Dave Meltzer’s Coverage of Politico Article on Linda McMahon and the WWE Ring Boy Scandal

The August 9 issue of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter has the following background on the July 30 Politico.com story on Linda McMahon and the World Wrestling Entertainment ring boy scandal. (The full WON report is available to subscribers only at http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/14341/.)

* “Lee Cole, Tom’s older brother, who claimed Tom had never told anyone why he was fired, did a number of radio shows at the time, and the stories about Mel Phillips, a former WWF ring announcer who also headed the ring crew, and his alleged foot fetish, were talked about. They also got another ring boy to come forward, but suddenly, he disappeared. Mike Sawyer of the Observer web site was living in Buffalo at the time and good friends with the other individual, in fact Sawyer noted they were supposed to go to WrestleMania VI in 1990 together in Toronto except Sawyer bowed out because he knew the stories and figured out what the sleeping conditions would be. Sawyer noted that his friend disappeared, and he later saw him with a new car, and he had also changed his name.”

* “I can note in conversations I had with [Tom Cole], that he was very negative about Vince McMahon, and not really in a bitter way. He had more mixed feelings about Linda McMahon, but in the end I wouldn’t describe them as positive. He noted to me that of all the people he met through his ordeal, the wrestlers, the media, and the people working in WWF, the only one he ended up with any respect for was [Phil] Mushnick [New York Post columnist], who he even invited to his wedding. Although he was on both sides of the fence, he did always express that he felt Jerry McDevitt was an excellent lawyer. But he also felt McDevitt had tried to push him into saying things that everyone knew were untrue when McMahon sued Mushnick …”

* “During the entire period he was gone, those in the company talked that they believed [Pat] Patterson was still secretly involved, although it wasn’t until five months later he appeared at a show in an official capacity.”

* “When this all went down, at first Vince McMahon denied everything that had come out. But days later, and keep in mind this was before any names of any of the alleged participants had gone public, the company announced the resignations of Phillips, Garvin and Patterson. The company stated they had all resigned due to their extreme loyalty to the company. McMahon, after the resignations, was not defensive of Phillips and Garvin any longer, but claimed a media witch hunt against homosexuals forced one person who was completely innocent, Patterson, out of his company. When I suggested if he was truly innocent there was no reason he should have resigned, he said that Patterson resigned out of his loyalty to the company and would never work for the company again.”

* “In the Donahue studio audience included Linda McMahon, and Miss Elizabeth, who everyone recognized. With Linda and Elizabeth, which nobody recognized, were Tom and Lee Cole. Apparently there was a moment set up where, figuring it was a lock Cole would be mentioned, that it would be revealed Cole was in the audience and Cole would side with McMahon, call the wrestlers who were against McMahon liars, and it would be like the climax of every episode of Perry Mason. Except Cole’s never once came up. After the show was over, someone in the audience in fact went to the producer, gave the speech. I can’t recall if it was Tom or Lee Cole who talked to the producer, but the show was over, and nobody saw it. The producer was almost white as a ghost, just minutes after the show was over, when he recounted to me the conversation. That’s when we found out McMahon had settled with Cole.”

Irv Muchnick

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