BILL APTER GUEST ON DAVID PENZER’S “SITTING RINGSIDE”

Posted September 27th, 2017 by Bill Apter

“Sitting Ringside” with David Penzer

Guest: Bill Apter & Ring Announcer/Promoter Dino Puglia

Bill Apter is one of the most famous and knowledgeable pro wrestling journalists and historian in the world. Getting his start back in 1969 on his radio show in New York City, he quickly became the go to journalists for several pro wrestlers and became a fixture at Pro Wrestling Illustrated. He was so closely associated with these publications, they quickly became known as the “Apter Mags” even though he wasn’t the owner nor the editor of these publications.

Bill Apter“When I was a kid; I would go to Sunnyside Garden in New York City to see the wrestling shows underage. At that time, you had to be 13 years old or older; It didn’t matter if you were accompanied by a parent or not to get into the show”. “My dad knew a state athletic commissioner who let us sneak in”.


Bill Apter: “I remember one time going into the front entrance; and there was a guy in the lobby selling programs; I remember this like it was yesterday; and he had this box of new wrestling magazines called “Wrestling Revue”; and it was fifty cents!  “I begged my father “Oh Please! “My father thought it was a little weird that when I got home I was tearing out the pages and putting pictures of half-naked men on my bedroom walls”. That’s what eventually wet my appetite for magazines! “I also put out my own fan magazine when I was in high school; I put out about 10 copies.” I would type out each issue on carbon paper!”


Bill Apter: “I remember telling my parents that I wanted to be a professional wrestler; and them telling me that it wasn’t a good job; and you could get hurt”.

Bill Apter: “Years later; I kept watch wrestling; and was still collecting wrestling magazines; and as my passion went on I also wanted to be a broadcaster; so, I went to broadcasting school”. “I actually started out doing a wrestling radio show in New York; which then lead me to getting some press tickets to Sunnyside Garden in 1963. I interviewed Bruno Sammartino, Dominic DeNucci ; and a bunch of other guy; and I knew right away this was something I might want to do.

Bill Apter: “Back in late 69’ early 1970” I bought some air time WHBI FM in New York; I called Sunnyside Garden and asked if I could cover the matches.” “The promoter would let me take pictures with a little Instamatic camera.” I did some interviews with the “Mongols” “Manuel Soto”, and a bunch of other guys. I typed the interview up, and sent him the photos I’d taken.”

Bill Apter “I then would send them to a man by the name of Stanley Weston; who was at the time putting out “tabloid” style wrestling magazines”. “Weston calls me one day; and we met in New York city; and he said; I can bring you on for three days a week; for twenty-five dollars, a day to file pictures; develop pictures; work with the art department; and write a column called “Here’s What’s Happening Baby”!

Want to hear MORE about the amazing career of Bill Apter? Hear the interview in its entirety by downloading and listening to this week’s episode of “Sitting Ringside” with David Penzer!


David is also joined this week by longtime ring announcer and promoter Dino Puglia. Penzer and Puglia were actually up for the WCW ring announcer position, with Penzer ultimately getting the job, but the two share some incredible stories about how all of it played out, Puglia’s WWF career, and more.

Dino Puglia “I grew up watching Florida Championship Wrestling; and my favorite wrestler was the “American Dream Dusty Rhodes.” “I remember asking my parents; “why are we even going if Dusty isn’t going to be on the card tonight”?

Dino Puglia “Throughout the years I was a big fan of FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) and just loved it; was die-hard fan; and I loved the gimmick matches! “One night back in 1985 when I was in high school; we were at the Spartan Sports Center in Tampa FL. “I said to a buddy of mine “wouldn’t it be great if we could get FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) to come to our hometown of Port Richey? I’m going to look into it I told him! “I don’t know If I skipped a class or not; but I went out to the pay phone one day and I called the Florida office. “I told him why I was calling; well, this is what got me to talking to Danny Miller. “Danny and I talked; and he came to my high school, and we spoke to my principal about having a wrestling even there; and my principal swiftly said no! I told Danny; I’m going to get us a facility.”

(Post High School Dino discusses how he got his first big break ring announcing in Port Richey Florida)


Dino Puglia “I get a call one day a friend of mine from the In-Sport Arena in Port Richey FL”. And “All-Star Professional Wrestling” was coming to town and they wanted to do a show there. They said come work with us; we’ll make you the ring announcer! At that time, I left working with Danny Miller; and it was time to seize a new opportunity elsewhere.”

(Dino goes on to discuss his time in the WWF, and what it was like working for Vince McMahon; but he shares one of his most memorable moments in the business with legendary manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.)


Dino Puglia ‘One of the most memorable experience was when we were in Charlotte North Carolina. Bobby Heenan and Andre was doing the angle with Jack the Snake Roberts. Bobby comes up to me and says, “You’re going to have heat with “boss” (Andre) So the match starts; Andre is scare of the snake; he gets out of the ring; Bobby says, “get ready; Andre is going to push you”! The Referee tells me if Andre doesn’t get back into the ring by the count of 10 Andre will be counted out and fined fifty thousand dollars! “So, Andre comes up to me; he puts his hand right into my face; I take a flip/bump right over the guardrail; sold it incredibly”! “Afterwards after it was done; Heenan comes over to me and gives me three hundred bucks and says, “that was one hell of a bump”!

New episodes are released each Monday on:

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Radio Influence.com: http://radioinfluence.com/sitting-ringside-with-david-penzer/

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