My wrestling training days began about 2 years before I ever actually was officially trained. My backyard friends and I stumbled across Larry Sharpe’s Monster Factory in Clemmonton, New Jersey. Desperate to wrestling in a “real” ring rather than on the hard ground, our group would rent Larry Sharpe’s ring on a monthly basis to perform our shows. More often than not, many of the official trainees and trainers would stick around to poke fun at us or take pot shots at each other because one in our untrained group might be better than someone currently training.
The Monster Factory’s head trainer at the time was a guy by the name of Glen Ruth that enjoyed some local independent fame wrestling as the Spider. Glen eventually went on to form a tag team with another guy that would later lead the WWF “New Attitude” generation as the Headbangers. I don’t know if Glen ever went to college but his hazing techniques were reminiscent of any fraternity stereotype you could possibly think of. I would say that most time he was brutally honest to a flaw but was a genuinely good teacher of his craft. I learned quite a bit from him as far as in-ring presence as well as out-of-ring antics. Through the barrage of daily verbal assaults, none stood out more on my mind than the times he would talk about how nice someone’s boots were.
I have no idea if he coined the phrase but he surely used it and I most certainly ran with it at any chance I had. In case you couldn’t tell, saying that to another wrestler was typically an insult. A wrestler that you think was performing poorly might ask you to comment on his match or a particular move and the polite response was to say that he had nice boots. Over the years, I found myself using that as a polite response as well as a straight out rude comment to another wrestler for various reasons. As with most things in wrestling, this phrase was picked up by others and then carried around throughout the business. There are very few expressions in wrestling that bring such fond memories to me than the comment about how nice someone’s boots might be. I have a lot of things to thank Glen Ruth for in my upstart and laughter through all of the insanity is definitely one of them even if it was at my expense.