Over the Top Rope

Rock Riddle's
Wrestling Revue

by Rock Riddle, the Original "Mr. Wonderful" of Professional Wrestling

Initial Publication Date:   August 9, 2007

Click on any of the smaller photos to enlarge

My first appearance for Gulf Coast Wrestling took place on live television.  I loved it; I could get away with just about anything on live television.  By live, I don’t mean a six-second delay; I mean the people at home were seeing and hearing exactly what was happing at the very second it was taking place.  I entered the ring amongst thunderous boos.  The referee was kept busy kicking debris from the ring – debris that the fans were throwing at me.  “This is so cool,” I remember thinking.  “The fans want to kill me already – and all I have done is step into the ring!”  I was so proud.  It was all I could do to keep from smiling at my good fortune. 

I don’t remember who my opponent was.  All I remember is that I took advantage of him in an unsportsmanlike manner and my victory was beyond controversial.  As had been my custom in other areas of the country after having my hand raised, I headed toward the ring announcer’s table.  I grabbed the microphone, positioned myself directly in front of the camera, and proceeded to do my own “interview.”  No matter how loudly the audience booed, I knew that the microphone would deliver my words to the viewers.  It was a great feeling of power to be able to adjust, at will, the volume of the boos simply by the words I chose to speak.  I was aware of a very large trophy that was prominently displayed on the announcer’s table.  I walked over to it.  “So,” I said to the announcer, “this is the famous championship trophy.”  “That, Mr. Riddle,” the announcer began, “is the championship trophy of Mr. Ken Lucas, and I suggest that you keep your hands off.”  “Oh?” I asked sarcastically, “Do you mean that I shouldn’t touch it like this?”  I began to rock the five-foot-tall trophy back and forth.  It was apparent that the ring announcer feared I was going to send the trophy to the floor and into a thousand pieces.  “That’s the championship trophy!” he screamed.  The contestants for the next match were already in the ring.  “And,” the ring announcer said confidently, “in the ring, starring you down right now is the champion, Mr. Ken Lucas!”  Ken did not look happy.  He had this “Your head is still attached only because my trophy is still intact” look in his eyes.  “You just concentrate on your match, Kenney,” I said condescendingly to the champion.  “I’ll make sure the trophy is safe.”

The bell sounded and Ken’s match was underway.  I stood between the announcer and the ring.  “So,” I said, “this trophy belongs to the champion, the best of the best.  Is that correct?”  “That’s absolutely correct,” the announcer responded.  “Wrong!” I said in a loud voice.  The camera was now on me, ignoring the match in the ring.  I paused for a moment.  “Well, actually,” I said as I picked up the trophy with a sarcastic grin on my face, “it actually does belong to the best of the best – now!”  I grabbed the trophy, sprinted for my dressing room and locked myself in.  While Ken Lucas was pounding on the door, he was being counted out in the ring.  He had lost his match.  And, so began the famous Rock Riddle-Ken Lucas feud.

The first official championship match between Ken Lucas and Rock “Mr. Wonderful” Riddle was to be televised, and I was to bring the trophy to the ring for that match.  I deliberately failed to do so.  Ms. Pamela, my valet, was there, as usual, to open the ring ropes for me and to take my velvet robe and sunglasses.  I was hated by the fans.  You would think that Ms. Pamela would be hated as well, but that was not necessarily the case.  I treated her like a servant.  I looked down my nose at her as I did the fans.  I think many fans felt sorry for her and that’s why she was not usually a target of their anger.  That’s the way I wanted it.  The wrestling commissioner stated on-camera that I would forfeit the match if I did not produce the trophy.  In my slightly abusive verbal manner, I commanded Ms. Pamela to go back to the dressing room and bring the trophy, which she did.  Before the match began, I had Ms. Pamela backed into a ring corner.  It was obvious that I was making demands of her, even though few, if any, could hear my actual words.  Twice Ms. Pamela shook her head “no,” and, in both cases, my reaction caused her to cower.  The fans were eating it up.  When the match actually began, Ms. Pamela was sitting at ringside.  After a hard-fought sixteen minutes into the match, Ken Lucas caught me in his famous sleeper hold.  “Now,” I screamed to Ms. Pamela.  She reluctantly picked up the trophy, backed up a few feet, and stared with fear into the ring and the eyes of Ken Lucas.  Ken relinquished the hold and went toward Ms. Pamela, who was standing with the trophy, frozen.  As soon as he began yelling at her to put it down, I took advantage of the situation.  His back was turned to me.  I rolled him up for the pin.  1 – 2 – 3!  Needless to say, the police earned their money getting Ms. Pamela and me back to the dressing room that day!

The feud continued to sell out arenas for months.  Early on, much to the crowd's delight, Ken won his championship and his trophy back.  He used his famous sleeper hold to obtain the victory.  The following Saturday, once again I found myself on live Pensacola television.  I was being interviewed.  There were catcalls from the audience.  They were delighted that I had been defeated.  But, I wasn’t finished.  I had a rematch coming and I wasn’t about to let the “heat” die down.  This time the announcer was standing next to me, holding the microphone, asking me questions.  Everyone knew that the announcer favored the “good guys” and this was going to be a “hostile” interview.  I love hostile interviews.  It’s a treat for me when I have a really good announcer with whom I can engage in a battle of wits.  Being the “bad guy,” I would always win.  I was always willing to go much further into “dangerous” territory than any announcer.

The announcer was gloating.  “Ladies and gentleman,” he began, “I am here with the defeated and humiliated former champion, Rock Riddle.”  I was snarling at the announcer.  My facial expression, I thought, should have been a warning for him.  He directed his full attention toward me.  “So,” he continued, “once you finally had to abide by at least some of the rules, we see who the better man is.”  He backed away slightly, but continued.  “Yes, Ken Lucas soundly defeated Rock “Mr. Not-So-Wonderful” Riddle in just under seven minutes.  So, how does it feel …” I abruptly interrupted him.  I put my left thumb into the top of his shirt collar, behind his head, and pulled him toward me.  “So, just how tall are you, little Mr. Announcer?  Five-five, five-six?” I asked.  He seemed to be at a loss for words.  Finally he said, “I’m five-seven.”  “Well, Mr. Announcer, you insult the Diamond Ring and Cadillac Man again, and you’re going to be about six-one.”  He knew what that meant.  He knew that I was threatening to “stretch” him.  I directed my attention back to the camera.  “Kenny Lucas is a fraud,” I said with a somewhat fierce but sincere look on my face.  “Nobody can put me out with a sleeper hold.”  “Ken Lucas did,” the announcer interjected.  “NO!  No, that’s not true,” I emphatically corrected.  “That was not a sleeper hold he used!”  I looked off camera to my right.  “You!  Here!  Now!” I demanded of Ms. Pamela.  “THIS is a sleeper hold,” I said as I put the hold lightly on my valet.  “But this is not the hold that Lucas used,” I explained.  “His right hand was not on the side of my head, which is where it would be for a sleeper hold.  It was behind my head … like this.”  I demonstrated on the lovely Ms. Pamela.  “You see,” I went on, “this is a naked chokehold.  Lucas choked me out.  That’s illegal and an automatic disqualification!”  I was watching the monitor.  Ms. Pamela was not reacting, and we were on live television.  I had no choice; I had to apply pressure – but just enough to place her in a slightly frightening, face-color-changing, gasping-for-air temporary situation.  The interview worked exceedingly well and the Lucas-Riddle feud intensified.  And, yes, there was an apology in the Ms. Pamela/Rock Riddle televised choke episode.  Guess who apologized.  Until next week, keep those e-mails coming.

This column welcomes your wrestling-related questions.  You may contact the author via email: RockRiddle@hotmail.com or Rock@HollywoodSuccess.com.  Be sure to put "Wrestling Question" in the subject line.

About the author:  Rock Riddle wrestled professionally for over 8½ years and helped sell out major arenas all over the country.  He held numerous titles including the Americas Tag Team Championship (with John Tolos) and the East Coast Tag Team Championship (with Rocky Montana.)  At the height of his career, he was given top billing over the heavyweight championship of the world.  He is extremely well-connected in the world of professional wrestling and knows the business exceptionally well.  His fascinating biography, complete with over 100 photos and lots of additional information, is available at www.HollywoodSuccess.com – just click on "Rock Riddle Bio."    If you have missed any of Rock’s columns, they are all available on the website by clicking "Wrestling Revue."

© 2007 Rock Riddle & Hollywood Success.

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