For Three Minutes ... A Dream Comes True
by Mike Rodgers
For as long as I can remember, I always entertained the thought of being a pro wrestler. For half of the people reading this bulletin, that dream came true. For the other half, I'm sure many of you had that same dream or at least entertained it. After I got past the cowboy, Indian, fireman, wrestler stage, through high school and college, it still entered my mind ... but reality was there also and I knew it was unlikely to ever come true. I knew I did not have the time, the body, the dedication, or perhaps even the desire to become a wrestler. But the idea still lingered there that maybe one day ... just once ... hmmmm ...
June 6th ... I met up with Ed Moretti and Buddy Rose as we went up to Dave Dobashi's card in Tacoma. Before we picked up Buddy, I confided to Ed that I was going to ask Dobashi if I could be in the battle royal. Ed didn't say too much. He asked if I thought I could take the over the top rope bump. I said, "No." I'm hoping I could get pinned or tap out from a submission hold. I pretty much knew that the only place this could ever happen was on a Dave Dobashi card.
When we got there, I found Dave and asked him if this would be possible. He said sure without hesitation. I was very excited about the whole thing.
The match before the battle royal was a Lumberjack Match between Dobashi and Kenny Roberts. The end of this match came with a ref bump and then all the lumberjacks came into the ring and the battle royal started.
(As the referee), I tried to get everything calmed down. When it was obvious that wasn't going to happen, I looked at my long-time friend, Ken Hamblin, who was doing the ring announcing that night. I ripped off my referee shirt and tossed it to him. (I did have a black tank top on). I pulled out a knee pad, put it on my elbow and started. I heard somewhat of a pop (however, I think that was in my mind). I did hear a few people actually say, "Hey what is the ref doing?"
I started fast and locked up with Moretti. He pushed me back into the turnbuckle and I started hitting him with forearms (undoubtedly a little stiff). I hit him with six forearms and then turned to Sumito, where I hit him with a stiff forearm and then a elbow. As I backed off and came rushing at him, he ducked and put me up on the ropes. He told me to go up, but I wasn't too excited about that, so I quickly eye raked him. Hank Miller also came over and I eye raked him. I wandered over and put two forearms into Moretti's back, who turned around and eye raked me. At that point, probably one minute into the battle royal, the adrenalin was dissipating and I was already tired.
I found Nick Allen in a corner and gave him three shoulder blocks in the corner, then caught him with a stiff forearm uppercut. I watch this and it looks good, but I cringe a little every time I see it and hope I didn't hurt him. Nick says he likes it stiff. I found out that I liked to throw forearms better then punches because I felt I could control them better.
Moretti found me again and smashed me into the turnbuckle, but I put my hands up to protect my head. Later, Ed asked why I did that. He said that it wouldn't have hurt.
Hank Miller then came over and we pushed each other around. He gave me a couple of knee lifts and threw me down. Miller came back over and I was able to chop him and gave him two knee lifts. Now, at this point, there was me, Hank Miller, Mike Jones, Randy Taylor, Nick Allen and the Inferno. Moretti was already out and he was supposed to pin me. I knew I was about through, so I looked for someone to pin me.
Mike Jones came over and kicked me in the stomach, then gave me a horrible looking whip into the ropes. I'm sure it was partly my fault but I don't think he was positioned correctly. I got him into the corner and told him to pin me. Now Mike gets kind of excited and I think his eyes lit up when he heard me say that. He reached for me to do God knows what. I didn't like the look in his eyes and I said "No!" I think he had visions of a Northern Lights suplex or a Jack Hammer or some such thing. He slugged me and I floundered to the mat where he covered me. I told him to count since I was the ref and he counted to three. I showed my anger and disappointment as I got out of the ring and Moretti was there to greet me with some bites on the forehead. The whole thing lasted about three minutes and I was done. (I do a hour on the Stairmaster. If you had told me that I would be blown up after three minutes, I wouldn't have believed it.)
On the ride home, I talked about how it was one of the greatest things in my life, but I also felt a little self conscious because I didn't deserve it. I hadn't trained or devoted my life to the sport in the aspect of being inside the ring. Hopefully the sport will over look those three minutes. I am reasonably sure that it will be my only time, because I wasn't very good at it. But it is something I will never forget.
NEXT! Another viewpoint of this story, by Ed "Moondog" Moretti
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