AS I SEE IT – “National Pro Wrestling Day” this Weekend!


AS I SEE IT – “National Pro Wrestling Day” this Weekend!
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

This coming Saturday features a day of independent wrestling…termed “National Pro Wrestling Day” with a two show lineup, one show at 1:00 pm and the finale at 7:00 pm at Derby Ink Gardens, at 802 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA on the northern edge of center city Philadelphia.

The shows have talent from a number of independent prompotions throughout the New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania area and elsewhere on the east coast. ranging from CHIKARA Pro Wrestling and various spinoff names they run shows under (Wrestling is Art, Wrestling is Fun, Wrestling is Heart, Wrestling is Awesome), and from promotions as far away as Cleveland’s Absolute Intense Wrestling, the Carolinas based CWF Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, and Chicago’s Resistance Pro Wrestling. The matches bring a lot of talent Philadelphia area fans haven’t seen before, as well as some old favorites.

For the afternoon show:

MATCH 1: Wrestling is Art presents Mike Quackenbush vs. Colt Cabana

MATCH 2: A Rey de Voladores 4-Way Elimination match with Too Cold Scorpio vs. Jo Jo Bravo vs. Oliver Grimsley vs. Shane Hollister

MATCH 3: The other Rey de Voladores 4-Way Elimination match with names to be announced

MATCH 4: Ring of Honor Wrestling presents Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs vs. The Briscoe Brothers

MATCH 5: Wrestling is Fun! presents Juan Francisco de Coronado vs. Saturyne

MATCH 6: Beyond Wrestling presents Team KOA (Pinkie Sanchez and Aaron Epic) vs. Eric Corvis/Chris Dickinson

MATCH 7: CWF Mid-Atlantic presents Arik Royal/Chiva Kid vs. Ric Converse/Trevor Lee

MATCH 8:  Wrestling is Respect presents Drew Gulak vs. Francis O’Rourke

MATCH 9: Kaiju Big Battel presents Dr. Cube and Sekmet vs. Neo Teppen and American Beetle

MATCH 10: Absolute Intense Wrestling presents Ethan Page vs. Josh Alexander

For the evening show:

MATCH 1: CHIKARA presents El Hijo del Ice Cream/Ice Cream, Jr./Chuck Taylor/Icarus vs. Fire Ant/Green Ant/Shane Matthews/Scott Parker

MATCH 2: EVOLVE presents AR Fox vs. Shane Strickland

MATCH 3: Wrestling is Heart presents Mat Russo/Heidi Lovelace vs. Reed Bentley/Tripp Cassidy

MATCH 4: New York Wrestling Connection presents Apollyon/Tony Nese vs. Alex Reynolds/John Silver

MATCH 5: Women Superstars Uncensored presents Marti Belle vs. Ezavel for the Spirit Title

MATCH 6: Wrestling is Awesome presents The Devastation Corporation vs. Latvian Proud Oak/Estonian ThunderFrog

MATCH 7: International Wrestling Cartel presents John McChesney defending his Heavyweight title against Logan Shulo

MATCH 8: Fighting Spirit Wrestling presents Wil Maximo/Joel Maximo vs. Angel Ortiz/Mike Draztik

MATCH 9: Resistance Pro presents a match to be named

MATCH 10: The Rey de Voladores mini-tournament final

Sounds great, right? The show even includes a match with Kaiju Big Battel, which is far more performance art show simulating wrestling that an actual wrestling promotion.

But do you notice any Philadelphia-based independent promotion’s name missing from participation on this Philadelphia show? One that actually ran shows for a longer period of time at the ECW Arena than ECW itself?

Yup. Nowhere do you see Combat Zone Wrestling.

Mind you, even though Drew Gulak, AR Fox, Shane Strickland are regular CZW talent appearing on the show (as well as The Briscoe Brothers who’ve appeared for CZW within the last year, and Colt Cabana who appeared earlier this month for CZW and is scheduled to appear on CZW Wrestlemania weekend shows in North Jersey)…there is no official match with CZW talent, and no cooperation with CZW on the show. The ostensible reason is “not wanting hardcore wrestling” on the show.

There has been a long-lasting freeze between these two promotions and their promoters, which both once jointly operated a wrestling school at the ECW Arena. Since then, both promotions have been at odds, to the point that various comments have been made in CZW pressers (including a not too thinly veiled “Wrestling fears CZW” comment that has been running in all pressers over the last month).

I’m not suggesting not to attend the show…I may well go to view one or the other show Saturday. But it just seems sad that such an great idea…a day to  promote independent wrestling is marred by more of the usual childish bullshit that goes on between far too many independent promoters in far too many places; in this particular case betwen CHIKARA and Combat Zone Wrestling.  Combat Zone Wrestling itself can trace its beginning to a similar show at the ECW Arena sponsored by Al Isaacs of ScoopsWrestling in May 1999 called “Break The Barrier.”  The idea, much as it seems the “National Pro Wrestling Day” shows was to create a show featuring independent talent not usually seen. Since an outside party organizaed the show, there was less of this nonsense.

Until next time….

—Bob Magee

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