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How to Keep the Fans
From Controlling Your Match

By Frank Dusek

Wrestling fans are, as a lot, pretty well trained fans. They've been conditioned for half a century that if they try long enough, they can get a response from most wrestlers.

Some wrestlers like Luke Graham and Rip Hawk used this to their advantage. Graham would plead with the people not to call him "Crazy Luke," which of course they did to spite him. For Rip the chant was "Chicken Hawk."

A name popped up in postings the other day on the Wrestling Classics Message Board that reminded me of the only town I ever wrestled in where the fans controlled the action in the ring.

I don't know how, but the fans in Vancouver, BC in 1979 had discovered that the second the guys in the ring finished a high spot and settled into a hold, all they had to do was to start chanting "Booooorrrrriiiiinnnnnggggg" (like baseball fans used to do to Daryl Strawberry). Because most of the wrestlers were inexperienced, they would think that their match wasn't going well & would panic. They would immediately jump up & go into some sort of ill-advised high spot. The result was that 6-minutes into the match they were completely blown up (tired).

I was wrestling a fellow by the name of Goldie Richards.He was a smaller guy with blonde hair who looked just like Charlie Manson. We started our match off hot with a high spot then settled in until the time was right for the next spot

No sooner had I grabbed a hold than the chant started, "Booooorrrrriiiiinnnnnggggg." Goldie immediately started struggling to get to his feet.

With all my might I held on & pulled him back down on to the canvas. "That's not boring," I told Goldie, "this is Boring."

For the next fifteen minutes I did my best Johnny Valentine imitation. We spent five or so minutes working a series of "near pins" using wrestling holds.

Finally the chants stopped as the fans started loosing interest. That's when I had Goldie make an attempt to get to his feet. All the fans returned to the edges of their seats.

We sat back down.

Over the next ten minutes we blended a few high spots in with a series of near pins that kept the fans coming back to watch

When Goldie finally made his comeback, the place erupted. The fans were on their feet cheering like mad for the Canadian boy. In fact, it went so well that I changed the finish in the ring and put Goldie over.

That night reinforced a lesson that veterans like Angelo Mosca, Ole Anderson and Ivan Koloff had been telling me since my first day in tights. As a wrestler in the ring, YOU"RE what the fans paid to see. That means that YOU are in charge of the action, not the fans!

Frank Dusek is a second-generation wrestler from one of the most famous wrestling families ever. He had a solid career as a wrestler and later managed several wrestlers to major titles. He also spent time as a broadcaster, promoter and matchmaker. His first memories of the wrestling business are selling programs for his father when he was 4 years old.

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1999 Content: Frank Dusek, Mark Nulty
1999 Design: Jan Herod
Advanced Programming and Web Editing: Dave and Kim Kandz