AS I SEE IT 1/24: A weekend of snowstorms and good indy wrestling

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

First, another reminder about what you can do to help those affected by the December 26th tsunami...

On December 26th, at 7:59 am local time, a 9.0 magnitude underwater earthquake struck northern Sumatra, the planet's most powerful in over 40 years. The earthquake in turn generated a major Indian Ocean-wide tsunami which devastated Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and Bangladesh, as well as parts of Australia, Africa, and the Arabian peninsula.

The tsunami has killed at least [EDITOR'S NOTE: as many as 220,000] (over 175,000 people along the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island alone), and has left thousands from 52 countries dead or missing.

The United Nations has suggested this catastrophe could end up being one of the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded in world history. They have also warned that another 150,000 people could die from cholera and other waterborne diseases.

It is more than a little appropriate to show people that wrestling fans are people who are concerned with their world, and are not just the stereotypical obsessives that many view us as being... concerned with nothing more than what HHH is doing on next week's TV...engaging in petty bullshit to help a local independent promotion steal 200-300 fans from a competitor...if Jeff Jarrett is going over on the next TNA PPV...or whether or not a certain Ring of Honor match deserves **** or *****.

I'm running a cube banner on that will directly link to the tsunami efforts of UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Fund), which you can see besides this text.

I selected UNICEF's graphic/link to post on my site, because of UNICEF's longterm role in helping those most affected by famine, war, poverty and natural disasters throughout the world...and because of the international readership of my flagship site, I also did so because I've felt haunted by the picture of the children, both tourist and native, who have been killed...or survived...but who lost one or more parents...and whose lives will thus be changed forever. many of you as will do so, please feel free to beg, borrow, or outright steal that code from the above graphic...and place that cube banner on your own company's website...your own fansite...or on any message board that will allow it.

For those readers that are concerned that their donations go to the victims of the disaster, and not to charity bureaucrats; here is a list of other organizations reviewed by the group Charity Navigator for their efficiency in delivering service to those they serve, with links to the websites of the organizations in question:

  • American Jewish World Service
  • American Red Cross
  • AmeriCares
  • CARE
  • Catholic Medical Mission Board
  • Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Feed the Children
  • HOPE Worldwide
  • Lutheran World Relief
  • Mercy Corps
  • Oxfam America
  • Save the Children

    Please take some time as you read this column...and find it in your heart to send UNICEF (or another charity of your choice) some money to help those hundreds affected by this catastrophe; and find it in your heart to post the above link to the UNICEF site on your own website (or, again, another charity of your own choice) and help those hundreds of thousands affected by this catastrophe.

    In other news, one of the occupational hazards of being a wrestling promoter outside of the Sun Belt reared its ugly head this week, as the Northeast and Midwest were hit this past Saturday and Sunday by a major snowstorm.

    As a result, independent wrestling shows from everywhere from Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana all the way to Massachusetts were cancelled or postponed; including:

  • IWA Mid-South Wrestling in Valpariso, IN
  • Independent Wrestling Revolution's third anniversary show in Hamtramck, MI
  • NWA East/Pro Wrestling Express in Pittsburgh, PA
  • American Championship Pro Wrestling's debut show in Wilmington, DE
  • Classic Championship Wrestling in Marysville, PA
  • East Coast Pro Wrestling in Lake Hiawatha, NJ
  • Independent Wrestling Federation in West Paterson, NJ
  • National Wrestling Superstars in Lodi, NJ
  • EWA Pro Wrestling in Holyoke, MA

    This was going to be a quiet weekend for me anyhow, as there weren't shows in the Philadelphia-New York area scheduled that I'd had any plans of attending....but many fans throughout the Northeast and Midwest weren't so lucky and missed their local promotion's shows, some of which had been built up for weeks.

    Most notable of those shows built up, and very unfortunately cancelled, was the Independent Wrestling Revolution Third Anniversary show in the Detroit area, which has been built to include a "Revolution Open House", which loosely translated was a pre-show fanfest with live music, a fan interactive market, delicious Mexican food specials, and cross-promotion with other Detroit area promotions, as well as a "Showcase" pre-show similar to that done by Ring of Honor before their shows.

    Here's hoping that their rescheduled date of February 19th does as well as this show would likely have done.

    All those snow cancellations aside...those fans in Southern California, along with much nicer weather than we're getting here in the snow belt, got to see another example of the North America's more unique promotions... Pro Wrestling Guerrilla... as it presented ''Card Subject To Change!'' at their usual home, the Hollywood-Los Feliz JCC in Los Angeles, CA.

    Pro Wrestling Guerrilla was created and is operated by Southern California wrestlers Disco Machine, Excalibur, Joey Ryan, Scott Lost, Super Dragon, and "Top Gun" Talwar, in one of those rare situations where the age-old adage doesn't hold true...and "the boys" themselves actually can run a top-flight wrestling promotion.

    The promotion debuted on July 26, 2003 and continues on with one of the most unique mixes of humor and top-flight professional wrestling around today; with a locker room including Super Dragon, Excaliber, Homicide, American Dragon, B-Boy, Samoa Joe, Human Tornado, Chris Hero, The Havana Pitbulls (Ricky Reyes and Rocky Romero), the Aerial Express (Quicksilver and Scorpio Sky), "Classic" Colt Cabana, Excalibur, Top Gun Talwar, Tony Stradlin, and The Ballard Brothers.

    They also have the single most hilarious set of names for shows I've ever seen in my adult life. How about "44 Ways To Kill You With A Pimento"? Or "Kee_ The _ee Out Of Our _ool!" ...or "PWG...The Musical"?

    It IS important to remember that wrestling isn't the eighth Holy Sacrament (particularly noting the tsunami information above)...and that it's OK to have a sense of long as we get some wrestling along with it. WWE usually given us what THEY define as humor...and very little wrestling.

    PWG's January 22nd show featured:

  • Ballard Brothers/Ronin defeated Excalibur/Top Gun Talwar/Supa Badd. Excalibur does some of the most bizarrely entertaining promos around...ask someone about his promo challenging Road Warrior Hawk at the ECW Arena.

  • Tony Stradlin defeated Colt Cabana by pinfall/roll-up

  • B-Boy defeated Human Tornado via his cross special brainbuster, even with Human Tornado injuring his shoulder during the match.

  • The Aerial Express (Quicksilver and Scorpio Sky) defeated the Havana Pitbulls

  • American Dragon defeated Chris Hero via a small package. American Dragon shwoed some hilarity as he apparently was mimicking a number of Hero's well-known spots.

  • Scott Lost and Chris Bosh defeated the returning Los Luchas (Zokre/Phoenix Star) with a Steiner Screwdriver

  • Super Dragon defeated Homicide via the super natural drive in what was said to be the stiff-fest of the night.

    Even though this winter season brings cold buildings, crappy weather, and weekends like this with cancelled shows (unless you're lucky enough to live in California), keep supporting independent may well be the only alternative that we have to the "sports entertainment" we've been watching on Monday and Thursday nights...or in increasing number NOT watching.

    Until next time...

    (Graphics courtesy of BBC and UNICEF)


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