Special Guest Trouble Shooting Referee
High Times

After a difference of Opinion in the ring in Hartford Connecticut, Adorable Adrian Adonis was pissed. As he came down the ramp and under the bleachers I could hear him cursing. He was going to settle their differences right now. Adorable Adrian stomped past his door and continued down the hallway to Danny Spivey's dressing room.

Dressing room fights seldom occur in Pro Wrestling or other major sports. The guys are professional and almost always leave their feeling in the ring or on the playing field. When dressing room fights do occur, they are usually short and sometimes nasty. There is an unwritten rule in wrestling that if a fight occurs, don't break it up until someone has the advantage, the theory being, if nothing is settled, tempers will flair again and there will be more trouble. There is another theory too, we are all in the same business trying to make a living for our families and fighting among us is non productive.

I followed Adrian to the opposite dressing room in hopes a disaster wouldn't happen.

***
Adrain (Kieth Franks) was a tough kid when he was in the Amarillo Territory. He came in with the hardest  gimmick in wrestling, "Beat the Champ." It was a straight offer to anyone in the house, a thousand dollars to anyone who could beat Adrian in ten minutes, not cash, silver dollars, in a bank sack.

The challenge was up every night. In effect, every night Adrian was beating up one of the fans. His heat was building and we were doing capacity business.

Adrian was a good wrestler and a tough street fighter. (A hard combination to beat) Each night, the challenger selected was asked to sign a release, then stepped in the ring with Adrian. His standard match consisted of some good wrestling by Adrian until the challenger had a sense that this wasn't going to be too tough, then from out of the blue Adrian would cut loose with a hay maker, a straight fist or elbow smash to the face and from that point the fight was over. With the challenger in a daze, Adrian would win with a leg drop, elbow drop, or drop-kick, not normally devastating moves, but the challenger usually wanted out of the ring by this time.

I watched as Adrian went through at least fifteen challenges for the thousand dollars. Taking on anyone in the house is a tough thing to do. Adrain gained respect among the wrestlers and added to his heat and drawing power.

One Thursday night in Amarillo at the old Sports Arena Adrian's challenger signed the release and stepped into the ring and peeled his shirt off. He was cut, and weighed about 190 pounds. The first thing I noticed, this kid was no mark. I didn't know where he got them but he was wearing, "real wrestling shoes."

Adrian as always took his time, feeling his opponent out. Sure enough, Adrain could out wrestle the kid. He slipped behind almost at will and took him to the mat. Each time the kid would move immediately to the ropes and the referee would break the hold. On about the third time when the kid went to the ropes, Adrain slid to the floor. The kid was on his back. As the referee called for the break. Adrian cut loose with a blind side punch to the chin. As soon as the punch landed, the kid was on the floor looking Adrain right in the eye. The rules had been broken and now this kid was free to fight like he had been trained, a Golden Gloves Texas State Champion. The damnedest bare fist fight you ever saw in your life erupted. They fought right through the fans to the back row of ringside. The match was counted out and the two fighters were separated.

The return match the next Thursday night in Amarillo sold out. Adrian Adonis vs Terry Danials, Special Referee, Dick Murdoch. There is another unwritten rule in Pro-wresting, "Never let a mark get the best of a wrestler." Referee, Dick Murdoch laid down the smack and let both men know he would stand for no bare fist punching. Adrain being a good wrestler won the match.

That was the end of the, "Thousand Dollar Challenge." Adrain came out of it fine and his drawing power remained throughout the rest of his stay in the Amarillo Territory and so did his pride and respect among the boys.

***

Adorable Adrain Adonis busted the door down to the, "Good Guys Dressing Room," in Hartford Connecticut. The front room was empty. Adrian busted through to the back room. Dan Spivey rose to his feet to protect himself. Adrain said, "C'mon Spivey, let's see how tough you are." It happened in a split second. There was no chance to break it up. Adrain took the wrestler's position and lunged forward for Spivey's legs. Spivey who is six feet six and has an ungodly reach caught Adrian with a vicious left to his left eye and cheekbone. It splattered like a watermelon and blood went everywhere. Spivey came with one more right to the face and the fight was over before anyone could break it up.

In a mere three seconds a reputation was gone, an ego busted, over a fight that neither one in their right mind would have wanted to happen.

E-mail Dory Funk Jr.