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Florida Championship Wrestling
Comes to Gator Country
WWE Superstar Sheamus & UF Alumni in Action

Gainesville, Fl October 25, 2010

Gainesville, FL is known for the proud orange and blue tradition of the University of Florida Gators. But what happens when you take tradition and place it inside a 20-foot wrestling ring? Enter Florida Championship Wrestling and its inaugural show at the Alachua County Fairgrounds.

FCW, the official developmental territory World Wrestling Entertainment has debuts in Gainesville, FL on Friday, October 29th at the Alachua County Fairgrounds for a “Halloween Supershow.” To mark the company’s debut, WWE Superstar Sheamus will be on hand to meet and sign autographs for fans in attendance prior to the show.

Sheamus, who started his WWE career in Florida Championship Wrestling traveled to the United States from his native Dublin, Ireland in 2007. His first exposure to WWE fans came on the company’s ECW brand in June of 2009. Since his debut, the “Celtic Warrior” has experienced a meteoric rise to success having captured the WWE Championship on two separate occasions. The honor has also earned Sheamus the distinction of being WWE’s first Irish-born Heavyweight Champion. Standing 6’6 and 272lbs with fiery red hair and a pale complexion, Sheamus certainly isn’t hard to miss. He can be seen every Monday Night on WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” on the USA Network. “I think it’s awesome for Sheamus to take time out of his busy schedule to return to Florida Championship Wrestling” says FCW President Steve Keirn. “When he was wrestling with us, he was always willing to learn and always looking to get better. Now all you have to do is turn on Monday Night Raw to see the result of his hard work”

In addition to Sheamus, University of Florida Graduates Titus O’Neal and Byron Saxton will also be in action. O’Neal graduated from UF in 2000 where he served as an integral part of the Gator Football team having played in 44 regular season games. O’Neal was elected UF Student Body Vice President in 2000 and has since been inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame. Since joining Florida Championship Wrestling, he has been seen on WWE’s hybrid reality show–NXT on the SyFy Network. “They say once a Gator always a Gator” said O’Neal with a smile. “I just consider myself blessed to have had the opportunities I’ve had and I look forward to coming back to Gainesville with the same energy and enthusiasm I had when I was a student here.” Byron Saxton graduated from UF in 2003 where he served as a News Anchor/Producer for WRUF AM 850 as well as a Sports Anchor/Producer for WUFT News 5. Following graduation, Saxton went on to become a News/Sports & Traffic Anchor at WJXT Channel 4 in Jacksonville. Since joining Florida Championship Wrestling, he has been seen on World Wrestling Entertainment’s ECW show where he served as a color commentator. “If it weren’t for the University of Florida and the city of Gainesville, I wouldn’t be where I am today” said Saxton. “I’ve always been a big believer that everything you experience in life today prepares you for what you might accomplish tomorrow. Gainesville will always have a special place in my heart and I feel honored to return with Florida Championship Wrestling.”

Eight big matches are scheduled for FCW’s Gainesville debut which will feature stars from WWE’s NXT Seasons 2 and 3, the FCW Divas and Heavyweight Champion Mason Ryan. The Main Event of the evening will be contested in a Ladders and Chairs Match. Also on the card are an 8 Man Costume Ball Match, 25 Man Battle Royal and Florida Heavyweight Champion Mason Ryan will defend his title against NXT season 3 rookie, Lucky Cannon. In addition to the numerous stars who will be in attendance, fans will also have an opportunity to get in on the action. Officials have announced that fans in attendance will have the opportunity to compete in FCW’s annual Halloween Costume Contest in which prizes will be awarded.

For nearly half a century, Florida Championship Wrestling has been the Sunshine State’s primary wrestling promotion providing a home for such wrestling legends as “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, The Brisco Brothers and Gordon Solie. Officially sanctioned and reorganized by the WWE during the summer of 2007, FCW has also become the training ground for future WWE Superstars. According to the promotion’s written objective, it seeks to give fans a glimpse at the potential Superstars of tomorrow while providing exciting ring action that leaves the entire family with smiles on their faces. To date, over fifty men and women have gone on to WWE’s Raw, Smackdown or NXT Television brands. “It might sound corny but when you see so many stars leave FCW and move up to one of the WWE brands, its a proud feeling. Its like watching your kids graduate and you want them to go on to reach their maximum potential” said Keirn. Names that have come from FCW include Smackdown Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler, The Nexus, Kofi Kingston, Ted DiBiase, The Usos, Primo Colon, Ezekiel Jackson, The Bella Twins, Evan Bourne, Tiffany, Alicia Fox, Trent Berretta, Caylen Croft, Yoshi-Tatsu and many more. The company holds weekly shows at their home location dubbed the “FCW Arena” in Tampa, FL every Thursday night along with tapings for their weekly television show. Nearly every weekend, the group travels to such cities as Gainesville providing live events for fans who can’t make it to the arena on Thursday nights. “Its all about getting exposure for Florida Championship Wrestling and the men and women who work under its banner. My goal is to give fans all across the state of Florida the chance to see firsthand, the future of the WWE and be a part of history in the process.”

The show will take place at the Alachua County Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall located at 2900 N.E. 29th Street. Gold Circle Ticket Holders will be admitted to the show beginning at 6pm and will have access to the autograph session featuring Sheamus between 6-7pm. Gold Circle Ticket Autograph Seekers will also receive a free 4×6 picture with Sheamus and be limited to two autographed items per person. General Admission ticket holders will be admitted to the show at 6:30pm and will have access to the autograph session featuring Sheamus from 7-8pm and be limited to one autograph per person. Bell Time for the show is 8pm. Tickets start at $15 for kids and $20 for adults for general admission tickets. Reserved and Gold Circle seats (Rows 1-3) are $25 and $35. Tickets are available at Buddy’s Home Furnishings in Gainesville at 1355 N.W. 23rd Ave., (352-378-6757 and Ocala at 2627 E. Silver Springs Blvd. (352-237-5554),The Flying Fish in High Springs at 228 NE 1st Ave., (386-454-7225) and Nikko’s Pizza in Palatka at 804 S. S.R. 19 (386-328-8559).Tickets are also available at www.FCWWrestling.com. Ticket hotline number is (813) 322-0378.

FCW is the only Official Developmental territory of World Wrestling Entertainment.

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