Ribs. No, we're not talking about the meat. We're talking about practical jokes. The word "ribs" is a term used in the pro wrestling world to describe practical jokes and/or hazing that Superstars do to each other, or to fans of the business. Everyone loves a good story about a backstage rib.
From time to time, I will check in with a couple of infamous pro wrestling rib stories, some of which I'll recall myself, others I will quote directly from Superstars who have been involved in the business.
To kick things off, I will tell a classic quick rib story involving Vince McMahon and Jonathan Coachman.
The year is 2000. Jonathan Coachman is a new addition to the WWE broadcast team. Gerald Brisco, a WWE agent and executive at the time informs Coachman that he would like him to start a professional football pool for the guys to bet on and have some fun with during football season. Coachman, being a rookie in the company, did what he was told. He set up the football pool as asked and the guys would place ten dollar bets on the games.
Down the road a bit, at one of the WWE television tapings, a security guard at the arena told Coachman and informed him that the police were in the arena and they have a warrant for his arrest due to illegal gambling. The cops catch up to Coachman and handcuff him. They begin to escort him out of the building, however they stop by Vince McMahon's office first. The cops inform McMahon that his employee is being arrested due to illegal gambling and McMahon becomes livid. He's pissed and he lets it be known in that moment. The officer asks McMahon if he's going to be bailing Coachman out of jail or getting him a lawyer. McMahon informs the officer that he wants nothing to do with it and that Coachman is on his own. The cops ask McMahon if they should at least hide the fact that Coachman is handcuffed, as to not portray his company or employees in a bad light when escorting him out of the building. McMahon reportedly threw a pair of his dirty underwear at Coach's head to hide his identity.
So they leave the building with everyone looking at Coach, including The Undertaker, who shakes his head at Coachman in disgust. Coachman is on his way out the building, with McMahon's dirty underwear covering his handcuffed hands. They get outside and the officers put Coachman in the police car and begin to leave the arena.
Apparently during all of the chaos, the officer forgot that he had left his deputy in the building, so he turns the car around to pick him back up. As they pull back up to the building, the entire locker room, with Vince McMahon standing in front, are laughing their asses off at Coachman. Coachman was the victim of his first rib in the wrestling business. They got him good.
Sometimes it's better to let those involved tell the story, as to get a better feel of what actually went down -- in specific detail. WWE Hall Of Famer Tammy "Sunny" Sytch has shared some infamous pro wrestling ribs during various radio appearances. The following is a story, in Sytch's own words, about a rib involving Owen Hart and "The British Bulldog" Davey Boy Smith.
"WWE had two weeks on tour in the Toronto area, and to save money on car rentals 12 of us rented a 12-person van. If I can remember, it was me, Chris [Candido], Billy & Bart Gunn, Davey Boy [Smith], Marty Jannetty, Goldust -- I can’t remember everybody. Owen Hart had a fan in the Toronto area that would drive him around because Owen was the cheapest man alive and wherever he could skim on a dollar he would and was riding behind us. At that time you could get fireworks anywhere, and Davey had this great idea to buy fireworks off the side of the road. He must have spent $200 on fireworks, and he had decided to start shooting Roman candles out the windows of the van at Owen behind us. Owen is driving into the candles to have them hit the grill, we driving 70 miles an hour on the QEW and cars are swerving because they are just seeing these fireballs coming at their windshields out of the van and they have no idea what is going on."
Funny stuff, right? It doesn't end there. Sytch then recalls the story of Smith returning the van and pulling one over on the car rental establishment.
"The middle seat on the van was torn right out, they broke the passenger side window and it wouldn’t even go up anymore, the carpet was burned and stained, the van smelled like it had been on fire. Davey goes to return the van to the rental agency and in his thick British accent said ‘I can’t believe you rented me a van like this, I had my children in this van and there are burns in the carpet, it smells like smoke, the window doesn’t go up and it’s the middle of winter, and there is no middle seat.’ They believed him to the point where they credited the two weeks of rental onto his credit card and gave him a free rental for the next time he was in the area. The best part is, Davey isn’t even the one who rented the van. That was how convincing he could be. Let me tell you, when we got the van it was brand new. We destroyed it, it looked like a bomb hit it when we returned it. We were all just in amazement that Davey could convince them."
That's all for now, boys and girls. Make sure to keep an eye out for the next installment of "Random Pro Wrestling Ribs Told In Detail."
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