|Escorting Velvet Sky to the ring (photo from SI Miners)
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a wrestling manager. I knew that I would never be able to cut it as a wrestler. I don't have the athleticism or physique to get in the ring and perform.
I've had a couple of opportunities in recent years to ring announce, ref, and even do some color commentary. On June 10, I got the ultimate opportunity. I was in the corner of TNA Impact Wrestling Knockout Velvet Sky. Although it was a brief experience, it's one I'll never forget.
Let me start from the beginning. A couple of months ago, TNA announced plans to hold a Basebrawl event at Rent One Park (home of the Southern Illinois Miners, in the Frontier baseball league) As soon as the show was announced, I made contact with the folks at Rent One about getting a TNA star on the morning show I anchor. In the past I've interviewed Billy Gunn live on the air, as well as Sid Vicious and Jerry Lawler on the phone.
|D'Lo Brown in the house!
I know the product, and I think that helps make them comfortable. Plus, I'm not going to ask silly questions or act like a mark. At least I try not to! D'Lo did great and told me to look him up at the stadium that night. I had won a local radio contest to get the shot at being a manager. D'Lo let me pick who I would manage, and I went with his suggestion of Velvet.
I made a video for the contest to get the chance to be a manager for the night. My Facebook friends wanted me to head to the ring as Professor Wrestlestein. But once I got to the show, I was asked not to dress up. They didn't want me taking any attention away from Velvet, Angelina Love or Winter. I was cool with that, but somewhat disappointed. But it was their show, I was just there as a guest.
Our match was the second, and I waited in the "backstage" area on the field before the show started. Cookie, Robbie E., and Eric Young kicked off the event. I got to meet Dave (or Earl) Hebner as I waited for the ladies to show up. D'Lo arrived with them on a golf cart and introduced me to Velvet. He explained to her that I was a local news anchor and she started to tell me what I needed to do out there. D'Lo interrupted and told Velvet I was a big time wrestling fan. I think that put Velvet a bit more at ease too. But honestly, my heart was pumping and I was so nervous. I just didn't want to look like a tool in front of a crowd that big. It's different than looking like a tool on the news, because those people aren't there yelling at me in person.
This was the write up from the PW Insider on the match: "Velvet Sky w/ Kevin Hunsperger defeated Angelina Love w/ Winter. Kevin won the "Be a Manager" contest from ESPN Radio. He's an anchor for WSIL TV. The ringside fans seemed more interested in chanting for Kevin, as he's a well known personality, at least in the section I was at. I believe the ending saw a failed interference attempt form Winter, which led to Velvet rolling Angelina up for the win."
|Keeping Winter at bay (photo by Jim Olsen)
|Representin' the 3 I's...