Ian Rotten shared a great story about his blood brother Axl this morning on Facebook. Sharing it here for all who are feeling the loss today.
If you’ll bear with me, I’d like to tell you all a story about my friend.
Many people never got a chance to meet Brian Knighton, because he was ALWAYS Axl Rotten. Many people forget that Axl was in WCW for about 6 weeks and he was working a feud against a guy named PN News. Axl would call me every night and let me know how things went.
One night he had a TV match against one of the guys that trained him, Joey Maggs. Joey was pretty much enhancement talent. There was a mess up in the match and Axl felt Joey had done it on purpose because, after all, Joey had trained him, so when Axl called me that particular night (remember, this is back when you had to use a payphone, hotel phone, calling cards, etc.), the call came in quite late because he waited until he got back to his room to call me.
First thing out of his mouth is, “Man, I don’t know what the f— I am doing here.” I said, “Whoa, man, slow down… what happened?” He proceeded to tell me what had occurred and by this time he was so upset he was crying, telling me how he didn’t belong there and he just wanted to come home. I told him to calm down, that he belonged there, which he told me, “I’m just a fat kid from Baltimore who done f—ed up my one shot.”
I took a deep breath, and jokingly said, “Yes, you are fat, and yes, you are a kid from Baltimore, but you are Axl F—ing Rotten and you need to remember that.”
Many times I think my friend was just a scared kid from Baltimore, living out his dream. So many times when people met him, they got Axl F—ing Rotten, but the guy underneath that guy, was a special human being who gave us all his knowledge, never took a booking fee from me, taught me how to teach our game and reminded me that sometimes this business will humble you but in the end, it is what you make it.
The human being behind the persona was a genuine person. Because of him, THIS fat kid from Baltimore got to live his dream.
When they say the bad about you, I’ll always make sure they remember the good. Thanks for being a part of my life the last 25 years. Without you, there is no me. I genuinely feel like a part of me has died today. I hate that when I have a thought or idea I wont be able to pick up the phone and ask you what you think.
I will miss you my brother.