Ice-Cold Soft Drinks

During my wrestling career, I had the good fortune of traveling a lot. I remember working for the Tulsa, Oklahoma wrestling office when I met a great tag team that wrestled as bothers and called themselves “Spudnick & Rocket Monroe.” I watched their matches and learned a lot from them.

Everyone has both good and bad habits. Rocket had a habit of chewing Red Man Tobacco, the long and stringy kind. To Rocket, chewing tobacco was like an art form. He would sometimes put different small pieces of fruit or some liquor in the tobacco pouch to change the flavor to his liking. Of course, while chewing this tobacco, one has to spit the juice out so Rocket always carried a spit cup of sorts with him, you know, an empty soft drink or coffee cup.

One very hot summer night, we were booked in a town that the wrestlers like because it always drew a good crowd. That meant, the wrestlers would have a good pay-day. The promoter did not get the air conditioning turned on soon enough so it was hot outside and inside too. The air conditioning was not cooling the dressing rooms down yet and it was uncomfortable. We were sweating before we even got in the ring! All the wrestlers were coming into the dressing rooms to change into their wrestling gear; most of them had stopped at the concession stand and got a cold drink to bring with them.

The dressing rooms were not very large so all the wrestlers were spread out anywhere the could find room to change. I was sitting on a bench lacing my boots up when I heard a lot of loud talking and laughing coming from the doorway. When I looked up, I saw Spudnik and Rocket Monroe enter the dressing room with soft drinks in their hands. the only space left to sit down was at the ends of two adjoining benches that were divided by a large hot water tank for the showers. Rocket sat on one side, and Spudnick sat on the other. They set their soft drinks on top of the hot water tank while they were changing clothes. Rocket drank all his drink and got out his favorite chewing tobacco. He began chewing and of course, his cup was empty so he used it for the spit cup.

The matches started and the crowd began yelling. They were cheering for their favorites and booing for the less favorites. My match was just before Spudnick and Rocket’s match. After I had finished my match, I headed for the dressing room where it was still very hot. I finished drinking my own soft drink and was headed for the showers when Spudnic and Rocket made their way to the ring for their match. There’s was a long one, two out of three falls.

I had finished dressing and was packing my bag to leave when I heard the dressing room door bang open. Spudnick and Rocket burst in, sweating profusely, leaving little puddles of sweat wherever they walked. As they started to change, Spudnick, still standing up, put his foot up on the bench and began unlacing his boot. He looked up and saw the ice-cold drink that he had not finished prior to his match still sitting on the water tank where he left it. Both Spudnick and Rocket were dying of thirst so Spudnick started “ribbing” Rocket because he didn’t have a cold drink. Spudnick laughed out loud and started guzzling his drink. After four or five big gulps, he stopped drinking and just stared into the drink cup with a peculiar look on his face. He then immediately spit out what he had thought to be soft drink but soon realized was actually the contents of Rocket’s warm and nasty spit cup. Spudnick ran into the bathroom, dropped to his knees and threw up repeatedly into the toilet. Everyone in the dressing room was laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes. When he came out of the bathroom, he was swearing at everyone, including me, and then started kicking and throwing chairs around the dressing room. He yelled out and told everyone in detail what he was going to do to that stupid “S.O.B.” that switched his soft drink cup. Now I have heard that old saying, that someone was so sick they turned green and never quite knew what it meant. After seeing Spudnick’s face that night, I know have a pretty good idea where that old saying came from.

No one would admit to it but someone had indeed switched the soft drink cups while the two brothers were in the ring for their match. It was a good rib and it left poor old Spudnick sick for hours.

In the world of Professional Wrestling, you must always be on the alert for those guys who love to play ribs; but remember, getting even is always just as much fun ?

Rick Renoldo and the “Old Wrestling Boot Labeling”

While I was working out of the Portland, Oregon office for promoter Don Owens, I met a wrestler named Rick Renoldo from California. Rick was a good hearted man that loved to have fun and play ribs (jokes) on the other wrestlers. He also had bad eye sight and wore very thick black rimmed glasses.

One time, we were all booked in a small town for a spot show (a show not run every week) and I had the good luck to be wrestling Rick. I had not wrestled him yet but I knew he was a good wrestler from studying his other matches. When not in the ring, I would always watch all the matches. I would study the other wrestlers, their moves, fakes, ways of getting into and out of different holds, and general ring attitude.

Rick entered the ring first; he was not liked by the wrestling fans as shown by their booing him and making hand jesters toward him. The fans were primed for action and awaiting my arrival. I left the dressing room, headed for the ring on a slow run. When I entered the ring, the fans were ready and and so was I. I knew I had to be ready for a hard and ruff match from the first sound of the bell because Rick was a seasoned veteran that knew a lot of tricks.

When the bell rang, I went for Rick. As I looked at him, he was making funny faces at me. These funny faces continued and it was getting hard to concentrate on wrestling. I had no idea what was going on at first, then it dawned on me, Rick had trouble seeing without his glasses. The funny faces were actually just him trying to focus his eyes to see. This was hilarious! For starters, he was not a handsome man in any normal situation, but when you added in his funny face making, well that just made for a real circus.

Eventually, I was able to get my composure back, no more laughing at Rick’s faces and we finally got the match under way. When Rick got hold of you, he did not need to see much. He could move in and out of holds very well; he was a good wrestler.

For a while, Rick got the upper hand and was knocking the snot out of me. Normally, when I was getting beat up the crowd would cheer for me and boo my opponent but this time, they were laughing at me instead. Rick would body slam me, back drop me, drop kick me, and hit me and every time I was knocked off my feet, the crowd would start laughing and pointing at me. I could not figure it out! The more I got beat up, the more the fans laughed at me. I thought, “What the hell is going on?”

We finished the match and went to the dressing room, then got undressed and headed for the showers. After I finished my shower, I returned to the dressing area and started to put away my wrestling gear. One of the other wrestlers came by and asked “How was your match?” I told him it was bad. I said, “The fans were laughing at me and the more Rick knocked me off my feet, the harder they laughed. I couldn’t figure it out!” I said, “Normally, the crowd loves me and always cheers me on but tonight, they just laughed as I was getting beat up.”

The other wrestler picked up my wrestling boots and turned them upside down. On the soles were two large strips of adhesive tape with the words “Left” and “Right” written on them. As if that weren’t bad enough, they were also labeled wrong; the left was on the right boot sole and the right was on the left boot sole. I must have looked like a complete idiot. It was now plain to see why the fans were laughing. I have to admit, however, after the match was over and I got my composure back, I thought it was pretty funny as well. The other wrestler told me “You have to watch yourself when you’re around Rick, he likes to play ribs.”

Later, Rick admitted that he played this rib on me and we both got a laugh out of it. Now I was on the hunt to find an even better rib to play on him! All in the life of a “pro wrestler” and their ribs on each other.

Highway High Jinks

I have a pretty funny story that happened while working out of the Memphis, Tennessee wrestling office for Jerry Jerritt.

Plowboy Frazier and I had been tag team partners for a few years and we had gotten to know each other very well. Plowboy did not like to drive on the trips that we had to make so he would always try to get me to drive. He would con me by buying dinner, drinks after the matches or he would want to take his car but would want me to drive.

We both were living in Nashville, Tennessee. It was about in the middle of the wrestling territory so that most of the trips were about the same distance. We had a big match in Memphis on Monday night and it was Plowboy’s turn to drive. I had gotten up early in the morning to do some things knowing that I could relax while he drove us to Memphis. He called me with a sob story and asked me if I would drive if we took his car. After a lot of whining and begging he finally talked me into driving his car with the agreement that he would not sleep while I drove. He needed to stay awake and keep me awake because I knew I would get tired. So with that agreement made he picked me up at my home and away we went to Memphis with me driving his car.

On a good day, Plowboy could only stay awake about an hour before he started nodding off to sleep. I warned him that I was tired and that he better stay awake or he would be sorry. As I drove we had the stereo on and we were talking about everything and everyone. About an hour into the trip he started to nodding off and I would have to wake him, again and again. I suggested that we stop at a truck stop and get some coffee or a soft drink to stay awake. After we had our refreshments we continued our trip to Memphis. Well about another half hour into the trip he started to dozing off again, and this time I was getting mad, he was suppose to be keeping me awake and I had to keep him awake.

I finally gave up trying to keep him awake and I let him fall into a deep sleep, snoring and everything. I set the cruise control of his big Lincoln town car on 70 miles an hour and turned up the stereo and we were off on our way to Memphis. As I came over the top of a small hill I noticed a big truck, an 18-wheeler parked on the side of the road. The cab of the truck was being disconnected from the trailer. The trailer was left at the side of the road and a big wrecker was towing the cab or front of the truck.

Well about 4 or 5 miles down the interstate road, the tow truck passed me and he was towing the front part of the truck behind him and it was being towed backwards. So let me set the scene up for you…we are driving 70m.p.h. on an interstate highway going the same direction as the big wrecker in front of us that is towing the front part or cab of an 18 wheeler that is facing backwards at us. Well it only took a few minutes of following that truck to know what I was going to do to keep ol’ Plowboy awake for the remainder of the trip.

I got up very close to the cab of the truck being towed, I mean like 10-15 feet away, you could read the “Kenworth” sign on the radiator. Then I set my plan into action. I slammed on the brakes, locking up all 4 tires and then I screamed as loud as I could. When Plowboy woke up, all he heard were the tires squealing, me screaming and all he could see was the big truck’s radiator 10-15 feet in front of him and he was scared to death! He thought that we were going to have a head-on collision with a 18-wheeler. All he could say was, “We’re going to die, we’re going to die!” He grabbed the door handle of the passenger’s door and tried to jump out of the car (at 70 mph). I grabbed him and stopped him from jumping out of the moving car. Now for me, that’s quite an accomplishment. To stop a man who is 7 ft. tall and weighs 460 lbs. from jumping out of a moving car when he thinks he is going to die was no small task.

I started laughing so hard that I could not drive. I had to pull over to the side of the road to get my composure back. Plowboy looked at me and all he could say was “ You son of a bitch, you’re crazy!” and he just kept repeating it. Well needless to say, he was wide awake now and he was driving the rest of the way to Memphis. He told me to find a way back to Nashville after the matches because I could not ride with him.

We had a very good match that night and the house was packed. After we had showered, we were getting dressed into our street clothes to leave and he said, “Well neighbor…”, (plowboy called everyone neighbor), “you can ride home with me, but you can’t drive…you son of a bitch, you’re crazy!”

Plowboy’s “Boys in Blue”

In 1975, Plowboy (Tiny) Frazier and I were a tag team working for Dean Silverstone in the Washington State area. After a match in Seattle one evening, we needed to drive to Yakima. We had to make a live TV appearance the next morning and then a house show there that night.

When I was in the wrestling business, almost all the wrestlers had CB radios in their vehicle. On this night in particular, we were driving Plowboy’s Lincoln and the CB radio was not working very well. We arrived in Yakima about 2:30 a.m. and checked into our motel rooms. After only a few minutes the phone rang and it was Plowboy. He knew I liked working on mechanical and electrical items and he was wondering if I would look at his CB radio to see if I could get working properly. I went to his room and he gave me the keys to the car. He told me he would be out in a few minutes to help me.

Well there I was…3:30 a.m. in a motel parking with a flashlight looking under the dash at his CB radio. All of a sudden, a very forceful voice said, “Do not move.” When I looked up, my heart almost stopped beating because there on each side of Plowboy’s car were two of the biggest police officers I have ever seen with their guns drawn! The police officers dragged me out of the car and put me in handcuffs, frisked me, and made me sit on the cement in the parking lot. The police officers asked me what I was doing and I told them I was trying to repair Plowboy’s CB radio and that they could go to his room and that he would verify my story.

The police officers went to Plowboy’s room and knocked on his door. When he came to the door they asked him if he knew me. Plowboy looked over at me, hesitated, and then said, ” I have never seen this man before.” The police officers put me in the back of their car and started to take me to jail. When we left the motel parking lot, one of them started laughing and said, “Your partner is quite a joker, isn’t he?” Plowboy loved to play ribs (jokes) on people and he seemed to know everyone, everywhere he went. As it turned out, plowboy was very good friends with the police officers, and had called them to come over to the motel and to scare the hell out of me…and it worked!



A practical joke played by or on a wrestler.

Hello wrestling fans!

During the span of a long professional career, a wrestler gathers his fair share of experiences and fond memories. Although interesting and sometimes even downright funny, these great “road tales” may often go the wayside as they occur behind-the-scenes. In many an interview session with the press and TV, these stories have surfaced in casual conversation but never made it to the final print. It would seem a shame for a true fan of the sport of Professional Wrestling to be deprived of these great remembrances.

Here in this blog, I will share candid stories with you from my career as a Professional Wrestler. Experience what it was like to be on the road and get a glimpse of what happened after the matches and outside the ring. I welcome you all and hope you’ll enjoy these “wrestling ribs.”

“Wrestling Ribs” is the blog of former professional wrestler Duane Bailey a.k.a. Don Anderson. It is a nostalgic look at a wrestler’s life from behind-the-scenes. Read about wrestling high jinks and candid stories from the road, the ring, and life beyond the mat.