Wrestlemania is known as the Showcase of The Immortals, The Granddaddy of Them, and it is the Superbowl of professional wrestling. On April 2nd, comedians Dan St Germain and Mike Lawrence brought some local flavor to this epic spectacle with ‘Wrestlemania Woodshed’ at The Creek and The Cave. This show is a collection of some 40 local comics dressed up as their favorite wrestlers – both real and made-up. They each have about 3 minutes to deliver action-packed promos to the crowd, and YuletideSnapper.com had a front-row seat for the action. Here are some of the highlights of the show.
The evening began with a short video showcasing some of the so-bad-they’re-good wrestling promos of years gone by. A walk down wresting’s memory lane if you will. There was Hulk Hogan in Japan, wondering outloud ‘where are all the Hulkamaniacs.’ There is Big Show being dragged on top of a coffin being dragged by a runaway hearse, as well as Lex Luger unable to rip off his shirt during a promo.
The show begins, with your hosts Jon Bon Jevoha and Lord Michael Terry to introduce the cast of wrestlers. We begin with Dan Soder and Graham Keay as Andre The Giant and Bobby ‘The Brain Heenan. Bobby Heenan is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, heel managers of all time. He was nasty and malicious in a charming and humorous way and throughout the 80’s was the guy who accompanied Andre The Giant to the ring. The thing with Andre was that, he was just so goddamn big. He couldn’t wrestle, he didn’t have any moves. He just came out and shoved people, and that was it. So he was paired with Heenan, who would talk and talk, and then Andre would bellow out ‘Hoooooogan!’ in his deep french accent, and the crowd would go wild. In this case, the crowd went nuts when Soder bellow ‘Hoooogan’ in a very accurate impersonation of the 8th wonder of the world. As a matter of fact, it was that moment that got the show going and people knew this was the real deal.
Anthony DeVito, Doug Smith, and Gre Stone came out as the Hart Foundation. You have Anthony Devito as The Mouth of the South Jimmy Hart, along with Doug Smith as Bret Hart and Greg Stone as Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, whom one would not expect to have a cute wrestling daughter, but he does. Stone stole the show as the very higher-active and yelling Jim Neidhart, as Smith did his best, solemn Bret Hart impression. As the announcers so accurately commented, ‘Bret still doesn’t know that wrestling is fake.’
Danny Solomon strolled out as the deceased Owen Hart, who died tragically in 1997 at a wrestling pay-per-view due to a faulty harness. Solomon lamented, that yes, Owen was still dead, but he had an important message for the fans: there have been breakthroughs in harness technology. A harness doesn’t just have to be ropes tied together, and it probably shouldn’t be. R.I.P Owen.
Mike Lawrence came out as Jim Cornette, complete with tennis racket. Lawrence cut a nasty promo on comedians who use notes during their sets and complain about bookings. He then smacked front row comedian Sean Donnelly with a tennis racket and declared himself champion. Ok, he didn’t, but it sure seemed like Lawrence had revenge on his mind.
Martin Morrow came out as The Miz and immediately cut into show creator Dan ‘The Ram’ St. Germain. Fortunately St. Germain was in the front row and was able to retaliate with an onstage stare down, followed by a chair shot and body slam, leaving The Miz in his wake. In dramatic fashion, Dan ‘The Ram’ recreated the last scene of ‘The Wrestler,’ where Mickey Rourke knows his time is up and goes for his final leap off the top rope. End Scene.
Jason Kalter came out as I.R.S. and tore into the audience about paying their taxes and everything that sucks about Long Island City, including the G Train. You may not like I.R.S, but he has a point.
Then the head @sshole of the WWE strolled out, Pat Stango as Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Vince McMahon is known for a few things, among them being the Bill Gates of wrestling and having a very exaggerated, wild strut when he enters and leaves the ring. He also is the founding member of the Vince McMahon ‘Kiss My Ass Club,’ whose members include WIlliam Regal and Hornswoggle. In keeping with tradition, Mr. Stango, complete with gray wig, dropped his pants and fired a rocket (insert Don Rickles reference). Well, he didn’t quite fire a rocket, but his pants were dropped, at least slightly, and.. you get the idea.
Scott Chaplain entered the area as C.M. Punk, an extreme wrestler. In keeping with tradition, Chaplain had matching CM Punk chest tattoos on his chest, which is no small feat. That alone should win Chaplain something.
Jason Saenz won the crowd over with his Scott Hall impersonation. Scott Hall is among many things; a member of The Outsiders, a member of the NWO, formerly Razor Ramon, a raging alcohol, and a guy who chews on tooth picks. Saenz came out with the trademark ‘surfing’ entrance, then did the fist to chest thing, and finally did his ‘Hey, Yo,’ except that Scott Hall drinks so much he couldn’t get the words out. Instead, he chose to throw tooth picks at front row comedian Sean Donnelly.
Brett Davis, Darren Mabee, and Sally Burtnick came as Slick, Kamala, and his trainer. Kamala was known as the Ugandan Giant during his WWE tenure. He didn’t speak, he only made grunting sounds and would get very excited and run around the ring dancing. He was half African tribal leader, half Voodoo man. Nevertheless, Davis came out and did his best Slick impression, followed by a dancing, hooting and hollering Mabee. It takes a certain amount of testicular fortitude to dance around the stage in black underwear and facepaint, and Mabee came through for the roaring crowd.
To close out the show, Vince Averill, Matt McCarthy, and Jesse Popp came out as Demolition with Mr. Fuji. Demolition was a great, nasty tag team that came out in leather chainmail and face paint. They were the Road Warriors before the Road Warriors. Averill was on his ‘I-am-going-to-yell-in-your-face-until-I-run-out-of-breath’ mode, while McCarthy bellowed his raspiest ‘Weeeel,’ as he cut a promo on wait for it – front row comedian Sean Donnelly.
The night ended in typical heel turn fashion, as Mr Fuji did his best Tonya Harding impression and took out the knees of Demolition. All in all, a great night for true fans of wrestling and comedians.
Photos by April Heliotis