Texas Chain Gang

Jim Lancaster from WWE Video"Before they were Superstars part Two

Jim talks about Al.....

Jim:We meet at a McDonalds of all places and sat and talked and he said he had prepared to go down to the Anderson Brothers training school which is kind of interesting because it was kind of his oven little Tough Enough,he let me know that he had been to North Carolina and it hadn't worked out for him.

Jim it was Al's persistence that really drove this whole thing,I charged these guys $10.00 each for each work out,it wasn't for the money it was just because I wanted to see if they were really serious

Jim:I remember one night he didn't have his ten dollars,and I took him to his house and I remember the moment when he was convincing his dad to write a ten dollar check,and it was at that moment that I know this kid was going to make it.

Jim:One thing I taught him is that you are going to walk into these tv shows and being the new comer and being the new kid on the block 18 years old you are going to get your head handed to yea

Jim:What you need to always be ready for is to fight back be aggressive and always be moving,this is what the promoters are going to be looking for,and that is something he did from day one

Jim:He made it easy on me as a promoter,I know that I could but that tag match together that could be my main event on the show and I could give him the finish and walk away and I know that they were going to be tearing the house down I didn't have to go back,I didn't have to babysit them I didn't have to walk them thru it,and those are the wrestlers you appreciate

Jim:In Tough Enough he is always talking about dedication and gutting it out and that was him,that was truly him when I was working with him and when he was running shows and when he was in the ring,when he went out you didn't have to go watch you know things were going to be good

Excerpt from"Whatever Happened To"

Jim Lancaster:I decided to promote my own shows, so I was running shows around Lima (Ohio), where Al lived.

My view was, if I could train four of my own guys, and put my brother and I on the card, I have half the card right there.I started booking shows with non-profit groups,like athletic booster clubs and high schools.I sold it as a fund-raiser type of thing and did fairly well.   I was able to quit my job and promote out of my house for a couple of years.It was enough to sustain a living.Jennifer, my oldest daughter, was quite young at the time.

We were running shows at the Bradfield Community Center up in Lima, Ohio.One night, Al and a couple of other guys came up and talked to me about working.Victor Lewis, who worked as Koko Lewis around here, was another one.

I thought back to how Klein never trained me or showed me anything.Guys always claimed Klein took their money and never showed them anything.

I called my promotion Midwest Championship Wrestling.We did mailouts and knocked on doors........

Texas Chain Gang

This is pretty much where it all started for Al,after visiting the Andersons training camp,where he got used and abused,Al went back to Lima and set it up with Jim Lancaster to start training at the Lima Senior High school,along with Al was Al's best friend Victor,Ben Patrick,and Herschel Smith who was to help Jim Lancaster with the training,as the story goes it had snowed and once they got to the school nobody was there to open the doors thus no training their first day out.

As Al tells it he found them all a small corner in the Bradfield center in Lima,which Ben says was a Black YMCA

Al and Victor had a dream of becoming a tag team known as the "Soul Patrol",thinking this would work as Victor is Black,which may or may not be where Al came up with the name "Snow",Victor was to be called Koko Lewis

Jim Lancaster booked them on their first show ever in Springfield Ohio,but the booker of that show only picked Al to wrestle,Ben seems to remember that Al was the first man tossed out of a battle Royal.

Even tho Al and Victor wanted to work as the "Soul Patrol" Jim would book Al and Ben together and the "Texas Chain Gang" was formed,thier first tag match was a 6 man tag match,Jim Lancaster,his brother(*work)Rick Lancaster,and the Patriot(not Del Wilkes),against Dr,Jerry Grahm,Al,and Ben,Ben seems to remember that they lost

Jim Lancaster booked shows in and around Ohio and Indiana,where at times they Wrestled as the "Texas Chain Gang",they were also booked in St.Louis and worked some t.v. shows for "Wrestling at the Chase"for Pat O'conner,they also worked Windsor for George Cannon,Minneapolis for Verne Gagne,and for Bobby Golden in and around Plymouth Indiana