A while back, I wrote a post tying the release of WWE’s Rise and Fall of WCW DVD with some of my experiences surrounding the WCW New Blood Rising pay-per-view. The release of the DVD and the date of the PPV event are very close, albeit years separated.
This time around, with today being WWE’s annual SummerSlam event, I wanted to take you back to a fond memory spurred by my father’s recent birthday (August 18th).
SummerSlam has always been one of my favorite annual events, going all the way back to the inaugural show in 1988 from Madison Square Garden. Back then, pay-per-view was not widely available in Canada (and wouldn’t be for several more years), so I had to wait until the VHS tape was released to see the event.
In 1989, the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, BC hosted a live closed-circuit broadcast of the second SummerSlam event, which boasted a main event of Hulk Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake versus Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Zeus (actor Tiny Lister of Friday fame reprising his role from the Hulk Hogan movie No Holds Barred).
You can imagine a young boys excitement when my father decided to get tickets and take me to the closed-circuit viewing…my first live PPV event.
The Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver is interchangeably known as the PNE Coliseum, and it resides on the grounds of the annual PNE event, the Pacific National Exhibition. The PNE features roller coasters, carnival, livestock shows, concerts, you name it. It’s kind of like a ramped-up county fair. Unfortunately for my father and I, SummerSlam came right smack-dab in the middle of the PNE, making parking a nightmare. Scratch that, it wasn’t a nightmare, it was impossible.
Every parking lot on the grounds was full. Adjacent parking lots were full as well. I’m not sure what we did, but I think we may have just paid a local resident to park in their driveway (that used to be common in the area before the city put the ixnay on it). We finally got the car parked what seemed like a million miles away from the area and began to race there on foot, knowing the event was already starting.
We very quickly realized that we would have to pretty much walk around the entire perimeter of the PNE grounds to get to an open gate that would let us in. Everything was fenced off due to the fair to keep both vehicle and foot traffic under control. Then my dad came up with the idea of scaling a chain link fence to get into the grounds in order to get to the arena faster. Now, I will have to be careful how I word this … My father is a larger man. I was silently afraid that he might a.) not be able to scale the high fence, or b.) embarrass himself, thereby embarrassing me.
It was really quite silly to be so concerned. In his younger years, my father was quite an athlete, excelling at both soccer and judo. Of course, he made it over the fence with no problems, and encouraged me to do the same, which I did.
This is where the story gets good…
There was a couple behind us watching us do this. A guy and his girlfriend, I presume. It just so happened that they were also heading to the arena to watch SummerSlam. They quickly realized we were onto something by scaling the fence, and proceeded to follow us. The girl made it over fine. The guy? Well, he didn’t fare quite so well.
The problem with chain link fences is that sometimes they are a little spiky on top. If you are a fella, you have to be aware of this to ensure you don’t injure your delicate man-parts. I would assume it is the same for the ladies, only if you are a lady and have man-parts, then scaling a fence should be the least of your concerns.
Anyhow, this guy wasn’t paying close enough attention. He climbed up, swung one leg over, and the crotch of his jeans got a little snagged on the top of the fence. He didn’t get hurt or anything, his pants just got caught. He wiggled around a bit up there (which looked REALLY weird) and managed to get free. Feeling that he was in the clear, he went to swing his other leg over the top of the fence for the descent. This is when it all happened. His jeans got caught again. This time, quite badly. REALLY badly.
I think when his pants got caught the first time, it left a little hole in his pants. Fences can be mean, cruel, horrible things, and they will capitalize on any weakness they detect. Well, I can only assume that has this guy swung his second leg over the fence, the little hole got snagged and became a much bigger hole. At the same time, he was all tangled and caught up to the point where he was stuck up there. He wriggled and jiggled around, trying to get free of the evil fence’s grip, and then it happened…
Before you knew it, this poor man was hanging upside-down from the fence. Arms were flailing. Legs were kicking. The crotch of his jeans (or what was left of it), solidly and tightly wound around the top of the fence still. Seriously. Picture a guy hanging head-first from a fence totally stuck and defenseless. That was this guy.
And in case you are wondering, I have no earthly explanation for why neither my dad or I tried to help him out. I do know that all the while, his girlfriend just stood there and let it happen, so technically, she is a worse person than we were. Left to his own devices, he finally did a sort of a sit-up and tried to free himself. I guess the strength of the denim of his jeans finally gave out, and he looked like he was repelling to the ground - using his pants instead of a rope.
I don’t think I have to tell you that his pants were destroyed. Well, the legs of his jeans were fine, but his tighty-whiteys were on full display. In fact, the entire fly and crotch area of his jeans were gone, and his pants were only still intact on the sides. In other words, he looked like a dude in his underwear wearing chaps. And now he had to walk through the middle of the PNE fair, and then into an arena filled with thousands of wrestling fans.
My dad and I finally made it into the arena, although we missed what was a fine match between the Hart Foundation and the Brain Busters. It was worth it. While we missed the match, we bonded as father and son should. By watching a man completely humiliate himself in public. Obviously, I have never forgotten that day, or the lesson we both learned…
We are better at climbing fences than that guy.
My dad just celebrated what I believe was his 67th birthday. Way to go, dad! In addition to that, he’s decided to leave his job at the Manawatu Standard to pursue more exciting, personally fulfilling endeavours. Knowing him, that’ll just lead to even more crazy stories to tell.
Oh, I don’t think my dad ever even liked wrestling. He just put up with it for my sake. In doing so, he took me to a gazillion live shows as a kid, and we continued to go to shows together into my teenage years. he even took me to my first-ever indy show, which I suppose indirectly led to me becoming a wrestler myself. And when I did, he was always a million percent supportive.
Yup, my dad is a pretty awesome dude.
Actually, he could very well be the reason why I look forward to SummerSlam ever year. Because I know that when I think of SummerSlam, I always think of our fence-climbing, pants-ripping adventure.