Sunday, July 23, 2017

The time Billy Gunn & I told the crowd to 'Suck It'

What a surreal moment...

@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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It would be hard to argue that during the Monday Night Wars the nWo was the biggest faction going. But WWE's Degeneration X was a close second. Once founding member Shawn Michaels retired, Triple H and Chyna recruited Billy Gunn, Road Dogg and X-Pac. The group helped turn the tide in the Wars and took the business to the next level.

Gunn & Rotten on News 3 This Morning
Gunn was my favorite member of the group. Years later when he was released from WWE, I was disappointed. But that actually lead to the time I was able to meet Mr. Ass. He had been signed to wrestle for Ian Rotten's IWA: Midsouth April Bloodshowers show in Herrin, Illinois. I'm a morning news anchor in southern Illinois and we were able to schedule Billy to be on the show. Chad was working at the station too, as a director, and he had the idea of Billy and I having a match his PlayStation.

So during News 3 This Morning, I battled Billy with my own character. He whooped me as I tried to play the game and stay focused on interviewing him. I was still pretty new to the anchor desk, and my nerves clearly got the best of me. On the way out from the station that morning, Ian asked if I would ring announce that night. Of course, I said yes.

"We've got two words for ya..."
Courtesy: IWA Midsouth
Other than doing a news report a few years earlier on pro wrestling in Alabama, I had never been inside a wrestling ring. My nerves were out of whack as I introduced the men and women that night. Then when Billy got in the ring, he put his arm around me and after his promo he said "We've got two words for you..." and in a move that is should be out of character for a news anchor I joined Billy in a crotch chop and yelled, "SUCK IT!!!" 

After the interview
This was in an era before Facebook and Twitter and even smartphones. But I was nervous it would get back to my boss that I made the move. Again, I was a young journalist at the time and thought I might get a lecture, but nothing was ever said. Since that night I've gone on to do more ring announcing, color commentary and even stepping into the ring and wrestling. I believe Billy Gunn helped boost my confidence that first night and laid the groundwork for who I am today as a ring announcer for Stride Pro Wrestling. 

Billy Gunn, by the way, is the guest for the next Cape Championship Wrestling show. He's in a tag team match with former CCW champ Brandon Barbwire. They battle current CCW champ Hollis Giroux and current Stride Pro Wrestling champ Matheus. That show is this Saturday, July 29 at the AC Brase Arena in Cape Girardeau.

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