By MIKE CHAIKEN
Kurt Adonis retired from pro wrestling back in 2009. Ever since that moment, there has been a move afoot to bring the Bristol-based wrestler to the ring for “one more match.”
At last, the fans will get the chance to see Adonis do battle once again.
On March 28, five years to the day of Adonis’s last match, he will join the heavily stocked roster organized by Northeast Wrestling to benefit the Waterbury Police Athletic League.
But Adonis had one request if he was going to step back from his life of leisure. Northeast Wrestling needed to make a donation to Bristol’s Ed Beardsley Challenger Sports Program, which works special needs children and adults. In an email interview, Adonis said the program is in need of some extra funds. Thus, his willingness to put life and limb on the line.
We caught up with the well-tanned grappler via email to talk about Wrestlefest 18 planned for Friday, March 28 at Waterbury’s Crosby High School.
Observer: Kurt, you’ve been sitting back, taking it easy in retirement. What made you decide to set aside the pina coladas and games of gin rummy to return to the ring?
Kurt: Well, as much as I’d like to admit that I’ve been sitting around with a beverage in one hand and some cards in the other, I must correct you my friend as your information is far from the truth. Yes, I have been away from the world of professional wrestling for five years now, but I have been nothing but active in other ways. See, when you have been part of something as exciting as wrestling and then stop, you need something to fill that void…and I’m happy to report I have found that outlet and it is helping others. When I was wrestling– and getting beat up every weekend, it was for Northeast Wrestling who put on the biggest wrestling fundraisers in the country– I was helping people and taking a beating at the same time. Once I stopped, I realized I could help people without being body-slammed or punched…and that is why I’m coming back for one night only.
O: What did you miss about wrestling while you were on the sidelines?
K: Anyone who has been involved in wrestling will agree with me when I say the thing you miss the most is the fans. Whether they cheered me or booed me, just the fact that they came to a show and were able to show their emotion towards me is indescribable. Next to the fans, I missed the other wrestlers… Sure, I’d get to see a lot of them on TV, but it wasn’t the same as seeing them at shows and in a locker room. Growing up, I idolized many of the people who have grown to become my friends. Not seeing them on a regular basis started taking its toll on me, but on March 28 I look very forward to seeing guys I used to work with all the time like Jerry “The King” Lawler, Sgt. Slaughter, Matt Hardy, A.J. Styles, Velvet Sky, Ron Zombie, Brian Anthony, and a whole bunch more.
O: What have you been doing to condition yourself after taking it easy in your lounge chair by the swimming pool?
K: Well, one thing is for sure, you can tell by my golden tan that I did spend plenty of time next to the pool (well, either the pool or the “Electric Beach” during this blistering cold winter). Conditioning is a concern of mine. I will be the first to admit that I am not on the same level of physical conditioning as the other stars of Northeast Wrestling. Being in shape to compete in a ring takes incredible dedication and since it has been five years since I’ve last competed, I would literally have no chance of being successful, except I’m competing in a tag team match. Since I’ve left, the fans have found a new group of individuals to dislike in the “Platinum Entourage.” The leader of the group, J-Busta has hired the services of a manager named ‘Showtime’ Stevie Stamos. This Stamos character has been ripping me off with his colorful outfits since I left. They also resorted to some underhanded tactics against my good friend, Ron Zombie. Ron Zombie called me up one Saturday in February and asked me to watch his back, and it’s a good thing I did. The Platinum Entourage tried taking him out and I did what any good friend would do, I came running through the crowd and saved him. From there, Ron asked me to be his tag-team partner against the Platinum Entourage on March 28. While I don’t have much left in the tank, and even at my best wasn’t very capable of beating most, I know one thing for sure, if Zombie can take care of J-Busta, I know I can take out this Stevie Stamos character.
O: I also understand that retirement has melted the Kurt Adonis heart and you’ve turned over a new leaf… fighting for the cause of good and turning back the bad guys. What happened? What brought about the “new” Kurt Adonis?
K: The “new” Kurt Adonis was actually born one week before my last match in Bristol five years ago. I was attacked by my former tag-team partner when the one and only ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan helped me out. Now, I had been in the ring against “Hacksaw” many times, but this time he saved me. The people started chanting my name, which gave me tremendous confidence going into my last match. I may have lost my last match because of some debauchery caused by Hall of Fame manager, Jimmy Hart, but I won the hearts of Bristol, Conn. that night as I struggled through my last match in tremendous pain caused by two herniated discs in my back. Eighteen-hundred people in the Bristol Central High School gym chanted “Thank you Kurt,” which created a feeling that I couldn’t put into words. Shortly after, I started spending as much free time as I could working with tremendous organizations like BARC and Ed Beardsley’s Challenger Sports Program, which provides baseball and basketball programs for special needs children and adults. I have made so many new friends through these programs that it has filled the gap I’ve had in my life since I’ve said goodbye to professional wrestling.
O: Why do you think fans are going to better appreciate the “changed man” you’ve become?
K: This Kurt Adonis stands for good and does anything he can to help others. Like I’ve said earlier, I’ve always like to help people, now I’ve found a way to do it without having to get beat up. I’m still the silly wrestler who struts and smiles…that will never change. I was missing something when fans were booing me, as I did everything I could to better myself in wrestling…and it usually came at the expense of their favorites like “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Once I stopped doing for “me” and doing for “others,” the fans just started cheering for me. I can’t explain it…but there is a connection there that I can’t describe. I love the fans and look forward to seeing all that come out on March 28 as this will be the last time I do this…and yes, I mean that.
O: Have they told you who you will wrestle? What message would you like to convey to your opponent?
K: I will be teaming with Connecticut Icon and my very good friend Ron Zombie in a tag-team match with the Platinum Entourage of J-Busta and his manager Stevie Stamos (accompanied by their giant bodyguard Jym Anderson). This “Entourage” is nothing but a bunch of Kurt Adonis rip-offs who came to light soon after I retired. They figured they could sit back and try to better themselves by emulating me and what I’ve created. They have been doing a pretty good job at raising the ire of the fans…and that needs to stop. As mentioned earlier, I am not in the right shape to compete with the best. Zombie has told me that he will take care of J-Busta, which will leave me an opportunity to get my hands on the man who has been ripping me off for years. Stevie Stamos is a manager, he has never been a wrestler. I may not have much left in the tank, but I have enough to get through Stamos.
O: You’ll be helping raise money Ed Beardsley Challenger Sports Program. Why is this cause near and dear to Kurt Adonis? Why should fans help?
K: Recently, I found out that the Ed Beardsley Challenger League is in need of some money. I have made many friends while participating in this program, most of which have never had the chance to see me in the ring. When Northeast Wrestling called me and asked “What will it take for you to wrestle one more time,” I told them that I didn’t want to make a nickel on the event. In exchange for my participation in Wrestlefest, Northeast Wrestling will be making a generous financial donation to the program. So in my eyes, this is a win-win-win situation…Challenger Sports wins as it gets some much needed funds. My friends and players of the Challenger Sports Program will win as they will get a chance to see me wrestle. And I win as this is a fun and unique way to make some much needed money for a worthwhile charity. Working with special needs children and adults is my new passion in life and I give as much time as I can to the cause. This is going to be a night to remember as I now have an incredible group of new friends I will be performing in front of which will bring my adrenaline level to a whole new high. I can’t wait for this evening and I hope to see everyone in Waterbury. I encourage everyone to go to http://www.northeastwrestling.com/ for more details or you can even email me at KurtAdonis@yahoo.com
Northeast Wrestling’s Wrestlefest 18 on Friday, March 28 begins at 6 p.m. with an autograph session with all the stars. Ring time is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30, $20, $15. The event is at Crosby High School, 300 Pierpont Rd., Waterbury. For additional information, you also can call (845) 564-0931 or (203) 228-7361.