My Life As A Wrestler!
by POPSIE 1956
I’ll say this right up front, it’s theater, it’s entertainment, it’s meant for (much) younger (more in shape) men and women.
Even though I wasn’t among those in the second part of that last statement, yes, I actually HAVE performed in a professional wrestling ring.
All as a gag, just a radio stunt, but trust me, some of the shit is REAL.
The first time was in 1998, while I was working at a Country Music radio station in Columbus, Indiana as the Morning Guy, which meant the high profile promotions many times went to me.
I was asked by my Program Director Scott Michaels if I would take part in a “Celebrity” Stipulation Match against one of the “Bad Guys,” or as they say in the business, Heels, to boot he was a Heel Manager as well, which meant the fans were gonna see him lose, and lose bad, and it was all for charity.
We set up a series of planned/ad lib radio appearances to get the listeners interested, we both play our part; I’m the “Good Guy” or as they call them, “Baby Face,” being the All American Boy, “Real Deal” RD Reynolds, on the other hand insults my listeners, my big mouth, my size, and my girlfriend (now wife) Nancy.
The confrontations were classic; so much so we had many of my co workers running to the Air Studio thinking the smackdown was gonna be laid right then and there (Where were the Oscar people when I needed them?).
It’s time for the match; wrestlers have the Entrance Themes; I choose this and slowly walk out to the ring with the Cowboy Hat of Doom;
Real Deal is in the ring and starts talking shit. My daughter Megan, who KNEW it was staged, got carried away and went to the edge of the ring, in a verbal throwdown with Real Deal. He bends over the top rope, and Megan says (and this is totally unplanned) “NOBODY TALKS ABOUT MY MOTHER LIKE THAT!”
And she pulls her hand back and SMACKS HIM RIGHT IN! THE FACE
Real Deal, I believe, still has that hand imprint to this day.
Match goes on as planned, I get the win, he wears the diaper.
Next time the group comes back for another fundraiser, Scott and I are a Tag Team against Deal and some Ham & Egger whose name I can’t remember, same result, the Good Guys win.
Next time things are a bit different, a new group comes to town, Ohio Valley Wrestling. This is a training organization (at the time) overseen by WWE. OVW was known to have many of the current WWE starts like John Cena, Randy Orton, and Brock Lesner, get their start there.
They would also use OVW as a place to send their Superstars to for rehab, and during this time the two biggest WWE Superstars spending time in OVW were The Big Show and Mark Henry.
So the Main Event was Show against Henry, and at the time Henry was the Heel. I came out with Show as his “Manager,” Henry’s Manager was…yup, Real Deal.
This time, for the most part, Deal and I are out of the ring but still talking smack to each other. Match ends, Show throws Henry to the mat, covers him and gets the win. Deal is PISSED and comes into the ring; Show does a chokehold and tosses HIM to the ring, Deal is stunned, Show looks to me, smiles, and calls me over..
“Come on Big Mike, finish him off..”
God know why, but I climb to THE TOP ROPE, and LEAP off onto Deal, crowd goes ape shit.
I had one last match in Indiana, it didn’t turn out well at all.
A different, smaller, LESS professional group was in town, they really didn’t care if I won or not.
I knew there was gonna be trouble when I was asked if I wanted to “blade.”
For those who don’t know, blading is where one wrestler tapes his fingers and hides a small piece of a broken razor blade, then when he attacks his opponent, he rakes the hand over the forehead, causing, usually, massive bleeding. Many wrestlers would allow to be bladed for extra money, like this guy;
Naturally I turn him down. I truly don’t remember much from that night, only that whoever I was against in the ring gave me the clothesline from Hell, the back of my head SLAMMED into the mat (and the cheaper the wrestling organization, the less give to the mat, this felt like concrete, I saw stars and (I think) got knocked out for a moment, I had to be assisted to the back.
I thought that was my last time, but no.
I’m up in Barre-Montpelier, Vermont, Morning Guy for another Country Music radio station. It’s now 2002, and there’s a local festival in the area, including some wrestling organization, can’t remember which one, but they had a few former Superstars, for example in this case, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and Doink The Clown
One of my co workers, TJ Michaels from sister station WORK FM (the evil Top 40 station), a big wrestling fan as I am, says we’ve been asked to do “something” for the opening match. I knew it was gonna be a goof (or so I thought), so I said sure.
That day happened to fall on the day of Elvis Presley’s death, and I did a Morning Show remote dressed as “The Fat Elvis” (the remote was at a furniture store selling an Elvis line of furniture). Let’s just say I fit the Fat Elvis line well. I didn’t have a jump suit, but went in Big Boy Pajamas, and a towel to wipe off the perspiration. I shaved my beard, kept long sideburns, and dyed my hair jet black. I chose to appear in the ring just that way. Here’s the match in pictures;
My entrance to the ring
I’m talking smack to the crowd
I hear TJ’s music
TJ makes his way to the ring
The initial confrontation
Shit just got serious
I try to pin him.
He tries to pin me
Doink comes in to break it up
Doink lays the smackdown on me (Rest assured, TJ got it next)
And here’s how I looked the next morning, right before I had to do ANOTHER remote broadcast (I wore sunglasses for a week).
So, I have not been in a ring since 2002, and nearing 60, you would think I’m quite done.
But Hell, if Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair can still have a go, I think I have one more match in me.
And that’s the bottom line, cuz Popsie says so!