"Joey Maggs" (Joseph
Magliano) born Wildwood, New Jersey 1969; died Baltimore,15 October 2006,
aged 37 (go here for
This interview was conducted in 2003 in tribute to Tom Zenk's ring career. Rest in peace Joey.
Joey Maggs, a young, tough, give-it-all-he’s-got wrestler battled with Tom Zenk in his first match for World Championship Wrestling. This confrontation was the start of a friendship that remains strong today.
But Joey Maggs career in wrestling had begun some four years before his debut at WCW. In 1987, Maggs began wrestling in Georgia, the state that would bring him his most fame, with Deep South Wrestling. Deep South soon changed to Southern Championship Wrestling under the leadership of Buck Robley.
Maggs left Robley to return north to Wildwood, NJ where he opened a wrestling school that remains open today.
The call of the ring
hit him again and he locked up with Robley in Vicksburg, Mississippi where
he had “the most fun of his career.” Later he traveled to Louisiana
before moving to 'Lawlerland', wrestling in Memphis, Tennessee with the
USWA federation. It was in January 1991 that Maggs made his way to
Atlanta to debut in Ted Turner’s WCW.
"doing jobs was my job and I did it well"
Enter 'Jumping' Joey Maggs. (“It was the booker’s idea because I tended to jump around in the ring a lot.” )
“My first match at WCW was against Tom Zenk in Dothan, Alabama. Tom had a lot on his mind with upcoming TV and local matches and asked me to help him look good that night, so that’s what I did. I called the match, which is normal for the heel to do, and Tom followed.”
Things began to happen after that match. Booker Dusty Rhodes told a surprised Maggs he wanted him at the Clash of the Champions TV special. It was a job to Sid Vicious in Gainesville, Georgia, but it brought Maggs a lot of subsequent work.
morning I’d get a phone call from Mike Graham, who was booking, giving
me work. It got to be a joke around the office about wearing black
or white boots in the match, you know that 'heel' or 'face' thing.
Doing jobs was my job and I did it. Sometimes I made more money jobbing
than getting a push. I could take guys and even though I was putting
them over I could have beat them and that pissed me off. A guy named
J.T. Southern was so bad that I pulled a good match out of him. But the
fact that nobody else could get a match out of him made me feel good.”
The bookers can make or break a career as Maggs soon learned. George Scott, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes and Mike Graham were booking and things got better all the way around for him. But Dusty wanted to push his son, Dustin. Of course other guys got the push too -- right into the background.
After Dusty was fired, WCW formed a committee of Bill Dundee, Greg Gagne and Mike Graham. Then Flair took over, then Kevin Sullivan and then Terry Taylor. “They (Sullivan and Taylor) were the best of them, and that booking committee worked hardest of all.”
Maggs' friendship with Zenk took a step closer as Maggs relates. “Tom was dating a girl and wasn't happy with the relationship. He wanted to stay at my place and that’s how we started rooming together. We’d get up in the morning, go eat, lie by the pool or something.”
"Tom didn’t teach me a thing about body building, sorry bum. Tom’s a freak of nature. He could not work out and still look great! We had more fun than you could ever imagine. There were a ton of girls, and a lot of swapping. We’d go out 4 or 5 nights a week.
Tom could walk into
a room and within 15 minutes or less, he’d have the best looking girl outta
there. Tom and I did very well with the girls and I have great memories
Part 2 - Maggs replies to Arn Anderson's biography; spills on the WCW booking committee; and speaks of 'doing things that other people dream of.'