In 1966 while I was in the BC Canada area, wrestling about twice a week I worked as a bouncer in clubs on the weekends to make extra money. I met this young man that would become first known as half of the Hollywood Blondes and later became known as one of the Freebirds. I quickly became friends with Buddy Roberts. At the time he wasn't a wrestler, but was a 18 yr. old guy that wanted to wrestle.
With no ring to train properly, I trained Buddy by talking to him and visualizing matches in the car or wherever we were. One day, while we were in Vancouver Stanley Park walking among the trees discussing wrestling and demonstrating holds, I asked Buddy to give me an inverted backbreaker (thinking no one was around to see) - all of a sudden; this man comes out of the trees, he was a big baldheaded man with a handlebar mustache. This startled Buddy so much that when he brought me back down to my feet, it split the seat of my pants out.
The man just stared and said "its OK, its OK!" I'm Matt Burns, a professional wrestler". Buddy and I burst out laughing because what a coincidence, that a wrestler that we never met (before or after that incident) would come along at that time with that name.!! I still often wonder if he really was a professional wrestler. Buddy and I still laugh about it today!
I was in Allentown, PA. in 1983 for a TV taping for WWWF. After the matches, I went to the bar at my hotel and joined some other wrestlers . This was during a time when Russia had just (accidentally) shot down an American plane. This one particular guy in the bar was very upset about it and chose to (TRY TO ) take it out on me. After a couple of times of telling him to shut up, he came over to our table and approached the five of us, telling us (directing his comments toward me) how terrible the Russians are and that they should stay at home. This angered me so much that I jumped up and went for him... before I could grab him, one of the Samoans picked up a pencil from the table and stuck it right in his head!!
This rascal was so surprised and scared that he took off running with me behind chasing him through the parking lot, into the woods about a half a mile, screaming at him. Even though I was in the best shape of my life, I lost him and I figure he must have dived under some thick bush and laid real quiet. I returned to the bar and resumed the party.
I was booked to wrestle on a one month tour of Kuwait for WWF. Upon arriving at the airport in New York, the wrestlers had a great idea: bring along two duty free bottles of alcohol with us to the middle east (unaware at this time, that alcohol was not even allowed in the country). We were flying on a jumbo jet filled to capacity en route to Kuwait. As I sat back with a couple of cocktails waiting for the movie to begin, I realized that they were taking a long time in bringing my drinks so I complained to the stewardess and she told me that they had ran out of drinks. So I reached above my head and got my bottle of vodka and proceeded, over the next couple of hours, to drink my bottle of vodka.
Now I was feeling no pain as I walked around talking to everyone on the plane, even people that did not even speak English. I was talking to a couple of wrestlers: one from the Middle East who was speaking to one of the Japanese wrestlers that I knew well. My Japanese friend told to the Middle East wrestler he should leave; explaining that, because he may have to wrestle me in Kuwait, it wouldn't look good for business. The Middle East wrestler didn't leave, even after being told three times. So I "open hand" slapped him very hard, and as I turned to stagger away, he regained his composure and proceeded to leg dive me and then bit me on the neck as we continued to fight on the plane. Finally the other wrestlers put me in a seat and strapped the seat belt around me.
Each time I tried to get up and continue the fight they would tighten the seat belt more. I think I had a 20 inch waist at one point there. I don't remember much more because I was blacking out from the alcohol. I was told that when we landed in Jordan before our final destination, solders came on the plane with heavy artillery.
Thank God the wrestlers talked them out of arresting us!! I enjoyed the rest of the tour in Kuwait, probably because no alcohol was allowed in the country.
This is one of many stories that happened due to alcohol and drugs. I praise the Lord today that He gave me the strength to conquer these terrible addictions.
Around 1968 being crowned the "New" Canadian Heavyweight Champion in the Montreal Canada area was DANGEROUS!!... My tag team partner at this time was a great German wrestler "Hans Schmidt", a Russian and a German teamed up against the Rougeau Brothers, Johnny and Jacques, the local French-Canadian favorites in a predominately French speaking area. It all took place in the winter months at the Rimouski Quebec Hockey Arena. The Rougeaus were the Canadian Tag Team Champions in this two out of three fall match for the Heavyweight Championship.
Now you have to visualize this... a wrestling ring out in the middle of the ice arena on 4x8 plywood sheets and about 400 folding chairs set up around the ring with 8,000 screaming fans in the stands. Now these fans loved the Rougeaus and HATED us. We lost the first fall by disqualification by cheating. The people were very angry at us but was glad that their tag team won the first fall. In the second fall after about twenty minutes, the Rougeaus looked like they would win but we cheated behind the referee's back and got away with it.... or at least we thought we did. The people went CRAZY and filled the ring with chairs that they had been sitting in.
My partner Hans who was more experienced than I, picked up a chair and told me to do the same. We started blocking the flying chairs that were filling the ring quickly.
Hans hollered "Let's GO!!", taking our shields with us we jumped out of the ring and headed back to the dressing room. This was the LONGEST TRIP that I ever had... blocking chairs, all the way to the stairway at the middle of the arena, leading down to the dressing room. With a sigh of relief we made it with just a few bruises... or at least I thought we did. Just as I went through the door following Hans, I had to stop and look back.... BIG MISTAKE!! An airborne chair spinning like a top caught me in the face before I could slam the door. I was lucky though. I only had a torn nose and some bruises. I guess the moral of this story is.. "Don't start celebrating your victory until you're with FRIENDS" You might say that curiosity killed "The Bear".