Saturday, March 21, 2009
A Piece of my Mind March 21,st 2009 by "The Big Cheese" Sal Corrente
I have been spending a lot of time lately in Charlotte, NC. I lived in the area from nineteen eighty nine until two thousand and one. While I was there it came to my attention that Rikki Nelson was running a show. I also saw that “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair would be signing autographs. He would also be in the corner of his son Reid when he teamed up against Rikki Nelson and Buff Bagwell. I made a call to “Gorgeous” Gary Royal who knows Flair and said lets drive down to the show. It was a benefit show for the Gaston County Sheriffs Dept in Gastonia, NC.
We arrived at about 6:00pm everything was already set up and in place. We spent some time visiting with Rikki and talking to various people. I saw people that I hadn’t seen in number of years. I had worked the Indy scene, along with Gary, in the Carolinas for quite a while. I started in the area working for Nelson Royal in nineteen eighty eight. It seemed like a lifetime ago, but seeing those old faces brought back great memories. As the boys trickled in one by one we all got a chance to visit and talk about old times. The crowd was coming in steady and soon the Nature Boy arrived. When he saw his old friend “Gorgeous” Gary Royal you could tell that he was very happy to see him. We spent a good bit of time catching up with “The Nature Boy” and watching the matches. It was a very good show with good solid fans. I must say though, the biggest pop of the night was watching Ric Flair roll into the ring for a potential face off with Nelson and Bagwell. This outburst was brought upon by the heels double teaming young Reid Flair. When the night was over Reid was very focused on his performance. This was the second match I had attended of Reid Flair’s. I have to be honest; I look forward to one day seeing Reid Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat Jr.
On the ride back to the hotel Gary said to me “If wrestling was still my job I would ask to work with Reid every night for about six weeks. By the end of that time he would be ready. I think in time Reid will be ready either way. But it sure was nice to have those kinds of options years ago. I hope Reid keeps his head on straight and stays focused. No one goes out and does great over night. I will say that Ricky Steamboat, Jr. and Reid Flair have the added pressure of their fathers being who they are. I’m sure that pressure isn’t easy but I’m positive the situation can be overcome and success will be theirs if they want it.
It was good to get out to a show and just enjoy myself. I had some fans ask me if I was going to manage Bobby Eaton that night since I had at Reid Flair’s debut show. I got to see lots of the boys and also Amber O’Neal of the recently reteamed and revitalized Team Blondage. These girls, Krissy Vaine and Amber O’Neal, are more than ready for the big time. They were the Beautiful People (Velvet Sky and Angelina Love of TNA) long before the Beautiful People ever existed. I saw them and had all the faith in them. That’s why I booked them at WrestleReunion 1.
The best thing about being there was seeing the job that Rikki Nelson did from beginning to end running his event. He was totally in control of all issues. He ran an organized five match show that left fans entertained. He also had a GREAT working relationship with the sponsoring organization. His Mid Atlantic Wrestling event was a pleasure for the fans and for me. He works hard and gets the job done. His message to me was very simple “I have been very blessed and very fortunate”.
At this time we can only speculate about what is going to happen in the Snuka, Piper, and Steamboat managed by Ric Flair against Chris Jericho match. They haven’t even announced what the match is yet but just by seeing Rick Steamboat back in action I am excited. I am sure my good friend can still go and I look forward to it. It’s interesting to me to see Snuka and Piper functioning on the same side. I do have the pleasure though of knowing that it was WrestleReunion who teamed the two long time enemies up in Tampa, Fl.
It was a pleasure this week of interacting with someone I have a great deal of respect for. I have only met him on one or two occasions. I knew that I was talking to someone very wise in our business. When you have great success in the business there are always stories told about you. In life some people just “get it” and others don’t. This guy definitely get’s it. I will be visiting with him soon face to face. I am sure I will have some great stories to tell from this meeting. The chance to learn should always be appreciated and looked forward to. I look forward to the meeting because I know I will come away from it a better man. I imagine it will be the source of one of my blogs in April.
At WrestleReunion 2 we used Andrew “Test” Martin in an eight man tag team match. It was so sad to hear of another life cut short. The results of the autopsy are not yet in sadly many of us anticipate a finding that wont be pleasant. This is another case of not knowing what is really going on in the mind of someone.
The picture with this article is of “Gorgeous” Gary Royal and his long time friend “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. It was taken in Gastonia, NC on the night of the show.
This has been a piece of my mind