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|
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.