Thursday, March 19, 2009

Good Bye "Test".

Bret Hart's comments on the passing of Andrew 'Test' Martin.*

Good-bye my friend.

It’s with a very heavy heart that I somehow search for the right words to express my deepest sorrow over the loss of yet another of my wrestling brothers, Andrew Martin, aka Test.
I met Andrew, along with his equally huge friend George, at the Planet Hollywood restaurant in downtown Toronto in 1996. WWE exec, Carlo DeMarco brought them both up to meet me and to see if I’d be interested in possibly training them as wrestlers. Andrew was, as my father would say, a fine specimen; 6’ 6”, lean, hard and handsome with a big, boyish smile. I wasn’t actually looking for any more prospects but I saw something in him and told him if he could get over to Calgary I’d personally teach him, free of charge.
I was working a full WWE schedule back then and was preparing to begin teaching, or fine tuning, some of the many young wrestlers that were starting to pop up everywhere. I instantly liked Andrew and I can smile now at the memory of coming home from the road, physically exhausted, only to remember that I’d promised Andrew a real match in my dungeon. I found myself reluctantly wrapping my knees and lacing up my boots so I could wrestle Andrew on my precious day off. That day Andrew went from dreaming of being a wrestler to actually working with the WWE World Champion in his home. I wrestled Andrew for over a half hour and I knew back then that, with his size and ability, he was going to go far in the business. Unfortunately, my days in the WWE came to an end just as Andrew’s time was beginning. I’d gotten most of my students tryouts at the Raw TV taping in Ottawa, the day after the infamous screwjob in Montreal, and so our paths took a fork in the road. Even with me gone, Carlo, Edge, Christian and my bother Owen helped guide Andrew and he earned his spot on the WWE roster. I lost contact with Andrew for a time, but every now and then I’d catch him on TV and I felt very proud of him.
Death brought Andrew and I back together when we saw each other at Bryan “Krush” Adams’ funeral two years ago. It was during that sad, dark time - after the recent losses of Sherri Martel, Bam Bam Bigelow and the blackness of the Chris Benoit tragedy - I was hearing that Andrew was having drug addiction problems again and I was fearful he might be next.
I saw a need to keep in touch with him and do all I could to encourage him to save himself, and maybe some others too. We renewed our friendship and stayed in touch.
This past November I had the luck of doing a wrestling tour in France for two weeks with Andrew and he seemed to be a new man. He’d completed WWE sponsored rehab and had a new lease on life. Andrew clearly had his demons on the run and we talked about him becoming the poster child for wrestlers that desperately needed a voice urging, “If I can beat this, so can you!” Andrew convinced me he had the commitment and the determination to make a difference. I had a great time with him on that tour.
Following the tour I had painful knee replacement surgery and now it was Andrew calling me to see if I was doing okay. A few weeks ago he talked of coming to visit me here in Hawaii. He seemed so strong and focused that I never thought to question him about how he was doing. I again urged him to use his experience to reach out to the many wrestlers who are still losing their battle with drug addiction.
Now I wish so much that I could’ve somehow known that Andrew's once strong grip on his addictions was loosening and beginning to slip. I failed to see the signs of him losing a battle that I thought he’d already won. My heart has been heavy since the news of his passing. In our last phone call, a few weeks ago, I kidded him about how he worked that entire France tour and never took one bump and I smile at the memory of his deep booming laugh echoing over the phone. That’s how I choose to remember my friend. I’m sorry I didn’t see his pain and suffering; had I known I’d have tried harder to save him. He slipped and we lost one of the good ones. Nobody has anything but the nicest things to remember about Andrew Martin. I will miss him. He was a dear friend, one of very few I had left in a profession where too many die too young. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his entire family. Somehow, as hard as we all tried, we lost another good soul forever.
*Pulled From Bret Hart's Personal Blog.
"You would not be or feel alive without the thin vale of death."
Wallycrawler 2009.

For Jagaur.

7 Don't Just Sit There Say Sumthin !:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about the passing of your friend, Wally. It appears we both have something in common. My thoughts are with you and his family. (((HUG)))

wallycrawler said...

He wasn't a friend dear.
He was another in a long line of wrestlers that die taking prescription drugs.

The Phosgene Kid said...

Always liked the Bichon brothers, The Crusher, and Dusty Rhodes. Those were real wrestlers, not like the fake guys they have today.

wallycrawler said...

I like wrestle'n. More like rasle'n.
The guys and gals give their all to make great entertainment. You can vote for the good guys ( da face) or be a bad ass yourself by vote'n for the bad guy.
Always fun and really there's no sad story cause in the end there's a price to be paid. So even the bad guy ends up good.
Great story tell'n in a squared circle.
That all stopped about 10 years ago in Montreal. Since then it's been on a downward slide. The story lines, the drugs, and the deaths!
I don't watch much now.

I Smile 2 Much said...


Thats really damn sad....


wallycrawler said...

Ya it is.
He could be maybe the 50th. pro wrestler to die needlessly. All while the WWE and TNA drug policies turns a blind eye on it's former and present stable of entertainers are addicted to pain killers. These men become dependant on these drugs to maintain their gruelling schedule, their lack of a health plan, and the total lack of remorse from it's owners.
The pro wrestlers of yesterday and today need a union. Something Bret Hart and Jesse Ventura have been trying to do for over 20 years.
The WWE fired Jesse Ventura in the 1980's because of his trying to organize one.

I think I'm going to write about Vince McMahon and his unscrupulous ways? !!! Yup I am!!!

Ice said...

Wow, he hasn't changed much eh? (Bret) Looks good!

Sorry about your friend :(

XO lotsa luv, muffin.