Jan 27 2012

I’m just going to have to find myself a new giant

André the Giant died 19 years ago today.

André was always one of my favorite wrestlers. When I was a kid, we didn’t watch wrestling at our house. Whenever we were at Grampa’s (my Dad’s dad), every Saturday morning was Bugs Bunny followed by, as Grampa called it, rasslin’. This was back in the early 80’s, with Hulk Hogan, Ricky the Dragon, Jake the Snake, King Kong Bundy, and of course, André.

The only match I remember was between King Kong Bundy and André the Giant.  Bundy was obviously the heel (villain), as evinced by his shaved head, his black unitard, and his being 500 lbs. He did a splash (jump from the top rope with arms and legs out, landing flat) on André like five times, breaking the giant’s sternum. I remember after the match when you saw André walking out, you could see his sternum pressing against his skin. I already thought KKB was bad, but to break a man’s sternum? Pure evil.

At least that’s the way I remember it. I’ve done some searching around online and found out that that was a kayfabe injury. In wrestling lingo, kayfabe means that whatever happens inside the ring is presented as real, but in real life it is not. Examples: The Undertaker is not really dead and Kane is not really his brother. In and out of the ring Vince McMahon really is a jerk, and Mick Foley really is hardcore. In wrestling lingo, a mark is a fan, and a smart mark is a fan who knows wrestling isn’t real. I was not a smart mark.

At any rate, I still don’t know how they did that sternum thing.

Anyway, celebrities die all the time (who doesn’t?), and it’s not like you actually know any of these people, but it was really sad when André died, like we really had lost the 8th Wonder of the World.

Jul 15 2010

I got yer pig

Several years ago I went to a independent wrestling event with Dave, the Celt, and Mrs. Celt. The event was put on by MRW, a small federation from the St. Louis area. The wrestlers acted as their own ring crew and souvenir sales, they had a lot of energy, and put on a great show. As it was such a small promotion, we had great seats. In front of us were a big fat guy and his big fat girlfriend.

First, some pro-wrestling lingo:

face=good guy
heel=bad guy
gimmick=stage persona

The only match I remember was between some face and a heel named Screech (not to be confused with Saved By The Bell’s Screech, who also did some wrestling). Screech’s gimmick was that he was a disrespectful jerk, and for some reason he had an inflatable pig about the size of a large beach ball. Screech put up a good fight, but ultimately lost. After the match, the face kicked Screech’s pig into the audience, where it was caught by by the aforementioned big fat guy.

After the show, as Screech and the other wrestlers were taking down the ring and packing up to go, the BFG in front of us started taunting Screech:

“Hey, Screech, I got yer pig! Hey Screech, I got yer pig!”

The couple thought this was pretty hilarious.

Screech looked at Mrs. BFG, and yelled:

“I don’t want her; you can have her!”

And that’s when they stopped finding it funny.