God Bless Texas! Bobby Burns Rides Off Into The Sunset
Long storied careers are no longer the norm in professional wrestling. These days, if you reach 5 or 6 years in the business, you could almost be considered a veteran. So for someone to have a career that began in 1984 and finally ended in 28 years later, that's a significant accomplishment.
And that's just one of the many features of Bobby Burns.
Burns was a main event player in the 1990s as part of the Texas Outlaws, along with Dan Wilder and Bernard Funk. Together, they dominated the WWEmp and OPW. After a little time off, Burns turned up in SRPW in 2005 and would be closely associated with that federation in both its incarnations for the rest of his career. And while he has competed in Texas, Kansas, Arkansas and Mexico (amongst other places), Oklahoma was where he decided to have his final match.
Burns had posted on his Facebook page that he had a huge announcement for the fans who attended the SRPW event in Mounds on June 30th. But when Burns arrived, he didn't spend time talking. Instead, he was booked to face one of the few men in the company who could match him in size: Rolling Thunder. Thunder and Burns first crossed paths in Oklahoma in UWE and no issues between the two of them were ever truly resolved. These two big men pounded on each other in the brutal heat, hoping nature would assist each of them in wearing their opponent down. Most people would presume that a man of Burns' size and power would rely on power moves, but that wasn't actually the case as Burns ultimately won the match by forcing Thunder to tap out to a cross-arm breaker.
After the match was over, Burns took the microphone and told the fans that in almost 30 years, he had been all over the world, but it was time for him to step aside. That was his retirement match. It was a little bit of a surreal moment. Burns is a larger than life character, so for him to make this decision and not bring any fanfare to it didn't seem normal. And perhaps fate thought the same thing as this announcement brought Ray Martinez and Selena out. Ray says that Burns doesn't get to decide on his own when to quit. Ray gets to make those decisions and he has decided that Burns WILL have his final match that night, but it will be against his La M partner El Choppo. Choppo arrived and the two began a quick, but brutal beatdown on the veteran competitor until Psycho Sawyer arrived to drive the hated pair from the ring.
Time passed and more festivities took place at the Mounds Independence Day celebration. The tension began to rise more and more as it got closer and closer to the main event. Finally, it was time. Dennis Heflin, a referee from the OPW days, made a special appearance to be the referee for this final match. El Choppo arrived first, with Ray Martinez & Selena. And then, the strains of "God Blessed Texas" began to pump through the speakers. For many years, that song had elicited boos in overwhelming amounts from the fans. But they cheered and applauded as Bobby Burns made his way to the ring for the final time.
Just as it was with Rolling Thunder, El Choppo and Bobby Burns was a match about power, not finesse. And with Martinez & Selena at ringside, Burns had to contend with as much outside the ring as inside. But he held his own, fighting off all the dastardly attacks that came his way. Seeing that even though there were three of them, they couldn't be victorious, Martinez grabbed Burns' cowbell and smacked it on the head of Burns, earning El Choppo a DQ. Burns fired up and drove everyone from the ring. And even though it probably wasn't the way he wanted it to be, Burns stood victorious in his last venture into a pro wrestling ring.
The entire locker room then emptied to enter the ring, one at a time, and congratulate Burns on his career. After much prompting, Burns was given a microphone and said that he was very proud of what he'd done in his career, but mostly he was proud to have been able to work with a lot of the young talent in SRPW. And he wanted them to be sure that, if they were asked, they should tell everyone they were trained by Bobby Burns.
The Western movies of the past often centred around a hero who rode in to town, defeated the bad guys who were causing problems, and then moved on, riding into the sunset for other adventures. For Bobby Burns, the adventure is over. But he earned his time and opportunity to ride into the sunset, even if he couldn't be called a "hero" for much of his career. As the most senior member of any roster in Oklahoma, Burns accomplished everything he set out to do and more. And now, the grizzled veteran can join the other members of the Texas Outlaws and spend their time reminiscing about the good old days.