WWE Hall Of Famer ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton has recalled the night his dad was saved from an enraged and fiery wrestling crowd by Captain Lou Albano armed with a gun.
As well as being the father of the fourteen-times world champion Randy Orton, ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton’s own father was a wrestler of note as well. Bob Orton Sr. began his wrestling career and shared the ring with icons of the day including Lou Thesz, Pat O’Connor, and Verne Gagne. A star in the southern territories of the United States, Orton Sr. held numerous titles including the NWA Florida Southern Heavyweight Championship seven times.
A hated villain, Orton Sr. seemingly had a knack of whipping a crowd into a heated frenzy. His son, ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton explained just how heated things could be on his appearance on ‘Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw’. Orton regaled Gerald Brisco and JBL with a story of one particular incident his father was caught up in.
According to Orton, it’s very lucky legendary manager Captain Lou Albano was on the scene and packing heat:
“Dad was probably the hottest heel in the country for a long time. Yeah, I mean he was just good, slow, easy, one of the best workers ever to step into a ring. That boy knew how to get that heat. And back in those days you know people want to hurt you. Hell even when I first started out people, you know, you had to be careful around people. Nowadays, I don’t think it’s quite as bad.”
“But yeah, that night, in particular, dad dropped two straight falls and still had so much heat that when he left some guy was standing up on the bleachers and hit him in the head with a chair which knocked dad out. And Lou Albano went out with a gun and a couple of guys. Dad’s knees were just scraped almost to the bone where they had dragged him out of there. But if Lou wouldn’t have went out with the gun and made people back off, they might have killed him that night. But from that night on, he never got that deep serious heat because you know [it] was too dangerous. Now me coming along, you know I tried to get it but I could never do like dad. I wasn’t my dad that’s for darn sure he was the best I’ve ever seen.”
Albano began his own in-ring career in 1959 but shot to super-stardom as part of the WWF’s ‘Rock ‘N’ Wrestling’ era. Captain Lou starred in Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ video and began an on-screen feud with Lauper that culminated in The Brawl To End It All Lauper’s charge Wendi Richter unseated Albano-backed WWF Women’s Champion The Fabulous Moolah.