The Rialto Report

Carn(iv)al Love: Sex, Wrestling and the Story of Misty Blue Simmes

From 1985 until 1997, Misty Blue Simmes was the biggest female name in professional wrestling. She held belts from the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and the Ladies Professional Wrestling Association (LPWA), was courted by Vince McMahon of the WWE, and graced the pages of all the major wrestling magazines.

But wrestling wasn’t Misty Blue’s first time in front of the camera. Before there was Misty, there was Diane – a married swinger who had a double life, with her husband Jon, as a stripper. Actually, they had more than one double life: they put on foxy boxing shows, mud wrestled, featured in men’s magazines, and performed in adult films as Bunny and Buddy Hatton – working with Gerry Damiano, Joe Sarno and many others.

Theirs is the story of a small-town couple exploring the worlds of sex and entertainment for both fun and profit. And it’s a love story of a couple together for almost half a century, raising a family and always having each other’s backs.

This is Misty Blue Simmes’ story. And Bunny and Buddy Hatton’s story.

And a little ditty about Jack and Diane.

With special thanks to Jon and Diane for sharing their story.

This podcast is 45 minutes long.


Outlaws and Outcasts

A little ditty ’bout Jack & Diane

Two American kids growing up in the heartland

Picture this. It’s August 1978 in upstate New York. You’re driving down a county road during the lazy, hazy, dog days of summer. You see some tattered signs for the local fair, worn out from years of repeated use. Follow the setting sun and the chorus of cicadas until you come up on a city of tents. It sits in a large field that lays unused the rest of the year.

Keep going. Track the smell of funnel cakes and hot dogs past the Ford Pintos and Chevy Impalas parked on the matted grass. You’re gonna see an unlikely mix of locals: Parents losing sight of excited kids. Town council members with painted-on smiles and sweating in polyester suits hand out re-election leaflets. Gangs of teenagers sneak cigarettes and make fun of rides they happily waited in line for just a year ago.

Continue behind the stands towards the hum of generators until you reach two used RVs parked so close they’re almost kissing. There’s a length of weathered rope between the vehicles, holding up hand-washed clothes. You got neon bikini bottoms, mesh bodysuits, pony-fringed tops with deep necklines.

Four pretty young women sit in rusty lawn chairs. One leafs through a magazine while tuning a cheap portable radio. Another pops gum, her legs propped up, painting her toenails maximum orange glitter. Two more pass a tallboy can of beer between them, swigging like truck drivers.

The door to one of the RVs opens. A guy and a girl come out. They’re cocky; their confidence makes it clear they’re in charge.

Jon is wiry, bearded and all business. He turns back to lock the door.

Diane’s a cutie. She’s wearing cut-off shorts and her hair is feathered like Farrah Fawcett. She looks over at the girls and issues her instructions: “Grab the hose and the ring – it’s time to get dirty. Mud wrestling waits for no one.”

Podden och tillhörande omslagsbild på den här sidan tillhör Ashley West. Innehållet i podden är skapat av Ashley West och inte av, eller tillsammans med, Poddtoppen.