In the world of professional wrestling, the line between "shoot" (real) and "work" (scripted but meant to look real) can sometimes become a bit blurred. Such was the case in November 2002, when former wrestling valet and announcer Missy Hyatt and former referee and manager Bill Alfonso did battle, not in the ring, but the televised courtroom of Judge Mathis. With talking being as natural as breathing for both of these individuals, this made for one very entertaining case!
The Story of Missy Hyatt vs. Bill Alfonso on Judge Mathis
As a wrestling fan, we normally expect the outcome of our feuds to happen in the ring. However, experience has taught us that battles can be settled in the crowd, the parking lot, the concession stand, and sometimes even a gas station (i.e., Arn Anderson and Erik Watts in 1993)!
Occasionally, the jousts are verbal instead of physical, and the brouhaha is contested behind a microphone. In this case, none of the above is true.
In 2002, we found two bombastic banterers named Missy Hyatt and Bill Alfonso in a courtroom in Chicago, Illinois, with the honorable Judge Greg Mathis presiding.
Before we get into the meat of this case, here is a brief bio of each of the contestants involved.
About Missy Hyatt
Melissa (Missy) Hiatt (Hyatt) was born in Tallahassee, Florida, on October 16, 1963. Her introduction into the world of professional wrestling came in 1985, when she first appeared as the valet of her then-boyfriend John Tatum in the Dallas-based World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) territory.
From there, she moved to the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF), where she joined forces with Eddie Gilbert (to who she was briefly married) to form "Hot Stuff and Hyatt International."
Soon later, she was on to Tennessee, where Hyatt worked briefly, before moving on to World Championship Wrestling. It was here where she arguably achieved her greatest notoriety.
During her 6 years with WCW, Missy Hyatt alternated between commentating and managing, aligning herself with the Steiner Brothers, the Barbarian, and the Nasty Boys. Perhaps her greatest feud during this period was with fellow commentator/manager Paul E. Dangerously (Heyman).
At the Clash of the Champions XIV: Dixie Dynamite pay-per-view in 1991, Hyatt defeated Dangerously in an arm-wrestling match. Her victory was perhaps aided by the fact that she removed her jacket shortly before the match commenced, revealing her "assets" and achieving a tainted victory by nefarious means. You can watch this below:
In early 1994, Missy became a charter member of the "Eric Bischoff fired me" club.
During this time, she temporarily changed her first name to Sue while pursuing litigation against WCW for sexual harassment (a story unto itself) as well as for overdue royalty payments for her 1-900 hotline.
After a brief hiatus, Missy debuted in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), wrestling on December 29, 1995, at their Holiday Hell pay-per-view event.
Her stint with ECW was fairly brief, as she left in the latter part of 1996. Somewhere along her journey in professional wrestling, she made the acquaintance of one Bill Alfonso.
About Bill Alfonso
Bill Alfonso had his introduction to professional wrestling at 21 years old, where he refereed a chain match between Terry Funk and the (original) Sheik. Talk about a baptism of fire!
Alfonso’s early career saw him work with many wrestling promotions, and he was the third man in the ring during the infamous Bruiser Brody- Lex Luger cage match debacle.
A high point in his career was refereeing the Undertaker-Giant Gonzalez match at WrestleMania 9. Although gainfully employed, Alfonso toiled in relative anonymity until he joined ECW in early 1995.
The ECW debut of Bill Alfonso came at May 1995’s Enter The Sandman pay-per-view, where Shane Douglas introduced him as the "troubleshooting referee." A more apt description would have been "trouble-making referee," as he angered both fans and most of the ECW roster with his strict interpretation of the rules.
One of the rules of science that we all learned in elementary school is that heat rises. This was proven once again as Alfonso incurred ECW founder Tod Gordon’s wrath, resulting in several matches between the two.
After this, Fonzie was stripped of his stripes and became the manager of Peter Senerchia, who we all know and love as Tazz.
Fonzie led Tazz to a lengthy winning streak and managed Rob Van Dam through the longest ECW Television Championship title reign in the promotion’s history.
Alfonso remained with the promotion through its closure in 2001. In the ensuing years, he has worked for various independent promotions.
What Led to Missy Hyatt Taking Bill Alfonso to Court?
Sometime in early 2002, Bill Alfonso received a call from a distraught Missy Hyatt, who was heartbroken after a breakup with her latest beau, a strip club owner.
Hyatt drove her beautiful new Porsche to Alfonso’s Tampa residence, where she parked her new Porsche next to his beautiful Porsche. [author’s note: wrestling’s been very good to Mr. Alfonso and Miss Hyatt]
Hyatt needed a friend and a good meal, so Alfonso agreed to chauffeur her to a food and beverage destination in her flashy new ride.
Convertible top down, Fonzie navigated the treacherous I-275 rush hour traffic in Missy’s car, balancing listening to Missy unload about her problems along with a cell phone call that just came in from a stripper friend of his when, all of a sudden, the car in front of them slammed on their breaks causing him to wreck her car.
Missy went from crying over her boyfriend to yelling at Alfonso about having to pay for the damages. "What happened to the crying over your boyfriend?" Fonzi asked.
Unfortunately, she was not in a working mood that day.
A few days later, he received a call from Missy’s representative saying all charges would be dropped and taken care of if he agreed to go on the Judge Mathis TV show.
He agreed, so off to court they went!
Below are some of the entertaining excerpts from the "trial," which aired on the syndicated "Judge Mathis" television program on November 8th, 2002.
"My friend Fonzie, as we like to call him, turned a bad day into the worst day of my life.
I’ve known him for about 12 years. We worked together in professional wrestling. I was a manager and a valet. As a matter of fact, I know that you wrote a book (speaking to Judge Mathis) and I have my book that I’d like to give to you. I signed it for you, so maybe you can autograph me a book?
What happened [with the accident] was I broke up with my boyfriend that day, and I called Fonzie up. I was really upset. I was crying. I was like, ‘Can we get something to eat, something to drink? He was like, ‘Sure.’
I went by his house, he came out, and I’m like, ‘Fonzie, I want you to drive ’cause I’m really, really upset.’
We were heading down the street when, all of a sudden, his cell phone rang, so he picked up the phone. I think it was probably some bimbo stripper; I don’t know. All of a sudden, crash!
He slammed my brand-new Porsche, a 2002, one-month-old, less than 2,000 miles on it, my baby, and rams it into the back of another car. If I wasn’t upset now, I was really upset. I got out- [Alfonso interrupts]
[Missy resumes] So, the police showed up, and the police said they saw the damage. They saw what happened. They even told me, ‘If you want to beat him up right here, you can!"
Judge Mathis scoffed at this comment.
"The police recognized both of us from our profession. So, they made it out like a joke. It was pretty serious; the damage was pretty strong, and I was concerned about anyone getting hurt. It occurred on I-275 headed North on the interstate. [The traffic] was kind of crawling."
At this point, some back and forth bantering took place between Judge Mathis and Hyatt, with Mathis clearly showing favoritism towards Hyatt and disdain towards Alfonso.
Soon later, Alfonso mentioned he also had a new Porsche, which invoked a response from Judge Mathis to Hyatt, informing her that he can order Alfonso to sign over his Porsche to her if he wanted.
Judge Mathis then asked Alfonso for his legal defense, all the while admonishing him.
It was over.
For the sake of poor Mr. Alfonso, we will present the rest of his testimony.
"Judge, she called me. I’m not a counselor, but she calls me all the time. She breaks up with her boyfriend, and then the next day, she’s back together having lunch with him. She likes drama. It’s sports entertainment.
I was trying to console her. She looked like a good-looking raccoon; it was makeup, mascara everywhere, she was crying, she was yanking my arm. The phone did ring. I have a speakerphone. I put it on the speaker. I said, ‘I can’t take your call right now.’ [Missy’s] hysterical, talkin’ so, you know, I hung up.
[Missy was] grabbing me, and I was trying to console her. It’s like Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde. Once we had the accident, BAM! She completely forgot about her problems with her boyfriend and was really upset with me about wrecking the car."
After some additional banter, Judge Mathis left the bench to "deliberate." The only deliberation involved at this point was whether to grab a Twix or a Kit Kat from the court vending machine.
When Mathis returned, he held his book in one hand and Missy’s in the other. Bill Alfonso was, and to borrow the words of the late Davey Boy Smith, "Fooked!"
Judgment went to Missy Hyatt in the amount of $500 due to negligence on the part of Bill Alfonso.
How many matches have any of you seen where the heel gets the victory, but the babyface gets the last laugh? This most definitely occurred in the post-trial interviews, where The Fonz got the last word.
"Today’s verdict was more focused on her," Alfonso said in the post-trial interview on the Judge Mathis show. "I mean, the bailiff helped! The judge and everyone were focused on her. I didn’t get a chance to defend myself. I can live with it, but I think it was a little one-sided on her side. She has two big assets that I don’t have!"
If Ned Ryerson were in the courtroom, he would have afforded Alfonso a huge "bing!"
Alfonso has since joked that the Judge Mathis show was more scripted than any wrestling show he had ever been a part of, and according to Hyatt, it was "a work" to pay for the repairs on her Porsche.
Despite the "controversy," Bill Alfonso and Missy Hyatt are still friends.
Watch Missy Hyatt vs. Bill Alfonso on Judge Mathis:
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