The 2006 Ted Petty Invitational

Since the wrestling posts have gotten FAR AND AWAY more views than my other blogs, I’m going to write another one in hopes that some of the viewers take a look at the non wrestling blogs and drive up those counts as well.  Non wrestling fans should not fear, I will continue to post about football, baseball and basketball more than anything else in the grand scheme of things.  Now that that is out of the way, I am going to blog about the most surreal night I ever had in the wrestling business and the night that I had the biggest adrenaline rush in the ring.  It was the 2006 Ted Petty Invitational Tournament in Midlothian, Illinois at the Don Preston Rec Center.

We’ll fast forward to the second night because that is what this story is all about.  I was anxious because I had been dreaming of putting Bull Pain and Mean Mitch Page together as the new BMFers and tonight was the night that dream was going to be fulfilled.  It was planned to perfection.  All I had to do was wait through all the hullabaloo of the second day until Bull and Mitch arrived.  As my wife can attest, I get pacey when I get anxious or nervous so I probably wore a groove into the floor of the rec center as I waited.  I wasn’t talking to anyone.  My aunt and my grandma got there.  Stacy, whom I had just started dating at that time, got there.  Still no Mitch and no Bull. Now the nerves were really kicking in.  Then I got the call.  If you don’t know Mean Mitch Page, you are really missing out on something special.  He is always full of jokes and ready to play a rib so you never know when he is serious.  Anyway, my phone rings and I answer it and Mitch says, “sorry buddy but we’re broke down in Indiana and can’t make it.”  My immediate reaction was to laugh and think that he was in the parking lot and just messing with me.  But he was serious.  I immediately put the mind into action to find a way to get them back home if I went and got them.  I found a way for it to work and I hopped into my Grandma’s mini van (the only way that Chris Candido and Bad Ass Billy Gunn wanted to travel to shows) and headed out to just south of Lafayette, Indiana.  Mapquest says that it is a 2 hour drive one way to get there.  Thankfully, the wrestling gods were with me that day because I had no traffic (I guess everyone was already at the TPI! lol) so with the road mostly to myself and speeding like a madman, I made it to Lafayette in 90 minutes or so.  I went in to the truck stop and was half expecting to see this…but I didn’t:

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I get Mitch and Bull loaded up into the Minivan and took off like a bat out of hell to head back to the Midlodome.  Traffic was not as kind trying to get back into the city so it took longer than 90 minutes.  I kept calling Stacy and asking how far into the show they were and thankfully it was TPI and IWA so of course the show still had hours to go!  We pull into the parking lot and Josh Abercrombie comes to the van and says that he’s next.  Made it with seconds to spare!!!!

I remember asking Josh if everyone else was there that needed to be since I had been gone for 4 hours and hearing yes.  I went over a few last minute plans with Mitch and Bull and then went to a doorway to where I could see the match.  Towards the end of the match, I came out to the ringside area and I immediately heard some of the fans in the back starting to armchair book what was about to happen.  The people by me were convinced I was going to help Tyler Black win the Loser Leave IWA match because Josh was friends with Jimmy Jacobs and I had made it obvious that I hated all things Michigan.  That was when I knew what was about to happen was going to be huge because the smart fans were going to be swerved.  I kept waiting for just the right moment and then I pounced.  I went to the ring and distracted the ref.  Then from the other side, Jimmy Jacobs made his return to IWA after an eight month hiatus.  He interfered in the match and helped Josh win and forced Tyler Black to have to leave IWA.  The fans were shocked.  You could hear the fans that were able to speak trying to figure out what had just happened.  It was amazing.  The hair started to stand up on my arm and I was getting goose bumps.  Then it happened.

Jimmy Jacobs and JJ Fannin standing in the same ring…nose to nose…face to face…for the first time since January of 2006 and the famous barbed wire bat shot from hell that I put on Jimmy.

Jimmy Jacobs vs. Bull Pain – Steel Cage Match

Heads were exploding in the audience as the fans couldn’t comprehend what was happening.  Josh cut a great promo telling Jimmy that bygones could be bygones and that we could all work together.  Fans weren’t buying it but they also weren’t sure.  Then Jimmy and I hugged in the middle of the ring and I could hear the gasps.  It was the most emotionally charged moment that I had been involved in inside the squared circle.  Fans had convinced themselves that they would never see Jimmy Jacobs in an IWA ring ever again.  Fans were split as to whether they even wanted to see him back (much more in favor of it but it was still split thanks to the diehards that sided with me in the angle).  Then to see us hugging upon his return, it was just too much for some.  You could hear a pin drop as the fans pinched themselves to see if they were dreaming.  Then everything went back to normal.

I wouldn’t let go of Jimmy and out came Mitch and Bull to administer an ass whipping to end all ass whipping.  You could sense the relief in the crowd that they weren’t going to have to wrap their minds around a Jacobs/Fannin partnership.  As the ass whipping continued, Josh was almost in tears apologizing to his best friend for setting him up for this beat down in order to save his job.  The greatest moment in my career as far as having everyone in the palm of your hand as an entertainer and knowing that it was magical.  It was such a fleeting moment but one that I still remember fondly to this day.  The hair is standing up on my arm again just typing this blog.

Unfortunately, the dream was very short lived.  Bull Pain and Mitch Page were the two guys fired the most times in IWA history and that is who I decided to hitch my wagon to for this angle.  The next show, Mitch and Bull called from the parking lot and told Ian they were broke down again.  Then they walked into the building and giggled and Ian flipped out and fired them.  I think he fired that rendition of the BMFers more time than we actually had matches.  I don’t know the exact count but I know that Mitch, Bull and me as the BMFers didn’t last as long as it should have and we didn’t get to do anywhere near the things that we should have.  That’s the story of independent wresting though.  Things change.  People get fired.  People no show.  People refuse to do what they are asked.  Soon enough, the best ideas are turned to crap.

The BMFers will always be the one that got away for me.  When I wrote the blog last night about what I miss most about wrestling…well this storyline would be in the top 5.  It could have been awesome.  We were going to get Nick Maniwa involved.  I was going to train him to take over the Fannin Family for me.  Alas, it wasn’t meant to be I guess.  I’ll just always be left to wonder what might have been.


One response to “The 2006 Ted Petty Invitational”

  1. nick maniwa Avatar

    Would’ve been a blast buddy. Indy wrestling, lol.

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