|Victory! (from Wilkey Photography)
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter
January 14, 2012 will go down as my greatest wrestling memory. I have no doubt about that. Not only is it the night that I got to call an incredible match between PAC and El Generico, and meet Colt Cabana, but I also made my wrestling debut that night. At nearly 39 years of age, I never thought this day would happen.
The last year has been incredible for me in terms of wrestling. I got the opportunity to "manage" Velvet Sky at a TNA house show event, join the commentary team of All American Pro Wrestling, and wrestle in a match in front of hundreds of screaming fans. For those who missed the back story, you can get caught up on the angle here.
On the day of the show, I was extremely nervous. I had literally only been in the ring one time before to run the ropes, take and give some chops, and get sent into the turnbuckles. It wasn't until the afternoon of AAPW Main Event that I actually got body slammed, clothes lined, and "punched" for the first time. We worked out the match and how it was going to go and I began to feel a lot better about the whole thing.
We were the semi main event, so I had done the commentary for the first half of the show. When I went back at intermission to get into my ring gear I stayed cool, calm, and collected. We discussed the match twice more to make sure I'd remember everything. As I've mentioned, I'm not a wrestler, so we weren't looking to put on a show like anyone else on the card had done.
My opponent Mike Masters went out first. I think all 405 people in attendance were booing him. He had incredible heat. As I watched on a monitor near the Gorilla Position it hit me. "I'm about to go out there and WRESTLE, or at least try to." That turned into almost a feeling of light headedness. Then I started worrying I'd forget everything we planned. But Mike had told me if I did, not to worry. I was instructed to crawl around the ring, and he'd beat me up and remind me along the way.
When I came out, the crowd popped. I walked over to AAPW Executive producer Chris Hagstrom, who is also on the announce team, and begged him to call off the match. Since he wouldn't I reluctantly made my way into the ring.
Once we actually made contact and Masters slammed me, I felt completely disoriented. I wasn't sure where I was inside the ring. I knew that I had to look toward the hard camera for the upcoming DVD, but for a moment, I wasn't sure where it was. I also had experienced a severe case of cotton mouth. I can't remember everything that happened of course, but I know he choked me on the ropes and crashed across my back. He also took me to all four corners and did chops across my chest. Well, when we got to the fourth corner, I moved out of the way and did four or five quick chops to him, thinking I had the momentum only to have my eyes raked and beat back down to the mat.
|Getting choked (from Bob Velez)
|That's real blood, folks
Taking the mishap out of the equation, it was truly an amazing night. If I forget to thank you here, I apologize. But I can't thank Mike Masters enough. Also Heath Hatton and Edmund "Livewire" McGuire for training me. Jay Spade for his assistance with the match. Chris Hagstrom for giving me a shot with AAPW in the first place. Adam Testa for his friendship and support leading up to this, even though he claimed to be #TeamMasters. Sean Mocaby and Greg Anthony for their support and asking me to be involved in AAPW. Really all the guys with AAPW who shared kind words with me before and after my match. My friends and coworkers, and the folks who drove hours to see the show. The fans who I don't know who made an effort to be there. And of course my wife and kids for letting me live out a dream. Perhaps this is a my midlife crisis. I'm having so much fun, I just wish this opportunity would have come sooner in my life.
The Main Event DVD will soon be released. Be sure to pick up a copy if you missed the show. Colt Cabana, PAC, El Generico, and our surprise guest Matt Cross M-Dogg 20 were all awesome. And of course all the stars of AAPW tore the roof off. All the matches were intense and exciting. It was a pleasure being a part of the biggest show in the history of this fine company. To learn more about AAPW, head to the website.