Poke Out My Eyes I Have Seen It All Now

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

All!! Star!! Wrestling!!


The news about Verne Gagne, Mr. Wrestling, doing a biel throw to a 90+ year old co-resident of his nursing home, just breaks my heart. Verne, in case you didn't know, has Alzheimers and must have thought he was back in the ring with Baron Von Roshke. The poor old geezer on the receiving end died, though not immediately. There is talk about charges being filed, but I'm quite sure that won't happen as Verne isn't in charge of his faculties. He apparently hasn't lost much in terms of physical prowess, however.

I grew up with All Star Wrestling, watching it with my grampa. Grampa always got quite the work out during those 1-hour matches on television. He'd sit in his rocking chair and go through the moves along with his favorites. Much grunting accompanied his feigned grappling holds and illegal punches as he watched his favorites: The Crusher and Verne Gagne. I got as much enjoyment watching grampa as I did watching the actual "wrastlin".

Grama generally made an appearance every 10 minutes or so. She'd come out of the kitchen with her butcher knife (I swear she used it for everything including making jello) and would brandish it at the television screen, shouting obscenities at the bad guys. She always had a few moves to exhibit too, between "Get that Russian bastard!" and "I'll slit his throat!".

Grampa took me to a real live wrestling match one time at Falls Senior High School. There it was, the actual ring, right in the gymnasium. Vince McMahon was just a young guy at the time, but already in full swing as a promoter. The Crusher and the Bruiser (who were maybe the same guy, they had the same build!) were the good guys. Dr. X pulled his usual cheating routine with a tire iron hidden (!) under the ring skirting. Why couldn't the referee hear us shouting about that?? Baron Von Rushke pulled out The Claw and was victorious in his bout.

Of course, Verne Gagne was the hero of the night with his Figure Four Leglock. That was his patented move and it was so good of his opponent to lay quite still while Verne applied it and then cranked up the pressure until submission. Cheers all around. I was hoarse by the time the night was over, and grampa damn near had a stroke.

I've tried to watch wrestling a few times recently, but it's too much glitz now and most of the wrestlers look like pansy-ass rock stars rather than the brawny beasts of my past. Nowadays I have to settle for MMA and toughman competitions, but it's not nearly as thrilling as old time wrasslin.