with 14 new episodes in 2021.
So I decided to mention a few scandalous, controversial and historic moments and events in pro wrestling which could be the inspiration for future episodes for DSOTR's Season Three.
5. The Death Of Frankie Townsend
A former US marine who became a multi-talented wrestler in the 1960's, Frankie Townsend was known for his good looks, agile nature and his tremendous singing skills, so much so that he was called "The Singing Wrestler" and he even managed to score a deal with Fontana Records to which led to hit songs like "I'm the Greatest" and "At the End of a String".
One of his favorite past times was sailing on the high seas and competing in yacht races, however it's this past time that ultimately led to his mysterious demise.
In May of 1965, Townsend and his crew boarded a yacht called the "Dorado" and were set to compete in another thrilling chase that went all the way through Washington State, however the rough waters that the crew experienced that day led to the death of "The Singing Wrestler" after falling overboard into the ocean.
Although the crew tried to save Townsend, it proved to be unsuccessful as Frankie's body was lost at sea and was never recovered; Theories about Townsend, who was unmarried and had no children persisted as rumors of him having affairs with various woman would run rapid.
It's believed that one of those women were rumored to be the wife of one of the sailors who accompanied Frankie on his fatal yacht trip in 1965 but due to a lack of evidence, there was no investigation of any kind and the mystery over Townsend's death remains unsolved.
Considering that Dark Side Of The Ring have already talked about unsolved cases like Gino Hernandez and Nancy Argentino, the case of Frankie Townsend could probably spark enough interest in the wrestling community and even those outside of wrestling to see this case get some kind of conclusion.
4. Heroes Of Wrestling
There have a been a lot of wrestling events that have been considered the absolute worse whether it's from your standard indy promotions or even from the major companies like WWE or WCW but perhaps the most infamous wrestling pay per view would have to be the 1999 event called 'Heroes of Wrestling'.
In the late 1990's, a man by the name of Bill Stone decided host an event at the Casino Magic Hotel in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi which would be the first in a number of events involving wrestlers from the 1980's and early 90's and thus Heroes of Wrestling was born.
The event was plagued with issues from the beginning when legendary commentator, Gordan Solie was pulled from the event during a bout with cancer and in his place was Sports commentator, Randy Rosenbloom who delivered commentary so badly that it makes Michael Cole and Bryon Saxton sound like Mike Tenay or Jim Ross.
Perhaps the most "notable" incident to occur at this show would have to be Jake "The Snake" Roberts' involvement in the main event; After giving a disastrous pre-match interview, Roberts (who was still suffering from drugs and alcohol at this point in his life) made his way to the ring where he forgot to bring his pet snake with him and went back for it. During the match, Jake had a woman in the crowd feel up his chest and then later took the snake out of the bag and put near his...'trouser snake' which was clearly made to simulate a sexual act before kissing his pet reptile as he fell in the ring.
Combined this with legends who were way pass their prime competing in the ring, a number of screw finishes and a piss poor pay per view buy rate it's safe to say that this event would be absolute fodder for the Dark Side of The Ring producers to revisit and make an episode out of.
3. The Life, Career and Death of Rikidozan
Best known as "The Father of Puroresu" aka Japanese Pro Wrestling, Kim Sin-rak better known as Rikidozan was and still is seen as one of the most talented wrestlers to ever compete in Japan due in large part through his work in various Japanese Wrestling promotions from the early 1950's- the 60's.
However, with that superstar success comes a lot of problems and while stories about Rikidozan's ego going wild, getting into fights with people in bars or in the streets to having his more salacious incidents being covered up thanks to his friendship with Japanese politicians it's the events that happened on April 1963 that would shake the wrestling world.
On April 8th 1963, Rikidozan was seen having couple of drinks at an Alaskan Night Club belting out insults at the musician before encountering a 24 year old man named Katsushi Murata, inside the clubs bathroom; Murata, who was a member of a Yakuza sub-branch gang is rumored to have stabbed Riki in the left part of his abdomen with knife.
Although he would deny all charges, Murata admitted that he got into a fight with another professional wrestler which forced him to carry knife with him as a result; The injuries Rikidozan suffered saw four parts of his small intestines being pierced and needed surgery, unfortunately the great pro wrestling legend died on December 15th 1963 due to internal hemorrhaging and peritonitis.
The makers of Dark Side of the Ring have already done an episode on another legendary international star Dino Bravo, so it's not like they wouldn't be out of their comfort zone and perhaps the retelling of his story could help to get Rikidozan's name introduced to a new generation of fans.
2. The Buddy Rogers/ Lou Thesz NWA Title Match
Buddy Rogers and Lou Thesz are two names who need no introduction as they are seen as the innovators and pioneers of various gimmicks and wrestling styles that was would be used by names like Ric Flair and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
"The Original Nature Boy", Buddy Rogers was a slick but crafty man who knew his self worth and wasn't afraid to break the conventional norms of the time if it meant making history, arguable the greatest example of this would of be that time on June 1st 1961, when the promoters of the NWA made the choice to put the wildly popular Rogers in a match against Pat O' Connor for the NWA World Championship which saw Rogers become the new champion.
However, this decision would come back to bite the NWA in the ass as Buddy Rogers was beginning to realize how much of a draw he was and decided that he wanted to work for more money and wrestle in territories throughout the northeast as opposed those in the South and Midwestern areas (aka the territories that were supported or owned by the NWA).
This ultimately led to Lou Thesz being given an title shot at the behest of the NWA's Board of Directors who were looking to make sure that Buddy dropped the belt in a clean fashion and they even put in a few caveats into the match including a Twenty-Five Thousand dollar loss of income if Rogers tried any funny business.
In the end, Thesz became the NWA World Champion but that win would lead to a trickle down effect that who change the face of pro wrestling moving forward; Promoters Toots Mondt and Vince McMahon Sr. weren't to happy with the title change as they knew Rogers was a bigger draw, unfortunately the issues between Mondt, McMahon and the rest of the NWA Broad of Directors over this decision with the NWA title led to McMahon and Mondt leaving to create their own promotion known as the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) before becoming the WWF and later the WWE.
Since the producers of Dark Of The Ring have already covered 'The Montreal Screw Job' a controversial incident that led to the rise of the Attitude Era, it could be interesting to hear a single championship match led to the creation of one of the biggest wrestling promotions in the world.
1. The Rise and Fall of XPW
It may come as a surprise to a lot of you but famous porn star and one-time candidate for Governor in California, Rob Zicari better known as Rob Black once operated a wrestling company known as XPW (Xtreme Pro Wrestling) from 1999-2003 and it's safe to say that the amount of craziness that happened in this company would give the likes of WWE, WCW, ECW and TNA/Impact Wrestling a run for it's money.
The amount of madness that occurred with this promotion range from New Jack notoriously throwing fellow ECW star, Vic Grimes 40 feet off a balcony during a Scaffold match where Grimes suffered a concussion to a wrestler called Supreme suffering from second degree burns after a horrific spot involving himself and flaming table that had way too much gasoline on it, but the story that will most likely get more of the attention if this was made into a episode would have to be "The Messiah Incident".
The Messiah (real name William Welch) was a pro wrestler who became a big star in XPW until he got into the crosshairs of Rob Black after allegations of Welch and Black's love interest called 'Lizzy Borden' in XPW were having an affair; On August 1st 2002, two men broke into Welch's house and cut his thumb off (although it's believed that the men were looking to cut Messiah's...Holy Grail so to speak) the event was so shocking that it even became an episode on the widely popular TV Show, America's Most Wanted a month later.
Many people point to Rob Black as the person who may have been the one who hired the guys to cut off Messiah's appendage but Black didn't admit to these accusations which led to no charges being filed and the case went cold so afterwards.
These incidents and the shutdown involving XPW is scandalous in it's own way and could easily be made into a two part episode by Dark Side of The Ring.
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