AS I SEE IT - 5/13/2002:
What's The Real 'Poison' Within WWF/E?
"...Brian Christopher threw a temper tantrum at an indie show on Sunday in Akron, OH.... Christopher hurt his elbow when the referee in the match missed a bump spot. Christopher was actually scheduled to win the UWC title in a three-way with Danny Doring and champion Pumper. Christopher walked out of the match and Doring won instead."
"....The person who cut off Michael Hayes's ponytail/mullet [on the "Plane Flight From Hell"] was none other than Sean Waltman. The ponytail was stuck on the wall backstage at Raw with a sign saying: "Auction: Freebird Ponytail, proceeds benefit Alcoholics Anonymous".
Pro Wrestling Torch
"...Curt Hennig instigated the scuffle, as throughout the fight he kept ribbing Lesnar about who the better shoot wrestler was. They ended up getting into it and Lesnar took Hennig down a couple of times in the aisle but was told to stop by Triple H, Paul Heyman and Fit Finlay. However, Hennig was not through and kept the ribbing up, prompting Triple H to physically get into the middle of it. He also spent some of the flight spraying people with shaving cream."
I don't think that there was a full moon out this week. But if there had been one, I wouldn't be surprised. The preceding three examples are enough to officially qualify this past week in wrestling as "Animal House Week".
There's one major difference.
The movie "Animal House" was funny. The behavior of these wrestlers wasn't.
First, does anyone think it's beyond belief that Brian Christopher, a former WWF/E wrestler struggling to get bookings, throws a temper tantrum and walk out in the middle of a match? This latest incident occurs as Christopher is quickly getting a reputation for being obnoxious and abusive to other workers, and to behind-the-scenes promotional staff among independent promotions he's had bookings in.
It seems to me that most would reasonably consider it a dumb thing to do for Christopher to throw away a chance at independent bookings; after having already thrown away his WWF/E career because of entering Canada with illegal drugs (that he still hasn't admitted to possessing) while on WWF/E tour.
Next, does anyone else think that Sean Waltman getting on an airplane with a cutting instrument (that would gotten him jailed on Federal charges had the "Flight From Hell" not been a charter plane) might qualify him as bordering on being an idiot? This, even if many, including WWF/E management, have suggested that Michael Hayes might have deserved the treatment.
I wonder what will happen if FAA personnel start to pay extra attention to WWF/E performers and staff when they travel through airports after reading about actions like this. Sean Waltman should remember what happened to the wrestler in the first example, who was fired because his bringing illegal drugs caused possible problems in crossing the US/Canadian border for the WWF/E touring crew.
In the post-September 11th environment, airports and security personnel aren't going to listen to an explanation from a Sean Waltman that "we were just ribbing one of the boys on a flight." A Sean Waltman (or insert another name) could wind up in jail, and WWF/E could bear the burden and expense of bad media publicity and added police surveillance because of their actions.
Finally, does anyone think that Curt Hennig physically challenging Brock Lesnar on an airplane (or anywhere) qualifies as suicidal behavior?
Along with this, Hennig was amusing himself by spraying shaving cream in Paul Wight's hair. Spraying shaving cream is just standard juvenile behavior...but probably isn't that unusual, given some of the ribs that wrestlers play on each other to relieve tension and boredom. But a drunken brawl on a airplane is a different matter altogether.
One version of Lesnar-Hennig story has HHH attempting to break up the fight, with all three falling into the emergency exit door, jarring the handle on the door. Imagine the possibilities if the door hadn't been tightly sealed.
Whatever you think of Curt Hennig playing around with Paul Wight or with Brock Lesnar... his brawl with Lesnar certainly qualified as career suicide, at least on a national scale.
While Jim Ross downplayed the severity of the fight in his latest Ross Report, anybody want to bet some airlines will keep an eye on WWF/E performers on future tours overseas, or on other long flights to and from TV, PPVs, and house shows? If not, maybe they should.
The latter two examples came from, according to Jim Ross: "...a handful of people who consumed too much alcohol and consequently acted like children whose parents were away and left the liquor cabinet unlocked. The conduct of this inebriated minority was unacceptable and will not be tolerated."
Unfortunately this is another very real side of the behavior of those within wrestling....large men consuming too much alcohol or other substances who feel that their behavior will go unchallenged by those that employ them. In two of these three cases, they found the hard way that this wasn't the case...one in the past, and one this past week.
Sean Waltman was lucky enough not to have found out that lesson...so far. But the irony of using Michael Hayes's ponytail as an auction to "benefit" Alcoholics Anonymous is painful, given the behavior of several people on that "Plane Flight From Hell" and on the recent UK tour...which also saw Waltman's old co-worker and fellow NWO member Scott Hall given his release as a result of abusing alcohol throughout the tour.
One has to wonder what the real "poison" is within WWF/E....
On a more pleasant note... and to give a plug once more for good friends... for those of you living in the South and Mid-South areas who do still respect wrestling and are looking for something enjoyable to do on Memorial Day weekend... to see some Southern style wrestling, and to relive some old times and wrestling history, I wanted to tell you about the following...
Southeastern Championship Wrestling will present the Wrestlefest Convention/Eddie Gilbert Memorial Show from May 24th to May 26th, 2002; at the Holiday Inn/Lexington North, 1950 Newtown Pike, Lexington, KY (located at Exit 115 of I-64).
Talent appearing for the weekend will include: Doug Gilbert, Jim Cornette, the Rock and Roll Express, Larry Zybysko, Buddy Landel, Terry Taylor, Jimmy Snuka, Road Warrior Hawk, Virgil, Mike Barton (Bart Gunn) and Curtis Hughes.
The Wrestlefest Convention/Eddie Gilbert Memorial Roast will feature legendary WWF and WCW announcer "Mean Gene" Okerlund as master of ceremonies.
Here is the weekend's event schedule:
Friday, May 24th
Wrestler's Roast 7:00-10:00 pm (Formal dress required)
Some of the best road stories and old times relived...
Saturday, May 25th
Wrestlefest Convention 11:00 am-5:00 pm
Eddie Gilbert Memorial Show 7:30-10:30 pm
Aftershow Party 11:00 pm-1:00 am
Meet and party with SECW stars and legends of the wrestling world.
Sunday, May 26th
Wrestler's Roast $10.00
Wrestlefest Convention $15.00
Eddie Gilbert Memorial Show $15.00/$10.00
Eddie Gilbert Memorial Show After Show Party $5.00
If you pre-register for the Wrestlefest Convention/Eddie Gilbert Memorial Show, you will get a Wrestler's Roast ticket free.
Hotel rates for the Convention are $74.95/night (you must tell the Hotel that you are attending the Convention/Show for the rate, a 30% discount over normal rates).
For reservations, call the Holiday Inn/Lexington North at (859) 233-0512.
Vendor Information-Wrestlefest Convention/Eddie Gilbert Memorial Show
$150 first table/$50 each additional table. All vendors get two free tickets to Eddie Gilbert Memorial Show.
To reserve tables, contact Kathy Fitzpatrick at (856) 627-5123 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
For information, contact the following:
Kathy Fitzpatrick (856) firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sherri Russell (859) 269-5043
Donnie Prater (859) 266-5969
Kathy Fitzpatrick (856) email@example.com.
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)