Worth It: The Night Karl Anderson Almost Wasn’t Booked?

It was his first heel booking; I was going to be his manager.  It was my first heel booking, too.

Karl Anderson, known back then as “Chad Too Badd Allegra” and I had driven to the Millersport Sweet Corn Festival in central Ohio excited to try something new.  Anderson had been competing as a babyface in the Northern Wrestling Federation but we had a night off from that promotion and I had secured us a booking at this outdoor fair.

And we were both heels.


Many new workers can’t wait to be the heel, freeing them up to be the nasty, terrible people they more naturally are.  That’s not to say that Anderson was or is a bad person. Nor am I.  (I kinda was then, though.)  The point is we both knew we’d get to show off our skill sets in a way that felt more comfortable than we had been doing so far in our fledgling careers.

Karl was a great babyface, though.  He always knew how to sell and better than most.  Watch him today on Monday Night RAW and tell me that he’s not “selling with intention,” a phrase I coined after watching him develop in California and Japan.  I, however, was a terrible babyface.  There’s nothing about me, a 6-foot-4-inch 300-pound dweeb that screams “cheer for me.”  I was an “NWF Official” and made matches and took beatings from so people at least didn’t boo me.  But tonight, they could boo me all they wanted.

It’s what I wanted.  I think it’s what they wanted.

But first we had to figure out why we weren’t on the card.

The matches were listed on a piece of paper hanging in a camper where the promoter had set up shop.  It was our first time at Fire and Ice Wrestling, an Indy upstart in Columbus, Ohio that is long since out of business.  We looked down the list of names.  Ours was not on it.

We found a wrestler, Marcus Dillon, who had competed in NWF rings and asked him what we should do.  He was one of the mainstays in this group.  We drove three hours with the promise of a booking, we said.  He said he would go find out what was going on.  In the meantime, I told Karl to put his boots on.  We were wrestling no matter what, even if it meant he had to work with me.  (And that would have been absolutely terrible.  I know; we did it a few months later in Georgetown, KY – but that’s a whole other column.)

Luckily, they figured something out and added us to the card by pitting us against a little guy named Mace Parker who already had another match booked.  “He’ll just work twice,” they said.  Fine with us as long as it meant we got to go out there.

And it was a nice crowd. There were probably 250-300 people watching us in our heel debuts.  I got on the microphone when I entered the ring in true heel manager fashion and cut a fantastic promo . . .95% of which I stole word for word from fellow manager Brock Guffman, a much more talented promo-man than I.  Anderson and Parker locked up and had a decent little match.  I remember he dove on us on the outside of the ring and I took a bump to the floor from the apron for the finish.  All in all, the people – including Anderson’s father, who drove up to see it – seemed happy.

And we were too.  Because at the end of the whole thing, the entire crowd assembled were chanting “You suck” at us . . . everyone’s life long dream, right?


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