I wrote a year ago about a man named Bruce Jackson I met
prior to going to Combat Zone Wrestling’s Night of Infamy
show, when I stopped at Ott’s Sports Bar, just up the street
from the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ pre-CZW show.
Bruce was a non-verbal wheelchair bound man profoundly
affected by cerebral palsy who came to Ott’s on weekends. He
came by himself independently from a group home nearby this
sports bar…to watch sports and be around people. The staff
at Ott’s apparently knew him by name, as he came there
before. As the afternoon moved into evening, I asked him a
few times if he needed anything. Other than to ask me to get
his communication board out, so he could communicate with
us, he would shake his head no and smile. After a while the
group next to me kind of noticed him, joined in…so he got
to introduce himself to all of us via the board, which
pleased him to no end. He got to do exactly what he wanted:
to be around people and watch college football.
After he’d been there awhile, he motioned for me to open the
door at Ott’s…and motored in his wheelchair back to his
group home up the street. None of the bartenders thought
that was especially remarkable and were perfectly sure he’d
be just fine getting home.
Several weeks later, I opened the Cherry Hill Courier Post.
I was shocked to find out that my new friend Bruce…Bruce
Jackson was his full name, died of kidney failure two
Saturdays ago, literally as the whole Cage of Death daylong
event was taking place and hundreds of toys were being
It turns out Bruce Jackson was far from being just someone
who liked to hang out at Ott’s, but was well known as the
“superfan” of nearby Eastern Regional High School in
Voorhees, NJ. Bruce lived at Voorhees Rehabilitation and
Care Center and made his way to Eastern Regional High School
frequently in his motorized wheelchair, for all their
practices, athletic events, and more. Bruce pretty much
adopted Eastern from 2000 on, and was known as a smiling,
happy presence who communicated via his letter board and his
laptop and iPad (which a counselor at Eastern helped him
obtain). Turns out Bruce was as well, if not better, known
than any staff member in the entire high school. The story
of his death and life was among the longest stories of that
day’s entire paper, and outlines how he inspired the
students of Eastern Regional High School, with staff and
administration sharing what he meant to the school.
Meeting him that day showed the importance of doing one
small thing for someone else…during the Holidays, or
anytime. It showed me that those you help have a very human
face..a name…and a story behind their need.
Well, those holidays are here. A week from Thursday is
Christmas trees are already up in many local stores. HSN and
QVC have been selling for Christmas for weeks, and Hallmark
Channel is already into their Christmas mega-movie
marathons. The retail cyber-universe is 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.
42 such events have been announced for the Holidays or
* 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 and she 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. The event
benefited 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 at the Towanda High School. All
ticket proceeds are being donated to the Janet Weis
Children’s Hospital helping children with pediatric cancer.
* Tommy Wildfire Rich’s Wrestling School in Myrtle Beach, BC
is doing a food drive from November 6-14 with drop off
locations at the X Gym Sports Mall and the Lowe’s Foods in
Murrell’s Inlet will be one. They are also working through
Food Lion’s corporate offices to make local Food Lions
* 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.
* 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
* 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
* 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
* Hoosier Pro Wrestling does its Firemen’s Cheer Fund Toys
for Tots show (of three shows yearly) in Columbus, IN on
* 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
* 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
* 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.
* 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
* MCW Pro Wrestling has “Season’s Beatings”, its annual Toys
for Tots show scheduled for December 2 in Joppa, MD.
* 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,
* California’s Big Time Wrestling returns for “Rock The
Bells”, their annual holiday toy drive in Newark, CA on
* 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
* 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.
* 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.
Details to come.
* 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,
* 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
* Crossfire Wrestling comes to Lincoln Alexander Centre, 160
King Street East, Hamilton, ON on December 16 with an 8:00
pm bell time 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
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time….
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