David Schultz (professional wrestler)
June 1, 1955 |
Madison County, Tennessee
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||David Von Shultz
|Billed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Billed weight||270 lb (120 kg; 19 st)|
|Billed from||Nashville, Tennessee|
|Trained by||Herb Welch|
David Schultz (born June 1, 1955) is an American retired professional wrestler. Although he is known for competing in North American regional promotions such as Stampede Wrestling, the National Wrestling Alliance and the American Wrestling Association during the late 1970s and 1980s, he is perhaps best remembered for his short stint in the World Wrestling Federation in 1984, where he gained notoriety after assaulting 20/20 reporter John Stossel during a report on the legitimacy of pro wrestling.
Professional wrestling career
Trained by Herb Welch, Schultz began wrestling in NWA Mid-America during the mid-1970s eventually teaming with Roger Kirby to defeat Bill Dundee and Big Bad John for the NWA Mid-America Tag Team Championship in May 1976. He would also team with Bill Ash to win the NWA Mid-America Tag Team Championship before losing the titles to George Gulas & Gorgeous George, Jr. later that year.
While in the Maritimes, he also defeated Terry Sawyer for the Canadian Heavyweight Championship in Halifax, Nova Scotia on August 9, 1977. Feuding with Sawyer over the title, he would briefly lose the title back to Sawyer before regaining it on August 13 and remained champion until the title became inactive before the end of the year.
Although losing to Bob Armstrong in a match for the NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Championship in 1978, he later regained the title the following year feuding over the title with Ron Slinker in mid-1979. Teaming with Dennis Condrey, the two later won the NWA Southeast Tag Team Championship after defeating Dick Slater and Paul Orndorff in November 1979 and successfully defended the titles for several months before the title was held up during a match against Mike Stallings and The Matador on February 3, 1980 and lost the titles to them in a rematch a week later.
From the Maritimes to Hartford
Returning to the Maritimes region, he wrestled as David von Schultz in Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling later becoming the first AGPW US Heavyweight Champion on June 26, 1980. Defending the title against veterans such as Leo Burke, Stephen Petitpas and The Great Malumba throughout the summer, he eventually lost the title while he and the Cuban Assassin feuded with AGPW North American Tag Team Champions Leo Burke & Stephen Petitpas during his last weeks in the region.
During the next several years, he began wrestling for Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling as part of Foley's Army feuding with Leo Burke and Mr. Hito over the Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Championship during 1981 and also faced AWA World champion Nick Bockwinkel in a non-title interpromotional match. He also briefly teamed with Wayne Ferris as the Memphis Mafia before Ferris turned on him in a storyline in which he had been "bought" by manager J.R. Foley. The two would continue feuding with each other throughout Western Canada and eventually defeated Ferris in a steel cage match in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1983.
In 1984, while competing in Memphis, promoter Vince McMahon had become impressed with Schultz after watching an interview in which he had made derogatory remarks about Hulk Hogan during his brief stay in the area. He, along with tag team partner "Macho Man" Randy Savage and his brother Lanny Poffo, would become one of the first major regional wrestlers to be signed by Vince McMahon. Within a short time, had become one of the top "heels" in the promotion being aligned with Roddy Piper, Bob Orton and Paul Orndorff in their feud with "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka and later teamed with Piper and Orndorff to defeat S.D. Jones, Rocky Johnson and Bobo Brazil in a 6-man tag team match at the Capitol Centre in Landover, Maryland. On June 17, he would also face WWF World champion Hulk Hogan in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Battery on John Stossel
Schultz had a notorious encounter on December 28, 1984 with 20/20 reporter John Stossel while Stossel was backstage at Madison Square Garden doing a story about professional wrestling's secrets. During an interview Stossel told Schultz that he thought pro wrestling was fake and Schultz's response was to hit Stossel in the head twice, knocking him to the floor each time. Before the first hit, Stossel said, "I think this is fake" to which Schultz said, "You think it's fake?" and hit him the first time on his right ear. Before the second hit Schultz said, "What's that, is that fake? Huh? What the hell's wrong with you? That's a open hand slap. You think it's fake? I'll fake you." After the second hit, to Stossel's left ear, Stossel attempted exit the scene, but Schultz proceeded to go after him, saying, "Huh? What do you mean, fake? What the hell's the matter with you?" as a man in the background says "Easy, easy" to calm Schultz down. The attack, which attracted a large amount of media coverage, was later aired on national television including ABC News which reported that the network had received more than 1,000 calls from viewers inquiring about Stossel's health.
Marvin Kohn, a deputy commissioner at the New York State Athletic Commission, had been present at the arena during the incident and immediately suspended Schultz for his actions. Although called by Commissioner Jose Torres to come to a hearing before the Commission, Kohn later reported that Schultz had written a letter to the commission admitting "that he had acted improperly and apologized both to the commission and to Mr. Stossel" and further stated "I admit the allegations ... I intend the commission to know that I did not intend to hurt John Stossel. I apologize to the commission and to John Stossel."
Stossel stated that he suffered from pain and buzzing in his ears eight weeks after the assault. Stossel later claimed he was unaware of Schultz's apology and would pursue his action in court although commented he would be "less likely to sue" if the after-effects of his injury disappeared. Stossel eventually filed a lawsuit against the World Wrestling Federation, and settled out of court for $425,000. In his book, Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity, Stossel writes that he has come to regret filing charges, having adopted the belief that lawsuits harm hundreds of innocent people.
Although he has consistently maintained that World Wrestling Federation officials told him to hit Stossel, Schultz was fired. Many industry insiders believe that it was not because of his actions against Stossel, but rather because he challenged Mr. T to a fight backstage at a WWF show at Madison Square Garden.
Later career and retirement
Moving to Connecticut, he opened a successful bail bonds business and made a career as a professional bounty hunter. Pursuing criminals as far as Egypt and Puerto Rico, he has arrested around 1,700 fugitives and worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and various police departments for over 15 years. Schultz eventually became engaged to Sarah Pricell, whom he later married.
Schultz briefly reappeared in the spotlight in the early 1990s when Vince McMahon was accused of illegally distributing anabolic steroids. Although Hulk Hogan was considered to be the prosecution's major witness, Schultz was one of several former WWF wrestlers called to testify against McMahon at the trial although McMahon would eventually be acquitted of all charges against him.
During the early 2000s, Schultz was under consideration for induction into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in November 2003, and the following month, attended the Fan Slam Convention in Totowa, New Jersey on December 6, 2003. During the event, he participated in a Q&A panel which included Ted DiBiase, Virgil, Gary Michael Cappetta, Chief Jay Strongbow and The Missing Link.
In October 2006, Schultz was honored along with J.J. Dillon and Missy Hyatt at a dinner banquet hosted by the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and attended by former WWF wrestlers from the 1970s and 80s. During the event, he would participate on a Q&A panel discussing the PWHOF and taking questions from audience members as well as conducted a "shoot interview" with RF Video. As part of their agreement, RF Video donated $500 in his name to the PWHF Building Fund and later presenting a check to PWHF President Tony Vellano.
Championships and accomplishments
- Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling
- AGPW United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Mid-America
- Southeastern Championship Wrestling
- Northeast Championship Wrestling
- NCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Stampede Wrestling
- Universal Wrestling Alliance
- UWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Oliver, Greg and Steven Johnson. The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels. Toronto: ECW Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-55022-759-8
- Shoot Interview with "Dr. D" David Shultz. Perf. David Shultz. DVD. RF Video, 2006.
- "OWOW profile".
- "Cagematch profile".
- David Schultz, John Stossel (2006). WRESTLING IS FAKE (watch before commenting). Youtube. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
- Niles, Serge. "Regional Territories: Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling". KayfabeMemories.com.
- McCoy, Heath. Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. Toronto: CanWest Books, 2005. (pg. 166) ISBN 0-9736719-8-X
- Oliver, Greg; Wayne Ferris (1998-07-15). "SLAM! Wrestling: Honky Tonk Man Fan Q & A". SLAM! Sports.
- "Millennium Man’s Coliseum Video Rant: Rowdy Roddy Piper's Greatest Hits". Graham Cawthon's History of the WWE. 2003.
- Jinkerson, Bob. "Regional Territories: WWWF/WWF #36, Page #2". KayfabeMemories.com.
- Furious, Arnold (2007-06-03). "The Furious Flashbacks – The 100 Greatest WWF Matches of the 80’s Vol. 1". 411mania.com.
- Kaplan, Peter W. (February 23, 1985). "TV Notes; ABC Reporter May Sue Wrestler Who Hit Him". New York Times. Retrieved September 28, 2007.
- Wrestling Babylon by Irvin Muchnick ECW Press 2007 p.118
- Give Me a Break by John Stossel, p.211
- Hogan, Hulk. Hollywood Hulk Hogan. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002. (pg. 138) ISBN 0-7434-7556-9
- Johnson, Steven (2006-10-09). "SLAM! Wrestling: Dr. D dominates PWHF dinner". SLAM! Sports.
- Muchnick, Irvin. Wrestling Babylon: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal. Toronto: ECW Press, 2007. (pg. XIV) ISBN 1-55022-761-0
- Bryla, Bob (Summer 2006). ""Thanks For Not Inducting The Greatest Professional Wrestler Of All-Time!" says "Dr. D" David Schultz to PWHF's Dr. Bob Bryla" (.pdf). Wrestling Revue.
- Nemur, Paul (2004-03-03). "Ask WV (3/03/04): Piper, Mad Dog Vachon, David Schultz, Pillman and More". WrestleView.com.
- Highspots Shoot Interview Series: FanSlam Q&A. Perf. David Schultz. DVD. Highspots, 2004.
- Clancy, Erik; James Walsh (2005-03-10). "The Interactive Interview: "The Genius" Lanny Poffo & Raven". 1wrestling.com.
- "RF Video, October 18th, 2006". RF Video. 2006-10-18.
- Video on YouTube
- "AGPW United States Heavyweight Championship history". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- "NWA Canadian Heavyweight Championship (Halifax version) history". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- "Canadian International Heavyweight Championship history". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- "AWA Southern Tag Team Championship history". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- "NWA Mid-America Tag Team Championship history". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- "NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Championship history". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- "NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Championship (Southern Division) history". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- "NWA Southeastern Tag Team Championship history". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "North American Heavyweight Championship history". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- "Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame (1948-1990)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.