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Showing posts from January, 2012

Flashback continued: Hosting Teen Pro Wrestling

After the Midget Mania venture met with some success, Phil Watson turned his attention back to Teen Pro Wrestling. He set up shop in Picton, Ontario and recruited some trainees. They set up in a cold cottage living commune-style, with the ring installed in the warehouse of a carpet dealer. The boys would spend their days training in the ring and hustling tickets by telephone. Evenings were spent watching traded copies of Japanese matches, which featured a fast-paced high-spot style not being performed in North America at the time.

The live-in trainees included "Bloody" Bill Skullion, who was probably beyond his actual teenage years by that point. A skinny kid named Dennis Stewart was there, training to become Buford T Butterworth. He was tremendously enthusiastic and seemed naturally gifted. Some years later, Dennis would eventually gain an astonishing amount of muscle and would go on to great success on the Ontario independent wrestling scene as Danger Boy Derek Wylde. Also…

Flashback: Hosting Midget Mania

Yes, more midget wrestling.

It's early 1992. Phil Watson, aka Whipper Watson Junior, has come off a heart attack and put together an ambitious plan to tour an all-midget professional wrestling show with Teen Pro Wrestling as an added attraction.

Me, I'm in my last year of high school and a dedicated volunteer at the local Rogers Cable community television station. Between us, we arrange to have the debut performance of Midget Mania taped for TV.

The setting is the Village Inn in Bradford, Ontario. It's a bar. It's ... it's not a nice bar. The ring barely fits. The crowd is intoxicated. But they're into the action.

I'm calling the matches by myself, and it's the first time I'm hosting a TV program. In hindsight, it's not great. It could be worse.

There are five videos here, but I'll embed just the first one. You can find the rest on my youtube channel.

In this show, you'll see the biggest midget wrestling stars of the day, including:


Flashback: Refereeing midget wrestling

Back in my teens, I got involved with a fledgling professional wrestling outfit started by Phil Watson, aka Whipper Watson Junior, aka the son of Canadian pro wrestling legend Whipper Billy Watson.

In an era when Family Ties and The Cosby Show were topping the TV ratings with casts of teenagers, Phil figured there was money to be made promoting teenagers wrestling teenagers. He called the promotion Teen Pro Wrestling. It would feature faster action than was being showcased in the WWF, which was itself in a major slump heading into the Uncle Sam vs Vince McMahon steroid trials.

I did some training. Frankly, I wasn't very good. I've never been an athlete, I wasn't good at taking bumps, and Phil never actually "smartened us up" to the business. If I knew then what I know about the wrestling business now, I'd have done much better. But now I'm 38 years old and when I take bumps, it's an accident.

Teen Pro Wrestling didn't take off like Phil figured, e…