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Dean Silverstone's 5th Column of the Mat

 


If Only Those Walls Could Talk

One of the many candidates for the seat of wrestling culture would be the Kiel Auditorium in St Louis.  This building opened in 1934 to great fanfare as being state of the art for that time period.  (Any of you architectural buffs who would like a Xerox copy of the opening celebration program, let me know-and no, I was not around then.)  The Kiel hosted basketball teams of St Louis U and the pro St Louis Hawks, both of whom won several division championships and one world championship for the Hawks.  But if you are talking world championships in the Kiel, then you are talking wrestling.  The baseball park Busch Stadium has a statue of Stan ‘The Man' Musial in front of it.  It would only make sense to have a statue of a St Louisan with even more sports records erected in front of the Kiel -- that being Lou Thesz.  Thesz not only won and lost titles in the Kiel, but promoted as well until he merged with the other promotion headed by Sam Muchnick.

Since St Louis was not a territory and only promoted that city every other Friday, it could attract major stars and champs from other territories.  The central location and very generous payoffs made the Kiel a popular working place for wrestlers.  It would probably be easier to make a small list of stars who never worked the Kiel.  On that small list, I always was curious why Freddie Blassie did not work Kiel after his initial start.  The Destroyer had a good excuse by saying he sold out everywhere in Japan and California, so why should he come to St Lou.

I became a fan in 1959 at age ten and could not have watched wrestling in two more different places.  It was a strange dichotomy.

The TV started in ‘59 at the luxurious showcase hotel of St Louis -- The Chase.  The wrestling was shown in the Khorassan Ballroom and attended by patrons dressed more for the opera.

The Kiel fans were dressed like wrestling fans.  The Chase was illuminated by chandeliers, while the Kiel had the ring lights with smoke as thick as London fog.

The Chase patrons sat at tables covered with table cloths and cloth napkins, while the Kiel fans only had concession napkins, much too thin to help clean a mustard stain.

The Chase served different meals from its top-rated restaurant.  The Kiel only served hot dogs two ways -- still frozen in the middle or nuclear blackened.

The Chase had waiters serve cold beer in pitchers, while the Kiel had carnival type workers serve beer that foamed all over when it was opened.

The Chase served cake or pie for dessert, while the Kiel offered cotton candy so sticky sweet you needed a Brillo pad to get if off your hands.

One could certainly overlook any culinary or decorative shortcoming, because to wrestlers and fans alike, the Kiel meant pro wrestling.  While the Kiel offered great wrestling, it did not offer the complete dimensions of pro wrestling.  Very little outside the ring craziness and little in the ring craziness like wild interviews.  One of the rare times a mic was used was by Dick Murdoch -- who could tell him not to say anything?  He was wrestling a local favorite, and he grabbed the stick and said, "St Louis boy Leon Spinks just got his ass kicked tonight, and I'm going to kick another St Louis boy's ass tonight."

When you think of Kiel, you think of wrestling action in the auditorium.  Few out-of-towners are aware that an Opera House was attached and the two were only separated by a wall.  Gene Kiniski remembers watching a ballet at the same time some ballet people were over watching wrestling.  Probably a mutual respect, but probably not a mutual understanding of each others art form.

Speaking of respect, I remember looking back throughout the years when an NWA title match was going on.  Several of the wrestlers would be on the back stage watching the traveling champs perform in what was usually a great match.  The Kiel had so many unique and one of a kind matches for the other wrestlers to watch.  Bruno Sammartino was, as far as I know, the only wrestler to debut at Kiel in a main event.  A few Bruno main event wins culminated in a one-hour draw against just-crowned new NWA champ Harley  Race with Lou Thesz as ref.

St Louis was not big on tag teams, so Kiel was not home to many tag team main events.  One tag that stood out had five NWA champs. Kiniski and Jack Brisco vs The Funks (Terry and Dory) with Pat O' Connor as ref.  Harley was also on that same card.  After those great cards, I could never figure out until later how my mother knew to always pick me up at exactly ten after eleven every card.  (It cost extra to rent if everyone and the ring was not out of the building by midnight.)  She would call the office and ask when the matches would be over, and they always said "right at eleven."

Work rate was how one got over at Kiel.  Until the mid-80s, there really was not much in the way of body gods.  Superstar Graham did get a short run in the late 70s.  I guess the best body I ever saw as a youngster was Nature Boy Buddy Rogers.  When I got a little older, my opinion of best body seen at Kiel changed to the curvy Penny Banner.  A favorite Kiel main event spanning decades would have a Von Erich name in it.  Like the Dallas Sportatorium, Kiel saw the Von Erichs grow up, and four of them came within a half count of winning the NWA world title at Kiel -- Fritz, David, Kevin and Kerry.  The three sons wore the other Kiel title -- the Missouri title.

When that belt was designed by Reggie Parks, he probably did not know that NWA champs Kiniski, Race, Dory Funk, Terry Funk, Brisco, Kerry, Ric Flair, WWF champ Bob Backlund, and major regional title holders like Bruiser, Dick Murdoch, Johnny Valentine, Ted DiBiase, Dick Slater, Ken Patera and Crusher Blackwell, would be crowned at Kiel.  (Reggie came close to winning the belt he made.)

When the WWF started its national push, Kiel was the first major building being invaded by this heretofore foreign promotion.  It was certainly a big beginning with a sellout, and for the first time, the Opera House side was opened for a closed circuit screen to accommodate the overflow crowd.  With the wrestling war, the battle over buildings became as intense as a Texas Death match.  Jockeying for positions on the calendar took some mental and financial muscle between the WWF and NWA/WCW.  The city, to keep its hockey team, needed to offer a new hockey arena with all the lavish and expensive amenities.  This meant tearing down the old Kiel and rebuilding it to keep up with the progress of other sports towns and teams.

When the old Kiel finally closed in 1991, the very last event was a wrestling match.  How fitting for wrestling history.  How ironic was the first match booked on that WCW card.  The city had just been going through a series of news articles on the subject of gay bashing the weeks before the Kiel closing and final card.  Liberace had long ago performed at Kiel.  Well, Liberace could not have been any more flamboyant than a totally pink clad Rip Rogers prancing down the aisle to open to the final card.  YIKES!!!!

For any trivia question buffs who might want the answer to who did the final job at the old Kiel -- in a tag team (of all things), Ric Flair and Arn Anderson lost to Sting and El Gigante when Sting pinned Arn.  The only old Kiel PPV was a Starrcade with Sting/Black Scorpion and the return of Dick the Bruiser as the ref.

Before closing, I feel I must mention my favorite Kiel moment.  Some might say it's stupid, but others might also say "amen."  Before the matches began on the night of the building closing, I was with two local radio guys.  We decided to wander around the old rooms and catacombs of the building.  We eventually ended up on the stage of the Opera House.  While on the stage facing 4,700 empty concert seats, we broke into song – the song being "Swinging the Alphabet" by the Three Stooges.  So, while the last ever event at the Kiel Auditorium was technically a wrestling match, the last song (technically) ever sung in the Kiel Opera House was "Swinging the Alphabet."

Sorry about the non-wrestling story, but there are some crossover fans since wrestling was, at one time, followed by an hour of the Stooges.

An old Kiel question I have wanted answered for years is, how in the heck did Dory Funk Jr. carry Rufus R Jones for an entire hour in a title match?

If anyone is interested, I have several audios of old stars.  The Bruiser, The Crusher, Bruiser Brody, Lou Thesz, Buddy Rogers, Gene Kiniski, John Tolos, Freddie Blassie, Pat O'Connor, Sam Muchnick, Roddy Piper, The Destroyer, and several old teams and sports.


Old Timers Battle Royal

Probably the most often asked question in wrestling is "whatever happened to .......?"  Of all the pro wrestling gimmicks and stipulation matches, the battle royal may be the most enduring.  It can be the scheduled main event, or it can be an impromptu emergency add-onwhen the main event fails to show.

If you combine that most asked "WHT" question with the most-presented specialty match, you have the 1989 Old-Timer's Battle Royal.

San Francisco always made the claim to put on the biggest and best battle royal every year.  But, as good as the San Fran battle royals were, they could never make the claim to exclusively include only main event national stars.  Only ONE battle royal could ever make the claim of all main eventers, and that took place in 1989 on a WWF card held in New Jersey.

As an old saying goes, "be careful what you wish for."  The answer to many of those "whatever happened to" questions participated in that special legends battle royal, but unfortunately, they did not appear as physically imposing as they do in our memories when they ruled the rings.

While we all sadly get an A for aging, all these athletes in the battle royal certainly deserve an E for enthusiasm.  While I mentioned that these stars had aged, it was quite a contrast to today's scene in that only one of the old timers wore a full body t-shirt, while a great many of today's young stars totally cover up.

The old time stars were individually introduced as they walked the aisle to the ring.  The line up included, The Crusher, Al Costello, Bobo Brazil, Killer Kowalski, Gene Kiniski("Canada's greatest athlete") Sailor Art Thomas, Pedro Morales, Dominick Denucci, Tony Garea, Edouard Carpentier, Rene Gouet, Chief Jay Strongbow, Baron Sicluna (Isle Of Malta's greatest athlete???), Ray Stevens, Nick Bockwinkle, Pat O'Connor, and Lou Thesz.

Who was missing?

With pro wrestling's history, if you had an Indian in Strongbow, then a cowboy in Ellis or McKenzie would have provided balance.  Old Jersey politics may have had a rep for paying off inspectors but there was probably not enough money to pay off the fire marshall to allow The Sheik or Great Mephisto to rain fire balls around the ring.  Bruiser maintained he was not retired and seemed to be insulted to be asked to mingle with old timers.  (That sounds like Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard.)

Bruno would have been an interesting political addition to the mix.  Pat O'Connor was there, even though the head to head WWF competition put both his St Louis and Kansas City promo out of business.  (Pat's wife did not want him to go, so he left that weekend without telling her where he was going.)

Where was Verne Gagne?  John Tolos was in shape enough to go.  How about the stars from the South?

Pat Patterson did not wrestle because he probably was the one to put most of the deal together.  The EMS crews were probably ready to put in for overtime, but I believe Strongbow's broken wrist was the only casualty.

Not that there wasn't plenty of action.  Carpentier did one of his steamroller front somersaults onto the back of Rene Goulet.  O'Connor did one of those battle royal spots where he rope walked with his hands around half the ring as Kowalski and Garea tried to toss him over.  Kiniski was very animated and continued his share of the action after being eliminated sixth from the end.  Kowalski was fifth runner up.

Ray Stevens took the bump of the match and maybe of the entire nights' card.  O'Connor arm whipped him and Ray, with a very fast running start from the middle of the ring, flew over the top rope.

Bockwinkle missed a punch and O'Connor grabbed him in a body slam, then tried to toss him over.  Thesz came up from behind and was able to get Bockwinkle over, but O'Connor held on and, in one of those hold your breath moments, was able to swing back in from elimination.

DEJA VU!!  Decades after the late '50s and '60s, a famous duel was about to happen again.  Lou Thesz vs Pat O'Connor.  In pre-match interviews, all the participants raved about Thesz.  When O'Connor was asked about Thesz, he said "fantastic," but then went on to say that in the twelve times they wrestled in St Louis, he does "not know what the true score was as they both won some and some were stalemates.  In the twelve times they wrestled, they must have spent ten hours in the ring."  I don't know if this was said to hype up the finish of the match, or whether it was O'Connor's ego talking.

They went on to do chain and transition wrestling with the escapes and reversals they did long ago.  One twit in the crowd actually yelled, "Boring."  I'll bet if the readers of this had heard that dolt, they would have grabbed this "fan" by the legs and drug him down the steps with the guy's head bouncing off each and every step.

Pat threw a forearm that Lou ducked under and then dumped Pat over the top.  For you trivia buffs, this made Lou Thesz the winner of the first and probably last Old Timers Battle Royal.

While this special event was fun to see, it was certainly an odd juxtaposition, seeing old school wrestlers on a 1989 WWF card in the WWFs hottest period of showcasing their new interpretation of wrestling.


Mainstream Hall of Fame Announcers

If Jim Ross and color man Jerry Lawler are unsuccessful in their bid to become football announcers for the new XFL, it may very well have little to do with their ability to do a competent and entertaining job.  It could possibly be they are tainted by a scarlet "W" as pro wrestling announcers.

Sure, it is easy and maybe fashionable to verbally kick Ross and Lawler for being associated with pro wrestling, but just who could ever have the gall or chutzpah to question the merits of Harry Caray, Joe Garagiola, Jack Buck, Jack Brickhouse, or Bob Costas.  At their Hall Of Fame inductions (Costas' certain future one), was there one of those wedding like scenes where someone stands up when the reverend asks if there is anyone who knows why the two should not be married, and runs down the aisle screaming "they are tainted by wrestling so they can't be in a legit Hall Of Fame."  Would a ‘50s Joseph McCarthy conspiracy guy stand up at an induction ceremony and say, "Mr. Jack Buck, have you ever been a member of a broadcasting team that broadcast wrestling?"

Of course, this is some heavy hyperbole and an extended exaggeration, but not much more ridiculous than an excellent announcer (Ross) who does his homework and time proven color man (Lawler) being denied an XFL shot solely because of their guilt by association.

In an old St. Louis program from the late 40s, there is a picture of Harry Caray which mentions him doing some wrestling talk on a radio sports show he hosted.  Can't you just hear Harry after some wild match finish ... "Holy Cow!  Holy Cow!"

The St. Louis TV in 1959 emanated from the beautiful and luxurious Khorassan ballroom at "THE" hotel in St Louis -- The Chase.  Former baseball Cardinal World Series player, present Cardinal announcer, and St Louis born Joe Garagiola was the very first announcer.  This glib quipster and famous local athlete went on to great things as NBC Game Of The Week announcer and NBC Today Show anchor.  To this day, when Joe comes home to St Louis or does a radio show, he is asked about his Chase stint, which is now stuff of local legend.  To a recent caller, Joe said, "If there was a soccer game in progress on the Hill (Joe's old neighborhood famous for soccer), and Rip Hawk stuck his head out of a manhole cover, the kids would start kicking it."  While Vice Prez Richard Nixon and Nikita Kruschev were having their famous "ktchen debate" in Moscow, Joe Garagiola and Rip Hawk were taunting each other in St Louis.  Joe's Busch Bavarian beer commercials with "non" English speaking Taro Myaki were  performance art at its finest.  In his time in St Louis, it seems the only English Myaki ever picked up were the two words "Buscheeeeeeeeeee Bavarian."

If Lou Thesz is considered the best St Louis wrestler, then who better to call a Thesz/Bruiser match than Cardinal baseball announcer Jack Buck.  This was a one shot KMOX thing, but it must be on Bucks' resume somewhere.  One of my favorite wrestling lines, which never fails to make me laugh, is Bucks' call on Bruiser -- "He's got a face like a ripped softball."  At the end, Jack yells out, "The fans go wild!"  (Want a copy?  Let me know.)  This is a precursor to Buck's most famous local call decades later, when non-powerful Ozzie Smith hit a dramatic ninth (or tenth?) inning playoff home run -- "Go crazy folks, go crazy!"

Las Vegas is taking no bets on whether or not Bob Costas will be a unanimous Hall Of Fame choice.  Costas moved to St Louis at age 21 to broadcast the Spirits Of St Louis ABA team.  If you are not acquainted with the ABA, then keep in mind it was the closest sports league ever to pro wrestling.  You needed a sharp sense of humor to announce ABA games and Costas had it.  He took that sense of humor to ringside and did a one-time match on the conservative KMOX.  He had the hottest feud at the time with Hogan/Orndorf and a nice background with a sold-out Arena.

Bob's announcing partner that match was Dan Dierdorf (also a radio lady named Anne Keefe).  Dan did local sports shows and had several years announcing on Monday Night Football.  He probably won't make a Hall Of Fame as an announcer, but did make the Pro Football Hall as an offensive lineman for the former St Louis Cardinals. Dan teamed with Costas quite often on local radio shows.  It is a toss up on which was funnier -- the wrestling match or the call in show they did from WOOFIES Hot Dog Stand.

I was not fortunate to ever hear HOF baseball announcer Jack Brickhouse call wrestling, but I was at a WCW PPV in Chicago years ago and Jack got a special in the ring mention.

If anyone can enlighten us further on mainstreamers that have announced pro wrestling, please do so as I and others would enjoy hearing about it.


CAC Goes Head to Head with
Bellagio Hotel Art Exhibit in Vegas

The CAC rolled back into Vegas for another large and successful reunion.  Twenty-five year old APW Roland Alexander protege Donovan Morgan summed it up for everybody while receiving his Future Legends award at the 35th Annual Cauliflower Alley Club Las Vegas banquet convention.

"I am a meeazark here."

Back in the mid 80s, the WWF had the "rock and wrestling" connection.  2001 marked the CAC art and wrestling connection with a display of fine artwork by wrestlers or about wrestlers.  The multi-million dollar art show down the strip at the Bellagio was the less interesting of the art exhibits this weekend.  In fact, the CAC featured an unveiling premiere of a painting of political implications.  Fine art and wrestling is certainly an odd juxtaposition indeed, as previously the only art formerly associated with wrestling was viewed as performance art inside the ring.

506 people attended the February 8th, 9th, and 10th 2001 event, including 186-plus professional wrestlers, both active and retired.  Every wrestler in attendance was in awe, or as Donovan so eloquently put it, was marking out over someone else in the crowd.

While this year's Friday get together and Saturday banquet was not in the top floor Riviera penthouse like last year, the stories were just as tall and the view was just as spectacular.  The spectacular view was old wrestling opponents hugging each other and fans so very excited to meet the heroes of their childhood.  There was such an overload of electricity in the air that the Riviera could very well have been cited by the city for a code violation.

So often, the non-fan, non-understanding general public, and mainstream sports establishment does not take to pro wrestling because they say something mindless about it being based on a lie.  I believe that "exercise in fiction" might be a more apropos term.  And "exercise" these world class athletes did.  Many of these athletes exercised so strenuously that "cauliflower" ears sprouted up.  (Trivia – Ann LaVerne was the only female to develop a cauliflower ear.)

At the airport news store, I saw a magazine called FHM (For Him Magazine), March 2001 issue.  One of the headlines screamed out at me — "I've hacked my ear off!  Meet the world's toughest man.  "Well, guess what, FHM!"  Hacking an ear off quickly is probably less painful than developing a cauliflower ear slowly over time from constant twisting and crushing.

If the Sensational Intelligent Destroyer did not get cauliflower ears from wrestling, then he gets them from taking his mask off and putting it back on over and over and over at Cauliflower events for his worldwide fans.  Golden Greek John Tolos did not attend this year but he was famous for saying "You spell wrestling T-O-L-O-S."  At the Cauliflower Alley events, you could spell non-stop personality D-E-S-T-R-O-Y-E-R.

When Bill Watts (he of the strong and always pointed interview) received his award, he mentioned that he and Gordon Solie in a conversation about old days said to each other, "When we're gone, the history is gone."  That is where the non-wrestling attendees of Cauliflower Alley come to the forefront.  If you wanted a definitive answer to a question, then attendees Tom Burke, J Michael Kenyon, Steve Yohe, Mick Karch, and George Shire, among others, were on hand to give the final word on a wrestling history subject.  If a comparison could be made, hardcore, old wrestling fans know more about the matches and territories of legendary wrestlers than Madonna stalkers know about her daily routine.

Friday night was the meet and greet, while Saturday was the more formal banquet.  The ceremonies started on a sad and very emotional note as a tribute was paid to Johnny Valentine, with Sharon Valentine giving Johnny's condition updates.  This was followed by Tom Burke and Jason Sanderson giving the "ten count" to last year's deceased wrestlers.

Most mainstream performers would be sweating bullets having to follow that and bringing the crowd back.  Well, wrestlers are known for changing the emotions of a crowd, and hosts Mike Tenay and Bobby Heenan did just that.  If these two ever do leave wrestling, then a Vegas lounge act could easily be in their future.

Over the course of the evening, an optimist could have a better outlook for world peace after seeing Cowboy Bob Kelly hugging fully head dressed Indian Billy Two Rivers.  American hero Sergeant Slaughter was seen hugging the "evil Iranian" Sheik Adnan El Kaisey.

The "on" all night, energetic Roddy Piper received an award for his cinema accomplishments and challenged his fellow young peers in the business to help in planning a better financial and healthy retirement future.

You could see Lord Al Hayes and Stu Hart sitting face to face in wheelchairs having a conversation.  While their legs were not 100%, the twinkle and spirit in their eyes showed brightly.

Bobby Heenan played tribute to the refs he hid behind during his career by giving a posthumous award to former WWF ref Joey Marella, son of the great Gorilla Monsoon.

Few people in show business have done more commercials and played more character actors than Hard Boiled Haggerty.  Speaking of commercials, wouldn't award winner Pampero Firpo have been a great advocate for total body minoxidil.  Speaking of hair, seeing Luke Graham Sr. and Luke Graham Jr. standing together makes me think that goatees are hereditary.  On the other hand, though, neither Fred Curry or Fred's son inherited the great Bull Curry's spectacular eyebrows.

The Arnold Schwarzenegger Fitness Expo in Columbus had very successfully added martial arts.  The CAC under Judo Gene Lebell had a martial arts award given to sambo and submission stylist "Gokor" by lady wrestler and actress Magnificent Mimi.  There is always Japanese press at the CAC events, but this year, there were a few more as one of wrestling's very famous Antonio Inoki attended to receive an award.  By the way, Gene Lebell was the ref for the famous/infamous Inoiki/Ali match.

Central States fans have long wondered about the whereabouts of hated manager Percival A Friend.  They could have seen him in Vegas, although instead of his former scowl, he wore a non-stop smile more in tune with his real personality.  Decades ago, there was a town called Love Canal, where its residents had an abnormally high incidence of cancer from local industry pollution.  Along the same lines, there was a very high incidence of high blood pressure in fans attending Kansas City's Memorial Hall when the antics of Percival Friend polluted the rules.

Award winner Reggie Parks is still in great shape and you could only wish Pepper Gomez could have attended so we could see who really had the toughest stomach in wrestling.

Among the others attending were Tom Andrews, Red Bastien, Dick Beyer, Nick Bockwinkle, Bill Bowman, Scott Casey, Norman Frederick Charles, Tiger Conway Sr., Tiger Conway Jr., Billy Darnell, Jimmy Del Ray, Paul Diamond, Dandy Jack Donovan, Tom Drake, Robbie Ellis, Gentleman Ed Francis, Leo Garibaldi, Chavo Guerrero, Mando Guerrero, Bruce Hart, Keith Hart, Danny Hodge, Billy Howard, Adnan Kaissey, Seymour Koenig, Killer Kowalski, Stan Kowalski, Jack Laskin, Al Mandell, Don Manoukian, Bob McCune, Tex McKenzie, Moondog Moretti, Tom Renesto Jr., Rock Riddle, Johnny Rodz, Playboy Buddy Rose, George Scott, ref-without-peer Charlie Smith, Ray Stern, Bruce Swayze, Fritz Von Goering, Johnny "Rubber Man" and "Mr. Wrestling #2" Johnny Walker, Jeff Walton, Jim White, Mabel/Viscera, etc. and more.

Enough of the ugly guys.  So, how about Penny Banner, Ella Waldek, Ida Mae Martinez and other great ladies who honored Kay Noble, Rita Cortez, and Ann LaVerne.

A lifetime achievement award went to Ted Lewin for his writing and his art.  He had to leave early because of family commitments at a Vegas show, but he said the CAC was the biggest show in Vegas this weekend.

In addition to the old legends, the CAC was attended by quite a few indy promoters and wrestlers providing a future base for the club.  Long time attendee Roland Alexander was very pleased that one of his men, Donovan Morgan, took home the future legends award.  Hopefully not missing anyone, promoters and teachers Ray Whebbe, Ric Bassman, Johnny Rodz, Buffalo Jim, Carmine Despirito all brought people with them.  Chris Owens of harleyrace.com auctioned off signed bells and still has some.  He also has CAC T Shirts and hats.

The Mike Mazurki Iron Mike Award was given to Stu Hart.  Stu repeated over and over he was glad to be in the business his whole life.  Red Bastien once said at a banquet that "we all look great sitting at the table, but when we get up and start walking around, it's a different story."  BUT -- few of the guys regret being in the business.  Kind of like Yogi Berra saying "When it is all over, I'd do it all over again."

The evening came to a fitting climax when the artist with the biggest arms, Steve Strong, gave the CAC the very first look at his painting of his former tag partner, Jesse Ventura.  This painting will actually hang in the Minnesota governor's mansion.  Jesse sits on a white horse, wearing full body armor and carrying the American flag.  When Steve raised the picture in the air, long-time fans could almost smell a wrestling angle with the picture crashing down over someone's head.  Not to be though, as the next stop for Steve's fine painting is indeed the governor's mansion.

A true wrestling fan always makes time for his favorite sport.  This weekend, Greg Oliver from Slam/canoe of Canada, got married down the strip and brought his new bride to the banquet with him.  What a trooper she is, and certainly, so are the wives who followed our wrestling heroes around the country in their nomadic lifestyle.  I got married at the CAC hotel last year on this weekend.  I did not bring her back this year because I remember her telling me last year, "Harry, on those nights that you can't turn me on or get me excited enough, I'll just think about some of those old time wrestling legends."

The convention is always fun for those attending, but maybe not as much fun without the hard work of those who do so much of the leg work.  For those of you who put so much time and energy into the CAC, we salute you.


 
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