Kenny Cassanova has managed the likes of Kamala, King Kong Bundy, Brodie Lee, and Nikolai Volkoff.
He’s also a prolific writer and co-writer of wrestling biographies through his publishing company Walking on Hot Waffles Publishing (more on the name in the podcast), he wrote biographies for Big Van Vader, Tito Santana, Brutus Beefcake, Kamala, and Sabu.
Currently, he is working on books with Justin Credible, ODB, and Steph’s favorite, The Good Brothers.
In his conversation with Not About Wrestling, Kenny Discussed how he broke an insane Justin Incredible story involving an inter-roster sega genesis drug smuggling scheme, playing a part in getting Brutus Beefcake into the WWE Hall of Fame, and having to apologize to Jim Ross.
On Justin Credible’s being a supplier for a WWF star:
In what is likely a top 5 crazy story told on the podcast, Kenny discussed how Justin Credible would smuggle drugs in a Sega Genesis Cartridge to give to a certain former Heavyweight Champ on the WWE roster at the time:
“In Justin Credible’s book, he had some demons, I mean this guy was known for some drug issues and he’ll tell you that he went through a detox program with WWE wellness and the whole deal.
He told a story where one of the big names on the WWE roster so, a former heavyweight champion, so a big name would ask him for drugs.
And what they did was they took a Sega Genesis game and they opened it up [at] the screws and they took the card out–the microchip–and they would put 8 balls of coke and they would mail it back and forth to each other because they were on different rosters and wouldn’t see each other.
And that’s how they would send illegal substances through the mail because it would compress the cartridge down airtight so that drug-sniffing dog and no red flags or anything would go off and they could just put that in bubble wrap, wrap it up and mail it out and it would just look like a Sega Genesis game if anyone were to x-ray or look at that.
So he told me the name, but I’m going to tell you […] The idea was some of these guys that have big names now today and they are well off, those are the ones that tend to actually have lawyers and could sue you for defamation and really come after you because you really couldn’t prove that it happened.”
On getting Brutus Beefcake into the Hall of Fame and keeping him out of court:
It might seem like a recurring theme, but part of Kenny’s job as a writer is to keep the wrestlers and himself from being sued.
The wrestling world is filled with crazy stories, most of which can’t really be confirmed. So when working with Brutus Beefcake who, at the time was in a real-life feud with Hulk Hogan, and was ready to shoot on Hogan Casanova had to make both of them didn’t end up in court:
“I was writing Brutus Beefcake’s book. Him and Hogan were kinda on the outs. So, there was a Twitter war for a time where Beefcake was sending Hogan tweets tagging him to it saying like, ‘Hold to your bandana brother I’m telling the tell-all book and I’m gonna roast you’ and Hogan’s like ‘well you better hold on to your bandana because I’m gonna lawyer up’ so then I was like ‘Oh geez.’
And believe it or not just before that book came out I got a call from a guy named David Hughes and it was Hulk Hogan’s lawyer and I had to actually read some passages to him […] it just actually went to the printers it was all ready to go and print, fortunately, I had taken the high road if I had listened to a couple of the ways that they were joking ‘him and his wife used these words…’ or whatever we probably would have got sued because I protected him we didn’t get sued.
In fact, soon after that, Hogan’s lawyer must have put me over for the way we handled it, and then Hogan made good with Vince and then told Vince, ‘Brother, Beefcake’s being cool again. You should give him the Hall of Fame [induction]’ So because we took the good route in the book, and took the high road, they brought him back in, gave him the merchandise deal, the action figures came out, and they inducted him into the hall of fame.
If you go to YouTube, you can see the little rib [Cassonova played on Beefcake], I took that Hall of Fame speech and isolated him saying ‘And I wanna thank Kenny Cassanova for helping me get my book out there. I isolated it ad looped it for 10 hours.'”
On calling Jim Ross and apologizing for Sabu:
As Cassanova, brought up in the interview, one of the challenges of writing memoirs is that people’s opinions change.
In numerous cases, Casanova had to go back and change what a wrestler had said about other wrestlers.
In the case of Vader, a huge part of the book had to be rewritten when Vader was given only a few years to live, as he didn’t want his legacy to be how much he hated other wrestlers.
When Cassanova was writing Sabu’s book, at the time Sabu was bitter that Jim Ross was allegedly cheap and treated his uncle The Sheik poorly.
However, after publication Sabu changed his mind leading to a Cassanova calling JR:
“We had a funny idea for the end of the book where he went out and did a series of ‘F You’ tweets. So, he just went through and dissed like five or 10 guys and would tell why he didn’t like them.
This is a goofy ending, Jim Cornette kinda made fun of it on his podcast and that went a little viral, that review. He slammed Jim Ross in there and when he did it I said, ‘Is this cool’ and [Sabu] was like ‘Yeah, yeah’ and I’m like ‘Alright.’
So, we put it in, but now he [regrets it] after we printed it […] so much so that he wants to rip the page out when he mails it. I’m like “I don’t think we can do that, we just won’t print it in the second printing” He did make me call up Jim Ross and tell him, ‘listen that was kinda a rib’ and he apologized…”
For more stories like this, check out Not about Wrestling’s full interview with Kenny Cassanova.