Minutes to Bell Time

Graphic Endings

Graphic Endings is a Minutes to Bell Time project. This is Chapter 1 of Graphic Endings: Eight Weeks to Bell Time. New chapters come out each Tuesday. Follow the Minutes to Bell Time Instagram to get an announcement each Tuesday.

Additional Chapters:  

The Dropkick Journal Presents Graphic Endings

Eight Weeks to Bell Time

The below excerpt was taken from the September 29, 1983 issue of the Dropkick Journal.

Graphic Endings: The Event

After last week’s announcement that we would be promoting the upcoming Pro Wrestling event Graphic Endings, readers and media bombarded us with questions.

Why is a pro wrestling newsletter promoting an event they would typically cover as press?

Why did Bell Time agree to defend his World Heavyweight Championship against someone nobody knows and why did the national promoters agree?

When is the event?

We decided to tell our story in this week’s issue. Before we get started, we also decided to release the event poster, which answers the biggest question of all. When will the event take place? As the poster clearly shows, Graphic Endings takes place eight weeks from now on Thanksgiving night.

Bell Time Asks for Help

Bell Time’s two year reign of terror as World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion left the professional wrestling world in shambles. He has destroyed every wrestler competing at the national level leaving them injured or unwilling to wrestle him again. Promoters looked in boxing and other combat sports, but they can’t find a new opponent to challenge for Bell Time’s championship. Without title matches, many promoters have started canceling shows and unless something changes, the pro wrestling business faces record losses and a severe decline in interest. Wrestlers, including Bell Time, are preparing to miss pay days and wondering if they can still make a living in the wrestling business.

Bell Time himself reached out to the Dropkick Journal hoping we might know of some undiscovered new challengers. Our global coverage of professional wrestling gave us plenty of ideas, but we also know Bell Time’s reputation. The wrestling world didn’t just need an opponent for Bell Time. In order for fans to buy tickets, we need someone the world believes can actually defeat Bell Time.

Our Idea: Minute

One of our writers suggested we look at Minute, an independent wrestler he saw at a small show a couple of years ago. Thinking he might have found a rising star, our writer continued to follow Minute’s schedule of matches. He noticed that Minute always won despite wrestling bigger opponents. After some research, we discovered the small warrior never wrestled a match at the national level always remaining in the shadows of professional wrestling’s independent circuit. A contact told us that over the years national promoters attempted to sign Minute, but he dismissed them citing a preference to only wrestle in front of small audiences.

Minute also has the reputation of waiting outside the arena to shake hands with departing fans and sign autographs for everyone. He loves his local fanbase, and they adore him back. We decided to approach Minute about a fight with Bell Time. Like the national promoters before us, Minute dismissed our idea:

People spend money because they like me, and they like me because they know me. I see the same people in line night after night. Most don’t ask for autographs anymore, but they still wait in line, sometimes for an hour, just to shake my hand and say good match. I have a relationship with the people, and I know a lot of their names. Without that personal relationship to the fans, I’m nothing. I can’t help you with a big show.

Something didn’t seem right, so we sent a few people to watch Minute wrestle and observe his behavior with the fans.

Stories from the Past

We met with the local promoter and learned that he has booked Minute for the last 15 years. He told us that  Minute has never had a bad night. The promoter brought in big names for one night special appearances and Minute beats them all. He quietly told one writer about a special match from 10 years ago. While he made it seem like a big secret, the old man had clearly perfected the story presumably by telling it a million times.

The Old Man’s Story

For five years, Minute beat everyone I brought in. The fans worshiped him. Even the wrestlers loved him because he meant a full house. Not a crowd like you see on the national level, but wrestling with Minute guaranteed a sold out show at our local arena no matter how much we charged for tickets. One of our Friday Night Super Fights had Minute working in the main event against a national guy from New York. Well, the New Yorker got in trouble with the police and had to miss the show.

I had nobody to work the match, so I reached out to a friend of mine that runs a wrestling promotion in Florida. He had a big guy that just started wrestling. The rookie wasn’t super talented, but he was big . . . I mean he was really big, so I booked him for the show. I thought bringing in an unknown was a risk, but I needed a substitute.

When I finally saw the this Florida guy on the day of the show, I got scared. This guy was 2 to 3 times the size of Minute, and I was afraid Minute might get hurt. I could lose the greatest draw I ever had. That’s not what happened though because as soon as the bell rang, Minute hit this big guy with a drop kick sending him to the floor. It must have knocked the guy silly because he wasn’t the same for the rest of the match. After 12 minutes, Minute surprised him with a crucifix for the pin.

The big guy I’m talking about is the current World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. I’m talking about Bell Time.

After hearing the old promoter’s story, we had to figure out a way to bring these two combatants together.

Not Interested

When we called Bell Time and shared the story, he didn’t say anything for a long time. We thought the connection dropped. Finally, he cleared his throat and said “it never happened. The old man is confused. If that story is true, then why isn’t this Minute guy begging me for a title shot.” The phone call ended abruptly with a click. He had a point.

When we told Minute the story, he shrugged it off saying “I don’t remember either. Too bad I don’t work recorded shows. It doesn’t matter though because I told you I wouldn’t take the fight.”

The Real Story

A couple days later, the old promoter called us. We told him about the reactions from Minute and Bell Time, and he said, “Those two can tell you whatever they want. I have a picture of them standing in my ring, and you can’t question the photograph.” We took the photograph to a face to face meeting with Minute first. That’s when things got really crazy. Minute told us that he went to shake hands with Bell Time in the backstage area after the match, but Bell Time was in a fit of rage. Bell Time grabbed Minute by the throat, lifted him three feet in the air, and shoved him against the wall.

It was an uncomfortable story. Minute believed Bell Time was serious about it, and he decided to heed the warning.

Confronting Bell Time

We approached Bell Time with the revised story. When he heard us describe the situation in detail, Bell Time looked at us and surprisingly admitted to the whole thing: “Minute wasn’t the only one either. That strategy is probably why I can’t find any opponents now. I’m the World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, and if that runt things he has a chance in hell of getting lucky twice, I’ll take the fight. I won’t touch his friends.”

Minute was still reluctant to take the match because his philosophy about small arenas wasn’t a lie. Because of Bell Time’s threats, he never stopped working the small arenas, and he didn’t think he could connect with a crowd that didn’t know him.

Dropkick Journal Creates Graphic Endings

After discovering Bell Time’s seedy beginnings in the Pro Wrestling Business along with Minute’s story, we knew this match needed to happen. If not because Minute posed a serious threat to Bell Time’s title reign, then because we owed it to everyone Bell Time ever threatened. When the fear of Bell Time’s wrath leaves the Pro Wrestling community, we suspect that an entire crop of new challengers will emerge. The pro wrestling business needs this match.

With that being said, we spent the next month negotiating with the national promoters and Bell Time himself. In order to get Minute on board, he had certain terms. He wanted the Dropkick Journal to guarantee his terms would be met, so we worked with the national promoters and Bell Time to obtain the exclusive rights to promote the event.

Graphic Endings takes place on November 24th. Not only are we hosting the live Pay Per View Event, but we’ve also arranged for Minute to spend time with the fans. The arena holds roughly 10,000 fans and they all have the opportunity to meet Minute the week of the show. November 24th is a Thursday, and it happens to be Thanksgiving. Minute will be shaking hands and signing autographs all day Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 1/2 a day on Thursday, and all day on Friday. All fans have to do is walk up.

Graphic Endings – November 24th

So that’s the story of how Graphic Endings came into existence. A dominating champion that turned out to be a horrible person, and a credible challenger with a victory over the reigning champion. The story of the match is 10 years in the making, and it has a rough history. Will Minute get his revenge or will Bell Time continue his reign of terror? Tune in on November 24 to find out. Coverage will continue in the Dropkick Journal.

Chapter 2 Coming Next Week.

Graphic Endings is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


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