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Once More, Unto the Breach
January 23, 2003

by The Immolator
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


"I may seem different, as others may seem different from me. But together we have one common passion. It has taken much of out time, and most of our energy. It has shaped us. All of that we share. The rest are details." 
     - Ken Dryden, "The Game"

Hi there. My name is Calum Macbeth, aka The Immolator, and I like to hurt people.

My apologies once again for taking so long to get this column taken care of. The move across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax has been a pain. It took two weeks to get phone, Internet and satellite hooked up. It should have taken two days, max. Anyway, here I am, so let's go.

Hmmmm... I feel this strange, compelling desire to reach down, waaayyy down and grab THE IMMOLATOR'S GIANT SACK of mail.

Big ups go out to everyone who took the time to e-mail me over the past year. That includes "Steve" from Parts Unknown (probably Toronto... so when will Paul Tracy make the jump to F1, Drood?), who wished me luck with my new sports writing gig at www.covers.com. "Steve" wants to know how he can land a similar "dream job." Well, like Bono once sang, "If I wanna live, I gotta die to myself someday."

Speaking of fine music, in an earlier column I lamented the apparent disappearance of a fine band out of Toronto called Raggadeath. Lo and behold, the very next day I saw a video (on one of those rare occasions, since I don't bother much with the music scene anymore) by a new band called One Year Later. It's got some ex-Raggadeath members in it, including the exquisite Michie Mee on the mic. It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

Now, before I get on with this, let me clarify something: I am not giving up wrestling. Although I have definitely taken a step back in that regard by leaving the cozy confines of NWA-ECCW Pacific Northwest. I still hope to lace up the boots once I get myself acquainted with my surroundings. And once my medical coverage from work kicks in. I'm sorry if I gave the impression I was retiring in previous column. Besides, wrestlers never retire. You should know that by now.

On December 21st, the House of Pain held its graduation ceremony. Included in this crop of graduates, and I hope I've remembered everybody: Matt Classic, Brett Prime, The Amazing Halo, Vid Vane, Jimbo Richards... and yours truly, Calum Macbeth. Also on hand were trainers Gorgeous Michelle Starr and Vance Nevada, along with about a dozen or so current ECCW wrestlers.

Each of us was to receive a certificate, a photo, and a chop from all the wrestlers in attendance. A rite of passage, if you wee-ul. Brett Prime was first. Chop, chop, chop, chop... wince along with me, people. Chop, chop, chop... pretty soon, Prime's chest was beet red, and he even juiced the hard way across one pec. Ouch.

I was next. Starr announced to the packed House of Pain crowd that I wasn't the biggest physical specimen, but I worked hard and gave it 110% and all that. I knew I should have spent more time in the gym these past 15 years. Anyway, chop, chop, chop... damn, that hurts. Reminds me of when I had my body waxed for my appearance in "Salome." Each chop hurt more than the previous. It was quite hellish, actually. By the time Vance Nevada got a hold of me and gave me one of his infamous chops across the back, I was grateful.

I ended up several shades of crimson, but no gashes. Just an abrasion here and there. After that, I think the wrestlers were tired from chopping, because the other graduates didn't receive quite the same Woo-factor chops Brett and I got.

After the ceremony came the wrestling card. I went up against Halo, who beat me with a Lionsault. It was a reasonably good match, I think. Halo, right now, is The Lightning Kid 15 years ago. I wonder how things will turn out for him.

On December 27, Calum Macbeth had his debut at Bridgeview Hall in Surrey against Michael Raines. I was jacked. We were the opening match, and I thank Vance, aka Mr. Opening Match, for putting us in that spot. Vance is a student of the game, and he seems to recognize something worthwhile in my approach, from a storytelling perspective.

Michael came out first and threw out candies and fake snow to the crowd. He was about to cut a promo, but... "Red" by King Crimson hits the PA, and here comes Calum.

There were about 180 or so in attendance, a good-size crowd for ECCW. And they were hot. Putty in my hands. Here's more or less how it went.

CM: "(tapping the microphone repeatedly) Is this thing on? Hello? IS THIS THING ON?! [BOO!] Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Calum Macbeth, and I like to hurt people. [BOO!] But what I don't like, is all this festive holiday CRAP! [BOO!]"

At this point, I see some of Michael's fake snow in the ring. It looks like little pieces of broken glass. Which tells you what frame of mind I was in.

CM: "(to Michael) What the hell is this crap?! Oh, I get it, this is your idea of getting in the holiday spirit. Season's Beatings and all that. Well, there's something you don't realize, Raines. Look at these people. Don't you understand... this is Surrey! The City of Marks! [BOO!] These people don't deserve a damn thing! But I'll tell you what you deserve. I'm going to beat the living hell out of you, yes, you (points finger into chest), and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it."

Michael responds to the challenge by punching me right in the mush. And he connected, too. I stumble back, and eat a series of three clotheslines (trying not to land on the microphone I dropped, which is still in the ring, dammit) before bailing. I jaw with the crowd, turn around, and Michael jumps off the apron and nails me with a clubbing blow, knocking me on my ass. He goes up for another one, but I sock him right in the gut as he comes down.

Ah, the tide has turned. Field goal kick to the ribs. These blows are more intense than at the House of Pain, I must say. Stomp, stomp, stomp. I break the count, then go back out to work again on the leg. "ARE YOU READY?!" I exclaim, then I procure the devastating... Ankle Twist! Oh yeah!

Eventually, referee Beautiful Bruce insists I get back into the ring, so in we go. I kick out Michael's leg from under him, and again. I drape the ankle over the bottom rope, jump wayyy in the air, and sit down on the ankle. Ah, shades of Arn Anderson. And again. "One more?" I go for a third one, but Michael recovers and boots me in the ass, catapulting me over the top rope to the floor.

Tope suicida!!

As Michael Raines is flying over the top rope, Superman-style, everything goes all slow-motion like. The first thing I'm aware of is, there's no mats on the outside of the ring. Second thing is, damn, I just got nailed big-time. Third, I'm falling to the floor, basically on my ass, and I can feel I've landed on the feet of someone in the front row. I'm praying my ankle is all right. It is.

Michael sets up for an Irish Whip into the ringpost. I haven't learned this move, and I also think it always looks bad on TV, but no time to complain. I get my hand up just in time to cushion the blow from my head. I went in so hard, I almost broke my hand with my skull.

Michael tosses me back into the ring. I cut him off at this point, but I can't remember how, because I was too dazed. It might have been an Irish Whip reversal into the turnbuckle and a dropkick to the knees. I love that move. Spinning toe hold! Raines doesn't give up. Elbowdrop to the inside of the leg, and I hook it in. Michael starts stomping his free leg, encouraging the crowd to clap, and I'll be damned, they do. "Stop that!" I shout.

I break the hold and Irish Whip him toward the turnbuckle, but he reverses. I jump up to the second rope and fake going for the reverse cross body. Aha! I'm too smart for him, you see. I go up to the top... reverse cross body! But he's not there! Arrrgh!

I eat a clothesline, he slams me near the turnbuckle... Swanton! One, Two, Three. After about nine or ten minutes, Calum Macbeth has been defeated. Again.

I guess we did a pretty good job. The crowd hated me. They loved Michael Raines. I was sore as hell, but... it was a good night.

The next day, I was on a plane to Halifax.

And that is the end of the tale of Calum Macbeth, wrestling student. With any luck, there will be another chapter: Calum Macbeth, wrestler. But that is another story for another time. Which means my time here at Online Onslaught is drawing to a close.

I want to thank Gorgeous Michelle Starr, Vance Nevada, Disco Fury and Lumberjack Bubba (and The Honky Tonk Man!) for their wisdom and patience in training me. I want to thank everyone in ECCW, and especially my fellow students, for the same. I miss you guys and gals already, and I would be honoured to stomp a mudhole in any one of you, anytime.

I'd also like to thank Rick Scaia for bringing me on last year as your OO Heat recapper, then allowing me to take over Smackdown! duties, then this little thing I call The Ring. It seems like yesterday I was logging on to read the News from Dayton. I guess things have changed a bit since then.

Mostly, I'd like to thank you for reading. I hope that what I've been able to tell you about my experiences will translate to what you see on TV or PPV. It certainly does for me. Mostly, I cringe when somebody gets chopped.

See you on the Web, and maybe in The Ring.



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