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I hope that each of you had a good and enjoyable 4th of July and that you didn't eat too much.

This month I decided to write about a happening that occurred in Johannesburg, South Africa, while on a tour there.  I believe that this particular tour took place in 1985.  At this time, I was a tag-team partner of "Diamond" Timothy Flowers and I wrestled as "The Blonde Bomber".  We were heels and had our hair bleached almost white and had it spiked. Our gimmick for this tour included carrying the American flag and a patriotic theme.  We were the bad boys from the U.S.A.

The stadium that we were wrestling in was huge and seated around 20,000 fans and the event was completely sold out.  South Africa is a wild and crazy place anyway but this stands out in my memory as THE wildest and craziest place that I ever wrestled.

The ring was, of course, in the center of the floor and it had some sort of canopy over it.  The fans were so hyped up for the event that you could actually feel the electricity in the air.  Tim Flowers and I came out and we had them play our National Anthem. Needless to say, that really ticked them off.

Then the two wrestlers from South Africa came out and they played their anthem and carried in a flag representing South Africa.  We began our match and ended up beating the good old boys from South Africa.  Following the match, I held up the United States flag and then all hell broke loose.  Tim Flowers, in the meantime, had somehow gotten hold of the South African flag and was proceeding to stomp and spit on it.  Well, not wanting to let a good gimmick go by, I joined him.  We even went as far as to rip and tear their flag.  Well, this incited the crowd to absolute madness.  I mean, they were PO'd to the max.

The next thing we knew was that the crowd was hurling beer bottles and trash upon us.  The canopy that covered the ring fell to the floor.  The crowd was so rowdy and out of control that we thought that they might actually riot.  Apparently, the police did, too, because they lined up shoulder-to-shoulder to keep the crowd back so that we could exit the ring. The police then formed a circle of sorts around us and they escorted us to our dressing room.

As we were making our way down this path of frenzied humanity to get to the dressing room, Tim Flowers walked ahead and I brought up the rear. Before I knew what was happening, a fan broke through the police line and I felt him hit me in the back.  The police quickly closed in on him and he broke free and ran into the crowd.  They asked if I was okay and I said that I was so we quickly made it to the dressing room.

I found that I was getting weak physically and one of the police told me that my back was bleeding.  Yes, it WAS bleeding because I had been stabbed in the back with some sort of knife or sharp instrument! The person in charge of medical issues for the facility looked at my back and told me that he didn't think it was too bad, so he suggested that we "butterfly" it.  Not knowing any differently, I agreed to this and I continued wrestling for the rest of the tour with a bandaged stab wound in the lower left portion of my back.  The show must go on!

They never did find the person that stabbed me. However, we found during this match how to "crank up the heat".  No question about it.  We continued to use the U.S.A. gimmick for the rest of the tour but, needless to say, we didn't go to the extreme of stomping and tearing their flag again.  And Johannesburg, South Africa, is burned into my memory as the site and location of the match that I'll never, ever forget.

See you next month.

Art Crews
a/k/a  The Kansas Cowboy
a/k/a  The Blonde Bomber

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