On April 17, David Penzer announced the release of his new autobiography, Sitting Ringside, Volume 1. Co-written with NITRO author Guy Evans, Sitting Ringside is the story of Penzer’s personal and professional life, from his humble beginnings in South Florida to the lofty heights of WCW and the Monday Night Wars. The book is available for sale on Amazon and at DavidPenzerBook.com. Customers ordering directly from DavidPenzerBook.com can receive a variety of extras, including a signed copy of the last Monday Nitro format. Sitting Ringside, Volume 1 has a foreword by Kevin Sullivan and comes in at 500 pages.

We are pleased at SlamWrestling.net to offer an exclusive excerpt:

Chapter 7: Lessons From The Taskmaster

Ah – life is good, I thought.

Talk about living the dream, man.

This is the life.

So picture this: I was flying back home after a show in the Chicago area – in first class, I might add – and salivating over the in-flight menu. Let’s see, I thought, should I get the steak? Hmmm. How about a filet mignon? Oh – make-your-own sundaes. I like the sound of that

Eventually, I settled on the filet mignon, helping myself to a cocktail for good measure. After devouring the meal in short order, I lay back in my seat, closed my eyes, and pictured everyone else back in Orlando. Guys like Pee Wee were on their way to that night’s event – a major house show, incidentally, with Hulk Hogan headlining – while I relaxed comfortably at 30,000 feet. I had already done my job, after all – just like they asked me. I had given Pee Wee the various wrestler’s entrance music – a series of theme songs recorded on cassette tapes (am I dating myself yet?) – so that task was taken care of. If Pee Wee didn’t have the case with the cassette tapes inside – for those not familiar with the medium – he literally wouldn’t have any of the wrestler’s music, but there was no risk of that. He had the tapes – I gave him the case – and there was nothing more to worry about.

Would you like another cocktail, sir?

Oh, yes, I would – thank you so much.

I laid back a little more.

Yep, this really is the dream, I said to myself.

I got a cocktail, and I’m eating filet mignon. I got an ice cream sundae coming up…

And to top it all off, look at me – I did it!

I’m in the wrestling business!

I mean, really – life is pretty…damn…


Suddenly, my stomach dropped – all the way from the plane and back down to earth.

I never gave Pee Wee the fucking music, I realized.

I’m gonna get fired.

I’m gonna get fired!!!

At the drop of a dime, my mindset totally changed – just like that. I was soon in a state of panic, because having that entrance music – especially for someone like Hogan – was a big fucking deal. What an idiot. Here I was, practically jerking myself off like a jackass – while traveling in the complete opposite direction – having fucked up my one and only job.

I grabbed the first flight attendant that I could find and told her what was happening. Believe it or not – and maybe this is a commentary on how standards have changed over the years – the flight attendant had the pilot send down a message. Before the plane landed in Atlanta, the airline had me booked on a flight to Orlando, and once I got there, they hustled me off the plane as quickly as possible. To top it all off, they actually went underneath the plane, got my suitcase (with the cassette tapes inside) and handed it to me – before anyone else left their seats!

I ran through the Orlando International airport, got myself in a cab, and headed straight to the arena. I didn’t get there in time for the opening match – and some of the guys, sans entrance music, were certainly pissed about that – but ample time remained before Hogan, and some of the other big stars, were going to feature in the main event. That was a huge relief in itself, because if Hulk didn’t have his music, it would have been a fucking nightmare.

Finally, I had a second to catch my breath – that is, before Kevin Sullivan pulled me aside….

TOP PHOTO: Ring announcer Dave Penzer at Impact Wrestling Sacrifice on Friday, March 24, 2023, at St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario. Photo by Brad McFarlin