Jerry tells a story about a time he got a group of people together to come see me wrestle at the North Point Flea Market, but he no one ever got my side of the story.
I don’t know how it came to be, but one day at the office he was really excited about the idea of coming to one of my shows, so he decided to make a general voicemail to EVERYONE in the company about my wrestling show on the coming Sunday evening, and how it would be great to come out an support me. Naturally this had me crapping my pants at the time because I usually kept my Centric life and wrestling life pretty separate. People knew I did it, but hearing about it and making mental projections is one thing … being there to see it happen, is totally different.
Fast forward a few days and I show up at the “arena” (a word we used to make us feel better about performing at the North Point Flea Market) and do my regular duties of setting up the chairs, tables, and wrestling ring. The entire time I am thinking to myself “OK, what do I do tonight? Do I go all out, or keep it tame because my boss is going to be here?”. After about ten whole seconds of really deep thought I came to the conclusion that if he was coming for a show, he was going to get one.
Later that night, once the doors opened, I made sure to stand off to the side, peaking through the giant curtain we had, waiting to see if anyone from Centric actually showed up. To my anxious surprise, Jerry walked in with what I will refer to only as his Centric Entourage. I found out later he took them all out for Costas for dinner, so I think most of them felt they had to show up after being paid off in crab meat.
Either way, there was no turning back at this point. I mean, really though, how do you justify to someone that you respect the fact that you have no issue wearing skin hugging, bright greenish-blue tights with wrist tape and giant boots?
The show starts, matches happen, people get beaten up. Some win. Some lose. And then … my turn. I think that there were four of us in my match. I think I might have won. I don’t remember. What I do remember is this. The look on Jerry’s face as all of my opponents were on the outside of the ring and I slowly began climbing up to the top rope. From his seat I probably looked like I was 15 feet high. Now remember when I said earlier that I came to the conclusion that if he was coming for a show, he was going to get one? Well he got one. After a shared moment of eye contact, I jumped as high as I possibly could into the air, did a flip, and came crashing down on top of 3 other guys … directly in front of Jerry and the Centric Entourage (Mike Frate may still have pictures). The howl of simultaneous excitement, laughter, and panic that came out of Jerry at that exact moment was enough to tell me, that at least on that night, I did my job well.
For years after, I got to hear him tell it the way he saw it and remembered it. It always made me feel good because I really enjoyed wrestling when I had the ability to, and his stories would remind me of a time when I got to live my dream, and share it with those who cared.