Ron Hutchison Chat: Toronto & the Early Days

Ron in his fan days at MLG with Hossein and Backlund. And in recent times

   Pain, Torture, Agony. Not three things at the top of my list but I never wanted to be a pro wrestler. When I was a kid the wrestlers were larger than life. Literally. The whole pro wrestling scene was. And mysterious. In my younger mind it would have been more viable to to become an astronaut (never tried), or a rock star (tried) than a pro wrestler. 

  In the book of the same name Pain, Torture, Agony published by Crowbar Press, Toronto native Ron Hutchison tells his fascinating and inspirational story of being a rabid Toronto wrestling fan, becoming a pro wrestler, and going on to carve out a well respected career as a promoter and trainer of some big names. 

  As a Toronto fan close to the same age as Ron, we shared many of the same favorites. Dewey, Backlund, Hossein The Arab/The Iron Sheik come up often. We are thankful to be able to do a longer-form visit with Ron and discuss some of our favorite T.O. wrestling memories. Enjoy.

Once a fan..

Q-AC. Was there a particular moment or wrestler that made you say 'I want to be a wrestler' At that age did you believe you WOULD become a wrestler

A-RH. I can't say that there was one defining moment or wrestler that made me say that I wanted to be a wrestler. Of course, I did have my favorites, The Crusader and The Sheik but, overall, I think it was just the entire way the sport was presented, as a spectacle that fascinated me. I went to my very first live show on April 7, 1974. It was a match between the Crusader and the Sheik that got me there. If the Crusader lost, he had to unmask and as fate would have it, he lost that night and then unmasked inside the ring. If I wasn't hooked forever before that moment, I was definitely hooked then. That match was, of course, in Maple Leaf Gardens. 

Although I wanted to be a wrestler for as long as I can remember I didn't believe that I would actually be a wrestler until I started and, then, completed my training at Sully's Gym. The business was hard to break into. There weren't a lot of wrestling schools around period, and none in Toronto that I knew of.  When I finally discovered that training was offered at Sully's, got into the school and began to train, I then knew that my lifelong goal was, indeed, possible. I would have been 17 going on 18 at the time. 

What were some of your favorite matchups. Who were your favorites. Did you like the bad guys too, any that you secretly wanted to see win

Of course, my favorite match up would have had to be the Crusader vs. Sheik match in 1974. We had a lot of great matches at the Gardens during the mid-seventies and early eighties. Nick Bockwinkel vs. Bob Backlund, the AWA champion vs. the WWWF champion comes immediately to mind. A champion vs champion match. A real rarity at the time!

Any of the Ric Flair vs. Roddy Piper or Ricky Steamboat matches also have to be considered some of my favorite matchups.

As far as favorite wrestlers go, initially it was the Crusader but when he lost his hood he lost a little bit of his appeal to me and I gravitated towards the Sheik. The Sheik was the man in Toronto. He would meet and defeat any and all comer's week after week, month after month and year after year.

Following the Sheik, Superstar Billy Graham and then, his replacement, Bob Backlund rose to the top of my favorites list. Particularly Backlund who, in later years, I tried to pattern my babyface wrestling style after, complete with red velour jacket and a white towel draped around my neck.

Ron's great fan photos from MLG 1978, Gorilla, Patterson & Stevens, Backlund & SBG in the cage, Dom Denucci

Is there a particular card that stands out as one of the best during our era

As far as complete cards go, I think the first two Canadian Heavyweight Title tournaments stand out to me. I think because they were treated as being very special. They got media coverage with pictures in the Toronto newspapers and Whipper Watson was present. Another that stands out is the Cadillac Tournament won by Jimmy Valiant.

Matches that stood out to me were, of course, the Backlund/Bockwinkel match and a coal miners glove match between Ivan Koloff and Jimmy Valiant. That was a really bloody affair that saw Koloff slice an artery in his head and therefore a trip to the hospital for the Russian bear. 

On Feb. 6, 1977 I witnessed Harley Race defeat Terry Funk for the National Wrestling Alliance world title. I was 12 at the time and the next day I turned 13. That match stands out, again, as it was portrayed as being special. The CHCH television trucks were outside the Gardens, a riser was set up on the North end of the Gardens and Whipper Watson and NWA President Sam Muchnick were sitting in that riser with headphones on, doing commentary on the match. Hardcore fans knew that this was going to be a special night and that something big was going to happen because, as a rule, the television trucks didn't come to the Gardens at the time. Muchnick was never here by that time and Watson wasn't wrestling so he made very infrequent Gardens appearances as well.

Another one that stood out was Abdullah the Butcher vs. The Sheik. I remember it because Abby, instead of coming up the ramp to begin the match like all of the other wrestlers did, came from the south end of the Gardens. He was running with a metal garbage can over his head towards the ring (with the Sheik already in it). He used that garbage can to bash over the Sheik's head. I remember it because it was different. I like different, if it makes sense! 

How did you rank the feds, NWA AWA WWWF, how about the champs, who was the top in your books

In order, I rated the feds as NWA, AWA and, then, WWWF.

The National Wrestling Alliance was definitely the kingpin at the time and their champion was a travelling champion, who even the other leagues recognized as the world heavyweight champion. That being said, as a youngster, I just adored Bob Backlund. And Ric Flair and Nick Bockwinkel were the kings of the ring to me. The 70's and early eighties were a great, great time to be a wrestling fan.  

*AC. Yeah I know but I 've asked everybody that for over 40 years. I had NWA, WWF, then AWA on my list, as we saw Backlund and WWF more in the M-A era but I loved Bockwinkel too. Just as worthy. Most fans that were big on the 77-78 years rank them as Ron did. 

The stars in T.O..

Did you ever get to meet Frank Tunney. How about some of the older stars, Whipper, Fred Atkins, Layton etc. Did you ever go to the office

I don't recall meeting Frank Tunney but I do remember him walking down the main hallway and into the Gardens dressing room the odd time. One time he was carrying a brown paper bag and I remember one of the regular fans making the comment that the bag must have contained the bologna sandwiches that Frank was famous for giving the boys. In reality I think that it was Frank's wife's homemade mustard that the boys liked.

I met most all of the older stars. Mainly when I was a fan, outside on Church street. Not, really on Wood street in the mid-seventies as the wrestling office was located inside the Gardens at the time. It was at the very northeast corner of the building, on Church at Wood Street, with the entrance being on Church street.

I used to try to get their autographs, in an autograph book that I still have. Looking through it for this article, I see I had all of the older names you mentioned above sign it as well as gentlemen like Pat Flannagan, Tiger Tasker, Lee Henning, Lou Pitoscia (at that time managing the Kelly Twins), Frank Valois (manager/handler of Andre the Giant), Lou Thesz, Gene Kiniski, Killer Kowalski and even Abdullah Farouk (manager of the Sheik).

Of course, I went into the office on Carlton Street to get my cheques for working TV many times but, in the early years, when the office was inside the Gardens, I only went in there once and it was on a dare!

A couple of my friends and myself were walking by the Maple Leaf Gardens wrestling office one weekday and the boys dared me to go in there. They egged me on and egged me on and finally, I threw open the big heavy glass and wooden door to the office of the Queensbury Athletic Club and upon entry blurted out, 'I'm the only man who can beat the Sheik!'

I had heard Chris Tolos make that claim on a CHCH television interview on the wrestling show one night so I figured it was as good a thing to say as any as I made my quick, in and out, foray into the office. Before I left though, Jack Tunney spoke up and said, 'Yeah, he'd like to get hold of you too!'

I was in and out of there quickly so didn't have a chance to take much of anything in but when I got back out onto Church street, I remember my friends and I having a great laugh about it.  

Did you get smartened up at all as a fan, when. What kind of inside stuff did you know already, prior to training

As a fan, none of the boys smartened us up. The closest to it would be when the Iron Sheik foreshadowed to me that he would be winning the Canadian title off of Angelo Mosca one particular Sunday. I had befriended the Iron Sheik as a fan, took him down Yonge Street to get a suit jacket one time, chatted with him a lot and on one show day, out of the blue (it may have been when we were going to find him a suit jacket) he said to me, 'Ronny! How do you think the people would react if I were to become Canadian champion?' He was working with Mosca that day, for the title, and I was smart enough to put two and two together and sure enough by the time the show was over The Great Hossein Arab was the new Canadian Heavyweight Wrestling champion.  

Around that time and even prior to that, a bunch of us used to be regulars hanging at the Church street office door, in an attempt to meet the wrestlers. When the Mid-Atlantic guys come in we knew that they were staying across the street from the Gardens at the Westbury Hotel and, most of us, were given permission to access the hotel lobby, sit in the seats and meet the wrestlers. On occasion, Terry Justice would come up from New York state and bring us some of the newsletters that he was publishing. The TNT Times was the name of one of his newsletters. The newsletters contained clippings and news of what was going on all over the United States. Who was wrestling who? The size of the draw, etc. Sometimes, with Terry came Tommy and a young, pre-wrestling days, Eddie Gilbert and we all would sit in the lobby of the Westbury and chat. So, I had all of that knowledge before I even set foot in the training gym.

And, in case you were wondering, as the word spread among more and more fans that the wrestlers were staying at the Westbury things began to get a little overwhelming as far as crowd control issues at the hotel went, so the boys had to move a fair way down the street from the Gardens to the Hilton Hotel on Bay Street, if memory serves me correctly.

*AC. I got a few pics at the Westbury in 81-82 but was chased out of the lobby the few times we tried it, every time

To be pushed, or not..

If you had broken in a few years earlier, say 1975 or 1979 do you think your career here would have been different (as a wrestler). -in relation to how hard it was to break the MLG barrier, and then the WWF machine

If I had broken in earlier there is no doubt in my mind that things would have turned out a lot different for me. I don't even think I would have entered the world of training people. I am sure, given the opportunity that an earlier entrance into the business would have given me (and assuming I was finished with school at the time) I would have be travelling the territories and loving it!

Ron Starr once asked one of my buddies who was visiting him in the Alabama/ Pensacola, Florida territory, You know Ronnie?' Hell, I would have him up here in the territory just to entertain the boys. He wouldn't even have to wrestle!' I was in school at the time or I might have taken him up on his offer, although I would have been wrestling too.

Did you become friendly later with any of the stars you watched and liked. Dewey? BRL . How about the lesser known guys, the Marcus Bros etc

I became friends with Tiger Jeet Singh. Tiger was on the very first live show I saw, the very first show I worked and, when I was training people he brought not one but two of his sons, Tiger Jr. and Rob, into the gym to be trained. I also went on two tours with Tiger, one to England and the other to India. Tiger Jr., of course, toured Japan with his father and worked WWE for a time as Tiger Ali Singh whereas Rob wizened up, even before he finished his training, and is now a very successful realtor in Ontario. Tiger Jr. heads up the Tiger Jeet Singh Foundation which is a non-profit charitable organization which provides people with a hand up, if needed.

I also became great friends with Bobby Bass. He trained at Sully's before me, under the tutelage of Phil Watson. He was already working his craft before I began but when I started, I ended up working with him, touring with him in Atlantic Canada and then, as is common in our business, not seeing him for years until we met up one fateful night at the CAC.

After you were trained did you have a new appreciation for any of the stars you may not have liked before. See them in a new light. Any prelim guys you think could have made it big with the right push here, or in a different era

I really had a deep-rooted appreciation for all of the wrestlers I saw in the ring. It didn't matter to me what position they had on the card. On top, in the middle, at the bottom. I had respect and admiration for all of them. These people were doing what I, at the time, could only dream of doing. When I got trained, I maintained that respect as people that I had looked up to became my co-workers. It was a great feeling to have because when I had my first match I was19 years old and had trained for two years to get to that point. While my friends from school got themselves jobs working in a grocery store or retail store or what have you, I got the chance to live out my dreams while working with my childhood heroes. Guys that I grew up watching on TV. I really don't think there could be anything much cooler than that and, to this day, I count my blessings for that.

I think a lot of the guys I worked with could have made it big with the right push here and it really wouldn't matter the era. As professional wrestling isn't the Olympics it really doesn't matter how great of a wrestler you were or are, the push was dictated mainly by the 'pencil' (booker) and/or promoter. If you had the 'power of the pencil' behind you could be the top star in the territory no matter your skill level. The most glaring example of that would be the push and subsequent championship reigns of Master Sgt. Al Tomko in Vancouver. Was he a golden-haired Adonis? Not by any stretch of the imagination. Was he the best wrestler anybody ever seen? Nope. Many would say, not even close. BUT, he was the promoter/ pencil/ owner of the company and, for years he pushed himself as the top wrestler in the company and, it was a company that was broadcast nationwide throughout Canada.

Another example I'll try to use to illustrate my point is my pal, Tim Gerrard. He worked for years for Tunney but, for the most part, Tunney wasn't pushing locals so Tim went in to work and did exactly what was asked of him. Now, take Tim out of that environment, put him with a different "pencil" who puts him under a hood and calls him one half of the Destroyer's tag team combination and all of a sudden, Tim is working at, or near, the top of the cards.

Bobby Bass, same thing. Tunney was averse to pushing locals (unless he, more or less had to) and I mention this in my book. Prior to working for the Tunney's Bass had a decent run in Stampede, was half of the tag team champions (with the Iron Sheik) in Vancouver, etc. Different 'pencils'. Different ways of doing things. Different ideas.

Iron Mike Sharpe. Most fans remember him for his long line of loses in the WWF. Before that notoriety though he made a name for himself in Vancouver and the Mid-South territory, holding several championships in both. Even when he first entered the WWF he was pushed at the beginning. Most people don't remember that. He came in, was managed by Capt. Lou Albano and even got a WWWF title shot against Bob Backlund at the Philadelphia Spectrum in 1979. Shortly after that, the pendulum swung and he started to be booked differently but he was booked, working steady, making steady money and that is the name of the game.

A wrestler that you'd probably have to be a die-hard Maple Leaf Wrestling fan to remember, Korean wrestler Kim Chang, is one guy I definitely wondered why they didn't try to push. Nice looking guy, decent build, work wasn't bad and, even as a fan not yet in the business, I thought that they could have done more with him. Why? Well, for the characteristics mentioned above but, perhaps, more importantly, because he was Korean! They didn't have Korean wrestlers. Ethnic draws were a huge part of the business at the time and Toronto had/has a very sizeable Korean population. I thought that if they promoted him right, it could have brought out more of the Korean population into the Gardens.

I think that they really could have did more with the Marcus Brothers locally and, really, just about anybody. Now, I'm not saying fans would have bought it, and in a lot of circumstances the boys perhaps couldn't commit to it (let's say for instance, the travelling) because they would rather homestead and come back home every night to be with their families and/or full-time jobs with benefits. There could be a multitude of reasons why anyone wasn't given a push. What I am saying though is, for the most part, given that the wrestler had an even decent amount of ability and athleticism, the "power of the push" fell into the hands of the pencil and I don't think that you'd find too many wrestlers that would disagree with me.

There are so many examples. Nick DeCarlo and, even, Dewey Robertson locally. In my day I remember Nick being used only as a carpenter here. But, prior to my remembrance here, he held several championships throughout the US and Canada including the IWA Brass Knuckles championship. Dewey? When Tunney was using him on top here, went he went down to work for Crockett during the same period, he was used mid-card, at best, there. So, like I said, it's, primarily, up to the 'power of the pencil". You can control your look but you can't control your push.

Quick. Toronto Wrestling..

Pick 4-5 names that encapsulate Toronto wrestling for you - as a fan

Well, first and foremost when you think Toronto wrestling you have to think of the Tunney's, mainly Frank. For decades upon decades, he brought the very best in professional wrestling to the Maple Leaf Gardens. We got matches in Toronto, from different Federations, that all of the other fans could only dream about. We were spoiled here and didn't realize it! 

In-ring I'd have to go with Whipper Watson who became a Canadian wrestling icon as Canada's wrestling representative to the world. He also had a huge media presence for the charity initiatives that he was involved in, most prominently the Easter Seals and his Snowarama's.

The Sheik, being the man at the Gardens for the majority of my youth, certainly cannot be overlooked.  I think that he was almost as important to the Toronto scene as he was to his own Big Time Wrestling promotion in Detroit.

Dewey and Mosca as the Canadian champions of their respective runs are two more names that encapsulate Toronto wrestling for me. They were our hometown heroes and the people could get behind them.

Then, in later years, how could Billy Red Lyons not fit onto my list? Not for his body of in-ring work here necessarily, but rather he became the television face of Maple Leaf Wrestling when the business was sizzling hot in Toronto, he was the man that fans saw weekly on television urging fans sitting at home to 'dontcha dare miss it!' (the next upcoming card.)

Did you travel to see shows outside the area , go to any TV

All of them in Toronto and whatever I could get to locally. Brampton mainly but I also saw the third Pat Patterson vs. Bob Backlund match at Madison Square Garden in New York. Aug. 27, 1979. I remember I talked my mom and dad into taking a family vacation to New York City. It was specifically so that I could see the big wrestling match at the Garden and I ordered two tickets ahead of time from the Garden box office. They were mailed to me here in Toronto. My mother had absolutely zero interest in wrestling so the night of the show, she stayed in the hotel room and my dad and I walked to the Garden to take in the show. 

Always a fan of the business, before and after I broke in, I went with a buddy of mine who used to take photos for some of the wrestling magazines (Brian Lackie) to the first Crockett Cup Memorial Tag Team Tournament in the New Orleans Superdome.

*AC. Brampton was one of McKigney's stops, Ron started his career on a Wildman card in '83

You wrestled Dory Jr and others that you would have seen as a fan, what was your feeling looking across the ring rather than up at it. Did you have any names that you really wanted to wrestle at the time

I felt like the luckiest man alive. Standing in that ring, looking directly across from wrestlers that I had admired for so long and doing what I had dreamed of doing for so long is a feeling that I, probably, can't adequately describe. I was young and while most of my friends would take jobs in grocery stores, perhaps take an internship at a weekly newspaper out in the boondocks somewhere when they got out of journalism school, I on the other hand was pursuing my dreams. I travelled and worked with my heroes. When I did WWF television I was on TV around the world and the business was so popular at that time that, pretty much, everyone that had a TV set had seen me. The business was so hot that, in 1986, the Toronto Sun even ran a full-page feature story on me that was syndicated in newspapers throughout Canada. I really felt that I was blessed.

As far as names that I would have liked to work with at the time goes, I basically worked against every top-level heel in the WWF. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any that I didn't work with in the day (although there may have been one or two). I worked Orndorff, Kamala, Bundy, Adrian Adonis, Dick Murdoch and guys like Jesse Ventura and Roddy Piper that really didn't wrestle on television all that much at the time, but when they did, they wrestled me. When Bret Hart started his heel run in the WWF he turned heel in a singles match with me. I'm about 20 or 21 at the time. I had dreamt of doing this all of my life. As a babyface I worked against all that they had to offer but, if I had been a heel, I think that adding the name Hulk Hogan to my resume would have been so cool.

60 Minutes with..

If you could go back in time what wrestler would you want to do a 60 min bout with. Toronto wise. And in general

Bob Backlund was certainly be at the top of that list for reasons already mentioned above. That would have been the ultimate match for a young Ron Hutchison.  

Ric Flair would have been an obvious choice. Billy Robinson would have been a thrill to work an hour with. 

Plus, and this pick is probably going to surprise you but I would have loved to work an hour long match with Mike Shaw (a.k.a. Bastion Booger, Makhan Singh, Norman the Lunatic, etc.). You're probably thinking how in the hell would we have ever accomplished that? Mike, although around the 300 lb. mark when I was working with him in '86/87 was a very smart worker. In Stampede Wrestling which is where he was working before he joined the Maritime tour, I knew that Mike worked quite a few 60 minute matches, or at least 45 and 50 minute matches, with Owen Hart, and I, just like everyone else, wondered how in the world he was ever able to do that, at his girth?!?

Well, it could be done, IF you worked smart! There is a difference between being able to work and being able to 'work smart.' Mike Shaw, worked smart. It was during a match that I was working with him that I realized just what a 'smart worker' was, as opposed to just being a worker. I was the face at the time and he, if I remember correctly, had just turned heel. He did start off as a face in the Maritimes. Anyway, I was working him, he got his heat on me and I made my comeback. During some point in the comeback he retreated into the corner turnbuckles, sat on the bottom turnbuckle and whispered to me to kick him when I followed him in.  

'Kick me, kick me, kick me,' he would tell me and I, being the obedient face, would do as I was told because that was the lay of the land. The heels called the match and the face followed. Kicked and kicked and kicked at his stomach during my fiery comeback but I was blowing up!?! I was in good condition, but this guy, with the huge waistline, was blowing me up!! Finally, right there in that very moment I knew what he was doing. He was deliberately trying to blow me up. He knew it and was getting a chuckle out of it as I kept kicking away at him. When I realized what he was trying to do and the fun that he was having while doing it, I stopped kicking and said something to the effect of, 'you bastard.' He smirked and right then and there I learned how to work smart. How to pace myself better. How to slow the story telling down. Whatever you want to call it but, that very moment is the exact moment that I learned how to work smart.' I always knew how to work but working smartly was another whole kettle of fish. There's a whole lesson to be had from this paragraph for a lot of today's Indy talent, especially. So, that is how Mike Shaw and Owen Hart worked so many long, long matches around the Calgary loop. With all due respect to Owen Hart, because it takes two to tango, Mike, particularly, had to work smart!


A Boy with a Dream..

How did the book do, any plans on another. Are you working on anything. I know you are involved with the CAC, how did that come about. 

The book, Pain Torture Agony, was well received and, during its launch, at the CAC, in Vegas we sold out of all available copies on hand very, very quickly. The print version is still available to order from crowbarpress.com and the eBook version is available worldwide on Amazon. I don't have any plans to do another as I can't fathom seeing myself sitting down in front of my computer typing for years and years on end again (it took me five years to write it and get it published). 

I am involved with the Cauliflower Alley Club and sit on their executive board of directors. Everyone in the industry as well as fans of professional wrestling should know about it and the great work that it does. The CAC is a non-profit charitable organization that helps those in the wrestling industry that have fallen on hard financial times, through no fault of their own, a hand up by helping in whichever way we can. The club, through the generous support of its membership and donors, helped pay wrestlers funeral expenses, we've helped guys from getting their houses seized on them for delinquent taxes, we've helped with medical expenses (and that's a big issue for many in the United States) and a lot more. It really is my pleasure to, not only sit on the board, but be a lifetime member of pro-wrestling's oldest C-4 charitable organization. Fans and wrestling people (and we do accept BOTH for membership consideration -- there is, to some, the misconception out there that only wrestlers are allowed to be members and that is just not true) can find out more about the club and also apply for and purchase a membership by visiting the CAC website. 

I got involved simply by going actually. For years, I knew about the club and had purchased a yearly membership but in 2012 I actually made my first trip to their annual reunion in Las Vegas. Now, I am not one, nor never have been one to go to wrestling functions of any nature, dinners, conventions, fan fests, whatever. For some reason though, in 2012, the urge hit me to check out the CAC and see exactly what it was about. So, I mentioned it to Luis Martins (who is a former wrestling student of mine) and he expressed interest on attending as well. So, both Luis and I attended our first CAC reunion in 2012 and both loved it!! The both of us have attended every reunion since.

One of my personal highlights that year was, one night in the hotel lobby Bobby Bass and I spotted each other. We hadn't seen each other in years. We embraced and I remember him saying to me, 'Ronnie! How are you? We heard that you were sick. I was getting ready to come to your funeral!' Now whether he was ribbing me or not, I couldn't tell you to this day but I convinced him that I was perfectly fine and that the only thing sick about me was still my mind! LOL

The very next year, in 2013, Bob Leonard (Stampede Wrestling) convinced me to do a wrestling training seminar as part of the free seminar series they gave each year to their members that attend the yearly awards banquets and reunion. I generally don't do things of that nature and, in fact, had never ever wanted to do a wrestling training seminar outside the confines of my training centers in Toronto. I had always kept my training courses private. For the CAC though I agreed to do it and I remember it being billed, factually, as my first ever training seminar in a public forum. The seminar was well attended, well received and was the very last seminar scheduled as part of two days of seminars before the big formal awards dinner.

In 2014 the CAC awarded me with their first ever trainers award as part of their formal awards dinner. As I was walking around the Casino I had two people (that I can remember) come up to me and ask me if I would consider sitting on the CAC board. Those two people that I remember were wrestling historian Tom Burke and CAC executive board member Bob Leonard. I told them both that I would be honored. A bit later on that day I did receive the official word and congratulations from the board.

From starting with the general board in 2014 I then moved to the Executive Board, by unanimous vote, on July 13, 2019. I am still there today and, doing my very best to move the club forward while continuing to do good things for our members and our brothers and sisters in need.

Looking back, looking forward..

Do you have the itch again to be training or promoting in an official capacity. What was the most difficult hat to wear, wrestler, promoter, or trainer

I'd be lying if I said that I ever lost the itch to promote or train again. I noticed that you didn't say wrestle! LOL That is always a possibility too. In my mind, I'm the world's oldest teenager! Perhaps when the world is right, I may just promote, train or, even, wrestle again!  

Of the three, wrestler, promoter and trainer, wrestler was the easiest, by far! All I had to do when I wrestled is show up, wrestle and get to the next town to do it all over again. The wrestlers have it easy as most of them don't have a care in the world.

Training I would put in the middle of that trio. I had a knack for it. The only thing I absolutely hated was the business end of the training. 

Promoting I thought was the most difficult of those three tasks. As I was the promoter/booker (and very, very hands on) I not only had to book talent, but I had to find and/or retain venues, worry about finances, the ring, the ring crew, publicity, ongoing storylines, travel arrangements, etc. You have to contend with the egos and quirks of the talent. Trying to make everyone 100% happy at all times is impossible no matter how much you try. Promoting actually made my physically sick. It's a lot of pressure. In my case, I was worried mainly about any of the talent getting seriously hurt. The business has changed so much that talent started to do things that I thought was pretty unwise, from a safety standpoint. They were working but, in my opinion, a lot of them could have worked a lot smarter! There's that concept of 'smart work' again. Watching them perform and having the weight of the world hang over me if one of them got seriously hurt on my watch was just something that I, eventually, I just couldn't keep doing. 

 Would I do it all again? Absolutely! You have to be a bit crazy to be in the wrestling business to begin with. Some are crazier than others. I followed my dreams and then some. I'm getting closer to where I'm going then where I've been and I wouldn't trade anything for the world. I just hope that some young up and coming wrestler (or, really, anybody reading this far actually, wrestler or not) has the passion and courage to follow their dreams. There will be roadblocks for sure. There will be nay-sayers. There will be hardships but if you want something bad enough no obstacle will be a major hurdle to overcome. Live your dreams my friends. Stay passionate. Stay on the straight and narrow, don't let anyone destroy your dreams and, for those youngsters reading this that are in the wrestling business, for God's sake WORK SMART!!

*AC. And no I didn't ask Ron about wrestling, not because of ageism! Thesz wrestled at 74 after all. When it comes to pro wrestlers never say never! 

_____________________________________

Thanks again to Ron, not only a great wealth of insight but also a very nice and humble guy. We looked at his book, our favorite wrestling bio/auto bio at Ron Hutchison: Pain Torture Agony! and highly recommend it if you want to learn about Pro Wrestling. Period. 

Ron also contributed to our bit Wildman, the OAC & Court

You can find and follow Ron on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RonHutchison1

Buy Ron's book Pain, Torture, Agony at http://crowbarpress.com/cbp-books/44-rh.html 
Soon again he will have autographed copies for Canadian fans. Check his twitter feed for updates. 

The CAC is at www.caulifloweralleyclub.org

We also compiled a Q&A from the KM board on Ron's buddy and ours- Tim Gerrard 
Q&A Tim Gerrard -Part 1
Q&A Tim Gerrard Part II

Photos from the Ron Hutchison collection

-AC

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