Gary Kevany sent this in:
American Wrestling Rampage:
Will The Whole Damn Show…show up?
By Gary Kevany
American wrestling Rampage (AWR) certainly isn?t a household name, at least not to those Stateside and in Canada, and while very little of the organisation’s matches are broadcast to those living in the backwater areas of Ireland and other less live-wrestling filled line-ups, the company does offer something the major corporations of WWE and TNA cannot ? they travel off the beaten-track and bring the wrestling to the masses.
As the adage goes when you can?t bring the mountain to Mohammed bring Mohammed to the mountain ? as long as it isn?t Mohammed Hussain things should be enjoyable ? tongue now removed from cheek.
The other adage that’s fitting is ?if you build it they will come? and for the most part of AWR’s European tour schedule, that’s true. The last three events this writer has witnessed from the company ? in the third largest indoor arena in the country ? at the Theatre Royal, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, have sold out. The superstars there have been name worthy but unfortunately for fans of the sports-cum-entertainment extravaganza neither has had the fairytale ending fans would have hoped.
Firstly, Andrew ?Test? Martin appeared several years ago and put on a performance, albeit a loss to The Sandman, that wouldn?t have been out of place in a WWE or TNA ring. Martin passed away shortly thereafter.
Marty Jannetty is another who has represented AWR while touring the ?Emerald Isle? and his steady decline since the day of the Rockers where he teamed with Shawn Michaels ? the juxtaposition of their careers since the break-up is evidence in itself, let alone, his short-lived to World Wrestling Entertainment.
Last and not least, we have Bret ?The Hitman? Hart, the chance to see him, get his autograph, a photograph, a quick hello and/or a handshake had those who, by birthright, are too young to have seen him during his hey-day. He also only appeared briefly but speaking to a long stay member of the AWR roster, Joe E. Legend, it’s clear to see the respect garners among those who see him, is shared by his peers.
?Since the stroke Bret can go from 100 to 10 per cent in an instant so it’s mostly just going to be an autograph session. His book though ? that tells more about him than Jericho’s or Foley’s, while they are all page-turners and similar to telling road stories in a pub. Bret’s book comes across like he’s trying to teach…? and who better could one ask to learn the art and trade from? Who better than the man who prided himself in never having seriously injured an opponent and did his best to turn each match into a story in and of itself?
It’s well-documented how Bill Goldberg’s mis-timed move ended Hart’s wrestling career but along with the Hogan’s, Flair’s and Sting’s of this business ? Hart’s name still comes up more often than not when those who witnessed him speak of the business.
This year’s star attraction is none other than ?The Whole Damn Show? Rob Van Dam (RVD) ? a man with as many nicknames as moves ? he is also known as ?Mr Monday Night? ? tomorrow, however, when he appears in Castlebar he will of course be ?Mr Friday Night?.
The one question this journalist poses, however, is ? will he turn up? With him being scheduled to appear along side long time friend and numerous time opponent, Sabu, one would expect he will be there. This isn?t rumour-mongering, sensationalism or anything of the sort, as with all wrestling shows, the line-up is subject to change, I pose the question ? that won?t be answered ?til this time tomorrow night ? simply because Van Dam was backstage at Summerslam and with rumours constantly making the rounds of RVD being signed to one of the ?big two? ? who knows if Van Dam has signed a contract.
His storied career both in and out of the ring, especially when in the company of Sabu, being fined and stripped of his ECW and WWE World Heavyweight Titles spring to mind more quickly than the accolades that should define the unique ex-extremist.
Speaking, or rather writing, of Sabu when he appeared last time in Co. Mayo his appearance was just about as long as Hart’s cameo speech, he made a run-in, Arabian face buster, held a chair and pointed towards the heavens for his signature pose then left. While fans would clamour for a re-match between the ECW stalwarts it’s most likely we will see RVD get another shot at the former WWE Tag Team Champion who took his championship back in April of this year while the company was touring France ? Rene Dupree.
While many uncertainties hang over the event, whether the line-up is full or some are unable to attend, be the main event pit Van Dam against Sabu or Rene Dupree the company are yet to disappoint ? young and old have left feeling their money was well spent and with some of less well-known but nevertheless very talented stars such as Joey Cabray, Scotty 2/The Hotty?, X-Pac/k and Joe E. Legend on the card a good night is all but ensured for all.
In Robert Frost’s poem ?The Road Not Taken? he scribed:
…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I?
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
And that could be all the difference for the company that is the American Wrestling Rampage, while WWE and TNA solely visit the Irish capital, Dublin, AWR take the road less travelled when they visit Ireland and other parts of Europe ? and that may, just may, make all the difference.
A limited number of tickets are still available for the following shows:
Aug 27th (Tonight) – INEC, Killarney
Aug 28th – Royal Theatre, Castlebar
Aug 29th – West County Hotel, Ennis
Aug 30th – Herigage Hotel, Portlaoise
Aug 31st – Ulster Hall, Belfast