Worth It: The Night Abyss Chased Me


He wasn’t Abyss yet; that character was still a twinkle in Dutch Mantell’s eye. He was Prince Justice or maybe just Justice by then. Regardless, he was the main event heel in the Mountain Wrestling Association in Georgetown, KY. I was the ring announcer; Roger Ruffen, Sin D, and I would drive down every Sunday afternoon after Roger held a training session at BoneKrushers National Pro Wrestling Training Center in Cincinnati and we looked for new ways to entertain the weekly crowds there.

There were some real characters there both in the ring and in the crowd.  This particular venue featured wrestling every Sunday night for 30 years.  Dale Mann, Danny Fargo, Hillbilly Jim, and others gained fame or started their careers here.  Tracy Smothers was a regular.  And during a particularly nasty promotional war, Randy Savage reportedly showed up one night – unannounced – and challenged anyone from the back to come out to the ring to fight him. For real.

By the time I started there, things were calmer.  Drawing anywhere from twenty to eighty regulars, it was a great place for wrestlers to learn their craft.  Wildcat Chris Harris, Abyss, and Karl Anderson all wrestled here in front of true believers. As small as the crowd might have been, they were passionate about wrestling and especially about the baby faces.

But Justice was a heel.  And a fantastically entertaining one.

One night Roger Ruffen called Justice a “cow head.” It stuck and the people chanted it for weeks. I’m not sure why I had occasion to call him that myself, though there were definitely times when the ring announcer would insult the heels or align with the babyfaces. I might have just told the crowd NOT TO call him a “cow head” knowing that reverse psychology was about as easy as walking to the ring.

Whatever the reason was, I did in fact call the 6’8, 350+ pounder a “cow head.” It’s amazing how fast he could run.

Because he chased me around the ring about a dozen times.

And I was running for my life.

See, while Abyss might be one of the nicest, sweetest human beings on earth, when his adrenaline is pumping and he’s in the zone, he’s a frightening man. He’s huge. He’s strong as an ox. And I found out that Sunday night that he’s deceptively fast.

Luckily, I escaped without harm much to the fans — and my own — delight. But I was out of breath and I don’t think I ever did it again.

Of course he eventually caught up to me . . . ten or more years after the fact when he choke slammed me into a pile of thumbtacks. But that’s a different story for a different day.

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