The National Guard armory was the site of a major throw-down that was both political and personal.
Tristan Patterson, a Columbus County republican is running for North Carolina state house against incumbent Dewey Hill. So what in the world was he doing at a wrestling match? It all started on a Whiteville radio show.
Don Brower who owns the United Professional Wrestling Association (UPWA) called in to the show to plug a wrestling event he was doing. But then, things took a turn. Brower says Patterson began bashing wrestling and questioning the reality of the action. "He made a comment about how do I make something so artificial look so real basically questioning the legitimacy of pro wrestling and so I took offense to that." Brower said "I said some choice words and he said some choice words and then he had this ridiculous idea that he wanted to wrestle me."
The two men then made a deal. Patterson would take on Brower in the ring on Saturday night at the armory.
If Patterson lost - he would drop out of the race and endorse Dewey Hill. By the way Brower is 6'3" and 325 pounds...and let's just say, Patterson....is not.
Patterson served as the announcer for the matches prior to his smack-down with Don Brower; and with every match Patterson looked more and more concerned and at times looked flustered.
But then - it was time to face the moment of truth. Patterson still had time to reconsider and drop to his knees and apologize to Brower if he wanted to. He declined. Thus the rumble commenced.
Brower dominated the majority of the match. At one point Patterson was thrown from the center of the ring and into his yellow campaign sign in the corner of the ring. But then there was a surprise turn of events. LA Tank, the defending UPWA champ jumps into the ring and knocks Brower out with a chair. This set the stage for Patterson to jump back into the ring and pin down Brower's nearly lifeless body to the mat. The ref counted to 3 and the crowd erupted.
After Patterson's victory he said the fight really hurt, "I played football with guys 3 times my size and I grew up with 3 older brothers...That was the most painful thing I've ever done!"
Brower is ready to bring more pain, though. He says Patterson cheated and he will get revenge. He issued a formal challenge to Patterson to come to Riverfest in October for a rematch.