The last time we met, there was a down period between the split of the owners in the USWA, “Wildman” Doug and Randy. During this time I had been making the commute between Youngstown and Cleveland, by way of Garrettsville, which made the trip nearly 3 hours with the stops and what-nots. I had touched upon Bear and Angel’s training, and how that wasn’t going so well.
The split with the USWA occurred during my managerial debut in August of 1999, when the NWA (New Wrestling Alliance) was formed at the end of that USWA show, everyone revealed their NWO-like shirts, and made it known they were splitting into a new group: except this wasn’t just a typical wrestling storyline, this was REAL.
I had met with my fellow Dogs of War (“Hellraiser” Dennis, Shade, and Lucas) their tag-along friend John Henry, Randy and another partner in this endeavor, another decent-sized man named Jimmy several times over our training sessions and other get togethers.
One of our more memorable encounters was at the “NWA’s” hangout at the local Hooters, where myself and a friend I was going to bring into the wrestling business (even funnier thinking of that now, knowing how little I knew) all chipped in on the bill and got stiffed big time on the change.
Anyway, through these meetings, we were coming up with ideas, storylines, business plans and more. It was fairly obvious those at the table for these meetings would benefit from what we call a “push”, meaning they would be featured wrestlers on the events. I thought this was great, because I would benefit as well, and I was naive enough to think that this core group was what kept USWA going strong. I should trademark the phrase “boy was I wrong”.
One of the things that did change was the name of our promotion. Initially, when we did the split with the USWA, the new name was to be the “NWA” but apparently someone wised up and figured out that those initials should NEVER be used for anyone’s fed. Instead, Randy exploited the popularity of MTV’s “The Real World” and thus “Real World Wrestling” was born. Hell, Randy even had one of his hideous trucker jackets made with a globe and the RWW name on the back!
The day was upon us for the first RWW show in February of 2000. The days of “Sacryfyce” were behind us now and I was simply called “Prodigy” at the time. The plan was to have me work Freebirds style with Shade and Dennis, as the 3rd accomplice that would get involved in matches. Of course, Shade and Dennis were the tag team champions, so I was more than happy to oblige, as by a token of default, I too was a “champion” despite never been in the ring for a match before! Not too shabby for an 18 year old, right?
(Insert trademarked catchphrase.)
My look was also closer to what Shade was pulling off. Shade wore this glossy red shirt and some cargo pants, topped it off with his trademark shades and some arm sleeves… come to think of it, he was a flea market version of the Hardy Boyz. Wow! I should do that too, I will look sooooo cool.
(Insert trademarked catchphrase again.)
The first RWW event ran in the same building where the USWA left off. One of the caveats of the Doug/Randy split, was that Doug owned the USWA ring, so another ring was used for this event, rented from a guy I’ll call “Bob” for simplicity’s sake.
Bob’s ring was an interesting contraption. I had never put up or torn down a ring before, and every piece of this thing weighed a TON. The ropes weren’t made of rope, instead were the high tension metal cable covered with an industrial rubber shell. Instead of plywood there were thick 2″ boards that ran from edge to edge like piano keys. On top of that was a little bit of padding and then a nice blue mat stretched tight.
Since we got the ring up hours before anyone else was there, I took to trying things out. First was to take a simple bump, because that’s what all of these guys do. They get in the ring, take a BUMP, landing right on their backs, and then get up as though it didn’t phase them, brush the dirt off, do something else maybe or just get out of the ring.
So here I go, emulating what the others are doing… Geesh, I could barely get up and into the ring, WTH am I doing? Oh, I’m going to take a bump and show everyone how awesome of a wrestler I am. 1…2…3… THUD! (I’m laughing in my head at how I “knew” how to bump back then… like everything else, it was WRONG!)
I’m lying on my back in the ring, and like the others I try to act as though I’m unphased. Only one problem: it hurt like hell! Holy crap, and I thought that the “training center” ring was rough. (Insert catchphrase here…)
With the wind knocked out of me, I decided to scrape myself off of the mat and wait for the others to clear out before attempting to work on something I “knew” how to do: a moonsault. Though this wouldn’t be any regular moonsault, you see, despite being 6 feet 5 inches tall, despite weighing around a buck-sixty, despite being a skeleton of a guy that looked like a flea market Hardy Boyz & RWW Superstar Shade knockoff, the wrestler I most wanted to be at that time was…
Well not precisely, but a handful of the WCW cruiserweights were my favorites at the time. Chris Jericho. Eddie Guerrero. Rey Mysterio. Blitzkrieg (look him up.) They would soon be challenged for their spots by Prodigy! (Still not “Scott” yet.) I don’t think I need to keep inserting my catchphrase throughout my blog, just keep it in memory as a reminder of how bad things can get.
So instead of playing to my size (a problem I’d still have years later) I wanted to fly around the ring like a stretched out luchador wearing pleather pants, a t-shirt, arm sleeves and Converses. Not sure exactly what got into my mind here, but I decided to hop up on the apron and turn my back to the ring. I kept visualizing my new, never-before-seen moonsault. Let’s try something where I get on the 2nd rope and flip backward INTO the ring. Yeah, it would be like Jericho’s lionsault, except from the outside. Man that would be cool and what if I did this little twist into it?
Here goes nothing…
I stood in the corner, facing into the ring. Converses firmly planted on the rubber coated middle cable. I tried pivoting a couple times to practice the first part – me twisting so I’m facing the ring and then twist so my back faces… then I’ll just spring into my moonsault.
Part of wrestling is just going out and doing it. I can’t tell you how many moves, you can picture it, but the mind blocks you. Getting over that hurdle is pretty big and can come from something as basic as your regular bump. (For me it was doing a flip bump, ironically, this is a reverse flip bump I’m about to attempt.)
So I keep pivoting, testing this move out and say, what the hell, here we go. Twist, spring, FLIP… OUCH!!! That wasn’t so bad.
Then I try to walk. Ouch… ow… ouch… History of ankle problems, so no biggie. Just tweaked it a bit. Let’s take a break.
Fast forward 10 minutes: my ankle swelled to the size of a softball. Doors were going to open soon and this was going to be my big debut… this time as a wrestler. Going into the day I had felt this was going to be the zenith of my life so far, but… grab that catchphrase again, because it’s going to come in handy!
Disclaimer: “Diary of a Present Day Pro Wrestler” is a recount of witty, funny, ugly and otherwise entertaining stories from Scott Prodigy’s pro wrestling career. While these stories are based on true events, the author makes no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the content. In some instances names, locations and/or other general information have been altered. The author shall in no event be held liable to any party for any direct, indirect, punitive, special, incidental or other consequential damages arising directly or indirectly from any use of this material, which is provided “as is”, and without warranties. The author does not warrant the performance, effectiveness or applicability of any sites listed or linked to in the content.
Copyright 2012 Scott Prodigy. All Rights Reserved.
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