Dave Dyer practices an up-and-over drill during a 2019 practice at the Limitless Dojo in Brewer. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Almost anything and everything can happen in the world of professional wrestling.

It’s a lesson I’ve learned more and more each time I step into the squared circle.

Late last month, I celebrated the two-year anniversary of my first day of wrestling school, at the Limitless Dojo in Brewer — the state’s top independent organization. In the 25 months since, I’ve competed in different matches for different shows and different organizations throughout the state, as far north (or downeast, however you view it) as East Machias, and as far south as Biddeford.

Most of my work has been for Let’s Wrestle in Orono, the sister organization of Limitless Wrestling. It’s a chance for us to get “ring reps,” or matches, with established veteran talent. The training helps us get a first-hand education on the mat, in front of a live audience. And with every match as the “Belfast Bulldog” Dave Dyer, I was getting better, little by little.

Then the coronavirus hit. Live shows, including Limitless and Let’s Wrestle, were shut down. Thankfully, the folks at Limitless decided to shoot an online series titled “The Road,” which would be broadcast on Internet Wrestling TV (IWTV). The streaming service features matches from independent wrestling promotions around the world. The presentation of the show is fairly simple: Matches occur in the ring, like normal, but without a live audience. Instead, wrestlers sit around the ring, socially distanced, cheering on the match.

I’ve had multiple contests on “The Road,” and it’s given me the chance to gain more experience in the ring. More than anything, it’s given me the chance to expand my character in creative ways. The best example of this was my latest feud.

The “Belfast Bulldog” character is that of — for lack of a better term — a mildly lovable, idiot heel. Not interested in the glitz, glamour and fancy moves associated with wrestling. Just a guy who wants to use his athleticism to get the job done in the ring and win matches.

My opponent in this feud, Doug Wyzer, is one-third of the trio “The Dirty Drifters,” a group of lovable, homeless hitchhikers who find joy in the simple pleasures, and try to enjoy the moment whenever they can. They’re fan favorites with the Let’s Wrestle crowd. This of course doesn’t mesh well with the Bulldog’s mentality on wrestling, putting the two together as a solid feud.

Instead of a normal series of matches, we got creative. In the first match, I gained a clean victory over Wyzer using my finisher, “Dyer Straits,” a variation of a powerslam (and yes, the name of the move was shamelessly stolen from the 1980s band). But then it started to get a little crazy. Instead of a rematch in the ring, I was challenged by Wyzer to a falls count anywhere match, meaning the match could take place anywhere, at any time. And it certainly did. Wyzer and Limitless senior referee Eric Greenleaf showed up to my house in Belfast and tricked me out of the house by lighting a bag of dog droppings on fire on my porch. After putting the fire out, Wyzer ran full speed and dove off the porch onto me, pinning me for the three-count before running away. Needless to say, my reaction to the tactic was not positive.

The blow-off match of the feud came last week on “The Road,” when I challenged Wyzer to another match. Instead of accepting it himself, he passed the match along to his tag partner, Jacob Drifter, with an added stipulation: Whoever loses the match would have to eat a can of dog food (you know, because of the bulldog gimmick and all). I happily accepted, thinking it would be an easy win.

Well, that didn’t happen.

Instead, Drifter pulled an upset victory with a schoolboy pin for the 1-2-3, in under five minutes. The expression on my face is priceless, with the realization that I would have to eat dog food, and I have an absolute meltdown in the ring. The episode wraps up in my own dining room, as Wyzer and Greenleaf watch me fulfill the stipulation. For the record, I did not eat real dog food, it was a blend of ground meat and rice (it actually wasn’t bad).

While that’s certainly not a match I’d like to routinely have, I’ve appreciated the silver lining of this series, giving my character a chance to grow. It’s been fun, and it appears more episodes of “The Road” will be taped in the near future. While we’re all restless to perform in front of live crowds again, we’re making the most of this series while we have it. I certainly can’t wait to hop back in the ring for some more matches.

What happens next? Who knows. Anything and everything can happen in pro wrestling.

I’m certainly an example of that.

 

Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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