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Ripping your Maw

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It was a crisp December day. Outside the snow was drifting down and the coeds were bundled in heavy jackets that turned them into formless lumps. Inside the school library, it was cozy warm and one of the girls from my karate class was helping me study for the dreaded Calculus final. Since she was adorable and adorably clad in a slightly too tight sweater, I wasn’t paying complete attention to our studies. Suddenly my roommate Jeff came running towards us waving a note with what for him was frantic energy.

“You remember Rip Chord?” he asked breathlessly.

“Yeah sure,” I gave him an odd look, “what about him?”

“He wants to meet you. I guess he heard you on those wrestling DVDs and thinks you can help him. Here’s his number.” Jeff handed me the note and sure enough there was inscribed the name of one of wrestling’s legends and a local phone number.

I have been a wrestling fan ever since I can remember and in high school I started working for the smallest of the local radio station in my small hometown. Somewhere along the line some of my buddies created a little wrestling fan club that occasionally met other clubs. On one of those occasions a friend of a friend introduced my to a young filmmaker named Craig Wilson who was looking for someone to do the voiceover work on his project about backyard wrestling. On the nebulas prospect of a cut of the take if he ever sold the thing, I recorded his script.

Somehow it did find a minor distributor and made me absolutely nothing, however some folks making a history of wrestling DVD saw Craig’s movie and managed to track me down. For an actual fee and the promise of royalties, I voiced my second wrestling movie. I actually got a check every few months this time, but more importantly Rip Chord had seen the video and tracked me down through wrestling fandom. Its funny how doing an hour’s voice track for an unknown student film changed my life.

The next day I was sitting across a desk from Rip Chord. At first we chatted about the history of wrestling and whether I would feel comfortable as the voice of his budding, he hoped, wrestling promotion. Eventually the conversation turned to the wrestlers he had hired and what he hoped to accomplish, that’s when he found out I was a business major and the spreadsheets started popping up on the computer. After I looked at a mountain of numbers and filtered them through my knowledge of the state of professional wrestling, I summoned my courage and looked the legendary Rip Chord square in the eyes.

“You will go bankrupt within six months,” I told the great man. He blinked at me and nodded, as if he wasn’t too surprised. I proceeded to point out that with only his name to sell the promotion and an impressive but small collection of backers, he would be lucky to draw a hundred fans to his early events. The sponsors he had lined up would have to cover the living expenses of Rip and his girlfriend Karen, which would come to something like four thousand dollars a month from what he had told me, the cost of running the organization, renting a hall and paying all the workers. From what I could tell he would have maybe $3000 to cover the cost of each show and his announcer, referee and two valets already had per appearance contracts for that amount leaving nothing to pay the wrestlers.

After I got done with my deconstruction of his dream he smiled stuck out his hand and said, “Congratulations son, you are the new General Manager of Mid Atlantic Wrestling.”

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