April 10, 2010 was my second appearance at a wrestling autograph photo-op, meet and greet session at the Radisson Hotel in Carteret , NJ . The last one was run by Dan Michaels. This was just as professionally done and enjoyable as the last one, which was several years ago.
It actually had a Wrestlemania type vibe to it – lots of commotion and so many faces from the past. So many fans also. The differences are obvious as well. Naturally comparing ANYTHING to Wrestlemania is like comparing high school football to the Super Bow. The pressure of Wrestlemania doesn’t exist at these gatherings, which makes it quite different. Remember I am one of the only people at the these fests that still makes my living in the industry and Wrestlemania is THE EVENT OF THE YEAR, since the WWE is my living. The pressure to perform above and beyond the normal high level is there in spades. But at these gathers, there is only pressure that one of the 1000 plus hands I’ve have shaken has swine flu, tuberculousis..lots of sanitizer on hands!! Let’s face it – SOMEBODY didn’t wash their hands and SOMEBODY is sick!! But, hey, a washed up guys..I mean “legend” like me is glad to see all the fans that remember the glory days of Downtown Harney Whippleman Bruno’s career. Also it was great to see all the guys from the my past..
-Scott Casey – who I sat with most of the day. What a great guy!! I have barely seen him since 1981!!
-Adrian and Linda Street – I had a major angle in 1988 with them in Memphis . They shaved my head and beat my ass!!
-Dutch Mantell - who I was in Alabama and Memphis . And even his stint in WWE as Zebakiah. We always got along great.
-Jimmy Snuka – besides the WWE, I was in actually in Hawaii with him in 1983 or 84 working for the Maivias in Polynesian Pro Wrestling.
-Buddy Roberts – he passed through Memphis with the Samoan Swat Team in 1988.
-Stacy “the Cat” Carter – I worked with her many times in the Memphis years. She looks fantastic!!
-Dawn Marie – I worked with her in the WWE, but also for Doug Flex’s IPW years ago.
-Marty Jenatty – I have known him since the Bob Geigel Kansas City territory back in the early 1980s.
- Tracy Smothers – I worked with him in a major angle with Tony Falk in Memphis back in 1986 and again in Alabama for Continental.
And others including Matt “Doink” Bourne, Paul Bearer, Sylvan Grenier, Scott Putski, Hassan and Davari, Ox Baker, Johnny Valiant and so many old good names that I go soooo far back with. I wish we could put something like this together in the Memphis area for the old timers in OUR area. Think about it RRO – the ball is in your court.
----“Downtown” Bruno Lauer is a legend in Memphis Wrestling. He surprised everyone last year winning RRO Referee of the Year 2008 from his work at NEW. He appears bi-weekly with his non controversial column. Lauer had his biography published last year “Wrestling with The Truth” and can be purchased at www.crowbarpress.com. Lauer is also currently employed by the WWE.
----Bruno I would love to do one of these for the area, but we would probably have to line up some major sponsors for the event. Any promoters out there want to “sponsor a legend”?? We got at least 12 small groups in this area that could all bring in at least one guy for something like this. E-mail – let’s do it!! I would love to let the legends just hang out and sign autographs for the fans and then have the local guys put on a show for the legends/fans that night.