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The Devil's Triangle
It was time for a special Rasslin card in Greensboro. It was going to be the first appearance of the Road Warriors in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic and they were going to defend belt verses belt against the NWA Champions, Dusty Rhodes and the Raging Bull Manny Fernandez.
The Russian character I was playing was just too good to give up, so one night I got dressed up in a long green trench coat with a red KGB button and went to the matches.
This was one of the early "front row" appearances and I played the insane Russian to the hilt. A few brave folks did go with me, but when I got into this character everyone got out of the way and let me go where I wanted.
I saw the Stupid Old Lady (see the previous column) in the cheap seats and waved to her. She gave me a hand gesture that was very warm; I was glad I was still Number One with her.
As I went to my seat, I goose stepped to the front row. I couldn't believe how much heat was being generated by my appearance. Suddenly, another crazy lady went off on me from the second row.
"Why are you cheering for the goddamn russkies?" she said. Always remember, NEVER BREAK CHARACTER, and NEVER SHOW FEAR.
"I am here to cheer my family. Uncle Ivan, cousin Nikita!"
"You are the only person in this town that is cheering for the Russians!"
"You are wrong drunk old lady, there are many communists in your country."
"You are a damn lying bastard!"
Now I felt that I might have gone a little to far but I figured I should make a grandstand play to get this nut off of me.
Notice I called the lady a nut and I am the one wearing a communist soldier uniform.
"I WILL PROVE TO YOU FOOLISH LADY THAT THERE ARE MANY WHO ARE SUPPORTERS OF MY CAUSE! WATCH AND SEE!"
I stood up and pointed to a group of heel fans to my right, I pointed for about ten seconds, and saluted arm across my chest towards them. I did not know these people but it was worth the gamble. Suddenly and shockingly the group of 15 people stood up and saluted back! Then I pointed to another group that my little brother had brought with him and I saluted them. They all stood up and saluted back. Perfect.
I looked at the crazy lady and said, "You see old lady, Senator McCarthy was right, we are taking over your country!"
That brought the house down. Even fans that hated me laughed at that one.
The main event was a wild one. The Road Warriors kicked the shit out of Rhodes and Manny. I saw my first triple back-breaker that night and Tommy Young stopped the match on a lame count out. Amazing that the NWA Champs would get trashed in Greensboro.
A week or so later I met the leader of the first fan group that saluted, Dan Grondy and his group joined my small gathering and at the next show we started the 'Front Row.'
Greensboro heel fans had a place to sit, a place to cheer, and a place to be themselves for the next eight years.
And remember the commie theme song, "WE OWN THE WORLD! WE BEAT YOUR CHILDREN!"
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