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COMMENT





The Link isn't missing
After battling personal demons, mat legend Robertson is back in the ring
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun


The Missing Link

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  • It turns out Nick Bockwinkel, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Harley Race, Terry Funk and The Sheik weren't Dewey Robertson's toughest opponents. Nowhere near it. Overcoming the effects of too much booze, drugs and steroids has been much tougher. A destructive lifestyle nearly killed Robertson, one of wrestling's golden boys. In July of 1993, surgeons removed one of his kidneys, destroyed, he says, by his prolonged use of marijuana.

    But three aborted suicide attempts later, Robertson believes he has found a new path to follow ... one that has put the former main-eventer in a much clearer frame of mind.

    Now 65, Robertson has moved 55 times, but has settled down in Hamilton.

    He still wrestles on occasion, scheduled to appear in the free Sept. 18 show at the Galleria Mall (Dufferin St. and Dupont St.), at 1 p.m. The show, also featuring local stars like Kris Chambers, Flesh Gordon, Marco Malaquias and Bloody Bill Skullion, will also feature a big-name mystery talent.

    In the past, The Honkytonk Man, Hacksaw Duggan, Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake have appeared.

    It's a warmup for that evening's awesome Titans in Toronto dinner in Mississauga at the Fairfield Inn and Suites Marriott.

    Robertson has been working on a book, hoping to land a publisher. The contents, he promises, will be dynamic. Piecing together the book has taken a lot of the stress away, he says.

    "I was a very unpleasant person ... unhappy with myself," he says. "I am now smiling.

    "I got into wrestling at 22. I got into a situation in the 1980s where everybody was doing marijuana. And I became a practising drunk. In 1991, I stopped.

    "The alcohol went away, but the marijuana kept coming back. My toughest match is recovery.

    "I've finally got my body back at 65. I wonder how this has come back to me. I'm still diving off the top rope."

    For many years, Robertson was an icon in Toronto. An icon that was never given a major championship, perhaps because his life was becoming so twisted.

    "I always wanted to be the world champion," he says. "But because they felt I wasn't a good speaker ... or maybe it was the alcohol or marijuana ... I never got the chance. But I've wrestled a lot of former champions."

    After a long singles stint, he would team with Billy Red Lyons as The Crusaders.

    After his Canadian success, Robertson headed to the U.S. and changed his style radically, shaving his head and gradually morphing into The Missing Link in 1984.

    "I started doing this wild stuff," says Robertson. "I jumped around in the ring like Mad Dog Vachon ... I grew a moustache like Ox Baker and I put green paint on my face, with blue around my eyes. That was the final piece of the character for me."

    But he's trying to put that behind him.

    "I'm not The Missing Link anymore," he says. "I'm not missing. My new persona is The Link. I'm on a new path ... one that has changed my life, through Ted DiBiase."

    Yes, Robertson has found The Lord -- a good ally to have when you've got to put a headlock on so many demons in life.

    RELATED LINKS

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    - Here's the card for tonight's Unforgiven pay-per-view: Randy Orton vs. Triple H; Shawn Michaels vs. Kane; Chris Jericho vs. Christian (ladder match for the intercontinental title); La Resistance vs. Rhyno and Tajiri; Chris Benoit and William Regal vs. Ric Flair and Batista; and Trish Stratus vs. Victoria.

    - Did Kane really call Lita "Precious" on RAW. He's sounding and looking more and more like Gollum every day.

    - It was more than a little surprising that Michaels did not appear an RAW. Just seems like it would have made good sense for him to show up.