Civic center brawl was knockout

Everybody loves a good rasslin' match. And boy did we have a good one at the civic center last week between two contenders, both ironically claiming to be The Defender. There was heavyweight William "The Defender" Fennoy and bantamweight Woody "The Defender" Merry .

"The Defender" Merry, who should have called himself "Bloody Merry" seeing how the match turned out, thought rasslin' was just a fake game where you went and made big boasts about what you were going to do to your opponent and pretended to be rasslin' when you were really just falling down and beating the canvas with your fists.

So "The Defender" Merry got in "The Defender" Fennoy's face before Thursday's main event demanding to know why he hadn't shown up for Tuesday's tag team match with Richard "The Exterminator" Isdell , Harry "Harrisburg" Moore , Freddie "The Peckerwood Constable" Sanders , Jack "The Pompadour" Usry ; and Donnie "The Diamond King" Thompson . That was the match where they challenged Keith "Which Way Is Home?" Brown to resign as head rassler, which he did, catching them all off guard, so much so they didn't know what to do.

So "Harrisburg," who has hit the mat hard one too many times, said he was going to vote no on accepting the resignation because he didn't want to give "Which Way Is Home?" the satisfaction of resigning if that was what he wanted to do, but the rest of the team talked him out of it.

There had been a preliminary match the Friday before between "The Exterminator" and Willie "I'm Running" Law , but it turned out to be just a promo for Thursday's main event with a lot of typical rassler-type name calling.

So when "The Defender" Merry followed "The Defender" Fennoy into the ring Thursday screaming, "I will defend myself," over and over, "The Defender" Fennoy took him at his word. Unfortunately, "The Defender" Merry had to eat his word and ended up on the floor with his opponent kicking his butt.

"Harrisburg" Harry, the only one in the room big enough to handle "The Defender" Fennoy, grabbed him and got kicked in the leg for his trouble.

While he was breaking up the fight, "The Exterminator" ran out into the concourse, supposedly in search of a security guard, but "Harrisburg" said he has his doubts about that.

"That's the second time he's run out on me," he said. "He ran out on me the time me and Jack Usry got into it outside the arena before the Ray Whitfield fight."

Afterward, "The Defender" Merry kept saying "The Defender" Fennoy bumped his chest first.

"When he bumped his chest to mine, I said, 'I'll defend myself,' that I was feeling threatened," he said. "He bumped me a third time. I said, 'I am feeling threatened. I will defend myself,' and pushed him out of my personal space."

Who knew rasslers had personal space?

Anyway, "The Defender" Fennoy said he was just defending himself, too.

Although "The Defender" Merry said he wasn't going to take out a warrant on his opponent, he ran straight to the sheriff's office to do just that, and "The Defender" Fennoy did, too. So the match that counts will be late this month before a Richmond County Civil and Magistrate Court judge.

Maybe both will go down for the count.

THE GREAT DEFENDER, OR WOODY'S SONG:

Oh, yes, I'm the great defender

Just rasslin' all day like a clown

I defend my place, getting in your face

Shouting, until you knock me down

Then I'm defending myself on the ground.

THE GREAT DEFENDER, OR WILLIAM'S SONG:

Oh, yes, I'm the great defender

Just rasslin' my foes to the ground

I defend my place, kick foes in the face

Pretending I care rednecks aren't around.

THE LITTLE DELEGATION THAT THOUGHT IT COULD, BUT COULDN'T: Meanwhile, the governing board of Augusta's rasslin' teams, the legislative delegation, which doesn't get along any better than the rasslers and possibly worse, wants them all to resign in order to accomplish what lawmakers couldn't during the past legislative session. But should they? Or should the lawmakers resign instead?

IT'S NOT LIKE THIS AT THE JEWELRY STORE: The Coliseum Authority's newest member, Donnie "The Diamond King" Thompson , seems a little shellshocked by all the rasslin' at his first two meetings. He says anybody thinking of getting on the board ought to come to a few meetings first.

John Manuel, whose place Mr. Thompson took on the board, showed up at Mr. Thompson's first meeting. It seems nobody had told him he'd been replaced.

GAS-X: When Augusta commissioners start talking about cutting their 100-gallon-a-month gas allowance, it's enough to give you gas.

Oh, the bloated accounts of miles driven to meet with constituents and attend meetings, the pumped-up accounts of hours spent on the phone and in the car.

Such was the case at last week's committee meeting when Commissioner Jerry Brigham's proposal to cut the allowance to 50 gallons a month came up. There was much crying and gnashing of teeth, and Mayor Pro Tem Betty Beard said she knew gasoline prices were a problem, but it was still "insulting and demeaning" because such issues seem to come up every year and seem to be aimed at certain commissioners.

Well?

She also said when anybody checks commissioners' gasoline usage, they should check the mayor's and other people's, which brought Mayor Deke Copenhaver up short.

"I don't get any gas on the city, Mrs. Beard," he said.

And I thought they were such good friends.

CHRISTMAS TREE! OH, CHRISTMAS TREE! Then there was the discussion of buying a $26,000 fake Christmas tree to replace a real tree at the Augusta Common each holiday. Mrs. Beard, the arbiter of all things tasteful, was aghast at the idea. Everybody should be able to see a live Christmas tree at the Common, she exclaimed. Commissioner J.R. Hatney was for a real tree, too, until he heard they cost $14,000 a year, so he changed his mind and started sermonizing.

"If Christmas is so important, but yet we have a parade every year with Santa Claus on the end of it," he said. "You need to make up your mind. Is it real or not?"

There was silence while that sank in, then Mrs. Beard said, "Well, Christmas is real for me, and I do both."

She said maybe the public should be surveyed on the subject, so The Chronicle asked readers to vote on whether Augusta should save money by putting an artificial tree on display this December, and 174 voted yes and 192 voted no.

Among the readers' comments, I found this little gem from Little Lamb:

"Whatever tree they decide on, we need to appoint Dave Barbee to trim it."

NOT ENOUGH TRICKLE DOWN: Another thing commissioners talked about last week was gearing up for the next round of the special purpose local option sales tax in 2009 and the role of the Georgia DOT in funding road projects from the tax money. Mr. Hatney asked whether they could get more federal money, and City Engineer Abie Ladson said federal money sort of trickled down.

"I don't like that phrase, 'trickle down,' Mr. Hatney said. "I lived in that system too long."

IF ONLY HE COULD SING AND DANCE LIKE J.B. USED TO DO: Businessman J.R. Riles held his 20th Annual Block Party a week ago at Turpin Hill and MLK Boulevard and gave away 55 bicycles and lots of free barbecue to about 700 children. The party for children in the neighborhood is a tradition on the last day of school, he said.

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