Friday, November 12, 2010
Opening Bout - Ring the BELL!
Alright we've got a full-fedged no-holds barred 100% real look and the seemingly impossible yet unreal-realness of the 100% actual sonic & aesthetic attack of pro wrestling AND rock n' roll! The crux of this will be focused on things that you might not of heard of before, that is stuff like it says above - NOT told you by MTV or Vince McMahon's version of the story. (Also, lawyers don't sue!)
I first got into pro wrestling at different times first through my then friend (and born-again Christian, it's a long story), Danny. When basic cable came to our town around Summer of '83 we were fixated to WTBS' broadcast of Georgia Championship Wrestling. Around the same time I was hooked on the images of Precious Paul Ellering, Buzz Saywer, and the Fabulous Freebirds. Ellering was later to be the manager of the Road Warriors - who not only exemplified brutality in the ring but also were the first wrestlers to overtly connect Heavy Metal and Pro Wrestling by using Black Sabbath's "Iron Man". This was much more devasting than the staid tones of Lynyrd Skynrd's - "Freebird" which naturally, The Fabulous Freebirds used. It also helped that Animal & Hawk of the Road Warriors looked like giant punk rockers from the wasteland - destroying their opponents in no time to the first utterance of Tony Iommi's doomed chords. Keeping it all together was the deadpan but "tell it like it is but don't give away the secrets" style of legendary announcer Gordon Solie. Larger than life, indeed! Solie himself inspired the name of a great Ohio hardcore band, Gordon Solie Motherfuckers.
My next cycle of wrestle-vision started in the Summer of '85, I moved around a bit between the Northeast territory of the World Wrestling Federation (W.W.F.) that was now being shown on the USA Network, the American Wrestling Association (A.W.A.) on KICU-36 in San Jose, and the now expanded territory of the National Wrestling Alliance on the familiar WTBS. The N.W.A. in terms of story lines and presentation was my favorite but I watched WWF and AWA just as much. Sure, there was the first Wrestlemania of 1985 where Cindy Lauper and MTV supposedly proclaimed the "rock and wrestling connection" but really the connection was much older than that. See the video below for more and in upcoming posts.
When the urge for finding the heavier, faster, and more evil Metal came along, I had the same need to fulfill with wrestling and Kevin "Prince of Darkness" Sullivan was it! He wasn't the strongest, biggest or had the most marketable persona like Chump Hogan. Instead his gimmick was that of an occultist! The wrestling press and many of the fans took him for a satanist but he only spoke of mystical things and places such as "The cosmic cookie and the Amazon River in my own head.". Equally, if not more important was the fact that he wore t-shirts of Mercyful Fate and Nasty Savage while being interviewed.
Sullivan eventually befriended Florida Power-Thrashers, Nasty Savage around late 1984-early 1985 when their debut album was released by Metal Blade. Sullivan's image is included in the LP's photo collage. Additionally, my friend Steve and I were a mere "one degree" away from Sullivan having written to Nasty Savage's vocalist Nasty Ronnie and getting their Wage of Mayhem zine along with their same named demo tape. The demo is legendary stuff among 80's Metal demos as is the flipside interview (which granted, not as many heard). The flipside of the tape had several wrestling references. "We're gonna get the chain match with the Road Warriors and the Russians!" Photos like the one at the top of this blog helped solidify the lesser known element of wrestling and the majorly underrated, may-hemic Metal of Nasty Savage.
I'll leave you with the very FIRST Rock N' Wrestling tune from 1964, from the great grapplin' state of Minnesota, I give you....The Novas with...THE CRUSHER!
"Do the eye gouge - you TURKEY NECKS!"