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A Month of Travel, A Lifetime of Memories
by Marty Goldstein on 2002-01-24

The past 30 days have been very remarkable, as my new career has taken me to Vancouver, Los Angeles, Utah, around Southern California, encompassing the screening of BC BODYSLAMS and 6 wrestling cards as well.

When in Vancouver over the holidays I made the trek to the House of Pain for their Graduation ceremony. Some of the kids like Kevin Moore I had met before. New acquaintances included Wrathchild and Killswitch, Madison who broke her ankle 15 minutes earlier on the trampoline, and Gorilla Magilla, who plays the caveman role to the hilt.

Owners Michelle Starr, John Parlette and ECCW champ Chance Beckett invited me to join them in the ring for the ceremony (I was a made grad in 1999)and I want to thank them for making ECCW my home away from home. After the certificates and chops were dished out- some blistering rockets by Disco Fury included- the show proceeded with Ladies Choice and Prince Alladin doing the live commentary with me, reviving every possible mention of Grand Prix and Stampede wrestling imaginable.

I helped book and announce on a few HOP show last year and it was always fun. It was easier to help draw interviews out of the new guys in a less serious environment and some of the angles actually worked, which always was a pleasant surprise for John, Beckett and myself. Schools have different training schemes and Beckett has done a great job teaching these kids how to wrestle. For Parlette it is a labour of love and these are his kids. Starr has some new talent to work with and some of these kids have potential.

Then on Boxing Day at Bridgeview I saw stars of our documentary like Manson and Buffy. I got to meet American Dragon for the first time. He is a great talent and very assured in front of the crowd. Disco Fury had a very good opener against Adam Firestorm as a prelude to taking the Canadian Jr. Heavyweight belt off AD.

I saw Manson and Johnny Canuck bleed, Ray Brooks again offered to do a job for my comeback match, Skag Rollins and Seth Knight had a very good match with Fast and Furious. Scotty Mac and Havoc with Abbadon headlined against the Backwoods Militia and the inimitable Father Juan Valdez. Scotty has the look, talent and attitude to make it big. Havoc showed me the scar from his hip surgery, his return is remarkable. Todd Kelly has matured to a fine vet.

The most unusual moments that night were spent in the company of Terry "The Frog" Tomko, who had come out of a lengthy layoff and returned to the ring. Terry and I first met in 1990 or so then he took over Walter Shefchyk's ring and began running outlaw shows in Winnipeg pubs, and I ended up working for him for a year.

We wrestled against each other twice in those days and he squashed me twice. One week we were doing battle royals in the main. The first night, I had worked as a face against Terry, so the faces didn't go after me. But then neither did the heels. Terry noticed that I was never touched till I had to powder. The second night it was chop city, and I was the only resident. Both locker rooms got me good.

That was a long time ago. Bobby "Janetty" Jay, now TRCW promoter, was just breaking in. So was Robbie Royce. Both became Winnipeg mainstays with River City Wrestling and other indy's, and were seen on Tony Condello's TV. Neither are now active.

Yet there was Terry, 10 years after, wearing green facepaint, getting dressed for a match with Starr. A lot of miles had passed under us since then. He asked about Denton and our film and how I got laid up in 94. He asked how his old partner Chi Chi Cruz was doing.

Pulling me aside, Terry asked quietly where I was going to be for the match. I told him at ringside taking pictures. He asked if I would get his 10 year old daughter, accompanying him into the ring, off the apron after the introductions. Suddenly the stiff chops from 10 years ago didn't matter. He wanted to make sure his little girl was going to be safe. The smile on her face as she got out was priceless and I was glad to help Terry make a memory that will last her a lifetime.

On Jan. 2 at 3 AM I set off for the Vancouver airport to return to Southern California. The Carconsumer Pro Wrestling format worked like a charm at Colton Collision, with first timers Matrix and Shogun setting an awesome pace in the opener. Ron Rivera has lit a fire under these guys and they really stepped up. Guys like Excalibur and Goalie Howe did very funny interviews, but the funniest moment was when I was roped into hoedowning with farmer Buddy George. I remember watching an ESPN AWA tape with Larry Nelson doing that with Cousin Luke and I thought, how dumb must HE feel. Now I know.

On to Park City Utah for the Sundance Film Festival. Dan Denton and I were on a 2 day mission to make contacs and promote our documentary. We started at 6 AM Jan.14.

By 10.30 AM we had landed in Salt Lake City, surrounded by Olympic hype but without my beloved Big Dog jacket. Some dummy had grabbed it from the overhead bin. Believe me, that is one place in January where a warm coat is mandatory. Luckily, not only did they leave their coat behind, but it was an upgrade to a lined ski jacket. A new Delta Airlines policy, I guess.

With his El Santo hood and old Canadian Title belt, Denton and I cut promos all over Main Street and shocked their little world. I found that there were a lot of wrestling fans out there. Also one guy from Vancouver who, as it turned out, knew LC. Little world, indeed.

There were a ton of celebrities there, we walked into Ray Liotta and Vince Gallo to start with, but the highlight was talking business with famous film rep Bruce Dowd. If you have seen The Big Lebowski, the dude character is him. More with pictures on our adventure can be found at our film company site, click here.

BC BODYSLAMS looked great on the big screen, I will write another story all about the experience, but I want to mention 2 things. The wrestling in ECCW was very good in 1999, and I expect many of the stars of the documentary like Manson, Buffy and LC to get noticed. Also it seems like so long ago... our short film from our December layover in Winnipeg, If They Do Bomb Canada, (about Sept. 11) also looked good and got a great reception from the American crowd.

Finally we rushed to the airport, flew to LA and I drove 5 hours to get to the Imperial Fairgrounds, just outside of El Centro, Ca. The 2 day tournament for the Patriot Cup was a blast, as we can see the talent develop each week in matches and their promos. Mr. Excitement upset both Super Dragon and #1 contender Disco Machine.

Such was my 30 day adventure involving 6 cards, 2 movies premiering, and a new ski jacket. Meanwhile in Winnipeg, my former comrades in cabs are freezing in -35* weather, reading about the new shields and cameras due to be installed in the taxis. I don't miss it.

See you on Venice Beach, if I ever get back to LA.

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Quotes from the boys: Moondog Manson says "The key to success in the wrestling business is by being humble, respectful, and paying your dues. With out these you will fail.".
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