While everyone is (rightfully) quick to point out Johnny Devine’s excellence inside the squared circle, my lasting impression of my conversation with the former X-Division Champion was simply his excellence in storytelling. Yes, of course, that applies to his in-ring work as well, but throughout our entire recent chat for Love Wrestling, I found myself marvelling at his ability to tell one outside the confines of the ring, too.
In fact, one of my favourite parts of our conversation was a simple-yet-outstanding story involving Eric Young and a pair of incredible impressions.
“There were times before shows and stuff like that where we had four hours of an afternoon sitting on [our] fucking thumbs,” Devine began. “So, we would end up down at the ring while people are going on with matches and stuff like that. People who aren’t doing other stuff, we’d roll around, and we’d act like fools.”
A smirk crept across the former X-Division Champions’ face.
“Eric Young and I used to sell out the front row while we did a skit of Stu Hart versus Andre the Giant.”
I had to laugh, assuming that the story wouldn’t go any further. “I promise I’ll only ask for that one when we’re done recording,” I chuckled.
Rather than shy away from the story, the former Team Canada star doubled down and immediately kicked into what’s become one of my favourite stories told to me as part of an interview.
“I’ll give you the biggest high spot!” he replied. “So, we built this feud up for months at one point. It was awesome.” Instantly, Devine began his spot-on Stu Hart impression ‘because every once in a while I would cut a promo on Andre,’ he said, before instantly shifting to an homage to Andre the Giant, saying ‘and he would cut a promo on Stu.'”
As I howled with glee, Devine continued.
“The office got wind of it, and one day, we decided to do like a pre-pay-per-view, pay-per-view pre-show match, strictly for the boys. Stu versus Andre. One of the best parts of that – I can’t remember, I think we were still in Florida for this one – but we did entrances, and each one of our entrances took long enough for like three or four other people to pass us and go on with a match. They’d come back and we’re still coming down the ramp. Another match has gone on and [then] they’ve gotten to the back, and then the third match is going on when we’ve reached the stairs kind of thing. We’re in this race. It was awesome.”
“I’m just sitting here picturing Eric Young in the Andre singlet riding a motor scooter to the ring!” I laughed.
“There was some gold there,” chuckled Devine to conclude. “There was some gold there. We had some fun with that.”
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