This is an excerpt from the book, Brisco - the Life and Times of National Collegiate and World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Jack Brisco. You can get your personally autographed copy in the WrestlingClassics.com Video Store.

TWENTY

For many years, ever since the birth of the video taping technology, nearly every title change has been filmed. This was not only for the champion but to send to promoters world wide to promote any upcom­ing title defenses in their territory. Buddy Rogers' win over O'Connor in 1961 was filmed, Dory's victory over Kiniski was filmed; even Harley's upset of Junior was filmed.

Mine wasn't. I have always believed that Dory, Sr., saw to that. He may not have been able to stop me from eventually getting the title, but  he sure as hell was going to make sure I wouldn't have a video record of it. One might think that with Paul Boesch in charge of the booking that night, he could have arranged for my match to be taped. He may have wanted to; I don't know.... but no matter what the case, Dory Sr.'s, power and influence in the NWA trumped whatever thoughts Boesch may have had.

But there was one more bit of icing on the cake for me that night. My old "friend" Billy "Red" Lyons was in the opening match that night. Billy, as you may recall, was the one who talked Fritz out of putting the Texas title on me years before. He was the one who predicted that I would probably wash out of professional wrestling and if I didn't, I wouldn't amount to much any­way. So there I was, the new world champion and there he was in the "cur­tain jerker" match. I am not one to gloat and I didn't that night as much as I would have liked.

When a title changed hands back then, only a select few were in on it. Only the participants, the referee and some promoters knew. None of the boys were let in at all. Billy didn't know, he may not have stayed around if he had. When I got back in the dressing room, there he was sitting in the cor­ner getting ready to leave. I walked over to him wearing the belt and didn't say a word. He wouldn't look at me. He looked at the floor, to the right or left of where I was standing. There was no eye contact, no congratulations, only silence. Nothing had to be said. The belt spoke for itself.

           Eddie Graham had flown in for the match and to take me out to dinner afterward. He had weathered the political storm with me, and for me, on my way to the title. I don't think I ever would have gotten close to the title if it hadn't been for his lobbying and advocacy on my behalf, along with some of the other promoters he convinced to go along with him. To a large degree, my title victory was due to Eddie. So we went out and celebrated. Eddie didn't always buy but he did that night. We had steak and all the trimmings; since he was buying I wanted the best.

Both the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Post ran a fairly long press release on the match the next morning. It was the third time that the world heavyweight championship changed hands in Houston. In 1939, Lou lost the belt to All-American and All-Pro football star from Minnesota, Bronko Nagurski, and in 1942 Bobby Managoff took the title from Canada's Yvon Robert. The story reported on my amateur career and gave a fall by fall account of the match. They also detailed the ceremony presenting the new $10,000 belt that was specially crafted for the NWA champion.

I wouldn't let the belt out of my sight but I knew there was work to be done, so after dinner I caught the red eye from Houston to Atlanta. I took off at two a.m., which was three a.m. back in Atlanta. I had to take that flight back to Atlanta at that awful hour because I had to be at a television taping at ten in the morning.

By the time the plane touched down and I collected my luggage it was four-thirty in the morning. My thoughts had moved from the title to just get­ting a few hours sleep before I had to wrestle again. I was living in a condo I had purchased in Decatur located on the opposite side of town from the air­port. When I was a block from home, an Atlanta police officer pulled in behind me with his blue lights flashing and siren blaring. I pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the officer to get out of his car. He asked me what I was doing out at that time in the morning. I started to explain to him the best that I could, trying to collect all my thoughts after the night I had and not having slept for the better part of two days. I managed to tell him that I had just got back from Houston and I was on my way home.

All the time he was talking to me he kept shining his flashlight in my car. The beam fell on the case, which held the championship belt that was next to me on the front seat. He must have thought it looked like a case gangsters would keep their guns in.

"What's that?" he asked. I told him I was a professional wrestler and I had just won the world heavyweight championship in Houston and the case contained the belt. I don't think he believed me because he asked me to open it up, slowly. His hand moved toward his gun, instinctively, I am sure. I slow­ly opened the case, thinking, "I have got to get to bed, this can't be happening”

No matter what I had been saying, I still think he had convinced himself I had a gun or some drugs in the case. When I opened it and his light shone on the gold of the belt his eyes almost popped out of his head.

"Oh my God, can I touch it?" he asked.

"Sure, go ahead," I answered. The belt was brand new and with all ten pounds of gold shinning on that red velvet strap, it was a gorgeous thing in that case. It took away his breath. His entire tone changed and we stood out­side my car and talked for about thirty minutes. He kept saying he just could­n't believe he was talking to the new world champion.

I guess the best thing was that he didn't give me a ticket. As I was get­ting back in my car he asked me where I lived. I told him just a block or so up the road and he asked if I would like him to follow me home.

            "Sure, thanks officer," I said, and then I was finally home. Not too bad for a night's work. I had only had the title for a few hours and already received my first police escort, brief as it was.

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Jack Brisco stars in Ringside Retribution on iN DEMAND Pay Per View in April.
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