Chappell: We’ve mentioned him briefly, but please tell us a little about “Mr. Wrestling” Tim Woods.


Scott: Tim Woods was one of those laid back type of guys. Good wrestler, and he had a hell of an amateur background. He would do anything you asked him to do. Tim was a real, real good guy.


Chappell: You saw Ric Flair from when he came in 1974 as a nearly 300 pounder with short hair, to the WCW days in the 90s. I know it’s hard to condense the Nature Boy’s career to a few minutes, but please give us some of your thoughts on Ric Flair.


Scott: (pauses) Ric Flair…is one of a kind. We’re good friends, Ric and I. When he gets in that ring, everything else is out. What’s in there is his deal…that’s what he’s doing. Besides what he’s doing outside the ring, but what he does in that ring…is exactly him…that’s him.


He was on time. A very, very kind guy. Nice guy. He worked out, and always stayed in shape. He’d do anything he could to help anybody. He’s that type of guy.


Chappell: That tracks with what many others say about Ric.


Scott: I saw him when he came in at 275-300 pounds, whatever it was, and he got himself down to 235. I mean, he was like a machine…in and out of the ring.


Bourne: What about Don Jardine, the Super Destroyer?


Scott: He was a guy that could really walk the ropes. He was a very quiet type of guy. He’d sit in the dressing room, like he’d rather not be bothered before his match. A lot of times he was reading a book. 


Bourne: He just passed away, too.


Scott: Oh, he did? I’m very sorry to hear that.


Chappell: I believe it was from a long bout with leukemia.


Scott: He used to walk on the ropes, and I remember when somebody greased the ropes!


Chappell/Bourne: (laughing)


Chappell: Was it a Johnny Valentine rib?


Scott: I don’t remember who did it, but he hit those damn ropes, and he went down…BOOM!


Chappell/Bourne: (laughing)


Scott: Those guys would play tricks on each other, and do things that you wouldn’t believe!


(laughing) Unbelievable what they’d do!


Bourne: Somebody else who did that kind of stuff was Gene Anderson. I’d like to hear your thoughts about Gene.


Scott: (pauses) Gene Anderson…the enforcer. You had to be in shape with Gene. And you looked at Gene and maybe thought he wasn’t in shape, but he was. He was the enforcer.


He and Ole were a great team. Like I said before, Gene would try to knock the wind out of you. He’d maybe give you four or five slams right in a row, trying to knock the wind out of you. And take over and control you.


He tried that with Nelson Royal and I. And what we did, was we turned the tables on him!


Chappell: How did you do that?


Scott: (laughing) We did the same thing to Gene!


And he got so damn mad, and like I said before, he tagged Ole in and about knocked Ole’s arm off!


But, that’s what Gene used to try and do. He tried to control you by knocking the wind out of you. A lot of guys tried to do that, but Gene was one of the best at it.


Chappell: Tell us about the wrestler’s wrestler, Abe Jacobs.


Scott: Oh, Abe Jacobs was a super guy. Oh…super, super guy. I’ve known Abe for many, many years, and have never heard him say a bad word about anybody. He trained very hard.


And he loves onions…


Chappell/Bourne: (laughing)




Chappell: (laughing) Stay clear of Abe!


But seriously, Sandy, you mentioned Abe’s training; he was still working in a gym when the Gateway interviewed him a few years ago.


Scott: He was a manager in Steamboat’s gym for a while. I don’t know where he is working at now.


Abe was trustworthy…you could trust him with your life. Just a great guy.


Bourne: A guy from here in Roanoke, a guy that I think you broke in, was Tony Atlas. What a character he was…or is!


Scott: I used to get into Roanoke at 9:00 in the morning, and go down to the YMCA to work out. So, this one morning, this guy comes up to me…nice body, big arms.


He asked if I was Sandy Scott, and I said that I was. He said, “I’d like to get into pro wrestling.” I said, ‘Oh, really? What do you do?’ He said he did amateur wrestling, and I asked where, and he said in high school.


I said, ‘Okay, next time I’m in town, come on up here and we’ll work out on the mat a little bit.’


Chappell: Was Tony interested at that point?


Scott: He said, “Oh yeah, okay…great!”


So the next time I was [in Roanoke], he was there, and I said, ‘Let’s do some amateur wrestling. Do you want down or do you want up…standing or down on the mat.’ He said, “Let’s stand!” (laughing) Okay, good, so right off the bat we get off to a real great start.


Chappell/Bourne: (laughing)


Scott: Then Tony said, “Look, when we’re working out…no suplexes!”


Chappell/Bourne: (laughing)


Scott: I said, ‘No suplexes?’


So, we’d be working out, okay, and I went in behind him, got him up and he hit on his back, BOOM, and up he got…and he ran out!!


Chappell/Bourne: (laughing hard)


Scott: (laughing) I said, ‘What the hell was that?!’


Chappell: (laughing) But he came back!


Scott: (laughing) He came back.


Chappell: I remember several times on TV in later years, Tony credited you with making him a wrestler.


Bourne: I think Tony’s exact words were, “Sandy Scott beat me to death!”


Scott: He came back, and I said, ‘Tony, let me tell you something. If you’re going to wrestle, you can’t be afraid of anything.’ I told Tony, I said, ‘Number one, you come in and you tell me already that you don’t want suplexes.’ He said, “Ah, ah…I don’t want to get hurt!” I said, ‘I’m not gonna hurt you.’


So, we start working out, working out, working out. I was tough on the guy. I was very tough on the guy.


Finally, I talked to Jimmy Crockett about bringing him into Charlotte…to work out, not to wrestle. So Jimmy said, “Bring him in.” So I brought him in, and Jimmy saw him and liked his look.


Chappell: At that time, in 1975, his physique really stood out.


Scott: Oh yeah. So, he got a room at the Y, and I’d get down there a couple of times a week, and I’d work out with him.


Okay, then, I asked Johnny Heidman, who was a referee at that time, if he would like to work out with this new kid. He said, “Yeah, I’ll come down there and hook up with him!” Well, Johnny was a little more rugged with the guy than I was! He’d have him screaming, left and right, “OHH, OWW, OUCH!!!”


Chappell/Bourne: (laughing hard)


Scott: But I told Tony, I said, ‘You’re gonna meet all kinds. Guys that are halfway decent, and guys that are a little vicious!’ Anyway, he worked out down there for eight or nine months…and finally they gave him his break.


So, at first, he wrestled once or twice a week. And then…the big head came into play.


Chappell: What happened?


Scott: They heard about him in Texas. They wanted him to come down to Texas, so they sent him down to Texas. Where he had a hell of a body, and he made a lot of money.


Bourne: He was down in Georgia a lot, too.


Scott: Yeah, he was. But, you know, he just couldn’t control money…couldn’t control money.


And I saw Tony here about a year or so ago. And he told me he was going to come back to Roanoke and be an assistant coach at one of the schools...Well, I told him, I said, ‘Tony, don’t b.s. me.’ He said, “No, no, no…I mean it.” I said, ‘Tony, don’t b.s. me. Do you think a school will take you in after what you’ve been through? All the bad stuff?’ He said, “Well, ah, ah…I’m clean, I’m clean!”


I said, ‘Yeah…sure you are. They ain’t gonna do it Tony, so you’d better  think of something else.’ He said, “I’m broke…I don’t got nothing.” I said, ‘You HAD something, what did you do with it…you spent it all? You can’t do that.’


That was the last time I talked to Tony. I don’t know what he’s doing now.


Chappell: We’ve been talking about Roanoke. Any other towns or venues in the Mid-Atlantic area stand out to you?


Scott: Well…Greenville. Richmond. All of them, really. I enjoyed all of them.


The reason for it, was because we had that open thing with the fans. They’d come up and talk to you, and tell you about their families. A fan would come up and tell me, “My husband changed jobs, and he has a job at a saw mill now.” You know, things like that.


But I really liked all the towns. Lynchburg, Roanoke, Bristol, Charleston, West Virginia. All of them…we had great fans.


Bourne: Another guy that fans associate you with is Bob Caudle. Tell us a little bit about Bob.


Sandy Scott reunite at a show in Floyd VA, spring of 2007.


Scott: Oh, Bob Caudle was great. What you might not have known Dick, is that in Raleigh for TV, when we went on camera we didn’t have a format. We waited until somebody came out, and we would say, ‘Oh, here’s so and so, and he’s gonna wrestle so and so.’ We didn’t have a format, so we just ad libed back and forth as to what went on.


Chappell: No scripts and writers back then!


Scott: Well, finally the station got a format because they went to a forty-eight minute/twelve minute deal. Twelve minutes to the station; forty-eight minutes to us. With the commercials. We had to have a format because of the commercial breaks. Before that, we just played it by ear.


You know, after the second match, the guy would say, “Hold it.” And we would stop, and they would do whatever they had to do, commercial-wise or whatever it was, and they would come back to us, and away we’d go again.


Bob Caudle with Sandy and George Scott at WRAL TV, circa 1969


Bourne: Bob was always the constant through the Mid-Atlantic years.


Scott: Bob was the mainstay, no doubt about it.


Bourne: He had a connection, didn’t he?


Scott: Oh yeah. Well, he got out and talked with the fans. That’s what’s missing today.


They brought Gordon Solie in to do a couple of shows in Charlotte, and it just didn’t click. They did a couple of shows together. But Bob was the mainstay, and a good, good guy. A very good guy.


Chappell: I’m sure a lot of folks would be interested in what you’ve been doing after wrestling.


Scott: Well, I invested wisely. I invested in land and real estate, and it’s paid off. So, I haven’t been doing that much, you know. I have a friend who is a contractor, and I helped him build a couple of houses. Other than that, I’ve been taking it easy.


David, one guy that we’ve missed talking about is Ronnie Garvin.


Chappell: Please tell us about the man with the hands of stone!


Scott: Believe me…he has hands of stone! Trust me!


Bourne: He still gets in the ring from time to time.


Scott: Oh yeah. Ronnie is a good guy; good friend of mine. We go down to the Mobile reunion every year. That’s where you guys should go sometime.


Chappell: I’ve heard it’s quite something…


Bourne: Growing and growing.


Scott: Ronnie is a good guy. He was always ready and willing to go. And a very tough guy, very tough guy. But a nice guy as well.


Chappell: Any other people in the business that have touched your career? Or ones that you particularly want to single out?


Scott: Well, just my brother. You know, I got started with him…and lived with him in the business for thirty years, day and night. But, yeah, I give my brother the credit to where we got…and all the work he did.


Chappell: When you think back on all of your work and accomplishments in professional wrestling, what stands out the most?


Scott: (pauses) You know, I had a guy the other day at the Tanglewood Mall (in Roanoke), a fan, come up to me and say you’re Sandy Scott. I told him I was. And he said, “I used to see you when you came here to Victory Stadium, and you haven’t changed a bit. You haven’t changed one bit!”


Chappell: When I drove up today and saw you walking in the parking lot, I said the same thing! It’s Sandy, and he hasn’t changed a bit!


Scott: But that was the secret to our success. No big head, no nonsense, do what you had to do, and do it right.


Chappell: Did you wrestle overseas, and if so do you have any memories of wrestling outside the United Sates or Canada?


Scott: I mentioned Australia before. I also remember a tour of Japan…


Bourne: When was this?


Scott: It was in the 70s. I went over for about four weeks.


Chappell: Who was over there at the time you were?


Scott: Let’s see…the Animal…George Steele. (Alex) Karras, Mil Mascaras, Dick Beyer, and Bob Roop, if I recall correctly.


Chappell: Do you follow wrestling today at all, at any level?


Scott: Not really. I was with Mike (Weddle) over here, and we went over to Floyd and Rocky Mount, Virginia. I watched some of those guys in there, and some of them need work, you know.


But, I think they could get a little territory going…with the right attitude and the right direction. Maybe down the road. You’ve got to have talent, number one, and they have a couple of good guys, talent-wise. But I think they could do it. It’s tough, because you don’t have the TV…but maybe you could do something with the local cable. I think the people would be drawn to it.


Chappell: When you say the word “talent,” what constitutes a talented wrestler for Sandy Scott?


Scott: Talent? You’ve got to have an amateur background. You’ve got to take care of yourself. You’ve got to know where you’re going, and what to do, and when to do it.


Chappell: All of it!


Scott: Yeah…you have to work at it.


We would watch films. Like P.Y. Chung, when he came in. I got some film out of Tennessee and watched it, and that’s how I knew what he’d do here. That’s what you’d have to do.


I did that all through my career…sat there and watched films of different guys. That way, when you went into the ring, you knew what to expect from them.


Chappell: In closing, Sandy, is there anything you’d like to say to the Mid-Atlantic fans. There are a lot of them out there, and I’m sure they’d like to hear a message directly from you.


Scott: Well, the truth of the matter is, if it wasn’t for the fans, we wouldn’t have done what we did. They were the main 80% of it…we were the other 20%.


If they’re not in the seats, you have an empty arena…and it’s not going to work. So, the fans actually make you.


That’s why I think a small promotion can still make it today…but it has to be done right with the fans.


Chappell: Sandy, thank you again so much for spending this time with the Mid-Atlantic Gateway today…we really appreciate it. It’s been a real pleasure.


Scott: Thank you, guys. It’s been my pleasure.


Mike Weddle, Jim Nelson, Sandy Scott, and the Gateway guys!

Roanoke VA


Sandy Scott and Jimmy Valiant at a recent ACW event in Rocky Mount VA.

Photo by Jim Nelson


© 2007 Mid-Atlantic Gateway