Posted on 6/04/121 by Mike Informer
Walls candidate for board of alderman Bruno Lauer, also
known as “Downtown Bruno,” never had running for public
office on his radar.
Instead, the 55-year-old candidate said his aspirations have
always been to stay in the business he’s been in for the
last 42 years — the business of body slams.
Lauer had his first encounter with professional wrestling at
a fairground more than 40 years ago in his home state of
West Virginia. He didn’t have enough money to watch the
match so he offered to help clean up afterwards if they
would let him in. Currently, he’s an event coordinator for
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
“They told me after we finished that they were traveling all
over,” Lauer said. “So there I was, 13 years old, and these
guys told me they would pay me $25 a day, give me a place to
stay and feed me. That’s how it all started.”
Lauer spent years doing what he had done in West Virginia,
disassembling the wrestling ring and cleaning up at the end
of the day, until Dwayne Johnson’s dad, Rocky Johnson, gave
him a chance to make a name for himself.
Lauer remembers Rocky Johnson’s words, “Man, you ought to be
a manager. You can talk good and you’ve got the gift of gab
and charisma. Little guy like you? You would draw a lot of
money as a manager.” So Downtown Bruno was created.
Downtown Bruno, in the beginning, was not a good guy. Lauer
described the character as a “smart and cocky villain that
people loved to hate and hated to love.”
“People really were passionate about wrestling here,” Lauer
said. “We had people trying to attack us, people would shake
our cars, throw tobacco and beer and whatever else at us
when we were the bad guys. That means I was doing my job
right though so I didn’t get mad.”
According to Lauer, the more hated you are as a wrestling
villain, the more loved you are when you finally make the
switch to being the good guy. He recalled the first time he
was the good guy as one of the greatest days of his life.
“I’ll never forget it,” Lauer said. “I got tears in my eyes.
I was the good guy for the first time and when I said my
catchphrase, ’It’s like momma says. It be’s that way
sometimes,’ I had 4,000 people say it with me.”
Lauer hopes that he can continue to be the good guy now that
he’s running for office in Walls.
“I’m good friends with people in town and they all said that
I would be a pretty good candidate for the job,” he said.
“I’d like to help my town and if being an alderman will do
that, I’m all for it.”
Lauer’s main goal, if he gets enough votes, is to help bring
the people of Walls together to improve the town. He
emphasized that he isn’t running against anyone, he’s
running for the vacant position. Lauer said he doesn't want
anyone else to lose their seat on the board, he just wants
to sit at the empty one.
He’s hoping to win a spot on the board of alderman at the
June 8 elections, but he isn’t stressing about it.
“I’ve spent 55 years not being an alderman, so if I don’t
get it, I’ll just continue life as it is,” Lauer said. “It’s
like momma says. It be’s that way sometimes. Those words
bought me a house, so I still live by them.”