AS I SEE IT 7/19: Remembering old friends, some e-mails, and some good news

by: Bob Magee To begin, here are a couple of comments regarding last week's "A tale of two wrestlers...Billy Redwood and Teddy Hart" AS I SEE IT column:

First, this e-mail from J. Michael Bjorson:

"...Mr. Magee,
I just wanted to thank you for your article about my good friend Bill. I've just returned from his memorial service which was this past Saturday down in Richmond. I hadn't seen Bill in a few years,

I've been on deployments in the military, but had just spoken with him about a week before he passed. I've know Bill since we worked together as teenagers at another friends parents video store and I know how passionate he was about wrestling. I can't tell you enough how crappy losing Bill is to me, our friends, family, etc. But one thing I know and am very proud of is the fact
that Bill lived his dream and didn't let it get to his head. Not too many of us can say that! So, in a bittersweet way, I thank you for your kind words on my friend. We will miss him terribly!

OS3 J. Michael Bjorson"

Then, there was this e-mail from Jennifer David:

"Billy was my cousin...we grew up together...I miss him and I can't believe that he's gone.

His memorial service was this weekend. I hope you guys were able to make it. It was beautiful."

Unfortunately, no I wasn't able to be there. I wasn't even made aware of when the funeral was taking place, to tell you the truth.

My point with last week's column was that we'd be better off spending less time idolizing prima donnas like Teddy Hart who act in a totally self-serving manner, and more time remembering the Billy Redwoods of the wrestling world and admiring what they do in the ring. More on that thought at the end of the column.

Then, some good news for a change...

Now that it's been made public that Cary Silkin has purchased 100% of the Ring of Honor promotion, and TNA appears satisfied that Rob Feinstein is in no way involved with the Ring of Honor promotion, it appears that TNA and Ring of Honor have or are in the process of coming to an understanding that will allow Ring of Honor to use talent under contract to TNA.

Alex Shelley and Chad Collyer have already been given permission to work dates for Ring of Honor along with their TNA dates. Roderick Strong worked his second TNA Impact taping while continuing to work for Ring of Honor, but no word on whether he's been signed by TNA officially as of yet.

Additionally, All Japan's Kazushi Miyamoto, who wrestled CM Punk and Colt Cabana at the ROH-All Japan Final Battle 2003 (and who has appeared on recent NWA-TNA PPVs) will appear at both shows as The Great Kazushi, the gimmick he's been using in TNA.

The biggest hope for Ring of Honor is certainly that AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels will be made available by TNA for dates with Ring of Honor in upcoming months. Dave Meltzer suggested that Styles and Daniels could be available as soon as August, which could involve either the August 7th Philadelphia or August 28th Braintree, MA shows.

It would seem clear, however, that any use of these two wrestlers will need to be scheduled around already existing bookings made by TNA during the period of controversy between TNA and least for the remainder of 2004. However, references were made to both Styles and Daniels at the July 17th Ring of Honor show in Elizabeth, I have a feeling that it's more when and not if they'll return for Ring of Honor dates.

To's some news on an evening that will allow those of us in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to remember two of our friends and longtime fans...

IWA Championship Wrestling (Reading, PA) has announced the George Huddleston and Rich Merchon Memorial Show on Saturday, August 14th with a bell time of 7:00 PM at The Silo Night Club, located at 2017 Bernville Road, Route 183, in Reading, PA.

Those of us who went to years of ECW shows, WWE house shows, Jim Kettner's Delaware-based ECWA shows, Pottstown's PWF shows, or to nearly any independent wrestling show in Pennsylvania/South Jersey/Delaware and beyond; easily remember George and Rich as the informal tag team partners of longtime superfan "Hat Guy" John Bailey. George and Rich traveled all over as master hecklers of heel and face wrestlers alike, two fans who could liven up the dullest show in a manner of seconds.

Both George and Rich died within the past year. They're missed by many of us in this part of the wrestling world. The folks at IWA are putting on this show in their memory, and I'm happy to plug it for them here.

Thus far...the lineup:

  • In an ECW legends match...“The Chair Swinging Freak” Balls Mahoney takes Chris Candido (with Tammy Lynn Sytch).

  • Scheduled to make his first area appearance on a eastern Pennsylvania independent show is WWE superstar and Tough Enough trainer Al Snow.

    Also appearing on the card are: Rapid Fire Maldonado, Psycho, Din Mak, Simply Luscious, Alere Little Feather, Luscious Lily, Mat Bomboy, Rebel’s Army (Rockin Rebel and Tough Enough Greg Matthews) plus many more.

    Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door and can be purchased at the following ticket outlets:

  • Silo Night Club
  • W.I.N. Outlet – 940 Penn Street, Reading, PA
  • Marvel Ranch – 359 Penn Street, Reading, PA
  • Sharp Dressed Man – 400 Penn Avenue, West Reading, PA

    Other locations
  • Perkiomen Distributors – 3853 Perkiomen Avenue, Reiffton, PA
  • Oley Beer Mart – 673 Old State Road, Oley, PA
  • The Mail Room – Shillington Shopping Center, Shillington, PA
  • Ontario Street Comics – 2235 Ontario Street, Philadelphia, PA

    For information, e-mail, or call (610) 689-0909

    I know wrestling's supposed to be about those on the other side of the rail, and the athletic soap opera we watch. But face it, we fans often go to shows just as much to be with our friends as to see the shows, no matter how good or bad they are. Those friends of ours in the bleachers need to be remembered in our minds and hearts as well. It's nice to see that a wrestling promotion recognized that fact.

    Until next time....


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