AS I SEE IT: The world’s most famous Bingo Hall is back in business

AISIAS I SEE IT: The world’s most famous Bingo Hall is back in business
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

Call it Viking Hall, XPW Arena, Alhambra Arena, The Arena, Asylum Arena, or the current name, 2300 Arena…but by whatever name you call it, the ECW Arena is having its first wrestling weekend in nearly 2 1/2 years.

If you go to any of the shows this weekend, it will look much different inside than the Arena you remember. It’s bigger, it’s brighter, it’s nicer, it’s cleaner, the bathrooms work, the concessions will be expanded (and that’s the beginning of the planned updates). The classic entrance to the Arena will eventually be no more. A new entrance has been built on the Swanson Street side of the building. A new lighting system will be installed, the notorious issues with sound will be dealt with as walls and ceilings will be re-done for acoustical purposes. The 2300 Arena is expanded to cover the old Forman Mills (RIP) as well as the traditional ECW Arena space.

But changes notwithstanding, it’s still Swanson and Ritner, it’s still South Philadelphia, down the street from Tony Luke’s…and there’s wrestling there.

As said in past months in this column, it’s the intent of Roger Artigiani to bring wrestling back to the Arena, but other events as well. Previous to the Arena’s closing, MMA and boxing cards (including boxing cards televised on ESPN2, NBC Sports, and Telemundo. He wants that to return, along with bringing in other events.

For information on the new Arena, go to the new website.

Interesting note: it isn’t just the Arena that’s changed, but the neighborhood…somewhat. A new bowling alley, South Bowl, is under construction right at Swanson and Oregon (where we turned left off of Oregon to get to the Arena), and Adventurer’s Mini Golf is scheduled to open late in the spring. Swanson Street is also reported to be getting resurfaced (a pleasant change from its lunar-like driving surface of the past).

Extreme Rising Pro Wrestling returns for two events, first this Friday (the rescheduled March 1 event) with an 8:00 pm belltime (doors open at 7:00 pm).

I have to note that the lineup for Saturday and Sunday has become somewhat fluid, to say the least over the weekend, so to be updated on the lineup throughout the week, please go to or their Facebook.

The evening’s schedule:

THE Sandman returns to Extreme Rising and the former ECW Arena with his trademark cigarettes, beer, and his trusted cane.

World Title
Stevie Richards defends against a wrestler to be named

Hardcore Tag Team Match
“The Chair Swingin Freaks” Balls Mahoney/Axl Rotten vs. 2 Tuff Tony/Bulldozer Matt Tremont

Greek God Papadon vs. Ricky Reyes

BLK OUT vs. Da Hit Squad with Pitbull Gary Wolf

ECWA Mid-Atlantic Championship Title match
‘Heartkiller’ Chris Wylde (c) vs. Ricky ‘The Model’ Martinez

Also scheduled to appear Devon Storm, Blue Meanie, Robbie Mireno, Man Scout, American Tiger, Rich “Beast” Ortiz (formerly Ricky Ortiz)

ALL tickets (besides Golden Circle) are ONLY $20!!!

Then, the originally scheduled show, on Saturday, April 26, also with an 8:00 pm belltime (doors open at 7:00 pm)

World Title
Extreme Rising World Champion Stevie Richards vs. a wrestler to be named

“The Homicidal, Genocidal, Suicidal” Sabu vs. LA PARK (the original La Parka)

Steve Corino vs. “The Dark One” Devon Storm

Greek God Papadon vs. New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Takaaki Watanabe

The first ever “EXTREME RIOT” match. More details on that match, talent lineup, matches and more to be unveiled in time.

More matches to be announced.

Also scheduled to appear… Rich “Beast” Ortiz, Balls Mahoney, BLK OUT, The Blue Meanie, 2 Tuff Tony Man Scout, Robbie Illuminati, and more to be announced.

Finally MaskedMania will be taking place on Sunday, April 27th, at the 2300 (ECW) Arena in South Philadelphia at 5 PM EDT. For more on the show you can visit MaskedMania web site where you can find ticket and iPPV info. The show will be airing on iPPV for only $9.95 via Highspots. You can watch it live or on VOD which will start 30 minutes after the show ends and will also give you access to rewatch the show for 30 days after the event. Commentary for the event on iPPV will be in English handled by Leonard F. Chikarason and Joe Dombrowski.

Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. LA PARK

Champion: Solar vs. Challenger: Negro Navarro

Champion: Mini Mariachi vs. Challenger: Pequeño Pierroth

Champion: Christina Von Eerie vs. Challenger: Sumie Sakai

Damien 666/Bestia 666/Sabu vs. Homicide/Blk Jeez/Ruckus

Cassandro El Exotico vs. “Spartan” MDogg Matt Cross

Ophidian The Cobra/Amasis/Green Ant vs. “3 Live Gringos” Chuck Taylor/Orange Cassidy/Papadon

Plus: Latin Dragon, Ultimo Panda, Frightmare and more!

Until next time….

— Bob Magee

If you have comments or questions, or if you’d like to add the AS I SEE IT column to your website, I can be reached by e-mail at the address above. If you’d like to add advertising on (the flagship website of this column), banner ads are available for $400 for one year. These ads would appear on each newspage appearing on the newsboard. Cube ads are available for $200 for one year, which would be placed on the main newsboard page.

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