Paul Jones: Secret Tale of Wrestling Territory Star ‘No. 1′

Paul Jones: From In-Ring Competitor to Managerial Role in NWA Mid-Atlantic

Photo Credit: WWE.

By the time the world got to see Paul Jones in the mid-1980s, he was a shell of his former self. Hobbled by back injuries, he couldn’t work in the ring anymore, but he was tight with NWA Mid-Atlantic promoter Jim Crockett, so Jones became a manager, leading his “Army” against “the Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant.

Paul Jones: A Standout Wrestler in His Prime

Photo Credit: WWE.

But it’s important to remember that Jones, whose real name was Paul Frederik, was also a standout wrestler in his day. First trained in his native Texas by Houston promoter Paul Boesch, Jones broke in with a stint underneath for Big Time Wrestling — the promotion that would eventually become World Class — and then in Nashville for notorious tightwad Nick Gulas.

But then Jones found his footing, working in Florida for Eddie Graham as a young babyface.

“Number 1, Paul Jones” From Babyface to Heel

Photo Credit: Pro Wrestling Illustrated, WWE.

In 1965, Paul Jones left for Australia, working as “Al Fredericks” for promoter Jim Barnett for nearly two years.

He came back to the U.S. in 1967, working first in Oregon and then for Mike LeBell in Los Angeles.

Paul Jones’ Early Success: Winning the Americas Tag Team Title

Photo Credit: WWE.

In 1969, he formed a partnership with Nelson Royal and won the Americas tag team title (the precursor to the WWA “world” tag team titles).

Paul Jones’ Nomadic Journey: From Japan to Mid-Atlantic

Photo Credit: WWE.

After that, Jones toured Japan and then went to the Mid-Atlantic territory. But he wasn’t ready to settle down. He worked again in Florida–this time as a top heel–and captured every singles title in the promotion, which led to his gimmick as “No. 1, Paul Jones.”

Paul Jones’ Profitable Transition: Jack Brisco’s Whiskey Bet

Photo Credit: Pro Wrestling Illustrated, WWE.

Jack Brisco had to talk Jones into working as a heel, betting him a case of Canadian Club whiskey that Jones would make more money in a year as a heel than he ever did as a babyface. A year later, Jones walked into the dressing room and gave Brisco the case of whiskey.

“… I should have asked for more,” Brisco said.

Paul Jones’ Triumphant Return: From Georgia to Jim Crockett Promotions

Photo Credit: WWE.

Jones also went to Georgia, again working as the territory’s top heel. And then finally, he returned to Jim Crockett Promotions, where he would hold championships 23 different times in the promotion, including a slew of tag titles with diverse partners like Royal, Wahoo McDaniel, Blackjack Mulligan, and even Ricky Steamboat.

Paul Jones: A Championship Legacy

Photo Credit: WWE.

He held the Mid-Atlantic championship, as well as the U.S. title. The only title that eluded him was the world championship.

A Versatile Performer : From Lovable Babyface to Cunning Heel

Photo Credit: WWE.

Jones was versatile. He could be a lovable babyface. But he could also be the evil heel who would do anything to get his way, as he portrayed when he paid Manny Fernandez $25,000 in cash to turn on Jimmy Valiant.

Starrcade 1986: The Epic Hair-vs-Hair Match Between Paul Jones and Jimmy Valiant

Photo Credit: WWE.

The Jones-Valiant angle finally culminated in a hair-vs.-hair match at Starrcade 1986, which Jones lost. He wore a cowboy hat on TV after that until his hair grew back in. Jones would go on to manage Fernandez and Rick Rude to the NWA world tag team titles.

Paul Jones: The Accomplished Manager of Hall-of-Fame Contenders

Photo Credit: WWE.

He also managed a slew of hall-of-fame contenders, including Abdullah the Butcher, the Powers of Pain (Warlord and the Barbarian), Murdoch, Jake Roberts, and others.

Paul Jones: Legendary Manager

Photo Credit: WWE.

Paul Jones managed legendary wrestlers such as Rick Rude and Raging Bull.

A Favorite Paul Jones Story

Photo Credit: Pro Wrestling Illustrated, WWE.

As the leader of “Paul Jones’ Army,” he began to dress in a khaki uniform and highly polished boots. He also wore a mustache. Before TV each week, Jones began to trim his mustache a little narrower.

And then a little narrower still.

When the booker realized that Jones was using his dark, side-parted hair and narrow mustache to affect a look similar to Adolf Hitler, he made Jones stop.

Remembering Paul Jones: A Tribute to the Wrestling Legend (1942-2018)

Photo Credit: WWE.

Jones sadly passed away on April 18, 2018, at the age of 75.

Shocking Times Andre the Giant Made Life Miserable For Wrestlers

Photo Credit: WWE.

TED DIBIASE: “If Andre the Giant didn’t like you, he would make your life freaking miserable.”

These stories illustrate a not-often-known side of the “gentle” giant!

Chief Jay Strongbow and His Notorious Backstage Reputation

Joe Scarpa, who gained wrestling fame as Chief Jay Strongbow.
‘MACHO MAN’ RANDY SAVAGE: “He killed more young wrestlers’ careers than [substance abuse]!”

THE HONKY TONK MAN: “If he were dying right now, I wouldn’t even [drop a dump] in his mouth."

Chief Jay Strongbow seemed a natural fit for a backstage role in WWE. However, it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing for the faux Native American!

Read: Chief Jay Strongbow and His Notorious Backstage Reputation

Dusty Rhodes A&E Biography: An Honest Review

An award-winning wrestling documentarian gives his take on the recent WWE Legends Dusty Rhodes A&E Biography.

“It’s a winner, but I do have a few qualms.”

Read more here: Dusty Rhodes A&E Biography: An Honest Review

The Andre the Giant Fight That Turned REAL in Japan!

When Andre the Giant and Akira Maeda met in the ring in May of '86, things did not go to plan!
When Andre the Giant and Akira Maeda met in the ring in May of ’86, things did not go to plan!

Andre the Giant showed up at the Japanese venue more inebriated than usual in May ’86. He was to face Akira Maeda, a wrestler building a reputation as someone hard to do business with. Together, there was a possibility for volatility, and much like a forest fire, it only took a spark!

Read: Andre the Giant and Akira Maeda Fight That Turned REAL in Japan

The Infamous Snake Bite Incident

Photo Credit: WWE.

On November 23rd, 1991, many fans collectively shrieked at their TV screens. You may have seen the footage, but what occurred before the cameras started rolling makes this incident between Randy Savage and Jake Roberts even more shocking!

Read: Randy Savage and Jake Roberts Infamous Snake Bite Incident

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Bobby Mathews is a contributor for Pro Wrestling Stories as well as a veteran journalist whose byline has appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Birmingham News, The Denver Post, as well as other newspapers around the country. He's won multiple awards for reporting and opinion writing, and his sports journalism has garnered several Associated Press Managing Editors Awards. He has covered Division I college athletics and professional sports including MLB and NFL games. He has won awards from press associations in several states, including a General Excellence award from the Georgia Press Association while sports editor at The Statesboro Herald. He currently lives in suburban Birmingham, Alabama and can be reached on Twitter @bamawriter.