10 Things We Learned From Dark Side Of The Ring: Magnum T.A

VICE's latest episode doesn't deal with death, unless you're talking about the death of a dream.

Dark Side Of The Ring Magnum TA
VICE/Facebook/Magnum TA

The weather wasn't kind in Charlotte, North Carolina on 14 October 1986. Rain soaked the roads, but one carefree pro wrestler on top of the world put a foot down and weaved his flashy Porsche 911 Turbo down familiar streets. Then, disaster struck. Terry Allen, best known to pro wrestling fans as Magnum T.A, hydro-planed on water and crashed into a telephone pole.

His in-ring career was over in an instant, but Magnum was lucky to escape with his life.

VICE's latest 'Dark Side Of The Ring' episode doesn't deal with usual topics like substance abuse, domestic violence or even death. Well, it does deal with death; the death of Magnum T.A's dream to become NWA World Champion, and the riches that would've come with a historic win over mega-heel Ric Flair.

Magnum's story is still depressing though, because it's a reminder of life's fragility. Someone can be riding high one minute, then rock bottom the next. Talking heads like Jim Cornette, Jake Roberts, Bill Apter, Magnum himself and various other family members reminisced about what could've been on 'Dark Side'.

Here's everything we learned from watching VICE's latest must-see doc!

10. The Bullsh*t $10,000 “Wrestling License”

Dark Side Of The Ring Magnum TA

Jim Cornette didn't mince his words (when does he ever?!) when talking about one Buzz Sawyer. Though talented in-ring, Sawyer was a bit of a crook outside it, and he successfully ripped Magnum T.A off before Terry Allen was even going by that name.

Buzz met Allen when the latter was still bouncing in nightclubs, and told him he'd need to pay $10,000 for a phoney wrestling license before he'd even agree to train him. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, Terry agreed, and his mother helped foot the bill. Then, wouldn't you just know it, Sawyer skipped town.

Cornette revealed that wrestling licenses did exist in some states back then, but they generally cost anywhere between $10-25. Yeah, not quite the 10 grand Buzz had quoted Magnum for. The con worked, but maybe not quite as well as Mr. Sawyer had hoped when he fled the area and hoped he'd never bump into Terry Allen again.

About that...


Lifelong wrestling, video game, music and sports obsessive who has been writing about his passions since childhood.