The year is 2002. Fresh off of destroying another opponent in a squash match, fans would cheer for his next victim, jubilant in the joy that would see a cage brought into the match.
Every fan of the New York Wrestling League (NYWL) in attendance, for the most part looked very 2002, salivated over the inevitable demise of Bonesaw McGraw’s newest rookie opponent, The Human Spider. As McGraw’s Bone-ettes taunted The Human Spider, the vanquished foes of Bonesaw bemoaned their defeat.
Nervous and afraid, the young man still carried an air of confidence about himself. That confidences was shaken by the sudden change in booking – the introduction of a steel cage and the confrontation from the veteran McGraw.
“Hey, freak-show! You ain’t going nowhere! I’ve got you for three minutes…three minutes of pain tiiiime!”
An attempted tackle by Bonesaw proved fruitless, The Human Spider jumped to the cage walls with incredible athleticism, taunting Bonesaw before leaping back to the ground and landing spectacularly. Amazingly, even.
In a move that would leave the wrestling world abuzz for decades to come, the arachnid wrestler would shoot what appeared to be webs (but was clearly ropes) to the ceiling and launched himself in the air to avoid a spear by Bonesaw.
One of Bonesaw’s gorgeous and voluptuous Bone-ettes helped the gritty and rough heel by providing him a steel chair, used to deliver two unprotected shots to the head and two to the back, before swinging the debuting talent against the cage in absolutely astonishing fashion. It was 2002, and this was the industry standard, one that wrestling fans everywhere are glad to see removed for the safety of the talents. Bonesaw himself would go on to say that it was for the best, as it took years off his own career.
The next attack by Bonesaw would be interrupted by a series of kicks from the prone Human Spider, before finally launching McGraw with both feet into the cage with such force that it knocked out the savage and macho wrestler. The referee declared him unconscious, and The Human Spider was the victor.
A star was born, the marvellous tale of an older talent putting over a new one. However, what seemed the be the start of a guaranteed hall of fame career for The Human Spider came to an immediate halt. In no fault of his own, The Human Spider would make his only wrestling appearance that night, walking away from the industry after being stiffed by NYWL’s promoter, Quincy McMann. It’s a shame too, since following the recent escapades of New York’s fledgling superhero, Spider-Man, Human Spider could have made a lot of money. Not everyone is cut out for professional wrestling, however.
Despite all of this, the legacy of Bonesaw McGraw would remain intact, even in his later post-retirement years, training new talent and running his own promotion, Frenzy Pro Wrestling, which he has since given booking duties to his niece, Molly McGraw.
We as fans will never forget the memorable career Bonesaw McGraw would have in the squared circle. Who could forget his star-making performance in 1989 against the legendary Joseph “The Crusher” Hogan at NYWL’s WrestleBlast II? The famous double-turn, as then-champion Hogan would use the ropes in an attempt to screw McGraw over, and even used a ring bell, but it was not enough, for Bonesaw was ready.
Watching that on my brother’s old VHS collection, I still get goosebumps, especially at the elbow drop McGraw used to finish the match. He was always a great seller and a phenomenal athlete.
McGraw would win Pro Wrestling World’s “Wrestler of the Year” award in 1992, due in part to his brief stint in Japan against the likes of Tiger Mask and AKI Man, before winning the prestigious “Match of the Year” in 1995 and 1996 against Randy “The Ram” Robinson and Captain Insano respectively during his time in San Diego Championship Wrestling.
In what was perhaps his most unpopular feud, Bonesaw would be trudged through the late 90s in his new home, NYWL, having to carry new star Jimmy King. Notoriously being difficult for his fellow wrestlers to work with, King was also the subject of nepotism, as his uncle was the booker of the promotion at the time. “I will rule you” Jimmy King often declared in his career rule Bonesaw, Jimmy did. He won all of his matches against Bonesaw, aside from one DQ finish, seeing him retain his title.
Following a health scare in 2005, McGraw removed himself from the wrestling scene until 2008, in his retirement match at Circle of Respect’s 2009 pay-per-view, Last Struggle, against past rival Randy “The Ram” Robinson.
Wrestling has many legends grace its bingo halls and sold out arenas, but few could ever be ready for the type of career that McGraw had.
Bonesaw was ready.