-The thing of it is, it never, ever should have happened. It was one of those fucked up things that could only happen in wrestling. And I can blame it on that stupid fucking lazy over-tanned, over-fucking-rated Florida Beach Bum movie actor...
-Storm, youíre talking about the Hollywood Storm. ďMy right bicep is called Lightning and my left bicep is called Thunder and together I will bring down the storm on you!Ē
-Yeah, him. Bastard.
-But you never wrestled him. He showed up and you sort of disappeared.
-Yeah, well, I didnít even have to get into the ring with him for the dumb bastard to hurt me. See, he was the big thing in New York, but since we had the better distribution and the better tour, that meant he was a big fish in a smaller pond. He needed to prove that he was really big time. Plus New York had decided he was washed up and he was pissed about that and wanted to prove them wrong. Everything had to be big, big, big. And for whatever weird ass reason, Old Man Clancy was with him every step of the way.
Now everyone wants to see him face me, but we donít want to give that match to people right away. So what we end up doing is recycling a feud from his days in New York when he wrestled against this big bad mother-fucker called the Mastodon... and lost, so to make it sweeter for Storm he gets to get his win back, which matters, Ďcause heís his own biggest fan. What we call a fucking mark for himself. Anyway, he talks Clancy into this gimmick where a lightning bolt hits the ring and when the smoke clears heís in the ring. Something that he always wanted to do before, but New York would never spring for it and neither would the NWA.
The trick to the gimmick is that you rig the ring with a trapdoor, so that when the pyro hits, Storm is coming up from under the ring and when the smoke clears heís there in the middle of the ring.
-And it looks like he came out of nowhere. Right, I remember being really impressed by that.
-Yeah, well only problem with that little gimmick is that it means that you end up with a steel trap door in the middle of the ring. And for whatever reason, no one decided to mention to me not to bump there. They were so obsessed about keeping Stormís debut a secret that they even kept it a secret from the guys working that night. So, Iím wrestling one of the kids from Calgary and weíre working a nice little match and I go to finish it off with a top rope foot stomp to the neck. Now the key to that move is that I actually land on my right foot and my left foot never actually hits the neck it just looks like it does. So when I landed, my right foot hit the steel trap door right on the edge of the steel and the canvas. Worst fucking place to land because thatís where the steel is the most rigid. I knew as soon as I hit my knee was fucked. Fortunately, all I needed to do was fall on the kid for the three count. Well, almost all. We improvised a little brawl up the ramp, with the ref Brian Silverstein in the middle. What the audience never realized is that the whole brawl was built around me leaning on either Brian or the kid as I hobbled up the ramp.
I didnít need the x-rays or the Doctor, I knew, I knew, I knew, my knee was done. It was everyone else that needed to be convinced. I mean by this point I had been doing five six matches a week for more than eleven years. You think Cal Ripkenís streak was unbelieveable? I hadnít missed a booking for any reason for a decade. I was Mr. Reliable, Mr. Indestructible. The closest that I had even coming to missing anything was during the Mongoose feud. Not against Mongoose, he may have been a miserable misanthropic mopey twenty-four karat son of a bitch, but in the ring he was as crisp as sheet at the Ritz. I mean if you pissed him off, he knew almost as many dirty tricks as I did, more maybe. But otherwise that pretty boy was safe as houses. No it was his Samoan best friend who was the dangerous one. Fucking whale. Son of a bitch nearly broke a rib landing on me wrong, first match after we sent Mongoose home for his busted ear to heal and for him to be there when Dana had their baby. And Clancy, the soft-hearted prick, gave him nearly six months off, he didnít have to be back until a about six weeks before C and F to set up our blow-off match properly. Which meant that I had to spend close to six months working with that dangerous fat piece of shit, wearing a flak jacket to keep my ribs in place.
-I thought that you wore that flak jacket because you got death threats?
-Yeah, sure. I mean I did get death threats, but I wasnít wearing a flak jacket because I was expecting a nut-case to jump into the ring with a gun.
-You know, I remember everything about that show where you injured Mongoose. I couldnít tell you what happened on ER last Thursday, but the Budweiser Wrestling Hour where you took out Mongoose? That I remember. Davey had the left side of his face bandaged because you had kicked his ear off two weeks before. I remember Shooter coming out of the announcerís position to try and talk Davey into not doing the match, that it was too soon, the ear wasnít healed properly, he was still getting dizzy spells. And Davey throws him off to charge into the ring. And you are laughing at him and talking cheap shots at his head, and because Davey is so angry, heís trying to brawl with you which is a huge mistake, only somewhere during the fight you back off and slap Davey in the face, the bandaged side of course. That slap sounded like a gun went off.
-Yeah, that was a good slap.
-I remember watching on TV, the whole arena got real quiet. Even Shooter and Gentleman Jim shut up. And you were standing there with this cocky grin on your face, like you were taunting Davey. And Davey lunges at you and then stops and youíre still reacting to the lunge when Davey grabs your arm and youíre off balance so you canít stop this deep arm drag and suddenly Davey is beating the crap out of you but he is doing it with all these sweet technical moves, but all of them heís hitting them harder than I have ever seen anyone hit them. And youíre starting to look scared which is something that we never saw you look on TV. I mean we were convinced that you were going to lose. And thatís when you broke free for a second and tried to kick Davey in the face. He catches your foot, but that terrifies everyone everywhere, because it sets him up for the Bite. What was the technical term for that move that Lou always used?
-Yeah, so sure enough you are about to hit the Bite - enziguri - whatever and Davey ducks it. Now thatís the first time that I had seen anyone duck the Bite, so Iím going crazy at home, Iím hi-fiving my best friend whoís watching wrestling at our house because his Mom is real religious, and while Iím celebrating, you land from the Bite and jump straight back up...
-And I nail Mongoose in the throat.
-You crushed his larynx! You hospitalized him!
-Geeze do you believe in Santa Clause too?
-They stopped everything. The referee threw up the secret X signal. Lou swore on the air when he did it! They cancelled the main event of the night! Bill Clancy came out and apologized to the crowd in the Checkerdome and gave them all free tickets to another show, and he said that the show is supposed to go on, but after a member of your family gets hurt like that, you just canít go on and they ended the show early! Early!
-Yeah, originally we were going to do that as the main event, but I convinced Clancy to do it as the semi-main and then cancel the main event so that everyone will buy it more as being real.
-Are there any more illusions from my childhood that you would like to shatter?
-Yeah, You know the Easter Bunny?
-What about the Easter Bunny?
-Heís gay. Him and the Tooth Fairy fuck like rabbits.
-That makes no sense, the Tooth Fairy is a woman.
-No heís not, he just dresses like a woman.
-Thatís just sick.
-My pleasure. Anyway, with pretty boy Davey taking a six month vacation - more than I ever fucking got let me tell you - we need some way to keep the feud alive and in peopleís minds without Davey being there. Which is where Daveyís tag partner comes in.
-Yeah, the beached whale. So, he comes after me to get revenge for his partner and in the very first run-in he slips and lands on me wrong and nearly breaks all of my ribs. Now, we canít afford for me to be hurt, or even look hurt, I have to be there pissing people off until Davey is ready to come back. So, we took some of my hate-mail and leak it to the press and I get a flak jacket from the local cop supply store and at the next show, I show up wearing it for protection from the Mongooseís fans.
-Man, I remember that too. Bill Clancy brought you out to apologize for injuring Davey.
-ĒTsss... Tsss... Tsss... Yes, Mr. Clancy sssssir, itís a terrible thing what happened to young master Davey. You are right to be concerned. You say he may not wrestle again. Why he may never talk again. But I have a question for you William Clancy. The Rattler has a question for you. Why. Should. I. Apologize? Isnít this wrestling? Arenít we supposed to try and win our matches? If I have to injure my opponent to win a match, if I have to hurt my opponent to keep him down. If he forces me to break him - I will break his bones to win, I will hurt him, I will him put him in the hospital. Thatís my job. Thatís what you pay me to do, Bill Clancy! And you know what? I like my job! I like hurting people! And Iím going to keep doing it Billy! You want me to apologize for hurting the Mongoose? Iím PROUD I put him in the hospital. And if I could do it all over again, Iíd KICK HIM HARDER!Ē
-Now, see that would have been the reason that I bought magazines with your poster in them just so that I could use your picture as a dart board.
-Yeah, I donít think there are too many undamaged posters of me kicking around. I remember guys who sold our merchandise would come and tell me stories of people buying a poster of me and ripping it into teeny, tiny pieces right then and there. Or better still lighting it on fire.
Anyway, other than banging up my ribs against the Samoan, I never was seriously injured. I mean there always something thatís bruised or hurting, but you wrestle through the pain right.
But when I screwed my knee, man, I had to actually do nothing for weeks. They scoped my knee and sent me home to recover. Home to a wife and two kids who barely know what I look like. And I have too much time on my hands, so I drink. And the drunker I get, the angrier and meaner I get. And the angrier I get, the more I drink and the angrier I get. So, the more I stay home, the more Katy is getting sick of being around me and the more I am sick of being around her, and the big goof ball Storm has flamed out by the numbers and left St-Louis with his tail stuck between his legs. So Clancy needs a main event for C and F in the worst way, and he talks me into coming back early to face Mastodon. So, I limp out to face that monster. Now outside of the ring, Larry is the sweetest guy you had ever want to meet. But inside the ring, Sweet Mary, he is a dangerous mother fucker. He throws lariats that will tear your damn head off. And his power bombs. Christ, they hurt like hell. So, Iím trying to protect my knee from getting fucked up and of course while Iím doing that Larry breaks my back.
And now Iím really screwed, because by the time I get home itís not home anymore Ďcause Katyís gone back to live with her folks and taken the kids with her. Which wouldnít be so bad if she wasnít the bossí daughter.
-Wait, you mean that that whole story where you forced Katy to marry you, you really did marry her?
-HA! No, when we did that storyline, we had already been married for three years and Katy had already had Eric.
So, Iím home alone in this massive house that I had built for me and Katy and all I do is rehab my back and drink. I even manage to cut down on the drinking a little so that I can rehab my back more. And I have specialists looking at me and chiropractors and acupuncturists and massage therapists and everyone and their brother into to look at me, and I am getting more and more desperate to get back because the show is actually getting along fine without me. So, finally in April, I can actually stand up straight and I can do an hour of back bumps without passing out from pain and my knee doesnít feel like someone took a blender to the inside, so I go to the office to tell Old Man Clancy that I think that I can work a reduced schedule to set up a match at C and F in June.
And that wrinkled old cock-sucker looks at me and says, ďYouíre healthy? Youíre ready to work? Fine. Youíre fired you miserable fucking drunk. Get the hell out.Ē And he says this to me with an open bottle of Jim Beam on his desk the hypocrite.
And that was April 1990. So after to close to twelve years, after I was promised that I would always have a job with the company, with a wrecked back and ruined knee, Iím out on the street.
"To beat the man, you've got to think like the man. Whew!" Ė Rick Flare. Welcome to Inside The Ropes. I'm Canadian Bulldog. First, a brief introduction to the few souls left on the Internet who haven't read my column before: