The Other Side of the Ropes – “You Can Call It a Comeback, But I Don’t…”
– “Redd” Reddick
What happened and why am I back to typing?
It’s been an interesting ride in the last 2 years, let me just start with that.
The short answer? Life happened.
No, I didn’t get married. (God help me if that happened again.)
What did happen was quite bizarre from some people to grasp, but if you know me well enough and you’ve been on my friend list on FB long enough, then you know enough of the situation or you know I can’t make this up if I tried.
While I’ve been in the wrestling ring a grand total of (wait for it!!!) TWO TIMES in the last two years, I’ve also been building my resume on the other side of world. That’s right, I threw caution to the wind and went to the island of Phuket in Thailand to train and fight, then I came back here just before Hallowe’en. When I got back, I was well under 200 lbs, had a blue belt in BJJ, 6-4 record in Muay Thai and was about to cut what was left of my trademark locks off. What? I told you it was an interesting ride.
I’ll get into why I was in Phuket another time, but it definitely ties into what I was doing there. If anyone knows me when it comes to pro wrestling, then they know that I’ve always been a stickler for lineage and credibility, especially the latter. Oddly of the two, cred seems to be the sacred cow to end up being slaughtered first. I’m being too nice. Credibility in wrestling wasn’t slaughtered; it was blown up and the remaining entrails were used for finger painting. I say this because ever since it was televised, promoters became more concerned with money than they were about legitimacy, so it became more about sensationalism than actual technique, which was why a lot of the old timers, who were legitimate Catch as Catch Can wrestlers became marginalized in their own game, which also caused friction between them and the promoters when they were told to put guys over who weren’t on the same level as them, which caused a crisis of credibility in the hierarchy. (FYI, there used to be two different gyms for the boys back then. The Catch guys trained in one and the workers trained in the other.) When old timers got thinned out, there was still a demand for legit athletes to retain the claim that wrestlers were athletes with a legit resume, so the outreach was extended to football players with either a collegiate or pro background, which actually why a lot of who you see are where they are today.
Don’t believe me? Look it up. It would also reinforce the over-the-top personalities we all grew up seeing, because only somebody who either played college ball or was in the military (in some cases, it was both) would be that crazy in real life as well as on camera and pull it off flawlessly. I should know since I served in the Army 20 plus years ago.
Back to the cred thing. I was in Phuket because it was the next level of me reverse engineering my own resume. If anyone recalls how I competed in MMA on the amateur level in late 09, then they’d probably agree that what I learned 2 years ago probably should’ve happened first, but my luck doesn’t run that way. Basically, I was learning everything that I technically should’ve already known from being a wrestler for nearly 20 years but found out I didn’t because the knowledge was too diluted and I’ve been spending the past 8 years figuring out why. I’ve been putting the pieces to the puzzle ever since.
Now, I don’t know how long I’ll be putting this out, but bear with me. I haven’t steered you guys wrong yet and I’m not about to start. I can tell you this much; I may not even be typing the next piece, but watch for it anyway.
Oh, thoughts and condolences to the Windhams and Mulligans. RIP, Blackjack…
– “Redd” Reddick