This topic has always made me laugh-I was in Memphis at the time, and my dad had been a jobber in the promotion until just before the Fabulous Ones were unveiled, so I got to see the response from both the fans and from the guys inside the promotion. Believe it or not, most people, both fans and wrestling insiders didnt really see the gay overtones of the Fabs at the time. I admit I did not either, but in retrospect I don't know how I didn't.
Part of it was that Memphis was such a unique wrestling market. The fans were VERY loyal to a handful of guys, including (obviously) Jerry Lawler, but also Jerry Jarrett, Bill Dundee, and particularly, Jackie Fargo. Jackie was THE guy in Memphis before Jerry Lawler, and had truly "passed the torch" to him in very classy fashion, preserving virtually all of his own popularity in the process. And his popularity with Memphis fans was deep and intense.
Jerry Jarrett developed the concept of the Fabulous Ones, and also had the brilliant idea of getting Jackie Fargo to do a promo out of retirement to endorse them. Jackie did a marvelous job with the promo, and Memphis bought the Fabs, hook, line and sinker. There was no question that they were main event faces, essentially from day one. I don't recall any gay epithets from the fans or anybody else at the time. They truly were the guys that all the ladies wanted, and all the men wanted to be. The promotion was running 2 shows a night at the time in different towns in the territory, with Lawler main-eventing one and the fabs main-eventing the other. The Fabs not infrequently outdrew Lawler.
Keep in mind also that homosexuality was MUCH less out in the open then than now, particularly in Memphis, TN, a very socially conservative town. The topic just didn't come up then.
Funny story: TV was every Saturday morning in Memphis at Ch. 5 studios on Union ave in Midtown. The show ended about 12:30 or so, and the wrestlers would hit the road later that afternoon for whatever town they were working that night. Most of the towns only took 1-2 hours to drive to, so the guys had several hours to kill. Most of them lived in the Nashville area, and so couldn't go home. So, they often got rooms for a few hours at local hotels to get some rest.
It was common knowledge that the Fabs went to the Admiral Benbow Inn on Union(down the street from the station) after TV. The girls would be lined up waiting for them to show up after TV and would sit out by the hotel pool waiting their turns for an private "audience" with the boys in their room. One after another after another would go in and then come back out after a while. Stan or Steve would occasionally come out and take a dip in the pool before going back in the room for more. I never saw or heard of anybody who had more girls falling at their feet than those guys in their heyday. Still amazes me....
"I'll go through Handsome Jimmy like Ex-Lax through a widow woman." -Jerry "The King" Lawler
Post by Squirrel Master on Jan 6, 2013 18:38:41 GMT -5
I deduce that these fellows are heterosexual simply by the fact that in all the photos we've seen out there, neither Fabulous One looks lovingly at the other Fabulous One. They are always "gazing" at the camera.
My gut feeling is that if The Fabulous Ones arrived at a party and opened a door to discover a gay orgy in progress, they would quietly close that door and opt not to partake in the festivities.
OP is correct; they're straight. We are confused by their early '80s clothing styles.