On Saturday, February 21st, I was to appear in East Carondelet, IL, for Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling. Promoter Herb Simmons has a prestigious promotion with a forty-year history and I was excited at the opportunity to return to the greater St. Louis area after an absence of many years. I was also excited to hear that Larry Matysik was going to attend. Larry has been dealing with some serious health issues and I was looking forward to seeing him after all these years.
I boarded my flight in Philadelphia as a winter storm was approaching. We were all seated and told that the plane would be de-iced (which they said would take about 15 minutes) and should be taking off in about 20 minutes. The aircraft was deiced and we taxied for a few minutes and the pilot came on and informed us that the weather had worsened and we were back at the gate. We deplaned and were instructed to remain in the gate area. The plan was to wait for a break in the weather (now snowing pretty good), re-board, deice another time and then proceed to St. Louis. During this time I was in contact with Herb Simmons. He had already dispatched someone to the St. Louis airport to meet my flight, and in fact the US Airways website indicated that our flight had already departed. We departed the gate, but never left the ground. The storm continued to worsen and we were eventually informed that our flight was cancelled and there was no other option for me to get to st. Louis.
Herb wanted to immediately get the word out to the fans coming to his event as he takes pride in delivering what he advertises. I shared Herb's concern and disappointment, but as Herb said there are certain things beyond your control and the weather is one.
I am looking forward to coming back to St. Louis and Herb and I are working to try and find another future date where we can reschedule my appearance. I want to extend a special 'thank you' to the great fans in the St. Louis area for your understanding of a situation that was beyond our control.
James J. Dillon
PWHF Class of 2013
WWE Hall of Fame 2012