Sunday, June 14, 2009
A Piece of my Mind June 14th 2009 by "The Big Cheese" Sal Corrente
It was nineteen seventy nine when I first discovered pro wrestling and the WWF. We didn’t yet have cable TV at the time. It just wasn’t available in our part of town yet. I can still remember the day that the man came and knocked on our door telling us cable was available and did we want to sign up. How about that door to door cable TV sales? it was a different world in nineteen ninety seven. Once we had cable TV it allowed me to see two things the matches from Madison Square Garden before I started attending live. It also allowed me to see Georgia Championship Wrestling where I discovered Tommy “Wildfire” Rich, The Masked Superstar, Mr. Wrestling II and The Universal Heartthrob Austin Idol. It was much different than WWE TV but I really didn’t care I liked it. I was furious at the time when an Atlanta Braves game ran over and I couldn’t watch wrestling from the Peach State.
I eventually started going to wrestling at Madison Square Garden one way or the other by hook or by crook. I was really blessed because my father made contact with someone who would get me tickets on a regular basis. I was given the tickets and got to up on the same elevator that the wrestlers went up on. Well right outside the dressing room at the Garden was a very young and evil Hulk Hogan and my WWF hero “Polish Power” Ivan Putski. It was at that time that I knew wrestling was not necessarily real but I didn’t care I got over it quickly. On that night also in the program were pictures of Austin Idol and Tommy “Wildfire” Rich. I was going to get to see the stars of Georgia Wrestling that I had been watching every week on WTBS. I would have never guessed that one day I would be teaming up with Tommy Rich and managing him in matches.
In those days, when outside talent came in, they were always in preliminary matches. The two opponents for our Southern superstars were the always tough but rarely victorious Unpredictable Johnny Rodz and Jose Estrada. It was pretty apparent our visiting friends were going to be triumphant and they were. It was a cool thing to be able to see these visiting stars from time to time. It was many years later when I learned that other promoters would ask Vince McMahon Sr. to add his star to the card so that he could promote them as having just wrestled in the world most famous arena.
I reflect on this because my thoughts are on the wrestling conventions being held later this year. It doesn’t matter what type of signing convention you have, if you are a first time guest you will always do better than repeat people. Well at this point there are few first time guests available that have any name value. This year the last two remaining legends hold outs are making appearances Blackjack Mulligan and Austin Idol. Who knows why both of these guys have finally decided to answer the requests for them to appear at a convention now? I am sure the fans will ask that question and many more but, ultimately, they will just be thrilled for them both to be there. I do know that Austin Idol has also opened up a website at www.austinidollive.com . It was clearly the decision of both of them to stay underground and now they are coming out to meet the fans on their own terms. I think the fans will turn out for these guys at Greg Price’s NWA legends convention in Charlotte NC in August. There is no telling how many times these guys will be out there so don’t miss it.
It will be interesting to see if the WWE appoints Ric Flair as the new GM of RAW. I actually think this whole GM thing has run its course. Why not just go back to the board of directors running things. I think the best role for Flair is the J.J. Dillon role of the Horsemen. They could go weeks just letting guys earn their way into being the newest version of wrestling’s most famous elite group.
This picture is of Shane Douglas taken at WrestleReunion 1 in Tampa. It is great to see that Shane is back on the scene at TNA. I met him when he was Troy Orndorff he was as milk white a babyface as there could be.
This has been a piece of my mind