It says it in print: I may have been my hometown’s biggest wrestling fan

I took a trip back in time thanks to an old buddy of mine who is a sports editor for some of the weekly newspapers here in Eastern Massachusetts, including for my hometown of Billerica.

fan

From the Billerica Minuteman

My mother, of all people, tore out a story by my friend, Doug Hastings, that appeared in the Billerica Minuteman. She hand delivered it to me last week and said, “Read this.”

The column was about a local wrestler named Flex Armstrong, and Doug wrote it from the perspective of a long-time fan still finding excitement in wrestling after watching Armstrong compete in a match recently in Rhode Island.

I know a lot of WWE fans who still keep tabs on the independent pro wrestling scene, which is pretty active these days in the Boston area. Lowell, Mass., which is just north of Billerica, has hosted Chaotic Wrestling shows for years.

My favorite line in Doug’s story was this gem:

As a kid, there weren’t many bigger wrestling fans than me, although Billerica’s very own Scott Wallask might have me beat, but not by much.

Well, Wallask is me, and I got a good laugh out such high praise.

I met Doug in 1984 at a summer camp just as the WWF was beginning its national expansion. We were both still in middle school, and he was the first kid I ever met who was a unabashed fan of the heels, with his favorite being Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Shit, he even named his dog Roddy.

Doug woke me up to the idea that yeah, a kid really could go every month to the WWF house shows at the old Boston Garden. I remember him telling me about the match results in Boston from any given Saturday night card in the summer and fall of 1984.

And now, more than 30 years later, here Doug was name-dropping me in a newspaper column. He and I actually worked in the same office for a couple of years during my own newspaper days, and we would continuously joke about 1980s wrestlers, such as Salvatore Bellomo and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff.

Doug’s column is a good read about an indie wrestler, and features my old pal’s subtle humor: “I still have a collection of VHS and Betamax video tapes loaded with WWF wrestling matches.”

 

 

 

 

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3 comments

  1. scottyballgame71

    How awesome! Doug and I were good buddies from Burlington and both traded tapes/matches back in the 80s. I actually went as far as renting a Betamax VCR to hook up to my VHS VCR so I could dub some of Doug’s vintage WWF stuff that I didn’t have. Can’t believe the two of us never crossed paths! I’m only a year younger than Doug but became good friends with his older brother John too as we both worked as camp counselors for the Burlington Recreation Department.

    I love how old pro wrestling stories and memories stay alive through current articles, blogs, and other media.

      • J.Cee

        This post is therapeutic for I don’t feel as self-conscious for dubbing VHS wrestling tapes from video stores far & wide (on a 2-head VCR). Was on a low-budget back then. I took out the best matches from Coliseum video and did an array of NWA tapes from Starcade 86 through 1989. Plus some AWA and whatever miscellaneous NWA tapes I could find at the flea market. I would watch them in a cycle according to territory–did it at least 3 times back then. I know I should burn them on DVD for posterity, but I look back on it sometimes and say, damn, I sure wasted a lot of brain cells on pro wrestling. I guess the answer to that dilemma is that we do it because we’re such fans of the sport.

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