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A Quick Wrestling Road Story…

Back in 2000/2001, myself, Jim Tanner and a couple of other people took a road trip to Toccoa, GA and NWA Wildside. The trip down was pretty straight forward. We had a conversion van from somewhere that had seats in the back that folded down to a bed, and, more importantly to this story, a TV/VCR combo.

I’m sure we brought a few tapes with us, but the only one I remember watching (and re-watching, and re-watching) is the original RF Video Jim Cornette shoot interview. I’d say that this is still by far the best shoot interview. Aside from the great stories from JCP, Cornette is just being himself and ripping on everyone, especially Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara.  We were quoting the juicy parts of Cornette’s rants to each other the whole way down through various Waffle Houses.

I’m unable to locate the actual shoot video online, but here’s a retelling of the Ed Ferrara parts. WARNING: Strong Language.

Finally we get to the NWA Wildside arena, and are in the back meeting with everyone. I see some chubby fellow with dreadlocks and as is custom, I go up and introduce myself. He says “Oh, hello. I’m Ed Ferrara.” I’m totally speechless. The only things I can think to say to this person I just met are Jim Cornette’s words, or wondering if I should punch him in the face for Cornette. Of course, that would be very, very BAD. I stand there shaking his hand, with my mouth half open for what seems like ten years until Jim Tanner comes up.

“Hi, I’m Jim.”

“Oh, nice to meet you Jim, I’m Ed Ferrera.”

“Uhhhhhhh…. ha-ha-ha-Hi Ed.”

I see that Jim isn’t going punch Ed either and that breaks my paralysis and I’m finally able to say “Nice to meet you Ed.”

TSW Reunion

One shot deal to jump on the ECW One Night Stand wave. I was scheduled for half the matches, but someone wanted a ref bump so I dropped a match.

1. Shockwave vs. Flamingo – Shockwave has a metal armor gimmick thing with sparklers and everything. He wins with the 450.

2. Outkast Killahs vs. Swinger and Steve Kruz – Killahs win with the East Coast (?) Killer.

3. Punk vs. Texas Outlaw vs. Buttery Bert – Main Event. Punk wins with DVD variation. Not sure if it was a rib or what, but the finish and actual match structure (from one-fall or elimination) changed sometime from when I went through the curtain and when the first fall occured. Fun fun.

11.29.03

I’m still working on a complete write up of the first ROH doubleshot weekend, 11/28-11/29. Not that’s it’s going to be amazingly grand or anything, it’s just finding time to finish writing it. One thing I would like to share was the second night, in MA, before the show AJ Styles had a portable DVD player setup and a few people were watching the Ric Flair DVD. I had to step back for a moment during the Clash VI Flair/Steamboat match and realize that I’m sitting next to someone who’s held the belt these two guys on the DVD were fighting for at the Superdome (plus he’s the same age as me), and the Gary Michael Cappetta, the announcer for the evening, was on the other side of me. Very surreal moment.

ROH – 11.01.03

Sunghee and I started off the day at 6:30am, hitting the Dunkin” Donuts on West Street in Center Rutland on the way out to get some breakfast and gas for the car. We elected to take her car as it has more room to fill up with IKEA stuff than my packed Mustang. The trip down was, as usual, uneventful. We arrived in Elizabeth in about 4 1/2 hours and set out to find the hotel, as that’s what I had directions to. We found the street ok, but the hotel was proving to be elusive. Finally we figured out that the directions were totally fucked and we couldn’t possibly get to the hotel from them as it was on the other side of the road divider and behind where we entered the road. We found a place to turn around and got on the correct side of the road and located the hotel. Check-in wasn’t for another couple of hours so we headed to the RexPlex.

This was very hairy. The RexPlex is in the same compound as the IKEA, so, theoretically, if we follow the signs to IKEA we will find the RexPlex. Ah-ha! There’s a sign for IKEA, it says turn right here. Ok, after we turn right, there is a four way intersection, we can turn left, or go straight (the street to the right is one-way, do not enter). I guess we go straight since there’s no further IKEA signs. This was wrong. Obviously after you see a sign that points to the right, you should turn left right after that and do a U-turn. Duh. We didn’t figure this out until after 45 minutes of driving through neighborhoods around the general direction the one sign we saw pointed. After getting some directions that took us to the highway we were able to turn around and get back to the exit we were at before and find out way from there. Ugh.

I arrived in time to find out that the cage would have to be carried from one end of the RexPlex (where the only doors large enough to get it in were) to the other (where the ring would be). Sunghee took this time to head over to the IKEA to look around. The ring went up fine and the new, fitted for the ring cage went up fine as well. When we went to put the platforms on we found a problem. The platforms were designed to fit on the piping the cage is made out of. They weren’t made to fix over the actual fencing the cage is made out of that extends past the top of the cage. About 15 minutes with bolt cutters solved that problem. Bye this point it was getting pretty close to show time so we only had one slow run at setting everything up, but we knew the procedure.

I ended up with one match on the showcase card, the OutCast Killahs vs. Lit and Cloudy of SpecialK. Finish saw OCK win with the East Coast Killer. I also had spots in the Cornette / Joe / Brisoces segment, The BJ Whitmer / Homicide match and I was outside the ring for the scramble cage match. Now the stuff that went down, as I saw it, was: after the match Teddy Hart hit a moonsault onto the Backseat Boys who were outside the ring, without them being ready or knowing about it. This brought out the Carnage Crew (who had already gone to the back) who proceeded to whip both Hart and Evans with the leather strap. Hart was even asking “Why!?!?!” when he was getting whipped and he was told why. Carnage Crew left the ring area and Hart made his way back into the ring and started doing more back flips. I commented to Paul Turner that I thought it was a bit excessive. I started towards the back when Devito came charging out of the curtain almost running me over. Loc was right behind him and managed to keep him from getting into the cage. I realized that something was up, so I went back to the ring to escort Hart and Evans to the back. Once there Gabe took Hart aside and started talking to him and I went back to the ring to take down the cage. Just as we were getting the last panel off word came from the back to stall as Punk had hurt his knee stretching out. Great. We stalled and didn’t get shit on too much. As we were carrying the last panel as the stalling ended, I came up with the great (but too late) idea of coming out with bolt cutters and pretending to cut something to explain why 12 people were standing around with their thumbs up their asses while the last panel stayed up. Anyways, I headed back upstairs to the locker room. Once I got there it was made known that Hart would not be allowed in there. People were trying to calm Devito down. Devito was by one entrance and the security with Hart started to take him towards the other. Devito saw this and made his way purposely to the other door, with the entire locker room behind him. It was then that Hart’s bags and flashy outfits were called for. I took it upon myself to gather them up as I have no real problem with him at the moment and I want to avoid a scene. I stood there by him out side the locker room with his stuff in my hands telling him to get out to his car for about 5 minutes before I gave up and just dumped his stuff on the floor. Eventually the crowd around the entrance of the locker room dispersed and security was left with Teddy Hart. I stayed around too to make sure that he didn’t try to get into the locker room as he really wanted to talk to Devito. It was during this time that he tried sucking up to a couple of other workers who were walking by to get to the locker room. Neither were top tier talent, but Teddy tried to plead his case anyways. One one he noticed a cross and went on about God and Jesus and about forgiveness and shouldn’t he be forgiven and allowed to talk to Devito. He was also constantly putting over Rob Fienstien at every break “Rob, you are one of the greatest men walking this earth, I just want you to know.” “Rob Fienstien is the fucking man, man!” It got to the point where I asked for more security as I could not stomach standing around him anymore. I went downstairs to watch the 4-way and eventually made my way back up to find that Teddy had finally been ejected. After the 4-way had ended Teddy had somehow gotten back into the building and the “incident” occurred. I”m refraining from going into detail at this time for the protection of everyone involved.

Break down went about as smoothly as possible.

Sunghee and I headed back to the hotel and checked in. I found out that the new renovations did not include ice machines on every floor, only even numbered ones. As luck would have it we were on an odd numbered floor. Dammit. The next morning we went downstairs to go for a swim but found that the “heated” pool wasn’t as heated as I’d like. In fact it was quite cold. We took our cue and headed over to the IKEA, finding it with no problem this time. Yay.

I came out of the IKEA with a new “NOT” lamp, a poster sized picture frame, some hangers, light bulbs, and a desire to remake a room with either a lime green/white or orange/white color scheme

10.25.03 – ROH – Specerport, NY

MapQuest and Yahoo! Maps said my trip would be about 7 hours, so I headed off at 6am sharp. I had my brand new EZ-Pass all loaded up and with Al Franken�s �Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right� loaded up on my iPod, I managed to make the trip in just five hours, barely going over the speed limit. This included the five-mile detour to get to the Salmon Creek Country Club where the show was. With plenty of time to myself to sit and sleep in the nice couches over looking the tennis courts.

The truck arrived after a few hours and load up went smoothly. Before the show started everyone celebrated C.M. Punk�s birthday. He received a six-pack of Lebatts Blue, a pack of Cigs, and a cigar. He apparently was never told about the �Well, it�s the thought that counts� adage.

I was assigned two matches for the evening. But first I was honored to ring the bell for a ten bell salute to Road Warrior Hawk. My first match was Hydro (w/ 10 million SpecialK kids) vs. Slyk Wagner Brown (w/o April Hunter). Slyk wins with a press-slam into a moonsault. My second match was talked about a bit in the reviews of the show and I�d like to clear up what happened. The match between Matt Lache (NYC Stryker) and Jared Steele was slated to go 3 minutes. I let them know that they probably shouldn�t go far over that. They ended up going about 2. Lache went to kick out of the finish just after three to keep strong, but took the finish a little stiffly on his head and was dazed and apparently kicked out before three. I didn�t see this and signaled for the bell anyways. The sound guy had fallen asleep or something and never hit the music, so the ring announcer / bell ringer didn�t think the match was over. That was the match that they planned out, that was the finish and it was close to the time that had. It just came off bad.

Clean up after the show took forever as there was no venue-supplied custodian on duty. Plus the ring truck got stuck in the mud outside and we had to wait for a tow truck. Much effort was made to try and push the truck out of it�s muddy prison, but, alas, no to avail. Chairs and tables were placed under the back wheels to try to get some grip but she was stuck in there tight.

I had planned on driving straight home, but due to the horrible weather, Kevin Dunn offered me his couch, which I accepted. The couch was fine, and except for the new kitten (Tony) sharpening it�s claws on my leg I had a nice sleep. I took off the next day at 10am sharp and made it home in another five hours. Total milage 652miles.