Saturday 7/7/01

The following is a republished diary/commentary from ProWrestlingRadio.com.

Saturday 7/7/01:

I can’t describe the feeling I had when I woke up that day. I am just so excited about working tonight, that I woke up with an adrenaline rush. I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. First off, was the radio show.

The radio show went great I thought. It went super fast, and as usual was flooded with calls. More people were disappointed about the whole WCW deal than anything else. I had probably the call of the month, when Tom called and asked me, “When was the last time you watched wrestling on a Monday night and got truly excited?” I could not answer, but if he asks me this week I sure can.

I went home and hit the gym for a quick work out. I than hit home and showered, changed, and headed to Z. Barr’s house. I got to Z. Barr’s and we stopped a long the way to make copies of the night’s format sheet. It gave me time to review the show and come up with some ideas.

We got to the building rather early, but a ton of people were there. As we were walking in, I ran in to my partner John House. He seemed upset with me and started berating me about not returning his emails or calls. He should not take it personally, I am horrible with returning calls. As for emails, when I get an email saying, “I need to talk to you.” I assume if it was important, than the email would be a bit more descriptive. But, what can you do?

I then saw Ruckus, Natasha, and Derek Sabato outside chatting. I came over to say my hellos. Barr told Ruckus about the change in plans, and he seemed a bit surprised. They were going over whatever they needed to do, and I talked to Sabato and Natasha. I joked with Natasha about her pudding wrestling exhibition. Dewey and Sienna came walking up next. Than, the unthinkable happened. Dewey was in a bad mood. I have never seen the man in a less than great mood. He was in a real bad mood, and was not a big fan of any jokes that I made to lighten him up.

I walked in next and went to the locker room area to put my bag down. The room was empty, as everyone was spread out everywhere else. I first ran in to Wifebeater and Nick Gage on the benches. I gave WB a copy of the program. I have started a custom of giving the person on the cover, a copy of the program before anyone else. I don’t know if they guys care or not, but I think it is only fair and courteous. I than ran in to the Briscoes, who were there early. We talked briefly and I moved on. I made my rounds over the next few minutes. I was looking for the boss, who was no where to be found.

I ran in to Mike Burns from Smart Mark video. SM is doing the production for our television show. Mike told me that we needed to do some opens, closes, and intros for week #2. I was more than happy to oblige and I said when and where. He hooked me up with his buddy Glen B. and Glen and I went over everything that we needed. I commented that we should wait until the commentator table was set up, to give it a live feel. They were concerned about the boys going over spots in the background, but I said if the mics were omnidirectional we would be fine, and the ring noise would sound cool. We all agreed.

I got with John House and told him everything that we needed. I told him that Barr had a CZW polo shirt in his car and he could use that. He than asked me to get it. I said no, get it yourself. I don’t mind doing someone a favor, but give me a break. Barr than came over and asked me to go out to his car and get the shirt, and I replied I am not a gopher. I could not believe the drama in going out to a car and getting a shirt.

The table was set up and we were ready to go. They debated on whether to wait for John, and I took charge of the moment. I was sure that when John got there, the last thing he wanted to worry about was this. So we did the opens, closes, etc. It was more or less a history of the feuds, so there was a lot of voice-over work for Hitman and myself. We both made our mistakes and nobody is perfect. We did about ten of these things and I know it was all off the top of my head stuff, so it was difficult at times. I think I did a much better job on those kind of things when I did Gloow. Gloow was more relaxed and less rushed, where this is all last minute and kind of pressured. Not to mention, that my hair looked terrible between the heat, etc. But, that is another story altogether.

It was kind of cool though because as we did them, the boys were all around going over spots. I was watching them out of the corner of my eye, and they would all stop and listen to us. Some, like Nate Hatred just shook his head and complimented us. I think a compliment by a peer is the best compliment you can get. If you have read previous diaries, you know that already. I don’t know if the boys watch the tapes or not, but I try hard to put their stuff over. It is all about them and the match. I am glad they appreciate. Now, others took the opportunity to have some fun with us. Justice Pain was walking by and making faces at us. While, Reckless Youth took the opportunity to moon me as I was doing one of the opens. The great thing was I saw it, but did not sell it worth a lick. Once we were done, I broke my straight face and said, “Nice ass Reckless Youth.” He popped for it.

The lights went out on us right before the final voice overs. They wanted to wait, but I was getting up against the gun here. I was more concerned about tonight’s show and getting with the boys and getting myself together. I also had to get the programs out there, etc. So I was getting a little ancy at this point. I do a lot of work the hour, or 90 minutes before the shows, and I did not even start yet.

Once we finished, I ran in to the boss on my way back to the locker. Which was good and bad. Good, because we had a ton of stuff to go over. Bad, because I had a ton to do. We went over some things, and he called Rob Feinstein over to go over some taping issues with Mike Burns. I felt like I was standing between Paul Heyman and Jim Cornette at this point, as far as Burns and RF. I took the opportunity to make a graceful exit and asked John if it was OK that we got together later. He said that it was fine and I made my exit.

I went outside to sell some programs. There was some girl that was taking shots at Derek Sabato. I think it is more of a crush on her part than anything, but oh well. There was another girl that was in line that is known for flashing the crew and I always goof around with her. The line was real down and I was kind of concerned. It did not look to be a lot of people out there. The wrestling business in the summer is down for everyone, but I was worried.

I finally got to the back and started going over spots. I got with Reckless and we went over some things. The guy is so knowledgeable, that I was asking him what other guy’s moves are called. One was Red’s finisher, but Red chimed in and gave me the name. Reckless also told me that I should rib Barr and call his finisher the, “rain drop.” Reckless claims Barr stole the move from a guy named Rain. If he wants to get technical, he stole it from a guy named Reno but we won’t get in to that. Reckless is a good guy, but sometimes I think he forgets we are a television product now. WB gave me the joke of the show, which now seems to be a ritual. It was a great one about a “cock-eyed” blind woman. Ask him next time you see him for it, because I cannot do it justice.

I got with Johnny and Mondo each about what was going on. They clued me in a little bit on it. Trent Acid pulled me aside and explained the whole psychology in to his match for me. At the time it made sense, but when I tried explaining it on commentary I thought to myself, “Wait a minute, that makes no sense.” Trent is awesome like that, in that he will take the time like Reckless to go over every detail.

Now it was show time and there was a buzz in the air. The show was supposed to open with a match, but that was not the case. The show opened with an impromptu speech by Zandig. There was a fan, that I have known for years that was passing out flyers about Ric Blade and the flyer blamed Zandig for the injury. I don’t know if it was balls or stupidity from this guy, but I assume it was stupidity. John ripped him a new asshole as well he should. Donnie B posted this letter about Ric Blade, and you know what John never said a word in rebuttal. The letter had it’s own agenda and was very hypocritical if you know anything about the personalities. John finally responded and he asked why nobody was concerned with Lobo and Lobo was taking a back seat here and it was unfair. It is unfair. Everyone is Ric Blade this and that, but Lobo is hurt too and worse. 1wrestling.com sent Blade a check, but nothing for Lobo. Lobo got like 3 letters. I have been around this business for a long time and have seen a lot of people get hurt, and I do not know what is so different about Blade’s injury than anyone else. Hey, I like Blade and I feel bad he got hurt, but that is the risk of getting in the ring and working that kind of style. I don’t even think Darren Drozdov, who I know a little from my ECW days got the same kind of sympathy and he is paralyzed. Lobo’s injury was a freak injury and was not the result of a high risk. Lobo has put his body on the line as much, if not more than anyone I have ever seen. The guy even refused treatment until Blade was attended too. I think the lack of respect and sympathy that Lobo is getting, especially from the newsletters and reporters is disgusting. It would be different if Blade was the only guy hurt, but there were two. I don’t know Rick Silver at all, but he wrote an amazing column on a site basically saying that he was sorry about Blade getting hurt, but ran down about 20 other indie guys with worse injuries that received no sympathy. I don’t get it, but you know what. I hope Lobo and Ric Blade both have a healthy recovery and are a big loss to our sport.

The show overall I thought was great. I loved every minute of it. I was real happy with my commentary and Hitman was on his game big time. We had people all around us popping all night, which is a good sign. The matches were all great and I don’t know how you can watch that show or our product and not be a fan for life. Even our worst show, is better than the best show I have seen on the indies. The Briscoes match was unbelievable and talk about the improvement of Nate Hatred since teaming with Gage. Kashmere and Mondo was special, it just had this buzz in the air. That was the match that everyone was looking forward too other than the main event all night. I think fans were satisfied, as it just had so much intensity. I would love to see more from these two. I think the three way was good, but Trent did not get to do as much. Barr has really come in to his own and I think that is forgotten by a lot of people. It was nice to see Ruckus develop some character on the mic. The Rachies-VD was great as usual and had a lot of heat to it. Both teams are very over and Danny Rose’s Tough Enough cameo did not hurt. The main event was something else. I thought it was one of the more brilliant angles that I have ever seen. Some people said that it did not make any sense, but you have to follow the storylines and listen to the commentary on recent tapes to put it all together. The advent of television will cure that problem in the future. I tried to make heads and tails of it on the commentary, so hopefully that will help. It just had so many twists and turns, it reminded me of one of Paul Heyman’s genius angles. The only concern I have is that we don’t fall in to the WWF trap. WWF turned their most over babyface in Steve Austin. It seemed like a great decision at the time, but it had blown up in their faces without a top babyface to challenge him. I hope that this angle was thought through at least for the next three months anyway. I really think this can allow Nick Mondo to step in there and become the top babyface in our company. There is not a more deserving guy either. I had proposed an angle for this match that would have double turned Trent and Johnny. It was in consideration up until the last minute. But, I am really looking forward to seeing the Backseat Boys with an edge. They have the potential to be the Midnight Rockers I saw in Memphis as heels. They were awesome and had such an edge to them. Justice Pain is without a doubt the top guy in our company. He is so damn good, that I am sure he can make this thing work. I heard that one of the boys in the back joked that when John and WB shook hands it was like Hogan and Savage coming together all over again. As funny as that is, in CZW land it could not have been more true.

After the show, the locker room was ecstatic. Everyone was in great spirits and unlike the last show, nobody was hurt. The buzz about television already started. The boys were getting calls on their cell phones from people that saw and liked the show. You have to understand, these are not guys that headlined in Titan or worked Nitro. This is what they have worked for all of their careers. The opportunity to be given the ball and everyone has been given that ball. I am just so happy that the efforts of everyone will get rewarded with television and hopefully soon bigger houses, etc.

I saw Nick Berk for the first time all night after the show. He was walking around like a zombie. I asked him if everything was OK and he remarked that he had worked with Low-Ki at JAP earlier and got a concussion. You know something, everyone raves about how great Low Ki is and he is good. But he hurts a lot of people and you know what I could go out and look great by stiffing my opponents and hurting them. It is not All Japan here in the states. In Bayonne last month he knocked one of the CSC out with a forearm shot. So for those of you that talk about how great this kid is, keep that in mind next time. I think a guy like Berk is great because he can work a hell of a match and not hurt his opponent. Same goes for all of our guys. I can’t remember the last time one of our boys got hurt, but a move or spot caused by another one of our guys. Those are all great workers in my eyes.

John was in great spirits after the show and joking around, etc. Dennis Shock was getting things together for the new website, so we all chatted about that. I suggested that Derek continue to do chats, because he is great at giving us PR that way. I said my goodbyes to Rob and Doug. They were a little hard on the show I thought, but you cannot please everyone. I think you can take something away from negatives, more than positive reactions. I ran in to these kids that had emailed me about trying out for the school. I had talked to Dahmer earlier in the night about it. I found him and introduced him and he was super cool with them. I am sure they just enjoyed talking to one of the boys. I was real excited, because I ran a story about the school in the program and I am hoping it helped promote what a great school that Jon and Eddie Valentine run. Some other guys I know had approached me about doing street team stuff for CZW. I talked to John about it before and set up a meeting. I found him and brought him out and introduced him to the guys. He was making jokes and still in a great mood. The guys remarked to me later how cool he was and they expected this monster like guy. Finally when things cleared out I got with John a lone to talk about some concerns and ideas for television. Than I said my goodbyes and I think Barr and I were one of the last to leave.

On the way home I remarked to Barr that everything changed tonight for the company. The advent of television changes everything. After a few months these kids that live their dream on the weekends will become names in some households and start to become recognized. That the product we present will be totally different and it is a brand new ballgame. The houses will be up, and the guys will all be known the second they walk out the curtain. I just cannot see how someone can watch our product and not be a fan? I am so proud and happy for these boys, as I don’t know anyone else that deserves it more and appreciate it more. I am just such a mark for our company and so happy to be a part of it, I cannot wait till we run every weekend for 2-3 shows. I just can’t tell you how much I love my job and consider myself the luckiest guy in the world every time I come to work.

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