Posted September 6th, 2017 by 1Wrestling News Team

The name Gary Juster may not ring a bell with the casual wrestling fan but he is a guy that has had a hand in or been responsible for some of wrestling’s biggest angles and broadcasts. Whether it was coming up in the business under Verne Gagne and Nick Bockwinkel in the AWA, his days in the Crockett territory, working for WCW under Ted Turner and Eric Bischoff, or currently as the Vice President of Operations for Ring of Honor, Juster has seen just about everything there is to see and yet he isn’t a household name.

[Gary Juster shares his memories of Ric Flair’s father]

“Ric’s father; Dr. Richard Fliehr; actually, delivered me (Gary Juster) when I was born. I had known of Dr. Fliehr from the time I was a kid; he was my mother’s doctor.” “Ric was an adopted son, but that was his dad”. “So, I got to know Ric; and I use to go out with him”.

[Gary Juster talks about the legendary story of Ric Flair’s 40th Birthday]

“There’s that infamous story when we were at Ric’s 40th Birthday at Sabatino’s Restaurant. It was late at night; and I was with my then wife when Kevin Sullivan went into the bathroom and came out with a lit candle in his foreskin. “Sullivan then asked my wife to blow out the candles! “She’d been around them, and liked Ric and Kevin”.

[Penzer mentions names of those who spent time in the Crockett / WCW promotion, and asked Gary for his thoughts]

“Jim Herd “Was the wrong person, at the wrong time, at the wrong place. “Jim knew nothing about wrestling”. He just never really got it.” Parts of it were comical, but if wasn’t so sad it would have been funny.”  “He just wasn’t a guy to run a wrestling company.”

“Jim Barnett” was just a legendary guy”.” Jim had a storied career in the early days of television.”  “He was a real-life character. Jim wore those coke bottle glasses because he couldn’t see; he didn’t drive, but he always acted like he had money. He (Jim Barnett) and Ric Flair just loved to spend, he (Jim Barnett) lived the gimmick.” “Jim had very good Instincts” “My then ex-wife would always tell me, when you don’t listen to Jim Barnett; you always regret it!”

[Gary Juster discusses characters in WCW vs. WWF]

“To their credit, WWF was very good at creating characters.” WCW tried to emulate Vince because that’s what Turner wanted to do.”  The powers “that be” wanted us to do what the WWF was doing to be able to compete with them”. However; our (WCW) audience was more of a pickup truck audience”. We always called it a Pick-up truck vs a Cadillac. (Comparing WCW vs WWF/WWE) “We could provide a product without all the soap opera, where they were all about the soap operas”. “We never really created the characters. We had some great years with Nitro, but then again, we had some rough years too.”

[Gary Juster shared his thoughts on Eric Bischoff]

“Eric was a great salesman; that was his greatest strength. He was not a leader in a traditional sense. He did a great job “selling” when he was the announcer on Nitro” “Eric really prided himself on the television side; that was his thing. ”

[Penzer asks Gary about his thoughts on when WCW decided to go head to head with WWF on Monday nights]

“I thought it was pretty exciting; you remember the first one (Monday Nitro) was at the mall of America.”

“I was booking the buildings, and that became one of my main responsibilities”. “Once we started to do well, it wasn’t me calling the buildings, it was them calling me”!

[Gary Juster shares his feelings about Vince McMahon]

“Vince revolutionized the wrestling business, he took it to heights no one ever had”. “Vince took a wrestling company public; and became a publicly traded company” He is a modern-day P.T. Barnum!”

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For more information, contact Jerry Petuck at Petuck@radioinfluence.com

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