Hi, Scott! Long-time stalker of your content here.
I was reading your most recent Wrestling Observer Flashback (the 8/29 one as of this writing), and you mentioned that trainwreck of a call-in show prior to SummerSlam 1994. One of my most vivid memories as a pro wrestling fan was when I called into that show as an 11-year-old kid, in his second year as a wrestling fan. Yeah, I got into wrestling during this garbage time to be a wrestling fan. I don’t know how I stuck around, either.
I remember calling all night trying to get in on that, and getting busy signals. But once, just once, I picked up and got… silence. No instructions or anything. Having never called into a show like that before, and being a dumb 11-year-old with a minimal amount of sense, my reaction to getting nothing but silence was to shout “Hello? Hello? Mikey!” and then hang up. For the record, I can’t say that I really remember what I was going to ask if I had been aware that I was going to be “live”.
So, I kept watching the call-in show, because I was 11, didn’t have good cable, and there was nothing else on the air for me. Towards the end of the show, Vince and the King got to this guy named “Vinnie from New York”. And for some crazy reason, he shouted “Hello? Hello? Mikey!” at them in a confused, yet obviously handsome 11-year-old’s voice.
I remember Vince and Lawler looking very confused themselves, until Lawler pushed the toilet flushing button that I think every soundboard is federally mandated to have to get rid of the voice.
I would say it’d been ten minutes since I hung up then, but I know that was me.
My name is not Vinnie, and I was from the most dogshit part of rural Tennessee at the time. I’m a New Yorker in the same way that Tommy Rich and Tracy Smothers are full-blooded Italians. Even the call-ins were kayfabed.
Wrestling, am I right?
So, what I’m trying to get at is that it was indeed a representative sample of WWF/E’s actual audience. Children and dumbasses called into that show. Sometimes both!
Vinnie from New York
An inspiring story!