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22.12.14 1936
The W - Pro Wrestling - Don Callis makes front page of the Chicago Tribune!
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Eradicator
Kolbasz








Since: 4.1.02
From: Chicago

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.95
An article on the front page of today's Chicago Tribune dealt with Athletes risking injury in the off season, and mentioned TNA and Don Callis. I mention this only because I don't think I've ever seen *any* pro wrestler, or wrestling personality mentioned on the front page of the Trib before. Kinda weird that Don Callis is the first, eh? I was just surprised that they mentioned Callis by name, but reffered to Johnny Fairplay only as "a despised member of the TV series Survivor."

I don't watch TNA, but it sounds like they got their facts pretty much right. This is a lot of exposure for TNA, but I don't know if it will bring in a significant more amount of viewers necessarily. Just kinda interesting.

Here's a bit of the text from the Tribune's website. I'd provide linkage, but, uh, it's early and I'm retarded. sorry.



Brian Urlacher had heard enough.

Pro wrestler Don Callis was taunting him Wednesday night at the TNA Asylum in Nashville, tempting the Bears' linebacker into the ring--and possibly putting his NFL career in peril.

Over the public-address system, Callis stuck to the script and mocked Urlacher, who was only having a little fun when he jumped into the ring, clotheslined two security officers and threw a despised member of the TV series "Survivor" over the ropes.

It would be understandable if the Bears didn't find it all that amusing.

In a month when New York Yankees third baseman Aaron Boone likely was lost for the season after tearing knee ligaments during a pickup basketball game and the Bulls were putting the finishing touches on an injury settlement with guard Jay Williams after his motorcycle crash last summer, concern seems as warranted as it is expected.


(edited by Eradicator on 30.1.04 0838)


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Since: 16.4.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.07
That makes ol' Jackyl a babyface in Green Bay.



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Eradicator
Kolbasz








Since: 4.1.02
From: Chicago

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.95
That'll teach me for running to the weinerboard all excited before reading ahead. Not only is Don Callis mentioned, but Erik Watts is as well. They talk about how he and Urlacher are friends, and how he trained him for the bit.

Again, I'd provide a link, but I don't know how that works with having to have an account on the Tibune website. Sorry.



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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.82
I don't care much for TNA, but now all I can think of is the "Eradicator" sketch from The Kids In The Hall.

"I am the Eradicator!"



You think WWE now is bad? Some of us had to live through 1993-1996!
Eradicator
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Since: 4.1.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.95
    Originally posted by King Of Crap
    I don't care much for TNA, but now all I can think of is the "Eradicator" sketch from The Kids In The Hall.

    "I am the Eradicator!"


That's where I got it from! I used to have Bruce Mculloh for a bit in my avatar. Errrrraaaadicator!!!! It has to be my favorite KITH sketch of all time.



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Since: 2.1.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.88
Here's the Tribune article:
Brian Urlacher had heard enough.

Pro wrestler Don Callis was taunting him Wednesday night at the TNA Asylum in Nashville, tempting the Bears' linebacker into the ring—and possibly putting his NFL career in peril.

Over the public-address system, Callis stuck to the script and mocked Urlacher, who was only having a little fun when he jumped into the ring, clotheslined two security officers and threw a despised member of the TV series "Survivor" over the ropes.

It would be understandable if the Bears didn't find it all that amusing.

In a month when New York Yankees third baseman Aaron Boone likely was lost for the season after tearing knee ligaments during a pickup basketball game and the Bulls were putting the finishing touches on an injury settlement with guard Jay Williams after his motorcycle crash last summer, concern seems as warranted as it is expected.

Since former Patriots and Dolphins running back Robert Edwards blew out his knee in an NFL-sponsored beach volleyball game in Hawaii in 1999, in fact, professional teams have feared the worst concerning the off-season activities of athletes in whom they have invested millions.

It was unclear whether a clause in Urlacher's nine-year, $57 million contract prohibited such activity, but many athletes have such restrictions. Cubs pitcher Mark Prior, for example, revealed last summer that he had language in his contract that prevented him from chopping wood.

But Urlacher didn't appear too worried about joining the unfortunate company of other athletes whose careers have been jeopardized because of imprudent acts when he joined his friend Erik Watts in the main event against Callis.

As if he were chasing Packers quarterback Brett Favre, Urlacher pursued 130-pound Jon Dalton, better known as Johnny Fairplay to fans of "Survivor," until he caught him.

With about 2,000 fans chanting "Brian! Brian! Brian!" Urlacher lifted Dalton above his head, tossed him over the ropes into the arms of the guards and raised his fists triumphantly to the adoring crowd.

"It was a good time out there, everyone could see my face—I don't have a helmet on," Urlacher told WSMV-TV in Nashville. "They got excited, it was fun and they got me going."

But did it get Urlacher in trouble with the Bears?

Neither Bears general manager Jerry Angelo nor Bears coach Lovie Smith knew their franchise player was planning to make the appearance on behalf of Watts, a pro wrestler Urlacher befriended at a charity golf tournament four years ago in Alabama.

Asked in an interview Wednesday shortly before the event if the Bears were aware of his wrestling appearance, Urlacher spoke honestly.

"I don't think they know," he said. "There's no way I can get hurt, and I'm not doing anything crazy, so they shouldn't have a problem with it."

A report of Urlacher's involvement at the event was posted on the team's Web site Thursday morning but was removed later in the day. Team spokesman Scott Hagel said Angelo and Smith planned to address the situation with Urlacher, the organization's $57 million investment, and anything discussed will be handled internally.

Urlacher's agent, Steve Kauffman, was unavailable. Urlacher had travel delays coming back from Nashville, and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

"Brian wants to help us, and he's not going to do anything that would hinder the Bears winning this coming season," Smith said at Halas Hall. "Things that I think would put our future in jeopardy, of course, I'll deal with on an individual basis with all the players. Things that have to be dealt with I will deal with."

Watts, who said he rehearsed the bit with Urlacher "20 times" before the bell rang Wednesday, believed the Bears had nothing to fear. "Unless Brian strained a muscle putting the guy over his head, the only guy in danger of getting hurt was [Dalton] flying through the air," Watts said. "Brian had less of a chance of getting hurt doing this than he would playing pickup basketball."

Urlacher had come to Nashville as a personal favor to Watts, a former quarterback at Louisville who has become a major wrestling attraction for Total Nonstop Action (TNA) over the past eight years. Watts has trained Dennis Rodman, Karl Malone and Jay Leno for promotional events that got much more physical than Urlacher's.

"If I can keep Jay Leno from getting hurt, I think Brian Urlacher's OK," Watts said. "We would not put any athlete in harm's way."

Wednesday's pay-per-view event had been billed in advertisements as a match between rivals Watts and Callis, with the promise of "quite possibly the baddest man in the NFL"—Urlacher—making his presence felt.

"One word of warning [to] Callis: I suggest you don't get in Urlacher's way, or you might be TNA's version of a tackling dummy," one ad proclaimed.

It hearkened Bears' fans back to the night in 1986 when former Bears William Perry and Jim Covert participated in "Wrestlemania 2" at the Horizon against 500-pound "Andre the Giant." Then-Bears President Michael McCaskey was concerned enough about that performance that he sent the team doctor to the event to examine the two Bears and other NFL players after their matches.

Bulls fans remember Rodman skipping a film session during the NBA Finals against Utah in 1998 and flying to Detroit for an appearance as "Rodzilla" with pro wrestler Hulk Hogan. Rodman broke a chair over a wrestler's head, but was at practice the next day.

The way Urlacher played along with the act encouraged promoters that he might be part of future events. "We were all amazed that he got into it as much as he did," public relations director Jody Davis said. "After that, we definitely have to give Brian a ring name."

But Urlacher didn't sound like a guy who will be fitted soon for a sequin robe.

"I'm not doing it down the road," he told TV reporters. "It was fun for a night."

As long as nobody got hurt, the Bears might even manage to laugh about it. Asked about the risks involved for Urlacher and the Bears, new defensive coordinator Ron Rivera maintained a sense of humor.

"Did he win? That's all that matters," Rivera deadpanned. "No, seriously, the thing about it is you have to be careful and be smart. It's something we will discuss with him, but hopefully he's being careful and being smart."


and from the Sun-Times:

Bears, Urlacher grapple with ring activity

January 30, 2004

BY BRAD BIGGS Staff Reporter Advertisement





HOUSTON -- The Bears are putting a chokehold on Brian Urlacher's pro wrestling career.

The face of the organization won't be clotheslining any more bad guys after bouncing off the ropes or throwing anyone known as ''The Worm'' from the ring -- at least not in a pay-per-view event. That's what happened Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn., in a two-minute appearance by the $56.65 million middle linebacker in an NWA-TNA event.

It appeared harmless, with Urlacher's most strenuous act coming when he picked up and launched Jonny ''The Worm'' Fairplay, who is less imposing than your average kicker or punter. Nonetheless, the Bears were not thrilled Thursday.

''Contractually, he can't get himself in those types of situations,'' general manager Jerry Angelo said. ''That's not something we're going to condone. We're not going to make a big deal out of it. We understand who he is, and he needs to understand who he is.''

What Urlacher did is probably less likely to result in injury than playing in a charity basketball game, which the Bears encourage players to do during the offseason. The brief appearance in the ring was mapped out. In an interview with Fox affiliate WZTV in Nashville, Urlacher said he is friends with Erik Watts, who was wrestling Don Callis in the match.

''I know a lot about wrestling, and it's a whole different thing than what we do in football,'' Urlacher said. "So I'm going to do what they tell me to do, try not to get anyone hurt or get myself hurt and have a good time.''

There is nothing in Urlacher's contract that specifically mentions wrestling, only that he can't participate in activities that might expose him to significant personal injury. The Bears consider wrestling such an activity.

''I don't think there is [anything in the contract about it],'' Urlacher said. ''I'm not doing anything that can get myself hurt, so they're probably not going to be too mad.''

Boys will be boys, and athletes will be active. Angelo, who has spoken with Urlacher's agent, Steve Kauffman, knows that.

''They can wrestle in their backyards, they can play basketball,'' Angelo said. ''You can't monitor them 24 hours a day. They have to understand they are accountable for what they do not only in the season, but in the offseason. ... We know this is something that probably happened on impulse.''

Urlacher isn't the first Bears player to take to the ring during his playing days. Jimbo Covert and William ''The Refrigerator'' Perry were hits in Wrestlemania II in 1986, two months after winning Super Bowl XX. General manager Jerry Vainisi wanted Covert to sign a release saying his contract, benefits and pension might be affected if he was injured. Covert said no way.

''There was no way you could get hurt,'' Covert said Thursday. ''It was so well-rehearsed, and there were mats everywhere. The agreement was I had to be out in the first five minutes. It ended up being like 25 seconds.''


And from the Sun-Times, the whiniest bitch in Chicago and the one man I would take out if I had a license to kill, Jay Mariotti:
So there he was, the $56.65 million face of the Chicago Bears and prized marketing vehicle of the NFL, staring into the eyes of a clumpy-haired, Sammy Hagar lookalike named Jonny Fairplay (aka The Worm). I never thought Brian Urlacher would do anything dumber than stay at the Paris Hilton and invite America's Bimbo to wear No. 54 in his Soldier Field suite.



But who knew Urlacher The Linebacker was a professional wrestling geek?

Feel free to be suitably annoyed, if not thoroughly alarmed, that Urlacher spent Wednesday night participating in a pay-per-view rasslin' event in Nashville, Tenn. You'd think he would know better, living in the town where Jay Williams ruined his basketball career by ignoring the clause in his standard player's contract, riding a motorcycle and crashing it to smithereens on a North Side street. You'd think he would know better, only weeks after baseball player Aaron Boone jeopardized the New York Yankees' season by ignoring the clause in his standard player's contract, playing pickup basketball and blowing out his knee.

Beneath the buzz cut and backward cap, unfortunately, is a rebel of sorts. Without asking Halas Hall for permission, which would have been denied, Urlacher signed a deal with Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling. It required him to appear in a dingy arena, packed with goofball fans, and throw himself into a three-minute episode of choreographed foolishness that involved too much head-banging, body-hurling and rope-hopping for comfort.

Yes, I realize it's nothing but schlock. But I also remember what Steve McMichael said when he retired from wrestling a few years ago: His body was ravaged from too many blows. Just because they're really not trying to kill each other, Mongo said, doesn't mean rasslers can't suffer painful injuries in the process.

It's Urlacher's responsibility to treat his body as a temple and protect the Bears' investment in him, which includes a $13 million signing bonus, a potential $6 million more in bonuses and a total deal of $56.65 million over nine seasons. I am happy to report he came away unscathed. But having watched the tape Thursday, it would have been easy enough for Urlacher to tear a ligament or break a bone. Thing is, it's simply not necessary for him to wrestle. He doesn't need the money. He doesn't need the attention. Why do it?

Jerry Angelo, the team's embattled general manager, asked the same question upon learning about the stunt. Like Williams and Boone, Urlacher violated a clause that prohibits players from engaging in risky activities. Even McMichael was wise enough during his playing days to ask management if he could wrestle, a request denied in the mid-1980s by the GM at the time, Jerry Vainisi. Almost 20 years later, Angelo is miffed that Urlacher would ignore the letter of the law.

''Contractually, he can't get himself in those types of situations,'' Angelo told the Sun-Times' Brad Biggs. ''That's not something we're going to condone. We're not going to make a big deal of it. We understand who he is, and he needs to understand who he is.''

Halas Hall is issuing a warning: Any further shenanigans might lead to legal action. Urlacher should consider himself lucky to have escaped unscathed, given the vigorous activity in the ring. In the middle of the third match of the night, Urlacher was summoned into the ring by a bossman named Callis. He entered to raucous roars and was confronted by a character named Legend, another named Kevin Northcutt and two security guards called the Red Shirts.

''I know you're a big [football] player, and I know it means you don't understand things that well,'' Callis told Urlacher. ''I'm gonna put things real simple for you, Brian. If you stay in this building tonight, Erik Watts loses the match by default and I run this company. So basically, the way I see it, Brian, we can do this the hard way or we can do this the easy way.''

''What's the easy way?'' Urlacher grunted.

''The easy way is to do what you do every Sunday,'' Callis snarled. ''Put your tail between your legs, run off the field like a little girl and go run and hide.''

Only Callis knows whether he was referring to Urlacher's subpar play last season, which prompted criticism from fans and media and charges that the Bears dramatically inflated his tackle totals. Ticked off, Urlacher chose the hard way. This prompted the two Red Shirts to attack him, but he strategically ducked and floored the goofs by holding out his massive arms and wiping them out clothesline-style.

The only rival left was The Worm. Urlacher picked him up by his moppy hair, lifted him over his head, walked over by the ropes and fired The Worm about 20 feet onto the floor of the arena. ''Brian Urlacher just took out the trash!'' the TV analyst shouted.

''Brian! Brian! Brian!'' the crowd chanted.

With that, Urlacher raised his arms and sprinted out of the ring just as he had entered it, leaping over the high ropes and jumping onto the floor. Naturally, he granted an interview to a TV station. The Bears won't like what he had to say. ''I don't think they know about it,'' he said of his employers. ''There's no way I can get hurt.''

Any number of football players have tried wrestling, including William "The Refrigerator'' Perry and Lawrence Taylor. Bears great Bronko Nagurski was one of the top stars in wrestling during the '30s, but the football money was a wee bit less back then, prompting George Halas to give him permission to participate during the offseason. Nagurski retired in the prime of his football career to go full-bore into wrestling.

As loopy as Urlacher the Linebacker is these days, I'm wondering whether he might ponder going down the same path. Like Williams, he seems to be bothered by public life and is fighting back with defiance. Unlike Williams, he didn't get hurt.

He should consider himself lucky.











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Since: 26.1.03
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.19
    Originally posted by spf2119
    Urlacher had come to Nashville as a personal favor to Watts, a former quarterback at Louisville who has become a major wrestling attraction for Total Nonstop Action (TNA) over the past eight years.

WHAT???!! Where do I start correcting this paragraph?


    Originally posted by spf2119
    Urlacher isn't the first Bears player to take to the ring during his playing days. Jimbo Covert and William ''The Refrigerator'' Perry were hits in Wrestlemania II in 1986, two months after winning Super Bowl XX. General manager Jerry Vainisi wanted Covert to sign a release saying his contract, benefits and pension might be affected if he was injured. Covert said no way.

    ''There was no way you could get hurt,'' Covert said Thursday. ''It was so well-rehearsed, and there were mats everywhere. The agreement was I had to be out in the first five minutes. It ended up being like 25 seconds.''

That's a pretty cool tidbit about how they decdie eliminations.

(edited by geemoney on 30.1.04 1320)


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I believe that is in memory of the crew member who died in a fall at the PPV. Joe was also wearing one. They flashed the guy's name on the screen at the beginning, but I (sadly) don't remember what it was.
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