I received the following e-mail detailing more of Gary Richardson’s “Shady” past dealings.
I thought I would add to your articles on Mr. Richardson. I started filming shows for Dennis in 2006 with excitement and joy that I would get to work with some of the legends in the business and get to meet some indie workers in the south. After filming and producing the first show of his that I filmed, he told me to make up 100 copies as they would surely sell. Red flags should have went up, but I was just enjoying myself. He also tried selling me a vendor table for $150 so then I could sell his show at his show. I didn’t fall for that as my business mind says that financially that wouldn’t work. I did produce 100 copies for the next show and out of that 100, I think I only made my money back if that. Shady ended up giving them away to friends and family! No wonder this fool makes no money. My second show he wanted to film a shoot interview which I filmed and produced. He again wanted 100 copies and I delivered. Out of the 100 copies, I think 10 were sold. All others were given away.
I continued to film for him until December 2006. As I worked with him, I found that the crowds were getting smaller. In September 2006, Dennis booked a show with New Jack as the main event. He “promoted” the event as a family event and sold or gave away tickets to church groups, families, and younger audience members. This proved to be a big mistake for the Shady promoter. However, instead of blaming it on his booking and promoting, he blamed the whole show and following shows of fan attendance solely on New Jack because New Jack “pissed off” his audience. I filmed 1 more show for Shady in December 2006, but have not produced it for DVD yet.
I have heard the “I’m retiring from wrestling” speech from this guy before, but as soon as he gets pissed off because he isn’t making money, he retires. Then, he makes an excuse that he tells all the workers that wrestling is his business and he can’t support his family without it. Of course he can’t! He shams everyone else out of their hard earned money just so he can blow it away at the casinos and race tracks. Even better, he’ll take others money to feed his family, but not pay wrestling workers for their work. So, he then finds some other poor sap with money and bleeds them dry until they can’t spend the money anymore. Then he moves on to another poor wrestling “mark” who has some disposable income or makes an honest living.
In February 2007, he ran an all women’s show that he lost his money and others on. He called me begging to use my credit card so that he could get a last minute flight for Gail Kim, but I wouldn’t allow it after losing so much money. He was almost in tears and this is what he said to me, “If I don’t come through with the money to get her plane ticket, I’ll never be able to work with Bill Behrens or Bob Ryder again. Please if you have a credit card let me use it. I’ll pay you back as soon as the show takes place.” He was again looking out for himself because another show was supposed to take place in March 2007 with AJ Styles as the main event. However, if he didn’t get the money for the plane ticket for Gail Kim, then no way would he be able to get AJ Styles. 2 weeks prior to the March show, Shady cancelled the show and fans were really pissed off. Unfortunately, he got the money for Gail Kim from a friend of mine who really couldn’t afford to shell out $600 on a plane ticket. Again Shady wiped this guy out and he no longer wants anything to do with Dennis Richardson despite living in the same town.
I ran the “SWF” website for a half a year and Shady never paid me for that. He did come through and paid for some flyers I made for him, but in no way cold that make up for money he still owes me. Everything on a Dennis “Shady” Richardson website is high priority and must be done by yesterday even if the show takes place 3 months down the road. “I gotta have this up by tonight!” was always my favorite when he’d call and leave a voicemail usually in the middle of one of the classes I’m teaching.
I will no longer work for Dennis unless he pays me up front the money he owes me ($150 plus) before I step out of my house to do his shows. Would I work for him again? Yes I would, but the money would have to be paid up front. I will say that every show I worked for Shady, I had a blast and wouldn’t take it back for anything. He does have a heart of gold, but his pockets are lined with the money of others. He doesn’t pay taxes or file for income tax either. Just watch out because you could be the next person he smooth talks. He is very good at smooth talking people out of money.
One more quick story before I head out. I received a call one day by Dennis to ask if I could pick up Larry Zbysko at the Richmond airport on my way to his autograph show “convention” in Covington, VA. According to Dennis, Richmond is only 2 hours from Covington. WRONG! It was Larry, so I said I would definitely pick him up despite Richmond being 2 hours out of my way. I tried to convince the “Shady one” to sell super tickets to this signing since he had Tito Santana, Larry Zbysko, Barbarian, and many others there and that would be guaranteed money, but he wouldn’t do it (BTW, this guy is so hard headed that even if you offer help or ideas, he won’t take them). So I get to the airport and pick up Larry, but Dennis forgot to inform Larry that I had no AC in my car and it was 97 degrees that day. Along the 3-1/2 hour drive to Covington, I found out that Larry at least got the plane ticket and half his pay before he left Florida. However, Larry had to be flown in to Richmond because Dennis doesn’t book plane tickets until last minute. In order to get Larry in, Dennis had to go through a travel agency and since all flights to the closer Roanoke airport was sold out, Larry came into Richmond. When we got to the signing, Larry asked to talk to Dennis in private and he received the rest of his money luckily at that point. Otherwise Larry was leaving and so was I. When we entered the gym at the high school, there were only 50 people in the bleachers waiting for photos and autographs from Larry. Larry looked at me and started laughing. As with the rest of this trip, he kept laughing and saying to me, “I can tell this trip is going to be a classic!” After the signings were over, we headed to the pizza joint where again Larry was to “hang out” with the local fans along with Ron Killings and Jimmy Valiant. It was a great time, but when you are sitting in a pizza joint and only 10 fans are there, it gets rather old quick. Finally we left and headed back to Richmond where Larry had to pay for his own hotel. Great day for me, but what was supposed to be a 4 hour trip turned into a 12 hour day in a car for Larry and I. Tito Santana walked out pissed because he never got paid like he was promised and all others walked away without a penny. Larry Zbysko was the lucky one here, so take notes from him.
Name withheld by request