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AS I SEE IT 11/20: Remembering, and indies helping during the holidays

AS I SEE IT
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
PWBTS.com

It’s actually been twelve years, back on November 13. It
seems impossible we’ve all have gotten twelve years older.
It seems like yesterday I was watching Eddie Guerrero give
us “Latino Heat” in WWE. Yet we have.

Didn’t want to pass without a quick look back at what I had
to say that sad day, twelve years (and a week) ago:

—————————

Today, there’s only one subject to talk about…the
passing of Eddie Guerrero.

I first met Eddie Guerrero when he came into ECW in April
1994. There have been few within wrestling who’ve ever been
genuinely nicer, or more approachable to fans than the
Guerrero I got to know.

To this day…one of my most vivid ECW memories was the
farewell show for Dean Malenko and Eddie on August 26, 1995.

This may well have been the best match I’ve ever seen for
the overall emotional experience combined with the actual
match itself anywhere in wrestling. While Dean and Eddie
worked better matches in ECW and in Japan, the sheer emotion
of the toughest crowd in North America, with the “Please
Don’t Go” chants; not to mention the fans, locker room, and
Dean and Eddie themselves in tears, accompanied by Joey
Styles doing the match call of his life as Guerrero and
Malenko worked their last ECW match.

If you ever get the chance to get a UNEDITED tape (meaning,
other than WWE Network) of the ECW TV August 29, 1995 show
that featured this match, it is a classic and an absolute
keeper. But I wish any of you reading this could have been
there in person; because, as good a job as Styles’s call and
Heyman’s editing did in communicating the feeling one had
being there at the Arena that night, it could never do it
justice entirely.

Eddie was a kind, decent man who remembered his friends. The
most notable example I was able to see was that of Brian
Hildebrand, who was remembered and supported on more than
one occasion by Guerrero.

I remember being the post-show bar scene at a WCW house
show, when I saw Guerrero saying a prayer over his post-show
meal…thought it was odd, and then later that night found
out about Brian’s cancer.

I also remember the night in 1998 when WCW honored
Hildebrand with a night dedicated to him in Knoxville, TN,
with a classic match of Chris Jericho/ Eddie Guerrero
against Dean Malenko/Chris Benoit… and with Ric Flair and
the Four Horsemen presenting Brian with a championship belt,
then getting Brian involved in the finish. That Knoxville
show was an event reported all over the wrestling world.

Then, in 1999, there was the ‘Curtis Comes Home’ show in
Rostraver, PA. Jim Cornette, Shane Douglas, Chris Jericho,
Eddie Guerrero, Mick Foley, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko,
Tracy Smothers, Chris Candido, Tammy Sytch, Public Enemy,
Dominic DeNucci, Al Snow, D-Lo Brown, Terry Taylor, Les
Thatcher, and Sandy Scott took part in this tribute in
Brian’s hometown.

Others will go over Eddie Guerrero’s career, but I wanted to
spend this column briefly dealing with the human side of
Guerrero. The following story explains how I feel in a
nutshell.

As I rode with my brother to an independent wrestling show
yesterday afternoon, he said pretty much what I felt…that
he felt like he’d been kicked square in the balls and for
someone like him who can talk about anything to do with
wrestling…all he wanted to do was drive to the show. He
didn’t want to talk about Eddie at all.

For my brother and myself…and undoubtedly for many, many
others; the fact that Eddie was clean and sober…and had
been so for some time makes Guerrero’s passing that much
harder to deal with. Guerrero was a man who’d found God,
dealt with his demons, worked on his addictions to alcohol
and other drugs being taken by God with so much to live for.
As stated by Chavo Guerrero in WWE’s press conference
yesterday, Eddie had just celebrated his fourth anniversary
of sobriety.

That makes it hurt all the more to see someone so
talented…and such a fundamentally decent person lave this
world far too soon.

——————-

Now….Thursday is Thanksgiving Day.

Christmas trees are already up in many if, not all) local
stores. HSN and QVC have been selling for Christmas for
weeks, and Hallmark Channel is already into its Christmas
mega-movie marathons. The retail and cyber-universes are
busy. People are already mauling each other at stores, and
were recently in line to get the new iPhone (if it isn’t
already breaking or having issues with the cold)… or are
even getting something for their kids.

Over the years, independent wrestling promotions in my
Philadelphia/South Jersey area have provided help to those
who NEED, rather than WANT, as part of their year-end shows,
promotions ranging from the family-friendly United Wrestling
Coalition (for over 20 years) to the hardcore themed Combat
Zone Wrestling (for 12 years) to indies of various sizes and
types throughout the United States and Canada run such
events from October to the Holidays and beyond.

50 such events have been announced for the Holidays or
already held:

November

* Hoosier Pro Wrestling raised $775 cash, 10 new bikes
valued at $800 and $500+ in toys (total donation of over
$2000) at the November 4 19th anniversary show (as well as
collected toys at the October 7 show)

* Cassidy Christie Memorial Show raised $2,300 for the
Cassidy Christie Memorial College Scholarship Fund. Cassidy
Christie is the 11 year old daughter of longtime Michigan
wrestler Pete Christie who died from a rare form of cancer
in November 2015.

* Smash Wrestling presented a show in Cobourg, ON in
support of Fighting the Truth on November 10. Fighting the
Truth is a non-profit organization which raises awareness
for mental illness and alcohol and substance abuse in
sports.

* UWE Pro Wrestling presented its annual Headlock for
Hunger on November 11 at The Wex in Cadillac, MI. Just over
200 pounds of canned and non-perishable food was collected
for Shepard’s Table.

* Fighting for Autism partnered with Dynamo Pro
Wrestling in a benefit show on November 11 in St. Charles,
MO.

* Northern Tier Wrestling presented Fight for the Cure
on November 12th in Towanda, PA and raised $320 for the
Janet Weis Children’s Hospital helping children with
pediatric cancer.

* Tommy Wildfire Rich’s Wrestling School in Myrtle
Beach, BC did a food drive from November 6-14. Numerous
boxes of non-perishable and canned food were donated to
local charities along with fresh chickens, from a local
merchant, Fieldale Farms.

* Primal Conflict Wrestling has scheduled its annual
food drive at its November 18 Harper’s Ferry, WV event. Fans
that bring 2 canned or nonperishable food items will receive
a $5 off coupon for Primal Conflict Wrestling merchandise.
All donations will go to Jefferson County Community
Ministries.

* IWA Vintage Pro Wrestling and DAWG held a benefit
event on November 18 at The Alms Center in Bridgeton, NJ for
CASA. Nearly $100 was raised that will help the organization
that advocates on behalf of abused and neglected children
who are struggling in foster care.

* All Pro Wrestling and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada
are again holding Headlock on Hunger on November 18 at the
Edward C Reed High School, Sparks, NV.

* NOVA Pro Wrestling will again help the Jewish
Community Center of Fairfax, VA on November 24 with its
FACETS Toy Collection at its “11th Dimension” show at the
JCC in Fairfax, VA.

* Appalachian Mountain Wrestling presents “Thanksgiving
Turmoil 2” on November 23 in Hazard, KY at AB Combs
Elementary School. Bell time is at 7:30pm. The promotion is
collecting toys for their annual Toy Drive.

* Appalachian Mountain Wrestling presents “Blue & Black
Friday” on November 24 in Jackson, KY at Breathitt County
High School. Bell time is at 7:30 pm. The promotion is
collecting toys for their annual Toy Drive.

* Vancouver Island Pro Wrestling presents “Headlocks
for Hunger” on November 25 for the fourth consecutive year
at the Departure Bay Activity Center in Nanaimo, BC, VIPW
will be collecting for the local Loaves and Fishes food
bank. Fans get one raffle ticket for each food item for some
awesome prizes.

* All Star Wrestling/West Virginia returns to Madison,
WV on Black Friday (November 24th). Santa will for the
second straight year, be collecting bags of toys and cash
donations for The Nice List.

* Pro Wrestling Eclipse presents November Bash on
November 26 at the Oshawa Legion Branch 43, Oshawa, ON. This
year’s November Bash will be a fundraiser for two good
causes: Feed The Street and Cold Foot Canada. Non perishable
goods and clothing will be collected at the show.

* Classic Championship Wrestling returns to Lebanon, PA
on November 24 for Blood, Sweat, and Beers, benefiting Toys
for Tots. Please bring a new, unopened toy and get $5 off
your ticket.

December

* Christian Wrestling Association International and Cody
Hawk Pro Wrestling Training Camp present Warehouse Wars on
Friday, December 1 at 1930 Fairgrove Ave, Hamilton, OH. The
event features live pro wrestling, featuring the stars of
the CWAI & the students of Cody Hawk’s Pro Wrestling
Training Camp. This will be an old school style wrestling
show, with heroes and villains. Clean family friendly
wrestling, the way it should be. All seats $5. $2 off with
donation of canned or non-perishable food items.

* MCW Pro Wrestling has “Season’s Beatings”, its annual
Toys for Tots show scheduled for December 1 in Joppa, MD.

* Hoosier Pro Wrestling does its Firemen’s Cheer Fund
Toys for Tots show (of three shows yearly) in Columbus, IN
on December 2.

* Wrestling for Charity presents “Fight for Daniel” on
December 2 at the Claremore Community Center, Claremore, OK
to benefit the families of children fighting childhood
cancer.

* Monster Factory Pro Wrestling returns on December 2
to the Monster Factory, 541 Mantua Avenue, Paulsboro, NJ,
on December 2. Monster Factory Pro Wrestling is doing a Toys
for Tots collection at the show.

* Tommy Wildfire Rich’s Wrestling School in Myrtle
Beach, BC will be doing a Toys For Tots drive during
December, with the X Gym the first drop off location

* United Wrestling Coalition of Wrightstown, NJ, will
hold their annual Toys for Tots event on December 2; with a
special emphasis this year on behalf of the victims of
Harvey, asking for a small donation or note of encouragement
to this year’s hurricane victims in Houston and Puerto Rico.
Go to https://www.facebook.com/UWCFanCave for further
information.

* The Delaware/South Jersey based ECWA runs its annual
Toys for Tots show on December 2 in Woodbury Heights, NJ.

* Chinlock Wrestling comes to Kingston, ON on December 2
for its annual holiday charity show. Ricky “The Dragon”
Steamboat is featured.

* Ring Wars Carolina returns to Lumberton, NC on
December 2, donations of gift cards $5 or more as admission
accepted for area flood victims.

* Keystone State Wrestling Alliance presents: Fan
Fest/Toy Drive 2017 on December 2 at the Spirit Hall (old
Lawrenceville Moose) , 242 51st Street, Pittsburgh, PA

* American Premier Wrestling presents BRAWL 30 – Toys
for Tots on December 2 at the APW Slam Center , Statesboro,
GA. – Doors Open, 4:30 pm. Emerald Match, 4:45 pm. Bell
Time, 5:00 pm. $7 Adults/Kids, $3.

* Aspire Pro Wrestling returns to action on December 3
at the Pennsauken Youth Athletic Association, 3501 Elm
Avenue, Pennsauken with a 2:00 pm belltime. Donations of
canned goods and non-perishables will be collected for the
South Jersey Food Bank.

* Brew City Wrestling has scheduled its annual Headlock
for Hunger food collection at its December 8 show in West
Allis, WI.

* California’s Big Time Wrestling returns for “Rock The
Bells”, their annual holiday toy drive in Newark, CA on
December 8.

* H20: HardCore Hustle Organization returns on
December 8 for HOSS, a 16 person tournament at the Monroe
Business Center, 1041 Glassboro Road/
Building C/Suite 1 in Williamstown, NJ. The show will
feature a Toys for Toys collection.

* United Pro Wrestling teams up with Ultimate
Championship Wrestling on December 9 for a Toys for Tots Toy
Drive at the National Guard Armory in Bowling Green, KY.

* Northeast Wrestling returns to the NEW Arena, 40 Peck
Road, Bethany, CT on Saturday, December 9 for King of
Bethany. This is Northeast Wrestling’s annual holiday
spectacular and a Toys for Tots – Fundraising event. The
Marines will be in attendance that day. The promotion asks
all of its fans to help those in need to bring an unwrapped
toy and support Toys for Tots this holiday season.

* Grand Slam Wrestling returns to the GSW Arena, Old
Forge, PA for Jingle Brawl on December 9. A Toys for Tots
collection takes place at the show.

* All State Championship Wrestling returns to New Egypt, NJ
on December 9 at New Egypt High School with a 7:00 pm bell
time to benefit Toys for Tots. $5 off your ticket with a
new, unwrapped toy.

* 3Count Pro Wrestling returns to Liberty High 124 Red
Devil Dr, Liberty, SC on December 9 for Country Santa Clash
5 as they raise money and collect toys for Country Santa.
WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson will be there for a VIP meet
and greet at 5:30 pm

* Combat Zone Wrestling and DJ Hyde have agreed again
to do the annual Toys for Tots collection (in conjunction
with the Marine Corps Reserve) for the thirteenth year in a
row at Combat Zone Wrestling’s Cage of Death 19 on December
9 at the Rastelli Kids Complex, 1855 Hurffville Rd, Sewell,
NJ. Matches announced: In the Cage of Death… CZW World
Heavyweight Champion Rickey Shane Page vs. Joe Gacy vs.
Shane Strickland, and Jimmy Lloyd vs. Matt Tremont Pit of
10,000 thumbtacks match

* DCW Pro Wrestling presents Rumble for Glory on
December 9 at the Milford Community Center, 105 NE Front St.
Milford, DE to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

* Golden Corner Wrestling presents Christmas Corner in
Seneca, SC on December 10 at the Bounty Land Baptist Church,
1926 Blue Ridge Blvd, Seneca, SC. The event will raise money
for a local fan’s medical bills, plus acts as a Toys for
Tots show (bring an unwrapped toy and receive 1 free student
ticket with 1 paid adult ticket) .

* Ontario’s Smash Wrestling presents SMASH!STIGMA!
together with Wrestling With Stigma to benefit the The
Peterborough AIDS Resource Network on December 10 at The
Venue, Peterborough, ON. SMASH!STIGMA! will feature top
local, Canadian and International wrestling personalities
such as Petey Williams “The Canadian Destroyer” TNA
Wrestling Star, Tyson Dux

* Imperial Wrestling Revolution will do a Toys for Tots
show at its December 10 show in Ardmore, OK. They are also
working on starting a partnership with Vettix.org, which
gives away free tickets to active duty military personnel
and veterans.

* Pro Wrestling All Stars presents Christmas Classic on
Friday night December 15th from The Play Atlantis in
Melvindale, MI featuring former WWE star Adam Rose. This is
the promotion’s annual Toys for Tots show. Please bring a
new, unwrapped toy to the event. Every child deserves a
Christmas.

* Crossfire Wrestling comes to Lincoln Alexander Centre,
160 King Street East, Hamilton, ON on December 16 with an
8:00 pm belltime in a benefit for Mission Services Men’s
Shelter and Addiction Services.

* Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling presents its
annual Wrestling For Hunger show in New Westminster, BC on
December 16. 7:30 pm bell time (doors open at 7:00 pm)

* Georgia Wrestling Extreme presents its first Annual
Holiday Throwdown and Toy Drive on December 16 in Albany,
GA. Tickets are only $10, ($7 with any unwrapped Toy) kids 5
and under are free. Special appearances by Scott Hudson and
Jimmy Rave .

* Miracle in Greektown takes place December 17 in
Toronto, ON to benefit the John Howard Society of Toronto,
which provides addiction/harm reduction services, domestic
violence services and more

* Keystone Championship Wrestling presents “Slay Bells
Ring”, a Toys for Tots show, on December 23 at the Darby
Recreation Center, 1022 Ridge Avenue, Darby, PA.

For those of you readers who see giving a toy, a can of
food, or a warm coat as just one small thing, please
understand this: a can of soup means that gets a meal for a
day, a box of rice means that a family is fed for a week or
more, a warm coat meant a child won’t shiver uncontrollably
when they walk to school, or a toy meant that a child is
allowed a moment of innocence and joy, often after they’ve
gone through fear and deprivation for far too long. Just
like the people did and are doing for those in need in
Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida…now it’s your turn to do
that one small thing.

So… if you’re a independent wrestling promotion, and you
HAVEN’T thought of doing a charity-themed holiday show to
give back to your community….time to start planning. If
you’re an indy fan, and your promotion isn’t named…ask
them if they plan to do something this year.

As always, I’ll plug these events here to the point you can
recite them in your sleep; no matter what else I may discuss
in this blog. Please send them to me ASAP at
bobmagee1@hotmail.com or bobmagee856@gmail.com.

Until next time….

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