Helloooooo RASSLIN lovers!!!
It’s ME, It’s HIM, It’s T-I-M!!
Once again coming to you with Pop Culture news and fun, today I’d like to give a Spotlight on one of my favorite new businesses:
BO’s CUSTOM WRESTLERS!!!
I discovered these from my buddy and professional wrestler “Greek God” Papadon…
*Sweet figure right?
I’ve been excited ever since – these are genuis, what 80s kid wouldn’t want a special custom figure? It’s the best damn gift for friends, family, work friends, etc – I’m over the moon for them and YES I’M ORDERING SOME.. you really should too but don’t take my word for it, I’ll turn this over to BO…
*He’s a legit cool dude. So damn nice.
I grew up in the 80’s, in a great neighborhood in Long Island, New York with three major childhood addictions… Masters of the Universe, GI Joe, and Professional Wrestling. I was the only person in a household of 5 that even cared about wrestling… but it quickly became all I wanted to watch, all I wanted to learn about. My Grandfather was a huge wrestling fan and always had tapes ready for me when I would go and visit him. My Cousin John Paul who is 4 years older than I am, loved wrestling just as much as I did. His father lived in Florida at the time so he had access to different promotions, house shows, NWA, AWA all of it. He would send us tapes and magazines that weren’t available in New York monthly to feed out insatiable thirst for Pro Wrestling. I knew way more about Wrestling than anyone else in my school. So although I was alone in my bone crunching fandom in my immediate household, I had my support group (or addiction pushers) I guess you could say. I was about 6 years old when Hulkamania hit, the first Wrestlemania took place, and a now defunct toy company named LJN, created the line Wrestling Superstars. 8 inch recreations of my favorite superstars that dazzled me every Saturday morning, I was completely star struck. I had some Remco AWA wrestlers (that resembled he-Man figures), but to me, the WWF got it right. I could come home from school on a random Wednesday and have Hulk Hogan team up with Hillbilly Jim to wrestle the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff! Rowdy Roddy Piper take on the Junk Yard Dog! Big John Studd could finally body slam Andre the Giant! The possibilities were endless! As the years went on, I got more and more of my favorite superstars… and they weren’t cheap either! With inflation, these figures would probably retail at about $17-$20 each! My addiction to wrestling figures had begun.
*Look at this quality and detail
Years later, Hasbro released their line of wrestling figures and I lost my mind. The last line of LJN wrestlers were only released in Canada! So I missed out on incredible stars such as the Ultimate Warrior, Rick Rude and the Big Boss Man just to name a few. My disappointment quickly disappeared however as I was able to buy all of these guys in the first wave of Hasbro WWF figures at the turn of the 90’s!! And they started producing and producing and producing!! Demolition, Dusty Rhodes, The Legion of Doom… this was heaven on earth. This was my absolute escape from the real world of growing up! It was during this time that I spent every dollar I had on wrestling merchandise and I was happy to do it. My cousin and I would schedule sleep overs around Saturday Nights Main Events and would have Royal Rumbles with my impressive Hasbro and WCW Galoob figures (which kinda sucked) but gave me incredible superstars to add to my rumbles in Sting, Ric Flair, The Steiner brothers and so on! Those nights, my cousin and I still to this day, reflect on and refer to some of the best days of our lives.
*He does Tag Teams too!
I never really stopped buying figures… I had slow-downs as well as moments of insanity by giving away figures (My whole LJN and Hasbro collections) thinking that I didn’t have a need for them anymore. Those moves would end up costing me a whole lot of money in the end as I ended up re-buying all of them! Now I always wanted to become a pro-wrestler. I was somewhat athletic in High School… I was a very good baseball player and decent football player. I had a whole plan to go to a wrestling school as soon as I got out of high school…which would have been the summer of 1996. Three big things however stunted me from that plan… one, back then there were like no training academies on Long Island to train. Two, I had no money to a out of state school beyond the Island… and Three, My anxiety was crippling. Stepping outside my four walls had become a task that hit me like a freight train after high school stopped. So I simply grew up as a fan. That was it. I was just a fan.
In 2006, my fandom had been slowed down, The Attitude era was over, my favorite stars were disappearing off television and I just had a different life. I still followed wrestling, but nowhere to the degree of what it was. That is, until a buddy of mine brought me to a show at a now defunct place called Sports Plus in Lake Grove, New York. He told me of this traveling independent promotion that goes there every few months named “Ring of Honor.” I remember walking in, sitting front row, and thinking…”Wow, I miss my love for this kinda stuff.” I saw some great action that night even though I had no idea who these guys were. I was highly entertained by these “no-name” guys like Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan), CM Punk, the Briscoe’s, Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro), Chris Hero, Austin Aries and Samoa Joe… Boy did I have a lot to re-learn. But Everything hit me all at once when I saw a fresh faced kid in a tight grey singlet with my body type and my look, look right in my eyes as he stepped in the ring. I thought to myself… hey, if this guy can do this… I definitely can! That guy was a young Kevin Steen or as you know him today, Kevin Owens.
*Custom for your best friend or your husband, etc!!
It took me a few more years to really convince myself to really go all in, but what I really needed and got was a push from someone. This came in form of a co-worker of mine, who by chance was transferred to my job, and shared the same dream I once did…becoming a Pro-Wrestler. From there we entered the NYWC (New York Wrestling Connection) training academy together. Well, I technically was a month behind him because of my anxiety issues. I needed to hear from him daily what he did, and how much fun he was having… I remember after my first day of training, I couldn’t move for a week. I almost quit on myself thinking that a man in his 30’s should not be doing this lol. It wasn’t physically possible, it was a Young man’s business. But I did it. I cried at times, I doubted myself, I threw up on myself, I sustained injuries, but I did it. We were trained by incredible talents such as Stockade, Blake Morris, Papadon, and later… Bull James. It wasn’t long there after we made our debut together, won tag-team gold together in multiple promotions, and enjoyed some great success on the independent circuit as The Hounds of Hatred. And although we ended up splitting the team up with myself going in a different direction/gimmick (Bo Prichard), I owe anything I’ve ever done in my wrestling career to my great friend Anthony Musumeci, also known as Bam Sullivan for pushing me to walk through those doors.
It was somewhere in here, from the stories I would hear from the boys in the locker room, about their matches with guys like the Warlord, King Kong Bundy, Tito Santana, Brutus Beefcake and the list went on and on, that I needed to get back into figure collecting. It started with me purchasing a small lot of the old LJN rubber wrestling figures from eBay, and absolutely never stopping from there… The idea of customizing figures came from there. I would buy a few “beaters” and clean them up… touch up their paint, and display them in an old VHS tape organizer. As my collection grew, my showcases did too. Now I went to college for art and never did a damn thing with it…so now I get to combine my love of wrestling with my art background, and I was on my way. At this point, I never thought about making any kind of money on this kind of thing. I just did it because I loved it, and that’s the way it kinda stayed. I rebuilt my LJN collection with the exception of those damn Canadian figures I never had! They were available on eBay, but no way would I spend or be able to spend over $100 on one figure. I came across a website where someone customized an Ultimate Warrior. It wasn’t done all that well I thought… I then looked at pics from the Warrior from 1989 Wrestling Superstars line and again thought to myself that that figure was equally crappy! I had an extra Paul Orndorff figure and decided to try my had at it. I was blown away at what I did. I then turned a Miss Elizabeth into a Wendi Richter, and a King Kong Bundy into a Dusty Rhodes and I was hooked. I was making guys I wish I had as a kid and turning my collection into something unique. Something that other collections didn’t have.
*Ladies, if he loves you he betta put a RING on it!
Mattel would end up releasing their retro figures a few years ago which mirrored the Hasbro figures from when I was at the pinnacle of my figure buying days. Toying around, I first made a figure of myself as “Bo Prichard” my current gimmick. I loved it! I mean this thing came out cool. I got a graphic made by @ExtraCooler and card made by Hasbromaniacs with a little help from Photographer Tony DiMaso, it became something I always wish I had as a child…Me! It became a pretty sweet centerpiece of my collection. At that time, I wanted to create my old tag-team “The Hounds of Hatred” for my showcase. That was my beginnings and where I had the majority of my successes. I figured I had a million figures so what the hell, I bought a Steve Austin and Brock Lesnar and with some paint, clay, and utilizing Hasbromaniacs and Tony DiMaso again, I made Bam and Boo Sullivan… put it on Social Media… and it blew up. From there, I kept going by making a figure for one of my best friends in the business, Papadon. I’ll never forget his reaction. He and I are the same age so I knew that he would absolutely marvel in something like this. And he did. He posted his figure online and I started seeing messages and comments about how great the figure was… it was that moment that the idea came to what it is… There are so many talented indy wrestlers who deserve figures, to have as keepsakes for their own careers! For the fans that share in the same passion that we do, to have their own figures, to have their favorite wrestlers in their showcases. And after making a few more indy darlings and receiving support from guys like Stockade, Matt Tremont, Bull James and others…the rest was history!
*You’ll be the talk of your circle. Hell Yeah!
I created Bo’s Custom Wrestlers and Collectables last month from all of that. From my entire life of loving Professional Wrestling. From sitting on My Grandfathers lap watching Hulk Hogan Tapes, to my Cousin and I staying up late and watching Saturday Nights Main Event while wrestling Royal Rumble matches with my figures, to collecting, to training, to winning championships with my best friend, to attempting to complete my collections (Which I still never did!) and everything in between. I love this business. I am thankful for this business. And now, I can always be a part of this business no matter how old I get. @BosCustomWrestlers on Instagram or find my wrestling page on Facebook (Bo Prichard) and Twitter @BoPeepTID.