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NewsWWEEx-WWE Ring Boy Comments On The Allegations Against Mel Phillips

Ex-WWE Ring Boy Comments On The Allegations Against Mel Phillips

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A former WWE ring boy recently spoke with Lee Cole to discuss his experience working with Mel Phillips.

For those unaware, Phillips, Pat Patterson, and Terry Garvin were all fired by WWE in 1992 after allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual contact with underage boys surfaced. The allegations came from previous ring boy Tom Cole. WWE later re-hired Phillips on the condition that he would stay away from kids.

The latest ring boy to come forward, who is simply going by Shawn, said Phillips would pick him up at his house when WWE came to Philadelphia and drive him to the city. The two would stay at a Red Roof Inn outside of the city. Shawn alleges that Phillips would rent a room that they would stay in and when it came to beds, whether they were separate or not “depend[ed] on how many people were with us.”

You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On when Phillips made him feel uneasy: “The one thing, Mel had this thing about your feet. He would wrestle you, grab your toes, bend them. Then you’d be like ‘Ah.’ That’s probably where it started. I didn’t think about it. That guy is trying to make me submit to this wrestling hold. That’s where it started…Yeah, he would do that [put your foot in his crotch], or he’d sit on top. I’d be on the bottom. I’m almost sitting on my legs, pulling my toes and stuff.”

On Phillips behaving different outside of the hotel: “There are like two Mels. There is the Mel Phillips that is the ring announcer that took you to the shows, fed you, gave you money. Then there is the behind the scenes Mel that, once the hotel door room shuts, it’s a little different.”

On how Phillips was dressed at the time: “He’s surely not in the suit that he wears in the ring. Sometimes he was in his underwear. Sometimes he’d have his underwear and t-shirt on. Sometimes, sweatpants.”

On if he believed Cole’s allegations: “When that came out, I was already in the Army, but yes. ‘Wait, that happened to me. That’s similar what I had happened to me, sort of.’ I don’t know everything that happened to your brother. I started 86-87, but August 87, I left for the Army. That was the one thing, I can’t say what happened to Tom. I don’t even know if I ran into him or we went to the same place.

“I was kind of warned by a wrestler, later towards the time I was getting ready to leave. I can’t remember exactly who told me. It was, ‘Be careful. Be careful who you’re with.’ Then, come to find out, later in life, every body knew Mel had this fetish. To me, if all the wrestlers knew, who else knew that he had this fetish? I do remember when I was with somebody else, we were at the show, and someone had talked to Mel about having all these boys around. I didn’t really think, ‘what’s going on?’ Someone talked to Mel about it, though. You could see, obviously he starts to groom to trust in him.”

On if Phillips had ring boys he liked more than other: “I think you age out.”

On meeting Terry Garvin: “I only ran into Terry Garvin a few times. It depended on where you were. Terry Garvin was a pretty big, for me, a bigger man. He came off friendly, but then, he gave me the creeps. I just felt nervous around him. Put his arm on your shoulder, ‘Hey, how are you? So, you want to get into wrestling?’ ‘I like it. I’m too small to be a wrestler.’ I just had bad vibes with him. It gave me a bad vibe because of my background (being in foster care). Now you’re feeling, ‘If you ever want to….’ I don’t know if I want to do that. There is a difference where Mel didn’t do that. One is more aggressive than the other. I felt like, ‘Hey, I can help you,’ but it felt like there was something else and he wasn’t going to do it just for himself. That’s just the vibe came off him, but I didn’t see him that much.”

On his interactions with other talent: “There was rules. When Mel would bring us, ‘You’re going to put up the ring or help with the ring guys. You come back, you don’t get in the ring.’ Depending on who was the booker or in charge, like [Pat] Patterson or Jay Strongbow. Strongbow seemed to be more bossy. Maybe they knew they didn’t want the kids around and that was the whole thing with certain bookers. ‘You can’t be here, you have to be here.’ That’s how I took it, but I’m 16-17 years old. Mel would bring us and put us somewhere in the back. One time I was in Philly, I sat with Ricky Steamboat’s wife and Hulk Hogan’s wife. Ricky Steamboat’s wife was pregnant at the time so they’d talk about the baby coming. They were very cordial to me. I met Paul Orndorff, he asked me to get him a coke at the refreshment stand. We’re there before everything opens. He gives me a $50 bill, I go to get the drink, they wouldn’t give it to me. ‘I’m with the wrestlers.’ I had to go back and tell him they wouldn’t give it to me and I gave him his money back. He went up and got his soda.”

On how many times Phillips picked him up: “At least, probably, that’s a good question. I have all the dates somewhere… Probably about ten. You also have to remember…there was like three in Allentown, the last two were when Mel would talk to me. Philadelphia, then I went to Philly a couple of times. February 14 around that time, I went to Philadelphia with him and then I went to Baltimore. At that time, they did an afternoon show and an evening show. The evening show in Baltimore was big for me because I got to carry the heavyweight title, which was in a bag, which was cool. I sat at ringside for the Hogan vs. Ugandan Giant [Kamala] match. I was sitting where they ring the bell. That was a cage match. They had the big blue cage that we put up. That was cool, putting up the cage.”

On whether Phillips took him across state lines: “Yeah. If you go from Philadelphia to Baltimore, that was one. I went to Ithica, New York for a match, I was up in Connecticut at their old warehouse. You had the two big u-haul trucks, one went south, one went north. One on the east coast, and one out west, but I never went out that way.”

On being taken to Connecticut near Titan Towers: “Yeah, they had a warehouse there we would drop stuff off, pick stuff up for the rings or pick up merchandise. 87, they didn’t have the big merchandise they have today. It was right before they got big. WrestleMania 3 was right before I was still with them. Mel thought about taking me, but I guess you need certain approval, and it wasn’t happening. The tickets were too expensive, I don’t know.”

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