Part of getting older, I think, is reminiscing back on some close calls in life. Whether it be a potential partner or life-changing meeting or that big moment in the game - it's fun to wonder "what if?"
Since I've been the self-proclaimed King of the Underground Wrestling game, I've had interactions with nearly every stud wrestler from the 90s to now. I've wrestled pro matches against them. I've shared locker rooms with them. And have secrets about a few.
My recollection isn't always top notch, but I'd like to share a few ALMOST had 'em moments with some pro wrestling and underground studs.
Ever since I started in the underground wrestling world, I have heard stories about and, even, had slight comparisons to the legendary Kyle Bradford. Sure, you take everything you hear with a grain of salt, but how cool would it be if Tom Cruise (or perhaps, Brad Pitt) chose you as a wrestling partner.
I've heard a few angles on this story and read a few articles about the incident. I don't know if it's true or not, but it's fascinating. I wish I could share more details that I've heard of this tale and maybe if you catch me in-person I'll gossip a bit about it.
Finally after nearly a decade of attempting to contact Kyle Bradford, I finally got his phone number. I can't recall who gave it to me. I'm legit when I say I've asked many people over the years.
A few times every year, I try getting in touch with him on his number. I always get the same result. Riiiing-riiiing-riiiiing-riiiing...you have reached the voicemail of.....
Most recently, my old roommate has chatted him up on some site...or at least it's somebody saying it's the man himself. Let's hope it is. I'd like to at the very least chat with Mr. Bradford over the phone for a half hour and have at least begged him to come do a couple videos for my site before I die.
How crazy would it have been to have a Hollywood 90s MEGASTAR's son on the site? Especially one as fit and talented as Jungle Boy of AEW fame.
Before he was well-known in wrestling, I had received an email or 2 mentioned this wrestler from California that I should reach out to - Jungle Boy Nate McCoy. I think Barry Burke even suggest or mentioned that the dude may be interested in doing matches.
If you don't know, "Nate McCoy" is 90s heartthrob Luke Perry's son. He had wild hair and was ripped, but it was obvious he was a rookie. Still learning his craft. He'd be a great jobber!
I reached out to him on some social media and pitched him the idea of coming to Florida or Boston to do a few matches for the site. He was open to the idea and we were working on setting up a time to do such. Life is very busy for a lot of people and sometimes the next shoot on my schedule doesn't work well with their commitments, so it can take time to set things up.
Long story short (or maybe the appropriate length for this tale), Jungle Boy told me he chatted with his father (or someone) and didn't think it was a wise idea to partake in videos like this at this time. And I think he was right. You gotta think it would've been a tad "scandalous" if a TV stars son was perceived to be doing erotica. Obviously that isn't what he would've been doing. He would've been putting on a helluva show in his pro trunks, but you see how the internet works sometimes.
Anyway, WOW! That would've been incredible to have him on his rise to global fame.
I don't even know how this one came up. I think a few things happened. First, I think a fan or 6 messaged me about how cool it'd be to have Chris Masters on the site. I reached out to him via e-mail and got no response. I think Jonny Firestorm tried the same approach to no avail...then somewhere down the road I got word that he was interested and I should call him...or maybe I just got his number and decide I would touch base with him about it. Either way, I ended up with his number.
He was cool and polite. I forget how the lead off to the convo went, but the highlight for me was after exchanging a handful of text messages, he asked something like - "so, uh, do we bring our own thongs or do you supply them?" I let him know that pro trunks and speedos were cool...and I'm sure I said, if you wanna wear less that's fine, too.
Not exactly sure why this fell apart. I think we were working on setting a date for a shoot with him, but his schedule got super busy and maybe one of the big companies was negotiating with him to do some TV stuff. It wasn't like we were best friends and messaging a ton. He was very polite about it and a MASTERPIECE was lost.
I don't wanna bury the guy or anything like that. He's a solid enough wrestler and we've got a strong mutual acquaintance (probably even more than that). However, when I hit him up via twitter or some other way, he wasn't polite and I felt he was a tad rude.
I've never met the dude and this was all an exchange through social media, so I can understand. Fairly certain I told him of our mutual friend and I expected a much more polite decline to my offer.
I have a feeling he may have done another wrestling companies videos, but maybe that was just a rumor. Can anyone confirm?
Now, one of my personal favorite one that got away was Buff Bagwell. I spoke to this guy for hours and over weeks. What a character?!
I don't even know where to start. From the first phone call it was wild. I used to watch Buff The Stuff on TV when I was a kid, so to be on the phone with him is surreal. It's interesting how life works out sometimes.
So here I am on the phone with Buff Bagwell discussing bringing him in for an upcoming shoot. He's interested and we agree to terms...EXCEPT there is one hold up. He's got an insecurity about his calves. Yes, the ones on his legs. He admits that there was a reason he was a long tights guy and why his boots are a bit more roomy than stereotypical pro boots. I assure him that we can work around that and he's in!
WOW! This is awesome.
A night or two later, Buff texts me and says to give him a call to chat about some stuff. I don't recall all the details but we work on finalizing the shoot and flight plans. He's flying out of Atlanta so it's a relatively easy flight to anywhere in the USA. Cool - it's gonna happen. This is huge!
The week moves on and Buff wants to chat on the phone again. The phone calls are fun and I think he's highly entertaining. He talks about his young days in wrestling and some "part-time work" he did shaking his money maker. Hinting the men tip better than women. He mentions his "escorting" work that he was doing on a TV show, but said that was mostly for the cameras. This dude is definitely a superstar. He's a character and I dig it.
We chat a couple more times over the next few days and the phone calls tend to be over 30 minutes long. He likes chatting at night, which is great with my brain schedule. I tend to think better at night.
During one of our phone calls, he mentions he's got an opportunity to do something during WrestleMania weekend...or some big event like that - so he's asking if we can postpone the shoot until after that. He explains the importance of the booking for the pro wrestling gig and I'm an understanding guy. We agree to set it for a future date. The flight wasn't too expensive (again - Atlanta is an easy airport for most places) but Buff offers to help get a refund on the ticket. He goes on to say something like "I'm glad to help get you a refund or credit for the flight. If I have to I'll say something like a family member passed away. You wouldn't believe how many times I've told them my aunt or uncle recently died and I have to make the funeral" or something like that - certainly not far off.
We chuckle about it.
I don't know what happened, but eventually our calls and chats fizzled out. I mentioned maybe him doing a shout out for the fans of the site since life was seemingly getting in the way of us coordinating a shoot. I wasn't out any real money. Just a few dollars for an inexpensive flight. He was cool about it, but I think I dropped the ball. I better pick up the phone and give him a shout. Worst case, I'm sure he'll have me laughing my ass off.
Not sure if I've ever been on a pro wrestling event with him, but I know my tag partner has. He was pumped about it. Told me that Buff said he loved his offense and energy in the ring. Bagwell even mentioned how my buddy didn't do any moves that he saw on WWE and he liked it.
These are the ones I can best remember, but I've lost many other great catches. Most of them due to loyalty to another company or real-life corporate jobs. I did almost have Scot Williams from BG East fame. He said he was open to private custom matches, but had to respect his friendship with the boss. I understand that. That's a common thing with that team. Their roster remains loyal to Kid Leopard, even years (decades) after they've wrestled for him.
If I think of any other big ones, I'll have to do a follow up post on this blog. Maybe you recall some that I can't. Let me know, if so.
This post wasn't meant to "bury" anyone or paint them in a bad light. It's been a fun and wild ride in this wrestling world I've grown up in. I hope you enjoyed some of these stories and a little insight to my world.