Slaughter Special Guest At Military Appreciation Day Event

By Jeff Sharkey

The 2011 Cauliflower Alley Club recipient of the Iron Mike Award, Sgt. Slaughter, continues to show why his recognizable image spans across the world of professional wrestling and into other arenas.  On July 14 at Time Warner Cable Field in Appleton, WI, Sarge was the featured personaility as part of Military Apprection Day .  The stadium is home to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Class-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Sgt. Slaughter poses with Fang, mascot for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

The Timber Rattlers faced their rivals from West Michigan on this night, and a late-game rally put the home team on top to stay, closing it out with a 2-1 victory.  Military personnel received free admission by showing their military I-D card.  Close to 2900 fans came out for the festivities.  Sgt. Slaughter pulled more than double duty by throwing out the first pitch, holding court during the seventh-inning stretch, and signing autographs both before and during the game.   The feared â??Slaughter Cannonâ? was not necessary on this occasion, as Sarge rode around the infield with Fang, the Timber rattlersâ?? mascot as they fired goodies from the teamâ??s prize cannon on the back of a National Guard truck instead.

Fans of all ages came out to see the Sarge.

â??Sarge was really great to work with,â? said Angie Ceranski, Director of marketing for the Timber Rattlers.  â??He was very concerned, making sure everyone got what they needed.â?Â  Indeed, the response to Slaughterâ??s personal appearance resulted in a number of classic photo opportunities and left hundreds of fans who approached his table with great memories.  Sargeâ??s smile beamed throughout, interrupted only long enough to break out the snarl and scowl for the camera.   â??He was a perfect tie-in to the Military Appreciation Day, â?? Ceranski said.  â??Heâ??s a really good guy overall; he gets it.  He knows about customer service, and our line was consistent throughout the game.â?

No line jumping to meet the Sarge!

Slaughter remembered his early days in wrestling with Timber Rattlers staff before the game, recounting a match he refereed between Mad Dog Vachon and The Crusher in Milwaukee, and thinking he wasnâ??t very good in the role.  When asked by promoter Wally Karbo what made him think that, Sarge said it was due to the crowd getting on his case.  Karbo said, â??Then you were doing your job right.â?

Slaughter demonstrates the Cobra Clutch on fellow CAC member Tom Walker!

He also explained the technique of the Cobra Clutch to local reporters, recalling his training camp under Verne Gagne in the early 1970â??s and how the famed Gagne sleeper applied pressure.  Sarge then demonstrated how the blood flow is constricted on both sides of the neck with his technique and thus, the Cobra Clutch would subdue rivals in short order.

Slaughterâ??s popularity spanned several generations as fans young and old alike patiently waited their chance to meet the former AWA Americaâ??s Champion and WWF World Heavyweight titleholder.  All said, it was an evening filled with fun while also paying respect to military personnel.  Kudos go out to The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers organization in putting together a spectacular day of activities.

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