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CLUSTERSHMAZZ!

DISCLAIMER: The following is not in any way a satire, spoof, joke, or rib.  I’m sorry, guys, but if you clicked here today looking for my usual fare, you’ll have to settle for helping yourself to the smarchives.  Speaking of which, I don’t say this as often as I should, but I couldn’t be prouder that TWF houses my body of work (such as it is).  I asked Sean to add the below piece as-is, if for no other reason than it belongs here, too.  Don’t worry, we’ll be back to business as usual before you know it.  It’s just that over the last couple of days, someone spilled their reality all over my sports entertainment.  Thanks for understanding and God bless.

 

Yer pal,
Harry

090906

 

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REMEMBERING RIC “HOTLINE” CARTER

 

I just learned that Ric “Hotline” Carter has passed away.  What I feel is a combination of shock, numbness, and much sadness.

 

It was through Ric that I was delivered unto the prophet Bill “Potshot” Kunkel, who would become my personal guru-slash-Dr. Frankenstein.  Ric, Bill, Roman Gomez, and myself watched the Halloween Havoc 95 PPV, “highlighted” by The Giant falling off Cobo Hall.  The wisecracks flew, and just like that, we were off and running.  About this time in my life, I was teetering between the Apter mags and the “sheets.”  Ric and Bill had a big hand in shoving me over the edge to the dark side, and suddenly, I had a whole new way to look at – and enjoy – my favorite sport.  To this day, I give them as much credit (and blame) for who I am as anyone.

 

You see, it was 1994 when I stumbled across a show called “WrestleTalk” on AM radio, hosted by Ric and Bill.  Before there was an ISP in every room, WrestleTalk was years ahead of its time, dishing the dirt and doing so hilariously.  The best was when they were joined by Mick “Cactus Jack” Foley, who was promoting an October match against Sabu.  The show ended with the following exchange:

 

Foley: “Dewey, tell ‘em who your daddy is!”

 

(Then-infant Dewey mumbled some baby talk into the phone.)

 

Foley: “Did you hear what he said?”

Ric: “Did he say ‘Owen Hart?’”

 

I was on the floor, Bill howled, and even Foley had to put over Ric out-zinging him.  It was at this match where I met Ric and Bill for the first time and found they were every bit as funny in person.  During the main event, Foley, who was under the mistaken impression that Ric had called him “washed up,” took the mic and insisted he was “not washed up, you Ric Carter scumbag!!”  Most of the fans didn’t know what to make of that, but Ric marked out.  Even people who follow the biz might have difficulty understanding why a world famous wrestler calling one a “scumbag” in a crowded room could be considered a personal highlight, but you just had to know Ric.  Ric was one of those guys who could bust your chops for hours on end, and it just endeared you to him that much more.

 

Trivia: In his first book, “Have A Nice Day,” Foley briefly talked about this match.  This was the match where Foley and Sabu brawled up into the casino area, culminating with a piledriver on a blackjack table.  Furthermore, WrestleTalk was the Las Vegas radio show Foley mentioned in the book.

 

Another classic Ric line occurred at a following Silver Nugget show, where Ric approached Roy Lucier, who had driven in from California for the Sabu vs. Terry Funk main event.  As everyone was lined up at the door, Ric pointed over to the scoreboard at the nearby sports book and said, “Look, the odds of Roy getting kicked out tonight are 2 to 1!”  (Dave Meltzer and other veterans of the 90s west coast scene will fully appreciate that one.)

 

But my fondest memories of Ric were the times when he, Bill, Reid, Roman, Doni, Kim, and myself would take in Fabulous Moolah’s then-annual LIWA (Ladies International Wrestling Association) shows at the Union Plaza ballroom, circa 90s.  Whether it was Roman yelling “We’re not graduating!” when they inevitably played “Pomp And Circumstance” instead of “The Star-Spangled Banner” or Bill astutely pointing out that one of the lady wrestlers “looks like Mabel had a sexchange,” by the end of the night, my face hurt from laughing so hard.  Forgive my hubris, but we owned that f’n room.

 

Moolah would promote her cards on Ric’s show, and Ric was brought in as a referee every now and then.  For our crew, seeing just how horrible a picture of Ric they always managed to stick in the program was worth the price of admission alone.  At the June ’96 show, a mixed tag match saw a wrestler named Angie Jane T bleed hardway from the nose after a move went awry with her opponent, Joanie Lee (a.k.a. Joanie “Chyna” Laurer).  I started an enthusiastic chant of “She’s hardcore,” which echoed throughout the ballroom.  Unlike us, however, the office was not amused.  At next year’s gala, a request was made to me, “Don’t get us in trouble with that ECW sh*t again.”  Ric later clarified that due to the chant, he was not invited to referee at the ’97 show.  I rightly took the heat, but I pointed out, “Dude, you were chanting too!”  He shot back, “I know!  That’s why!”  I apologized, but he just laughed.

 

On a personal note, when I wrote my first full-length wrestling satire piece back in 1997 (a goofball piece about Bischoff and McMahon waging a bidding war over Al Snow’s Head), Ric was the first person to call me and tell me it was great.  As corny as this sounds, I always thought Ric considered me a mark (which, to be fair, I was), so a thumbs-up from him meant a lot to me.  It still does.

 

Speaking of 1997, remember Eddie vs. Rey at Halloween Havoc from Las Vegas?  Grab your copy of that PPV and pop it in for a minute.  During the intros, Las Vegan Mike Tenay briefly reminisced about the unique longtime wrestling fans in LV.  He mentioned Ric by name, and as we all know, the next 18 minutes turned into the greatest match in WCW PPV history.  Ric loved the biz so much, I can’t help but take a little solace in the fact that this slice of immortality is a small part of his legacy.  Thank you, Mike.

 

Speaking of which, I’m hardly the first to say this, but Ric’s true legacy is in the amazing family he leaves behind and the countless number of times he put a smile on the face of everyone he knew.  There is no doubt in my mind that my life would have been significantly different had I never discovered Wrestletalk, nor met the mad geniuses behind it.  Am I a better person for having known Ric?  Who’s to say?  But I had a hell of a lot more fun, that’s for sure.  My heart and prayers go out to Ric’s family and friends.  Ric “Hotline” Carter was one of a kind and those of us in his “other” family know that the get-togethers at Las Vegas indy shows will never be the same again.

 

Harry Simon

090906

Harryllax@hotmail.com

 Harry Simon is a trivia-fueled wisenheimer who has been writing about pro wrestling off and on for 16 years and counting. Harry has written trivia pieces for both the Wrestling Observer and Live Audio Wrestling websites, and contributed a ton of research to his fellow Las Vegan Mike Tenay in preparation for the first NWA TNA PPV in 2002. Harry has also done play-by-play, color commentary, and ring announcing for indy promotions. Harry invented the Von Erich Match Rating System, which you can learn about HERE.
 
 
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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).