Don't blink. Yes indeed the RasslinRiot Online "2008 Columnist of the Year" is back, just as his title is about to be up for grabs in 2009. I honestly planned to write as often as possible this year, but job and wrestling commitments keep me extremely busy. But, I'm hoping that 2010 is a year that will let me get back on track to present regular writings for the enjoyment of RRO readers and followers.
I'd like to say I'm excited to be back, but honestly with the passing of Eddie "Umaga" Fatu, it is really hard not to be a bit bummed.
I had the pleasure to work with Eddie on a regular basis back in 2001. He was signed to a World Wrestling Federation developmental contract and was working for Memphis Championship Wrestling, which at the time was a developmental territory for the Federation. While not under a money-making contract, I was on the MCW crew at the time as a house show ring announcer.
Eddie was always gracious and courteous when we encountered each other. I was blessed to see many great matches as he and partner Rosey faced some of MCW's other top tag teams including Joey Matthews (aka Joey Mercury) and Christian York; Charlie and Russ Haas; just to name a couple that come to mind easily.
When Eddie was in MCW, he had a "dancer" type gimmick along with Rosey. I guess it was a spinoff of Rikishi and Too Cool. They would come to the ring, getting all the fans in attendance to wave their hands and "dance like they didn't care." Usually, there was a post-match celebration that, guess what?, included a little dancing. Also, they typically tried to involve others in the routine. Sometimes it included other wrestlers and fans. One time, yours truly was even "suckered" into dancing. Trust me, I brutalized the dance routine. I remember Lisa Marie Varon was in the ring too (WWE's Victoria and current TNA Star Tara). I seem to recall her laughing at me and my "dance moves."
Memories like that make Eddie's passing that much more sad to me. Nobody should die at 36-years-old. That is the prime age of life. I was really hoping to see him make another run in WWE. His fued with the Undertaker that will now never be a reality would have produced some quality matches.
Eddie is actually the third member of my old MCW crew mates to pass away. He joins Russ Haas (2001) and Steve Bradley from earlier this year. This is not like we are talking about a crew of guys that were together in 1945 or something. We were together less than 10 years ago!
I certainly hope I haven't soured your day. I just wanted to write something about Eddie, a man who left us waaaaaay too soon like so many others.
While 2009 has been very busy for me between early commitments with N.E.W. and then working with Bobby Eaton and Greg Anthony in Midnight Gold, 2010 looks to be much more busy. I hope to share some news with you guys later this week. This is not completely "news" to the boys in the business as many have heard what is in the works. But for the rest of you, get ready for what I hope is a nice surprise.
Take care and have a great weekend all!
(Brian Thompson may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)