Pro wrestlers entertain families at Legion
Dick the Bruiser Jr. was the headliner at the Waynedale American Legion Post 241 on Saturday where pro wrestlers entertained members and their families and friends with showbiz and skill.
Dick, the son-in-law of the original Dick the Bruiser who died in 1991, lives in Fort Wayne and wrestled at New Haven High School, he said. He’s been wrestling for four decades, and with help from his hot tub, pain meds and staying in shape, he’s likely to keep to his schedule of wrestling, radio, television and promo for a while.
“I just cut a promo today for a big company out of Anderson,” Dick said as he stood in the hot sun watching the action in the ring set up in the Legion’s parking lot.
Going at it were Fireball and an opponent in blue, both who came out the makeshift locker room with the usual boasts, braggadocio and taunts, enough to get the crowd smiling and some of them engaging with the wrestlers. The match went down in favor of Fireball.
Next out was Frank Issac Anderson, dressed like a Pinkerton man with a white button-down, black suspenders and slicked back hair. Anderson wrestled Mr. Fitness, a platinum-blonde vision in lime green and purple Lycra, who threw chocolate-flavored Hostess Twinkies out to the fans.
“Some people thinks it’s fake,” Dick the Bruiser said as the match was played. “The wrestling is all real. The showmanship may be overplayed,” like exaggerating how much it hurts.
And it does hurt, said Dick, whose team included Mike “Shotgun” Shuler, a former circuit wrestler and champion wrestler at Heritage High School, class of 1981.
Shuler took up pro wrestling again last year, his wrestling personality that of a “hick” with overalls and a straw farmer’s hat.
Shotgun is a member of the Post’s Sons of the American Legion, serving in local and state capacities, said Greg Spaulding, the SAL Commander.
The Post has 1,600 members in the organization, which includes the American Legion, the SAL, the Ladies Auxiliary and the Legion Riders, according to Ken Holloway, the post commander.
Holloway said about 200 people were expected to attend the afternoon event run by Pro Wrestling King and designed to include the whole family. Any money raised was destined for Legion causes.
“We’re a family-oriented club,” Holloway said as he sat at one of the tables set up around the wrestling ring. “We’re glad to get all the kids we can. Everybody is in to ‘wrastling.’”