Bare Knuckle Dave > Wight definitely needed that bravery when he found himself in another ring, facing an "even wilder" opponent than Sugar Ray Rosenberg: the undefeated Bare Knuckle Dave.
"Tina comes up with the idea that they can make a little cash if they come to this fair where she works. She remembers seeing a sign that you can fight Bare Knuckle Dave and you can win 500 bucks," explains Creskoff. "So Walter signs up for a fight."
Feuerstein recalls, "We show up at this fair in a big tent and we are all psyched. Walter's eating funnel cake, so I take the funnel cake from him and we get in the middle of the ring. I tell him, 'You can do this,' and I'm eating the funnel cake I took from him as we wait for his opponent. Then, I look behind Walter and I see Bare Knuckle Dave…is... a bear."
Barney, who plays Bare Knuckle Dave, is a 1600-pound Kodiak bear. Pavone admits, "When I first brought up the subject of the Bare Knuckle Dave fight sequence to "The Big Show" and I told him he would be in the ring with a real bear, I definitely saw a little bit of fear in his eyes - and he may not admit it, but he definitely looked scared."
Upon meeting his grizzly co-star, Wight said: "Oh my God, I could never get away from that, I could never out-battle that . . . Basically whatever he wants is his." He describes the experience as humbling. "Most people that run into a Kodiak bear don't really get to tell anybody about it."
Barney, who is trained by Ruth LaBarge and Andrew Simpson, quickly became a hit with his fellow actors. Creskoff gushes, "He's so cute." After confronting Barney in the ring, Wight describes him as a "show-boater" and Hardin agrees, saying, "He likes to get applause. He is a bear that actually enjoys performing."
Barney's showmanship is matched only by his professionalism. "He does everything they tell him to, he hits his marks perfectly," explains Creskoff. Feuerstein adds, "I haven't met a bear with such good manners in my whole life."
Barney's "good manners" are not just the result of his trainers' skills controlling bearish behavior. "He is a true movie star and loves to perform," said LaBarge. "He knows when he's going on a job. He's all excited to get in the trailer. He's a pretty happy bear."
Wight notes, "You can see that the respect he has with his trainer. . . It's amazing to see the wonderful things you can do with animals."