Guest Columnists

The Moondog Howls
by Ed "Moondog" Moretti

For the last three years or so, I've been riding to independent shows with Mike Rodgers.  He's been getting booked as a referee.  The last time we were in Tacoma for Dave Dobashi, Mike said, "You know, Ed.  I've always wanted to wrestle, but I've always been kind of afraid to because I'm not sure how good I'd be.  I've always wanted to try, though, because it's been a life-long dream."  So he said, "Tonight there's a battle royal for the main event, so I think I'm going to do it tonight."  I said, "Okay, are you sure you want to?"  He says, "Yeah.  I think I'm gonna do it."

I didn't say too much about it on the way up.  I was driving and Buddy Rose was riding with me.  We just kind of talked our usual stuff ... lies, ribs, and everything else.  We just have a good time on the whole trip.

It comes time for the battle royal and Mike's been refereeing all night.  All the wrestlers get in the ring and ... now, a lot of these guys that wrestle for this promotion are pretty green, so they start fighting right away.  They don't wait for the bell or anything.  All hell starts breaking loose, so I tried to back out of the way so I didn't get a stray foot in the face.  These guys are wild.  They fly all over the ring ... even in battle royals, which is a no-no.

All of a sudden, I see Mike look at me ... then he tears off his referee shirt.  It was really good.  There should have been a spotlight on him.  It was just so dramatic.  He tears off his shirt and throws it to the timekeeper. Then he approached me, because I had always told him ... "If we're ever in a situation like that and you feel uncomfortable, come to me and I'll look after you a little bit."  So he came right over to me and ... that's when it turned ugly.  He started emitting this horrible, guttural, primordial, caveman type of growl.  The next thing I know, he has me backed into the turnbuckle and he's hitting me with these forearms.  Ba-boom!  Ba-boom!  They were so fast.  I didn't have time to get out of the way or react or anything.  And that horrible scream sent chills down my spine.  It was like he rose out of the tar pits or something.  I finally got away from him and went to the other side of the ring, trying to hide.  He tied up with a few other people.

Later on in the match, I got ahold of him again and he had calmed down a bit.  It was only about two minutes, but it seemed like forever.  Finally, I threw his head into the turnbuckle .. But Mike didn't know how to take a turnbuckle properly, so he put his hands up and hit his hands.  I said, "No, no, Mike.  That's not how you do it."  I showed him the proper way to hit the turnbuckle.  Originally, I think I was supposed to eliminate him, or at least be eliminated at the same time ... but it didn't work out that way.  Somebody threw me out against my will.  Mike was looking for somebody to pin him, I guess, because they were allowing pins, submissions, or over the top rope.  You might call it unorganized mayhem or a match of disorder.  It was quite an experience and I'll never forget that scream.  Mike's such an unassuming guy ... kind of just real quiet and laid back, then there's this primal scream.  He was real tired when it was over, so I think he had a whole new appreciation for what it was all about.

My biggest thrill (at the Seattle Wrestlers Reunion) was meeting Dr. Ken Ramey.  He was somebody that I could really identify with.  You know ... I used to really hate that guy.  What a brain he had.  That's where I got the line "You're a little juvenile delinquent," because he called me that one night at the Cow Palace when I was still just a fan.  I said, "Ramey, I hope you get killed.  If you come out here, I'll stomp you myself."  This and that.  He says, "You're just a little juvenile delinquent."  It was just great.  I thought I was smart ... until Dr. Ramey would come out with either the Interns or Paul DeMarco ... and I would just lose it.

The reunion was just great.  I mean, whether someone had heat with someone else or not, that's all past.  It was an honor for me to be there with those guys.  I felt like I didn't even deserve to be in their company.  You see, I was a little fat kid and I didn't have a lot of friends.  Every one of those wrestlers, to me, was my friend.  That's probably what kept me from doing drugs or going off the deep end.  I had wrestling!  Those guys entertained me and I could go home smiling.  I looked forward to it so much.  What I had to say at the reunion was just my way of saying thanks to them.

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