The bout begins…
Introducing first, the challenger. From Lake Boon, Stow, Massachusetts, weighing 5 pounds, 12 ounces, The Incredible Ari Francis Danger Hulkamania Schultz.
And his opponent, from the Depths of Despair, the World Wrestling Federation heavyweight champion, The Iron “Aortic Stenosis” Sheik.
(Note: Video, starting at 8:02 in, is vital to this post. And should be an essential part of every enlightened person’s education anyway. You’ll thank me.)
8:02 – Sheik still on the offensive.
Aortic stenosis and shaky ventricle squeezing keeping Ari from progressing.
8:20: It looks like the Sheik is giving the Hulkster a pummeling and it’s taking it’s toll. The Hulk now is in trouble.
A week later, it doesn’t let up.
9:22 – Camel clutch coming up. No one has been able to escape it.
Ari scheduled for balloon catheter this morning. Ari looks like he needs support to break the grip.
9:50 –He’s gotta reach down inside for that something extra. <9:52…watch the Hulk’s fingers.> Lookit…he’s powering his way up! He’s made it to his knees. That takes the effect away from the hold.
Ari Hogan stands up to The Sheik and rams him!
The fans are going wild and I’m so excited.
1…2…3…He did it!
We have a new champion. Ari Hogan lowered the boom on the Iron Sheik.
It looked like the aortic stenosis and the questionable ventricle function (the squeezing) were hampering Ari’s progress over the last week. We were prepping for the procedure this morning – no food for hours and an echocardiograph at the bedside before heading in.
11 a.m. we were wheels up and out by the elevator when Dr. Tworetzky came running over to stop us. He told us Ari’s heart function was better, enough that he wanted to wait before intervening surgically to see if the improvement continues on its own.
We wheeled back to the room. (They almost needed to wheel me.)
He hasn’t won the title just yet. The battle’s not over. The rest of the match for now is just positive thinking on our part. But, all by himself, he just pushed his way up off the mat.
Maverick is, indeed, reengaging.
Wait and see. Enjoy more hospital cafeteria food.
Train, say your prayers, eat your vitamins.
Don’t lose your wingman.
Reevaluate in a week.
(Note: 11:38…for the opening words to the WWF Wrestling hour, hosted by Mean Gene Oakerlund, Jessie “The Body” Ventura, and Bruno Sammartino. 30 years later I still say these words to myself every time I see any title change hands.)