AS I SEE IT 7/12: A tale of two wrestlers...Billy Redwood and Teddy Hart
by: Bob Magee
This column is a tale of two wrestlers, of the all too anonymous passing of one, and of the misplaced priorities of another.
Unfortunately, after last week's column about the anniversary of Joey Marella's passing...another name was added to the list of wrestlers who've left us too soon, as Northeast independent wrestler William (Billy Redwood) Crumpton was killed on the night of July 3rd in a one-car accident. Redwood apparently fell asleep while driving and crashed his car, with the automobile exploding in a fireball as a result of the accident.
Redwood initially trained at the Bone Breakers School in Baltimore in early 2000, and wrestled for Pennsylvania's Hardway Wrestling (in which he shared the promotion's Tag Team titles with Bart Scholl), National Championship Wrestling, and the Pottstown, PA based Premier Wrestling Federation, as well as Maryland's National Wrestling League/House of Pain Wrestling Federation and Maryland Championship Wrestling (in which Redwood held the MCW TV Title during 2001), Mike O'Brien's New England based Northeast Wrestling.
Redwood had recently been out of wrestling after a neck injury, but worked the final show of Maryland Championship Wrestling almost a year ago to this day on July 16, 2003.
It seems a shame that very few online sources reported this news. While Redwood worked within wrestling for only 3 years, he was as deserving as any name performer or main event talent of receiving the courtesy of being remembered at the time of his passing.
Then, in this tale of two wrestlers...here's the other one...who's getting more than his fair share of attention, most of it not positive.
This past weekend featured the latest chapter in the antics of Teddy Hart. Hart pulled out of a booking at CZW's Best of the Best this past Saturday only 72 hours prior to the booking, which had been built up in storyline for over four months. Hart's version of the story suggested that he had been involved in a bar fight earlier last week in which he was said to have suffered "a fractured jaw, a dislocated thumb, black eye, as well as a concussion."
PWinsider.com's Mike Johnson suggested that the "injuries" were worked and that Hart simply opted not to work the show. More than a few others have suggested that Hart might not have been too wild about working Homicide. The fact that Hart was reported by several people to have been on the phone talking for 45 minutes this past week, after the date of the supposed bar fight would seem to put the lie to his alleged injuries. After all, it's just a bit hard to speak clearly with a broken jaw.
But it isn't just an issue with CZW...USA Pro Wrestling promoter Frank Goodman has been a victim of recent Hart no-shows, with Goodman stating that he is owed $290 by Hart for deposits on his company's events that Hart later pulled out of.
Some other promoters have already had enough of Hart's antics. Florida's Full Impact Pro Wrestling pulled Hart off of their July 24 event in Arcadia, FL without waiting to see if Hart will "recover" from his "injuries". Jerry Lynn will take Hart's scheduled booking at this show, working Christopher Daniels .
As anyone who's read a sheet or a website over the last few months knows, Hart fancies himself the second coming of Brian Pillman's "loose cannon" character.
The fun within the 12 months alone started back at the November 2003 Ring of Honor Elizabeth, NJ event where Hart was thrown out of the Ring of Honor locker room for his infamous post-match display, after Hart decided post-match to showboat for the crowd, and stop selling a late match beatdown by The Carnage Crew with flips off of the top of the cage, one after the other, to the point that he vomited in the ring after the bout from what he claimed to be a "concussion".
The Carnage Crew saw this as disrespectful, and whipped Hart down so he'd sell, but Hart jumped up and showboated yet again causing bigtime anger in the locker room; to the extent that when Hart returned, he was set upon by Jim Cornette, Gabe Sapolsky, and a number of the workers in the back for his unprofessional conduct, and was "thrown out of the locker room, bags and all".
Move forward to 2004...
There was the "knee injury" (supposedly suffered by Hart in a match with Mr. Aguila being taped for a March TNA PPV) that took him out of a previously scheduled match with Juventud Guerrera and Jerry Lynn on the live February 25th PPV, reported widely as worked by Hart. Hart has a history among Calgary wrestlers of claiming injuries when he's in a "bad mood". In online reports, Mr. Aguila stated to the rest of the Mexican crew that Hart had told him the spot, and how Hart would fake the "knee injury" out of it. PWinsider.com's Mike Johnson later confirmed the story, which was initially reported by Dave Meltzer.
Next, there was the all too well known physical altercation prior to a TNA PPV between CM Punk and Hart and his "entourage". When the two ran into each other, Hart asked Punk if he had a problem with him and to step outside if he did. Punk went outside the restaurant and slapped Hart across the face. A short scuffle took place, broken up by Sabu, who got in the middle of the situation and got both concerned to stop, out of respect for his status as a veteran.
Johnson reported that Hart ended up with a fat lip and a bruise on his face, while Punk had a scraped elbow and a bruised forehead. TNA management threatened that if it happened again, "people would lose their jobs".
Then, February 28th, Hart's escapades continued at a Jersey All Pro Wrestling show in Rahway, NJ; as a large crowd came to see Hart working Homicide.
Loud "you got punked" chants and catcalls came down from the stands from the minute Hart walked out. If that's all that had happened, that would have been fine, as he got exactly the kind and depth of heel reaction a promoter prays he'll have on his shows just once in a career.
But Hart's real life attitude showed up, as after his own match, Hart started doing autographs and pictures in clear view as the scheduled main event of Dan Maff and Monsta Mack began with a large number of fans watching this behavior (or getting autographs themselves) and not the main event match.
If that wasn't bad enough, Hart tried to stage another "injury" at the Jeff Peterson Cup five weeks ago, owing to a refusal to do a job for the eventual winner, Justice; along with reports of other egotistical behavior about accomodations for the Peterson event.
Then, this past week's adventures took place.
Now...for those reading this that are still Teddy Hart fans, please don't write and try to tell me that all of this is part of his "loose cannon" character.
He's an incredibly talented young man who has great charisma...but he also is a self-destructive prima donna.
The fact of the matter is Hart has screwed you, the fans, every which way...no showing events or sulking if something isn't going his way on more than one occasion. You pay good money for your tickets, and you can't be sure if Hart will actually show up if you're paying to see him.
Maybe all of us who are fans of wrestling, and those who promote it, would all be a LOT better off if we all spent more time remembering the Billy Redwoods of the world, who give whatever they can to promoters and fans...sometimes far too anonymously...versus the Teddy Harts of the world who may be more talented, but who are disrespectful to fans, promoters and workers alike.
Until next time....
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