It was over nine years ago, on August 18, 2005, that CZW wrestler Christopher “Chri$ Ca$h” Bauman Jr. was killed as the result of a motorcycle accident near his home. Bauman had been riding a motorcycle on Ellis Street in Glassboro, NJ when a Ford Taurus turned in front of it from Higgins Drive. The motorcycle then struck the car on the driver’s side of the vehicle, driven by Daisy Gwin of Glassboro, NJ.
Christopher J. Bauman Jr., 23, died at the scene, as did his cousin (and driver of the motorcycle).27 year old Jeremy Bauman, 27, of Franklinville, NJ. Gwin, 68, of Glassboro, died en route to Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Washington Township, NJ.
Chris was always genuinely friendly in a way that a lot of wrestlers aren’t, but had the wild side we all had at age 23. He was a nice young man, in every sense that the phrase used to mean; and always felt obligated to call me “Mr. Magee” when I came to a show (even when I told him he didn’t have to), would always say hello when I saw him at a CZW show and tell me he’d seen something or another on my PWBTS.com site.
Bauman worked for CZW from 2001 through 2005, with many non-CZW fans even taking notice of him at Cage of Death 5 in his absolutely psychotic ladder match with Blackout’s Joker (who left the promotion shortly afterwards to serve in the US military over in Iraq).
The oddest thing is that this match wasn’t even supposed to happen in the way that it did; as it was originally scheduled as a tag team bout, involving Deranged and Azriael, who were working the Jersey All Pro Wrestling show in Rahway, NJ, then come down to Philadelphia for CZW.
But in an almost unprecedented moment for those who know CZW… the show was actually running ahead of schedule. As a result, Deranged and Azriael were not yet at the building. Another version of the story had the two calling the building, telling CZW they were just leaving…and were told not to bother, because they’d never make it in time.
In any event, this forced the promotion to go ahead with a singles ladder match, which turned out to be the best thing that could have happened, as it made two stars for CZW in one night with Cash and Joker nearly stealing the entire show.
Psycho spots in this match included Cash bulldogging Joker while his head was inside a rung of a ladder off the ropes onto a chair, a top rope superplex onto a ladder stuck at a 45 degree angle into the rungs of another ladder; ending with one of the sickest spots I’ve ever seen in my years of shows at the ECW Arena, as Joker hit his Joker Driver (tiger driver from an electric chair position) off the top of a high ladder with Cash through a table for the pin.
Cash also main evented Cage of Death 6/War Games, as part of the babyface Team Ca$h (Nate Webb, Sexxy Eddy, Cash, JC Bailey) against heel team (turned babyface and heel again) Blackout (Ruckus, Sabian, Kingston, and Jack Evans. As usual, the match featured the daredevil spots for which Cash was known throughout his all-too-short career; including dumping Jack Evans via backdrop off the COD to the floor, and giving Sabian a Cashflow off of the scaffold through four tables, landing in the second row of the ECW Arena.
All I could think when I heard the news was: God…Chris was easily young enough to be my son. Sons aren’t supposed to die before the parents…or their contemporaries. At the same time, I can’t imagine Chris as a 40 or 50 year old. His spirit was too free and wild to have ever been anything but young.
In memory of Chris, Combat Zone Wrestling will again present “Down with the Sickness 2014 – The Chri$ Ca$h Memorial Show” at the Flyers Skate Zone on September 13, as part of a WSU/CZW doubleheader.
In featured matches:
* 3 way ladder match for the CZW Tag Titles with Juicy Product vs. Ohio Is For Killers vs. The Beaver Boys
* Drew Gulak will join the returning Nate Webb, Adam Flash, and former CZW World Heavyweight Champion The Messiah to face The Front
CZW tickets are available online, or can be picked them up at the door before the show.
Keep your eye on CZWrestling.com as well as all the official CZW social media for the latest updates.
In other CZW news, earlier in the week, DJ Hyde accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at the CZW Academy. Tonight, Combat Zone Wrestling, in conjunction with RandomThings.co, did an ALS Ultraviolent Dunk Tank. Before last night’s show, DJ Hyde and members of the CZW Roster went into the Ultraviolent Ice Dunk Tank and supported ALS to the tune of nearly $300.
To conclude, congratulations to the Taney Dragons, who gave Philadelphia, and the country a real feel-good story, especially needed during a two week period with of a lot of sadness in the world, between Robin Williams’s passing, all that has happened in Ferguson, MO, and the murderous terrorism of ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
It’s notable at a time where Ferguson, MO had racial conflict igniting war on its streets, on the airwaves, and the Internet; a Little League baseball team from Philadelphia, with Mon’e Davis its poster girl… a team made up of five black, four interracial and three white kids served as an example to us all. The reaction to them reminds us that people CAN act according to their better angels, and can look beyond race….and gender.
One special thought to Mo’ne Davis, thanks for giving girls AND boys (not to mention men and women) a whole new definition of what it means to “throw like a girl”.
Until next time….
— Bob Magee