Death Tour 2: Killing the Town

This week is the continuation of last weeks commentary, so if you missed last weeks, go back and read it now (Click here to read). I’ll wait here until you get back……. Now that we are all on the same page and understand the night mare of both travel and weather on “Death Tour” we can look at the actual wrestling shows that go on.

On this, ill fated, tour I had the pleasure of wrestling my good buddy The Natural in the main event each night. This was the one luxury Natch had on this trip. As booker he always worked on top with whom ever he liked (He always worked with me because I was a baby face, and extremely easy) Natch and I would sit back stage playing cribbage right up until our music would play. I would, more often than not, lose, despite being a far better cribbage player. This is something I have never figured out, half the time I count his hands for him, yet he still beats me. Perhaps he cheats and I’m just too honest of a person to accuse him of it.

Natch was the WFWA Champ, and when we had a single shot, he would job, for the big “baby face wins the title” pop. Then I would challenge him for it again the next night on the next reservation. If we had a double shot, which we had 2 on this trip, he would screw me over the first night, so I could challenge him to an Indian Death Match the following night. The Indian Death Matches were always fun because Natch just loves doing his Ric Flair impression, by getting stripped down to his underwear in a match. He would come out in street clothes and refuse to wrestle in a death match and go to leave. I of course would attack him and rip his close off. These matches weren’t exactly Jerry Lynn and I from Anarchy Rules, but they were a lot of fun. Keep in mind a lot of these crowds were less than 100 people and if that wasn’t enough we were wrestling in Tony’s 10’ ring.

What a 10’ ring, Impossible! Unfortunately not; I’m not sure if the 10 feet was apron to apron, or rope to rope, but man it was small. Tony invented this ridiculous ring so that he could run shows in local bars, that couldn’t house a large ring. He always brought this ring up north because it fit nicely inside of the second rental van. This ring was an experience all unto itself. I remember the first time I saw the ring I thought it would be impossible to wrestle in. Jericho, who had wrestled in it before, assured me that it just took time to get used to, and he was right. I’ve wrestled 6 man tags and even battle royals in that silly ring. The hard part is not reaching a tag, even though you can from almost everywhere, or not putting your feet on the ropes during pin attempts. Natch and I would take hip tosses and back drops in that ring, (yes at one point in time, he actually took bumps for a living. Not that it was much of a living back then), but we would have to do them corner-to-corner to avoid landing on the ropes. When you take into account the size of the ring and the size of the crowd, you can understand why we put more thought into our cribbage games, than into our matches.

This brings us to the promised “Killing the town” concept. “Killing the town” simply means putting on such a bad show, that there is no possible way you could ever draw here again. There are a couple ways of doing this; not delivering advertised matches, or just having horrendously bad matches. It was the latter we did on this occasion. It was in Berens River, the crowd consisted of maybe 30 people. Tony comes into the back mad as hell, cursing about the gate and how they were all a bunch of ingrates. This sparked an idea in that, some what, twisted mind of my counter part. Natch proceeds to ask Tony “If were never coming back, can we kill the town?” Tony looked at Natch and uttered the words that he probably later wished he could take back. “Natch, you can do what ever the F--- you want!” Keep in mind we were maybe 8 days into this trip and just dieing for a way to vent our frustration. Natch looked at me with a devilish smile that could give small children nightmares. We went to the ring with nothing but the knowledge that I would go over with a sleeper, and the promoter had just given us permission to “Kill the Town”.

The match started out okay, but soon became silly. If there was a wrestle that had a particularly bad move or threw a week punch or kick, we would top it. We would do the move far worse than the originator ever could while saying their name out loud to the each other. It was all we could do to keep from laughing. To make it even better, the ref from the tour had quit and gone home so Tony had to ref, and was in there with us. The whole match (approx. 45 minutes) Tony kept begging us to “Take it home”! Finally after pleas from both Tony and I, Natch called for the sleeper. I put on the hold, but Natch had just begun to fight. After working all the way down to the mat, Natch starts the famed Hulk Hogan come back. He started with wagging his finger back and forth, signally “no way”! This new level of silliness inspired me, so I fed him the entire comeback, with me now the heel, and Natch the face. After the legendary big boot, Natch followed up with the worlds lowest leg drop. I swear his @$$ was only inches away from the canvas when he kicked his other foot out. I remember saying to him “I should just stay down” to this he responded “Don’t you dare!” To Tony’s anguish we went to the sleeper 3 or 4 more times before finally going home, but even then the killing had just begun.

The after math, made our match look like Flair vs. Steamboat. Well maybe David Flair vs. Vic Steamboat, but still far better than it actually was. Right after the finish, Lenny St. Clair hits the ring, with our cribbage board, and starts attacking me. I guess he too was inspired to new heights or perhaps depths by our match. Natch then roles out of the ring and grabs this large plastic tube that Tony had for carrying posters. He roles back in to the ring and starts beating Tony with it. Now that it is a 2 on 1, my buddy Paul comes to the rescue with our deck of cards. They both sell for the cards big time, until Hulk Hogan once again, possesses The Natural. As the locker room clears, they all feed Natch 1 by 1 for the Hogan comeback. When he runs out of boys, he turns to the poor kid working ring crew. Natch grabs the kid throws him into the ring, shoots him into the ropes with the words “watch the boot”. This kid had never wrestled and I can only imagine what was going threw his mind as he ran the ropes trying to figure out why he would be watching a boot. The kid of course trips coming of the ropes and staggers head first into The Natural’s outstretched foot and busts his mouth wide open.

That pretty much put an end to the carnage. We all brawled to the back knowing that we had gone far enough, and that without a doubt, we had killed the town. Tony of course chewed us out afterwards, but we kept reminding him, he told us we could “Kill the Town”. I think his response was something to the effect “I didn’t think you would kill it that dead!” You can never say Natch and I didn’t take our jobs seriously, if we were going to kill a town, by God we were going to kill it dead!

I may add a third and final part to this story next week, as I haven’t had the chance to talk about the ribs we played on Tony, with the pot-bellied pig that accompanied us on this trip.

Till next week
Lance Strom