DP: Few people realize it, but you actually started out
as a WWWF referee in Pittsburgh if I recall right?
JD: Actually it was in Philadelphia. The year was 1962
and I was in college. I met and got to know Vince J.
McMahon (Vince, Sr.) as a result of my job as a
referee. Vince, Sr. helped make one of my lifelong
dreams come true later in my career.
DP: Though you have always been predominately a
manager, you also wrestled several matches?
JD: I had well over 3000 matches as a wrestler during my
career. Another wrestler that I knew early in my
career needed a manager to keep his career on track.
I was approached to be his manager and the rest is
DP: When I was a kid, Arizona got the old Texas TV
tapes for a long while, when Kurt Von Steiger ran
Phoenix. I recall seeing one really bloody bout with
you and Dick Murdoch. Does it ring a bell?
JD: I had been wrestling full-time for just under three
years when Dory Funk, JR. recruited me to work the
Amarillo territory. I spent all of 1974 in West Texas
and I feuded with Dick Murdoch. Some of my most
memorable matches from my active career as a wrestler
were with Murdoch, and yes, many were blood bathes.
DP: Then of course you went into managing and really
hit it big. Of all the things you have done, is
managing your first choice?
JD: I was first and foremost a fan, and my dream was to be
a wrestler. I was not blessed with tremendous size,
so much of my early success I attribute to my
interview skills. I enjoyed great success as a
manager, but I never lost my passion for performing in
the ring in tights.
DP: What do you think makes a good manager as it seems
to be a dying art?
JD: : You're right, managing is a dying art. But, I fear
that professional wrestling may be a dying art as
well. A good manager can make a good wrestler become
great. The system has changed and with the changes
there is no longer a role for the manager in the
DP: You just recently wrote a book, correct?
JD: I worked for seven months with Scott Teal, who
co-wrote Ole's book, and with Philip Varriale to write
my life story. It is to be released the first week
DP: There have been loads of biographies,
autobiographies and tell-all books out there already.
Where would your book fall into as far as category?
JD: "Wrestlers Are Like Seagulls" from McMahon to McMahon,
is definitely an autobiography.
DP: What would you say makes it different from other
books by other people already out there?
JD: I have done it all. As you read my story, you will
see that I started out selling programs as a kid and
helped set up the ring. My journey spans over forty
years through six decades. I was part of Vince
McMahon's inner circle for almost eight years, and few
others have had my perspective, from the inside
through many of the changes in modern wrestling.
DP: How do you feel about the way wrestling has
changed from the time you started, until now?
JD: I recognize that change is inevitable with all things,
including the wrestling product and the business
itself. However, change is not always necessarily for
DP: I assume a lot of this is covered in your book?
JD: I devote a whole chapter in my book to my views on
this subject. The business would be healthier with a
second major promotion that is successful. Readers may
be surprised as I share my suggestions about where the
wrestling business needs to go from today. I feel
that I have the credibility to make a valid assessment
of the current situation with my years of experience
in the business. I have rubbed elbows with all the
movers and shakers in wrestling, and I have gained a
lot of knowledge along the way.
DP: Where can people order it, and will it be
available in bookstores?
JD: I suggest that interested readers check out
www.jjdillon.com , which will direct you to www.1wrestlinglegends.com to actually place an order.
My goal is to sign, and where possible to personalize,
as many copies as possible from the initial printing,
without any additional signing fee. This was the best
way to provide signed copies, and to make the book
available at the earliest possible date. Eventually
down the road the book will be available in
DP: Have you thought of going on the road with this
and doing the wrestling conventions or the autograph
JD: I am scheduled to appear at the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling
Legends Reunion in Charlotte, NC, on August 19/20/21.
I am also doing the Wrestle Reunion in King of Prussia,
just outside Philly on August 26/27/28. I look
forward to seeing Bruno Sammartino and to help honor
him in PA. I also look forward to meeting readers and
getting individual impressions and feedback about my
book at both shows.
DP: Interviews for this page tends to be short and to
the point. Is there anything we missed that you would
like to talk about?
JD: I have always been a detail person, and it is
difficult for me to not go into great depth with all
the questions I get. With my book, I have had the
opportunity to tell "the whole story" and that is part
of what I hope will make my story in print unique.
DP: Closing comments?
JD: Writing a book was a one time deal for me. Before we
started I told Scott Teal that I wanted to do it
right, or not do it at all. I am very proud of the
effort. We have gone to great lengths to be accurate
and factual. I speak with open honesty and address
aspects of my time in the business that I have never
discussed before. I really believe that there is
something of interest for all fans of all ages.