WCW Thunder, Thursday, September 9th, 1999

WCW Thunder, Thursday, September 9th, 1999

By Bill

If you haven't heard already, Brian Hildebrand, aka referee Mark "Shooter" Curtis, passed away last night after a long bout with stomach cancer. As usual, in cases like this, I'm not going to pretend I knew the man, nor am I going to wrote poetry, nor am I going to talk about what an asset he was to "our business", nor am I going to speak for everyone "in the business" and say how no one had an unkind word to say.

What I will relate is my personal recollections, and there are two. First, he was a referee I really enjoyed watching. I got a kick out of his shtick of mimicking the moves. And, as you can see in the picture above, sometimes it seemed that he was the biggest mark in the arena.

Second, I actually did get to meet him once for a few minutes at an independent show in February of 1998. It should be noted that I've only met a few famous people in my life, and most of them have been wrestlers. From my few fleeting experiences with famous people, one thing I've gathered is that they tend to maintain a certain distance, both physical and mental, when you're meeting them as a fan. That's not a criticism, but more a fact of life. I would guess that when you live a life full of people you don't know coming up to you in restaurants and shopping malls wanting things from you, you have no choice but to learn to keep your distance. However, in Mark Curtis' case, I found the opposite to be true. Here I was, just another mark, coming up to him to say I really enjoyed his work. Rather look through me and give me a condescending "Thank you...you're very kind" as he brushed pass me, he stopped, shook my hand, looked me in the eye, and chatted with me a bit. To me as a fan, and as a person, that meant a lot. So, rather than say "from what everyone says, the wrestling business lost an asset", I'm going to say that, from my personal experience of all of three minutes, the world lost an asset.

The Good: Errr...um....

The Bad: The Malenko/Steiner match. Blink and you'll miss it.

The Ugly: Sid Vicious and Dean Malenko with a microphone. Yeesh.

Back to DDT Digest