I'd like to begin this article with a correction from the previous one. My father informed me that his chest problem he had before his retirement was not diagnosed a heart attack and was not the main reason he had to retire from wrestling.
He was wrestling against a former WWE Superstar, Bull Buchanan. He took a body slam and landed shoulder first.
He says his arm still isn't right to this day because of it. That's just how it goes in wrestling sometimes. It's just a shame it had to end his career.
But anyhow, this article isn't about the end, but rather the pinnacle of his career. Dad had long stopped being "Hogansville's Own" and transformed into The Texas Hangman.
He was a top tag team wrestler in most of the independent ranks in the Southeast.
For those who live in Georgia, he wrestled often on TV69 for a company that was sponsored by Gallery Furniture, which was known as "The company owned by The Wolfman."
As The Texas Hangman, my father was a heel. His partner had a speech impediment, so Dad had to pick up the slack cutting promos and getting heat from the fans, while his partner focused on being the technical wrestler.
Getting heat from the fans is done in several ways. In a small local promotion to the biggest stage of World Wrestling Entertainment, the easiest way to do this is to simply talk about the town you are in in a negative way.
So this was obviously his first technique. Normally, just cutting a simple promo doing that and insulting your opponent in some way and ending it with bragging about your ability is enough to do this. Dad always took it a thousand times farther.
Another way he got heat was pulling illegal swaps. The two wrestlers had similar body build (although you could very easily tell them apart).
They wore the same outfit. They had the same mask. His partner, The Tennessee Hangman, would take a body slam and hold his back and roll out of the ring.
They would then huddle up and walk around in a circle, Dad would hold his back and pretend to be hurt and roll into the ring.
When I look back on it now, I can't help but think about how angry something so simple like this actually made those fans.
I was right there with them screaming "HEY REF! THEY SWITCHED." But as always, the referee was one second too late.
But, these tactics still weren't enough for my father. He took advantage of every moment he had from the time he walked through the curtain until the time he left the arena.
There were times his partner wouldn't be able to tag my Dad because Pops was too busy jawing with a certain fan in the crowd.
He has gone so far as to be shot at and attacked at a red light after a show. These stories will come in future installments.
The story that follows is a series of events. They all revolve around a certain fan. We simply called her Granny.
Granny was an old woman staying in an old person's home in the Carrollton, GA area. She got the chance to leave her facility once a week and she used that time to come to the wrestling shows.
She sat in the front row and was always the most avid fan. She carried a purse with her and never let it leave her arm. This will come into play later in the story.
Because I was in a wheelchair and at the show every week too, we naturally became friends. I can't really tell you why old people and disabled people hit it off so well, but I have found it to happen that way more often than not.
I was about eight years old at the time. It was a typical Saturday evening and Dad was the main event. Granny was there as usual and she had her purse with her.
We had always wondered what she carried in that purse, but no one asked. We just knew that she held onto it for dear life and always pointed it when she got angry at bad guys.
It was a point in the main event when The Tennessee Hangman was taking bumps in the ring while Dad drew heat from the crowd. He had picked Granny to harass for that night.
I won't go into detail some of the things I've heard him use on fans before, but I can promise you that some of them wouldn't get the WWE TV PG rating. But on this night, he had pushed Granny too far.
The Tennessee Hangman eventually got a tag to my dad. Unfortunately for him, it was also a hot tag for Scotty Riggs. He beat up on both of them and tossed Dad out of the ring.
And that is when it happened.
As he rolled outside the ring and onto the cement floor beside the roped off area in front of her, granny drew her purse back and swung it with all her might and connected.
We will never be able to confirm what was in that purse because granny never opened it, but dad swears it was a brick. He laid there motionless for a few seconds before making his way back into the ring.
After the show though, he said her shot was worse than any other bump he took in the match.
Granny got her revenge on my dad. She attended shows for a few more months until we were informed that this certain show a few months after the incident would be her last. We had decided to reveal his identity to her in the locker room.
I had been talking to her during the show and I asked "Would you like to meet my Dad?" "He is one of these wrestlers."
She had obviously assumed that my father would be a baby-face since no bad guy in his right mind would bring his disabled son to the wrestling show. She was in for a shock.
When we got to the back and she saw the masked man, she freaked out and wanted to run the other way. He pulled the mask off and calmly apologized for making her upset and showed her that he was not a bad guy in real life.
I don't know if she ever looked at wrestling the same way again, but I'd at least hope she forgave him for all the times he raised her blood pressure.
So, now you know the story of Granny and the purse. Hope you enjoyed the read. There are many many more to come.
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