The Beginning of Ultimate University, “The #1 Pro Wrestling School in the World”

  • November, 1996.  Extreme University, California’ first-ever true Mixed Martial Arts gym, opens its doors on Avery Parkway in Mission Viejo.
  • December, 1996.  I get longtime friend and All Japan Women’s leading foreign star, Reggie Bennett, to agree to teach Pro Wrestling classes at EU.  Paying homage to UFC –who later sues me for the “Ultimate Pro Wrestling” name–, I decide to name the school within a school “Ultimate University.”  Reggie is Head (and only) professor; I am the Dean. Todd Keneley and some other big ‘ol former USC football player –whose name escapes me– are the first two students.

Ultimate University (UU) is soon rounded out by a growing collection of behemoths.  I start to get the feeling that as good an in-ring performer as Reggie is, she doesn’t get the finer points of instruction.  This is borne out in injury after injury, capped off my a giant, four hundred pound German named Martin snapping his femur in mid ring.  We have to remove the bottom rope so the paramedics can get him out of the ring and onto the stretcher.


  • February 1997, In what may have been one of the most auspicious days in my wrestling history, Tom Howard drops by to introduce himself.  I offer him the Head Instructor position and the school really takes off.

Coming this week:

How I Popped My UFC Cherry:  Where I lead 6’5”, three hundred pound homicidal behemoth Tony Halme, aka “Ludvig Borga,” into battle against a very scared, debuting, balding two hundred pounder named uh, RANDY um COUTURE.


When combining PRO WRESTLING with MIXED MARTIAL ARTS –all humility aside—I believe I’ve been MORE places and DONE more things than anyone else in history.  This encompasses everything from hard-partying with the world’s craziest Fighters and Wrestlers to high-level negotiations with both industries’ most powerful players.  As we prepare for the release of my Autobiography “Been There, Done That” I wanted to share some of my experiences with fans of the ring and the cage and all that goes with that.

In the coming months, every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday,  I’ll be posting short MMA and Pro Wrestling-centric excerpts.  Monday’s entry will be posted on my Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRickBassman (PLEASE “like” me!) and on various boards. 

To see Wednesday’s and Saturday’s posts, you’ll have to be a member of my site.  To become a member, simply 

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and fill out the form.  It’s 100% free.   I hope you’ll enjoy reading these stories as much as I did writing them. As always, I appreciate your support!