POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Wrestlers pay tribute to Kamala

Wrestlers pay tribute to Kamala, GoFundMe set up, recent Fozzy concerts, Seth Rollins interview, Tyson-RJJ postponed, SmackDown up & more.

POST IT NOTES

**Wai Ting and I are back tonight with Rewind-A-Raw to discuss the career and life of James Harris a.k.a. Kamala, as well as the New Japan news regarding the G1 Climax and Jingu Stadium card, as well as a review of WWE Raw along with your feedback.

**Andrew Thompson will be releasing an interview with Ring of Honor’s Tracy Williams on Tuesday.

**Feedback for our movie review of ROCKY 1 can be posted on the POST Wrestling Forum. The review will be released Tuesday evening for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**WH Park has the latest edition of The Long & Winding Royal Road up on the site with guest Daniel Makabe. On this month’s show, they are reviewing a hidden classic involving Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue from January 26, 1992. This is a really great show with tons of details on this era of All Japan Pro Wrestling.

**We also have the latest POST Puroresu up on the site with Dylan Fox of the Eastern Lariat podcast joining WH and I. On this show, we chat about the G1 schedule, NJPW Strong, EVIL’s title reign, Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix, Mayu Iwatani vs. Jungle Kyona from last month, the formation of CyberFight and its impact on DDT & NOAH, and a big Q&A segment taking questions from the POST Wrestling Forum.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: Movie Review of ROCKY 1 with John & Wai (Patreon)
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite
Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Thursday: UFC 252 Preview Show with John Pollock & MMA reporter James Lynch
Thursday: upNXT Movie Review of “Money Plane” with Braden Herrington & John Siino
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm Eastern for all Patrons)
Saturday: The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with Nate Milton and guests Stephen Gutteridge & MJ from NJ (Pilot for “Ballers”)
Saturday: UFC 252 POST Show with John Pollock & Phil Chertok (LIVE at YouTube.com/POSTwrestling)

TRIBUTES FOR JAMES HARRIS

Michael Hayes:

I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of James Harris “Kamala”. My sympathies and condolences to his family, friends and fans. Did his gimmick to perfection, loved working with him. Terry, Percy, Suger Bear and myself all started together for the Caulkin’s in Miss. R.I.P.

Mick Foley:

I am so sorry to learn of the passing of James “Kamala” Harris. I wrestled him for 90 seconds in 1986, but the lesson he taught me that night about treating others with respect has never been forgotten.

Hulk Hogan:

Very sadden by the passing of Big Jim”Kamala”,like everyone else I would always ask if it was ok to take the leg drop for the finish as requested by the office.Jim would always say “let’s just keep making that money”,he was such a kind soul,RIP big brother,only love4U HH

Bret Hart:

I’m heartbroken to hear of the passing away of Big Jim Harris, aka Kamala. I met Jim in 1981 in Croydon, close to London England where he was breaking in as The Mississippi Mauler working with Big Daddy Crabtree. I caught up with him 3 years later as Kamala in WWE when he was a terrifying monster heel working on top with Hulk Hogan. Unlike his heel character, he was one of the friendliest, nicest, happy-go-lucky guys I ever knew in pro wrestling. I had the pleasure of working with him in 1992 when I was WWE champion. He was great to work with and I smile at the memories of him laughing so hard at my infamous blackboard drawings. He had a great sense of humour and, like Andre, he’d race into the dressing room to see what my latest cartoon was about. He always had a big smile despite all his challenges, including the loss of both legs. Always a kind and happy gentle soul. I’ll miss him for always being so good to me. R.I.P. Big Jim Harris.

Davey Boy Smith Jr:

R.I.P. to the “Ugandan Giant Kamala”

(James Harris) Kamala was always a great character, I was always sort of fascinated/scared of his presence as a litte kid Thumbs up James outside of the ring was always a friendly and good guy

Chris Hero:

Absolutely crushed to hear that Kamala has passed away. Had the privilege to meet him a handful of times. He was a pure sweetheart of a man. The Ugandan Giant/Headhunter was one of my favorite characters in wrestling history. Unforgettable as a man & as a wrestler. Rest In Peace

WRESTLING NEWS

**Reporter Jason King, who wrote a terrific profile on James Harris for Bleacher Report in 2014, has additional information on Harris’ passing. King spoke with Harris’ wife, who stated he tested positive for the virus on Wednesday and thinks he contracted it from one of his many weekly visits to the dialysis center. Harris was said to be fine on Sunday morning but later went into cardiac arrest and died in the afternoon. Harris was 70 years old. King has also set up a GoFundMe for Harris’ family that can be accessed here.

**We will discuss Kamala’s career more on tonight’s edition of Rewind-A-Raw as he traveled to so many places and drew in many of them. His biggest run was with Hulk Hogan in late 1986 and continued in 1987 where they took their match all over the country including three dates at Maple Leaf Gardens within a seven-week period.

The character was something Harris tinkered with after going on a tour of Africa when he was wrestling in England and came back trying out the face paint. He later spoke with Frankie Cain and the first ideas of the character became to form but it wasn’t until he met with Jerry Lawler that Kimala/Kamala was fully fleshed out with Lawler doing the artwork on his body and shooting the first vignette on Jerry Jarrett’s property. Harris was very protected and did business out of the gate in Memphis. In some ways, it was even more impressive what he drew in Memphis since they were running the Mid-South Coliseum every Monday and had to draw weekly. He had several shows that topped 10,000 during his brief run in Memphis.

After Memphis, he went to Mid-South, which was a brutal territory for the driving it entailed but he said he was compensated well, which wasn’t typical from Harris’ experiences elsewhere.

He arrived in World Class in Texas near the end of 1982 and worked there until 1984 when he left shortly after the Texas Stadium show in May that year where Kerry Von Erich won the NWA title after Harris wasn’t happy his pay that week that included working the stadium show.

Ultimately, he had a sad end to his life, and he suffered for a long time because of the terrible effect diabetes had on him.

In 2019, Harris was the recipient of the Courage Award at the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion. Harris could not attend the reunion but provided a video speech. In addition, the CAC helped raise $15,000 to save Harris’ house and allow him to live debt-free, which is a really incredible story.

**Tonight’s episode of WWE Raw was taped last week at the Performance Center and are advertising the following for tonight’s show:
*Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens
*Bayley vs. Asuka in a non-title match, if Asuka wins she faces Sasha Banks at SummerSlam for the Raw women’s title
*Ric Flair will be on the show
*The continuation of Raw Underground

**The AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup continues tonight at 7 pm Eastern on AEW’s YouTube channel. Tonight’s quarter-final matches include:
*Ivelisse & Diamante vs. Dasha Kuret & Rachael Ellering

**Chris Jericho and Fozzy performed several shows over the past few nights including in Sturgis, South Dakota on Saturday where the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was being held. The rally received lots of criticism 250,000 people expected to attend despite the pandemic. Jericho spoke about the shows on his Saturday Night Special stating that there were low numbers of COVID cases in North and South Dakota, they also did a show in Fort Madison, Iowa. He said the venues were either outside or capacity was limited with one show at 50% and another at 35%, he said everyone in the band and crew was tested, there were masks handed out at the door and there were temperature checks.

**The New York Times has a story on the Sturgis Rally and speaking to those that attended and what their level of concern was.

**The Athletic was the first to report that the exhibition match between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. has been postponed until November. The two were set to square off in an eight-round exhibition fight on Saturday, September 12th but will now meet on November 28th. Of course, this will renew speculation about Tyson’s involvement with AEW following his angle with Chris Jericho from this past May on AEW Dynamite. If the two were to set up a match of some sort at All Out on September 5th it makes more sense without Tyson having to get ready for an exhibition the following weekend.

**Friday Night SmackDown finished with 1,962,000 viewers on Fox this past Friday, according to the PW Torch. This would be SmackDown’s highest viewership total since June 26th. In the 18-49 demo, they did a 0.49. Interestingly, in the 18-34 demographic they did a 0.29, which AEW topped last Wednesday with a 0.31 rating.

**Seth Rollins was a guest on The Gorilla Position podcast to discuss the Monday Night Messiah character and the ongoing feud with Rey Mysterio. The subject of long-term storytelling was brought up and Rollins’ belief that the fanbase does not have the patience for long-term storytelling:

Well, man, I think its kind of a lost art across the board in entertainment. And not that it’s a lost art, just the audience, as we get into this age of instant gratification, they don’t have the patience for long-term storytelling. When you can binge-watch your favorite series in two days as opposed to two months, it creates a different precedent for how we intake our entertainment. It’s the difference between watching a full match and just seeing the GIFs of it or the highlights of it. So, I just think people are intaking their entertainment on a different level. It’s the difference between artists releasing singles as opposed to full-length albums because of the way the consumers are taking in their entertainment, so that shift, wrestling is not immune to that shift and so we have to do that as well to keep up with our audience. But I do think, I’m not a twenty-something, I’m a thirty-four-year-old guy, so the storytelling I grew up on had a longer form and that’s what I enjoy, so I think if our younger audience could learn to appreciate it might be something they’re into. But it also might not be how their brains are wired or how we’ve rewired people’s brains to think. It’s a very interesting time in entertainment, in television, and music and movies altogether really, and that shift of how things are going.

Of course, he is also working for someone who has shown zero capacity to stick with something long-term with one of the frequent complaints is Vince McMahon’s inability to stick with a plan long enough and often, blow up plans without notice. It’s a cop-out to blame the fanbase that has barely been given an opportunity to respond to a truly long-term and laid out storyline that goes beyond a pay-per-view cycle. There are countless examples from other promotions that have built their stories for months and sometimes years for the finale that audiences have been captivated by. In WWE, there are too many examples of stories that begin and have no payoff or ending with Rollins even noting in the interview that his character and stories are a week-to-week process rather than a carefully laid out plan of where his character will be six months from now.

Rollins also shared his satisfaction with the recent Eye-for-an-Eye match at Extreme Rules and who they were trying to appeal to:

If this stipulation had happened in 1999 in the middle of the Attitude Era, I don’t think anyone would have scoffed at it. I think it would have just been a crazy moment of wild stuff happening in WWE and obviously, we are twenty years later and things are different in the way we watch things and the audience sees wrestling differently At the end of the day, it is what it is, that’s what the moment was meant to do was to create interest in the casual viewer. I think the moment you said ‘Eye-for-an-Eye Match’, the hardcore wrestling fan, and if I was a nineteen-year-old kid would probably say the same thing, would be like ‘Oh please, why can’t they just let these two wrestle?’ you know? But, at the end of the day, the wrestling spoke for itself and the end moment ended up on TMZ, so we’re doing a service to both of our audiences. We gave them a great wrestling match on the front end and gave the casual viewer to say, ‘What the hell are they doing over there?’. I loved it, I thought it was great, I was really happy with. I loved sharing the ring with Rey Mysterio and I was pretty overwhelmingly happy with the final product, particularly considering we sort did that last scene with limited time and in one take. So, I was overwhelmingly pleased with the finished product.

**Big Show (Paul Wight) spoke with TV Guide to promote Game On: A Comedy Crossover Event on Netflix he is part of. During the discussion, he spoke about the looming subject of retirement and potential roles with WWE after his in-ring days are done:

Right now, it’s not on my mind, but it’s always there. Let’s face it, I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I’m not a spring chicken anymore. I have to see where our business evolves and see where I can fit in and still be an asset. Vince [McMahon] and I have talked extensively many times together about my role and what he wants from me and what I want to give to the company. And I always want to contribute to WWE and the younger talent. I’m still excited for more shows and more opportunities and more angles. If it gets to a point where it’s time to say goodbye, then I will step back and work more behind the scenes. Hopefully, they’ll give me a job backstage doing something. I mean, I might be the person that you pass your Slammy to after you’ve won. I might be qualified to do that.

**The WWE stock closed at $44.09 on Monday.

**New Japan continues its Summer Struggle tour on Tuesday at the smaller Edion Arena in Osaka. The card is headlined by EVIL, Taiji Ishimori & Dick Togo vs. Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi & Bushi. On Wednesday and Thursday, they are running cards in Ehime.

**NOAH held its card Monday at Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium featuring a hotshot Double Championship match that was set up last week. GHC champion Go Shiozaki and GHC National champion Kenoh headlined the show and went to a sixty-minute draw and thus, getting out of the double title scenario. Kenoh only won the title last Tuesday from Katsuhiko Nakajima and the challenge was made the following night. Below are the full results from Monday’s show:
*Hoah & Nioh over Tadasuke & Yo-Hey
*Atsushi Kotoge, Hajime Ohara & Seiki Yoshioka over Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa & Kinya Okada
*Naomichi Marufuji, Masaaki Mochizuki & Yuko Miyamoto over Katsuhiko Nakajima, Shuhei Taniguchi & Mohammed Yone
*HAYATA over Daisuke Harada to win the IPW junior heavyweight title
*Takashi Sugiura, Kazushi Sakuraba & Kendo Kashin over Masa Kitamiya, Manabu Soya & Yoshiki Inamura
*Keiji Muto over Kaito Miyomiya
*Go Shiozaki and Kenoh fought to a 60:00 time limit draw

**Pro Wrestling NOAH has released the participants for the forthcoming N-1 Victory tournament that begins September 18th and runs until October 11th:

BLOCK A: Go Shiozaki, Masa Kitamiya, Manabu Soya, Kaito Kiyomiya, and Kazushi Sakuraba

BLOCK B: Naomichi Marufuji, Shuhei Taniguchi, Takashi Sugiura, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kenoh, and Yoshiki Inamura

**Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix kicked off over the weekend with two shows at Korakuen Hall. After two days, the Red Block is led by Himeka with four points followed by Giulia, Konami, Starlight Kid, Tam Nakano, and Mayu Iwatani with two points each, while Saya Kamitani and DEATH Yama-san have zero points. In the Blue block, there is a first-place tie with Syuri, Maika, and Utami Hayashashita with four points, AZM and Momo Watanabe have two points each while Jungle Kyona, Natsuko Tora and Saya Iida have zero points.

**The 5 Star Grand Prix resumes Saturday with Syuri vs. Maika, Jungle Kyona vs. Natsuko Tora, Momo Watanabe vs. Utami Hayashashita, and DEATH Yama-san vs. Saya Kamitani.

**New Japan has announced that Togi Makabe is leaving for an indefinite period to shoot a movie.

**Dave Bautista speaks with SI.com about his role as Raw Dog Avalanche on the HBO series Room 104. On deciding on roles since leaving pro wrestling he stated:

This has not been the path of least resistance, it’s been a tough route. I’ve really pursued roles that are actor’s pieces, and I’ve turned down a lot of roles that would have made me a lot of money, action roles that would have been better suited for me as an ex-wrestler. Those are the roles most people expected me to take, but I’ve chosen to go the unexpected route to prove myself as an actor. I feel like people expect less from a wrestler-turned-actor, but I’ve always wanted to be a serious actor.

**The latest edition of Being the Elite includes The Young Bucks making fun of the Dexter Lumis flip to the floor from last week’s NXT and several other WWE/NXT tropes. They also covered the Sammy Guevara chair shot on Matt Hardy, which they said required nine stitches. All of Hardy’s characters reacted to being busted open. They continued to push the Kenny Omega storyline with The Young Bucks pointing out all the comedy he does and that they got the DDT version of Omega and not “The Cleaner”.

**Super LTD has released the trailer for “You Cannot Kill David Arquette”, which will be released at drive-in theatres on August 21st and digitally on August 28th:

ON THIS DATE

*****
THE LONG & WINDING ROYAL ROAD w/ guest Daniel Makabe
WH Park and independent wrestler Daniel Makabe discuss a hidden gem tag match as Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi take on Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue from AJPW’s January 26, 1992, Korakuen Hall show.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/09/lwrr-2-tsuruta-taue-vs-kobashi-kikuchi-1-26-92-w-daniel-makabe/
*****
POST PURORESU: G1 Climax, Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix, Mailbag Q&A
John Pollock & WH Park are joined by Dylan Fox to chat about the G1 Climax schedule, Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix, and a mailbag Q&A segment.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/08/post-puroresu-g1-climax-stardoms-5-star-gp-qa/
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 8/7/20: RETRIBUTION, Kevin Reilly-TNT, AEW Ratings
John Pollock and Wai Ting review this week’s WWE SmackDown featuring RETRIBUTION! Plus, Kevin Reilly is out at WarnerMedia and a big week for AEW Dynamite ratings.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/40227034
*****
POST PROFILE: Silva vs. Sonnen – Ten Years Later
John Pollock documents one of the biggest feuds in MMA history that led to Anderson Silva defending the UFC middleweight championship against Chael Sonnen in August 2010 at UFC 117.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/07/post-profile-silva-vs-sonnen-ten-years-later/
*****
BWE Retro Edition: WWF Rebellion 2001
Martin is joined by Cristen Brinkerhoff, Florence Bullock & Liv Heller (formerly of the “No Sell It” podcast) to take an irreverent look back at the UK-only PPV, WWF Rebellion 2001.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/06/bwe-retro-edition-wwf-rebellion-2001/
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 8/5/20: Jericho-Cassidy Debate, Nick Khan-WWE, Raw Ratings
John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss AEW Dynamite featuring the debate between Chris Jericho & Orange Cassidy with moderator Eric Bischoff, and tons of news including Raw ratings and WWE hiring Nick Khan.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/06/rewind-a-dynamite-8-5-20-jericho-cassidy-debate-nick-khan-wwe-raw-ratings/
*****
upNXT 8/5/20: “He’s An Angry Elf”
The BDE chat all about this week’s NXT featuring the main event of Undisputed Era vs Imperium for the NXT Tag Team Championship (and a huge Pat McAfee angle), plus Keith Lee vs Cameron Grimes, Rhea Ripley vs Dakota Kai and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/06/upnxt-8-5-20-hes-an-angry-elf/
*****
REWIND-A-WAI #67: WWF Capital Carnage 1998
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWF Capital Carnage 1998, a UK-only PPV from London, England headlined by a Fatal Four-Way match featuring Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker vs. Mankind vs. Kane.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/40104017
*****

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About John Pollock 2008 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling.He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.