Trapper’s Den: Could “Rosebud” Lead To WWE Dreams?
By Thomas Leturgey
Bobby Piskor sat in front of Consol Energy Center early on the afternoon of December 28. It was a whole-new level of excitement than refereeing a professional wrestling match at age 15 in Weirton, West Virginia. Back in May 2001, the boy who looked enough like Harry Potter to adopt the name for a nearly a decade of refereeing endeavors, was on the footsteps of World Wrestling Entertainment’s Holiday Tour.
“It was so surreal,” he said about a week later. “I walked into the door and wondered ‘What am I getting into?’”
Piskor, who gained local fame as bad guy wrestler “Robert Parker Williams” in nearby McKeesport PA’s Pro Wrestling Express (PWX), was set to be a festive dancer as a member of Adam Rose’s “Rosebuds.”
The opportunity came as part of a pact with another wrestling friend who recently moved to Texas and was part of a couple of WWE “dark” (non-televised) shows there. The friends promised to let each other know how to grab opportunities. The promise came to be with the WWE show three days after Christmas.
He checked in with WWE staff and was led to a private dressing room for himself and five other “Rosebuds.” They rooted through a trunk of travel-weary costumes and each found something merry. The only reservation they had was “no bunny costumes.” Rose—then a fan-friendly wrestler—recently turned on a bunny-suited “Rosebud” who infamously stole attention. Piskor found a disco-flavored silver body suit. He donned a “nasty” blue wig and his everyday glasses to become the Pittsburgh-flavored “Neon Andy Warhol.”
The Rosebuds job was simple: dance along with a now-surly Rose during his entrance. When Rose’s opponent, R-Truth, was tossed outside the still-friendly “buds” were to comfort and encourage him.
When the time came, Neon Andy pranced with a group that included a soldier, a character who looked like the Frito Bandito and female wrestlers. Piskor heard “Hey, Potter!” as he rounded the ring. The shout-out from fellow area wrestler Sera Fenney made him smile. Later, when R-Truth fell to the outside, Rose bumped into and pushed the other rosebud. All of this was enough to distract Rose, who summarily was rolled-up and pinned by R-Truth.
“The whole experience was fantastic,” said Piskor. He had glowing reviews of the WWE Superstars who performed in front of about 10,000 screaming fans, while the Steelers were clinching a home field playoff game right across town. “Adam Rose was very cool.” He also got to reconnect with WWE Superstar Cesaro, who under his real name, Claudio Castagnoli, worked in many matches Piskor, refereed on the independent circuit. “He is still so humble,” Piskor said. “We got to talk for about 15 minutes.”
Piskor recently said he’s talked with WWE officials about additional, local dates, and he hopes to get a call when the promotion returns for a Monday Night RAW show on March 9. In addition, he hopes for an even bigger break. “My goal is to get to the WWE as a referee,” he said. He admits a severely bruised sternum suffered during a PWX in 2011 pretty much sidelined a longer in-ring career, and his emergence as a family man—he and wife Natalie’s daughter Lucy turns one-year-old this month—has altered his plans.
For now, he is refereeing on all of Elizabeth, PA-based IWC’s shows, and PWX whenever he can. “Harold Potter” regarded as one of the best referees in the independent circuit, and getting his foot into the WWE’s door may ultimately lead to more than nervousness on a Sunday afternoon.
— Tom Leturgey