Kamala(James Harris), former WWF/WWE wreslter recently passed away aged 70. Hall of Famer, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler spoke about Kamala on a episode of the Busted Open podcast.
Kamala: Health issues and inside stories
Kamala made his WWE(then WWF) debut in 1984. He had the gimmick of Ugandan, wearing an African face mask, carrying spear and a shield. Thus, known by the nickname, “Ugandan Giant”.
Jerry Lawler said, “Well yeah, every now and then you think about it and you do feel good about it. I always did especially about Kamala. I don’t know. Bully, I bet you’re probably the same way. When you’re in this business and you’re doing it day in and day out, you really don’t have that much time to stop and think about stuff like that.”
He added,“Especially back in the day when we were doing it and he was working every single night, once we started the gimmick, yeah, we were just happy that it was drawing you sellouts with James every week. And we were happy about that but I never stopped and thought, ‘Oh, look how good he’s doing with this or look how well this is helping him provide for his family.’ That’s just something you don’t really think about. I guess it sort of took it for granted.”
Kamala had immense health issues and Jerry Lawler spoke about how he lost both his legs and fight with diabetes. Since 1992 Kamala had high blood pressure and diabetes, which forced him to retire. In 2011, he had his left leg amputated below the knee. The next he had his right leg amputated too and to full maintain the financial needs, a campaign was run.
In 2017 Kamala had to do a life-saving emergency surgery to clear fluid from his heart and lungs. Moreover, he was on life-support for complications.
Jerry said, “I sort of lost touch with him a little bit until after he had that run. One of the things, and that’s what Bruno and I were talking about, is James was kind of bitter towards the end. You know, had really, really bad health issues with diabetes. He lost both of his legs from diabetes and that sort of thing, and so, I know that in the past, he had some not very kind things to say about his stint there in the WWE. But it’s sort of disputed, because I was talking to Bruno about that.”
Kamala had worked with Undertaker on many occasions including house shows. Kamala had disclosed that how he was disappointed that he was paid less than the Undertaker.
“This is another thing you’ll know Bully, how some of the guys are. He never really took care of his money business all that closely, and he didn’t have a bank account. He handled everything in cash, and every week he would get his check. He would have Downtown Bruno go to the bank and cash his check for him, and one of the things that James said later was he didn’t make that much money. He didn’t make money in the WWE. He didn’t get paid as much when he was working with The Undertaker and when he was working with Hulk, or whatever. But Bruno said, ‘Man, I can’t tell you how many times I cashed a 15,000 or $13,000 check for him every single week. And, in that time, that was really good money”, Jerry said.
Unfortunately in 2020, Kamala was tested Covid positive and few days later passed away at the age of 70.
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