Saturday, August 27, 2011

With This Ring...

Before it's a ring, it looks like this...
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Earlier in the week I wrote about the importance of supporting local wrestling as All American Pro Wrestling in southern Illinois prepares for another television taping Sunday afternoon.  And to gear up for the event, I headed over to the site of the taping to help set up.  Little did I know I was going to get to help put the ring together.  It's something I've always been curious about, but had never really seen done.

The one time I did get to see a ring under construction was back in 1998.  I was covering a Thursday Night Thunder taping in Huntsville, Alabama.  While the crew was setting up the ring, I went over with my camera and started rolling.  Head of security Doug Dillinger yelled at me and took my tape and erased it.  This was the same night that the Giant destroyed the ring with his bare hands, so my guess is Dillinger thought I was getting footage of them rigging the ring.

Curly and Heath
Anyway, back to my original story, the ring we use for AAPW once belonged to wrestler Curly.  So he brought it down to Marion on the back of a trailer.  There's lots of boards (23 to be exact) and several steel beams that need to be put in place. While one group set up the sound system, I found myself working on the ring with Curly and his tag team partner Heath Hatton on setting up the ring.  Once we got the frame up, we added the boards, and then of course the padding.  But even with the padding in place, it's not exactly a soft place to land.  (I'll get to more on that in a moment.)

Feeling patriotic 
We covered it all up with the canvas, and then added the ropes.  The ropes for the ring are black, but since it's All AMERICAN Pro Wrestling, we had to cover the ropes in red, white, and blue tape.  Even with five of us working on it, this seemed to be the most time consuming part of it.  Final touches included adding the skits around the apron and putting on the turnbuckles.  Luckily we don't have to worry about George "the Animal" Steele coming in and gnawing on them.

Before Curly and Heath left they wanted to show me how to take a bump.  I'd never done it before, so I figured what the heck.  I always knew it's not easy being a wrestler, but just doing a couple of these bumps gave me a whole new appreciation for what professional wrestlers put themselves through.

Although everyone reading this is presumably a fan, I'd like for those who call wrestling "fake" to spend 10 or 15 minutes in the ring learning to take a bump.  It's not that easy, and honestly I'm still a little sore from it and I only did it a couple of times.

So in addition to being a manager, ring announcer, commentator, videographer, and referee; I can add ring assembler to my wrestling resume.  It was fun, and I hope to see everyone out at Black Diamond Harley Davidson Sunday afternoon.  Bell time is 2 p.m.


  1. Hey! At least you took the bump in the shoulders! Hopefully you didn't bobble head like I have done during my small stint of wrestling and take the majority of the brunt on the back of my head :( Ouchie...

  2. Awesome... hope to see ya there...

  3. Ouch. That may hurt a little! I think I should also enter to the wrestling world. My arms and legs would definitely benefit from it.