Dawn Marie Talks Starting Wrestler's Rescue, Kamala's Accusations, Controversies & More

Raj Giri of WrestlingINC.com recently interviewed former ECW and WWE superstar Dawn Marie Psaltis. In part one of our interview below, Dawn discussed starting the Wrestler's Rescue charity, recent accusations from Kamala and The Blue Meanie, past controversies and more.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for the second and final part of our interview, where Dawn discusses how the Kamala controversy cost her a TV deal, the business today, if wrestlers are better taken care of now than in the past, female wrestling today and more.

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WrestlingINC: Hi Dawn, thanks for taking the time to speak with us, how is everything going?

Dawn Marie: Everything is going OK. Just trying to chuck through this whole Kamala issue. But, other than that, everything has been pretty good.

WrestlingINC: What's the latest on that? Have you heard from Kamala at all?

Dawn: I have not heard from him at all. I mean, I've reached out to him and I haven't heard from him. The latest I know is that he's still going on rants and raves about how I never gave him any money.

To be honest with you, I don't even pay attention to it anymore. As far as I'm concerned, I've proved my point. I've proved that he lied and I'm not going to consume myself with him, I'm not going to do the high school, baby stuff on the Internet.

WrestlingINC: When you first started Wrestlers Rescue, where did the idea come from?

Dawn: I left wrestling in 2005 to have my children and my son. I was away from it for about two years. Then, what happened was I started to go back into it, started to do autograph signings. I guess from stepping away from it and going back, it made me realize things that needed to change, things that were going on.

So, I was at a show in Chicago and I saw The Iron Sheik and he was just in really bad shape. I just saw that and it just made me sad that he was living his life in a wheel chair due to needing a double knee replacement. There's no reason for that. In any other business, if you needed a double knee replacement due to your career choice, it would be covered in some way.

Asbestos. I like to use that for an example. Once they realized what happened and people were breathing in harmful air and giving them lung cancer, there was a class-action suit and they were taken care of.

Same thing with the ring. The ring was really stiff back then, it barely gave. So, there's a lot of knee replacements and hip replacements. Things like that. Nobody takes care of them. They were left on their own to take care of it and that's a very expensive bill to take care of. So, I just saw the need and started the foundation and thought that this would be a really great way to stay within the business and change it in a positive way at the same time.

WrestlingINC: When you did start the charity, how was it going initially?

Dawn: Everything has an uphill battle. It's something that's new and people get nervous when it's something that's new. I talked to a lot of old-timers and asked them how they felt about it and getting a lot of ideas and suggestions from them. Everything has gone really well, actually.

Up until the Steve Williams campaign, and [we] raised a lot of money for him. Unfortunately, he passed before the campaign was over. Then, we had the rumors around about that. People used Steve's campaign to tried to sabotage us. There was a gentleman named Michael Porter who wanted $500 for rent and we don't give out money for rent. They didn't understand that. He said to me, 'If I don't do that, I'd be sorry.' Well, they made me sorry. Because I didn't give him the $500 towards his rent, he made up all these lies about the Steve Williams campaign, saying I never paid him and that I was investigated by the IRS and the FBI. I mean, crazy, crazy stuff. The fact that he was saying I was being investigated by the IRS is insane because we weren't even open a year yet. I didn't even have to file taxes yet. [Laughs.] The FBI? Come on. The FBI has a lot of better things to do than investigate me.

People want to believe what they want to believe. There's a really big smear campaign. I did the same thing I'm doing with the Kamala issue. I put all the proof up. I did pay Steve Williams, I have the check on the website. All the other allegations that they said about me, I just proved them all wrong. That's the best I can do. I can't make people think something other than what they think they know.

WrestlingINC: With Steve Williams, what happened to the money that you raised? Did you end up donating it or did you put it towards the charity?

Dawn: No, I gave it to 'Doc'. ... If you go on our website and if you go to one of the top buttons that says 'Financial', you'll see the actual check with his signature on it where he signed it off. 'Dr. Death' Steve Williams did not attack us. No, no. Michael Porter's people, who I didn't give pay for rent, wanted to try to get rent money out of me. They told me I would be sorry if I didn't give them the money. What they did was created all these lies around 'Dr. Death's' campaign. 'Dr. Death.' at that time was passed on, so he couldn't defend me. So, they used something like that, which is very sad and disgusting in my eyes. Using someone that's passed to get your way.

WrestlingINC: Since then, Brian Heffron (a.k.a The Blue Meanie) has said that Jerry Lynn never received money for back surgery.

Dawn: What happened with Jerry Lynn was we were coming off the smear campaign with Michael Porter and 'Dr. Death'. Jerry had called me in the summer and I told him, 'Jerry, I don't know if we're going to be able to do anything because we just had a really horrible smear campaign lead against us. But, let me see what I can do to help you.'

So, I called the Cauliflower Alley Club and told them what was going on with Jerry Lynn. Alley Club gave him $2,000. Then, I never was able to do a campaign for Jerry. So, I never did a campaign for Jerry, So, therefore, he never got any money. I was never able to do a campaign because of all the bad press that we were just coming off of.

Meanwhile, I wanted to do a campaign for Jerry and I did one autograph signing. In that autograph signing, I went around and collected autographs because I wanted to do something for Jerry. I collected two or three autographs from everybody that was there. There was maybe ten people there. I got a doll from Axel Rod, an action figure. There was nothing of significant value that was collected and that's what Brian is talking about. He gave me two or three pictures towards Jerry Lynn and I never did a campaign and hes mad that I never did a campaign.

Then, I took his two or three pictures and I recently told him, over Twitter, I said, 'Brian, if you have a problem with me, we've known each other for years and years and years. Be man enough and call me and talk to me about this. Don't just go smearing me all over the place. Maybe it's just misinformation. Maybe you donated me the two or three pictures, but, really, what are our pictures even worth anymore? We've all been off TV for so long. $5, maybe, maybe $10. Maybe. [Laughs.] Including myself, I'm not putting him down. I'm including myself with me being off TV for so long. Really, what are they even worth. If you want, I'll send you your $30 if it makes you feel better. We didn't even sell the pictures yet, we still have them.

WrestlingINC: Did he respond to you?

Dawn: He said, 'I needed to give the money to Jerry.' So, I said, 'Fine, I'll mail Jerry Lynn a check for $30.' I mean, even Jerry Lynn went public and said I was the one that helped him get money from the Cauliflower Alley Club. That he was thankful for the help that I did give him. That he knew I was not able to do a campaign for him.

Karl Lauer even went public and he tweeted that had it not been for me, Jerry Lynn, "Dr. Death' and Kamala all wouldn't have gotten money. I was the one that made them aware of what was going on. Karl Lauer is the president of the Cauliflower Alley Club.

WrestlingINC: With Heffron, had you two been in touch over the years and or did this sort of come out of the blue when he said this?

Dawn: Honestly, out of everything that has happened, Brian doing what he did hurt the most. Because I thought we were friends, like co-workers. I'm not saying best buddies that picked up the phone and talked. But, when I saw him, I was happy to see him, like, 'Oh, my God. Nice to see you.' We were genuinely good friends. I was happy to see him when I saw him and I thought it was mutual.

To be honest with you, that really hurt my feelings the most. Him, Nova and Stevie Richards. Stevie Richards I was never really friendly with. I didn't really know him that well. But, with Nova, I grew up with Nova. We all grew up together -- that's how I look at it. I really hurt my feelings more than anything..

More than anything that Kamala said, more than anything else. All the stuff that Kamala said, I can prove is false. But the fact thast people that I thought were my friends kind of turned against me so viciously -- that hurt.

WrestlingINC: So, how did the Kamala campaign start? Did he reach out to you or did you reach out to him? How did that get started?

Dawn: I never even knew Kamala. I knew him, I watched him. But, I never met him before. I got his number from Jimmy Snuka and called him up and told him about Wrestler's Rescue and we would do a campaign for him and help him make his home more handicap accessible. He agreed to it and we started doing the campaign.

Then, what happened was that I had a feeling that he needed some of the money. Just by talking to him, that's the feeling I got from him. So, I said to Mel, 'Send him lots of money. I'll send him $500 because that's all I can get my hands on because of PayPal.' PayPal will only let me transfer $500 a month. We really didn't raise much more than that for him, but i knew that we had at least raised $500 for him.

I said, 'I didn't do the book-keeping yet, but I know that we have raised $500 for you. I know that I can get my hands on that. So, let me send that out for you.' That was on the 18th. On the 20th, we got the check. On the 21st, it was mailed out. Between the 21st and the 25th, he received my mail, opened it up and put it into a new envelope and he certified mailed it back to me. Then, on the 31st, he went out and did this video, saying that I never gave him one dime. Just slamming me and saying horrible things about the foundation. It doesn't make any sense.

WrestlingINC: Why do you think he sent it back?

Dawn: I have no idea. The one thing I heard from a mutual friend was that he felt he didn't get it fast enough. I don't know how much faster I could have given it to him. [Laughs.] You know what I mean? That's even in some of his rants, 'She didn't send me out the check until after the video.' That's his biggest call is that I never sent him money until after he exposed me., Which is blatant lie and the mail doesn't lie. his YouTube shows he posted it on the 31st and the mail came back to me on the 26th. It's a blatant lie.

WrestlingINC: That's bizarre. The UWE booking agent, Adam Loncar, he sent us a statement basically talking about the work you've done with Jimmy Snuka over the years, some of the work you've done in the past.

Dawn: When he did this thing called Millenium Wrestling, he bashed them too for not sending money and this, that and the other thing. Meanwhile, it was already on it's way because they sent it to Cauliflower Alley Club and then Cauliflower Alley Club had to send it to him. He did the same thing to someone else, too.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for the second and final part of our interview, where Dawn discusses how the Kamala controversy cost her a TV deal, the business today, if wrestlers are better taken care of now than in the past, female wrestling today and more.

You can visit Dawn's official website at DawnMarieOnline.com, and visit WrestlersRescue.org. You can follow her on Twitter @WWEDawnMarieECW.


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