Why didn’t that work?
Most people remember when they found out the business was a work. A lot of them compare it to finding out about the Easter Bunny or Santa not being real. I guess when I hit middle school I started noticing things I never had before, but for the most part, I still thought it was all a shoot. Why did I think this? Well, here is the simple answer.
My best friend at the time was Josh Briley. Josh lived next door and like me was obsessed with wrestling. He had a huge wrestling collection and watched all the PPVs because he had a blackbox (remember those). Josh also had something else that made him be extra crazy about wrestling. His uncle was Nightmare Danny Davis. Anyways, Josh pretty much lived at my house and his grandmother lived across the street. Danny had been staying there at one time too (not with me but with his mother/ Josh’s grandmother). When I was about 8 years old Josh and I decided we’d look through his uncle’s wrestling things for kneepads, masks, chains, and anything we could else we could find to beat up our WWF wrestling buddies. Then we found it….the dreaded foreign object. Josh and I looked at it in amazement. It looked like a piece of steel wrapped in athletic tape that could be slid over the fist like brass knuckles. It seemed to weigh about 5 lbs too. If you looked hard you could see what appeared to be blood stains. So, every time I saw something in wrestling that looked phony I would justify it by thinking “If wrestling was fake, why would that foreign object be steel? If it was fake, it would be made out of foam. Right?” That simple logic is what kept wrestling a shoot in my mind.
Fast-forward 4 years. Now I’m in middle school. The wrestling craze of the mid 90’s had yet to happen; so, I was still the wrestling geek that had nothing in common with anyone other than my wrestling friends. I watched an talked about wrestling 24/7. I would find wrestling on tv like ECW and the short lived AWF that came on early in the mornings (this was before the cable boxes told you what was playing and what time. All you had was the preview channel) So, that should tell you how obsessed I was. I was literally flipping through channels at all times in looking for new wrestling shows. Josh and I would watch and then go out and beat up our wrestling buddies, but rarely each other, we were tag partners...lol
One day I notice that our 6 grade class would be holding a 6th grade Olympics. They were trying to teach us about Rome or something, but they thought the Olympic games would help somehow. When I looked at the list of events to sign up for I noticed something….they had wrestling! I signed up and was the first on the list. The weeks went by and I noticed that they didn’t have anyone else signed up but me… I was gonna win by default? Finally there was one other person to sign up. He was about a 3rd of my size and now I felt great about my chances. I was gonna put on a show.
Olympic day took forever to get there but it finally arrived. I was planning out my moves and had put together a costume (of sorts) the night before. This was gonna be my first time wrestling in front of a crowd and I knew I would be victorious. So, we have about 15 minutes until wrestling comes up and I go to suit up. The outfit was just a black cutoff shirt, gym shorts, and a lime green wrestling mask. What young girl wouldn’t have wanted to date that? It makes no sense to me. Anyways, I make my way over to the mat to do my thing and notice my opponent and the only other person to sign up was busy running the 40 yard dash. To make matters worse the teacher told me I couldn’t wrestle him anyways….it wouldn’t be fair. The teacher sees I’m crushed and decides to make an open challenge to anyone who would want to wrestle me. After a few minutes I hear a guy say, “I’ll go!” This guy was my size and I’m pretty sure he is a couple of years ahead of me. He may give me some trouble and there’s no way I’m gonna be able to power bomb him. Oh well I’ll use skill. No forget that I have had no training in wrestling or MMA, cardio, and the guy I was facing would eventually go to prison for murder, I felt like I could win this. The match started and I went in for the lock up and he pushed me over. “What the hell was he doing?” I thought, “Every match starts with a lock up!” Plan B test of strength! Same result, he pushes me over. That’s it if that’s his game I’ll just have to take him down. I moved in and grabbed his leg for a single leg take down. But, just as he was about to fall back the teacher stopped us because we were off the mat. It was ok though because I was about to pull of the sure fire move. A move I had seen work on just about every one, no matter how big or small. I was gonna drop toe hold this son of a bitch! He came charging in and I drop down like I had seen wrestler’s do countless times. Pretty soon this jabroni would be on his belly. I hooked his leg and spun around with a since of accomplishment. But when I looked over to the mat he wasn’t there. He had kicked me off and I was now in a waist lock. I thought to myself, “HOW THE FUCK DID THAT NOT WORK? IT WAS A DROP TOE HOLD AND I DID IT PERFECTLY!” It was then I started to have my doubts if wrestling was a work or not.
The doubts were confirmed when 3 months later Josh beat me in a latter match for my foam belt in about 3 seconds. He pushed me over then climbed the Chair(our ladder…lol) the whole 3 feet to grab the belt from out of a tree. Later that summer Josh told me his Uncle said it was all a show. I was crushed….. but then I was completely relieved. I really sucked at shoot wrestling, but if it was a work I could do that all day long. And 14 years later I learned I couldn’t do that either.
Happy Turkey Day!
----Born Richard Mullikin, Maxx Corbin is a 7 year pro in wrestling and provides RRO with a monthly column. While growing up in Bemis,TN as a kid, he had no cable and lived week to week on the wrestling tapes he got from family and friends. He likes to think he has a great since of humor and makes light of tense situations. This is why he no longer works at the local hospital. He enjoys playing video games, stand up comedy, and music that very few have a taste for. He won an award in his middle school technology class for building a small bridge out of hobby wood. The bridge held 55lbs. He graduated from his high school with a 3.4 gpa. He was super bad ass at WCW vs NWO World Tour on N64(usually taking out opponents during Jerry Springer commercial breaks).