My 1st WWE Booking

Posted: July 13, 2012 in Wrestling
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I took a trip down memory lane, this morning. Not just any trip. A trip that I really hold near & dear to my heart. Honestly, this memory was the turning point of my sports entertainment career.

As I was driving around in the Raleigh/Frayser area, on business, I passed by a small, Memphis bar by the name of Mugs. It’s still a little humerus to me that I have a fond, career & life-changing memory associated with such a shack of a place. But hey, sometimes life can have a sense of humor all of its own.

Nevertheless, this wasn’t just any old, everyday, hole-in-the-wall bar. Oh no. This bar housed an epic scene with two of the absolute greatest professional wrestlers of our time.
Or shall I say, they were two of the greatest professional wrestlers of anytime.

I was eighteen years old & brand new to the wrestling business. I had enjoyed a couple of years exposure on Memphis Wrestling but was nowhere near ready to compete or perform on a national stage. I was at my “real job” when my cell phone rang. It was a booking for WWE Monday Night RAW! And the kicker – they needed me there within a few hours for shooting!

Oh boy. I’m freaking out! I immediately said yes, without hesitation. I didn’t care how I was going to get off work for this opportunity of a lifetime. I’d worry about that later. All I knew was that I had to be there. And I made it.

I can not tell you how many jobs, relationships, dollars, time or effort I have stressed or loss because of the business I love. But if I hadn’t made that booking, I can’t be sure that my outcome of accomplishments would have been the same today.

I arrived early at The Pyramid in downtown Memphis, TN. Not much was going on, as creative were still in their production meeting. I was nearly ribbed (pranked) into interrupting that meeting to announce my arrival… But I had been in the business long enough to know better.

Once given the direction, I followed what I still regard as the largest police escort that I have ever seen in person. It was all for The Chairman of the WWE, Vincent Kennedy McMahon. “Seriously?”, I thought to myself & told my buddies. I was literally a part of Vince McMahon’s police escort to a bar called Mugs.

Upon arrival, I was shocked to see what type of establishment it was. Bra & panties hung on the walls, pool tables filled the area, as well as the bar & a karaoke machine. Lined up alongside that bar stood Mr. McMahon, Steve Austin, Eddie Guerrerro & Debra McMichael (Austin’s wife, at the time).

Holy smokes.

We sat at a nearby table & were informed that we would sing along with Austin, before being thrown around in a bar fight by he & Eddie.

“Margaritaville” holds a dear spot in my heart now & forever, simply because that’s the song I sang along with Austin. Afterward, Austin asked what I did for a living. I answered, “I make signs…”

It was the perfect set-up for the multiple time World Champion. He replied, “I’ve got a sign for ya!” and flipped a birdie right in my face!

To make a long story short, Eddie busted a beer bottle over Austin’s head & left the scene. We never took any bumps. Just sang, received a verbal lashing & drank beer with Austin 3:16.

This was a very surreal experience, to say the least. When the night was over & I sat in my car before heading home, I remember having a come-to-life moment.

I reflected back to earlier in the evening when I had shaken Eddie Guerrerro’s hand before leaving. His arms were massive. He was no taller than me, but there was clearly a difference in the animals we were. He was larger than life. Superhuman. As we shook, he said, “That was the easiest $500 you’ve ever made” with a laugh.

I knew right then & there that a new commitment had to be made. I had to grow up. I had to work hard. I had to build a better me, physically. At that exact point, I remember telling myself that if I was ever going to make it, I had to work harder than anyone else.

And I did.

I have several memories where I can remember it being a brand new starting point for a particular chapter in my life. For a young, aspiring sports entertainer – that was one of those moments.

  1. Jim says:

    Good stuff Dustin

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