Sports One Man Gang's house destroyed

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by Ba Ba Boolio, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. Ba Ba Boolio

    Ba Ba Boolio VIP Extreme Gold

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    Former WWE wrestler struggling after losing home in Baton Rouge flood
    [​IMG]
    Former professional wrestler George Gray
    At 6-foot-6 and 400 pounds, George Gray never had a problem taking care of himself in the pro wrestling ring.

    But even a performer who terrorized opponents as the One Man Gang can admit he needs some help from others after the torrential rainfall that flooded Baton Rouge.

    MORE: Goldberg opens up about possible return

    Gray and his family had the interior of their house in nearby Central City, La. destroyed last month when the Comite River overflowed into their property. To make matters worse, Gray was among the estimated 125,000 homeowners affected who hadn’t purchased insurance to cover the damage because he wasn’t living in a designated flood zone.

    “This caught us by surprise because our place had never actually flooded in the 20 years we’ve owned the house,” Gray told SportingNews.com during a Wednesday telephone interview. “When you look curbside now, it’s like a disaster zone. There’s a giant mountain of our stuff in front of one side of the house and a giant mountain on the other with things like a refrigerator, washing machine and dryer that got ruined from basically sitting in three feet of water.

    “Basically, everything is gone. All of my wrestling memorabilia was washed away, things like old-school posters and my boots that we didn’t store in the attic because we didn’t think it was ever going to flood.”

    Gray is now relegated to temporarily living in a Quality Inn with his wife and their eight rescue cats. They hope to soon move into a friend’s trailer until their house can be repaired.

    The problem now is finding a way to pay for such work. Gray was recently given an estimated bill of $70,000 to $75,000 just to make his dwelling inhabitable.

    That prospective cost has placed the 56-year-old Gray in a rough financial predicament. His wrestling days long behind, Gray has a chronic back issue that forced him to quit his post-grappling job as a Louisiana penitentiary guard several years ago. Gray, who suffered a heart attack in 2000, also is one of 53 pro wrestlers who have filed a class-action lawsuit against WWE claiming the company didn’t offer adequate protection against head trauma in scripted matches that has led to long-term neurological damage.

    “There’s no way to live in it,” Gray said of his abode. “We have electricity but basically nothing else. All the flooring is gone and the wood is stripped. The whole house is gutted.”

    [​IMG]

    George Gray's home after it was destroyed by flooding. (Gray Photo)

    Gray then started to laugh, having accepted the reality that doing so is better than expressing self-pity about his situation.

    “It’s just the way it is,” he said. “It’s a bad situation but what can you do about it? There’s no use crying or placing any blame on anyone else. It’s an act of nature.”

    MORE: Lesnar, Jericho have backstage altercation

    This type of attitude and perspective served Gray well as he ascended the ranks in pro wrestling, where backstage politics would often dictate who would get “pushed” during his 1980s heyday.

    Gray broke into the business at the age of 16 at a time when “you didn’t have to worry about licensing too much.” He was approached about becoming a wrestler by a local promoter in his hometown of Spartanburg, S.C. and borrowed the money from his mother to begin training.

    “I got the crap beat out of me for three years and didn’t make a lot of money at it,” Gray allowed.

    His big break came when landing a spot working for a Lexington, Ky.-based group owned by the father of Randy “Macho Man” Savage. During an era when there were multiple grappling promotions flourishing nationwide rather than today’s WWE-dominated field, Gray slowly began working for progressively larger companies after being re-branded from Crusher Broomfield into the One Man Gang.

    With his size, athleticism and fearsome look accented by a Mohawk haircut and tattoos on the side of his head, Gray found himself courted by WWE in 1987. He initially worked as the Gang before being transformed into Akeem the African Dream, which was a racially-charged spoof of rival matchmaker Dusty Rhodes green-lighted by WWE owner Vince McMahon.

    Gray’s WWE highlights before his 1990 departure include five Wrestlemania appearances as well as his “Twin Towers” pairing with the late Ray Traylor (aka the Big Boss Man). Gray fondly remembers being part of a famed WWE storyline when the Twin Towers were the opponents for Savage and Hulk Hogan on a 1989 nationally televised NBC special. The split of the Hulkster/Macho Man “Mega-Powers” tag-team drew 21 million viewers, an audience that dwarfs today’s WWE ratings. Gray, though, remains modest about his grappling legacy.

    “I never considered myself a top main-eventer,” said Gray, who worked for several other companies in the 1990s before walking away from wrestling full-time. “I was a utility man. If you needed me do the opening match, that was fine. But I wasn’t a Road Warriors type of name.

    “I was lucky to break into the business early when there were enough wrestling territories to make a living. Going to (WWE) wasn’t that big to me at all. My heroes were all the guys I grew up watching, like Andre the Giant, Dusty Rhodes and Blackjack Mulligan to name a few. I just happened to be another name in the business.”

    MORE: AJ Styles on the rise in WWE

    Gray jokes that his under-the-radar persona became evident whenever he traveled from city-to-city with the WWE troop on a touring schedule far more intensive than what the company stages today. Gray said that only three WWE performers were given first-class airline seats — Andre the Giant (all 6-foot-11 and 500 pounds of him), whomever was world champion at the time and Ted DiBiase to help perpetuate his wrestling gimmick as the Million Dollar Man.

    “Everybody else tried to get up there by wrangling their way around it,” Gray said with a chuckle. “I never had luck that way. Jake Roberts would say, ‘I’m Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts,’ and the airline would say, ‘We’ve got a seat for you.’ I’d say, ‘I’m Akeem the African Dream,’ and got a seat all the way in the back.”

    Outside of his former WWE manager Ken “Slick” Johnson, Gray said he doesn’t keep in touch with too many of the performers from his generation. While his in-ring days are pretty much over, Gray does still work wrestling conventions and meet-and-greets with fans.

    Gray and his wife Julie were at one of those events in Georgia the weekend that the Baton Rouge flooding began. Gray said he was initially incredulous as their son Justin sent them pictures of the water gradually rising in their front yard.

    “I told my wife that if I had a million dollars I would have bet it that there would be no problems,” Gray said.

    “When the water came up to the front door, Justin began putting down towels and blankets trying to stop it. But he said it came up so fast that not even sandbags were going to help.”

    As the house was being deluged, Justin Gray worked to save his parents’ collection of cats, two rescue dogs and a bearded lizard while wading in waist-deep water. All of them were boarded onto a rescue boat and taken to higher ground.

    Gray and his wife left the wrestling convention later that night but were unable to access their home for several days until the water sufficiently subsided.

    “It was horrible,” Gray said. “I’d seen flooding on TV but it’s different seeing it in person, especially your own house. Our freezer was upside-down. The washing machine was tipped over. The doors were off their hinges from the current. There was mud. You could see the water levels at the windows where all the garbage floated in.”

    To help his parents try to raise money for their plight, Justin Gray helped them establish a crowd-sourcing account at GoFundMe.com. The effort so far has generated almost $9,000 of the $20,000 fundraising goal that was set, which has left the “Gang” more stunned than if whacked by a foreign object.

    “I told Justin, ‘Nothing is really going to happen. People have their own lives to worry about,’” Gray said. “I’m amazed. People know me through wrestling and remember me but I’m still a total stranger to them. Yet they’re going to donate their hard-earned money to help me out. I had no idea people could be that way.”

    Gray, who is in the process of writing thank-you notes to every individual who donated, said he hopes his home can be refurbished by next spring.

    “It may not be the same exact house,” he said, “But at least we’ll be back in it.”

    The whole experience has taught Gray another lesson for which he uses a wrestling analogy to describe his losing battle against the weather. “You can’t fight Mother Nature,” Gray said. “She’s always gonna go over.”

    Alex Marvez wrote a nationally syndicated pro wrestling column for 23 years (1989 to 2012) before dedicating himself exclusively to NFL coverage.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/wwe/new...ouisiana-go-fund-me/y9r39bncwex61uu9s9cgobop8


     
  2. face palm

    face palm Well-Known Member

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    thanks hillary
     
  3. Ganggreen87

    Ganggreen87 Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a hoarder
     
  4. HowardsPrenup

    HowardsPrenup Well-Known Member

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    That sucks, he's gotta be in his 60's by now. Hope he had insurance
     
  5. Mack

    Mack Well-Known Member

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    Why anybody would want to live in that state (or Florida) is beyond me.

    FUCK that.
     
  6. yaddc

    yaddc Well-Known Member

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    Let's pass the hat around for him
     
  7. yaddc

    yaddc Well-Known Member

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    Dam that's a big boy
     
    TheWonk likes this.
  8. Shivvy

    Shivvy 100k Post Club

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    Thanks for the link on Goldberg returning :lo5:
     
  9. Avery

    Avery Well-Known Member Banned User

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    Is there a go fund me page up yet to replace his particle board furniture?
     
  10. joemama

    joemama Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    He will always be Akeem to me
     
  11. JameGumb

    JameGumb We're all out of toner!

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    @ljc I think this is a job for Larry Inc
     
  12. Ba Ba Boolio

    Ba Ba Boolio VIP Extreme Gold

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    Bastard, made me check.
     
  13. DDragon

    DDragon VIP Extreme Gold

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