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David Schultz or Shults is a retired professional wrestler, known by his ring name as "Dr. D." David Schultz, who competed in North American regional promotions including Stampede Wrestling, the National Wrestling Alliance and the American Wrestling Association during the late 1970s and 1980s. However, during his short stint in the World Wrestling Federation in 1984, he gained his biggest notoriety in 1984 after assaulting 20/20 reporter John Stossel.
Trained by Herb Welch, Schultz began wrestling in NWA Mid-America during the mid 1970s eventually teaming with Roger Kirby to defeat Bill Dundee and Big Bad John for the NWA Mid-America Tag Team Championship in May 1976. He would also team with Bill Ash to win the NWA Mid-America Tag Team Championship before losing the titles to George Gulas & Gorgeous George, Jr. later that year.
While in the Maritimes, he also defeated Terry Sawyer for the Canadian Heavyweight Championship in Halifax, Nova Scotia on August 9, 1977. Feuding with Sawyer over the title, he would briefly lose the title back to Sawyer before regaining it on August 13 and remained champion until the title became inactive before the end of the year.
Although losing to Bob Armstrong in a match for the NWA Southeast Heavyweight Championship in 1978, he later regained the title the following year feuding over the title with Ron Slinker in mid-1979. Teaming with Dennis Condrey, the two later won the NWA Southeast Tag Team Championship after defeating Dick Slater and Paul Orndorff in November 1979 and successfully defended the titles for several months before the title was held up during a match against Mike Stallings and The Matador on February 3, 1980 and lost the titles to them in a rematch a week later.
From the Maritimes to Hartford
Returning to the Maritimes region, he wrestled as David von Schultz in Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling later becoming the first AGPW United States Heavyweight Champion on June 26, 1980. Defending the title against veterans such as Leo Burke, Stephen Petitpas and The Great Malumba throughout the summer, he eventually lost the title while he and the Cuban Assassin feuded with AGPW North American Tag Team Champions Leo Burke & Stephen Petitpas during his last weeks in the region.
During the next several years, he began wrestling for Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling as part of Foley's Army feuding with Leo Burke and Mr. Hito over the Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight Championship during 1981 and also faced AWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Bockwinkel in a non-title interpromotional match. He also briefly teamed with Wayne Ferris as the Memphis Mafia before Ferris turned on him in a storyline in which he had been "bought" by manager J.R. Foley. The two would continue feuding with each other throughout Western Canada and eventually defeated Ferris in a steel cage match in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1983.
In 1984, while competing in Memphis, promoter Vince McMahon had become impressed with Schultz after watching an interview in which he had made derogatory remarks about Hulk Hogan during his brief stay in the area. He, along with tag team partner "Macho Man" Randy Savage and his brother Lanny Poffo, would become one of the first major regional wrestlers to be signed by the Vince McMahon. Within a short time, had become one of the top "heels" in the promotion being aligned with Roddy Piper, Bob Orton, Jr. and Paul Orndorff in their feud with "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka and later teamed with Piper and Orndorff to defeat S.D. Jones, Rocky Johnson and Bobo Brazil in a 6-man tag team match at the Capitol Centre in Landover, Maryland. On June 17, he would also face WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Assault on John Stossel
On December 28 1984, Schults' encounter with Stossel happened while Stossel was backstage at Madison Square Garden doing a story about professional wrestling's secrets. During an interview Stossel told Schults that he thought pro wrestling was fake and Schults' response was to slap Stossel twice, knocking him to the floor each time. The attack, which attracted a large amount of media coverage, was later aired on national television (as well as appearing on websites such as YouTube and Break.com during the early 2000s) including ABC News which reported that the network had received more than 1,000 calls from viewers inquiring about Mr. Stossel's health.
Marvin Kohn, a deputy commissioner at the New York State Athletic Commission, had been present at the arena during the incident and immediately suspended Schultz for his actions. Although called by Commissioner Jose Torres to come to a hearing before the Commission, Kohn later reported that Schultz had written letter to the commission admitting "that he had acted improperly and apologized both to the commission and to Mr. Stossel" and further stated "I intend the commission to know that I did not intend to hurt John Stossel. I apologize to the commission and to John Stossel."
Stossel later claimed he was unaware of Schultz apology and would pursue his action in court although commented he would be "less likely to sue" if the aftereffects of his injury disappeared. However, Stossel eventually filed a lawsuit against the World Wrestling Federation, and settled out of court for $425,000.
Although he has consistently maintained that World Wrestling Federation officials told him to hit Stossel, Schultz was fired. Many industry insiders believe, it was not because of his actions against Stossel, rather, Schults was fired for challenging Mr. T to a fight backstage at a WWF show at Madison Square Garden.
Later career and retirement
He wrestled for a time after this, returning to Memphis and competed internationally in Japan and Canada but this was short lived and he retired from professional wrestling in 1987.
Moving to Connecticut, he opened a successful bail bond business and made a career as a professional bounty hunter. Pursuing criminals as far as Egypt and Puerto Rico, he has arrested around 1,700 fugitives and worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency and various police departments for over 15 years. Schultz eventually became engaged to Carole Rubinstein, who he went on and married.
Schults briefly reappeared in the spotlight in the early 1990s when Vince McMahon was accused of illegally distributing anabolic steroids. Although Hulk Hogan was considered to be the prosecution's major witness, Schults was one of several former WWF wrestlers called to testify against McMahon at the trial although McMahon would eventually be acquitted of all charges against him.
During the early 2000s, Schultz began becoming involved in wrestling discussing the possibility of his being inducted into Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in November 2003 and, the following month, attended the Fan Slam Convention in Totowa, New Jersey on December 6, 2003. During the event he participated in a Q&A panel which included Ted DiBiase, Virgil, Gary Michael Capetta, Chief Jay Strongbow and The Missing Link.
In October 2006, Schultz was honored along with J.J. Dillon and Missy Hyatt at a dinner banquet hosted by the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and attended by former WWF wrestlers from the 1970s and 80s. During the event, he would participate on a Q&A panel discussing the PWHOF and taking questions from audience members as well as conducted a "shoot interview" with RF Video. As part of their agreement, RF Video donated $500 in his name to the PWHF Building Fund and later presenting a check to PWHF President Tony Vellano.
Championships and accomplishments
- Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling
- AGPW United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time) - first champion
- International Wrestling/Lutte Internationale (Montreal)
- Oliver, Greg and Steven Johnson. The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels. Toronto: ECW Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-55022-759-8
- Shoot Interview with "Dr. D" David Shultz. Perf. David Shultz. DVD. RF Video, 2006.