Wrestling icon’s secret history as male stripper and prostitute before police warning

Wrestling icon’s secret history as male stripper and prostitute before police warning

Beer-swilling wrestling icon The Sandman has opened up about his past (Picture: WWE)

Even the biggest names in wrestling have to start somewhere, but it’s safe to say not many would have predicted this early career path for The Sandman.

The beer swilling, kendo stick waving, cigarette smoking figurehead of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) is a legend of the game thanks to his connection to the fans, and a fascinating character.

The former world champion, who appeared for WWE between 2005 and 2007, and will be a DLC character in WWE 2K24, has opened up on his early life before wrestling, which saw him spend time as a Chippendale dancer before getting sacked for ‘soliciting’.

Yes, that’s right.

Speaking in a recent episode of Vice documentary series Dark Side of The Ring, Sandman – real name James Fullington – recalled being scouted at a nightclub for a role in the famous striptease troupe.

He said: ‘I’m on the dance floor, some blonde comes up and starts dancing with me, grabs me by my hand and starts walking me across the dance floor.

He became known as the Hardcore Icon in ECW (Picture: WWE)

‘I’m like, “Alright, where am I gonna go have sex with this chick?” Because that’s exactly what I’m thinking. We end up going up the stairs, we’re in this little freaking office.

‘I’m like, “How am I gonna do this in this little office?” She goes, “Take your shirt off”. She goes, “Listen, I’m a producer/director for the Chippendales, I want you to be a Chippendale.” ‘

The so-called Hardcore Icon, now 60, remembered being ‘one of those guys who wore the black pants, tight pants, the cuffs and the collar.

Sandman is better known for his brawling style than his dance moves (Picture: WWE)

‘I just entertained the women. I don’t leave the club until 2 o’clock in the morning,’ he added, claiming there was plenty of drug use behind the scenes ‘in them days’.

‘Then I go to the after hours club, and then I go to the club that opened up at 6am. It was just crazy. And that was my job for the next year until I got fired for soliciting,’ he laughed.

He claimed the dancers weren’t being paid ‘a lot of money’, and so he and four other men would charge people ‘100 bucks to do [them]’.

He swapped the cuffs and collar for jeans and a t-shirt (Picture: WWE)

‘There was the Alpine Inn down the street, that was $42.50, so of course, $100 for us, $42.50 for the Alpine Inn, for however long it took. That last for about six months,’ he admitted.

However, one day he was confronted by ‘a couple of state troupers’, who threatened to ‘file some chargers’ if he didn’t quit and ‘tell us who your boys are’.

Sandman explained: ‘I said, “Well I’m not telling you who my boys are, that’s your job to figure that out. But, I’ll quit”. So I was done.’

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