AS I SEE IT
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
It was five years ago this weekend that Eddie Guerrero left this world.
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 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 DVD or an old VHS 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.
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.
The following video was posted online, and taken from the memorial done only a day later on Monday Night RAW. It says far more than I have the ability to.
Moving on to the present, Toys for Tots and holiday events scheduled thus far…with some notable new ones, especially for Philadelphia area wrestling fans.
For the sixth straight year, Roger Artigiani and The Arena staff in Philadelphia, together with Combat Zone Wrestling will continue their tradition of working together with other local independent wrestling promotions and the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. Beginning the Toys for Tots independent wrestling effort this year at the Bingo Hall for the holidays will be CHIKARA Pro Wrestling, who runs the Arena on this Sunday, November 21 with a 4:00 pm belltime. Announced thus far are: Eddie Kingston vs. Homicide, Colin and Jimmy Olsen vs. The UnStable, Frightmare vs. Johnny Gargano, Ultramantis Black vs. Ares, Soldier Ant vs. Pink Ant, Hallowicked vs. Tim Donst, Arik Cannon vs. Lince Dorado, and Sara DelRay/Daizee Haze vs. Icarus/ChuckTaylor vs. Osirian Portal vs F.I.S.T. For ticket information, go to CHIKARA Pro Wrestling’s ticket website.
Then, both halves of the December 11, 2010 “Super Saturday” doubleheader will have Toys for Toys collections at the Arena’s front door for fans attending both shows. Jersey All Pro Wrestling will hold its show at 4:00 pm with a feature match of Japanese legend Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs. Mike Quackenbush.
That night, the eleventh annual CZW Cage of Death show follows JAPW at approximately 8:00 pm. The card announced thus far: Cage of Death match: Suicide Kings (Danny Havoc, Devon Moore, Scotty Vortekz, and Dysfunction) vs. Cult Fiction and friends (tHURTeen, Brain Damage, Masada and Drake Younger) ; The King Versus The World as CZW Ultraviolent Underground Champion Hardcore Nick Gage vs. Big Japan’s Yuko Miyamoto, CZW Heavyweight ChampionJox Moxley defends his CZW Heavyweight Title against Homicide; Osirian Portal vs. Philly’s Most Wanted (Sabian/Joker) compete to fill the vacant CZW Tag Team titles in the CZW Tag Team Tournament final; CZW Junior Heavyweight Championship – Adam Cole defends against AR Fox, #1 Contenders Match – Sami Callihan vs. Robert “Ego Fantastico” Anthony
For the last six years, The Arena, its management, Combat Zone Wrestling have done Toys for Tots collections. Now, this year Jersey All Pro Wrestling fans will be able to join in that effort and make “Super Saturday” a truly special day by helping area children to have a Christmas. To order tickets for Cage of Death, go to Combat Zone Wrestling’s ticket website and Jersey All Pro Wrestling’s website at JAPW.net.
Tri State Wrestling Alliance will be collecting food donations at their November 20 Voorhees, NJ show for the Food Bank of South Jersey. For ticket information, go to Tri-State Wrestling’s website.
The first and longest standing Toys for Tots independent wretling event in the Philadelphia region will take place again this year, as United Wrestling Coalition will hold its annual FREE Toys For Tots show on Saturday night, December 4th at Burlington County College in Pemberton, NJ! For more information, go to United Wrestling Coalition’s website.
All Star Wrestling Alliance holds its annual “Night for the Kids” show on December 10 at the National Guard Armory in Lexington, NC. All-Star Wretling Alliance and the local FOX holds this yearly wrestling event called FOX-8 Gifts For Kids. Fans pay $7 or bring a new unwrapped toy for admission. All proceeds go to the FOX-8 for the Gifts For Kids campaign. For information, go to ASWA’s website.
Classic Championship Wrestling will be doing a Toys for Tots collection at their Black Friday (November 26) show in Lebanon, PA. Tickets are 10 dollars if you bring a unwrapped toy. For information, go to Classic Championship Wrestling’s website.
Real Championship Wrestling of Baltimore, MD returns on December 4 to the DuBurns Arena, as they team up with the National Kidney Foundation to put on a very special fund raiser show! ALL proceeds will go to the National Kidney Foundation! For information, go to go to Real Championship Wrestling’s website.
Delaware’s Dynamite Championship Wrestling is doing its yearly Toys For Tots show on December 11th in Hartly, DE with “Tables, Ladders and Toys for Tots” at the Hartly Fire Department. For information, go to the DCW website.
The California-based Empire Wrestling Federation will hold their annual Christmas Toy Drive show on Friday, December 10 in Covina, CA at the Covina Knights of Columbus Hall with a 8:00 pm belltime.
The Boston’s Super MegaFest sports/entertainment autograph event, will be held on November 20 and 21 at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel in Framingham, MA with wrestling stars Awesome Kong, Joey Styles, Tony Atlas, Tammy “Sunny” Sytch, Howard Finkel, former WWF Champion Bob Backlund, as well as dozens of stars from movie, , TV and horror classics. The event will feature a Toys for Tots collection and donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For information, go to their website
Wrestlestuff Inc. presents The Ohio Wrestling Alliance on November 19th at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds. Matches shceduled: OWA Heavyweight Title match with “Old School” Lou Marconi v. Satan with Disciple of Darkness, Andy Chene with Dr. Jerry Graham, Jr. vs. Bobo Brazil, Jr., “Nightmare” Jimmie Lee v. “Vicious” Vic The Bruiser. Tickets are eavailable by calling 567-356-5001, or at Ohio Wrestling Alliance. The OWA is partnering with Heartbeat of Lima in an effort to fund their Diaper Drive. Everyone who brings a bag of diapers to the show will be registered to win an MMA replica title belt valued at $600. Tickets are $5 at the door with a diaper donation.
The New England-based Showcase Pro Wrestling will be doing two events for Toys for Tots on December 3 in Woonsocket, RI and December 4 in Attleboro, MA. For information, go to Showcase Pro Wrestling
The Milwaukee-based Brew City Wrestling will be doing a food drive as part of its December 10th show at its home base of West Allis, WI with the Hunger Task Force of Greater Milwaukee. For information, go to Brew City Wrestling’s website.
Please send me any scheduled Holiday related charity events, whether collections of canned food, Toys for Tots toy collections or other charity benefits. Anyone promoting (or who sees notices of such a show), please send them to to email@example.com so I can plug them in this column and on PWBTS.com.
Until next time…
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