Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

In what has to be some of the most sadly ironic political moments of the year, the man who was responsible for “sanitizing independent wrestling for New Jerseyeans protection” and protecting the public in general from wrestlers who became former Mayor of Bayonne, New Jersey State Senator, and was until last Thursday a member of the Cabinet of New Jersey Governor John Corzine as Department of Community Affairs Commissioner; Joe Doria was forced to resign from his post after federal officials raided his Bayonne home and Trenton office amid a wide-ranging federal corruption probe. Other key politicians charged Thursday among the 40 arrested in the probe include current Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, and Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez. Further details can be found here.

The Doria story goes back to the spring of 2000 when the City of Bayonne revoked longtime New Jersey independent Jersey All Pro Wrestling’s entertainment license, and prevented them from running shows in their longtime Charity Hall home after a handful of complaints. Jersey All Pro Wrestling was forced to find a new home and alter their current style to appease local politicians.

Then in September 2000, New Jersey Governor Whitman signed into law bill number A2304 banning so-called “extreme wrestling” (but making no such restriction for WWF, WCW, or ECW, who were specifically and illegally exempted from the law’s provisions). This caused Jersey All Pro Wrestling to be forced to alter its style radically alter their style, and caused the South Jersey-based Combat Zone Wrestling to move to Philadelphia and the ECW Arena.

Funny thing how protecting the public only goes so far….unless its time for some folks to fill their pockets.

Dragon Gate USA presented its debut show “Open the Historic Gate” last night at The (ECW) Arena in Philadelphia, PA before a packed and sweltering ECW Arena

In the dark match, Lince Dorado won “Fray” (in Ring of Honor speak, this would have been called a scramble match) over Cheech, Cloudy, Chris “Bones” Jones. Johnny Garagano, Louis Lyndon, and Unbreakable Andy thanks to a Shooting Star Press. Dorado got the usual flat reaction he gets in Philadelphia.

Dawn Marie opened the show as ring announcer to an loud, wild, and enthusiastic crowd

  • YAMATO defeated BxB Hulk in a tremendous opener to a ridiculously hot crowd with a Gallaria sit-out tombstone. One of BXB Hulk’s “dancers” for the night was Ring of Honor’s Daizee Haze.
  • 2 Cold Scorpio defeated Ken Doane. After Doane missed a top rope leg drop, Scorpio went for a Moonsault but was met in a gutbuster with Doane’s knees. Scorpio came back with the “Tumbleweed” for the win. The problem after BXB Hulk and Yamato is that this match became the right match in front of the wrong crowd on the wrong night. On any other show, and any other town, no one in the crowd would have had a problem with the match. It was a standard, well-worked American style match. But a crowd that saw Yamato-Hulk wasn’t going to sit still for this match. Doane got lots of cat calls during the match.
  • CHIKARA Eight Man Tag Team Showcase

    Mike Quackenbush, Jigsaw, Fire Ant and Soldier Ant over Hallowicked, Amasis, Gran Akuma and Icarus when Jigsaw pinned Icarus in a great match. The CHIKARA crew tore the house down. Post-match, Mike Quackenbush introduced a tribute video for the legendary Jorge “Skayde” Rivera, then after pointing out Rivera trained both rosters, challenged Dragon Gate for a multi-man match at the “next show” (not clear if that mean Chicago, or the next Philadelphia show). YAMATO came out to meet the challenge, then attacked Quackenbush and Jigsaw and Akuma made the save, but Akuma then turned…which would seemingly set up Quackenbush/Jigsaw v. YAMATO/Gran Akuma in Chicago.

  • Dragon Kid over Masato Yoshino after a Ultra Huracanrana. Yoshino refused a post-match handshake. Scorpio came out, compared the match to such classic ECW moments as Malenko-Guerrero, and Rey Misterio, Jr.- Psicosis (given the standards of those matches…compaing the evening to the other two, perhaps a different matter) and suggested a re-match between the 2 down the road.

    A long overdue intermission then took place (the building was insanely stuffy and hot), selling tickets for the November 28 Philadelphia Dragon Gate USA return show, “Open the Freedom Gate”. a one night tournament for the “Open the Freedom Gate” championship, which is to be Dragon Gate USA’s title.

  • The Young Bucks of Nick and Matt Jackson defeated CIMA and Susumu Yokosuka when Nick Jackson pinned Yokosuka after a tag team More Bang For Your Buck. This match, although intended as the post-intermission match, may well have stolen the show.
  • Open The Dream Gate Champion Naruki Doi defeated Shingo after a Muscular Bomb in a great back and forth match.

    Until next time….

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