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WRESTLING REALLY NO DIFFERENT THAN HIGH SCHOOL
â€“ Bo Oates
November 1, 2008
It is very rare these days that I actually speak to anyone in the wrestling business. In 2005, I became pretty disgusted with all the lying,
backstabbing, and nonsense from alleged professionals and adults as the booker for Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW).
Apparently anything wrong there was all my fault. But I have not seen a skating rink or anyone promoting in the old Burnham building
pack the place like we used to. "We" being the operative word there because we were a team. There was no one in the back to my
knowledge that wanted to be Vince McMahon or the star of the show.
I returned to wrestling briefly in 2007 and worked some dates for various groups as a wrestler, manager, referee, and commissioner,
most notably GCW - by then known as Great Championship Wrestling. Mrs. Diane Hewes was very good to me during my time there and
I appreciated her having me back, if only to visit and see some "old friends" (as Bobby Simmons sings). Again, I soured on this
business, as I saw egos the size of McMahon from people that couldn't get work anywhere else. I was actually glad to move on again
when I begged to put Scrappy McGowan over so I could exit away forever.
When I was with the original GCW in Columbus, we had camaraderie and an atmosphere that was special. As a coach, it was the kind
of locker room I want for my players. Everything was for the TEAM. My old coaching mentor used to always say "There is no I in team."
While that is true, apparently, some people on both sides of the river figured out there is a "ME" in TEAM.
The camaraderie we had all changed when employee after employee left under negative and controversial circumstances. I do not say
all this to put myself over. My character flaws are too many to count. But David Young once said that I "never lied to any of the boys". And I
am proud of that.
Looking back, the spoofs and ribs Dan Masters and I cooked up on Wrestle Jam, while actually pretty funny and entertaining (and I was
even told later by the GCW owners that they thought it was a "hoot.") amounted to nothing more than sophomoric antics. Sadly, it was all
a personal vendetta much like you'd expect from a high school girl who posts about their nemesis on myspace or facebook! But it pales
in comparison to the drama that has unfolded most recently on the Columbus/Phenix City wrestling front.
There are two sides to every story. That is the first thing you always hear when there is some type of controversy. What has gone on in
Columbus and Phenix City is sad and disgusting. When I see guys I consider friends in the business and consummate professionals
like the aforementioned Young, Bull Buchanan and Chris Stevens, hopping from one place to another, I know that something is awry.
These three have always been professionals and some of those clowns they have had to carry on both sides of the river couldn't carry
their jock straps. The same goes for A.J. Steele, who I think has never received the break he deserves.
It appears to me that a lack of integrity is somewhere in this story. And I am disappointed to see that at least one person I had some
respect for sink to the lows of his former tag team partner as a snake in the grass when it comes to the business that I once loved. I
wonder if his latest sidekick will still be leading prayers in the dressing room before the matches.
Do not get me wrong, I don't know the whole story, nor do I care but my phone was blowing up with people wanting my take, so now you
have it. As an assistant principal who deals with discipline all day, I can honestly say that wrestling dressing rooms are no different than
high school hallways. Drama! Drama! And more drama! I am sure if I were in charge of discipline in either of those dressing rooms in
the Bi-City, I'd be having to call mamas and daddies or send 'em packing. Paul Jones and Fred Ward aren't coming back and there is
only one Vince McMahon. In short folks, it's time for a reality check!