|Wahoo, myself, and Manny at one of many carnivals we did together|
From wRESTle in Peace
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.
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