With all of these celebrities getting involved in pro wrestling, I heard that Bill Clinton is going to get involved with WCW in the future. He is currently working on a finishing move called the Pants Drop Of Doom.
Oh yeah, Jay Leno is currently working on a finishing move called the Punchliner.
I know...these are stupid...that's what happens after watching Bischoff's Late Hour.
Intimidating actor proves heavy on charmFiled Tue Jan 20 18:30:06 1998
By LEONEL MARTINEZ
Californian staff writer
TOLUCA LAKE With his Mr. Clean pate, bodybuilder physique and bushy goatee, Ric Drasin looks like he might be willing to rearrange your body parts, free of charge.
Instead, he's cracking jokes in that teen-age-sounding voice of his, the one that makes him sound like he's decades younger than his 53 years.
"My estrogen's a little bit high today,'' he says as he sips a steaming cup of coffee outside Priscilla's Gourmet Coffee Shop in Toluca Lake, a popular hangout for actors and other entertainment types. "I'm feeling very feminine.''
Then he locks gazes with you and offers a hint of a smile. It's a grin that looks weird on a 6-foot-tall, 220-pound scary guy who has tattooed shoulders the width of a gorilla in its prime. Drasin is a former professional wrestler, bodybuilder, personal trainer and in the 1970s, training partner for a young unknown named Arnold Schwarzenegger.
And his look scares people.
So hearing him talk about his inner femininity is freaky. But get used to it. Drasin, who is an artist, personal trainer, actor, tattoo artist and 1962 graduate of Bakersfield High School, is a stand-up comic trapped in a hoodlum's body.
"People are usually scared of me until I run up and kiss them,'' jokes the Bakersfield native. "Then they realize I'm an OK guy. The look works for me and gets me the work I want, as it's unique and I use it to my advantage. The gang members can't even figure me out, so they stay away.''
Who wouldn't? At his peak, Drasin had 19-inch arms and a 52-inch chest over a 34-inch waist. His best bench press was 455 pounds, which means he was stronger than the aforementioned gorilla.
During his professional wrestling career, he worked with masters of mayhem like Buddy "Killer''Austin; Mr. Moto, whose idea of a great day was throwing salt in his foes' eyes; Mil Mascaras, the so-called Man of a Thousand Masks; and Freddie Blassie, who enjoyed calling his opponents "pencil-necked geeks'' and chomping on their foreheads.
Those years left scars. On the mat, Drasin says he was never able to perfect the art of slitting himself with a razor so he could bleed on cue, but he managed to lose a couple of teeth. His back and hips ache sometimes. Once, he blew out a triceps muscle while trying to do an exercise with some inhuman amount of weight. He has a torn knee ligament, frozen shoulder, and, he likes to add, minor brain damage that makes him more creative.
Although he doesn't look as muscular as he did during the 1970s, Drasin still pumps iron 45 minutes a day. And he still frightens people. With a slick, shaved head, earrings and a silver bracelet in the shape of several human skulls, he looks like a Hell's Angel in a very bad mood.
"Sometimes, I like to walk behind him on the street just to see people's expressions'', says his wife, Randi, who is a gymnast and personal trainer.
That fear ends when you hear him tell a joke or play his new demo tape, in which his character raps about being in such horrible shape his posterior virtually takes on a life of its own. Drasin dreams of doing a video to the tune, wearing pads like Eddie Murphy's in "The Nutty Professor.''
"I'm working on a new stand-up comedy routine I want to do,'' he says as he pours sweat after his morning workout dressed in tights, an oversize shirt and black boots designed as equipment for SWAT team members. "I have a lot of friends who are comedians.''
His aim in life seems pretty simple: Make some money and have a hell of a lot of fun.
And he says he has succeeded at both, earning, on average, six figures per year, including $50 an hour as a trainer, $100 an hour as a tattoo artist and frequent residuals for commercials and bit parts on television shows like "The Incredible Hulk.''
"Everything I do is fun and everything I do pays well,''says Drasin, who trains people at Gold's Gym in North Hollywood. "I'm talented in many ways, and we are meant to explore our talents to the max. You have to step out of the box and make that commitment. It's the only way to live.''
Although it may not seem like it to look at him, Drasin was a baby once. He was born at Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield in 1944 to Oscar and Claire Drasin, who owned Drasin's Little Folk's Shop on Chester Avenue when downtown was booming. He attended Emerson Junior High School, where his unorthodox approach to life began early. As a joke, he and two friends once tried out for the cheerleading squad.
They were picked.
At Bakersfield High School, during the 1960s, he played lead guitar for one of city's top rock `n' roll bands, the Epics, and later, a group called The Addams Familie. In his junior year, Drasin had a girlfriend whose cousins were weight lifters. He hung around them so much he began hitting the weights, and put about 20 pounds on his 5-foot-11-inch, 145-pound frame in a year.
But he was still a prankster, according to high-school buddy Denny Phillips, 55, a teacher at Beardsley School. When the teen-agers went to the Kern County Fair, Drasin often would stoop over, contort his face and act like the classic horror-movie hunchback, Igor, Phillips says.
"We'd ride the Ferris wheel and he'd do his Peter Lorre imitation,''remembers Phillips. "People would say, `Look at that poor guy.' ''
Another time, he got Christmas presents even though he is Jewish. Phillips teased him about it. Drasin denied the gifts had anything to do with the holiday.
"He would say, `No, this isn't a Christmas present,''' recalls Phillips.
Drasin was such a joker than even when he began training regularly, his friends didn't take him seriously.
"When he first started going to the YMCA and working out, we'd make fun of him,''says Phillips. "We'd say, `C'mon Richard, your stomach is still bigger than your chest.'''
But soon, Drasin started teaching at the YMCA. He graduated, did a stint in the Army and returned to Bakersfield, where he wound up managing Joseph's Gym on Niles Street. At the YMCA, he met some professional wrestlers who thought that with his physique, he could do well in a tryout at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. Drasin took them up on the offer.
He paid the price.
"They took me into the ring and showed me a couple of things,'' Drasin says. "I ended up with mat burns all over my hands and knees.''
Drasin sucked up the pain and began training four times a week, traveling from Bakersfield to Los Angeles. During the next two decades, he traveled the United States and had three or four matches a week in Bakersfield. He went under several names, including The All American Boy, The Mad Bomber, Headlock Drasin, Rick "The Hulk'' Drasin and the Equalizer, a masked grappler.
When he was 24, Drasin moved to Los Angeles. Soon, he met a young, shy Austrian bodybuilder at Gold's Gym in Santa Monica and began to train with him every day.
His name: Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"He didn't speak English very well,'' remembers Drasin.
They dated a few women together and "he wanted somebody to go along so he wouldn't feel awkward, so I'd go with him.''
Drasin trained with Schwarzenegger for four years, and while the Austrian went on to win several top bodybuilding titles and start a movie career, Drasin captured honors like Mr. California and Mr. USA.
He didn't make much money as a bodybuilder, but because of his physique, he began landing roles in movies and commercials. Currently, Drasin has seven commercials and three films in circulation.
He is one of the two wrestlers having a casual conversation as they beat the beans out of each other on a commercial for Bud Light. He also played the Demi-Hulk on the "Incredible Hulk'' television series starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. Drasin's character was supposed to be a middle stage between the brilliant scientist and the unstoppable monster he became.
But browse Drasin's tidy home, which he shares with his wife and three children, and you see he is a new-experience junkie who has lived enough for a half-dozen Demi-Hulks.
In the hall is a blurry, black and white photo of him and actor Jeff Goldblum, who is flexing puny biceps. In a testimonial for one of Drasin's pamphlets, Goldblum bragged that after training, he could outrun the dinosaurs.
Beside it is a decade-old article from Flex, a bodybuilding magazine, that shows black-and-white photos of a young Drasin with an unbelievably huge Schwarzenegger. He also has trained Kiss member Gene Simmons and actor Erik Estrada.
And then there's the computer, one of Drasin's newest addictions, where he is developing a cartoon named "One Man Gang.'' The main character is a bald guy with gargantuan pectorals who looks suspiciously like Drasin.
"I have fun with it,'' says Drasin in an uncharacteristically philosophical mood. "Every day, I wake up and it's a new experience. I love my lifestyle.''
How long will that lifestyle last?
Drasin says he plans to semi-retire next year and spend his days training, looking for acting roles, and pecking on the keyboard at home.
In other words, he'll be doing much the same thing he is doing now: Telling jokes, looking mean and squeezing as much fun out of life as he possibly can.
Copyright© 1998, The Bakersfield Californian