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…I’m assuming, or at least I think, in kindergarten.

I know I was four when we met because Andy was at my fifth birthday party.

Here’s a photo of Andy at my first-ever friends’ birthday party in September 1981. Andy is in the background with the dark hair, peeking out from the left side of my super-excited face.

September 1981: 1703 W. Bolivar Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

After the gifts were opened, the party moved to Showbiz Pizza. Andy is on the far right side holding a red balloon.

September 1981: 1703 W. Bolivar Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I previously posted about this party here.

Anyway, sometime soon after this party happened, Andy stopped going to the same school. I’m assuming he moved to a different neighborhood or something, though the exact details are lost on me. I mean, it was almost 40 years ago.

One year, Andy was there. The next, Andy wasn’t. That’s just childhood for you.

Decades passed. I went off to college in Ohio, then moved back to Milwaukee, then moved to Los Angeles, Chicago, and on and on and on. I became a husband, a father. I lost my hair. That’s just adulthood for you.

But then, out of the blue, my good friend Milan mentioned to me that an independent wrestling circuit called Mondo Lucha had started up in Milwaukee. It was run by this awesome guy named Andy Gorzalski. Yep, that Andy Gorzalski.

Milan (an old college friend of mine) and Andy (an old elementary school friend of mine) had become friends independently of me. That’s just Milwaukee for you.

Mondo Lucha only puts on one show a year (occasionally, a second show), and not living in Milwaukee has always made it tough for me to attend. But this past September 7th, KB, Ciappa, and I headed to Milwaukee to join our good friends Milan, Dori, and Jodi and celebrate the 10th anniversary of Mondo Lucha.

A surprise appearance from “Mean” Gene Okerlund kicked off the night…

"Mean" Gene Okerlund!

…and the fans in the audience were just as colorful as the wrestlers in the ring.

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

A robot wrestled…

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

…as did a Space Monkey. Literally, his name is Space Monkey.

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

Zach Gowen made a return appearance at Mondo Lucha…

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

…to prove that, with only one leg, he’s still in better shape than I am with two.

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

A trash-talking manager in a hot pink outfit…

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

…leapt off the top ropes and brought everyone in the ring crashing to the mat.

Mondo Lucha: 9/7/18

That guy in hot pink? Andy Gorzalski…

Andy!

…37 (or so) years after that day at Showbiz Pizza.

In addition to Mondo Lucha, Andy has done some amazing things for the city of Milwaukee. For example, check out this ESPN 30 for 30 short doc they did on Andy called MECCA: The Floor That Made Milwaukee Famous.

Then, learn more about Mondo Lucha here.

Hopefully, it won’t be another four decades before we see each other again. At the very least, I know I’ll see him next year when I take in another amazing night of independent wrestling. And old friends.

Andy aged much better than I did,

-Shady

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More like the AWESOMEST place on Earth!

Ohhh yeah… brother!

Pretty sweet costumes, especially for a middle-aged daughter and her slightly-more-than-middle-aged mom.

Still, the best Macho Man costume ever goes to my good buddy Kevin Kittridge who, on the night of our wedding three years ago, braved a brisk fall evening in Chicago wearing nothing more than hot pink underwear and a sequined cape.

Look at the balls on this guy! Literally!

Snap into fucking awesome!

And I like to think I made a pretty good Hogan myself.

So many wrestling costumes, so little time,

-Shady

…but before we handed over any books, I did a quick flip through their pages to make sure I didn’t leave anything precious behind.

Luckily, I found this:

"SNAP INTO A BOOKMARK!"

Ooo, YEAH!

Snap into a bookmark,

-Shady

…got a huge boost recently with these two new pieces by German graffiti duo Herakut. (Click on all images for a larger version.)

Learn more about Herakut here.

And then there’s this. Just as sweet, but for a totally different reason.

Glad I saw these before some asshole painted over them,

-Shady

…earlier today in this post about “Macho Man” Randy Savage’s untimely death, but in October 2003 I had the opportunity to interview Randy.

You can read the full interview here.

I have to be honest and say that, initially, news of Savage’s death didn’t really affect me all that much. But after reading through that interview again today, and after reliving a bunch of my childhood through various old wrestling clips on YouTube, I must admit that Savage’s death kind of bums me out.

I only got to talk to him over the phone for ten or fifteen minutes, but he definitely seemed like a good guy. He was not only nice enough to answer our famous “Do dogs have lips?” question, but also record this short sound byte for our website. Pretty great.

I’m glad that I not only got to see him wrestle live (at Wrestlefest in Milwaukee on July 31st, 1988, where he beat Ted DiBiase to retain the Heavyweight Title) but also talk with him on the phone, albeit it briefly, some fifteen years later.

So rest in peace, Macho Man. Oh, yeah.

Being sincere for once,

-Shady

dead at 58.

Oh yeah,

-Shady

Old Poop!

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