Sunday, March 25, 2012

RIP Steve Doll December 9, 1960-March 22, 2009

Steve Doll and I in 1991?

     I first saw Steve Doll wrestle on WCCW(World Class Championship Wrestling) when I was 10, 1986.  I was home sick from school and we had just gotten cable that morning.  It was a magical day.  There were cartoons on after Rambilin' Rod!  This cable was an amazing new universe.  Having been a wrestling fan for a few years already, but not really having any idea about anything besides Portland Wrestling, and maybe some WWF, I was intrigued by the NWA and WCCW. 
     I was super excited to see my old favorite Steve Simpson.  He had left Portland in 1985 and I figured he would be on WWF the next week, but no luck.  He was tagging with this blond guy with zebra striped tights and a huge grin.  He just looked happy to be there.  He was high energy, and high flying.  I liked him instantly.  I set my VCR to record WCCW each week so that I could see him lose to one guy after another.  I could tell he was improving and he even won a few matches in early 1987. 
    Unfortunately, he disappeared from WCCW tv.  I was so disappointed when I hadn't seen him in a few weeks.
    For my 11th birthday we had planned a trip to the Sports Arena, June 17, 1987,  was the closest Kids Free Night to my birthday. 
     After my mom paid Mark Owen her $6, and got tickets for 11 kids, I went right to the photo stand and bought a Lucky Number program for $1.  On the inside it said, "We Welcome Newcomer Steve Doll!"  WOW!!!!!  I was so excited.  My favorite wrestler, here for real!
   I waited outside the arena to get a picture I had purchased signed.  In the photo he was wearing the first zebra tights I had ever seen him in.  He gave me a wink and a hug, and fell deep into 11 year old puppy love! 
     After this night I was at the Sports Arena EVERY week.  I babysat during the week so that I could afford both my mom's and my ticket plus gas to go.  I rarely missed a night at the Sports Arena until it closed in 1992.

Steve Doll autographed photo from 1988 autograph session.

     In the following years, my friends had New Kids on the Block or Kirk Cameron on their walls at home.  I had Steve Doll!  Every photo he sold, I bought. And I worked some LONG babysitting hours to afford  it!
     Steve was always sweet to me, even though I probably bugged the SH*T out of him.  I waited after the arena, walked by his house, he lived in my neighborhood, hounded him for autographs and photos every week.
    Thank you Steve for making my very hard childhood better, for giving me something to look forward to every week, for always being willing to give me a warm hug, for tolerating me for all of those years.  I miss you.

Steve Doll's Obituary in The Tennessean

Good Article about Steve Doll's Career

Old School Reunion

     I must admit that I stopped keeping up with local wrestling some time ago.  As long as 7 or 8 years maybe.  Once in a while I catch some matches on cable access.  Mostly, completely new faces.  I don't know the back stories.  To be honest, it really is the story and the drama that has always been my favorite part of wrestling.  When a couple of guys can suck you in with great interviews before the match even starts.  Of course, they need to bring that drama into the ring with them, and great wrestling doesn't hurt either.   But the drama has to be there and I find it hard to get into when I don't know the stories.  Who is the good guy? Who spit on a defenseless old lady in the front row?  Who always cheats and deserves his comeuppance? 
     But, the other day, when I tuned into DOA Wrestling, I was sucked in immediately.  It was an older episode, I heard a few mentions of October.  The first thing I saw was The Grappler.  I would know that mask and gravely voice anywhere.  And he wasn't just talking about facing Mr. Sorry I Don't Know Your Name Because I Don't Watch Wrestling Anymore, he was talking about RAVEN, better known in these parts as SCOTTY THE BODY!  Not only was the Grappler going to wrestle Scotty, but it was going to happen in Portland, with Matt Borne as the Referee. 
     I was excited to see that the match was on this episode and not only were those three there.  Also in attendance was Mean Mike Miller on the color commentary team, and CW Bergstrom was in the audience.
     Even though it wasn't quite the same as the old days, it was fun to see.  I would have been cool to see Steve Doll and Scott Peterson come rushing out when The Grappler started to load his boot.  And Brian Adams followed  with some milk and cereal for a good old Breakfast Club recreation.  At the end of match Betelgeuse could dance around the ring with his little Guesers, who all happen to be in their 30's now. 
     Maybe this is why I don't watch wrestling anymore.  It just makes me sad for all of the guys that we have lost along the way.  I hope there is a Portland Sports Arena in Heaven! has an event coming up on April 11 in Keizer, OR.

From their website:

You can see DOA Main Event Wrestling each week on these fine stations, or on our YouTube page at!
Portland, ORChannels 11 and 22Mondays at 11 PM and Wednesdays at 9:30 PM
Eugene, ORChannel 29Tuesdays at 9 PM and Saturdays at 9 AM
Salem, ORChannel 22Fridays at 10 PM and Saturdays at 8 AM
Newberg, ORChannel 11Tuesdays at 9 PM and Thursdays at 8 PM
Vancouver, WAChannel 11Mondays at 4 PM
Thursdays at 8 AM
Fridays at 4 PM
West Linn, ORChannel 23Thursdays at 12:30 AM and Fridays at 11:30 PM
(Also includes Oregon City, Milwaukie and Boring, OR)
Corvallis, ORChannel 29Tuesdays at 9 PM
Humboldt, CA

Channel 12
Thursdays at 11 PM and Saturdays at 11:30 AM

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