CAC Returns from 2008 GCWR

by Wes Daniel

Our eyes may be tired, our throats hoarse from talking so much and our stomachs may be a little (okay, a lot) larger from all the good food, but one definite is that our circle of friends is broader.  We can only be talking about one thing; the 17th Annual Gulf Coast Wrestlers Reunion.  This year saw a record contingent of 14 CAC Board Members descend upon Mobile, AL for the annual event of fun, friendship and Charlie Smith impersonations. (It would have been 15; however, Dean Silverstone was caught in the Dallas “blizzard” and couldn’t make it.  Maybe next year, Dean?)

CAC at Gulf Coast Wrestlers Reunion
Left to Right: Tom Drake, Morgan Dollar, Jason Sanderson, Karl Lauer, Al Mandell, Kurt Nielsen, Chris Drake, Scott Teal, Charlie Smith, Bill Bowman, Les Thatcher, Wes Daniel (not pictured Bob Kelly and Dick Beyer)

The group began arriving on Thursday and were met by the local folk’ for dinner at a local buffet.  The rest of the crew came in on Friday and the Reunion kicked into high gear on Friday evening with the annual spaghetti dinner (complete with a dessert table rivaling the best anywhere) and entertainment going into the evening. 

Saturday saw more fun, more fellowship, more food (MUCH more food) and more entertainment.  The awards started early on Saturday and we were privileged to see Charlie Smith and Danny Hodge, among others, receive the recognition of their peers.  Following the awards was another type of award; an award-winning catfish and chicken dinner provided to the attendees and, of course, more down-home entertainment.  Gulf Coast Wrestlers Reunion truly is a place where friendships are renewed and grudges are forgotten.

I, personally, would like to extend a big thank you to Cowboy Bob Kelly, Bill Bowman and Florence Fields for their sincere and warm hospitality.  I don’t know that I’ve ever felt as welcome and at home as these three special people made me feel this weekend.  I also think that I speak on behalf of all of the attendees in thanking Ida Fields, the widow of Lee Fields, for continuing to provide a home for this tradition that Lee started 17 years ago.  I look forward to returning to the south for this incredible event in the future.

Morgan Dollar, Mae Young and Karl Lauer upon Mae’s arrival on Friday.

For those who are eligible to attend but have never made it, you don’t know what you’re missing.  Each of these events have a different atmosphere.  CAC has the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas.  The Dan Gable Museum has its own flavor as does the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.  The best way to describe the personality of GCWR is that of a family reunion – except, as Percy Pringle stated, with your heroes who are now your friends in attendance.  

Danny Hodge and Ronnie Garvin before departing the Reunion on Saturday

After the Reunion finished late Saturday afternoon, many of the attendees headed over to the Bayou La Batre Civic Center to witness an evening of old-school professional wrestling promoted by High Impact Wrestling.  These boys were held to high standards by the many legends in attendance and they delivered by providing the excited crowd an evening filled with action.
The show opened with CAC Board member and wrestling legend Les Thatcher welcoming the fans and the dignitaries in attendance and preparing us for an evening of ring combat.

Percy Pringle III introduced his 2008 Dynasty of Kent Truth, Kornbread and Klarice and instructed them to deliver a “tough love” beat down on Percy’s own son, DJ Pringle.  Percy’s minions listened to him all too well and the young Pringle had to be assisted from the ring.
In the opener, Mountain Man defeated Jester McKain
The second match saw Kent Truth of the 2008 Pringle Dynasty use his rain stick (provided to him by his manager) to defeat Mercury McLoud.

Honoring the Legends

High Impact took the opportunity to honor many of the legends in attendance and made presentations to Don Fargo, “Marvelous” Marcel Pringle, Exotic Adrian Street with Miss Linda, The Nightmare Ted Allen, Porkchop Cash, Robert Gibson, referee Ray Hall and Bullet Bob Armstrong.
Following the awards, Nightmare Ted Allen defeated Damian Lavay.
Exotic Adrian Street and Ricky “Rocket” Roberts went to a DCOR with Aeon Flexx and Marcel Pringle.
Klarice with Percy Pringle III defeated The Professional in the semi-final and the main event saw John Saxon and Nathan Crown (accompanied by Irresistable Danielle) defeat Sassy Vegas and Wade Garrett.