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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, either. After a heart attack and goodness knows what else, he tried promoting an all-midget wrestling show called Midget Mania. I did solo play-by-play on the first TV taping -- I may post that on YouTube soon. He also did a tour in the summer of 1992.

So, here's me refereeing the opening match of the August 15, 1992 show in Bracebridge, Ontario. You can't see it from the camera angle, but the stands were absolutely packed. I don't know why ringside was empty, but the bleachers in the arena were full.

Teen Pro Wrestling eventually made an attempt at promoting a string of shows. There were three or four TV tapings, and the action was way ahead of its time. A few stars even emerged from the roster, most famously a guy named Scott. No, not me. Not famous for wrestling, anyway. He was Scott Taylor, better known as Scotty 2 Hotty of the WWF.

Last I heard about Phil, he was living in the Picton, Ontario area, still promoting midgets, or as they're known now, "little people." You may have heard of the Canadian Half-Pints -- kind of like the Harlem Globetrotters, only they're dwarves. Dwarfs. Spell-check says dwarfs.


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