and more in John Hitchcock's
Clearing the Air
The strange things that I witnessed at Wrestling matches that I cannot work into a long column but I am going to anyway.
will protect no one in this column. And this is the truth. Excuse me as
I unzip my head and let all this spill out on you.
I will protect no one in this column. And this is the truth. Excuse me as I unzip my head and let all this spill out on you.
One of the funniest things I ever saw was back in the old Mid-Atlantic Days when this redneck guy was sitting with his family of six kids and he was angry at Paul Jones for cheating at ringside. This guy was so hot he stood up and confronted Jones with his fists. Paul Jones stepped back made a hand signal and two cops ran to ringside and picked this guy up and carried him out of the building with his legs kicking in protest. All of his children were running after their father yelling, "Daddy! Daddy! We want to watch the show! Daddy, We want to stay and watch the show!"
The best use of a sign by someone other than me that I lettered goes to Richard Skinner. Sid was walking out to ringside and turned to yell at some fans when Richard Skinner held up a sign right in his face that read, "I HATE YOU!"
Sid was totally speechless and the sign said it all for everyone in attendance.
I always wondered about the strange and bizarre people at wrestling.
There was this one guy who we called the Ring Master because he wore this large ring on his hand and he nervously would spin it on his finger whenever he talked to you. One night after the show as ending, Mark Way and I were leaving ringside and spotted under the hanging walkway, the Ring Master with a tourniquet around his arm shooting up heroin. And he seemed very proud of himself.
At the right in the end zone of the ringside seats sat a bunch of Front Row wannabees. These guys were Bobby R. Yates, Todd, Chuck and Mr. Smiley and some others, tho I can't remember their code names. These guys would make the worst signs in the history of wrestling and think that they were really funny. One night they made a sign that said, "Dutch Mantel looks like Cousin It of the Addams Family!"
And the problem was that it was not funny and it looked like it was lettered by a five year old. The letters were less than a half an inch high and could not be read unless you were about two feet away. That night I was prepared and held up a sign that read in huge letters, "THEIR SIGNS SUCK!" With an arrow pointing at them.
I know, I have no shame.
You could hear the crowd roll backwards with laughter as everyone began to read the sign.
One night the Front Row lost their seats in an accident and had to sit in the end zone front row seats. Turns out the wannnabees got our seats. And believe this or not they dressed just like the Front Row! They were all dressed in Hawaiian shirts and one of them was wearing a straw hat just like me. They thought that they were funny and could really fool the wrestlers with this.
One problem. They looked like a bunch of assholes and everyone knew it.
Tony Schavanto walked out took one look and just shook his head in disbelief. Tony walked down to me and stated, "You know I have seen a lot of strange things in this business and that is one of the strangest things I have ever seen. What is the problem with those people?"
The rest of the night the wrestlers would walk out and look at these fruitcakes and just shook their heads. Can you imagine fans dressing up like fans?
Well it happened.
These guys decided to go with their own name so they went with the Shiites.
Well, they almost spelled it right.
One time a big redneck walked up to me on the Front Row and wanted to buy one of my signs so he would look cool. This guy was very serious about this so I told him I would trade him one for his cowboy boots. He wouldn't go for the trade so I made a counter offer and asked for his silver belt buckle. I wanted to see if this knucklehead would spend the rest of the night holding up a sign with one hand and holding his pants with the other.
Still, no deal.
Finally I sold him one for ten bucks.
That was the happiest guy I ever saw at the matches.
I began to notice something else very odd. When we would leave the show usually we would just throw our old signs away on the coliseum floor. Then we started to notice at the next show other people would hold up our old signs. The Front Row signs were being picked up as collectables by other fans. So from then on we kept them and trashed them at a later date.
One night in Raleigh, We started giving Sid shit about standing next to a jobber. Sid thought we meant that he was a jobber. Man, was he hot! Suddenly Sid in a classic Roid rage ran over to Obin and KC O'Connor and blew his nose on them. Both their arms looked like a giant prehistoric slug died on them. Now that was really nasty.
I needed a hot dog with Chile and mustard after that one.
One night Super Star Billy Graham was wrestling Wahoo McDaniel and Wahoo hit Graham with a huge glancing chop. Graham decided to spit at that moment. It was a world-class lougee that went straight up into the air! This thing was real heavy and almost broke free from gravity. Suddenly, this wad turned at its peak and surprisingly did not burn up in re-entering. Then in a once in a lifetime shot this hulking thing landed in this old woman's drink that was sitting on the front row! This old lady looked at this thing swirling in her drink distastefully. Carefully, she stuck her hand in the cup, wiped out the snot missile and then took a drink and started yelling at Graham.
Now folks, that is a real wrestling fan.
One time the WWF decided to go to Greensboro during the early WCW days. That was the first time I ever saw Hulk Hogan in person. This jerk come walking out into the arena that held matches by Flair, Valentine, Race and Thesz wearing a big plastic hat with a fist on top. I guess he was selling a stupid children's hat or he masturbates a lot and is real proud of it. That is when I knew that all the WWF wrestlers were clowns that suck.
Dudes with Shiitte Attitudes Respond
Upon reading the latest column by John Hitchcock, I realize that he is the person I always thought he was. Bad.
On July 8,1990 in Baltimore, MD, the Dudes with Shiitte Attitudes were born. With inspiration of Steve Simms and Jeff Mullins, we became THE act of class in Greensboro, NC.
Never wore a Hawaiian flowery shirt, but we did get a few ribs. Like the time I started a chant to the Angel of Death as he fought PN News. I started, "dough baby dough". AoD picked up on it, said it himself and our friends across the way (as we were not sitting in our usual Front Row Section E seats) picked it up.
And let's not forget the time that "Stunning" Steve Austin made his debut with his former stripper wife, Jeanne Clarke. I pulled out a $20 bill and waved it chanting "dance Jeanne dance" to her. She, of course, didn't like it and went to the other side of the ring where she was met by, you guessed it, Section D doing the same.
The word shiitte was spelled that way as I just wanted to not be too closely affiliated with the terrorist sect. So it was intentional. We had great times in Greensboro. Maybe we were funny, maybe we were not. But we did treat people (the fans) like people and not objects for ridicule. as I said, we were THE class act in Greensboro.
- Bobby Yates
I just read this latest article by John Hitchcock & wanted to make a correction.
He mentioned that someone had a sign that said "Dutch Mantell Looks Like Cousin It from the Addam's Family". John's memory must be getting bad because that was not how the sign read. I made the sign & the only thing it said was "Cousin It" in large (not 2 inch tall) black letters as he stated. I admit that I made an error by spelling Itt with only one 't' and John did point this out at the show.
Why John wanted to run our section in the ground and ridicule us is beyond me. We've never tried to imitate or impersonate them and we never dressed in Hawaiian shirts. We always got along great with those guys and there was no reason for him to write what he did.
John has written some really great articles but this one was totally uncalled for whether he was serious or not.
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