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TOD BULLET: I Made A Few Good Friends
by moondogmanson.com on 2004-02-29

In this business, I guess you have a lot of acquaintences...but very few friends.
- Jeff Jarrett

That expression rings so true in the wrestling industry. Myself, going from a fan of the sport, to someone who was involved, to someone who is now back on the outside looking in. I have had the priviledge of meeting, seeing and working with people in the wrestling business. People of all shapes and sizes. I've seen many come and many more go. I guess you could say that, yes I've had alot of acquaintences but yes...I made a few good friends.

Tony Condello was the first man I met while entering the business. He traded me money for some training and an opportunity. An opportunity that I am grateful for. Bulldog Bob Brown, Gene Swan, Bruiser Bastien, Stan Saxon, Wild Thing, the Golden Shiek and The Natural Don Callis were all next on my meet and greet list during my early training in Condello's basement of horrors. Actually I received my first concussion from Callis as the result of a green guy named Tod getting a belly to back suplex and not knowing well enough to "tuck the chin".

Along came a guy by the name of Dean Ducharme. My first real friend in the business. We trained together, ate together and Dean even lived at my house for a while. Then comes a guy named Christopher Bob Wall. He started training with Dean and I in Tony's camp. I'm convinced to this day that this guy never realized that wrestling was a work. He wanted to use the name Crazy Wolf (crazy being the key word). Bob Brown used to call him Lone Wolf just to piss him off.

Others who I was introduced to around that time were: Brian Jewel, Bobby Jay, Fred "French Mad Dog" Peloquin, wrestling announcer-Joe Aiello, referee Ken Johnson, Kerry Brown, Jason Power (who almost broke my hand in training), EZ Ryder, Chi Chi Cruz (who chopped me so hard I almost quit the business before I started) and a guy who wrestled in pink underwear named The Tulip. Tulip was a guy who was probably too nice to be in the business, but never the less was.

Actually, he was my tag partner during my earliest run with River City Wrestling back around 1993.

After being cut from Condello's WFWA roster, a guy by the name of Robby Royce introduced me to Doug McColl and I was started as "talent enhancement". I had met Robby while still working for Tony in 1992. Now I've heard Royce called everything from the world's biggest liar to an ego-maniac, but if it wasn't for him, my wrestling "career" would have ended in the early part of 1993. So to him I will always be grateful.

From 1993 and on, I again was working with Jewel and Bobby Jay in the earlier version of RCW. River City was run by Wayne Stanton, Doug McColl and Dave Pinsky. Doug by far was the funniest man I've ever met in wrestling. He was great to learn from and memories of him still make me laugh. Dave was the first guy to give me the chance to show what I could do. He put me over in a loser must retire match back when he was known as "Crybaby" Levinsky ... my talent enhancement days were finally over.

Others at the old River City promotion were: Sluggo Smith, Outpatient, a very intimidating Sargeant Steele, Major Impact, Big Mikey, Mike Stone, Dave Petro, Frankie (I own a thousand gimmicks but won't sell any) Starr, and of course the legendary "Caveman" Broda. A guy who wrestled as Rex Havoc was there and I didn't like working with him. Not many guys did. He was extremely stiff. More so with the new guys but it wasn't to get respect...he was sadistic and enjoyed it. Vance Nevada pretty much got his start there as did "The Sassy One" Steve Stryker.

Guys like Leatherface came in and out a few times, as did Eddie Watts who I worked with only twice but learned volumns about the business. JJ Walker went through many different gimmicks there as did Bugsy Slugg. Condello use to say that he looked like a slugg. All the above I worked at least once. Some many times . Each time learning something new. I wrestled a tag match against Massive Damage and Buster Brody from Saskatchewan and almost had my back broken. I met a guy named Marty Goldstein. Didn't know him from a hole in the ground at the time but later found out that along with Doug McColl, has a great mind for the business.

It was during this time that I met a young referee named "Irish" Bobby Collins. My best friend in the business to this day. We spent countless hours training, watching tapes and doing what we could to learn the business. Wildman Firpo was also someone who I would call my friend. Many locker-rooms around Manitoba we would dance and sing the Beer-barrel polka. He and his daughter would also spend weekends at my beach house in the summer. Over many...many "drinks" we would discuss wrestling until the wee hours of the morning. Firpo would later go on to open Wildcat Wrestling which I along with Collins and a number of others would work for.

I've been very lucky. Lucky enough to see young talent when they were cutting their teeth. Guys like Baron Von Meanor-now Dynamo, Billy Cage, Cory (over spot) Diamond, Justin Tyme, Tre Valiant, Spyder, Rob Stardom, Andy Anderson, Darren Dalton, Christian Hawk, Adam Knight, The Axe, Alex Rain, Jerin Rose, Overkill, Big O, Ronnie Attitude, Dr. Love, Will Damon, Donnie Dicaprio, Shane Madison, Chris Stevens, Mentallo, and even Moses Luke and the Fairlane boys.

Some guys in the sport you wouldn't call your friend, but they were close to it.Frenchy Mitchell comes to mind. He was a goof, but he could always make me laugh. One time Collins and I tied him up in a locker-room and didn't let him go to work after a wrestling show at Chalmers CC.
Bushwick Bill was a short, fat filipino who also made me laugh and almost crushed me in the ring. Collins still laughs about that one to this day. Unfortunately he was as lazy as he was fat and his time in the business was short lived.

My time spent in Ernie Todd's CWF was both fun and a great learning experiance. The best match I ever had was probably a tag match pitting Collins and I against new comers Reggie Gallagher and Jemal Jones in a pinfalls count anywhere. The tables that had been put together for us were made from 3/4" plywood and the damn things just wouldn't break. We threw Reggie into it at least seven or eight times before we were successful. I can still hear Gallagher's squeemish crys as we whipped him for the fifth and sixth time.

It's hard to make real, true friends where back-stabbing runs wild and most guys are looking out for number one. I've had acquaintences too many to mention, but in this business I've also been fortunate enough to make a few good friends.


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