Matt Striker's Wrestling Lesson of the Week for 8/14/07
Parallels are interesting. There is a theory that while this life occurs there is a PARALLEL, alternate dimension going on at the exact same time!
Although I don't condone this type of cinema, the clever trilogy, Back to the Future explains this theory quite well — using of all things...a blackboard.
At times, there seem to be TOO many parallels in life. Things that are too odd to be dismissed as coincidental.
Take into consideration the great personalities of our sport. There seems to be a spirit or an energy that travels through time, creates, and re-creates parallels.
Examples can be seen in similarities to John Cena's ascension to outstanding, remarkable, impressive, energizing and galvanizing heights, as it is comparable to that of Hulk Hogan in the mid-1980s. Parallel.
More parallels can be seen in the careers of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper as a man you loved to hate and that of the status of a particularly handsome, good natured, azure-eyed school teacher here in ECW. Parallel.
Some experts have even identified parallels between myself and the late, great "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert — let's wait and see how exact those parallels are, shall we?
More than personality and souls, what about events?
Many people have experienced "deja vu" — French for "already seen "— in their lives and have even disillusioned themselves into thinking they are clairvoyant.
Alas, one event that is too uncanny to be ignored is the subject of this week's lesson.
Usually we only focus on one talent from a given time period, and I do my best to fill your pea-sized brains with some worthy facts.
Today, we will look at an entire moment in time or event that shaped the wrestling world. I trust you can handle it.
- CAVIAT- (Latin for warning) I would be remiss not to tell you that ALL of the names in this lecture warrant their very own lesson as each man named has contributed so much to this great sport. I implore you to research these men on your own. E-mail me and tell me what YOU know. Believe me, I'm holding my breath!
Alas, the parallels to this one moment in time are too intrusive.
The time was 1985, the scene; a den in a well lit, warm home filled with laughter near the beaches of Long Island. Sitting at a table eating spaghetti with butter, sits a boy.
His hair is floppy and in his eyes, the Velcro of his sneakers adhered, his legs swinging.
On the television, music emanated and was drawn straight to the boy's belly button, through his stomach and into his heart.
The theme to "Championship Wrestling" is forever blazoned in his mind, in his heart and in the annals of wrestling history.
On this particular night, I believe it were a Sunday, 6:05 p.m., a man by the name of PAUL JONES appeared on the television screen in a tuxedo.
Jones was a hated villain and a manager of champions. He had claimed to have an announcement that would shake the wrestling world!!
The little boy swung his legs a little faster.
Footage was shown of the uber-popular tag team of "THE BOOGIE WOOGIE MAN" JIMMY VALIANT and his partner "PISTOL" PEZ WHATLEY.
The duo danced into the hearts of the fans to the sounds of the Manhattan Transfers' "Boy from New York City"— I suggest you obtain this piece of art, whether via purchase or illegal Internet downloading (you thieves) and tell me if it doesn't move you!
As popular as Valiant and Whatley were, no one would ever foresee the evil turn of Pez Whatley, as he walked out and joined Valiant's archenemy, Paul Jones and officially announced his allegiance into the Paul Jones' Army, with Jones as his manager and advisor!
At the behest of "Number 1" (Jones' nickname), "Pistol" Pez Whatley was so defiant of his time with Valiant that he sought to change everything about himself to distance himself from Valiant and ultimately rid the wrestling world of him.
"Pistol" Pez Whatley was hereby known as "Shaska" Whatley, which was indicative of Whatley's new awareness and attitude.
The boy slurped his spaghetti and swung a tad faster.
Valiant, a charismatic man with flowing blonde hair, tattoos, a headband that covered his eyes, and a long yellow beard that would make ZZ Top run away — appeared on the screen later on in the evening.
He seemed to be in tears. He spoke about losing a brother, losing a friend, losing a partner. As he spoke, the headband lifted a little and the young boy watching drew closer to the TV.
Valiant's voice became a bit more present, his face a shade of red. He pulled at his beard, ripped the headband off, and opened his eyes wide.
His pure emotion shot through the little boy as the "Boogie Woogie Man" promised the fans revenge for Whatley's betrayal.
The boy wiped his mouth with his sleeve and smiled with only his eyes.
For months Whatley and Jones tormented Valiant until the final trespass was committed.
After a match, Whatley and Jones' Army (which included the great Baron Von Raschke and The Barbarian) attacked "The Boogie Woogie Man" and cut a lock of his hair in an utterly humiliating display.
Valiant vowed revenge.
He got that revenge in 1986 when he defeated "Shaska" and shaved his head bald in the middle of the ring.
The crowd delighted as "Boy from New York City" blared over the PA system and a victorious "Boogie Woogie Man" danced around the ring amidst a fallen Whatley ...
...a beleaguered Jones
...and a lot of hair!
I'm so darn glad HE let me try it again
Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I'm so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin
'Till I reach the highest ground.