Arkansas Heavyweight Champion
Click Photo To Watch 30 Sec. Promo of Johnny Angel wrestling in 1980's
Here are a few pictures of Johnny Lee Clary during his wrestling career back in the 80's. He is the original Johnny Angel, the one and only, Women's Pet and the Men's Regret, Arkansas Heavyweight Champion.
Miss Becky Starr, Johnny Angel's's lady looks on as Johnny prepares for a match.
Rock and Roll Express's Ricky Morton, Johnny Angel, and Nature Boy Buddy Landel
Becky is about to interfere in Johnny's match to make sure he wins!
Johnny Lee Clary is the only Johnny Angel. Others have tried to copy him by trying to steal his name, but they are nothing more than cheap imitations. “Flattery is the best form of imitation but none of these creeps that try to steal my name could beat me even today and they know it! They can't get original and think of a gimmick on their own so they try and steal mine. They are hoping that the crowds will come to the matches thinking they will see me and instead they get a cheap imitation. I am still young enough to stage a comeback and if any of these guys ever want to try me they will find out who the real Johnny Angel is real fast!” says the real Johnny Angel. Johnny became a Professional Wrestler in 1983, when he, along with his brother Terry, were trained to wrestle by former World Wrestling Champion, Danny Hodge, of Perry, Oklahoma. Terry began his career as the "Sugar Boy", while Johnny broke in as his manager, "Der Kommissar" named after the hit 80's new wave song, by After The Fire. While managing as Der Kommissar, he helped his brother to defeat the legendary Danny Hodge in Henryetta, Oklahoma for the World Jr. Heavyweight Title, by reaching under the ropes and tripping Hodge with a cane, causing him to stumble and being pinned by Terry. The title reign lasted only a few minutes when Mark Mason, special commissioner reversed the decision due to outside interference, by Johnny, giving the belt back to Hodge. Danny Hodge retired after that match. Johnny then decided management was not for him, and he dropped the Kommissar gimmick, bleached his hair blond, and became Johnny Angel.
He won the Arkansas Heavyweight Title in a tournament in 1986, and appeared on Kansas City All Star Wrestling shows with the N.W.A, when Bob Geigal and Terry Garvin were in charge. Johnny soon began wrestling for the N.W.F (National Wrestling Federation) and worked with stars such as Mad Dog D.C. Drake, Sgt. Slaughter, Bam Bam Bigalow, Dusty Wolfe, Bruiser Brody, Pork Chop Bobby Cash, Ron The Bull McFarland, Bulldog Bob Brown, The Fantastics, Peggy Lee ( who he had a massive crush on) , and Wendi Richter, (World Women's Champion) managed by 80's rock singer Cyndi Lauper. Johnny and Wendi bought the house down when Johnny interfered in one of Wendi's matches in Kalispell, Montana. Johnny had paid off the referee to have Wendi lose her belt, and when Wendi realized what had happened, she pulverized her opponent Fantasia, hit the bell, declaring herself to be the winner, and went after Johnny, smashing him with the World Women's title over the head several times. "That was the first and only time I ever really wanted to hit a woman", Johnny later replied. “I ended up letting her kiss me instead but that is another story!” Sgt. Slaughter came after Johnny Angel for that incident. The crowd of 5,000 was on their feet, when Johnny faced his own brother Terry, who had changed his name to Buddy "Bad Man" Savage, for the belt. Johnny won that night, but had to have a police escort out of the arena.
Johnny Angel & Wicked Wanda being interviewed by Uncle Bill in North Carolina
Johnny successfully defended his belt from 1986-1988, defeating Johnny Apollo, Oklahoma Outlaw, Billy Joe Fuller, Crusher Sawyer, Machine Gun Kelly, The Golden Tiger, Randy Rhoades, Buffalo Bob, The Backyard Dog, The Assassin, and Buddy Savage, losing it once to his brother Savage, but gaining it back.
Johnny Angel also was credited for starting a riot in Miami, Oklahoma with several hundred people in attendance when he used brass knucks to try and defeat hometown hero, Oklahoma Outlaw. His ring girl valet, Becky Starr, handed him the knucks and distracted the referee. Johnny went to hit the Outlaw when Outlaw blocked the punch, kicked him in the midsection causing Johnny to drop the knucks to the ground, which were then picked up by Oklahoma Outlaw who smashed Johnny in the jaw with them knocking him to the ground. The ref turned around in time to see the pin and declared Oklahoma Outlaw the new champion, but as he handed him the belt he spotted the brass knucks in Outlaw's hand, so he immediately disqualified the Oklahoma Outlaw and declared Johnny Angel the winner and still Heavyweight Champion! Johnny and his fellow wrestlers had to barricade the doors from hundreds of angry fans and received a police escort out of town!
Johnny Angel and Becky Starr
30 second video of Johnny Angel from the mid 80's
Johnny also battled Alabama’s Heavyweight Champion, Les Freeman of WTBS Super station Wrestling and fought to a 30 minute draw. It went down as one of Johnny's greatest matches and he considers Freeman as one of the best wrestlers he ever faced." I had nothing but respect for Les Freeman. He was great!" Johnny tag-teamed with the late Bulldog Bob Brown, Big John Studd, Buddy Savage, The Eliminator, The Assassin, Don Bass, and his regular tag partner, former World Jr. Heavyweight champion, Bill Ash, of Paris, Arkansas. Johnny Angel, Bill Ash, and Buddy Savage were known as the Brat Pack throughout the Tri-Sate Region. Their motto was one for all and all for one, always interfering in each other’s fights to assure a win.
Bill Ash and Johnny Angel
Nature Boy Buddy Landel and Johnny Angel in North Carolina
Johnny was booed everywhere he went, but the fans turned out in droves just to jeer him. “Those boo’s were like cheers to me at the time. I loved being a heel." Johnny considers Ric Flair as the greatest wrestler of all time, with John “The Golden Greek” Tolos coming in a close second. Johnny always felt the toughest guys in wrestling were Flair, Dan Hodge, Cowboy Bill Watts, Buddy Landel, John Tolos, Ron Garvin, Gordon Nelson “Mr. Westling number two) , Jerry Brown, and his own brother Terry (Crippler Buddy Savage) Clary.
Johnny retired as Heavyweight Champion and from the Wrestling ring, July 30th,1988 in Grove, Oklahoma, after winning a 10 man Battle Royal, and still remains the real Arkansas Heavyweight Champion and the real Johnny Angel.
THE REAL JOHNNY ANGEL
Often Imitated, But NEVER Duplicated!
Johnny Angel, Johnny Angel Johnny Angel, Johnny Angel You're an angel to me. Johnny Angel how I love him How I tingle when he passes by Everytime he says hello My heart begins to fly. Johnny Angel how I want him He's got something that I can't resist But he doesn't even know that I exist. I'm in heaven, I get carried away I dream of him and me and wonder how it's gonna be All the fellows call me up for a date But I sit and wait. I'd rather concentrate On Johnny Angel `Cause I love him And I pray that someday he'll love me And together will see how lovely heaven will be. And together will see how lovely heaven will be.
See another wrestling profile on Johnny Angel as well as profiles on other pro wrestlers at:
Patch: Hello Johnny Angel. Sir, I welcome you to Squared Circle News, and to "Patch's Place" It is a pleasure to meet you sir. Thanks for coming in to chat with me today, I really appreciate you taking time to do this interview.
Johnny Angel: Thank you for inviting me to do this interview. You can call me Johnny, as my father was "Sir."
Patch: Would you tell our fans and readers a little bit about yourself, such as Height, Weight, Age, Hometown, Years as Pro, and Hobbies other than Wrestling?
Johnny Angel: Sure. I am 5'9, and my weight is apprx. 225 lbs, which is about the same weight when I was wrestling. I am 46 years old and my hometown is Del City,Oklahoma. I spent 6 years in the squared circle as a Pro Wrestler, and my hobbies other than wrestling is fishing, shooting my guns, working on my website by writing articles, shooting videos and taking photos. Of course I still have the traveling bug and never seem to tire of it.
Patch: Were you a fan of Pro Wrestling While growing up? if not, when did you become a fan?
Johnny Angel: Yes I was. I remember when my daddy used to take me to the old Stockyards Coliseum in Oklahoma City to watch wrestling. We never missed it on Saturday night when it was hosted by Danny Williams on WKY TV Channel 4 in Oklahoma city. I grew up watching Danny Hodge, Dandy Jack Donavan, Buddy Rogers, Mrs. Donavan, Haystacks, The Great Bolo, and others of that era. I moved to Southern California when I was a teenager and I watched my idol John Tolos, Ripper Collins, Pat Patterson, Moondog Mayne, Butcher Brannigan, Professor Dale Lewis, Crazy Luke Graham, Freddie Blassie, and many of the other greats and it was right there and then that I knew that someday I would become a wrestler.
Patch: I know that you were trained to Wrestle by the legendary NWA Junior World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Danny Hodge. What did you go through while training and how long did you train before you had your first match?
Johnny Angel: I will always be grateful to Danny Hodge for bringing me into the business. Danny was running shows on the independent circuit after Leroy McGuirk went out of business and Cowboy Bill Watts took over the territory. Danny didn't have TV so the crowds were a lot smaller then Bill Watts's crowds and there just wasn't any money coming in to pay well known stars like Pretty Boy Doug Summers and The Great Kabuki who were working with Danny, so they walked, leaving Danny with shows to run and he didn't have enough workers to do the cards. I had been given a try out a couple of years before by Skandar Akbar when he was working for McGuirk. I didn't make it and was told by Wade Martin that I had no talent and didn't know how to wrestle. I knew he was full of baloney and I said to myself, "I'll show him!" I kept working out and never gave up. I saw an advertisement in the paper a couple of years later that Danny Hodge was wrestling again, so I called and left a message with a man that worked for Danny that myself , my brother, and several friends wanted to wrestle. I was totally shocked when Danny Hodge called me back and said he was willing to train us. I gathered up everyone and Danny took us through a few weeks of rough training, and showed us just enough to get by on so he could do the shows he had already contracted to do. Danny insisted that I be a manager and he just wanted me to learn to take bumps. Of course I was not happy with that at all as I wanted to work. We traveled for several months doing show after show and then one day after the shows Danny had contracted were all done, Danny said good-bye and that he was through and retiring again. This left all the guys who had worked so hard totally devastated, and I knew I had to do something. I knew Leroy McGuirk's daughter Mika McGuirk and she had married a friend of mine named Mark Hines who had purchased the wrestling ring from Danny to run toughman contests in. I knew Mika owned two or three wrestling rings and I figured Mark would sell the one he purchased from Danny, so I bought the ring from Mark and started running shows. Next thing I knew I started getting calls from some of the boys in the business wanting to come do shows for me because they knew I paid. Then I began getting calls from other promotions asking me to come do shows with them and my career started doing better!
The late Moondog Mayne, one of Johnny's
Patch: When and where did you have your first Pro Match? and what was going through your mind just minutes before you hit the ring?
Johnny Angel: My first pro match was against Danny Hodge and Jim Dandy in Muskogee, Oklahoma as I was put into a tag match to job when one of the boys got hurt. I was excited but also nervous. I was pinned pretty fast. That was my last job match. I started working after Danny left and I had more control and say so.
Danny Hodge, the man who broke Johnny into wrestling
Patch: Johnny during your matches did you work as a " Baby" or were you more comfortable working as a " Heel"?
Johnny Angel: I was always a heel. I only babied in one match and that was in Rogers, Arkansas, on a show that John Laddasaw who wrestled as Johnny Apollo was running. Apollo didn't know how to do a show and would not listen to anyone and he insisted that I baby. Thank the Good Lord that I worked against my brother that night and we had the best match on the card, but if it would have went Apollo's way we wouldn't have. He was wanting to take over the territory and he thought that by turning me baby, he could destroy my career but it didn't work. Apollo tried to run shows with his group of friends and they couldn't draw any crowds and folded. I was always comfortable as a heel and as my old tag team partner the former NWA Jr. Heavyweight Champion Bill Ash used to say, "Johnny Angel you have a natural heat which is great! Not many have that." I loved being a heel. it was my life. The boos were like cheers to me.
Patch: You were Arkansas Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, what other titles did you hold during your career?
Johnny Angel: That was it. I won the Arkansas Heavyweight Title in 1986 and held it until the day I retired on July 30th, 1988, losing it twice and regaining it each time. I lost it to my younger brother Buddy Savage and won it back, and dropped it to Crusher Sawyer and won it back a week later. I never lost it again.
Patch: During your matches, did you work from the ground only, or did you work off of the ropes, were you a high flyer?
Johnny Angel: The ground was my domain. I learned a valuable lesson from working off the ropes doing that high flying stuff. I was wrestling Billy Joe Fuller one night and I went up to the top rope and leaped off, and landed wrong, tearing the ligaments out of my knee. That was one of the most painful episodes in my entire life. I still won the match though, but was carried from the ring which was the only time in my career that happened. After that I nixed the high flying stuff and stuck with what I did best. I had to wear a knee brace in all of matches for the next two years.
Patch: What was the Scariest thing that you saw happen in the ring during your career?
Johnny Angel: Wow. That is a hard one. I was worried the night I blew my knee out because I thought I had just ended my career. Another time was when I caused a near riot in Miami, Oklahoma, with several hundred people in attendance when I used brass knucks to try and defeat hometown hero, Oklahoma Outlaw. I was once engaged to marry Melissa Edwards-Archer, who worked in the business as Becky Starr. Ironically, she was from Miami also and was hated by a lot of people in town already. When the Oklahoma Outlaw had me in trouble, Becky handed me brass knuckles and then she climbed up on the ring apron and distracted the referee. I went to hit the Outlaw when Outlaw blocked the punch, kicking me in the midsection causing me to drop the knucks to the ground, which Oklahoma Outlaw then picked up and who smashed me in the jaw with them knocking me to the ground. The ref turned around in time to see the pin and declared Oklahoma Outlaw the new champion and handed him my belt but as he handed him the belt Becky screamed "Hey ref! Look at Outlaw's hand!" The ref then spotted the brass knucks in Outlaw's hand, so he immediately disqualified the Oklahoma Outlaw and declared "Ladies and gentlemen, Oklahoma Outlaw has just been disqualified for using a foreign object! Your winner and still Heavyweight Champion is Johnny Angel!!" I remember that me and all the wrestlers in the dressing room had to barricade the doors from hundreds of angry fans and Becky and I received a police escort out of town! The fans were the scariest part of the business. I mean you never knew when some drunk fan was going to stick you with a knife. I remember a fan pulled a knife out of his pocket in a rodeo arena one night in Oklahoma and came after me and a couple of the other boys. The cops grabbed him before he could knife us.
Patch: How about the funniest thing that happened in the ring?
Johnny Angel: I guess one of the funniest stories had to be when I was working for the NWF in Pine Bluff, Arkansas one night back in 1986. After my match I was talking to Peggy Lee (Leather) who was wrestling Wendi Richter and I asked Peggy Lee out on a date to go have a drink after the matches. She said OK, and I went back into the dressing room and Bruiser Brody, Bam Bam Bigalow and Dusty Wolfe was in there, and I said, "Yo guys! I just asked Peggy Lee out and I'm gonna get me a hot date tonight!" They all started laughing hysterically and when I asked why they were laughing, Dusty Wolfe replied, " Peggy Lee is a lesbian! You ain't getting nothing from her tonight except a bill for the drinks and a thank you for the nice time!" I cancelled the date afterwards saying I had something else I had to do. I was teased about that for a long time.
The girl Johnny had a mad crush on, Peggy
Patch: Who was it that gave you your toughest matches during your career?
Johnny Angel: I didn't like working with some of the boys in different territories because they were hot-dogging it and got just a little too carried away. I had a shoot match with John Apollo once in Noel, Missouri when he said he was not going to take any bumps from me. He learned real quick that he was going to take them whether he wanted to or not. The two best workers I ever worked with were without a doubt, my younger brother Terry Clary who wrestled as Buddy Savage, as our matches were classics, and Alabama’s Heavyweight Champion, Les Freeman of WTBS Super station Wrestling as we fought to a 30 minute draw. It went down as one of my greatest matches and I consider Freeman as one of the best wrestlers I ever faced. I had nothing but respect for Les Freeman. He was great!
Patch: Johnny, in your opinion has Wrestling Changed for the better or for the worst and do you think that it will ever go back to being territorial as it was back in the 70's and 80's?
Johnny Angel: I think it changed for the worst, all courtesy of Mr. Vince McMahon. he became the Wal-Mart of Wrestling, putting the small independent promoters out of business. The filth and garbage he puts out has changed the face of wrestling forever. It used to be good family entertainment where good prevailed over evil. Now, because of McMahon, not only did he shut out the independents, but he made darn sure that little kids could no longer attend matches like in the old days. I remember once in Gravette, Arkansas, I gave free tickets to the elementary school, where little kids could come as long as they were accompanied by an adult, and I had the entire 1st, second and third grade there. That would not be advisable today because kids do not need to be exposed to Vince McMahon's and Eric Bischoff's shows which include Satan worship, HLA (Hot Lesbian Action), Voodoo, Necrophilia, Old 87 year old women like Mae Young showing their breasts, and same Sex marriages. I mean enough is enough. I want to see the independents come back and turn it into a family show once again where parents do not have to worry about whether their kids will be exposed to immorality and nudity anymore. Guys like Bill Ash are trying to change things back to this and I think that is good.
Patch: Yourself your brother " Crippler" Buddy Savage, and Big Bill Ash were known as the Brat Pack, what was it that set the three of you apart from the other Wrestlers at that time?
Johnny Angel: All for one and one for all. We stuck together. Whenever I was in jeopardy of losing my belt, either Buddy Savage or Bill Ash interfered to make sure I remained the champion. I helped them out in their matches too. You have to have friends in this business!
world champion D.C. "Mad Dog" Drake, Johnny's friend
Patch: Have you got any road stories that you can share with our readers and fans?
Johnny Angel: Road stories? Man I have a ton of them! There was also the time in Kalispell, Montana when I was working for the NWF that I had to have a police escort of over twenty cops take me to and from the ring because of remarks I had made on interviews promoting the show that the reason Montana men married Montana women was because they could not find any sheep that could do windows! That didn't make me too popular with a crowd of 5,000 fans that night! I wrecked havoc in that town for two whole days courtesy of my good friend D.C. "Mad Dog" Drake who was former NWF Heavyweight Champion. Drake was in charge of setting up the promotions and he chose me to do the interviews and we made fun of the people in Kalispell, calling them hicks, rednecks and hillbillies, accusing them of dating barnyard animals and telling them their wives were ugly. I also interrupted a news conference that Sgt. Slaughter was doing, demanding that Sgt. Slaughter tell the people the truth, that he was no war hero in Vietnam, and I claimed to have seen his military records and was there to let everyone know that he was a Sgt. all right, but a Sgt., over the mess hall! I told everyone that Bob Slaughter was a cook in the army and that he also cleaned latrines! Slaughter demanded that I wrestle him and asked everyone for a pair of sheep sheers! I interfered in Wendi Richter's match that night also, paying off the ref to throw the match to Fantasia, which made Wendi come after me with her belt hitting me over the back of the head, super hard! I was really mad at her for that one. One of the scariest road stories though was the night Danny Hodge was driving my car and I was trying to sleep and I looked over and Danny was falling asleep at the wheel. He had already done that down in Louisiana which caused him to break his neck. I shutter to think about what would have happened if I had not woke up that night and caught Danny sleeping at the wheel.
Johnny's Old Rival, Wendi Richter
Patch: Do you ever think about stepping back into the ring?
Johnny Angel: Actually just recently I was approached with the idea of making a comeback as Bill Ash is making arrangements to start back up again in the near future to run some shows in Arkansas that will be family type shows and several wrestlers who are Christians will be booked on his shows where they will get a chance to witness the message of Christ. I think it is an excellent idea. I am thinking about working in the ring again, at least for specials just every once in awhile, but I have made no decision yet to do so. I did work a show a couple of years ago with my good friend Nature Boy Buddy Landel down in the Carolinas. It was a lot of fun. There are times I miss the business and think about it. Who knows? I am still young enough to stage a good comeback if I wanted to, but then I also have to keep in mind that my ministry takes first priority and Jesus Christ comes first. I have to know that it is God's will or I won't do it.
Nature Boy Buddy Landel N.W.A World Champion
Patch: I understand that you are a minister now, when and how did you know that God had called you into the ministry?
Johnny Angel: After so many years of raising hell, racing cars and closing down the local bars, I gave my life to Jesus. I knew from within my heart. I am a man that made a lot of mistakes in life. After I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ I started feeling comfortable with my life and about a year later I was just trying to forget my past and living a great life, when I was thinking about all of these kids who are making the same mistakes that I did when I was a teenager, and I felt that if I could just help a few of them and keep them from making the same mistakes in life that I made, then it would be all worth it. I then had Pastor Sharon Daugherty in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Victory Christian Center come up to me and say "God did not save you out of what He saved you out of to sit and live comfortable in Tulsa. He wants you to go tell the world that what He did for you, He will do for them. " I surrendered to testify to His mighty works, His grace, and His mercy right then and there and I have never looked back since. God is a good God!
Patch: Do you have a message for our readers and fans?
Johnny Angel: If Jesus Christ can save me, He can save anybody! God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever will believe in Him, will not perish but have eternal life!
Patch: Do you have a website that the fans can visit?
Johnny Angel: Yes. It is www.xkkk.org
Patch: Johnny Angel: Thank you very much for taking time to talk with me. I wish you all the best.
Johnny Angel: Thank you Patch for taking the time to interview me, and I wish you all the best with your website and coverage of good ole Championship Wrestling!