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   Thu, November 13, 2008



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Fear of birthdays
By PORTIA PEREZ -- SLAM! Wrestling
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Portia Perez at the recent Shimmer tapings. Photo by Wrestlin' Wally

I'm only now getting to the last column on my five-day Ultimate Championship Wrestling tour in July. The previous column, headlined "Sometimes thing just don’t go right" is very ironic, given my recent situation.

As I neared my 21st birthday in October, I was downright scared. My birthdays in recent years have included everything from being detained in foreign countries to being near the point of kidney failure. Not since my sixteenth birthday have I celebrated a birthday free of some sort of major life crisis, and while I have never considered myself to be superstitious, I was strongly considering some sort of survival strategy heading in to my birthday this year.

Funnily enough (if you think that sort of thing is funny), while I was concerned about what cruel fate may have been awaiting me in my match scheduled for October 24th, it turned out that it was my show the previous week, on October 19th, that I actually had to be worried about. After suffering a couple of kicks to the face over the course of my three matches of the day, I wound up at a local hospital, nursing a perforated eardrum and dislocated jaw, among other things.

So, as seems to now be the tradition for my birthday, my birthday plans were cancelled. Instead, my birthday consisted of a lot of pudding and ice cream, which actually turned out to be a pretty cool birthday anyways.

So without further delay -- as between my busy schedule and a several-week state of post-injury loopiness, it has taken an awfully long time to get this column written -- here is the third and final part of this three-part column.

* * *

While our trip from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island was filled with frantic phone calls amongst the promoters, business manager, and PEI-based sponsors, there was also great morale heading in to our two shows on the Island. With a PEI native, Mike Hughes, as one of the headliners of the tour, the shows promised to be both the best-sponsored and best-attended of the tour, and we were all excited for the attention the shows were drawing.

We first stopped in Charlottetown to visit several sponsors, including a trip to Harley Davidson to pick up a new motorcycle that was being lent to the company for the two shows in PEI. After visiting a seemingly endless list of sponsors, and with my arms full of much-appreciated free stuff -- including a cowboy hat -- we all headed over to Summerside for our first of two shows in PEI.

We arrived in Summerside to find that our ring crew had been held up by the ferry. As seemed very familiar during the tour, we frantically set up the ring, chairs, and audio equipment as quickly as possible, as fans were already lining up outside the door. The show that night went off fairly routinely, and despite not having as big of a crowd as our show the next night in Charlottetown, proved to be my favourite show of the tour.

We had a busy schedule in Charlottetown the next day, beginning with a photo shoot at several historical sites around the city. As I rarely get the chance to see much of the cities I visit unless I opt to extend my stay, I was happy to get the chance to see a few of the sites in Charlottetown.

After our photo shoot, we headed over to the local Boston Pizza for a lunch and meet and greet, as well as a radio spot. Our hopes of finding a gym began to dwindle as we waited several hours for everything to be put in place for the radio show, so we all decided to stick around for the now-somewhat-infamous publicity stunt, which was to be a Boston Pizza employee and Honky Tonk Man in something of a guitar duel live on the radio. As anyone who’s seen the video can see, it didn’t take long for the guitar swinging to go south, with a piece of wood shooting in to Honky Tonk Man’s hand, sending him to the hospital for stitches.

We headed to the venue somewhat disheartened, as obviously Honky Tonk Man was injured and unable to wrestle that night, and we were also unsure of how the incident, having aired on live radio, would affect the show’s attendance that night. As it turned out, that night’s attendance was far and away the best of the tour, possibly even doubling some of the turnouts in other towns. Despite having been in the hospital only a few hours prior, Honky Tonk Man made an appearance and worked as a manager that night, and our night in Charlottetown turned out to be the best overall show of the tour.

The next morning, we all headed over to Berwick, Nova Scotia, where the final show of the tour would be that night. After the four previous days of injuries, transportation issues, and other troubles, many of us jokingly wondered what the "big finish" would be on the final night of the tour. But there was more than a hint of legitimate worry going in to the show, as our roster was becoming scarce due to injuries and previous commitments that kept some of the wrestlers from working the entire tour.

As only one of the four headlining wrestlers was able to wrestle that night, the main event was made to be myself and Julian Young against 21st Century Fox and "Kowboy" Mike Hughes. For anyone keeping score, I had one of my first matches with 21st Century Fox in 2004, and had only wrestled her a few times since then until the UCW tour.

The mixed tag match we had that night proved to be even better than I had hoped, and despite the worries we all had following the previous four days, the show in Berwick allowed us all to end the tour on a high note.

On November 14th, I will be taking part in ALF’s mixed tag team tournament in Montreal, along with my tag team partner, Don Paysan. For more information, please visit www.flqalf.com.

PREVIOUS TWO RELATED COLUMNS

  • September 17, 2008: Sometimes things just don't go right
  • August 14, 2008: A bloody first show in Nova Scotia

    Portia Perez is a SLAM! Wrestling columnist. Check out her website at www.portiaperez.com. Her archived SLAM! Wrestling columns are here.

    For more about Portia, see our two previous stories on her:

  • Extensive traveling career highlight for Portia Perez
  • April 27, 2005: UWA teens aim to impress hometown