How would you like to be this guy? You’re all kinds of tanked up on liquor of various sorts, you’re at a pro wrestling event, and you think “Hey, these guys aren’t so tough. Heck, I’m bigger than that guy in the mask! I bet if I got in there, those guys would piss themselves and run away!” You work up the nerve to jump the barricade, you stick your head in the ring… and get it almost taken off by a kick from the 5’6″, 140 lbs referee. Worse still, you then get locked in a choke hold by said tiny referee, and are held down, unable to break free (and clearly in great discomfort) until security guards hit the ring and frog march you away.
Pro wrestlers have been “protecting the ring” by beating the crap out of any fan who dared get too close since time immemorial. But what this dude didn’t count on was getting in the ring with Brian Hildebrand, better known as referee Mark Curtis–a man Mick Foley once described as, pound-for-pound, one of the best wrestlers he had ever seen. He trained for years to be a wrestler, but his metabolism would never let him put on any significant muscle mass. Coupled with his small stature, this effectively ended his dream of being an active wrestler. Instead, he became a manager and later a referee.
The best part of the video is how amused the announcers are by what is going on in the ring. Like most other events that have to sometimes deal with fan interference, most wrestling organizations have a policy of not broadcasting fans who get in the ring, and usually the announcers make just a passing reference to such things–just enough, usually, to let the viewer at home know why there is suddenly a long shot of the crowd on their TV. This time, however, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan is clearly so tickled by what happens he can’t stop talking about it.
The wrestlers too take it unusually in stride. As I said before, wrestlers tend to beat the crap out of anybody who gets in the ring who shouldn’t be there. It’s something of a time honored tradition. Dean Malenko and Psychosis, however, barely break their rhythm. Dean watches the guy get in the ring, and he and Psychosis both give him one good kick after the ref takes him down. Then they just go about their business, realizing everything is under control. They continue the match like they didn’t just see a big fan get taken down by “the smallest referee in the world” (as the Brain puts it).
Sadly, Brian died of cancer in 1999. He was just 37. But we’ll always have evidence of what a tough little son of a bitch he was!