By MARK NIESSE Associated Press Writer ATLANTA (AP) — Just a few years ago, his entrance into the ring was worthy of a lavish production of lasers, flashing lights and fake snow that left millions of fans in arenas and on television gasping, “Wooooooooooh!” Decked in metallic blue and silver, Glacier was a star-in-the making for World Championship Wrestling as pro wrestling reached its peak of popularity in the late 1990s. But the WCW folded in 2001, and like many former stars, Glacier had to find a real job. Meet Ray Lloyd, health and sex education teacher at Hightower Trail Middle School in the suburbs north of Atlanta. It’s a long way from Monday Night Nitro, once cable’s highest-rated show, on which screaming fans watched Lloyd use his signature move — the “Ice Pick” — to finish off opponents. “Sometimes I think teaching is almost as dangerous as wrestling,” says the 39-year-old Lloyd. “The kids still really get into it. They look at me and can’t put it together that I was actually doing that.” The former Valdosta State University football player and karate expert still wrestles on independent circuits in his free time, but it’s nothing like appearing before 60,000 fans at the Georgia Dome. Since AOL Time Warner dumped WCW, top stars such as Goldberg and Ric Flair signed on with rival World Wrestling Entertainment, but other wrestlers have had to find other ways to make a living. “Some of them are barely surviving,” says Dave Meltzer, publisher of Wrestling Observer newsletter. “The folding of the WCW was the single most damaging thing to happen to pro wrestling in my lifetime, without any question.” Larry “The Living Legend” Zbyszko, a former champion who was an announcer on WCW broadcasts, is now focusing on making the Senior PGA tour. Announcer Tony Schiavone no longer has to worry about dodging steel chairs or 300-pound grapplers leaping off the turnbuckle. He now does postgame broadcasts for the Atlanta Braves WCW star Lex Luger was arrested on drug possession charges after wrestling icon “Miss Elizabeth” Hulette died at their home in April of an accidental overdose of pills and alcohol. Luger is part owner of a gym in suburban Atlanta. Former champion Dusty Rhodes is promoting his book on wrestling corruption while running his own wrestling company, TurnBuckle Championship Wrestling. Ted Dibiase — known as The Million Dollar Man — now runs a ministry and the Power Wrestling Alliance, which puts on Christian-themed wrestling shows. And, instead of sticking forks in opponents’ heads, Abdullah the Butcher now puts food in customers’ mouths at Abdullah the Butcher House of Ribs. Adjusting to the realities of an unscripted, less-glamorous working world has been a challenge for many of the wrestlers, Meltzer says. The aging stars of the WCW entered the real world already past middle age. Most of them still get in the ring when they can — on weekends before small crowds at local fairs in places such as south Georgia or Puerto Rico. Others, such as the “Dog-faced Gremlin” Rick Steiner, travel to Japan every couple of months, where he has wrestled with Hulk Hogan, Saturn and Scott Norton. There, professional wrestling is more popular and crowds range from 5,000 to 65,000. “I’ll keep wrestling for the Japanese as long as I’m valuable to them,” says the 39-year-old Steiner, whose real name is Robert Rechsteiner. “Once it starts to be a pain in the butt, I’ll stop doing it.” Steiner stayed with the WCW through its last match, and for a year-and-a-half, he was still under contract, meaning he got paid but couldn’t wrestle. Now, he’s dabbling in real-estate and trucking as he prepares to retire from wrestling. “I got my fingers in a little bit of everything,” he says. “I enjoy the business, but I’m getting toward the end of my career. I’ve made plans.” Abdullah the Butcher won’t quit his day job selling Mongolian beef, buffalo wings, sweet and sour chicken and collard greens at his south Atlanta restaurant he opened in 1993. “When you’ve got a few dollars, you have the opportunity here if you know how to make it work for you,” says Abdullah, whose real name is Larry Shreve. He won’t reveal his age. He still wrestles up to 10 times a month across the South and as far away as Japan. His style hasn’t changed in 42 years of wrestling — he still uses the same forks, chairs and sticks to put his opponents in a world a pain. “When I walk into a dressing room, I say, ’What am I doing here?’ It’s all new faces,” Abdullah says. “I’m the one who started hardcore — everyone else copied me.” Like many of the former WCW personalities, Zbyszko has hard feelings about the way the “computer nerds” at AOL Time Warner abandoned pro wrestling and let Vince McMahon’s WWF — now called World Wrestling Entertainment — take over. When that happened, wrestling lost nearly all its fans over 30 years old. But Zbyszko can’t get away from wrestling, even though he’d like for his golf career to take off. “You can’t wrestle around forever,” says the 51-year-old Zbyszko. “During the week, I play a lot of golf, and I’m good enough to have a chance. But people keep offering me money for wrestling appearances. It’s hard to turn down the money right now. I still basically do that on weekends.”
"Also, don't incur the wrath of P.U. It can only lead to trouble." - Torchslasher
>Meet Ray Lloyd, health and sex education teacher at >Hightower Trail Middle School in the suburbs north of >Atlanta. >It’s a long way from Monday Night Nitro, once cable’s >highest-rated show, on which screaming fans watched Lloyd >use his signature move — the “Ice Pick” — to finish off >opponents.
I do remember the three weeks he switched the ol' thumb to the throat (which had the advantage of not looking like it missed every time)
Originally posted by jwrestleWhy did they go to the older guys?!? Couldn't they run up to TNA and ask Elix Skipper or someone else about still being in wrestling. Anyways, pretty interesting, Glacier a book worm.
I think the whole point was to see what guys who AREN'T wrestling are doing nowadays. Good article, though.
Larry Z is only 51? Even odder, he's trying to make the PGA Champions tour? Good lord, I can see it now.
"Zbyszko lining up the putt....Still lining it up....Still lining....Now stepping up to putt....nope, wait, he's backing away again."
And then he'll marry Tim Finchem's daughter.
It is long and vigorous, like the penis of a jackass."-- Sidney Smith, describing a scholarly piece in the Edinburgh Review
Tiny: Wayne! How you doin'? Wayne: Hey Tiny, who's playing today? Tiny: Jolly Green Giants and the Shitty Beatles. Wayne: Shitty Beatles? Are they any good? Tiny: Man, they suck! Wayne: Then it's not just a clever name --- from Wayne's World
Kirk, crackers are a family food. Happy families. Maybe single people eat crackers...we don't know. Frankly, we don't want to know. It's a market we can do without.-- Kirk Van Houten's former boss at the cracker factory
1. Schivone's doing postgame for the Braves? On TBS? Because I've NEVER seen that. Although Dusty was doing Braves' pregame on Turner South last year, and that was hysterical.
2. Glacier's now teaching at a school that once held wrestling up as a "blueprint for spousal abuse" with Al Snow and Head? Ironic...
3. Abby's ribs are AWESOME. Worth the trip if you're ever down there.
Does this make any sense? Let's say you're at a restaurant, and you see a man stagger away from the bar and walk directly into the wall, mistaking it for a door, banging his face and falling down, only to pick himself up and walk into the wall again, and then again, over and over. Would you say to yourself: "I admire that man! He is loyal to the tactic of walking into the wall, in the hope that it eventually will turn into a door!"
No! You'd say: "He must be a Cubs fan." -Dave Barry
I could think of worse things than having Glacier as your sex-ed teacher. For example:
Kevin Nash teaching phys-ed "So today, we're gonna run around the... aw, crap. Class dismissed.''
Nikolai Volkoff teaching English: "Altogeher now, class:" "WE ARE ALL STUPID LOUSY AMERICANS." "Very good. Now let's sing national anthem..."
Vince Russo teaching English Literature: "Mr. Russo, that's not how Hamlet died." "IT WAS A SWERVE, BABY!!!" "And there's no Z in 'Shakespeare'."
The read scoop behind the Triple HHH - Stephoney Hearst-Helmsley wedding and an EXCLUSIVE, JAM-PACKED interview with Road Warrior Aminal!!! All this plus an exclusive moves guide for Smack! Down Bring The Pain in the latest Inside The Ropes!!!
I hate what Triple H has become, a lame and predictable character. I put more of the blame on Vince for allowing HHH to get away with the politics. Triple H can be a valuable asset if (pun intended) he's willing to play the game right.