By Keelan Balderson | March 16, 2009
I've been putting off doing this, but I think I've put it off as long as I can. I hate writing these obituary type commentaries; they both sadden and anger me. I've written too many of them and lost way too many friends and co-workers. Andrew "Test" Martin was found dead in his condo in Tampa this past Friday evening, at the age of 33.
While Andrew and I weren't close friends, we were good enough friends that I more often than not used to call him by his real name. There are only a handful of the boys I use their real names when talking to or about them and Andrew was one of them. I first met Andrew at the Gym in Calgary when he was first breaking into the business. I'm not sure exactly when that was but I'd guess either 96 or 97. He was training up at Bret's house here in Calgary along with Edge and Christian, and they worked out at the same gym I did.
Edge and Christian I had met before but this was the first time Test and I had ever crossed paths. We only talked brief at the gym and crossed paths once or twice during that time but it was enough of a foundation that we hit it off again when I joined the WWE in 2001. We never went out together outside of the business, so we never got to be close friends. I wasn't one to go out at all and he certainly led a far more active and exciting social life than I did. We did however spend a lot of time working together during my time in WWE and because of that time together I have a lot of found memories of Andrew "Test" Martin.
I joined WWE with the WCW purchase, which started off the Alliance Invasion angle. Test joined the Alliance (I don't recall why) so we started working together almost immediately. A little known fact: in the Immunity Battle Royal at Survivor Series in 2001, Test and I were the leading two candidates (creatively speaking, not odds on favourites) to win that match and do the immunity angle. Test of course won out, sending me on to WWF New York as a Janitor. After dooming me to mopping floors in Time Square Test helped me defeat The Rock to win back my job with WWE.
I don't recall how that whole angle went but I remember running in on a match or two he had with the Rock, and then he finally returned the favour and ran in on my match, laying out the Rock allowing me to win by count out and earn my job back in WWE.
Test and I also teamed on the biggest show I ever worked, WrestleMania 18 in Toronto. We weren't on the main card but Test and I teamed with Curt Hennig to face Scotty 2 Hottie, Albert, and Rikishi on the live Heat match to open the show.
We were also part of the UnAmericans together which had us working together almost every night. On TV, Christian and I worked predominantly in tag matches but on the road we did a lot of 6-Man matches which were always fun. Christian and Test knew each other far better than they knew me so they would always be ribbing and putting each other down. It was a constant battle of wits and 1 up man ship, which almost without exception would be won by Christian. I think the funniest thing I ever saw was a night we were working a 6-Man match and Christian did some crazy wacky spot and rolled out the floor. The crowd erupted into a "YOU SUCK" chant, which Christian of course sold like a trooper. He eventually grabbed the microphone to rebut the crowd by declaring emphatically that, "TEST Does Not SUCK…He's almost as good as I am!" This was comedic gold because Test tried not to sell the put down but could not keep himself from laughing at the same time.
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