My night with the wrestlers: Must've been mid-80s. I was going to the Delta Marsh (nw of Winnipeg) to hunt ducks. A friend was driving his motorhome from my hometown. When I climbed the stairs into the coach, who was sitting at the dinette but Larry "The Axe" Henning!?! He'd wrestled under "Pretty Boy" in my teen years, and I'd not followed wrestling for years. Seems Axe was an acquaintance of my pal who was driving, so I settled into the setee for the 200 miles ride north with Axe providing a running commentary on everything he'd seen and done in his many years in the ring. As we approached Winnipeg, my pal said we had to detour to the airport there to pick up another guy, who'd been delayed out of Minneapolis. So the coach pulled to the curb outside the terminal building and a second hunter and I offered to go in and wait for Dick, who was due in a few minutes. The rest of the guys were quite into their cups by now, as cocktail hour was well underway. I went inside, found the proper gate, and while waiting for the plane I scanned the concourse and who did I spy leaning against the wall across the way but Andre the Giant himself. The guy was freaking huge! And ugly. But me being me, I sauntered over to Andre and leaned against the wall an arm's length from him. I quietly asked if he was, indeed, Andre the Giant, to which he replied, "Get the f*** outa here." I looked him in the eye (it was quite a strain as I craned my neck upward to meet his gaze) and said, "I know you're Andre. I'm with The Axe. You wanna go talk to him? Have a drink?" To which he again replied, "Get the f*** outa here." I finally turned full on to him and informed him that I had been riding with The Axe all day and he'd be quite disappointed if he learned I'd run into Andre and not invited him out to the coach for a bump. Finally Andre got sort of an inquisitive look on his face and he leaned down close to my face and said, "You're with Axe?" And with that, I turned and exited the terminal to where the coach was idling at the curb. When I opened the door to the coach and Andre saw that Axe was, indeed, inside, he leapt like a little boy. He raced up the stairs (which was quite a sight) and he and Axe belly-bumped and hugged, slapping one another on the backs. Andre explained that he and the "boys" were in town for a show that night, and that Axe should come to town and party afterwards. By now the flight had arrived, and Dick, who'd flown from Minneapolis, was standing among about a dozen other wrestlers who were on the card that night. Mad Dog was there, as was Greg Gagne (his father had retired by that time), Rick Martell and a bunch of other guys whose names I've forgotten. Axe, by now inside the terminal, hugged them all and assured them that he'd see them that night. We parted, and after driving out to the Marsh, stowing our gear, eating a hearty camp dinner and a few more cocktails, Axe asked me to find a set of wheels for the night. This was his first trip to the camp, so he wasn't familiar at all with the cooks or guides who were all locals. So I talked one of the guides out of his pickup truck for the night and Axe, another hunter and I drove into Winnipeg, where we met up with the "boys" at the (then) Winnipeg Inn, downtown. Axe immediately found out the room number of the party, and we headed up the elevator. Before the doors even opened we could hear the commotion. The party had grown from just the "boys" unwinding after their "fights" to include at least a half-dozen local working girls. When we entered the room it was immediately apparent why there was such a clamor: Andre had the window open, and had one of the women hanging outside, upside down, grasping her only by her ankle. "You'll suck it, bitch," was about all I could make out between the gal screaming and the wrestlers alternately telling Andre to pull the gal back inside and laughing hysterically. Cooler heads finally prevailed, and Andre brought the girl back inside. She was white as a ghost (understandibly) as we were on one of the top floors of the hotel), and she promptly locked herself into the bathroom. One of the other hookers went to the closed door and started talking to the gal inside. "Oh baby, it's okay," she said reassuringly. "It's not very long, but it's as big around as a coffee can." (Apparently this wasn't her first time meeting Andre!) The rest of the evening, believe it or not, devolved from that point into what was essentially a drunken orgy. All these wrestlers, a handful of hookers, and little ole' Rube (who is definitely not wrestler-size. I wouldn't have topped 150 pounds at that time), drinking seemingly bottomless bottles of booze, smoking Cubans and... A crazy night.
post #16 of 226
5/8/07 at 7:33pm