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Legal File

January 02, 1990|Claudia Puig | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

A Mismatch to Be Decided in Court: On paper it's a mismatch: World Wrestling Federation champ Hulk Hogan, 307 pounds, vs. comedian Richard Belzer, 150 pounds dripping wet. Jury selection is scheduled for today in Belzer's $5-million suit against Hulk Hogan and the World Wrestling Federation. The unlikely opponents meet in Manhattan state Supreme Court, a rematch resulting from their March 27, 1985, encounter on a cable television show with Belzer as host and practice dummy. Belzer was allegedly rendered unconscious in that get-together and took nine stitches in his head, prompting his lawsuit against the Hulkster, tag-team partner Mr. T, World Wrestling Federation impresario Vince McMahon, and McMahon's Titan Sports Inc. "We see the suit as a publicity ploy, pure and simple," said WWF attorney Ted Dinsmoor. "He asked the Hulkster to demonstrate a wrestling move, and he was accidentally injured." Belzer, a lithe 6-foot-3, has recruited a heavyweight lawyer to battle Hogan: Norman Roy Grutman, who represented Jerry Falwell against Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker during the PTL scandal.

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