AS I SEE IT 8/22: Christopher "Chri$ Ca$h" Bauman Jr. 1982-2005

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

CZW wrestler Christopher "Chri$ Ca$h" Bauman Jr. was killed August 18 as the result of a motorcycle accident near his home in Glassboro, NJ.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the motorcycle Bauman was riding was on Ellis Street in Glassboro, NJ when a Ford Taurus driven by a Daisy Gwin, of Glassboro, NJ, turned in front of it from Higgins Drive at about 9:15 pm, with the motorcycle striking the car on the driver's side.

The 23 year old Bauman, and his cousin, 27 year old Jeremy Bauman of Franklinville, NJ (the driver of the motorcycle) were thrown from the motorcycle and died at the scene. The car's driver, 68 year old Daisy Gwin, of Glassboro, NJ, died en route to Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Washington Township, NJ, after suffering cardiac arrest.

I walked in my door the evening of August 19 after work, only to get the news from a family member. Roc Higgins had called our house, and my younger brother took the call and the news.

Chris was always genuinely friendly in a way that a lot of wrestlers aren't, but had the wild side we all had at age 23. He was a nice young man, in every sense that the phrase used to mean; and always felt obligated to call me "Mr. Magee" when I came to a show (even when I told him he didn't have to), would say hello and tell me he'd seen something or other on my site.

Bauman worked for CZW from 2001 through 2004, with many non-CZW fans even taking notice of him at Cage of Death 5 in his absolutely psychotic ladder match with Blackout's Joker (who himself is now serving in the US military over in Iraq).

The oddest thing is that this match wasn't even supposed to happen in the way that it did; as it was originally scheduled as a tag team bout, involving Deranged and Azriael, who were working the Jersey All Pro Wrestling show in Rahway, NJ, then come down to Philadelphia for CZW.

But in an almost unprecedented moment for those who know CZW... the show was actually running ahead of schedule. As a result, Deranged and Azriael were not yet at the building. Another version of the story had the two calling the building, telling CZW they were just leaving...and were told not to bother, because they'd never make it in time.

In any event, this forced the promotion to go ahead with a singles ladder match, which turned out to be the best thing that could have happened, as it made two stars for CZW in one night with Cash and The Joker nearly stealing the entire show.

Psycho spots in this match included Cash bulldogging Joker while his head was inside a rung of a ladder off the ropes onto a chair, a top rope superplex onto a ladder stuck at a 45 degree angle into the rungs of another ladder; ending with what may have been single most psychotic spot I've ever seen in my 11 years of shows at the ECW Arena, as Joker hit an version of NWA-Wildside Slim J's "Anger Management" (similar to a tiger driver from an electric chair position) off the top of a high ladder with Cash through a table for the pin.

Cash also main evented Cage of Death 6/War Games, as part of the babyface Team Ca$h (Nate Webb, Sexxy Eddy, Cash, JC Bailey) against heel team Blackout (Ruckus, Sabian, Kingston, and Jack Evans. As usual, the match featured the psychotic daredevil spots for which Cash was known throughout his all-too-short career; including dumping Jack Evans via backdrop off the COD to the floor, and giving Sabian a Cashflow off of the scaffold through four tables, landing in the second row of the ECW Arena.

All I could think when I heard the news was: God...Chris was easily young enough to be my son.

Sons aren't supposed to die before the parents...or their contemporaries.

Bauman's funeral will be held tomorrow, August 23, 2005, with a viewing from 9:00AM to 12:00 noon at Gloucester County Community Church, 359 Chapel Heights Road, Washington Township, NJ. All are welcome to to attend and pay their respects at the viewing.

Until next time....


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