Ernie Todd & EZ Ryder: The Truth
Question ONE: Is Ernie an example of a mark promoter?
Well, what would you call a guy who centers nearly the whole show around his character? Let's see, the main heel group is his group, he does most off, if not all of the talking. Everyone has to sell his stuff in the ring + No training +Got in as a money mark = Mark Promoter.
He never takes a bump, he even decides to do an "invasion" angle with a promoter, Bobby Jay, he says he hates and goes on their shows and completely take over. Six promos on a show, his involvement in 5 out of 7 matches, a mark for himself, you tell me! He breaks up any other heel faction that is either over with the fans or is more likely to overshadow his, eg. Seeds of Evil , Bobby Collins Army.
Hell, I did a 20 minute match once with Justin Tyme, put the kid over, to build up his character (which he deserved), only to watch later on in the same show, Ernie hit him and knock Tyme clear out of the ring with one shot! This totally destroyed anything that I tried to build up earlier. Not to mention Ernie putting himself over on his top babyface.
How about the time Ernie was supposed to put Robbie Royce over in a match? Guess what, the match never happened. Then again Royce got put over Corino for the #2 NWA belt and he screwed Ernie and walked out. How about the time Ernie was supposed to put Bobby Collins over, oh yeah, that match happened, but Ernie changed the finish to where he had Collins join his group and instead they kicked out Baron von Meanor, who was Collin"s manager!
How about all the times Ernie decided to step onto the ref's back to get into the ring at the start of his match!! I saw this in Morden and it was told to me that he was doing it all month long in the trip to Ontario. I asked him how he expects the fans to believe in or even give two shits what the ref says after they see him doing this! I told him that this totally kills the ref's character. He made the comment "well I guess I can't do anything right".
In looking back, that was the smartest thing he'd said in quite a while.
Second Question: WRESTLERS PHOTO MONEY
This situation was told to me directly by Spyder himself. It happened on a tour in Ontario. According to Ernie, only Spyder and myself were to get one dollar ($1.00) per picture. I had an extensive discussion with Ernie on this issue one night on a trip in Fort Hope to be exact. He claimed that giving the boys a dollar a picture would Be "taking food out of my kids mouths"! I recall that conversation ending in him saying that he would however give the boys their dollar a picture.
Moving on, I had a talk with Ernie in regards to paying the guys on the road up to $2 per polaroid. Well, I was "taking food out of his kid's mouths", this was like pulling teeth out of his mouth (which I kinda thought of!). He told me that he would however do this. Well, a few days later I found out that he told the boys that only EZ and Spyder would get this because of a meeting the three of us had. I don't recall any meeting and neither did Spyder!
The next time on the road I wasn't there but Spyder told me how Ernie was telling the kids to take a picture with Justin Tyme, not Spyder. Of course Ernie then wouldn't have to pay any money to the kid. Spyder actually heard Ernie say this, Ernie didn't see Spyder behind him!
A few days later, however, I had heard from one of the boys that Ernie wasn't going through with what he had told me. Ernie also never came back to me to tell me this either. Ernie told the others that only Spyder and myself had this agreement based on a "meeting" we had. I nor Spyder could remember any such meeting! I also was told by a few of the boys about how Ernie flipped out on Justin Tyme when the guy asked Ernie about picture money, Ernie nearly stopped the ring truck and threatened to through Tyme out!
A year or so earlier, another promotion was giving the boys a dollar a picture while out in Ontario. When I told Ernie, he was mad as hell because the guys he said should be getting at least $2 or $3 per shot. When I brought this up to his attention during our talk, he quickly said that now he knows how the business is run. Yeah, take advantage of the guys at any opportunity you can!
Question Three: Ernie' Work Rate.
His understanding of bumping was something that he and only he could comprehend. For those of you who actually saw him "wrestle", will know what I mean. He has no idea how to bump in the least. Watching Ernie bump was quite comical in itself. He was able to take whatever knowledge he had heard of how to bump and completely destroy it! In watching him flop around in the ring, one knew that he was only in the ring because he owned the promotion.
To watch his ability to "sell" or should I say lack off, was incredible! Ernie's main concern was his self proclaimed "shoot fighting" ability. He would constantly tell us what a great shooter he was and show us how it was done! Someone should've told Ernie that this was wrestling, not the UFC.
Ernie's shoot moves worked great as long as the other person did exactly as Ernie said! Obviously, his idea of a shoot was different than that of anyone else's. I recall hearing the story of how Overkill put Ernie in his place one day in the training center! Perhaps Ernie's shoot skills aren't what they should be,or they are exactly as we all thought they were in the first place!!
But in the ring in front of a paid house, he would do this gimmick where he would tap out all his opponents. Now think of this, a guy running a promotion, and killing all of his worker's characters. I thought that you should let the workers work, not kill them all off for the sake of one person's ego!
! Lets move on to Ernie and his "ring work". I have never seen anyone so pathetic and lame in the ring in my life! He's just horrible, but he talks like he's the next coming of Lou Thez.
Then he teamed up with Bobby Jay. He was spear heading an CWF invasion angle, of course with him running in on most every match, killing everybody and of course, no selling anything that was done to him. There was some heat he got over a kendo stick that he didn't sell when hit. Also to add insult to injury, Ernie was cutting 10 minute promos after every match!! It was truly the Ernie Todd Show in all its glory.
On a trip this summer into Ontario, I was told that he would show the guys their matches after the shows. Now there's nothing wrong with this, but here he would rip the guys apart and point out what he thought were all blown spots! Later I was told by the guys how demeaning and demoralizing this was.
I will say that when I was on the road, he never did this. It is clear that he picks and chooses his actions! Again, if he wants to critique a match lets dust off his match with Severn. Its funny how we never got to see that one especially when he thought it was so great. Again I'll touch that one later on.
Question Four: Who Ernie likes to intimidate.
Ernie kept his threats to mainly new guys on the roster. He demonstrated a typical "schoolyard bully" mentality. His threats also would go beyond his crew at times focused on other promoters. I couldn't count the number of times he would say that he wanted to kick Bobby Jay's (TRCW) ass, Mike Myer's (PCW) ass, Wayne
Stanton's (RCW) ass, or even John Giruox's (UTW) ass! His idea was that it was better to "teach" some people a lesson the old school way. He should've taken his own advice and kicked his own ass!!
It was odd that he would never want to kick my ass, or Spyder's ass, Brian Jewel's ass or Gene Swan's ass!! It didn't matter how mad he was at any of us. As far as Ernie backing down from anyone, again, I'm sure that anyone of those mentioned above, among others, would give Ernie good reason to retreat from any physical confrontation.
It was on Moondog's site that Ernie made the claim that he was getting a gun permit for personal protection! Anyone who knows anything about the gun laws in this country, knows just how insane this statement was! Just for the record, you CANNOT get a gun permit for personal protection! Among other things (mental stability), this shows how much respect Ernie has for not only gun ownership, but the safety of others as well. This by the way, from a guy who wanted to run for Mayor!! Oh well, he would probably end up shooting himself by accident anyways!
Question FIVE: The Severn incident.
This was truly a classic Ernie Todd scenario. This show set us back probably 4 years in this business.
First he says that he's bringing in Severn. He called me one afternoon to tell me this, and then asked if I would work him. I said I would. However, later on that day, he calls Spyder. Here he asks Spyder the same thing! A week or so later, we're on the road, the van on the way home and while in Kenora, the whole story came out. Me and Spyder both told our respective storeys. It was clear that once again Ernie's ego was getting the best of us. It was here that Ernie told us that he might work Severn instead!
We saw there being pros and cons to whomever Ernie really wanted to work Severn. With Spyder being the NWA Canadian champ, that would mean that there might be a problem in arranging a proper finish. I believe that the fans here want to see Dan do all his crazy suplexes and finally tap out his opponent. Keeping in mind that there was no return match idea here. So, how do you do that while keeping Spyder and the Canadian title strong? Any kind of Dusty finish would be a let down to the fans. That is where I said that I could work Dan, and he could do all his shit and go over like the people want and probably expect. Ernie in his infinite wisdom tells us that HE will be working Dan!! I'm sure you heard the collective groan all the way out in BC. I said fine just don't include me in your idea!
Sure enough, in the dressing room, Ernie begs me to please do a run in. As I walked into the dressing room, Ernie asked me to do a run in for him. I had made it clear earlier, that I wanted nothing to do with the match. (I believe that the match should have been, The Machine and Severn. Call it "Man verses Machine", I thought that it had a good ring to it and this way the fans could Severn do all his stuff and go over the proper way. Hell, what do I know, I'm just a worker.)
Soon after Severn approached me about the match. But first he asked me if Ernie knew what he was doing! Obviously he was somewhat concerned with Ernie's ideas. After we all saw Ernie going over the match with Severn in the dressing room, he was not alone. We were all concerned! I took Dan aside and talked to him about it, he seemed so despondent about working Ernie that the run in turned into a favour for Dan! After I suggested the run in spots, Dan agreed and thanked me for helping him out. A sign that the match was going to be a disaster.
As we expected, the match, a best 2 out of 3 fall was terrible. No heat, no bumps, and Ernie books himself to tap Dan out in the first fall. The house was dead (mostly due to the shock of what they had paid to see), and Ernie was at his best at not bumping and not selling. I did as I was asked and did the run in, took the big belly to belly suplex, both Overkill and I took what I thought were two devastating belly to belly suplexes. Someone had to bump after all!
Up in the dressing room, after the match, I approached Dan and asked how the match was. He looked at me with a stare that went right through me! I suddenly corrected myself and asked how the run in was. He smiled and said thank you, extending his hand. We both simply shrugged our shoulders and smiled, what's done is done! Dan was very cool during all of this, not happy, but cool.
From that day on Ernie thought that the match was great. He said to me that he did it for himself. Afterall he said you guys get to work famous guys so this was my turn. I couldn't believe what a mark he was being!! Oh wait, we're talking about Ernie here.
The boys ribbed him at every opportunity, and each time he thought that they were praising him! It is my belief that Ernie set us back four years with that whole match. The boys were unhappy, the fans were unhappy, Severn was unhappy, but Ernie was happier than a pig in shit. He got to do what he wanted to do and that's all that mattered. He was thinking of bringing Dan back! I'm thinking why?
Ernie killed him by having Dan tap out to him for the first fall!! Even the finish was a screw job, so why bring him back?! Ernie puts himself over, this time on the NWA World Champion, what next? Ernie was laughed at and ribs were done from that night on. Later Spyder hit the nail on the head when he said during a promo that Ernie should face him because Ernie should be the top contender since his match with Severn!! Me and the boys were laughing in the dressing room when we heard that one!! Ernie was white.
Question Six: Ernie dissing all the boys in Winnipeg on his message board.
Ernie posted a message in early October stating that only Spyder has all the "tools" to go anywhere. He stated in no mixed terms that every other worker here in Winnipeg was worthless. Me, Chi Chi Cruz, Eddie Watts, Swan, every young guy. This coming from a guy that preaches the word RESPECT. Ernie knows nothing of its meaning and proved this on that day.
There is something wrong in Winnipeg wrestling and that problem is Ernie. He claims to hate the games on the local scene, yet he is in most times the ringleader. Simply look at the list of guys that have left him! His past stars roster is bigger than his current roster. And I'm sure more will follow.
SEVENTH QUESTION- Bobby Jay/TRCW
As far as Top Rope goes, I never worked for them nor had anything to do with them. The Invasion angle, this was like the movie Groundhog Day, after all, we've all seen this one before, it lasted a month.
Last winter however, we were running at a bar in Winnipeg (The Sherbrook) and Ernie told us in the dressing room how Bobby Jay has been bugging him and harassing him. He went on to say that Bobby was coming down to see him that night. Well, Bobby showed up and Ernie got us to escort him out. Now the funny thing here is Ernie stayed upstairs the whole time and later on I was told that Ernie had in fact invited Bobby to come down!
A few months later, at the Broda tribute show I ran into Bobby and apologized. We shook hands and that was that. The bad thing with Top Rope folding is that now the boys are limited as to where they can work. Now its PCW or CWF.
Question Eight: Ernie and Wayne Stanton/RCW
These two have been at odds for years. In the past I've never been a fan of Wayne, mainly due to my connection with Ernie. Now I can say the same thing about Ernie. The difference here is that Ernie had the ball and he dropped it. He could have made the local scene a good place to work, he could have made it a fun place to work. The two of them seem to be happiest when there's trouble between them.
It's hard for me to understand this, but then I'm not concerning myself too much with it right now. They will always be at odds, just like most others are when it comes down to dealing with Ernie. I could care less.
Stanton I was told is using Bobby Jay's insurance for his River City shows. Now whether it has lapsed or something, I don't know, but I do feel that Ernie wants Stanton to close up because, as he has told me, he doesn't want anyone of "his guys" to work for Stanton. If he gets the city to shut Stanton down, then suddenly Ernie's the only game in town.
Question Nine: Compared to Tony Condello...
Tony and I always talk when we're together. He's no angel and he seems to do what he wants and that's it. His choice to use only certain guys is probably due to the fact that the rest of us are associated with rival promoters. I don't blame him for this. Tony taught me this business and gave me my first look, for this I will always be thankful. Besides, Tony was the only person within the wrestling business that came to my dad's funeral, something else that I will be forever grateful.
Question Ten: Using the race card
Ernie and his Métis card. To me some things are sacred. Using the race card is one of them. Ernie has told me in no uncertain terms that he wants to get his Métis card in order to get things for his promotion. He mentioned a new ring truck for one. His website says " 100% aboriginally owned". What the hell is that?? I thought that Métis and Aboriginal were two different things.
Ernie has seen how others have reaped the rewards of this action before. Free money, right? Well its not and I know its not. This type of ploy from a guy who has in the past, run down other groups in our society is terrible. Terrible, unless you know Ernie. Suddenly, its quite predictable. So far our tax dollars haven't financed any of his shit ....yet.
All I know or should say, heard of the Nelson Mayer /IWA deal was that he was granted a lot of cash- six figures- to put towards a wrestling promotion. My understanding is that it didn't last. Its no big secret as to how to blow money fruitlessly. Others have done it and more will do so in the future. Having money isn't the trick, knowing how to use it is!
Question Eleven: Ernie and the NWA.
Here Ernie feels that the NWA is the saving grace of local wrestling. After what I've seen, I would have to disagree.
Although I've made some friends within, I don't feel that the NWA is helping out the local scene. History dictates that it wasn't very well known around this area. It is my understanding that it was Vern May (Vance Nevada) who originally got Ernie hooked on this idea.
In the past while on the anniversary shows, I heard that the Board of Directors have told Ernie to stay out of the ring and tend to business! He should have taken their advice. Even when we did the NWA Canadian Title match in New Jersey, Ernie wanted to jump in the ring to present me the belt. Jim Cornette told him to stay out of the ring!
The last thing Ernie told me was that he is now the NWA Japanese liaison. I said I'll believe it when they start giving out return tickets to Japan to some of the boys. I asked him about Spyder's trip to Japan which never happened. He blamed the whole thing on Jim Miller, past president of the NWA. In Ernie's words, "Miller pissed off the Japanese". My condolences to Japan, you now have Ernie Todd to deal with. He controls the NWA Woman's title- good luck. And from what I hear, he owes a lot of other NWA wrestlers who came in their P.O.'s.
So now Ernie's tired of all the "local bullshit" and wants only to run on the road. Fine, as some of the guys were then working on some other shows
locally. Ernie flipped out and said that none of "his guys" were allowed to work for anyone else! I said to him if you're not running regularly on the local scene, then why can't the boys pick up a match here or there? He didn't seem too happy overall during this talk we had the other day.
Then, the final straw, on his own web site, he posts a message saying that only Spyder has the "tools" to go anywhere. He put down all the rest of the boys locally! Now take a second a think of who we are talking about here.
I for the first time ever, posted a message back on his board. I said thanks for the compliment and thankfully my father told me to always consider the source. I added, at least now we know where we stand. I did also sign my work name along with it. Within hours he shut the board down leaving the post which is still on there, saying that all the trouble is due to us guys playing internet games. Check it out for yourself.
My real intention here is to finally let others know exactly how Ernie is based on my experiences. I tried to back this guy for so long and he goes and pulls stunt after stunt. He doesn't seem to give a shit about who he hurts or who he drags down. Like they say, "what goes around, comes around". EZ
click hereto read EZ's letter of resignation to Ernie Todd.-Dan Titus
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from the boys:
Ed Moretti says "Grab a hold, kid...they'll get with it in a minute".