If there were two industries making all-time record profits in the late-90s, they were professional wrestling and the music business. Of course, it was only a matter of time before these thriving entities collided. One such instance was No Limit head-honcho Master P inking a deal to perform as part of Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling. While P himself didn’t intend to body slam anybody, his presence was to be a managerial figure for a group of wrestlers he dubbed “The No Limit Soliders,” including veteran wrestler Brad Armstrong who passed away this month to unknown causes at the age of 50.
Armstrong, rechristened in the No Limit Soliders as “B.A.,” was a second-generation wrestler who had experience performing all over the world. His reputation as a good hand to have in the ring (as well as Turner executives wanting at least one caucasian in the group) lead to WCW aligning him with P to ensure the rapper’s endeavors in the squared circle (where he was paid $200,000 per appearance) went smoothly.
P debuted with his Soldiers as an unannounced surprise during a WCW pay-per-view in June, 1999. After a (storyline) skirmish with wrestler Curt Hennig over an autograph, P made his primetime wrestling debut the next night on TNT’s “Monday Nitro.” Eminating from P’s home turf at the New Orleans SuperDome, P was joined by his brother, rapper Silkk the Shocker, for an impromptu concert and birthday celebration. Once again, Hennig returned to antagonize the Soldiers, leading to an in-ring skirmish and the start of a “Rap vs. Country” storyline.
Armstrong spoke candidly in an out-of-character “shoot” interview with independent wrestling company Ring of Honor in 2004 about the experience of working with P. “He was a good guy, a very rich good rich guy.” According to Armstrong, the experience of working with P at the SuperDome was like one big party. “He had his own dressing room, and it was like a family reunion. You didn’t know who was coming and going and it didn’t matter.”
With P’s popularity at the time, Armstrong disclosed his high price also came with some significant power. “He’s a hardcore rapper and they gave him a live mic on a live TV show. I was like ‘You guys better have a seven-second delay.'” But despite these perks, the rapper was cooperative and eager to give it his all. “Anything they sent over, he would just do. He had his own agenda, but he was just glad to be in the ring and do his thing.”
Unfortunately, P’s stint with wrestling became even briefer than his time with the Toronto Raptors. Despite bragging his involvement would see the company sell-out the 55,000 seat SuperDome, P’s contributions only lead to a total of 15,593 tickets sold. The broadcast that week only went up by 0.1 in the Nielsen Ratings, and would drop the following week to a number lower than before P first debuted. The company’s predominantly-Southern fanbase vocally siding with the group’s country music loving bad guy rivals, the West Texas Rednecks. Master P’s $200,000 investment was a bust, and the No Limit Soldiers were quietly dissolved.
Armstrong went on to wrestle as a hippie, a hippie killer and, years later, eventually had stints behind the camera as a producer for WWE. After the birth of his daughter, he left the big time wrestling business to spend time with his family and volunteer at a school near his Kennesaw, Georgia home. Despite the group not making waves in the wrestling world, Armstrong remembered his time working with Master P fondly. “[He] wanted to be on wrestling and [he] got on. They just let him do his thing.”