On a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman sat down with former ECW TV and Tag Team Champion “Pitbull #1” Gary Wolfe. Wolfe spent much of his career in ECW, and he discussed why The Pitbulls didn’t make the jump to WWE after Vince McMahon bought out ECW and WCW.
“In ’98, WWF brought us back up, and they had us work The Headbangers, which is another tag team from the Monster Factory, and [Jim] Cornette was, I guess, in charge of it and he wouldn’t let us do our finish,” Wolfe recalled. “We didn’t care. We still had a really good match, and it’s not like Vince didn’t want to hire us.
“He wanted to hire us two other times, and we said no. He brought us in, and I’m like, you know what, let’s see what happens. And once he dissed us, he never called us back, and we got a call to go to Australia. I moved to Melbourne, Australia, and I was working for King Curtis’ buddy and Kevin Sullivan’s buddy, Mark Lewin who ran Hardcore Championship Wrestling out of Australia.”
Wolfe explained how they turned down McMahon twice, revealing another big opportunity that came The Pitbulls’ way.
“Vince had as go down to South Atlantic Pro Wrestling with George Scott and Paul Jones. We were there getting prepped,” Wolfe said. “Six nights a week, we were wrestling, and we were getting ready to go. New Japan must have got a tape of us, and Tokyo Joe came from Canada all the way to North Carolina to meet us and next thing you know, New Japan was bringing in the Malenko brothers, The Fantastics to go against us. All they were doing was testing us, and we didn’t really know it because that’s how green we were. I was only making $75 a night. Before I know it, I got Tokyo Joe waving a contract in front of my face. This was ’89 – ’90. I signed my first Japan contract in 1990.”
Wolfe then recalled his time in NJPW, discussing how big that was for their careers and the opportunities it led to.
“It was great because back then, money was incredible,” Wolfe noted. “It was ridiculous, and I got to be there with Big Van Vader, Bam Bam Bigelow, Brian Blair, The Killer Bees, The Wild Samoans, which was Yokozuna and Sammy (Samu). We were working against [Hiroshi] Hase and [Kensuke] Sasaki. They would even break us up some nights, and we would do singles. I would do 45 minutes with [Jushin] Liger, no problem, easy. 45 minutes, bro.
“It was brutal, but then, we got to the point that other companies in Japan wanted to start using us. So we ended up working for W*ING. We ended up working for NOAH. We ended up working for FMW, which we got really big push in FMW. New Japan was awesome. You have to work hard. That’s no joke. If you’re going to Japan, you’re going to work your ass off, and that’s that’s all there is to it.”
Gary hosts the Barb Wire Bite podcast. Click HERE to subscribe and get every episode as it’s released.
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