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THE BEST TIMES I EVER HAD IN WRESTLING: REMEMBERING THE ECW BLEACHER BUMS

By Dave Scherer on 2021-11-17 10:00:00

You can send us questions for the PWInsider.com Q and A at pwinsider@gmail.com.

AEW has gotten me back into the business after WWE turned me off.  I came back to the site and went Elite!  The site is still great.  I have some questions.  I was able to go around the country to watch wrestling in the 80s and 90s. Some buildings had great regular fans. The best group I ever saw (and heard) were the Bums in the ECW Arena. I went to six shows and they were definitely part of the show. I know you were one of the ringleaders.  How did your group come together?

I am completely biased but I say that the Bums were the best fan section ever in wrestling.  I had sooooo much fun at those shows.  Basically, in the beginning I went to see ECW with my friends Pop and Rat.  Rat and I were kind of loud and chanted stuff, but there weren’t all that many people there back then.  When things started heating up in 1994, a group from NY came and sat near us in the bleachers.  That is the genesis of the Bums.  Dave Toste was their version of me and we definitely came up with a lot of crazy stuff together, all off of the top of our heads.  Everyone could suggest stuff.  Some of it was perfect at first, other stuff we spent 30 seconds trying to make better.  A lot of people told us we were a great part of the shows, especially during the down time (which was often).  We were kind of like an English soccer crowd before such a thing existed I guess.  Or maybe it did, I wouldn’t know.

Are you still friends with people that you met back then?

Jim “Quigs” Quigley, who was our photographer on the ECW site, and a consigliere to yours truly, is my brother from another mother and will be for life.  Jess McGrath is another great human being, though I don’t get to talk to him as much as I used to.  Of course, there is also that Mike Johnson guy.  He’s OK.  Honestly, there are a lot of people I haven’t seen in years that it would be just like yesterday if I saw them tomorrow.  They were great times.

Why did you stop sitting with the group?

When it started, I was just a guy who loved wrestling.  Over the course of ECW, I became a journalist (not by a grand plan, but it happened anyway).  ECW owner Tod Gordon, who is one of the few people on this planet I would take a bullet for, told me that since I was becoming a respected voice covering the business, I had to leave the fan aspect behind.  He told me it was time to sit up on the stage with the other media.  I can tell you this, if it were not for my brother Tod, you wouldn’t be reading this right now because I would never have gone in the direction I did covering the business.  Tod Gordon was an integral part of me going from fan to what I am now (and you all can decide what that is).

Did the group ever become part of an angle?

There was one time when Tod was doing an angle with Shane Douglas.  Douglas was in the ring and Tod wanted to fire back at him among HIS Bleacher Bums (he named us).  So we got to be his backup.  It was at a spot show, not at the Arena, which kind of made it more fun to me.  There was another time when it got a little hairy.  The NY group had a member named Big Vin.  He was like a walking glacier.  I called him 212, since he was from the NY area and was almost as big, and the fans in the building grabbed on to it.  He was 212 to everyone.  So one night, I forget what happened but Vin was in the bleachers chanting something at Sabu.  Sabu took offense for some reason (I should also say that most of the wrestlers knew us and loved playing to/with us).  So Vin, kidding around, does the “I am pissed” bit and kind of moved to the ring, purely kidding around.  Myself and Eugene Stern (God knows where he is today) “hold him back, hold him back” bit, also playing around.  Sabu then did or said something that pissed Vin off, and 400 pounds started storming to the ring.  He literally took both Eugene and I for a ride with him.  The fans are screaming “212, 212!”  Eugene and I most assuredly were not in agreement!  He got really close to the ring and somehow we calmed him down enough to not go any further.  ECW sent Tommy Dreamer out to talk to Vin about making an angle out of it but he didn’t want to be in the business.  So at the next show, or a later show, I forget, they sent the Public Enemy out to cabbage patch with Vin in the bleachers.  Damn, ECW was so great.

What was it like to be part of a group like that?

It was awesome.  Every three weeks or so, we would go to that sweat box in South Philly and have the times of our lives.  I am lucky as hell to have had the opportunity and I appreciate it to this day.  I thank you for sending me these questions.  I loved answering them!  What a great trip down memory lane.  And, thank you for your support!

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