IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: I Did The Worm With Jim Duggan
By Al Laiman
Mar 16, 2013 - 8:27:45 PM
credit Tom Jenner
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My friends, I am sorry I was not able to write a second column this week. I want to thank all of you who wished my mother well, but it hasn't been good. She had to have another major surgery because of an obstruction, and I just got back from the hospital again. She's been in there a week now, and it's been really hard to deal with. She's only 50, so seeing her go through this is difficult. Because I didn't want to disappoint you, and because I needed a reason to cheer up, I'm posting a happy column I wrote about a year ago. I'm fortunate enough to have amassed a tremendous gain in readership since the time that I wrote this, and thought you guys would like to see it, either for the first time or again. I hope it makes you smile like it does for me. Thank you again for all of you who have sent your support. Enjoy.
IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: I Did The Worm With Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Your complimentary Easter Ham comes along with your neighborhood friendly Al Laiman, bringing you several anecdotes involving wrestling throughout the years. Enjoy the holiday and the family, and I'll enjoy the day off to catch up on homework.
-Bryan Danielson once a threw a pickle at a friend of mine.
My friend Chris was with him, and they were hanging out with some of the ROH guys after a show, getting some autographs. The one who was not Chris asked Austin Aries to sign a DVD. Danielson offers to sign it as well, and this guy calls him a douchebag. Bryan Danielson threw a pickle at him for that.
Lesson: You do not call Dragon a douchebag.
-AJ Styles will hurt you if you take a picture of him while he's oiling himself up.
Hanging out in the locker room with AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Chris Sabin, we got to watch two of the best in the business prepare for their matches. AJ Styles uses a lot of oil before he is ready, and Chris made a joke about grabbing a picture of him while he was doing that. Chris was threatened for doing so, and did not take the Georgia high-flyer lightly.
Lesson: Chris Jericho stole AJ Styles' oil.
-That same evening, Chris and Chris Sabin had to drive somewhere to get a cowbell for the show that night because nobody bought a ring bell.
After I got there, we ended up giving Sabin a ride to his hotel in Baltimore, where he recorded my outgoing voicemail message for me. Christopher Daniels recorded a ringtone for me as well, but this was 2006 and that cell phone unfortunately no longer exists.
Lesson: The Blue Oyster Cult hails Sabin.
-Chris and I were once really drunk hanging out with six or seven wrestlers after a show. This was about three months before my first match. John McChesney, who fought in a brilliant series of matches with Low-ki, decides to demonstrate what it's like to be chopped by Low-ki. Twice.
I had red marks on my chest for a week.
Lesson: Low-ki will hit you... Hard.
-Danny Doring once got a water bottle thrown at him while making his exit from an indy show.
He promptly returned to the ring and cut a shoot promo about how he came to that show to entertain the fans, and to be disrespected like that was incredibly out of line. The promo ended up being so awesome that he easily got the biggest ovation of the night when it was done.
He also hung out with us for a while. Very nice guy.
Lesson: If you act like an asshat at a wrestling show, you can turn a heel face by being an even bigger douchebag.
-While coming into town the night before a show on which we were wrestling, two other wrestlers and I were trying to find the venue before we found a hotel near it.
What the driver didn't notice was that we were entering a town where the speed limit was 25 miles an hour, and he was still doing 50. A police officer pulled us over on the very street where the building at which we'd be wrestling was.
He asked us what we were doing in that particular town, and we said we were wrestlers trying to find a hotel. The tone of the officer changed immediately to favorable, and he asked us our character names and what was going on in the show.
He then told us that because we were wrestlers, he was going to let us off without even a warning, and that he would see us at the show tomorrow night. Of all people to pull us over, we were lucky enough to get the mark cop!
Lesson: Never assume that someone else doesn't like professional wrestling. Sometimes, it will benefit you.
-In 2007, Chris and I were doing a silly little internet show. Keep in mind, this was long before I was doing a weekly commercial show, and before I had any real video editing skills. We were invited to participate in a wrestlers vs. firefighters softball game at an annual event called the Basebrawl.
The beer truck showed up at ten in the morning and served pints for a dollar. On our team, among others, was our friend, the late "Sweet and Sour" Larry Sweeney, who later gave us an interview. Also in this video, Delirious cut a promo for us, followed by Chris doing his best Delirious impression. Delirious then, in Delirious-mode, coached Chris on how to do a Delirious impression. No matter how many episodes of my own show I will ever film, I will NEVER make anything that funny!
Lesson: Never take any time for granted you spend with friends. You never know when you may lose them.
-My sister met WWE writer Ed Koskey at a party one night in February 2008. He gave her three tickets to the following night's ECW/Smackdown show in Reading. He said he would have them for us at the ticket office, and that he would take us backstage.
We got there, and there was nothing. We tried calling Ed, and nothing. We waited for an hour and a half and finally decided to give up and head back home. Koskey finally called us when we were about a half hour out and assured us they'd be there if we came back.
During the show, Koskey came up to us and said that the backstage area was too small to take us back, and that Vince was in a really bad mood that day. On chance, I offered my shirt of doom, signed by over 50 wrestlers, and asked if he could get Kane to sign it for me.
Koskey comes back about fifteen minutes later, and says that in addition to Kane signing it, the tag team champions at the time, future WWE champion The Miz and John Morrison thought the shirt was cool and wanted to sign it. And he said this verbatim: "Oh, and Ric Flair signed it too. Is that okay?"
Lesson: It is ALWAYS okay when Ric Flair signs something for you. You'll remember that long after you've forgotten the results of the show you went to see.
-And finally, the namesake of this column...
In 2002, I attended my very first indy show, and of course it was with Chris. Hacksaw Jim Duggan was the main name signed for the event. Therefore, the entire ride up was filled with random "haoo there, tough guy!" jokes. Duggan ended up being one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, and talked with both of us on end for quite a while. Other stars at future events for that promotion, such as Al Snow, were not so conversational.
One of the tag teams called Beauty and the Beast came out to Hanson's "Mmmbop", and while celebrating with Hacksaw and preparing for their six-man tag later that evening, they danced to the song in the ring and called fans in to join them. I was one of the ones at whom Hacksaw pointed, and since I don't really know how to dance, I did the one thing I thought I could do... The Worm.
The commentator called it like I was doing the actual move, and it got a small pop from the crowd. Therefore, it enabled me one day to write a column called "I Did The Worm With Hacksaw Jim Duggan."
Lesson: Stupid things you do in your youth often make for great hammy stories, especially if you're fortunate enough to have a public forum where many people can enjoy them with you.
I basically wrote this column to share some of my favorite stories, and to say thank you to everyone who has supported this column, for a day, since its promotion to the main page, or since its inception back on the forums. Some of them back there have already heard these stories, but some of them bear repeating for a much larger audience here.
In four days, it'll be a year since we lost our friend. I have a "12 Large Brother" tattoo on my arm to commemorate it. It will always be harder on Chris than it was on me, and I owe most of my wrestling experience to him. Without him, I never would've gone to an indy show, fell in love with the business all over again, and saw an opportunity to pursue it, have several professional wrestling matches, and then be able to write about them in a forum, where people liked it enough to send me here to this page, publish them in a book, and share them with you.
Lesson: Be grateful for your true friends who have always been there for you. Be grateful for your wrestling brethren who share the common interest of this silly little industry of ours. And be glad there are places where we can go to indulge in that business, whether or not we have nice things to say about it.
Enjoy your holiday. See you all Monday.
And here's the five-year-old video mentioned above. Because I knew you'd ask.
IN CASE YOU MISSED JADED HOPE #103