posted on Feb, 4 2004 @ 06:05 AM
Muy long post. Call it some venting.
Saturday was a rough night for me.
I had a hellaciously good match, don't misunderstand. I was on the receiving end of a chairshot to the head that would make Mick Foley proud, and
have the dented-up thing ready to hang on my wall as proof.
The bad stuff happened during our semi-main event tag title match. And this is "real," not something manufactured to make the show more interesting.
Please make no mistake about that.
(this is also a pretty blatant look "behind the scenes," which I don't often do...)
So we're sitting there in the locker room watching the show on our monitors. Everyone's cranked up because the crowd has been
abso-freakin-lutely insane-hot right from the start. They start doing a funky little "Hooo - Jo" chant before the bell rings, and Hojo
obligingly does some fancy footwork on the apron that would make James Brown smile in time to the chant. It's beautiful, and we're all going nuts.
Now, Hojo's my boy. I love him dearly, he's like a brother and a best friend in one. I'd honestly take a bullet for that man.
The match goes on and we're just enjoying it for what it is. About ten minutes in, some of us start getting that little "concerned" bug in our guts,
because Hojo's acting a little funny. He could just be "selling" an injury, but our Spidey-sense is starting to go off. Something just
doesn't seem right.
There's no signal of trouble, though, and the match is continuing, so we relax.
The end of the match comes, and Hojo goes to hit his finisher (a Fameasser) and ... well, it's never looked so bad. People are starting to stand up
backstage, and we're looking at each other and not quite willing to say what we're all thinking.
The bell rings, and .... Hojo just lies in the ring. One second...two...three.... his tag partner is crouched over him. I grab one of the bookers.
"(Booker), is he supposed to stay down like this??? What the f*ck is going on?" He gets out a 'no' and then the ref comes running in.
"Hojo dislocated his shoulder."
I can't speak for anyone else backstage, but I felt like I'd been kicked in the proverbial nuts. I heard some words shouted from the booker, I don't
remember what they were, but the only thing on my mind & on my lips was "I'm going to get him."
I always cry when one of my guys gets hurt. This time was no different, and I wasn't halfway to the ring before I started.
And the crowd didn't know it wasn't "part of the show" yet, and I heard them cheer & scream when I came barrelling out. Vaguely, in the back of my
mind, I wanted to yell at them, to tell them this was serious, but god ... my best friend was lying there in a fetal position hollering in pain. "I
think it's broken, I think it's broken," he kept saying. His right shoulder was grossly deformed.
The "good guys" followed me out in short order, then all the refs. The refs called for security. I frantically motioned for the cameras to stop
rolling. The crowd suddenly got real quiet.
We managed to get him out of the ring somehow, our biggest security guys stretching the ropes apart to an impossible distance so Hojo wouldn't have to
move much to get through them. We made it to the hallway leading backstage; someone brought a chair for him to sit on.
You didn't need to be a doctor to see that something was very, very wrong with his shoulder. Having dislocated both of my shoulders more than once, I
began to get very concerned about the amount of pain he was in.
Someone got Hojo's things together. Someone else got mine. The person I carpooled with to the show (who shall remain nameless for the sake of
wrestling integrity) pulled my car around to the back door, and we loaded everything, including Hojo, in.
Forward to the emergency room. While the car is being parked, I make sure Hojo gets thru the front door and then go running up to the desk hollering
about a possible broken arm. Mind you, I'm still in my wrestling gear, with my "scary" makeup on, so this can't be a very appealing site at 10:30pm.
It does make for some quick service, though. A nurse comes and takes us all to X-ray. They take the pictures and kindly pop the films onto the
lightboxes in the hall where we can all see.
I've never seen a dislocation quite that bad before. The bone didn't go "out" like most ... it went "in," towards his ribs, and down a bit.
Completely out of joint. It was ... horrific.
I elected to stay with Hojo in the treatment room thingy until they started working on him (I'll bet the doctors were thrilled...) while my
carpool buddy took my cellphone to call back a status report to the show that was still going on. After a few minutes, they gave him morphine and I
got ejected to the lobby....
Where I found some of our fans. They'd left the show and come to the hospital. They sat with us as we waited... after 30 minutes, a nurse came out
to tell us that they were still working on Hojo. We waited some more. Half an hour after that, the nurse came back to say that they were done and 1
person could go back. I knocked over a soda and tripped over my carpool buddy in my haste to get back to his room.
He was still sedated and just about asleep when I got back, but woke up when I patted his (good) hand. I got a dopey smile and a rather hoarse
utterance of his nickname for me when he opened his eyes. "You're done," I told him. "And Calvin & gang are out in the lobby." (aka the
aforementioned fans). I told him he was staying at my house that night so I could keep an eye on him, and he told me we were stopping back at the
arena so the guys could see he was okay. (we normally spend a couple hours after the show ends tearing down & cleaning up.)
I got the scoop from the doc (namely, how the morphine hadn't worked & they'd had to piggyback some Versed to sedate him, and how it had taken an hour
to get the shoulder reduced) and his discharge instructions, and we got him the heck out of there.
We did indeed stop back at the arena, where the loudest cheer of the night came from the wrestlers cleaning up the last bits of trash left behind as
we walked through the door. And I did make him stay at my house, where we figured out how his sling works and I could help him put on his belt &
deoderant (now THAT is a dedicated friend, I tell ya!)
So he's shelved for at least 6 weeks. And now, like me & one of our other guys, he'll be more prone to dislocations in the future. He may learn how
to reduce them himself (like we can); it's a terrible thing to hope for, but it's a reality in this business.
So for all the autographs we sign, there's something to counter it that keeps most of us humble. The threat of injury, or actually dealing with one,
is the biggest.
I'll shut up now. I've gone on long enough.