PRO SERIES: Driving To Canada On A Whim Part 1: Damned Ol’ Denny’s

On one of the many twelve hour car rides to Arkansas, with my road-bro Sigmon, I randomly started talking about how we could just as easily drive to Canada.

“So, why aren’t we?” I pondered aloud to “The Wrestling Extraordinaire”.

“I don’t know.” He answered. “You should get us booked.” He added

With that, I looked at a list of upcoming events in Canada and noticed that one promotion was running week-long tours.

“Would you want to do a week tour?” I asked.

“Hell yes!” Sigmon replied.

“Cool. I’ll message the promoter.” I told Sigmon.

I messaged the CWE (Canadian Wrestling’s Elite) promoter who said, “Yeah, as long as you guys can get yourselves up here, I’ll book you.”

My car, at the time, had about 150,000 miles on it, so, I asked Sigmon, “Would you be up to driving your car to Winnipeg?”

“How far is it?” He asked.

“It’s like 21 hours from Knoxville.” I replied, timid as a kid with a tough dad asking for an allowance raise.

“Hmmm.” Sigmon said, then asked, “Think you could get us booked on the way up?”

“Absolutely!” I said, with the enthusiasm of a child happy to accept extra chores for extra dollars.

“Yeah. F___ it. Let’s do it.” Sigmon resolved

I replied to the promoter to let him know that we were in.

We were both pretty psyched about getting to wrestle in Canada for the first time and were daydreaming about what adventures await, when Sigmon spoke up and said, “I just realized something...we got booked for a tour in Canada...in February.”

“No worries. I live in the mountains and work at a ski resort; I know how to drive in the snow.” I said confidently.

“Well, okay.” Sigmon said trustingly, then he cranked up the Oak Ridge Boys, as he’s known to do, and we headed on down the road with happy hearts.

***

For the trip up: Sigmon got us booked in Western Kentucky, on Friday, I got us booked in Southern Illinois, on Saturday, and got myself booked to do a shoot interview in Iowa, on Sunday, in exchange for a hotel room for the night. Which gave us Monday as a full travel day to make it from Des Moines to Winnipeg, before the tour got underway on Tuesday.

In Owensboro, Kentucky Sigmon and I wrestled each other and worked extra hard since it was a great crowd and Jeff Jarrett was watching; this was during the early Global Force talent scouting days.

It was one of our better matches out of about-a-hundred good matches we have had together, over the years together.

I hit Sigmon with a move I think I had only done once before, a wheel-barrow-abdominal-stretch backbreaker/stunner thingy, for the win.

After the match, the ring announcer came over to me with the microphone and said, “Wow! That’s an amazing finish! What do you call it?”

I have invented more moves than I have invented names for moves, so the impromptu question took me by surprise and I stammeringly said, “Uh...Spinal Implosion!” Or some such sh__ I pulled out of my brain’s ass.

In the locker room, Jeff Jarrett told me, “Good job, kid.” Which was very cool, coming from someone whose PWI-torn-image I used to have Scotch-taped to my wall.

I wanted to reply, “Thanks...but I didn’t do a job: I won!”

Thankfully, I thought better of that and stuck to the simple, “Thanks!”

Before the event, Sigmon wanted to eat at Denny’s. I was broke, so I ordered a $1 gravy-and-biscuit. After the event, a good payoff, and solid merchandise sales, Sigmon wanted to eat at Denny’s, I was no longer broke, so I ordered two $1 gravy-and-biscuits.

That night, we crashed with a hospitable local wrestler, Chad Stalling, at his place, which was close to the venue. I gave Sigmon the full sized couch, while I slept with my legs hanging off of a loveseat.

The next morning, Sigmon wanted more Denny’s, so, I ate more cheap, refined carbohydrates.

After breakfast, we made the quick hour and a half trip up to Crossville, Illinois, to wrestle for a promotion neither of us had ever worked for. We were way early, but I was happy to see the ring was already up; to this day, I am rookie-like with my love for playing around in an empty ring and working out before events.

I made my way around the locker room, shaking hands. After which, I looked at Sigmon and asked quietly, “What kind of vibes are you getting back here?”

“Like the other wrestlers don’t want us to be here, one bit.” He answered.

“Okay. Just making sure I wasn’t imagining things.” I said.

We laughed: like Pooh-bear with a full pot of honey, we gave zero bothers about our seemingly bothered brothers.

Sigmon had a great match with Hy-Zaya. I had a solid match with Black Steel.

Before the match, Blake and I were arguing and Sigmon sided with him. I kind of regretted my decision to give him the big couch.

After the event, we drove a few hours north to a guy’s house that we had met for the first time, that night, who runs a completely different promotion. Welcome to independent wrestling, my friends.

We made it there before he did, since he ran out of gas, but he told us that the door was unlocked.

“Just don’t try to pet the parrot.” He warned us.

We walked into the relative stranger’s house and were greeted by the warning shrieks of his three foot tall guard bird.

I laughed like I was the “fat buddha”, after smoking a “phat bag of buddha” while watching a cartoon Buddha Shakyamuni snort coke on South Park, at Sigmon’s Scooby-Doo-like-terrified crossing of the colorful bird’s hallway territory.

We had the luxury of our own beds, as we fell asleep like babies, in a newly met person’s empty-except-for-domesticated-wildlife house.

The next morning, our gracious host fed us and we hit the road to Des Moines, Iowa.

We drove to a hotel where a wrestler I only knew through Facebook was waiting for us in a room with a handheld video camera.

I answered a few questions, and told some funny stories, for a video that I have yet to hear anything more about.

Afterwards, the three of us walked to Denny’s, where I had some gravy-and-biscuits.

Grateful for the lower-level-indie opulence of staying in a 2 star hotel, that night we both dreamt of the wondrous wanderings awaiting us in the Great White North; which was now only one day, one blizzard, and article away.

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