"Softball Sid" played hardball with AIW, but the company wouldn't let it stand in their way.
The former WWF and WCW Champion Sid Vicious was slated to compete at an AIW event in late 2017. However, the day of the event, the oft-flaky Sid contacted AIW's John Thorne and said that due to Donald Trump's travel ban (a lie), he would be unable to make the show. Thorne recorded the conversation and landed some good podcast content as a result.
However, tickets were sold and promises were made. AIW had to deliver Sid. So they did, in the form of now-WWE Superstar EC3 in a pair of jorts, a leather jacket and a wig.
"He was just home for the holidays," Thorne told Fightful of lucking into EC3 replacing Sid. "I shot him a text and asked if he was in town. He said he was but he didn't have his wrestling gear. We sent somebody out to a thrift store to look for a leather vest and I honestly have no idea where the wig came from. It was all picked up that afternoon. That was a thing that happened on a whim. We took all the Sid 8x10s and he did a free meet and greet and signed autographs that said 'I'm not Sid -- EC3.'"
If you aren't familiar with the term "Softball Sid," it stems from Sid's habit of disappearing from the wrestling world, for what many suspect is his joy of playing Softball. The benefit of the situation was that Thorne got a one-of-a-kind story of his own to share.
"I guess if you promote indpendent wrestling long enough, you learn that you have to adapt to every situation, and you can't dwell on things. I was super bummed. I was a gigantic Sid fan as a kid. I was looking forward to this more than anyone, but I knew the horror stories and the risks. When you talk to Sid on the phone, he makes you believe he's coming. When that moment happened, I was bummed about it, but I was recording the entire phone conversation, so at least there's proof he's booked and giving me the most ridiculous cancelation story of all time. As much as I wanted to dwell on it, it wasn't as bad as I thought I was. Independent wrestling, some people want to show up and meet Sid and don't care about the show. We just had to roll with it. I text EC3 and it made for a memorable moment. For people that were there, that was probably one of their greatest AIW memories," said Thorne.
The happy accident ended up making headlines way moreso than if Sid would have actually showed up -- to the point where we asked Thorne about it 16 months later.
"You can't plan for that to happen. It happened organically throughout the day. We had no backup plan for Sid. It was 1 PM in the afternoon. We didn't have a lot of time to get something together by 6:30. I was sitting in a room with Hornswoggle and Eddie Kingston going back and forth. I texted EC3 and the idea evolved out of that moment," said Thorne. "I've not heard from Sid, but last year at WrestleCon Sid did show up and Colt Cabana was yelling 'Fuck you, Sid,' and 'You owe AIW money, Sid'"!
At one point, Fightful was actually set to interview EC3 as Sid, but unfortunately it fell through. You can see AIW's Slumber Party Massacre show on Fite, and check out their stacked slate of events over the next few months over at their website.