Chris Graham: Fun night of LTW Entertainment pro wrestling at the Waynesboro YMCA
What happened was, Matt Wilde used his feet on the ropes for leverage to gain an illegal pinfall over Lance Lude in the main event, and since I was on the scene of the LTW Entertainment show at the Waynesboro YMCA as a special representative of the commissioner’s office, well, I had to do something.
How it ended up that I got into a bit of a fracas with Wilde after telling the match official to reverse his decision and restart the match, I don’t know.
I do know that I’m told that I may have punched Wilde, and that’s how he ended up in a schoolboy rollup pin by Lude that sent the fans home happy.
Having been a pro wrestling fan since childhood, I’ve had the fortune to be able to work around the periphery of the business for several years now. A good friend, Marvin Ward, brought me in first to build a website for his company, and eventually I was hired to write for Awesome Wrestling Entertainment when AWE put on an In Demand pay-per-view show in 2011.
Marvin and I started our own company, Top Rope Pro Wrestling, in 2012, and booked several shows.
We’ve worked with the likes of Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, Diamond Dallas Page, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Lita, Dirty Dutch Mantell, Larry Zbyszko, Terry Funk, Goldust, Kevin Nash, The Rock-n-Roll Express, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Tommy Dreamer, Carlito and Tammy Sytch over the years.
(I think that covers everybody. Actually, no, it doesn’t. The fan in me says, wow, that ain’t bad.)
As fun as it was to write a pay-per-view, to sit in a booking meeting for a live TV show and have people take my direction on how things were supposed to go, I’d never been involved physically in a match until tonight.
And it’s not like I took a bump or anything; no, I’m way too smart to do something like that.
Lude was in charge of booking. I’ve been there, done that; not an easy job. You’re basically writing a script and revising it on the fly almost until the show is over.
The plan for me early on was to come in at the end of the opening match, involving Wilde, to break up an attack on Lude to set up the main event between the two, easy peasy.
At the intermission, my night evolved. Now I was to intervene after Wilde scored the controversial pinfall with his feet on the ropes to tell the ref what had happened, order him, under authority of the commissioner’s office, to restart the match, then when Wilde balked at my intervention, throwing a punch at me, block said punch, hit him with an overhand right, sending him spiraling into Lude, who would roll him up for the fall.
Seemed simple enough when it was explained to me. I mean, as a writer, I really liked the writing.
But that doesn’t mean I didn’t get more and more nervous as the main event went on.
It’s one thing to say you want to do something a certain way. It’s another thing to make it happen in front of a live crowd without having rehearsed it.
I texted my wife, Crystal, to tell her that she needed to rush to the show, without telling her what was about to happen.
(Can’t break kayfabe. Come on!)
It took her by surprise, to say the least. She thought when I climbed on the ring apron to intervene by informing the ref to continue the match that that was to be the extent of my work in the ring.
“Did he actually hit you?” she asked after the show was over, which was music to my ears.
Um, sure, and I clocked him back.
(I did check with Matt after the matches to make sure that he was cool with me slugging him. If I did indeed slug him. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Either way, he was cool.)
Lude, afterward, was happy with how it turned out.
“The crowd was into it. They popped when it all went down. That’s all you can ask for,” he told me.
Triple H has nothing to worry about, but for one night, I was as close to being a representative of The Authority as I ever will be.
Bad thing for me is, I’ve got the fever.
Now that I’ve decked the heel in the main event, got a pop from the partisan crowd afterward, I don’t know, I want more.
– Column by Chris Graham