Given his appearances on Zack Ryder’s “Z! True Long Island Story,” it was only a matter of time before Dennis Haskins appeared in a pro wrestling ring.
The actor who played Principal Mr. Belding on the TV sitcom “Saved by the Bell” made his debut at the Pro Wrestling Syndicate’s “Saved by the Ring Bell” show last month in Rahway, N.J.
Haskins, the Big Bopper, not only served as the guest commissioner and enforcer but also delivered a “Stone Cold” stunner to wrestler Devon Moore after the main event between PWS champ Kevin Matthews and Sami Callihan.
The beloved television principal felt the deviant deserved something far worse than a week of detention. The move made headlines. Not bad for his first time.
“I have Zack Ryder to thank for my pro wrestling debut,” Haskins said. “Zack used to train with Pro Wrestling Syndicate a long time ago. Pat Buck, who is one of the partners down there, is a friend of his. He asked if I was interested, and I said, ‘Sounds like fun to me.’ I also knew the Big O was going to be there, from the “Z! True Long Island Story.”
“Plus, I found out that Velvet Sky was going to be there, and she and I had been in touch with each other. So it sounded like a lot of fun and something I had a lot of fun doing. I’m a fan of wrestling. The real icing on the cake was meeting Matt Hardy and finding out that we are from the same neck of the woods. He’s from North Carolina, and I’m from Tennessee, so it turned out to be a great night.”
Haskins made sure to arrive at the venue early and was open to ideas concerning his involvement in the night’s proceedings. He says it was Matthews who taught him the stunner earlier in the day.
“I wanted to make sure I understood what they wanted from me and what the night was going to be,” he said. “One of the wrestlers who help with a lot of the work asked me if I wouldn’t mind throwing a stunner. I said, ‘Wow, I don’t know. Show me what I have to do.’ I tried it, and people who were around the ring watching was saying, ‘Don’t practice anymore. Don’t do it anymore. Wait until tonight.’ It worked out alright.”
What made it even more memorable was Haskins came in a suit. He didn’t expect to get physically involved, as he was booked in the authority figure role. When it came time to do his job, Haskins wasn’t above getting physically involved. After all, you’re talking about a guy who once broke up a fight between AC Slater and Zack Morris at the fictional Bayside High.
“I had to settle a dispute between two of the wrestlers,” Haskins said. “I ended up being the guest enforcer for their match later. Then, in the middle of the night there was a time match with Matt Hardy and his opponent Tony Neese, who is a real good guy out of TNA. They ran out of time right at the end of the match when there was almost going to be a pin. I said, ‘Come on. You have to great wrestlers here. Matt, you want to wrestle? Tony, you want to wrestle? Ring the bell. Let’s keep this thing going.’ Fans were chanting five more minutes, and it was really a great match. It was kind of fun to be the guy who got to extend it.