The Man Behind the Mask

WWE's Rey Mysterio has game to spare, Harold Ramis helps clear up a misconception, and Bill Haas shows his sensitive side; plus, Unreal lends support to a fellow muckraker injured in the line of duty

Jun 9, 2004 at 4:00 am
A lifelong fan, Unreal was crushed when the World Wrestling Federation lost its zingy WWF moniker to the World Wildlife Fund in a London courtroom in 2001. In honor of the newly christened WWE (that's World Wrestling Entertainment)'s June 13 visit to the Savvis Center, Unreal discussed the wrasslin' life with Southern California cruiserweight Rey Mysterio, he of the intricately patterned masks.

Unreal: Do you wear your mask out to bars in Chula Vista? Does it help you pull chicks?

Rey Mysterio: Actually when I get home, I have a private life. Nobody asks me for an autograph. I'm the man behind the mask. With chicks I've got game to spare to get 'em without the mask.

Have you ever accidentally won a match you were supposed to lose?

Never in my life.

Has anyone ever decked Mean Gene Okerlund after an interview?

That's a good question, man. If I recall, I don't think nobody has ever done something to him. He's been close to being decked, but nobody has ever dropped him.

Whom would you rather have sex with, Sigourney Weaver or Gillian Anderson?

Sigourney Weaver. She just looks like she's a freak.

Why doesn't Mr. T wrestle full-time? He could make a lot of money as a pro wrestler, could he not?

Yes he could. I think after the WrestleMania where he appeared, if he would have kept on doing this, he'd be one of the big-timers right now.

Is ex-boxer Livingstone Bramble tougher than Ted DiBiase, the Million Dollar Man?

I think maybe he might be tougher, but when the price is right, DiBiase would come out on top.

Could DiBiase's sidekick, Virgil, kick Ted's ass in a real fight?


If Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and Jimmy Hart had matching 1987 Buick sedans and decided to race them on a dirt track, who'd win?

I would have to give it to Bobby the Brain, cuz he's the weasel, man.

Bill Me!

I am recently divorced and have found it difficult to really understand what women want. Is it conversation and companionship? Is it personal challenge? Is it merely a physical cardio workout in the four-poster or the car? Is it intellectual, emotional or spiritual stimulation? Is it just a pretty face and beefcake?

I have found a pattern of behavior in the women I've met recently. All start out just wanting a friend or companion to share some of life's joy with, like going out for a night on the town, exercising/working out, whatever. Then somehow things quickly evolve into a relationship, with more and more expectations. I am OK with a meaningful short-term relationship, but that just isn't enough for them. Do you suppose these women are lying about just wanting companionship, knowing they'll bait and switch you into a more committed deal if they like you? It is a dating dilemma for the person who just wants to have some fun.

Oh, what's [former St. Louis Board of Education member] Rochell Moore doing these days? Is she single?
Bill Me!

It's nice to have a substantive question rather than the prurient merde I've gotten so far.

What do women want? It depends on the woman, but like most men, they want someone nice to go through life with. It makes the good times meaningful and more enjoyable and the bad times bearable.

Who do they want to go through life with? Unless they're into chaos (a bag usually in need of therapy), they want someone interesting to them, and interested in them, with a kind heart; and someone who cares as much about their interests, needs and pleasure (in bed and out) as his own.

Do they bait and switch? It seems ungracious in the extreme for you to be charming, nice and entertaining and then complain when they get attached. To begrudge someone this even if you don't return it, you don't sound like much of a catch, at least at this stage of your life. Perhaps you should find someone who's at a similar stage.

There are two kinds of people, it seems to me: those who ask how they can add to their partner's life, and those who ask how their partner can add to theirs. Apart from the obvious value judgment one could make here, people probably go best with a partner of the same type.

Finally, I find that people are often like abused animals: Some have been too hurt or abused to be capable of forming a good and healthy relationship. And some, though hurt, will eventually come around and trust someone new in their life. The trick is to tell the difference. Sometimes the only way to know is to give that unconditional love and see what happens.

E-mail your questions to [email protected], or stamp and send to Bill Me! c/o Riverfront Times, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130.

Lettin' It Flow

As a public service, and in the interest of bucking up a fellow muckraker, we hereby dedicate this small corner of Unreal estate to Larry Washington, longtime cameraman for FOX 2 consumer reporter Elliott Davis. Washington, you might recall, took a cap in his shoulder three weeks ago while working on an exposé about the business practices of Wellston-based Gales Towing.

Carol Deas, who works in Wellston, called Unreal a few weeks back to tell us about a water main that had been leaking for several months near Ameren UE's north-county power plant.

Luis Clarke, environmental officer for the City of Wellston, confirmed Deas' tale and estimated that the leak was sending "at least a gallon a minute" down dead-end Derby Avenue from the porch steps of a vacant brick house at 6437 Derby. According to Clarke, the dilapidated structure is owned by St. Louis County, which has plans for an industrial plaza in the area.

Both Clarke and Deas said they'd alerted Missouri-American Water Company to the leak, to no avail. Calls to the water company from the occupants of two homes at the bottom of the hill on Derby were likewise fruitless.

"If I were them, I'd start planting rice," Deas said of the hapless neighbors. "I'm astonished that this company that preaches water conservation would allow tens of thousands of gallons to leak. All summer they're like, 'Don't water the lawn, we're gonna be short on water.' And then they're letting all this water go to waste. And let's talk health issues: The water system is supposed to be a sealed system."

Unreal got on the blower to Eldright White, director of Wellston's Department of Public Works. "There's water that's running down there," he said. "It's pourin' out, man. It's runnin'."

And what was White doing about it?

"I don't shut no water off," he said. "That's what we pay the water company for."

Not necessarily, countered Missouri-American spokesman Tony Paraino when we rang his bell. "Typically, if a break is on a service line, it'd be the responsibility of the customer or whoever owns that property. Just because water's coming out of the ground doesn't mean it's coming from a main."

Still, Unreal's persistence appears to have prompted Missouri-American to dispatch a crew to the scene.

Just like that, the leak's fixed -- and Unreal wishes Washington a similarly speedy recovery.

Excuse Us, Homes

"Some people identify East St. Louis as the hometown of Miles Davis, but many more associate the city as the cinematic hellhole from National Lampoon's Vacation, where Chevy Chase's Griswold family gets its wayward station wagon stripped by a gang of shamelessly stereotyped black thugs."

That mellifluous sentence, which led in Mike Seely's May 5 news story "A River Runs Through It," is only partially true. People do indeed associate East St. Louis with the classic 1983 comedy. But the Griswold family truckster never traversed the east side, according to director and recent St. Louis Walk of Fame inductee Harold Ramis.

"They go over the [Poplar Street] bridge before it happens, so technically it would be in St. Louis," Ramis says of the scene in which Chase gets lost and prefaces his request for directions from the locals with an incomparably delivered "Excuse me, homes."

Many a moviegoer has misattributed the scene to East St. Louis, including writers at the New York Times and the Hollywood Reporter. Not so St. Louis' own Steve Kratky, who called attention to the gaffe in a letter to the editor (see page 6).

"Nine out of ten people [in St. Louis] project their own image of East St. Louis onto the screen," says Ramis, a Washington University grad. "When I was in college, we used to go there to listen to music. It was always considered an edgy thing to do."

Ramis, who shot the "Excuse me, homes" bit on a Warner Bros. back lot in Hollywood, says he regrets having filmed it in the first place.

"I apologize for the whole scene," says Ramis. "I wouldn't think of doing a thing like that now. It was supposed to be about prejudice, when in fact it was prejudiced."