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The 7 - Guest Columns - The Perry Saturn Story
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skorpio17
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#1 Posted on 23.12.02 0924.56
Reposted on: 23.12.09 0926.38

The Jump




“I can’t jump very high, but I can jump from very high places.”
Mick Foley


It was an ordinary night, just like any other. Two men were wrestling in the ring and only about a dozen people were paying attention. This match was being taped for one of the WWF’s lesser shows - Jakked or Metal. This program was TV every Saturday night. It featured the bottom card talents of the WWF. It was a show where nothing special ever happened. Perry Saturn, real name - Perry Satullo, was wrestling against Mike Bell. Bell was supposed to perform an armdrag on Saturn. It was a basic maneuver. All Bell had to do was hold onto Saturn’s arm and drag him down to the mat. It’s one of the first moves a wrestler learns how to perform. Saturn placed his faith in Bell not to let him fall. Saturn jumped. Something went wrong and the ordinary night turned into a disaster.

Saturn had landed on the back of his head. He remembered earlier that night Bell had approached him with a strange suggestion. Bell made a comment that since they were wrestling in his hometown, he should win the match. Talk about having a homefield advantage. *1* This was a jobber that didn’t feel like jobbing. Saturn was not happy with this suggestion; even if it was made in jest. Saturn didn’t know if Bell had dropped him accidentally or on purpose, but he knew his head was throbbing.

Saturn retaliated. He forcefully clotheslined Bell out of the ring. Then he followed him to the outside and threw him into the steel steps. When the match was finished, Mike Bell had a bloody mouth and some loosened teeth. Saturn’s career would never be the same.

He was going to be disciplined for his reckless behavior. The people to carry out that discipline were the APA, Bradshaw and Farooq. The APA were the true locker-room leaders they played during the Invasion angle. On 5/21/01, they gave Saturn two stiff double powerbombs. Soon after that he was given a gimmick as a crazy man obsessed with his mop. *2* But, if they thought this punishment would break Saturn, they had no idea who they were dealing with.

At age 7, Saturn took more punishment in one year than he would in 13 years of wrestling. His step-father beat him constantly. He was beaten so badly that he couldn’t attend first grade class the next day. Then he was beaten the next day for missing school. His step-father beat him so much that he literally couldn’t see straight. He became cross-eyed as a result of the abuse. All the while his mother sat in the next room indifferent to the screams. The whole time his step-father was telling him how he was never gonna amount to shit.


“When I look at the television, I want to see me, staring right back at me.
We all want to be big stars, but we don’t know why, and we don’t know how.
But when everybody loves me; I’m going to be just about as happy as can be.
Mr. Jones and me, we’re gonna be big stars.” - Counting Crows


He watched wrestling on television and wanted to become a wrestler. He wanted to make himself into a bad-ass so that nobody in their right mind would fuck with him.

The door was slammed in his face. Killer Kowalski didn’t see the point in training a puny 5’10, 165 pound kid. He had never trained anybody that small before. Saturn persisted, coming back every day for a month. A month later, after using steroids to add 30 pounds to his frame, Kowalski agreed to train him. While training he worked with Terra Ryzing, later known as Triple H. Saturn had patterned his wrestling style after Arn Anderson and Randy Savage. He respected the quiet demeanor of Anderson as the enforcer of the horsemen. He admired how Savage would perform the most exciting move in wrestling, his top rope elbow drop.

It was 6/6/97 and his knees were shaking as he perched on the top turnbuckle. He wasn’t even scheduled to appear in this match, but he couldn’t stand to see his partner Kronus getting double teamed. The Dudley Boys were supposed to win the ECW tag team titles. But, Saturn took pride in the Eliminators being ECW champions and he wouldn’t let them lose. He was on crutches with; a torn ACL, a cracked kneecap, and a fractured tibia. Still he couldn’t just stand by idly. So only days before major surgery, he jumped off the top rope and hit D-Von Dudley with an elbow drop. Thus allowing the Eliminators to retain their titles for another week.

His had suffered this major injury during his match on 5/31/97 against PG-13 and the Dudleys. He was performing a superkick when he tripped on a crutch left in the ring by New Jack. He landed awkwardly and messed up his knee. The irony is that Saturn was a 3rd degree black belt in karate, yet he was injured performing a simple karate kick. He blamed himself for the injury, instead of blaming the helter-skelter style of a hardcore match with run-ins by guys littering the ring with their garbage-weapons.

The doctor told him that he could expect be out of action for 10 months. The doctor warned that the surgery would leave him with an ugly scar. Saturn laughed at the concern. He thought, “Look at my body. I’m not a pretty-boy like Shawn Michaels. What’s another scar gonna matter?”

While his physical scars were one concern, many of his scars came from self-inflicted wounds. His tatoos may seem like a trendy marketing ploy to enhance his image. Really, they came from when he was high on PCP as a teenager. He thought they looked cool and it seemed like a good idea at the time. He was an abandoned kid living in a juvenile home in Cleveland. He had too much idle time on his hands and wasted it by using drugs. It is a time that he would rather forget.

The Eliminators had made a name for themselves in ECW. They were considered one of the greatest tag teams of the 90’s. Saturn formed the team with John Kronus back when they were both bouncers in Boston. Saturn excelled at high-risk moves. In a match against the Miracle Violence Connection (Terry Gordy/Steve Williams) Saturn climbed the 15 foot high scaffolding, which was set-up for a Tommy Dreamer match. He jumped off and landed on Gordy with an elbow drop to win the match. Another time, in a cage match against the Ganstas, he jumped off the top of the cage an amazing 3 times. Saturn had trained in the Army as an Airborne Ranger. He completed over a hundred jumps. During those jumps, you land fast and hard so you can hit the ground running. This shows why he doesn’t have any fear of heights. With Saturn’s aerial attack and Kronos’ athletic ability, the Eliminators became ECW tag champions three times. In 1997, they won the RSPW award for best tag team of the year.

For all of the chemistry that seemed to exist between Saturn and Kronus, there was friction beneath the surface. Saturn was a quiet guy and Kronus was a loud-mouth who liked to stir the pot. While Saturn was undergoing painful rehabilitation for his knee, he spent every day in the gym. It bothered him that Kronus was getting a beer-gut by refusing to work-out. Saturn didn’t want to be associated with a partner who wasn’t giving the same effort as he was. He wanted a solo career, but Paul Heyman, owner of ECW, was not eager to split up the Eliminators. Paul had spent a lot of effort hyping up the Eliminators as a top team. He didn’t want his effort to be wasted.

When Saturn wasn’t around there were whispers in the locker room. People were wondering why Saturn was always missing. They didn’t believe he was at the gym as much as he said he was. The whispers grew louder and Paul heard them. He also thought Saturn was negotiating with WCW. Not only that, he thought Saturn was acting as a WCW agent by sending out feelers to the ECW locker-room. He soon became convinced that Saturn was a mole from WCW, their competition. *3* Paul felt betrayed. Here he was still paying Saturn’s exorbitant medical bills while Saturn was collaborating with the enemy.

Saturn had no interest in jumping to WCW, especially at the time he had a bum knee. But the gauntlet had been thrown down when he was confronted by the accusations. Saturn was a simple, quiet man, not some leader in a diabolical plot. *4* The accusations bothered him, but not as much as everyone badmouthing him behind his back. They had made their fears of him jumping to WCW into a self-fulfilling prophecy. He called WCW management and came to an agreement with Terry Taylor. He would appear on WCW Nitro the next week on August, 1997.


He got off to a good start in WCW. He fully recovered from his knee injury in only 3 months, far quicker than expected. His friendship with Raven continued from their days in ECW. He became Raven’s most trusted ally and the enforcer of Raven’s Flock. In his first WCW Pay Per View, November 1997, he won the TV title from Disco Inferno. On April 1998, he had the biggest match of his career against the undefeated Goldberg. He lost the match, but he showed a lot of courage by working a very good match against the mercurial Goldberg. In the fall of 1998, he had a series of matches against Raven. He was fighting to free Raven’s flock of wrestlers from Raven’s cult-like control of them. He won and Raven’s flock was freed.

In January 1999, he had a big match against Chris Jericho, highlighted by Saturn’s lionsault. Jericho had created a stipulation where if Jericho won the match, he would have to wrestle in a dress. Saturn lost a controversial decision due to a crooked referee. Still, he honored the agreement and wore the dress to all his matches. Many men would be too embarrassed to follow through. But Saturn asked which would be worse; to wear a dress, or to get your ass kicked by a guy wearing a dress.

Now that WCW figured they had embarrassed Saturn, it looked like they would bury him. He was wrestling in the undercard for months. Then in the Spring of 1999 he was teaming up with Raven. WCW had taken the guys they wanted to bury and trown them all into tag matches. They wrestled against Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko when a funny thing happened. They were getting the loudest cheers in the arena. Somehow this mismatched team of punk-rock looking misfits had gotten over with the crowd. (Similar to how Booker T and Golddust got over.) Months later he would team with Chris Benoit to have the best matches of his career.

In November of 1998 he joined the Revolution. This was a group of young wrestlers led by Shane Douglas and Dean Malenko. In worked-shoot interviews Douglas would complain that they were all being held back by the big-name stars of WCW. Saturn had wrestled for WCW in 23 consecutive Pay Per View events. *5* He was a hard-worker. Even so, the crowd wasn’t into The Revolution as a group. One low moment came when Saturn lost a match to “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, WCW’s janitor.

“If you want me to come with you,
then that’s alright with me.
‘Cause I know I’m going nowhere.
And anywhere’s a better place to be.” – Harry Chapin


On January 2000, chaos broke out in WCW. WCW management got rid of Vince Russo and chose a new leader. That new leader turned out to be grizzled veteran, Kevin Sullivan. Sullivan had developed a reputation as a sadistic leader who held grudges against many workers, especially Chris Benoit.

WCW management had lashed out at the wrestlers during a locker room meeting. They said that the only guys making them money were Hogan, Piper, and Savage. The rest of them were worthless. So, if any one of them wanted out of their contracts, they’d let them out by voiding the contract. It was the day after WCW’s “Souled Out” PPV and many wrestlers were hoping to sell-out themselves.

The idea sounded good to many of the unhappy wrestlers, especially Shane Douglas. He led a group to jump to the WWF. On board with him were Raven, Konnan, Billy Kidman, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn. Lightening-fast negotiations with the WWF were taking place. The WWF didn’t want Raven or Konnan. Shane Douglas had already burned his bridges with the company during his last stay there. His inclusion was a deal-breaker so he was left out, even though it was his idea.

The deal was very fragile; it could fall apart at any time. At the last minute Eddie Guerrero heard about the plan in passing and decided to come aboard. Also, at the last minute, WCW had made a counter-offer that Billy Kidman accepted. They promised to give him a big push and better treatement.

The new offer was a package deal for Benoit, Saturn, Malenko, and Guerrero to come in as a group called the Radicals. The whole deal hinged on Chris Benoit, whom the WWF coveted the most. He was WCW’s newest champion and their most valuable wrestler. If Benoit should change his mind and decide at the last minute to stay with WCW, then the rest of the Radicals would be left out in the cold. The WWF could pit them against each other and sign the one wrestler who agreed to the lowest price. Saturn had to trust Benoit to stick to his word. He took a leap of faith. And he jumped.

*************************************************

*1*
There have been many examples of homefield advantage in wrestling. A recent example is last year’s Unforgiven (9/01) when Kurt Angle won the WWF title in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. It has also been said that Brock Lesnar lost to Bob Holly at a house show in Alabama. This seems to run against Lesnar’s “undefeated” streak.

*2*
It looked like this crazy gimmick they saddled Saturn with was actually working in getting him over. At the 6/01 KotR PPV, my friends would use his “Your Welcome!” catchphrase on strangers and laugh about it. They were goofy, but it seemed like a cool catchphrase. Once the Invasion happened, it was one of many angles pushed to the back shelf.

*3*
Paul Heyman had a double standard when it come to his workers leaving his company. He didn’t mind when guys like Taz and the Dudleys jumped to the WWF, because he had a cozy business relationship with Vince McMahon. But, he got very upset when guys like Raven, Sabu, and Mike Awsome, jumped to WCW.

*4*
It is said that the true WCW mole was ECW official, Todd Gorton.

*5*
4/98 + 5/98 Saturn vs. Goldberg – Spring Stampede
6/98 Saturn vs. Kanyon
7/98 Saturn vs. Raven
8/98 Saturn vs. Kanyon vs. Raven
9/98 Saturn vs. Raven
10/98 Saturn vs. Lodi
11/98 + 12/98 vs. Ernest “the Cat” Miller
1/99 Saturn vs. Jericho (dress match w/ evil ref)
2/99 Saturn vs. Jericho
3/99 Saturn vs. Jericho
4/99 Saturn/Raven vs. Benoit/Malenko
5/99 Saturn/Raven vs. Benoit/Malenko vs. Kidman/Rey Mysterio (MotY)
6/99 Saturn/Benoit vs. DDP/Kanyon
7/99 Saturn/Benoit vs. DDP/Kanyon/Bam Bam Bigalow
8/99 Saturn vs. Rick Steiner
9/99 Saturn vs. Eddie Guerrero
10/99 Saturn/Malenko/Shane Douglas v. Curt Hennig/Barry Windham/Bobby Duncam Jr..
11/99 Saturn/Malenko/Asia vs. Eddie Guerrero/Kidman/Torri Wilson
12/99 Saturn/Malenko/Asia vs. Jim Duggan/Sullivan/Rotunda
1/00 Saturn vs Billy Kidman

-written by Brian Popkin
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LeechOfTheNight
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#2 Posted on 23.12.02 1126.29
Reposted on: 23.12.09 1129.02
Interesting, but I gota point out one thing: Raven left WCW around August/September of 2000. This was when Bischoff said he'd give releases to anyone who wanted one. Raven jumped on the offer, but as part of a stipulation for the release, he couldn't jump to the WWF so he went back to ECW. Other than that, good read.
skorpio17
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#3 Posted on 23.12.02 1550.10
Reposted on: 23.12.09 1553.25

    Originally posted by LeechOfTheNight
    Interesting, but I gota point out one thing: Raven left WCW around August/September of 2000. This was when Bischoff said he'd give releases to anyone who wanted one. Raven jumped on the offer, but as part of a stipulation for the release, he couldn't jump to the WWF so he went back to ECW. Other than that, good read.


Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.

You made a good point, there were two separate times an ultimatum was issued to disgruntled WCW wrestlers and I mistakenly combined them into one.

The first one was Bischoff in August/September of 1999 (you’re a year off). He offered up conditional releases and Raven was the only one who took up the offer. Kidman and Konnan backed down.

The second one was Busch in January 2000 who offered unconditional releases. The Radicals left without Shane Douglas.

Raven has a very interesting story in that he signed with ECW for far less money and ended up having a falling out with Heyman. Shows the motto that you can never go home again. Maybe next time I’ll write a column about The Raven Story…
tomvejada
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#4 Posted on 23.12.02 1738.55
Reposted on: 23.12.09 1739.06
Good column.

Glad to see somebody else who was a fan of Perry Saturn's goofy gimmick.
dMp
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#5 Posted on 24.12.02 0232.11
Reposted on: 24.12.09 0232.18
Great story, I didn't know about the abuse thing.
I have always been a fan of his wrestling..stiff looking as hell. And yeah, Moppy was funny too ;)
Dagent913
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#6 Posted on 24.12.02 1354.25
Reposted on: 24.12.09 1354.50
I thought the whole Moppy thing was funny too, even though I kept thinking how much better I would have liked a tough guy type gimmick. I was never sure if the Moppy angle came about as punishment or as another wacky idea by the writers. Didn't know about the abuse either. I always did feel bad for Saturn for not getting over in the WWF like so many of us thought he would.
Parts Unknown
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#7 Posted on 27.12.02 1416.51
Reposted on: 27.12.09 1417.05
That was great.
I wish I had known all of that (abuse story) when Perry was in WWE. I would have had more respect for him.
I was always a fan of his WCW work, especially against Raven. His death valley driver was intense.
skorpio17
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#8 Posted on 27.12.02 1553.24
Reposted on: 27.12.09 1554.13
Thanks for all of the feedback, guys.

I really liked Saturn’s WCW work tag teaming with Raven. They were both stuck in mid-card hell and made the most out of it. I also liked his T-Bone Tazplex move.

12/27/02 UPDATE: I just heard Saturn recently worked for Ultimo Dragon's Toryumon (luchadore) promotion and he may join All Japan in the near future.

I’ll follow up with another column in a couple weeks.

Cheap Plug: There’s a great column I helped out with

Smackdown Quotes


”He might not make as much money as he did playing football for Florida State!” - Tazz, referring to Ron Simmons.


(edited by skorpio17 on 27.12.02 1402)
asteroidboy
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#9 Posted on 27.12.02 1639.56
Reposted on: 27.12.09 1640.16
Enjoyable read. Is all that abuse stuff true?
skorpio17
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#10 Posted on 30.12.02 1513.09
Reposted on: 30.12.09 1516.42

    Originally posted by asteroidboy
    Enjoyable read. Is all that abuse stuff true?


I believe the abuse paragraph is absolutely true. I read Saturn talk about it in depth in many different interviews. It shows why he was motivated to get into this crazy business.

On the other hand, the ECW mole story is based on wild rumors.



Everyone go read vsp’s Year in Quotes, some good stuff in there.

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