By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
But the Traveler is not through with me. As I stand there in the main room gulping my O'Doul's, there's a tap on my back. I turn and there he is, eyes blazing, bits of chewed-up Styrofoam peanuts mixed with saliva dripping from his mouth. The Time Traveler raises a hand, and offers me some.
The Match Continues
Okay. Fast forward two matches. The Drifter is nowhere to be seen and that guy in the Klan outfit is about to get into the ring. His name turns out to be the Klansman. Ain't that a kick in the head?
Guys getting hit with trash-can lids, guys regurgitating Styrofoam, this kind of stuff I can get into. But dressing up as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, well ...
I'm not the only one with such sentiments; even though the Klansman is her husband's favorite wrestler, good ol' Christine is more than willing to speak out.
"He's a racial jerk," she spits out. "They should not allow him in Tucson. What makes a person even want to dress like that, and then walk around and say to the colored people, 'I don't like you, I don't like you'?" (Later in the night, I relate this statement to hubby Don, the ref. He says, "Aaahhhhhh, it's a free world, you know.")
Susan, Section 8's lady, chimes in:
"We had little gingerbread cookies made for the wrestlers at Christmastime, and he took two 'cause they're brown, and he chewed their heads off."
Standing next to me is A.J., who's in a band called Stinky Slinky. He's a wrestling fan, is great buddies with Section 8; whenever 8 enters the ring, it is to a Stinky Slinky tune titled "Iron Buddha." However, A.J. is presently at work on a unique, defining composition for Section 8, his very own theme song, if you will, an anthem designed to herald the wrestler wherever he competes.
"It'll be strictly for him," explains A.J. "It's called 'Section 8.'"
How would you describe the song?
"Motsrhead meets a big kick in the face, basically. It'll scare people, I think."
From where do you draw your inspiration--how does the creative process work?
"I come out and watch him, and I go from there. I watch what he does, then I go back and write a little bit more. I watch him kick somebody's ass, then I go home and write a little bit more."
We talk about the Drifter.
"The Drifter's pretty cool," says A.J. "I think he got a little shortchanged. Time Traveler: I haven't seen that kind of dirty play in a long time."
Not only is A.J. writing the new Section 8 theme song, he's actually going to become a part of the extended Section 8 professional family.
"Earl is Section 8's new manager, and that gentleman with the hat on is Earl's bodyguard, and I'm going to be his valet," he says proudly. "I'm going to run around and brush his coat off and stuff, make sure his hair's all in place and stuff. I'll be Earl's primper."
I ask A.J. if he'll get to have a name.
"I don't know. Maybe I'll just be the Little Guy. I'll be the little weasly guy who goes around and pokes people, then runs."
The Main Event
Look, I could tell you about the Main Event, but A.J. can do it better. Imagine a man who has just gargled with adrenaline. But before I turn things over to A.J., there is one thing you must know about:
The Cart of Doom.
This is a market cart filled with large, potentially dangerous items that the wrestlers may choose from and then attack each other with.
With that explanation, I give you A.J.:
"It was the Time Traveler and Section 8 against Hatchet Jack and the Drifter; it was a tag team. There was the Cart of Doom, bats, boards, frying pans, fences, gates, everything. I don't know what happened; the Drifter got thrown over the top, the Time Traveler turned on Section 8--turned on his teammate, man--and the Klansman came out, and they all started beating the shit out of Section 8. Then Big Daddy came out from behind his desk, got into it with a chair, started whopping 'em, then the Klansman knocked Big Daddy out cold, and they finally got him out of the ring. It was crazy, man, it was out of control--"
But where was the Drifter??!!
"I don't know. He disappeared. He was gone. He was just here, then he was just gone! He was gone, man! Turned tail and split! I don't know if he's gonna be welcome back here again. He drifted in and he drifted out!" A pause, A.J. grows thoughtful.
"Maybe that's how he does it."
The refereeing for the night is over for Road Boss Don. He lights up a smoke. He's seen 'em come, he's seen 'em go. The Road Boss shares a little wisdom.
"The Drifter? Uh, I don't know, uh, I think he's kinda nutty, myself. He'll turn on anybody."
But has he got promise?
"Oh, yeah, yeah."
So he's good?
"Both ways, more or less."