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 - Bill Camp

This month Iím covering what I feel was the best darned angle in the history of professional wrestling, or at the very least, the best darned angle Iíve ever had the pleasure of viewing. It is also the most influential angle in terms of what brought this sport to what it is today, whether that be for better or worse. The key players were Capt. Lou Albano, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, and a certain breakthrough pop-rock star named Cyndi Lauper. Iím speaking of course of 1984ís Rock and Wrestling Connection.

In order to fully begin telling this story, I must first carry us back about two years in the Mid-Southern area. Famous television star Andy Kaufman tore up the territory with an angle involving himself as the first ever Intergender Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. This led to a long and heated feud with Memphis King, Jerry Lawler and one of the most memorable moments in pro wrestling history on the "David Letterman Show." What does this have to do with Cyndi Lauper and the Rock and Wrestling Connection I hear you ask? Just this: Kaufman went to the WWF with his idea to be the Intergender Heavyweight Champion first. The McMahons turned him down thinking it would never work, so Kaufman shopped his idea around until those in the Mid-Southern area leaped at it. Therefore, when Lauper and her publicists came to the WWF several years later, they didnít make the same mistake twice.

The angle all began quite innocently on MTV where Capt. Lou Albano appeared on Lauperís video for her biggest hit "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." He played Lauperís father on the video, and pretty soon rumors began spreading that Albano was in fact the real life manager of the rock star. Iím not sure how word first leaked out of this (surely the WWF had something to do with it), but once it did it was everywhere, and I mean everywhere. It was in wrestling magazines, on television, I even picked up a music magazine and they too printed the story as a fact. Thatís probably why this angle fooled everybody!

Now Albano at this time was undoubtedly the top heel manager in the promotion. His stable included Intercontinental Champion "Magnificent" Muroco, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, and he had a working relationship with current World Tag Team Champions Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch (whom Iíll have to cover in a future column), and a few other names that came and went.  More...

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