Winning the WWWF Title from his hero, Bruno Sammartino, and Bruno's reaction to dropping the title after over seven years as champ: "Everything just went so quiet, it was a sellout, can you imagine that, here I am, wrestling my hero, the champ, and I end up winning the belt, one, two, three, a knee drop of the top, and I say, "where is the belt?" Finally, he raises my hand and he says, go back to the dressing room; you'll get the belt back there. They were afraid of a riot. I didn't pick up on it, but I did notice the people were very, very quiet. You could hear a pin drop, because they couldn't believe that Bruno got defeated after what, seven years? As far as Bruno was concerned, a lot of people don't realize, but those rings up there in New York are the boxing rings, the four ropes and a lot more stable base on the ring and not as much spring on the ring. Consequently us wrestlers, taking big back drops and suplexes on that, it ends up taking a toll on the body a lot more, so I really believe that Bruno needed the time off maybe surgery, maybe just get some rest. You know, I can imagine wrestling nearly every night and the pressure is on you because you're the champion and you have to draw money, so it was the whole idea that Bruno didn't mind the situation that much, because he wanted time off any way."
A fight with fans involving himself and Roddy Piper leading to one of the "largest lawsuit in the history of the state of North Carolina:" "Roddy Piper and I had one of the largest lawsuits ever in North Carolina, when we were the Mid Atlantic Tag Team Champions. This guy had attacked us when we were on our way to the ring. He suckered Roddy, Roddy said "Ivan hold my bagpipes." I hold them , he chases the guy down after about fifty feet, got him to the ground, punched him a few times and the cops came. Roddy thought the cops would be taking the guy out. We went to the match, wrestled against Wahoo and Ric flair at the time... we ended up losing the match on a disqualification, but the people were still so hot when we got out of the ring, that guy went nose to nose, the same guy that we thought they threw out, goes nose to nose with Roddy, so Roddy brought his knee up right in the guy's groin. He stumbled back. He got up, I could see he was hot, he backed up, went around and I could see he does a circle coming around, I watched him and hung around just behind Roddy. Just as he was trying to reach through and sucker Roddy back, I beat him to the punch and I didn't realize at the time that I hit him that hard, but it turned out I broke his jaw. Then it turned out, he was a soldier, off duty, home on leave, and when we came back for the court date later on, a five million dollar lawsuit, he was a police officer. But we were protecting ourselves and people witnessed it, when I beat him to the punch."
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