Check This Out...

3.15.2008

Don't Try This At Home?

There was a time when wrestling scared me. Not because of the characters (though I admit The Road Warriors made me pee a little bit in my under-roos). I was afraid of what new move would be seen by my older brother and then tried on me. In the early 80's wrestling was still "real." If my brother saw a Spinebuster, I felt it later. If he saw a DDT I was on the floor later wondering how I got on the ground with my head hurting. I was his personal wrestling buddy.

"Don't Try This At Home" didn't exist yet. Wrestling tells us to leave this to the professionals. Bullshit. I had to try this stuff at home!

Me and my cousin loved Muta growing up. With no poison mist available in South Central, L.A were resorted to using baby powder. After blinding each other a few times and having to wash that shit out of our mouths we decided that maybe this wasn't the best idea ever. One of my other brothers was a huge Ultimate Warrior fan. This sucked. All of his moves were high impact or presses. I went through two dinner trays before he finally got tired of it an started doing Macho Man elbows on me. I may be 6'1" now but I was a tiny ass child that prayed to reach 5'5" someday. I had to rely on speed then and there weren't many high flyer's around in 1985 that I knew of. Enter submissions.

Back then there were only Figure Fours, Iron Claws, and Bear Hugs. Thank God for that! I cant imagine what my brother would've done with the Haas of Pain, The Texas Cloverleaf, Arms Across America, or the Crossface. I actually got my brother in a Sharpshooter in junior high. Yes, once he recovered he gave me a diving elbow drop off my drawing board when I fell asleep but I felt good knowing I made him tap. How are we not supposed to want to try this shit at home? It looks too cool!

Some stars have gotten their start from "backyard wrestling." Look at Donnie's favorite wrestler of all time Mick Foley. You have to begin somewhere. There are those that say they never watched the sport and kinda fell into it. Some of them have probably wrestled Ric Flair but don't know a damned thing about his past. But I believe that you have to play around with it for it to grow (don't get excited Fatty, I'm still talking about wrestling").

Not everyone can afford the best training. Hell, some cant afford mediocre training. You do what you have to do to get to that point where you can afford it.

Does the WWE believe that showing clips of stars getting fucked up will make kids think twice before attempting that moonsault from the top of his grandmama's garage? Hell, no! They'll just figure out how to do it better. Those kind of extreme measures make me wanna do the opposite. When I see a anti-smoking ad I wanna light up. When I see reports on how fat we Americans are getting I wanna eat a burger. it's like some kind of screwed up "Introduction To The Opposites."

A new approach needs to be taken. Instead of "Don't try this at home" there should be a "Don't try this at home...but if you plan on it anyway this is how you should." Kids aren't gonna stop making beat up rings out of rope and garbage cans. They sure as hell aren't gonna not try a Superkick when the opportunity presents itself. I know I wont stop fantasizing about Stunning everyone on the streets. What do you all think? Should wrestling fans discourage kids of wrestling at home? Where does it stop? Do we stop them from playing basketball, baseball, and football at home? Keep in mind I have been hurt more from those sports than even the meanest Backbreaker from my brother.

This article is dedicated to my oldest brother Kevin Powers. He got me into this shit at 3, and 26 years later I am still watching. Horsemen for life!

Kevin F. Powers: May 15 1969 - October 10 2001


6 comments: on "Don't Try This At Home?"

D.J.B. said...

I agree with your approach whole-heartedly. I don't know a single person out there who never tried it at home. We always took the approach of, lets do it like they do it. We'll damn near kill each other right now, but tomorrow and the days and weeks following we won't still feel it so we can try again.

My mom's boyfriend made the mistake of giving me a trampoline in 1996. Why do I remember? Because that's the year wrestling became my life. The trampoline got moved to my grandma's house, because that's where I stayed from the time school was out until my mom got off of work, when I was usually already asleep.

I had a set of "apartment complexs" if you can call them that, a glorified ghetto was where we all lived, and all the kids from there would come over every monday after school. We'd have a Raw is War and a Nitro every Monday. One Sunday a month we'd have a Pay-Per-View. There were about 10 of us, so we had about 10 matches per "show." Everyone pulled double-duty. Nobody ever minded until moms noticed sheets and/or table cloths got missing. We had to have ring aprons and entrance curtains...it was the only way.

This went on until we all reached high school. So for 4 and a half years every monday and one sunday a month the bridges street boys held their wrestling show. Eventually, about two years into it, parents caught on and had to come check it out. We actually had fans. You couldn't find me a group of kids who were happier, if only for 3 hours a week.

We never complained about getting hurt, the guys on TV didn't too much, so we didn't either. The only thing we complained about was not having a Sunny, Sable and Jacqueline. Did we get hurt? Fuck yeah. Did some of us cry sometimes? Fuck yeah. Did anybody ever die? Fuck no, we had heads on our shoulders that allowed us to differentiate fact from fiction and fake from staged. We taught ourselves how to lock up, how to do the basic moves.

One day, PWI came out with a special edition magazine called "Fantastic Finishers," every single one of us got one and studied it. Fuck school, we had a new textbook. One that mattered. We were trying, terribly unsuccesful Quackensmash's and Outsider's Edge's. Nearly all of us adapted our own form of Ace Crushers, either the Diamond Cutter variation or Stunner variation depending on the person, and in tag teams every move was a 3D, but me and Dustin reversed it.

If DJB ever has some Junior Junior's running around he wont discourage them, but he'll teach them. You hit the nail on the head when you said can't afford training, or in some causes *cough cough* keep getting kayfabed by the schools around them. Much love to your brother Dante, who knows, maybe he and my friend Trice are locking it up on the makeshift ring in the sky. His death goes along with what Dan was talking about a few weeks ago on Tha Show, gun violence has to fucking stop. We'll never forget aobut him, or his botched attempt, after botched attempt of 450's.

Martrice K. McClain: Jan 13, 1986-July 14, 2004

Dante Ross said...

Thanks for the response, DJB. I believe that what wrestlers are doing OUTSIDE of the ring is doing more damage than whats going on inside. Nothing will stop my dream of powerbombing my father through a table. Nothing!

How many parents out there are willing to shell out cash to send their kids to a wrestling school? Not many.

Anonymous said...

As a mother of two young boys who love wrestling, I've got to add this one for you...

I was in the bathroom~but it was just too quiet~so I opened the door to peek out at my boys...

From the best seat in the house I watched my 4 1/2 year old do a
"Jake the Snake DDT" on his 3 year old little brother!

SLAP~SNAP~
Stood him straight UP(side down) &
~Dropped him~BAM!

Poor little shit was out cold at least five minutes...

It was the scariest/funniest weirdest feeling a mother could have... and I had the best "seat" in our house.

We try to talk sense into them... but it's been almost 4 years since that day and they're only getting better~worse~crazier~smarter, etc.

What'cha gonna do?
I just love them and hope for the best!

Skitlez said...

All through middle school me and my friends wrestled in my backyard. Fuck a ring, we had a chainlink fence around my backyard (Small yard too, I live in a trailer) so we had a cage match everytime pretty much. I remember my friend and tag partner Alex being the first one to see ECW because he had a brother in high school so he was always ahead of us. Right after watching ECW Alex ran over to my house and showed me new moves and we quickly found as many chairs as we could. Lets just say after that, an event never passed where I didn't get a chair to the head. I still remember after watching the Hardy Boys when they first came out, Alex the next day landed a wicked Swanton Bomb off a garbage can to beat me for the belt.

The point is, that fun as a kid is what still gives me passion to watch it today. Just like playing basketball when you were little and pretending to be Grant Hill.

On the subject of injuries, I don't think any of us ever got seriously injured, we got bumps and bruises but we looked out for each other. Kids will be kids.

Dante Ross said...

I think i only becomes an issue when you have kids taping themselves being set on fire and shit that it really becomes an issue. We all had fun doing this stuff. I didnt get any serious injuries. I think the worst was when this kid gave me a Doink style Whoopie Cushion but that only made me see stars. I got the best nights sleep ever after that!

My girl is afraid I will try a move on her. I will if she asks. And everyone on thaoshow is right about The Figure Four. That shit hurts too many parts at once. You cant help but tap. If someone can complete a Jackhammer more power to 'em, but me, I am partial to submissions.

D.J.B. said...

The worst injury anybody ever got wrestling on Bridges Street was a sprained ankle, and other than that there were the usual bloody knees elbows and the occasional forehead...damn fence, but we knew not to go insane with it, and we knew that fire and barbed wire was for the pro guys.

I was never the biggest kid, I didn't hit my current height, 5'10 until my 10th grade year, so I never hit the power moves, unless Martrice was my opponent, and his skinny ass was very maneuverable, God rest his soul, but he's the practice dummy I used to perfect suplay after suplay and powerbomb after powerbomb. There were also several piledrivers and a quite innovative suplex into a diamond cutter he allowed me to hit. Taking powerbombs and powerslams was no day in the park, but it was still 10 times more fun than anything I can really remember.

Skitlez brought up belts, ha, we didn't have belts until the last year and a half. Before that we used old regular belts with tin foil in the center. After that it was shoe box belts held together by staples and duct tape. We only had three belts, a World and two tag team, poor kids dont get alot of shoe boxes.

I had the pleasure of being the only 5 time champ ever, but everybody got to sniff it. That was one ugly ass belt, but the pride it gave to us back then is amazing.

Fuck the ban on backyard wrestling, show kids the right way to do it and let them have it out in their own backyards. We had all the opportunties to get involved in the wrong stuff, but we were to worried about matches and storylines and new moves and who might be the champ the next week.

Thanks for the stroll down memory lane Dante