December 11, 2005
Milwaukee show pays tribute to The Crusher
By BILL FERNOW - SLAM! Wrestling

MILWAUKEE -- Everyone, whether they're a wrestling fan or not, knows that The Crusher, who passed away in October, was "The Wrestler Who Made Milwaukee Famous." On Friday, wrestlers such as Al Snow, Traci Brooks, Buff Bagwell, and King Kong Bundy were on hand at a Crusher tribute show aptly named "The Bolo Brew-Ha Blizzard Brawl" to raise funds for Variety Children's Charity in honor of the late, great grappler.

Over a thousand fans braved the cold to see the card at the Milwaukee Ramada Convention Center, many of them coming from neighboring states such as Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota. Some intrepid fans even came from as far away as Georgia to attend. They were not disappointed, as the wrestlers put on a great show, which began after a ten-bell salute to The Crusher.

"When I broke into wrestling, there were characters like The Crusher, and the only place they fit in was the wrestling business," said Al Snow. "It's a shame today that no one one has the level of experience that guys like the Crusher had."

In the opening bout, Silas Young defeated Angel Armani in a "Loser Wears A Diaper Match." In this case, the diaper turned out to be soiled, but the match hardly stunk up the place, getting the crowd warmed up for the next match, pitting the tag team of "Metal Head" Steve Stone and Dinn T. Moore against Adam Evans and WWF Legend King Kong Bundy. Bundy, as huge and as dangerous as ever, had the crowd on their feet when he obliterated Moore with the Avalanche, resulting in a five-count pinfall.

WWE's Jerry "The King" Lawler, who had been slated to face Diamond Dallas Page, sent a video explaining that, while he was unable to attend, he had sent a surprise replacement, former WCW superstar Buff Bagwell, which stunned the capacity crowd. Bagwell proved a spirited opponent, but fell to Page's Diamond Cutter.

During intermission, Nick Bockwinkel signed autographs and Mad Dog Vachon told the audience how he lost four units of blood, and nearly his life, at the hands of The Crusher during their legendary feud in the AWA, during the 1960s.

In a ladies match to kick off the second half of the show, TNA's Traci Brooks got the win over O.D.B. Jessie Dalton, a rising star in women's wrestling. Afterward, "Grandmaster Sexay" Brian Christopher, teamed with mixed martial arts competitor Adrian Serrano to take on "Underwear Model" Eric Priest and "Love Machine" Matt Longtime. In a surprise turn, Christopher was pinned after Serrano, disgusted by his teammate's dancing in the ring, attacked him.

WWE's Al Snow, accompanied by Head, then wrestled Skullkrusher Rasche Brown, who was managed by Carmine DeSpirito. In the upset of the night, Skullkrusher pinned Snow, but only after feigning an injury after being hurled from the ring. When a concerned Snow joined officials at ringside to check on Skullkrusher, he fell victim to a sneak attack masterminded by the sleazy DeSpirito. The fans were outraged, but none more so than an 80 year-old grandmother seated in the front row with her family. She challenged DeSpirito and Skullkrusher, who wisely bid a hasty retreat to the safety of the dressing room.

A 20-man battle royal, which was won by Grand Master Sexay, ended the show. The departing fans once again braved cold temperatures, their hearts warmed by the knowledge that they had helped raise money for the children of Milwaukee in a tribute to the one, the only, The Crusher.

RELATED LINKS

  • Oct. 27, 2005: The Crusher: My superhero
  • Oct. 23, 2005: The Crusher dead at 79


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    Bill Fernow made the pilgrimage to honor the Crusher in Milwaukee from his Saint Paul, Minnesota home. His email address is bf1_603@hotmail.com.


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