Straight Shooting with Kamala
By Insanity Board Member Kane Bearer
Title: Straight Shootin’ with Kamala
Produced By: ROH Wrestling - ROHWrestling.com
Run Time: 2 hrs 25 min.
Kamala is one of the performers who contributed shoot quotes to:
World Wrestling Insanity: The Fall and Decline of a Family Empire
They start off talking about his short stints in England and Mexico. Kamala
talks about what he liked or didn’t like about the countries and what he
learned there. The conversation moves to his gimmick before Kamala, Percy
Pringle (Paul Bearer) and a few other quick topics.
They start off quickly by talking about him getting started in Memphis and
working for Jerry Jarrett and Jerry Lawler. He talks about each of them
briefly and mentioned that Lawler came up with the original name of
“Kimala.” He talks about switching the “i” to an “a” so the name would be
his own. The promoters were worried he’d be uncomfortable with the gimmick
but he says he loved doing it. He mentioned that Jarrett wasn’t a fair
promoter and didn’t pay him the money he felt he deserved, so he walked out.
Kamala cites racism as a problem as well.
The topic moves to what was his next stop, Bill Watts’ Mid South territory.
He talks about hearing a lot of bad things about Watts and says he expected
not to like him. It turned out to be the opposite as Watts paid him the
best, and treated him fairly. He covers his feud with Junkyard Dog, and
talks about his paydays from those matches. Also covered is the purchase of
his first house and whom he credits with helping him get it.
After his steam ran out in Mid-South, Watts helped him get booked in Fritz
Von Erich’s World Class territory out of Texas. He talks about working with
each of the Von Erich boys and which he enjoyed working with the most. He
covers the drug use and Kerry and David’s deaths in particular They discuss
working in the Superdome, Ted Dibiase and The Freebirds among other things.
He talks about walking out on bad terms because they tried to bury him, and
he felt he didn’t make the money he deserved.
Next stop was Crocket Promotions and the NWA. This was his least favorite
territory, and he didn’t like working for Jim. Paydays were bad and his
character was handled poorly. He talks about his stay being very short
before heading to work for Vince McMahon.
Gabe asks him about whom he enjoyed working with in the WWF and if he
enjoyed doing the squash matches. He talks his feud with Hogan and being
upset at his pay (see a trend?) so he walked out (see a trend?) They
eventually come back to his second WWF run and his program with the
Undertaker. He talks about UT making $500,000 for their Summerslam 1992
match while he only made $13,000. Kamala talks about the Survivor Series
casket match and his eventual face turn in 1993. He believed it was
unsuccessful for a few reasons and was soon released. He left unhappy with
how things turned up.
Kamala talks about being uneducated only knowing two things – trucking and
wrestling. It was time he started doing the latter. However, it didn’t last
long because his truck wasn’t very good. He couldn’t afford a good one so he
took Hogan up on his offer to check out WCW. Conversation moves to Eric
Bischoff and you get Kamala’s feelings on him. He credits Hogan for helping
him the best he could but said he wasn’t being treated fair and made no
money. In turn, he walked out again.
He finishes up talking about his adventures in Japan. His comments on
Abdullah The Butcher (worth the price of this dvd alone) are straightforward
as well as his thoughts on Japanese wrestling and fans. He talks about whom
he worked with and how the silence of the Japanese affected his matches.
They rap up the interview after this point with Kamala’s final words. He
thanked the fans that supported him and encouraged us to buy his record
where he sings and plays the keyboard (seriously.)
Final Thoughts: I enjoyed this dvd. It hooked me in a few times and was
rarely boring. The central theme of this shoot was all about money. He
admits getting into wrestling for the money and not enjoying himself when he
was being paid poorly. This led to him walking out several times and
refusing to do jobs on a few occasions for various promoters. He talked
about never doing drugs except pot, once. Saving money was important to him,
but even after all his hard savings he has little left. He believes he never
got paid what he was worth, and if he had, he could live comfortably today.
At times I felt he was greedy, but towards the end I felt bad for him. For
someone who claims to never have lived lavishly, he should be able to live
well after being a top act for a few years.
He doesn’t appear to have ever been married or even have a girlfriend at
any time in his life. He lived simply and happily except for, well you get
the idea. He tells stories about Andre, Austin Idol, Magnum TA, Steve
Lombardi, all his managers and many others. Overall it was a good piece to
watch. Very candid and no punches pulled. I recommend it to anyone who was a
Kamala fan or wants to see the business from the perspective of a black man
in the 80’s and early-mid 90’s. ***/*****
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|© 2005-2007 All content contained here Copyright 2006 by James Guttman *** World Wrestling Insanity and ClubWWI are not affiliated with any wrestling promotion.|