Friday, April 13, 2007

My days as a wrestling announcer

It's been a long time since I've watched much contemporary pro wrestling, but I used to be heavily into it. I even did some training with Phil Watson, son of Canadian legend Whipper Billy Watson, as he tried to launch a new promotion in the early 1990s called Teen Pro Wrestling.

It never quite took off, but not for lack of trying. Phil even got enough of a crew together to shoot four episodes for TV.

I've been going through my old videotapes lately, digitizing stuff to Mpeg2 for the sake of preservation, and this past weekend I dubbed over the Teen Pro stuff. There's some good stuff there from a few guys who went on to have careers as wrestlers.

Among them, a young Scott Taylor, who went on to fame in the WWF/WWF as Scotty 2 Hotty.
Bill Skullion makes appearances well before he became "Bloody" Bill Skullion.

A skinny kid debuted as Buford T. Butterworth -- a character originally pitched to be played by me, but, frankly, I wasn't particularly good as a pro wrestler. It ended up going to a nice and talented guy named Dennis. Dennis has been working the indy circuit in Ontario for years and even with some of the bigger indy outfits in the States. He's famous in some circles as "Danger Boy" Derek Wylde. The YouTube clip above is his first match ever.

He teams up with a tall skinny Bostonian named Cameron Crude against two skinny guys from Newfoundland who worked just this one time as the Rock Island Rebels.

The match was, in a way, well ahead of its time -- rehearsed every step of the way, non-stop action -- and seemed to get absolutely no heat from the crowd.

And behind the microphone is a young Big Ass Superstar, Scott Simpson. Not much of a broadcaster back in 1993. I didn't quite get the psychology of calling a professional wrestling match, and I hadn't yet "found my voice." I was teamed up with fello radio student and wrestling school classmate Kevin "The Kid" MacKenzie. Last time I saw Kevin, I think he was working at the Rogers campus in a call centre. I hope he's doing well and remembers his time in the spotlight fondly.

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