'Saved by the Bell's' Mr. Belding now a pro wrestler
And we thought A.C. Slater was the only wrestler at Bayside.
Dennis Haskins, who played bewildered principal Mr. Belding on the early-'90s teen show "Saved by the Bell," served as guest commissioner at a pro wrestling event in New Jersey last weekend. (TMZ broke the story and has the video.) But the 61-year-old actor didn't just make an appearance: He got in on the action, slamming a much younger grappler to the ground while the crowd roared in approval. (Wow... guess Zack Morris won't be messing with him anytime soon.)
Pro Wrestling Syndicate, a Rahway-based outfit that employs famous '80s wrestlers like Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Big Van Vader; they even named the event "Saved by the Ring Bell" in his honor. "We picked up that fans really like Mr. Belding, Dennis Haskins," PWS co-owner Pat Buck tells us. "He was a total trouper. He went above and beyond the call of duty, down to practicing wrestling moves. He worked his butt off. A lot of fans came out to see him. The crowd was between 800 and 1,000."
Buck adds that Haskins, dressed in a business suit throughout, "was acting like a commissioner. He was the authority figure of that night. At the end [of the match], one of the villains was acting kind of rowdy. [Haskins] and the heroes kind of kicked his butt." And the former Mr. Belding showed off his wrestling expertise by breaking out another wrestler's signature move. Buck says during the scuffle, Haskins dispatched his opponent with "the 'Stone Cold' stunner. It was made famous by Steve Austin. It's pretty much the most popular move of all time. Figured it'd be a good hit with the wrestling crowd." (The next PWS event is October 12; Buck says they'd love to have Haskins back in the future.)
Haskins certainly isn't shy about milking every last drop of his "Saved by the Bell" fame. He now supplements his income making personal appearances at bars across the country, and reprised his role as Mr. Belding earlier this year on Nickelodeon's "Victorious." His official website also says he appeared as a "celebrity guest host" on an '80s-themed boat party in Florida back in May. Looks like for Haskins, school is always in session.
Watch a montage of Mr. Belding's favorite "Saved by the Bell" catchphrase right here: