When Cole was 15 or 16, he recalls, “Patterson would look at you when he was talking to you. He’d look right at your crotch and he’d lick his lips. He’d put his hand on your ass and squeeze your ass and stuff like that.” Cole, now 28 and a married small business owner, was speaking on the record and last year also gave a detailed interview to the newsletter Wrestling Perspective, which can be accessed online at www.wrestlingperspective.com.
Cole got started with the WWF around 1984 at the age of 12, in Yonkers, New York, through Mel Phillips, then a ring announcer and head of the ring crew. Cole says Phillips had a black book with names of kids – mostly from broken homes – from all over the country.
“He used to have a thing where he played with your feet,” Cole says. “He would wrestle you for five seconds, then he’d pull your shoes off and start playing with your toes. When I was a young kid, I wasn’t thinking too much about it. Now I look at it like, ‘Wow, that was a foot fetish. There’s something wrong here.’”
In 1990, Cole says, Patterson’s assistant Terry Garvin secured him a steady job at the WWF parts warehouse and promised him a tryout as a ring announcer. Garvin subsequently maneuvered Cole to his house, Garvin popped a porn tape into the VCR and offered to fellate Cole, who declined and shortly thereafter, Cole was fired.
Cole first told his story to Phil Mushnick of the New York Post (and now TV Guide), the only mainstream journalist who has given the industry any kind of sustained scrutiny. In 1992, evidence of harassment and abuse of underage ring boys synergized with a federal grand jury investigation of McMahon’s role in steroid trafficking among WWF talent. Hopelessly in over his head, Cole settled, on the eve of Phil Donahue and Geraldo Rivera shows devoted to the scandals, for $150,000, back pay, and the return of his old job. (Cole says his lawyer, Alan Fuchsberg, pocketed $100,000 of the settlement sum for “about four hours’ work.”)
At the height of the tabloid blitz, Patterson, Phillips and Garvin (who died) all left the company. But within a few weeks, Patterson had quietly returned. Barely more than a year later the WWF fired Cole again because, he contends, he stopped sharing information from his grand jury testimony and refused to cooperate in McMahon’s ultimately unsuccessful libel suit against Mushnick and the Post.
Cole addressed his past as recently as 2011 in an interview with Mike Mooneyham of The Post and Courier, where he recalled Phillips having an unhealthy fascination with his feet.
"When you’re twelve or thirteen-years-old and you think this guy is wrestling with you, and then he grabs your foot, maybe part of you doesn’t want to believe it or part of you wants to block it out," Cole said. "I just didn’t have an answer for it. Who would have told you at that age that some guy wants to play with your feet?"
Cole also noted of Phillips in this interview with Wrestling Perspective, "When you started getting older, he started calling less. But I still went to the shows at [Madison Square Garden]. I'd just show up. But he was like trying to get rid of you. He liked the younger kids who couldn't give him a problem about it or didn't realize that there was something wrong with it."
In the interview with Mooneyham, Cole also discussed declining Garvin's sexual advances, as he recalled spending a night freezing in a van after doing so. "Listen Terry, I came from nothing and I can go back to having nothing,” Cole recalled telling Garvin. “If this is what this job entails, then I don’t necessarily need the job. And I didn't have the job after that."
Garvin died in 1998, while the whereabouts of Phillips are currently publicly unknown. Phillips was in the news as recently as 2008 as it was reported on some websites that Hulk Hogan's former WWF Championship belt, which Mr. Perfect destroyed on a 1989 episode of Saturday's Night Main Event, was being auctioned off on eBay due to a Phillips estate sale.
This sport and its popularity never made much sense until you realize it's a sport for homosexuals and pedophiles and the fans who pay to watch homo male erotica.
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WWF: Sex Scandal in Pro Wrestling: Pedophiles and Homosexuals
WWE's History of WWE DVD and Blu-ray features a peculiar edit as the historic WrestleMania III match pitting Hulk Hogan against Andre the Giant is strictly shown from a singular camera angle (there is also no commentary present in the match). According to WrestlingDVDNews.com, there is a "major reason" for this oddity.
The website, which receives firsthand and leaked news from sources within WWE concerning video releases, is claiming that according to a "reliable source," the bout is being shown from the "hard cam" point of view due to the presence of former ring announcer and behind-the-scenes worker Mel Phillips in the background.
For those unaware, Phillips was exposed as a pedophile who frequently took advantage of underage males he supervised setting up rings at live events, who came from broken homes and troubled backgrounds. Tom Cole, who worked for WWE as a ring attendant in the 1980s and 1990s when he was underage through young adulthood, hurled charges against his former employer that resulted in the resignation of three longtime employees and helped fuel a sex scandal that plagued the company for years. He went public in 1992 with claims that wrestler-turned-front-office employee Terry Garvin attempted to seduce him two years earlier when he was nineteen and that he had been sexually harassed at the age of thirteen by Phillips. WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart claimed in his 2007 autobiography, Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling, that both Garvin and Phillips, as well as Pat Patterson, resigned in March of that year, "as a result of the allegations of sexual conduct." Only Patterson was ever re-hired.
Pat Patterson was a central figure in a pedophilia scandal that came within a federal grand jury of sinking the WWF, and Tom Cole was the chief whistleblower. In the institutional memory of the pro wrestling public, where the results of last month’s pay-per-view event have already vaporized, the events of the early 90s may as well have taken place in Greco-Roman antiquity.
The wrestler standing next to Cole nudged him and said, ”Watch yourself around Patterson. He’s bad news.”
Barry Orton, a second-generation wrestler who is now out of the business, claimed that his resistance to sexual harassment was the reason he never rose above prelim status. Another disillusioned ex-WWFer, Billy Jack Haynes, claimed that he had to be careful about bending down for a bar of soap on the shower floor.