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STEVE BARTLETT: That night St. John’s own Sailor White won a WWF title


Whatever you do, Ed “Sailor” White says, don’t move. He — and his shirtless 300-plus pound frame — then scale the corner of the wrestling ring. I lie flat on the mat, waiting for Sailor to pounce from on-high.

Ed "Sailor" White on the night he won the WWF tag team belt as a member of the Moondogs. This is a screenshot taken from a WWE video on YouTube.

It is arguably the oddest place an interview has taken me, but when a former pro wrestler throws his hat in a different, arguably more-staged ring — federal politics — you gotta have some fun.

But, as I stare up at the Canadian Extreme Wrestling Party candidate — with his scarred forehead, stringy hair, menacing scowl and humungous torso — the fun has turned to fear.

This sucker is going to pancake me, I say to myself, and shatter my bones.

Sailor launches.

I close my eyes and, bracing to be broken, do the very thing he asked me not to.

I move.

Sailor hits my elbow first and then flattens me with the rest of his body.

I’m OK. The mat absorbed his landing, but ...

“£¢∞§¶•!” Sailor yells, hands over his ribs. “I told you NOT to move.”

He took a short break from campaigning immediately after that.

I may have hurt him.

The last time I saw Sailor was election night, as he showed up at Progressive Conservative headquarters to congratulate the winner, Loyola Hearn.

Sailor passed away five years later, in August 2005.

 

Ed "Sailor" White wrestles Steve Barltett as part of an interview during a federal byelection in 2000. White ran for the Canadian Extreme Wrestling Party in St. John's West. TC Media file photo

His legend lives on in a small corner of my basement, in the form of an 8X10 picture of Sailor and I wrestling.

His large mitts are clamping on my face, pulling back my cheeks. (Yes, it hurt.)

My son and his friends are asking about the photo.

Professional wrestling is among their current curiosities, an interest fueled by the popularity of actor/grappler John Cena.

I tell them Sailor was a former World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) champion, winning the tag team belt as a member of the Moondogs.

He wrestled under the name Moondog King at the time.

To show my son, I search Sailor White on YouTube, and to my delight, find a video of the March 1981 match where the Moondogs claimed the belt.

I had never seen it before and haven’t watched wrestling since my teens, but I view this with boyish enthusiasm.

The video is below.

Have a look. Take a break and celebrate Sailor.

And whatever you do, don’t move.

Reach Steve Bartlett at sbartlett@thetelegram.com. He’s @SteveBartlett_ on Twitter.

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