Monday, August 16, 2010

THE GATHERING...THE STORY BEHIND THE TILA TEQUILA INCIDENT

The World According to Dutch


BREAKING NEWS:  I SURVIVED THE GATHERING...August 15th, 2010


For those that are wondering, what the hell is THE GATHERING...it is the following:  

A 3 day 24 hour annual party attended by devotees of the Insane Clown Posse that results in a wild, bizarre and insane ritual of every non conformist individual/ freak/lunatic that is attracted to the Juggalo creed on the North American continent.   This is not my definition but rather the definition of Violent J, the creator and half of the original Insane Clown Posse,  real name,  Joseph Frank "Joe Bruce.   

The party this year included...95 wrestlers,  rappers, comedians,  D Listers,  porn stars and singers including Tom Green,  Gallagher,  Todd Bridges,  Ron Jeremy and others.   20,000 people attended the GATHERING last year and to my knowledge, that figure was broken this year.   The GATHERING is an event hosted by the Clowns who I got to know when they appeared in TNA several months back in 2003.   The Insane Clown Posse are noted for their 'early roots' of being connected to professional wrestling having started their participation with the old ECW and continuing through WWF and then to WCW back in the 90's.  

Their fans or followers are called, Juggalos...and if you don't know what a Juggalo is..or the definition was too vague up top,  then take a short look at this photo.   It might give you some indication of who and what they are.  



 Nice fellas.   

And this is how I spent my Saturday night/Sunday morning last weekend.  In the company of this 'elitist group'.   But, to be honest,  I had a blast.    

Its mostly a male testosterone laden crowd but there are a few female juggalettes out there too.   Take a look at this photo taken backstage at THE GATHERING.  


Now this might explain why some of the Juggalos are highly excitable after seeing these two examples of fine American womanhood.  After looking at this photo, how did the situation on the left happen?  I guess that's one of the reasons alcohol was invented.  Yeah, those Juggalos just don't give a 'F' I guess?    

This past weekend was one of the wildest,  most bizarre, insane things I've ever done, not only in my wrestling career, but in my LIFE. 


Photo below of the Insane Clown Posse...Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope



I know it's been some time since I posted a blog..but this one is going to be written in sections. I'm not going to put it all in one post. The reason why is that it's just too much to put all of what I have to say in one posting. This entire weekend can be summed up in one word...WOW!!! I did one thing that I never thought I would end up doing..and that was to PERFORM at the GATHERING.

To make a long story short, pro wrestling has always been a staple on the Insane Clown Posse GATHERING shows but I have never wanted to work one of their events. Why? I'm not stupid and I know the Posse personally and even they've told me that the Juggalos are 'f'n crazy'. That was the main reason I've never had a desire to work the event is that every report from every wrestler who has ever worked there, it is described as one huge MENTAL WARD.  The Juggalos have even been described by Violent J himself as on the lunatic fringe and insane and maniacal masters of malcontent. 
The word that I always heard about the Juggalos was that they were prone to throw anything at the wrestlers that wasn't nailed down.  Since THE GATHERING draws 20,000 people, going out in front of certifiably insane people who have access to glass beer bottles, rocks, sticks, metal chairs and the option of hurling said items, plus with alcohol and other substances in their system,  is not my idea of a peaceful Saturday night.   Ask Tila Tequila about it and I'm getting to her next. 

But the more I thought about it, the more I thought...screw it,  lets ride.  I've done so much in my wrestling career...I've worked in WWF/WWE, I've worked in WCW, I've worked Monday Night RAW, been in Madison Square Garden, worked sell outs arenas from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Memphis and all over the US, worked in Mexico, Canada, Europe and Japan. I've worked in Wembley Arena in London and even in the building in Berlin where Adolph Hitler gave his Final Solution speech.

But I had never worked THE GATHERING.  I had heard so much about it..how dangerous it was, how wild and crazy it was...how every lunatic, freak and head case on the North American continent somehow found their way there.  And in the total scheme of things...I rationalized in my head...how many times will I get to do something like this before I won't be able to do it?   Yeah,  I knew it might be dangerous...yeah, I knew it could be unsafe but at this point in my life...I just had to see it for myself.  I knew it was going to be an EXPERIENCE...but the actual event and all that surrounded it surpassed even my wildest imagination.



This year marked the anniversary of the 11th GATHERING which meant I had missed 10 of them.  I considered that an omen as the first WrestleMania I ever worked was WrestleMania 11.  The location was Cave In Rock, Illinois and has been for the last 4 years but don't ask me how to get there because quite frankly,  I can't tell you.  Its west of Evansville, Indiana and all I could say is that its directly south of nowhere and two left turns from hell.  Cave In Rock, Illinois is so far out from civilization that even my GPS was useless out there not to mention my TMobile phone.  But of course, TMobile for me is useless in my front yard.

Before I get into the story...and the

HUGE NEWS OF THE DAY..THE TILA TEQUILA INCIDENT....

THE GATHERING was marred by the following incidents: 

A stabbing...

A robbery at gunpoint that my group just missed by 5 minutes...on the way inside the compound...

My first encounter with an almost 7 foot tall woman wrestler...

A wrestler arrested for possession... 

More arrests by the county sheriff whose department set up shop right outside the Gathering's entrance...

An attack on InterNet sensation Tila Tequila that happened while she performed which left her a bloody mess and is the topic of the INTERNET TODAY

and all of that happened within a 6 hour period Saturday night. 

To say the least,  it was an interesting night. 

Now on to the TOPIC OF THE DAY!!! 

The Tila Tequila Incident!!!  


Before I get to the actual wrestling part,  I'll describe the story floating backstage at the GATHERING about the Tila Tequila incident.  From what I was told,  by several eyewitnesses to the incident,   Tila apparently had prior 'heat' with several groups of Juggalos prior to her performance on the main stage of the festival.   Word that I got was that,  apparently,  on her InterNet site or on a Twitter post,  she made some disparaging and derogatory remarks about the Insane Clown Posse fan base.  If you know the fan base,  I don't know how anything could be construed as derogatory or condescending since they consider themselves to be completely under the radar and off the screen and anti establishment to begin with.   But, some of them did.  But whatever Tila did or did not do...when it came time for her to perform Saturday night,   there were groups of Juggalos in the crowd who were already pissed at her.  

Tila was contracted to do a 6 song set...and as soon as she hit the Main Stage, the boo birds came out.  In wrestling circles...thats a great thing to hear.  But in Tila's case,  that's not what she expected.   And not only was she getting boos,  she was attracting the debris as well as fans began to throw half filled plastic water bottles and rocks at her on stage.  One report even has it that a fermented watermelon full of urine and feces were even thrown at her but I cannot confirm that.  

Below is  a comment attributed to Tila as reported by TMZ.  
According to Tila, she took the stage at the annual GATHERING OF THE JUGGLOS in Cave in Rock, Illinois. 

"I went onstage and immediately, before I even got on stage, DUDES were throwing HUGE STONE ROCKS in my face, beer bottles that slit my eye open, almost burnt my hair on fire cuz they threw fire crackers on stage, and they even threw s*it and piss out of the PortAPotty at me while I was onstage."

The Tila Tequila incident happened about 9PM on a Saturday night several hours before I arrived on the festival grounds.  According to some eyewitnesses,  if the Tila 'heat' was true,  the appearance wasn't safe to begin with.   But I don't know how Tila's people or even the Gathering people could even consider that Tila's appearance would turn out to be as viscious as it turned into.  

Tila encountered a hostile crowd and, in my opinion,  did not know how to handle a unruly crowd...because quite frankly,  she had never run into a situation like she faced Saturday night.   Any wrestler in that building or site would have told her to abort her performance in lieu of her personal safety.  But she didn't.  She continued her performance despite the danger that it presented. 

I got there around 1:30AM...and it was a horror trying to find this farm out in the middle of nowhere.   I think I traveled down every two lane blacktop road in Illinois trying to find the Gathering.   We left Evansville, Indiana at 9PM...and I was told...that it was a mere 80 miles.  It might have been 80 miles...if my driver hadn't gotten lost 56 times on the way.  We probably ended up driving close to 200 miles.   

I knew it would be heavily attended..but I never thought that I would have so much trouble finding 20,000 people camped out in a farm field.  But I did.  How the hell can 20,000 people camp out in the open and not be found?    I don't know how, whoever booked this event,  found this place so far out in the countryside....but they did.   I now know how the US Government cannot find Osama Bin Laden.   I now think Osama could be living on this farm in Cave In Rock, Illinois and nobody would know about it.  But tell a bunch of Juggalos abotu a Clown festival...and suddenly 20 thousand people can find it.  

As we reached the front entrance to the event property...we told the guard or whoever he was that we were wrestling on the show.  He called for an 'escort' to take us to the very back of the event property.   In a couple of minutes,  a golf cart arrived and we were told to follow behind.   We did.  What we saw as we moved deeper into the Gathering was something I had never seen before.  

As we started deeper into the complex,  it was totally packed with people.   People with  Insane Clown Posse painted faces,  95% of them all male with their shirts off walking around and a thousand tents all erected in mobile city that could be assembled and dismantled in an hours time.  Not only were the males shirtless,  the females were topless.  They were just all aimlessly walking around.  For a better description...think Mad Max and The Book of Eli combined.  It was a surreal sight.  There were small bonfires in front of the tents and one thing that I noticed...was that it was eerily quiet.  I thought these Juggalos were f'n crazy and raised hell all day and all night but apparently,  they wind themselves down too.  

We drove for at least 10 minutes down a dirt path..that had tents on both sides of the road.   Seriously...it looked post Apocalyptic.   If was dimly lit and I could see cars and trucks parked with people's feet hanging out the windows and back in the shadows...between the tents,  there were people just staring at our limo as we drove slowly in.  

At that point,  I couldn't estimate the crowd but it was jammed packed.  The weather was hot as hell and the humidity just hung in the air.  We were headed to the back side of the Festival where the wrestling event was to be in progress.  

There were two shows scheduled that night..one at 12MidNight called Bloody Mania and then another one at 4AM in the morning.  I was scheduled for the 4AM show which I found out later was called FlashLight Wrestling.  

We finally pulled up behind the concert staging in the open air arena and the  12AM Midnight BloodyMania show was still in progress,   I estimated the crowd at about 3.000 people.  These fans that were in this crowd didn't seem at all like the type who would attack a 'female' on stage and until I heard about the Tila Tequila incident backstage,  I would never have known something of that magnitude had happened if not someone had not told me about it in the back.

When we first arrived at the event, I took a few photos...and then headed backstage to see a few friends. I met up with Terry Funk, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Kamala, Sabu, Ron Garwin, PG 13, Brian Christopher who were all working the 4AM show with me. That's when I first heard of the Tila Tequila incident.


This is just one side of the open air arena right after I had arrived at THE GATHERING...in Cave In Rock, Illinois,  home of the 2010 Juggalo Festival.  In this crowd...there were some that witnessed and perhaps even participated in the Tila Tequila incident. 

 
In the back,  I started hearing the story about the Tila Tequila incident from several of the guys.  I'll sum it up like this.  She got the dog shit beat out of her.  It started with her trying to perform her set but ended with her a bloody mess and having to be literally ushered off the stage.   It was a wild scene complete with cursing and a lot of F bombs directed by Tila to the crowd which, if you really think about it...wasn't a very smart move on her part. 

The one question I have is didn't her management people explain to her what a f'n Juggalo Festival consisted of?  Did her management people know the type of environment and the type of fans she would encounter?   Obviously, not and judging from the way the videos that have been posted,  she didn't know she was in so much danger.   Damn!!!  Is it possible to be so naive? 

Wrestlers have encountered this countless times...and if she had contracted wrestlers to be her security..I guarantee you she would not have been injured on stage.   Wrestlers recognize and can even sense danger in a crowd way before it ever rears its head.   Wrestlers have to be able to do that to survive. 

To me..and now this is just me talking...if people are throwing things at your head...like hard objects like bottles and rocks..wouldn't you rationally think that it would be a good idea to leave?  Or get behind something that would take you out of the line of sight?  Now, that may be just a little too complicated but to me,  that would be what I would do.  From my days in Puerto Rico and Memphis,  when the fans got too riled at me,  the old Dutchman was suddenly unavailable for consultation. 

But then again,  I'm a chicken s**t type guy anyway.  I run from my shadow.  But Tila didn't.  Just to show you how violent the attack was...here's a shot of Tila BEFORE THE INCIDENT IN HAPPIER TIMES. 


Yep..show those assets Tila. 

Now lets show the AFTER PHOTOS taken 24 hours after the incident in Los Angeles. 


Since I wasn't scheduled to go on that morning until 4AM..which is a strange time to start wrestling...I had several hours to speak to eyewitnesses to the incident.  According to several wrestlers personally watching the Tila performance that night,  she tried to calm the crowd about halfway through her act by saying,  "I love you Juggalos" but instead was met with more boos and debris.   

The crowd that night was definitely a 'hostile crowd' but nobody understood why in the beginning.  Later, it emerged why some 'individual pockets' of Juggalos were highly upset with Tila and there were reports that the attack was coordinated via text messaging from one group to the others.   

At one point,  the 90% male crowd began shouting SHOW YOUR T*TS to which Tila,  in her quest to dispel their displeasure with her appearance,  suddenly thought would be a good idea.   The crowd popped intitially for the sight of Tila's naked breasts but, in true Juggalo fashion,  then suddenly turned on her again by chanting WE HATE YOUR T*TS!!  and the debris started sailing again.  You could say the Juggalos are the equivalent of the ECW fans of yesteryear. 

At this point,  security was ushered onto the stage to retrieve her but she refused to vacate the stage by telling them that she  had not completed her 6 song set.   To her credit,  she tried to fulfill her obligation to the Gathering but the situation grew steadily worse as the amount of bottles and rocks increased  as Tila stood behind the security personnel as they attempted to block the debris coming Tila's way. 

Then,  Tila agitated the already rowdy crowd by responding that she didn't give a F and basically fueled their desire to continue their barrage.  In the videos that have emerged,   you can easily tell that she should have left without finishing her set regardless of what she had been contracted to do.  But in the end,  a rock finally found its mark and richocheted off a security guard's chest and caught Tila in the head and face which resulted in Tila leaving the stage in a bloody mess.  

A personal sidenote..for those who have followed my blog for awhile.  I have talked about being pelted with rocks and bottles and other hard objects during wrestling matches...but at least, in a wrestling context,  that was the reaction I wanted.  But I always left the scene as soon as I could possible escape.   But if I were a singer...with fans booing and pelting me with bottles, that would not be the reaction I would envision as a great performance.  The fans weren't  right in pelting Tila as they jeopardized not only Tila's safety but also whomever might be in Tila's immediate vicinity at the time.  Regardless...Tila made the situation worse by not leaving the stage.  But nobody ever compared Tila to a Mensa candidate but how much sense does one need to get the hell out of the line of fire.  Damn!!  

Seriously, folks...I've been in the country before...way out in the country...but this was the most isolated I've been in years.  It was like the Hills Have Eyes but with trees.   On the way in to Cave In Rock,  Illinois,  I believe I heard the theme song to Deliverance...being played complete with guitar and banjo tracks and surely Slingblade had to be in the crowd.   After I had heard what happened to Tila,  I thought stonings just happened in Islamic countries but apparently,  its a pretty common thing at THE GATHERING!!!  

I've been reading today that Tila is filing a lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse promoters and that the suit will bankrupt them.  Good luck with that Tila. 

This blog will continue...as I'll post Part 2 of this WILD, DANGEROUS weekend in a day or so.  There's a lot more to tell about this night...and I was only there for about 7 hours but there is a lot more to relate.   One of the things that happened was running into a robbery victim before I even got onto the GATHERING property.    Then I wrestled in a match later on that night called FlashLight wrestling...where its almost pitch black...with only flashlights from the Juggalos illuminating the ring.  After hearing what happened to Tila,  I wondered what would be the reaction of the crowd be to me?  Since they had already beat the crap out of a 'woman' earlier that night,   I knew that I didn't stand much of a chance with them and especially in the dark.  

Since we've heard so much about the Tila Tequila incident,  I want to say one thing about the wrestling part of the show.  Just because the Juggalos didn't like Tila Tequila,  that didn't mean they didn't like the wrestlers.   The wrestling on the show and the Juggalo's response to it was excellent!!!   It was A DAMN GOOD SHOW and one that surprised me.  I want to congratulate the promoter and the talent for putting together such a good event.  Backstage,  I met a ton of old friends, some of which I haven't seen in years.  So with that said...stay tuned..this blog has a lot more to say about THE GATHERING.  

 NEXT TIME IN MY BLOG...MY ENCOUNTER WITH A 7' WOMAN WRESTLER THAT I MET AT THE GATHERING...PLUS...

WHAT IS THE DOPE BRIDGE? 

The DOPE BRIDGE???  WTF???  I kept hearing that phrase all night long...the Dope Bridge?   Since I had gotten to the event late,  I finally asked what the name meant and what it represented.   I think the name more or less gives you an indication of what it means..but in the next blog...I will define it for you.  A wild story...and one that I've never seen or heard of before.   I checked on the authenticity of the story this afternoon and was assured that the Dope Bridge was a real thing. In the next blog,  I'll fill you in on it.  



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3 comments:

  1. Classic example of why I enjoy this blog so much. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

    Thanks, Dutch !!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was great! Well the story that is, not the whole incident.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well written Dutch, very humorous and eye-opening report from the Gathering. The Tila incident harkens back to the incident at the Boston Garden in the 1970s when a fan ran out and stabbed Blackjack Mulligan. People used to throw so much crap at the wrestlers in Boston that they had to install a net over the ring for a few years. You're right that performers need to have some common sense and know when to retreat.

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