Over the Top Rope

Rock Riddle's
Wrestling Revue

by Rock Riddle, the Original "Mr. Wonderful" of Professional Wrestling

Scheduled Publication Date:   March 15, 2007

Click on any of the smaller photos to enlarge

 

We were in the main ballroom, a magnificent area that encompassed the entire top floor of Las Vegasí famous Riviera Hotel and Casino.  I was doing an on-camera interview with one of the greatest wrestling managers of all time, Dr. Ken Ramey.  We had spoken of wrestlingís "good old days," essentially the late 1970s; the era we entitled "When Wrestling Was Real."  I mentioned an upcoming feature film our company had in development, based on late 1970s and early 1980s professional wrestling.  "If the film is only one-tenth as successful as we expect it to be, it may be the impetus that brings back wrestling, wrestling the way it used to be," I said to Dr. Ramey.  "Nobody under thirty years of age has any idea what professional wrestling was," I continued.  "They think what they see on television now is wrestling, and it definitely is not."  We both agreed.  Dozens of fans were watching as we taped the interview.  Virtually all of them were nodding in agreement.  Dr. Ramey and I couldnít help but smile at their reactions.  The cameras continued to roll.

"Iíll tell you what," Dr. Ramey said.  "People who see the movie will see the tail end of a dying era.  Because, after we left, they started doing what theyíre doing today.  Up until that time, we were still selling WRESTLING all over the United States.  Now weíre not.  Thereís no wrestling anymore.  Itís like you say.  Itís a soap opera.  Itís a show."  I looked directly into Dr. Rameyís eyes.  With a serious expression of understanding and agreement, I responded with, "Yes, and they forgot Ö" At that moment, I couldnít hold back the smile any longer.  I continued in a language called "Carnie," a language spoken by every wrestler of the era.  "Deezont smeezarten the meezarks!" I quipped.  I was going for a reaction and I got it.  Ken Rameyís raised eyebrow completed his expression of disbelief.  If I could have read his thoughts, I would have expected to hear, "I canít believe you just said that!  Youíre speaking Carnie in the middle of a televised interview?  Yes, weíre retired, but we still donít speak Carnie to the fans!"  Dr. Ramey didnít know that the director of photography, Peter Redford, was working for my company, and that I would be in charge of the editing.  But, Dr. Ramey is very intelligent, knowledgeable, and possesses a quick wit.  The smile on my face made the joke obvious after only a few seconds.  "Bless you, Sir," I said to Dr. Ramey.  "It has been a pleasure talking with you."  "My pleasure," Dr. Ramey said. "My pleasure."

Dr. Ramey went to the far sides of the ballroom and to the floors below to locate his two most famous wrestlers, the Interns.  I interviewed several other wrestler friends in the interim.  I looked toward the front of the ballroom and saw two large men with white masks, being led toward me by Dr. Ken Ramey.  I figured that it would take them about five more minutes to get across the room, so I timed the interview I was conducting so it would end just at the five-minute mark.  I invited the three men to take their places.  Only a few seconds later, we heard the welcome word, "Rolling!" 

I looked directly into the camera.  It was a "tight shot" with just my head and shoulders in frame.  "Ladies and gentlemen," I began, "for the first time in over twenty years, we have together Dr. Ken Ramey and the Interns Ė three living legends in the world of professional wrestling."  The camera had slowly pulled back to reveal Dr. Ken Ramey standing next to me, with a masked intern slightly behind and to each side of him.  "Ken," I asked, "would you please introduce your famous wrestling team?"  Ken turned to his left and motioned with his outstretched right hand.  "This is Number One Intern," he said referring to the very muscular and slightly larger of the two masked men.  Then Ken turned toward the other man.  "And, this is Number Two Intern."  I hesitated for a moment.  "Ken is doing an interview just like he did thirty years ago," I thought.  "Heís not going to let the fans in on anything."  Ken continued, "Of course, when we were in the ring, we never advertised them as one or two.  It was always on an equal basis."

I wasnít quite sure where Dr. Ramey was heading.  I looked at him with a slight questioning smile on my face.  I was about to ask him another question when he continued.  He looked toward the gentleman to whom he had referred as "Number One Intern."  "This is Brother Jim Starr."  Directing his attention to the other gentleman, he continued, "and this is Tom Andrews."  I was fascinated by his candor.  "You have just given away a secret," I responded, "a secret youíve kept for thirty years!"  "Weíre retired now," Dr. Ramey said.  "We donít care."  There was a smile on his face.  "Do you mean," I asked, "that it might even be possible to finally unmask the famous Interns?"  "Itís never been done," Dr. Ramey quickly reminded me.  "Thatís true," I agreed.  "Yes," Dr. Ramey reiterated, "Itís never been done."  It was as though he were waiting for me to take the hint and throw out the next obvious line.  In real time, it probably took less than a second before I grasped and reacted to the situation by saying, "Well, Dr. Ramey, if anyone could do it, if anyone could unmask, for the first time ever, the famous Interns, maybe it could be Ö the first, the only, the original ĎMr. Wonderful,í Rock Riddle."  Although it was a statement, I asked as if it were a question, as if I were asking for permission.  Dr. Ramey whispered to the first intern, nodded his head, then whispered to the second intern and reacted to him with a single nod.  Dr. Ramey looked at me and said, "They agree.  Just for you Ö and just for the fans out there."

I was having great fun with the interview and didnít realize that a momentous event was about to transpire.  Never had the Interns been unmasked.  Never!  Yet, I was given the opportunity!  "This is amazing!" I said.  "And, Iím going to be given credit for unmasking them?" "Yes, indeed," Dr. Ramey responded.  "Right here on television."  I slowly reached my hands out towards the mask of Jim Starr, "Intern Number One."  The wrestling sense of humor can be quite extreme.  After I had taken the bottom of Jimís mask with both hands, I figured no joke was imminent, and he was actually going to allow me to unmask him.  I worked the mask from the bottom up to just below his nose.  The mask was tight.  "Youíll have to do the rest," I said to Mr. Starr.  "I donít want to take your nose off.  I did that with Michael Jackson and he had no nose afterwards."  "And, he still has no nose," commented Jim Starr.  Now, to my astonishment, both of the Interns were unmasked.  "Oh, my gosh!" I exclaimed. "Holy Mackerel!  So, the rumor was wrong.  The rumor was that the Interns were so ugly, so horrible, that nobody could stand to see them, therefore the reason for the masks.  But, that was wrong.  These men are extraordinarily handsome.  In fact, what we have here are four of the handsomest men on the planet, all together, for the first time in over twenty years!"  "You do know how to speak the truth," Dr. Ramey added.  "You do!"  I ended the segment and the interview with, "I do indeed."  Until next week, keep those e-mails coming.

This column welcomes your wrestling-related questions.  You may contact the author via email: RockRiddle@hotmail.com or Rock@HollywoodSuccess.com.  Be sure to put "Wrestling Question" in the subject line.

About the author:  Rock Riddle wrestled professionally for over 8Ĺ years and helped sell out major arenas all over the country.  He held numerous titles including the Americas Tag Team Championship (with John Tolos) and the East Coast Tag Team Championship (with Rocky Montana.)  At the height of his career, he was given top billing over the heavyweight championship of the world.  He is extremely well-connected in the world of professional wrestling and knows the business exceptionally well.  His fascinating biography, complete with over 100 photos and lots of additional information, is available at www.HollywoodSuccess.com Ė just click on "Rock Riddle Bio."    If you have missed any of Rockís columns, they are all available on the website by clicking "Wrestling Revue."

© 2007 Rock Riddle & Hollywood Success.

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