Chris Ford by day, Crowbar by night
January 29, 2012 Leave a comment
Many who know Chris Ford today may know him as the 37-year-old, mild-mannered family man and physical therapist. He is a tall guy who wears his hair in a ponytail, wears glasses and looks like he’s in great shape. Those who take a deeper look may find out that he goes by a different name from time to time. When he isn’t at home with his kids or at his office doing physical therapy, you might find him in the wrestling ring going by the name Crowbar, the six-foot one, 230-pound, longhaired psychopath, wielding a crowbar as a weapon.
“When I was working full-time in WCW I worked when I was home at a hospital. Many of the doctors found out that I was a wrestler and thought it was pretty cool. If patients came from those doctors then they knew but if I got a new patient then I would try to keep it a secret because I didn’t know what they would think,” Ford said.
Back when he was getting in to wrestling, being a wrestler and going to school was something that just wasn’t done, but Chris was always adamant about having a back up plan if his dream didn’t quite work out. To this day he tells young wrestlers that are trying to break into the business the same thing.
“Up and comers always ask me for advice and I always tell them the same thing; whatever you do, make sure you have something to fall back on. Expect nothing from the business. It’s a heartless, cruel, unforgiving business but if you expect nothing then anything else that happens is a bonus.”
When Ford was breaking into the scene, some 20 years ago, not only was going to school and wrestling something that wasn’t done, the other wrestlers frowned upon it.
“I remember Tazz and some of the other guys in ECW saying, what the hell is that guy doing with the freaking books, you should be paying attention to the matches. He doesn’t respect the business.”
Ford however knows that he made the right decision to go to school and not just focus on wrestling.
“I love the business but I knew that I had to take care of my other stuff such as school. I will be so bold to say that because I did that, I’m in a much better spot than the majority of the people who were in that ECW locker room.”
He continued, “Maybe it wasn’t cool but I’m doing pretty well in physical therapy and I’m still doing independent shows for fun.”
Close friend and former tag team partner, Michael Maraldo, who is known in the ring as, Ace Darling, shared the sentiment of the importance of going to school as well and remembers being treated the same way as Ford. He knows the things outside of wrestling keep them close today.
“When we look back a lot of people may have made fun of us and thought they were going to be millionaires and thought we were wrong because we didn’t put all our eggs in the wrestling basket.”
Maraldo went on to say, “We are very fortunate that we had good heads on our shoulders. We studied on the way to shows. We stayed in school. We don’t have to rely on wrestling like many people we know do. We stay so close because of the things outside of wrestling.”
While school was obviously important to Ford, so was wrestling. Maraldo remembered a time when he was injured but didn’t miss a match.
“In the late 90’s, he broke his finger and had a huge cast on and we had 4 shows in 3 days and he did all of them. He didn’t miss one. He was booked for the show and he showed up.”
That wasn’t the only time he wrestled hurt however. Ford remembered a time in WCW when he was very seriously injured but continued to go out each night to do his job.
“I had the hardcore belt on me and I was in a two on two match with me and Mike Awesome against Bam Bam Bigelow and Reno. I did a moonsault off the second rope and I missed the target. I hit the floor and I ended up getting a torn abdominal muscle. I didn’t report it at the time because I had the belt and I didn’t want them to take it from me.”
Ford went on to say, “I used my PT background to do physical therapy on myself and I ended up having the belt on me for another four or five weeks.”
Much of Ford’s career saw him in hardcore type matches and he took the time to reveal some little known secrets about how these weapons are used without injury and revealed something shocking.
“Tables and stages are constructed a certain way to take your hit and absorb it but you don’t fake chair shots. The chairs are real and that’s why with all the awareness to concussions now, you very rarely see an unprotected chair shot. At that time though, it was just part of the job.”
He explained that, “you see chair shots to the back which stings but if you do it right it shouldn’t injure you more than a bruise or a little cut. It’s not going to injure you; it won’t break bone. In hindsight I would say I have had some mild concussions but otherwise I’m lucky.”
Ford knows that the hardcore title was a huge push but he still remembers that his most popular times were with David Flair, legendary wrestler Ric Flair’s son, as his tag team partner and Daffney as their manager. The funny thing is, David wasn’t a very good wrestler but the crowd liked him.
“David who was not a great wrestler at all was running around the back, hitting people with a crowbar. WCW decided to get him a tag team partner to do most of the wrestling and Crowbar was born.”
He continued to say, “Thank god that he was a horrible wrestler so that I got an opportunity. Through that we teamed together. We started to work out together and he became a much better wrestler and I am glad I could help him. I truly enjoy working with David.”
One other highlight of his career was meeting his wife, Dina Caravella, backstage at an event and then getting to wrestle with her against the late Eddie Guerrero. Dina remembers everything and still loves to think about it.
“I was wrestling with Dawn Marie and she introduced me to Chris in the back at a show in 2001 soon after his release from WCW. I had seen him on TV on Saturday nights in WCW,” Dina said.
She went on to say, “Soon after we actually started working together and he trained me in the ring and soon after that we became a couple. Working with Chris, I got the chance to work against Eddie Guerrero which was great.”
Throughout his career Ford has been able to accomplish so much and has helped so many other wrestlers along the way. He knows how fortunate he is to have found a wife in the ring and to have been able to conquer his dream.
“I have had no expectation in my career because when you do sometimes you get let down but I know myself that when I go out, I give my best effort. I go out there and I love it. I enjoy myself. I am there because I choose to be not because I need to be and that there is a game changer. I am there because I enjoy it and that lets me enjoy it so much more than I could if I needed it.”
To see the video of the exclusive 1-on-1 interview click here