Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thank You, You're a Beautiful Audience

Me vs. HTM in 1997
My job has helped get me behind the scenes of several wrestling shows and meet some of my favorite superstars.  It's been a big perk.  My first such meeting was 13 years ago, almost to the date.  The Honky Tonk Man was doing media for the upcoming In Your House: Badd Blood PPV in St. Louis.  This was the one that featured Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels in the Hell in a Cell.  

Anyway, I was a production assistant at a TV station in the Lou at the time.  The morning anchor informed me that after the show, she'd be interviewing the Honky Tonk Man.  She invited me to go along.  I was so incredibly excited.  I rushed home and got my camera and promptly returned to the station.  We were meeting HTM at Union Station where he'd be "arm wrestling" fans for a chance to win a ticket in the nose bleeds to the PPV. 

Little did HTM know, I already had my ticket (thanks to my friend Rick).  I just wanted the opportunity to meet one of my favorite wrestlers.  In 1987 HTM shocked the world and won the Intercontinental championship from Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat.  Even more shocking, he held that title for more than a year, and is still on record as the longest reigning IC champ.

Anyway, as you can see in the pic, Honky and I did in fact arm wrestle.  He looks to be in pain, which is all a part of the act.  He put up a little bit of a fight at first, but in a matter of moments, he let me win the bout.  My first battle with a WWF wrestler, and I won.  Ha ha.  

The reporter did her story, previewing the upcoming show.  It was a surreal experience, one that I thought I'd never be able to duplicate.  But as time goes on, I will post more stories about my experiences with some of wrestlings most interesting personalities.  Some of them were brief encounters, others were interviews and conversations that latest longer than a couple of minutes.
Until next time...

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