This is the way JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling fans saw RIP 'The Profile' HAWK...entering the ring to do battle and to win any way he could. Hair pulling, trunk pulling, piledriving...any way.
RIP was a 'heel' mainstay for JCP for nearly fifteen years and was at the top of many fans' "Most Hated" list.
But there was a wrestling side of 'The Profile' the general public never saw, and with the aid of this article which originally appeared in the September, 1975 issue of Sports Review WRESTLER, I'd like to share it with you...
RIP HAWK oversees a group of high school wrestlers. RIP generously gives his time to these youngsters.
Every man is a combination of things. When you think you know someone, he or she will very often do something that is as uncharacteristic as it is unexpected. Rip Hawk was no exception to that rule.
Most of the world knew HAWK as one of the most ruthless rulebreakers in wrestling, a man incapable of mercy or honor. Instead of denying these charges, HAWK would boast of his cruelty with glee.
Yet, when the spotlights were turned away from him, RIP could be found in a local high school gym teaching members of the school's wrestling team. RIP would go over the fundamentals of the sport and correct the youngsters when necessary. And one thing that RIP stressed above all else is that the grapplers must be scrupulously clean !
"Before you break the rules," HAWK said when no students were present, "you've got to master the rules. What I hope to do is give these kids a sound base from which they can grow. And who the hell wants kids bleeding and crippled anyway? For professionals, it's different. We earn a living by winning - - at all costs. Kids wrestle to develop a team spirit, a physical discipline and a sense of fairness. Though the basics may be the same, the goals are completely different."
Yet, why did a man who tortured his opponents with animal abandon want to help youngsters at all? RIP hesitated before he answered the question, and one got the feeling he wasn't quite sure himself.
"Someone was needed," RIP said, "and I was available. Anyway, if a sport gives you a lot, you owe it something in return. This is my way of paying some long outstanding dues.
If one wasn't familiar with RIP HAWK, it would be easy to swear that the wrestling instructor and the wrestler were two different people. HAWK the wrestler strutted arrogantly, whereas HAWK the instructor moved with unassuming grace.
When grappling for money, RIP would explode at any slight provocation. When teaching the kids a complicated hold, he would become the most patient of men, calmly going over and over the maneuver until the youth felt comfortable executing it.
After devoting time at the high school, RIP went straight to the arena to wrestle. He was his vicious self, making his opponent a bloody mess. If you had told the victim about what HAWK had done hours earlier, he'd have called you crazy. And as the doctor stitched up his wounds, who could blame him?
Amazingly, thirty-five years after this article was originally published, RIP HAWK, at the local YMCA in the Texas town in which he resided, was still instructing kids the art of wrestling.