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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On The Road with The James Family

Jake Booth presents "On The Road With Beau and Misty James" in this episode The James gang travel to Music CIty USA Nashville,TN to USWO Wrestling at the World Famous Stadium Inn.

See how they pass time while stuck in traffic, Misty James vs. Miss Rachel, we visit with L.T. Falk, International Star Madman Pondo, and ECW,WWE,WCW Superstar Jerry Lynn.





Jake Booth presents "On The Road With Beau and Misty James" episode 2. This edition we finish up the Night in Nashville and head to Manchester TN's Super 8. Then we have a full day of wrestling first Misty wrestles for MLW in Tullahoma TN then we travel to Princeton KY for WKCW before a 6 hour trip home.

We also visit with Nashville Wrestling main stay Tony Falk, MLW promoter Darrell, and some funny late night moments with Beau on the road.

Wahoo, myself, and Manny at one of many carnivals we did together


From wRESTle in Peace
 
When I was 17 years old my friend GQ Stratus (The Warmachine) got me booked on a summer carnival tour where we would travel with James H Drew Expo and have wrestling at his carnivals. Drew is the biggest Carnival in North America. They do big fairs from Florida to Canada with three carnival shows traveling.

When Drew was not doing the big Fairs he would set his shows up with 100 miles of each other. He might have one show at a small county fair then head 50 miles north and have one set up at a mall and the other at a festival.

We would do two days of wrestling at each spot and move one. The money was pretty good and just about always a big crowd.

The man booking the shows was wrestler turned promoter from North Carolina Ken Spence. Ken had best set up in the country. He had x amount of dollars per spot to do two shows. No gamble or way to lose money. Drew was paying and Ken was bring in the talent.
 
For two straight summers I spent a lot of time with Wahoo McDaniel. I got to know him pretty good. We where not best friends or fishing buddies but he always took time to stop and talk to a young kid hoping and praying to be a wrestler in the near future. Wahoo was also always took time to help not only me but other young wrestlers with how there match could be better or how they should have or could have did things better.

One hot summer evening we where in Prestonsburg, KY wrestling at a Festival for Drew. The main event was a match that I always liked reffing The Great Chief Wahoo McDaniel vs. “The Ragin’ Bull” Manny Fernandez. If you have never seen these two wrestle each other find a video. Their matches set the measuring stick for rough. They would beat on each other until blood came out of their chest. And just about always ended with both bleeding from the head also.

As the announcer was making the intros for this match I was giving instructions and rules. I was looking at Manny when he said “Oh my God”. I turned to see what it was. Wahoo had been taking off his traditional Indian gear he always wore to the ring. When he handed out his authentic Indian Headdress the carney who was taking the stuff to the back  the guy put it on his head and to make matters worse he did a little war dance.

Wahoo jumped out of the ring and was cussing mad he gave that carney a beating. He slapped, chopped, and kicked this guy like I had never seen. I thought he was going to kill him. I knew someone was going to have to stop it or he was going to kill him. I took a step toward them and Manny grabbed my arm and said “you better stay out of it kid”

Several of the carnival hands and Ken Spence came down to get Wahoo off the guy. As they got Wahoo off he turn and looked at Manny and rolled in the ring. When he did I heard Manny say “here we go”. And they did for the next 20 minutes or so they beat each other like rented mules. It was a classic Wahoo vs. Manny match and I got to be apart of it.

Story Time 2- Preview of the Book - Fleming Neon Fireworks

Fleming Neon Fireworks

 A few thing I learned very early in my wrestling career is that nothing runs smooth, always expect the unexpected, and there is nothing routine. As I sat there watching the clock I realized about 20 minutes before bell time that only Mike and I were in the dressing room. The ref walks in and has the line up he looks around and ask where everyone is? I tell him you are looking at it. He says well everyone is here on the other side. Like they win an attendance award or something. He says I better go tell the promoter we only have two wrestlers on this side. I had to correct him very fast and tell him no we only have one wrestler on this side.

About five minutes before the matches are to start a wrestler comes in the back door and tells me that he was sent from the other dressing room. I introduce myself to him and he replies “yeah you run Southern States Wrestling could you book me”. He never told me his name. He then tells me that he would be wrestling in the first match. I’m thinking ok but what does this have to do with me? He then informs me that I will be in the second match and then me and him will be tagging in the third match followed by intermission. He said they would figure rest out at intermission or when the rest of the boys got there. But if anyone else shows up it will change. I asked him who was I wrestling and he comes back with oh you have an easy night Bobby Blaze and the tag is him and Tracy.

Three thoughts automatically came to my mind. One I have no idea who this guy is talking to me. Two Bobby and Tracy both were going to Japan regular at that time and were in great shape and liked to go hard. And the third was man I should have went to bed some time that week.

As the first match goes to the ring I took a peak out to see the crowd. I could only see one side of the gym and it was three quarters full. So I asked Mike to step out and look at the other side and he informed me that it’s about the same. So now I really start thinking that we have a good house, we have to have good matches.

The opening match goes to the ring it is the guy who I just talked to and some very small white guy wrestling as a Mexican wrestler. Less than a minute into this match I start thinking I should have told them Mike was a wrestler. He could not have been any worse than this. The opening match went all of 3 minutes and the two guys did everything they knew twice.

Time for me to go to the ring. As I’m climbing in the ref ask me if anyone else has made it. I tell him no and he replies “Oh no we can't have that guy back in the ring again”. Out comes Bobby Blaze who is also the promoter that night. He jumps in the ring and tells me “we are going until the other boys get here”.

Mike came to the ring to get my ring cape and I told him. When the other boys show up let me know. About 30 minutes into the match Mike gives me the high sign. Alright the boys are here. As my match ends I go back to the dressing room and there sit another guy who I did not know dressed like a German.

 I introduced myself as I did the first unknown wrestle and the German tells me he is Killer Kurt. I said Ok and asked “where have you been and who came with you”. He tells me that this is his home town. He went up to Tracy at the picture table and asked who to talk to about wrestling and Tracy told him to get dressed. At this point I did not bother to ask any more questions. I’m thinking I’m done. This guy will wrestle somebody and they will figure rest out.

In comes the ref and tells me to get back to the ring for the tag match. He says they said bring the Russian and come on. I look around no Russian so I tell the East Kentuckian I mean German lets go. Back to the ring I go. As we come out people star yelling it’s Kurt, hey Kurt, Kurt we did not know you was a Russian, how’s ya Mommy Kurt. Yes mommy. No matter the age in East Kentucky they still call their parents Mommy and Daddy.

As we get in the ring the ref says I hope this Russian is better then the guy in the first match. Who by the way is now in the crowd cheering Tracy Smothers.


Me vs. Tracy Smothers around the time of this story. I noticed looking at the picture my right
hand was a mess from a fight I got into with a wall

As we are standing there for the introductions Tracy is speaking to me in a form of carnie (carnival speech) that until this point in time I thought every wrestler in the world knew. Kurt asks me what is he speaking? He says “I have been in the army and around the world but have never heard anything like this”. I tell Tracy in carnie that he is not smart to the carnie and Tracy looks at me like I just kicked his mommy.

It all worked out and we made it through a 25 minute tag match in which I think Kurt was in the ring three minutes. I go into the dressing room and sit down and put a towel over my head like every night. I look around and guess what? Still no other wrestlers. But it was no longer my worry I know there are at least two other wrestlers in the other dressing room that have not wrestled yet. I did nearly an hour. Shower and time to go home. But wait here come the ref again.


As I see him I said “what ever it is the answer is NO” The ref tells me they are going to do a Battle Royal. Bobby “says the local guys are to bad to do a singles match”. After I tell him what he can tell Bobby and what he can do with his Battle Royal and Local guys. I head to the ring to be in a Battle Royal.
 
That’s right four matches and I was in three of them. I went nearly 30 minutes in a singles. Then nearly 30 in a tag. And about 30 seconds in a Battle Royal. The only memory I truly have of the Battle Royal was seeing the guy from the first Match get on the apron and take off his new Tracy Smothers T Shirt he bought at intermission to get in the ring.



Me vs. Bobby Blaze
At last the matches were over. Showered got paid with a big bonus. And now I have to wait for the people to clear out so we can leave since I rode with Tracy. Mike comes over and he has Tracy’s keys so we can go get in the car. We head out the back door and around an ally to the parking lot behind the gym. As we come out I’m hoping there are no fans hanging around. Shoot they cant be mad at me I just got beat three times. As we come out in the parking lot its dark and no one around.

I put my stuff in the car. Mike is smoking like always. And we are talking. Tracy comes out and says he will drive back to my place since I went a marathon. As we are laughing we hear two or three loud pops. I look and there is a guy running right at Me and Tracy. Behind him is some nut chasing him and shooting at him.

I dive in the car. Tracy hits the ground. And there stands Mike smoking a cigarette and looking up in the air for fireworks. When Mike realizes we were all in a run by shooting he needs two cigarettes. We all are shaken and I asked Mike why did you not get down. All he could say was “I was looking for the fireworks”.

Mike then tells us we need to call the cops or something. I tell him no way. There is only one way in and our of this town and I am not about to finger some guy for a shooting. And I’m not coming back to be in court with his family knowing when and where we will be at. In the car we jump and see a beautiful site Fleeming Neon, KY in our rear view mirror.

Story Time 1 Preview of the Book

From the Chapter the Yankees are Coming!

"These People are Like Nothing I have ever Seen"

  In 1996 I met a guy who I always considered (after I got to know him) to be one of my favorite people the one and only "Duke, The Duke of New York" Al Getz. Before I met him I already had heard of him and he was not even in wrestling yet. He had a talent for making people mad for his letters he wrote and sent into the sheets. So mad in fact people would write in saying they wanted to B*^#h slap him.

 The Duke like myself and many others in wrestling is a life long fan. He grew up in New York, went to the same High School as Andy Kaufman, went to wrestling at MSG and The Meadowlands. He went to College in Philadelphia. He was straight up no doubt about it what we like to call here in Tennessee a "Yankee" and even worse proud of it.

 I first met the Duke at a wrestling event in Ashville,NC. About two days later Al calls me wanting to rent my ring for a event he is promoting. I asked when is the event and he answers "tomorrow" talk about last minute. I did not take my ring but I got him a ring from NC. I rode over to this event with Ricky Morton because I had to see how it would be ran, draw, etc. I wanted to see just how bad it would be.

 I walk in and man what a surprise! He had a loaded card Rock N Roll Express, Head Bangers, Terry Gordy, Brad Armstrong, The Gangstas. In fact he had such a loaded card there was more TV Stars in the dressing room then there was fans in the building. He learned his first lesson PROMOTE.Later we would laugh and call this "The Greatest Show No one ever saw". He lost thousands and his face showed it. Most guys who run failure events like this leave at intermission without paying, write bad checks, short everyone, or tell you they will make it up next time. But this was the night that Al got over with me. He lived up to his word and paid every guy what he promised  them.

 A few weeks later Al calls me and says he is coming to my event Friday he wants to talk to me about managing in SSW. I tell him to come on and I have him a spot. I was looking for a guy and he would be great. So he shows up and tells me that he wants to be called "The Duke,The Duke of New York". He is wearing a Yankee jersey and cap and is carrying a ball bat. I said ok go out and say this and that and PJ Sharp is handing over Bubba for you to manage. When it came time for the Dukes debut he went out and started off in a very loud New York voices "MY NAME IS THE DUKE,THE DUKE OF NEW YORK" and then went on to tell the great southern people of Fall Branch TN that he had came here to help them because ever since the North dropped the A bomb on the South in World War One the south has been a waste land. He went on to make each and every person in that building including myself (because he did not say what I told him) want to kill him. And in that night The Duke was born, I had a 2nd managers people wanted dead, and a new traveling partner.

  I started in wrestling at a young age. By the time I was 15 years old I was making towns a few nights a week. I had a few great guys that taught me how to travel cheap, how to survive on the road, and in return I tried to help others the same way over the years. Also the trips in the car were kind of like school you learn more riding in the car with guys that had been around. All you had to do was shut up and listen. They would teach you all you need to know about wrestling, life, family,etc. It seemed all the world's troubles could be fixed buy a group of half tanked wrestlers on a 200 mile trip.

 About 3 months into the Duke's wrestling career we promoted an event in the wonderful land of Lee County,VA. Over the years I had wrestled in Lee and surrounding area many times. Back then all the events in those mountains drew well, had lively crowds, and you made money. This area was also famous for one of the world's greatest wrestling fans. A large man that loved the good guys and had no trouble hating the bad guys much less fighting them. And to top it off he had did some jail time for.....uh for...well let's say loving his farm animals just a little too much.

 On our hour twenty minute trip form my home to Lee County I was telling the Duke about these wonderful wrestling fans. Who in the past had jumped in the ring to fight me, threw drinks and cups of tobacco spit at me and one me. And a few of them had shown me their pocket knives and wanted me to come close enough to feel it. And of course about the large animal loving fan who would rip The Duke in half if he got a hold of him.

 As we pull into town the Duke tells me "Look I appreciated the story and the trouble you went through telling it to me but I'm from New York and Lived in Philly. I been mugged and beat up. I'm not afraid of these people". So I tell him "these people are like nothing you have ever seen".

 As we are sitting in the dressing room waiting on our turn to go out I keep telling him to keep his eyes open. If anything starts roll in the ring. Don't let them get a hold of you. During intermission the late great ref and my dear friend Mark Curtis comes in our dressing room. I asked how it was going. He says "matches been good, crowd is rowdy, had couple coke cans thrown in the ring, big guy in front row has went after couple of the boys". Duke jumps in and say "Come on guys I get it and how far  you going to take this?". Mark looks and me and just laughs.

 It's time for my match. I knew it was going to an educational night for my pal from New York. As we start out Duke ask why I'm not wearing my multi colored cape or one of my ring jackets? So I tell him it would not be a good idea because of the chances of some fan throwing something on me or grabbing me. He still thinks I'm ribbing him. As we get close to the ring the people start to rumble. We get in the ring and my dad is the ring announcer he looks at me and says "Please don't push it"  (this comes from a Marine with 3 tours of Nam) and my reply is "not going to, the Duke is". So Mark Curtis tells my dad announce the Duke as Jim Cornette's favorite cousin.Mark tells me this large guy came after Jimmy many times in Smokey Mountain. As my dad announces The Duke the large animal lover in the front row yells I hate Jim Cornette.

 The Duke Starts like he did every night my "my name is The Duke,The Duke of New York" and as he gets New York out he is hit with a cup of snuff juice right in the back of his white Yankee's Jersey. He turns and  looks at me. I said don't stop. Keep talking get the heat. As the Duke continues telling these proud rebels that he has come to help them their voices get louder, couple more things tossed at him. He ends short. I take the mic and tell old Mr. Ed that "he should be ashamed and needs to sit down and apologizes to the Duke". You can imagine how that got over. I then tell the cops "would please make the mayor sit down". He starts telling me to make him sit down and is coming toward the ring. He has a cop and two football coaches in front of him. I turn tell the Duke "get ready". I said hey Duke says "Tell your mom to stop calling him and if you get in this ring" that was a far as I made it. The large angry fan tossed all three men in front of him away and charged the ring. As he came through the ropes Mark Curtis trips him, and as I draw back to punt his head, out of no where "The Ragin' Bull" Manny Fernandez hits the ring and drills the guys right between the eyes.

 Now I think to myself ok our Main Event good guy has just knocked out a local "how is this going to work out?" . Manny looks down a the guy and says hey I told you can't jump in the ring. With tears in his eyes not from the punch but from letting one of his favorites down the fan looks up and say "I'm sorry". The cops and coaches trying to drag him out of the ring. Manny says let him go its ok. The large man gets up and goes back to his seat. All of this happens before our opponent ever comes the ring.

Out comes Scott Sterling . We have a 20 minute match that the crowd is in to. Everyone of in the ring was hit by something thrown by a fan. I get beat but after the match the Duke jumps in and we do a number on Scott. I take the Duke's bat and whack Scott in the knee and here comes a few fans over the rail and after us. The Duke and I make our exit and as we walk by our old friend in the front row he say "I'll be waitin' on ya ya Yankee B@#%%^d". We make it back to the dressing room. The Duke is covered in soda and snuff juices, a hot dog, and who knows what else. He falls in the floor and says "These people are like nothing I have ever seen"

Coming Soon my First Book

 Coming soon my first in what I hope to be a series of books. "Stories You Just Can't Make Up" by Beau James. A near quarter century of stories from America's high ways, dressing rooms, The ring, and beyound.

 Including stories about ribs, riots, near death experiences, and stories with wrestling legends Jimmy Valiant, Wahoo McDaniel, Dutch Mantell, Jerry Lawler, Ricky Morton, The Mongolian Stomper, Buddy Landel, Moondog Spot, Billy Joe Travis, The Dundees, The Rich Cousins and many more.

 Stories that will make you laugh, stories that will make you cry, stories that will make you think. My  passion and love for PRO WRESTLING all my life and to keep it like it was when I was a kid. How I got started in wrestling at 14 years old. Follow my battles as a teenage promoter fighting the good ole boy's wrestling in my home area. How a talk with Izzy Slapowitz and his Devil's Duo changed my life. Tributes to my fallen brothers and sisters. My never ending love for my true brothers. The Love story of how a 13 year old girl grew up to marry her king. And a heart felt thanks to all the boys who helped me along the way. Wrestling the family business and Who is the Toughest Man Alive? much more!!!

Pre Orders will be taken soon. There is a DVD that accompanies the Book. Keep an eye out for more details