Monday, December 31, 2018

Friend Encounters: Sgt. Slaughter and Josh Watko

This is a weekly series about friends who have met celebrities.

I first came across Josh Watko's JW's Wrestling Memorabilia site many years ago. Josh wrote about wrestling figures and other wrestling-related stuff. He also occasionally veered into other pop culture fun.
Josh was one of the first people I ever saw who consistently met and wrote about meeting wrestlers. He has met so many wrestlers past and present, including many that I haven't met. I am envious of that, but happy for him, because he is a great fan of the business. As evident in the picture below with Sgt. Slaughter, Josh started at a very early age. 
I have followed Josh's work over the years and took special note of his "Joshie" awards. At the end of every year, Josh presented his "Joshie" awards, including a "Thanks for the Memories" award, given to such luminaries as Lance Russell, Chyna, Dusty Rhodes, Roddy Piper and The Ultimate Warrior.
When I first read his "Joshie" awards presentation, I thought it was such a cool idea. His award categories and reasoning behind winning selections made the awards special. Anyone can just give out awards, but a "Joshie" had real meaning.
I write this in all honesty. Josh's site is so well written, that it stands out in a sea of sites on the internet. He is talented, clever, insightful and entertaining.
One year, I mentioned that my goal was to win a "Joshie" award. Was it fair of me to campaign for that honor? I wrote about my goal and I hope to legit earn the award. I figured Josh would get a laugh and maybe have some fun with it, but I never actually thought I would win the award.
As I made my regular stop on his site this morning, I saw "The Winds of Change" as his newest entry. I was surprised to see my picture with Gene Okerlund accompanying the story. As I read the piece, I was even more surprised to see Josh name me as the 2018 "Thanks for the Memories" Joshie award winner.
When I look back at the previous winners, I see wrestling Hall of Famers. While I never expected to win a "Joshie" award, this particular award is even more special. At best, I thought Josh might create some unofficial award for me, just for the fun of it. I never expected to win a legit and established "Joshie" award.
I sincerely appreciate this award and will do my best to continue to live up to it's legacy. Being recognized by one of the best internet writers is very cool.
As the title of his piece indicated, Josh is changing things a bit on his site. He is moving away from the weekly format, but he promises to continue to be an internet presence, as well as a familiar face on the wrestling scene. I'll miss his weekly offerings, but I look forward to his future musings whenever they appear. Josh promises more fun, just in a less structured format.
He also teased a book. Can that be a legit possibility? If anyone could do it, I'd say Josh would be the one. I'd buy his book in a heartbeat. Actually, I would wait for him to do a signing. Then Joshie and Johngy could finally meet.
Until then, Josh, thank you for the memories and looking forward to more Josh fun in the future.
Josh Watko and Sgt. Slaughter in Pennsylvania-1988.

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