In the mosh pit with The Headbangers: Part 2
In 1999, The Headbangers were enjoying a run as one of WWE's top tag teams until a torn ACL put Glenn "Thrasher" Ruth on the shelf. With no partner, Chaz "Mosh" Warrington was about to go solo for the first time in his career. He was about to become Beaver Cleavage. (PHOTOS)
Considered one of the more outlandish characters in WWE history, Cleavage was a twisted take on the wholesome television characters of the late 1950s like Beaver Cleaver and Dennis the Menace. Dressed in short pants and a beanie hat, Warrington walked to the ring with his "mother," Mrs. Cleavage — a woman he loved a little too much.
"I had to act like a big overgrown kid who was in love with his mother," Warrington said. "People said it was stupid, but I was excited about the opportunity."
Despite heavy television promotion and an elaborate entrance that saw the screen turn to black and white, Beaver Cleavage quickly fizzled and was gone from Raw within weeks. Still, even with the criticism this persona received from the WWE Universe, Warrington was unfazed.
"I didn't care," Warrington admitted. "To me it was about having fun and doing what I love to do."
The former World Tag Team Champion would go on to disown the Cleavage persona in a controversial Raw segment and compete under his real name for a few months. Later that same year, Ruth returned to the ring and The Headbangers were reborn.
"There were still a lot of great times after the injury," Ruth said. "We did the whole battle royal thing at WrestleMania 2000 and I won the Hardcore Title for 37 seconds. I loved doing the hardcore stuff."
A feeling his tag partner did not share.
"To be honest, I hated it," Warrington said. "I just wasn't thrilled about getting hit with trashcans and chairs.
Still, despite enjoying these wild brawls, Ruth knew his time in the ring was coming to an end.
"That was the first really big surgery that I ever had and it really messed with my head," Ruth said. "It was always in the back of my mind like, ‘Oh my god, this is going to happen again."
"His heart just didn't seem to be in it," Warrington admitted.
In 2000, the team split with Ruth competing in singles matches and Warrington teaming with D-Lo Brown in a duo called Lo Down. Neither man experienced much success in their new roles and both were gone from WWE by 2001.
After retiring from the ring, Ruth became involved in the restaurant business, working in management for major chains like Papa John's Pizza and Bob Evans Restaurants. Today, he oversees five Domino's Pizza stores and nearly 150 employees in the southern Maryland area. Responsible for the marketing of each restaurant, Ruth has relied on the attention grabbing skills he learned in the WWE to drum up business.
"We're doing a medium cheese pizza for $3.99, so I painted a guy blue and sent him out on the streets with "$3.99 medium cheese pizza" written all over him," Ruth said. "Just something stupid. The Headbangers thing has never left me."
Warrington has also had good fortune in his current career as a Sales Director for DEX Imaging in Tampa, Florida.
"I've been real successful at it," Warrington said. "The most important part is I'm home every night and I'm watching my son grow and I'm spending time with my wife."
Much like Warrington, Ruth is also a proud husband and father.
"I'm married with five kids," Ruth beamed.
While some of Ruth's children are old enough to remember their father's time as Thrasher, his younger kids are just starting to see his wild exploits.
"The youngest two have seen the stuff that I show them on YouTube," Ruth said. "They're just like, 'Look at Daddy wearing a skirt!'"
Warrington's young son is also beginning to learn about his old man's time as a Headbanger.
"He definitely goes to school and tells everyone that his daddy is a wrestler," Warrington said, "But it's funny because he has my action figure and an Undertaker figure and I'm constantly getting beat up. So things haven't changed a bit."
Outside of his family life, Warrington has found another new passion, albeit an unexpected one.
"I started playing kickball about three years ago," Warrington said. "A friend had played and said that I should come out and be a part of the offense and it was a good time. I loved it."
Although kickball is usually thought of as a schoolyard sport, the team Warrington plays on is highly competitive and travels all over the country. His squad, The Meatballs, is one of the top ranked teams in the U.S.
"I'm supposed to go up to the D.C. area for another kickball tournament," Warrington revealed. "I'm hoping Glenn will be able to come out."
The former tag team partners do not see each other often, but have found a new way to keep their longtime friendship going.
"Glenn and I lost touch for a number of years, but we've gotten back in touch," Warrington said. "We stay in contact through Facebook."
"We talk as much as we can," Ruth said. "He was a huge part of my life and he always will be. He's the godfather to one of my kids."
And thanks to their reconnection, a Headbangers reunion may not be far off.
"The two of us haven't been in the ring together for 10 years now," Warrington said. "We're kind of hoping to do some indie shows this year and just have fun."
Thankfully, the spirit of Mosh and Thrasher is alive and well in both Warrington and Ruth.
"The Headbangers thing wasn't a gimmick, because I'm goofy like that," Warrington admitted. "I'm always sticking my tongue out. To this day, I still do the monkey face with my 6-year-old son. I spit in the air and catch it."
"I still listen to metal from time to time," Ruth said. "With the kids in the car, Daddy doesn't run the radio. But I'll pop in Marilyn Manson or Slipknot while I'm in the car by myself and get teary-eyed and remember when."
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