He’ll show you who’s the king of the ring!
“…I have refereed around 200 fights. I have been punched in the face and below the belt numerous times, I’ve had a bloody mouthpiece spat in my face, I’ve been bitten two times… and I’ve been chased out of the ring by a homeless prostitute,” James Bruno recalls the days of late 1990-ies when he worked as a referee at an amateur tournament called Monday Night Raw (not to be confused with the homonymous WWE show).
Monday Night Raw was a pretty messy event with people signing up out of the crowd and stepping in the ring with no idea who they were going to fight. Like in any other amateur promotion, there were some good skillful fighters. But most of those who signed up were, according to Bruno, ‘thugs, degenerates, punks, bikers, gang members, ex-convicts, and other self proclaimed tough-guys’.
Bruno’s most notorious moment, known as ‘Choke slam from hell’ happened in a fight where one of the guys showed no sportsmanship from the very beginning. “The guy was acting like a punk, talking smack and disrespecting everybody. These were two jerks fighting over a $20 bar tab and a free t-shirt,” James Bruno remembered. Things got hot when the referee accidentally knocked the misbehaving fighter and apologized immediately, patting him on the helmet. However, the knocked guy pushed Bruno and told him to ‘go and f**k himself’. As the poor jerk still held his hand on Bruno’s neck, the referee realized it was the time to react as quickly as possible. The slam he performed almost beat all life out of the offender but who could say the guy didn’t deserve it ?