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State representative wins in charity match

October 09, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

BLUE RIDGE SUMMIT, Pa. - "And making his debut entrance in the ring ..."

State Sen. Terry Punt had to pause to allow the crowd packed into the Blue Ridge Summit Fire Hall to cheer. Behind the curtain of the Summit Wrestling Association, the next wrestler waited to hear Punt announce his name.

"The dapper Dan of Harrisburg, the tip-toer of tulips, the undisclosed weighted champion of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives ..."

Walking through the curtain, "The Rippin' Rep," aka state Rep. Pat Fleagle, saluted fans with his white top hat.

Weighing in at an undisclosed amount, The Rippin' Rep removed his long faux-fur trench coat, eyed up his opponents, Leslie Letterman and Spencer Christian, from beneath the brim of his hat, and made his way into the ring.

"Get 'em Fleagle," the crowd shouted.

Taking a staged blow to the stomach, The Rippin' Rep could hear Summit Wrestling Association's co-owner Mike Pryor, telling him to "Focus Pat, focus."

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A long way from his days as a high school wrestling champion, Fleagle quickly turned to his partner Nikolai Volkoff, a World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame member, for help.

Earlier that day ...

"I just want to get out with my head intact," Fleagle said before the match began.

Understandably, Fleagle, who represents the 90th District in Pennsylvania's House of Representatives, had some reservations about getting in the ring with the sizable men of wrestling. But he did it because the match was for charity.

"I feel good doing this for the kids," he said.

As Fleagle practiced a few moves with Johnny Lawless of the Parental Advisory tag team, he said with a wink, "This is all real, you know."

Unsure about how the match would go, what would happen to him and if his insurance would cover it, Fleagle had one reassurance to anyone who asked: "It is going to be a hoot."

One, two, three ...

With three raps on the floor of the ring, The Rippin' Rep released his match-winning grip from Christian. Grabbing Volkoff's hand, he raised their fists in victory Saturday night.

The crowd quickly indicated they wanted more, chanting, "One more match," but one was enough for Christian, who limped away.

Volkoff and Fleagle left the ring in style, shaking hands and waving.

"He did very good," Volkoff said of Fleagle in his thick Russian accent.

"I think we ripped them," Fleagle added.

Pryor and Summit Wrestling Association co-owner Jim Smith said the proceeds from the match will go toward purchasing gifts for local children during the holidays.

Punt, R-Pa., served as special ring announcer and time keeper for the event, which featured nine matches.

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