AS I SEE IT 1/28: A fun weekend this February in Philly
AS I SEE IT
First, a thought on the continual efforts of State Athletic Commissions to sanitize wrestling for your protection. TNA was forced this past week to tape the Barbed Wire Massacre match for the February 10 Against All Odds PPV in Greenville, SC... at their TV taping in Orlando, FL (where Abyss defeated Judas Mesias in a no ropes barbed wire match).
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
The Barbed Wire Massacre match is a match that's been only held twice by TNA, and presumably would have attracted a live audience to Greenville, SC. The promotion was forced to tape the match in Orlando at Universal Studios after the South Carolina State Athletic Commission refused to allow TNA to hold the match live at the PPV...after first agreeing to allow it.
So for those of you who were planning on seeing the match live down in Greenville, SC, don't blame TNA for this one. Instead, blame the South Carolina State Athletic Commission for "sanitizing wrestling for your protection". Send your thoughts to Randy Bryant, Assistant Deputy Director, South Carolina State Athletic Commission at:
PO Box 11329
Columbia, SC 29211-1329
Telephone: (803) 896-4571
Fax: (803) 896-4554
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If this wasn't enough stupid for you, in a moment that makes the TNA booking committee look like the MENSA Board of Directors; there's the pathological religious fundamentalists who said online (as reported on several US TV networks) that Heath Ledger died as a result of God being angry because he played a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain. Joining in from wrestling's past (for different reasons, presumably) was the Ultimate Warrior (you know, Jim Hellwig) who thought Ledger's child with actress Michele Williams was better off without his father, and "would recover".
Despite the delusions of the religious right...and Jim Hellwig, Heath Ledger died of some type of accidental drug overdose, and not for any other reason.
Here's a news bulletin for you all: Al Pacino isn't going to be killed by God because he played Satan in "The Devil's Advocate", or a Mafia don in "The Godfather" I, II, and III, or a drug kingpin in "Scarface". Anthony Hopkins won't be whacked by God because he played the cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Michelle Pfeiffer won't be slaughtered by God because she played the bigoted Velma Von Tussle in "Hairspray".
My fundamentalist friends, no actor has died, or ever will be "killed by God" because they play a fictional character that acts in a manner that you feel the need to express your moral objections about. The vehicles in which these performers act are called MOVIES, you stupid sons-of-bitches. Consider joining the rest of us here on planet Earth and realize that. Leave your demented bigotry for someone who gives a damn, and leave the rest of us to live our lives without you.
Now, finally, MUCH more fun stuff...
For those of you who prefer seeing wrestling live, not taped (and hopefully un-sanitized by Pennsylvania's own State Athletic Commission), and who are complaining about the state of the Big One and a Half promotions, here's news on a great opportunity to spend a weekend viewing an alternative to the Big One and a Half promotions in the Philadelphia era at the historic ECW Arena.
CHIKARA King of Trios 2008 officially begins off the seventh year of live CHIKARA events (they held a 'warm-up' event in Hellertown, PA this weekend), and will be held the weekend of February 29-March 2.
King of Trios 2008 starts Friday night, February 29th, and continuing on both Saturday, March 1st, and Sunday afternoon, March 2nd. Half of the participating teams will wrestle on Night 1, the other half on Night 2, and the survivors will clash on Night 3. All three days of the tournament will be hosted at the ECW Arena in South Philadelphia.
So far, King of Trios 2008 will feature:
The Colony (Fire Ant, Soldier Ant, and Worker Ant)
F.I.S.T. (Gran Akuma, Chuck Taylor, and Icarus)
The Golden Trio (Incoherence, and Helios)
The Order of the Neo Solar Temple (UltraMantis Black, Hydra, and Crossbones)
The BLK Out (Eddie Kingston, Sabian, and Joker)
The Fabulous Three (Mitch Ryder, Larry Sweeney, and Shayne Hawke)
ROH Grads (Shane Hagadorn, Alex Payne, and Rhett Titus)
The Soul Touchaz (Acid Jaz, Willie Richardson, and Marshe Rockett with C-Red)
Team IWS (El Generico , and Super Smash Bros.)
Team F1rst Wrestling (Arik Cannon, and The North Star Express)
Team AZW (AkuA and The Immortals)
Team IPW:UK (Martin Stone and The Kartel of Sha Samuels and Terry Frazier)
Team BSE (Super Xtremo, Kobra Kai, and La Sombra Canadienese)
The Southern Saints (Shawn Reed, Marcus O'Neil, and Chris Styles)
Tim Donst, Drew Gulak and Andy Sumner
Los Luchadores de Mexico: Lince Dorado, El Pantera, and Incognito
Team WWF (Demolition Ax, Demolition Smash, and One Man Gang)
Saturday afternoon fan conclaveSaturday afternoon will feature a fan conclave at the ECW Arena. Stay tuned for information soon to CHIKARApro.com or this website.
Travel/hotel informationAirport: If you are flying to Philadelphia for King of Trios, the airport closest to the Arena is Philadelphia International Airport, which services all major North American and European airlines.
Hotel: For those coming to the area for King of Trios weekend in need of a place to stay, we recommend the Philadelphia Airport Marriott. The hotel is connected directly to the Philadelphia International Airport, and is located just over 10 miles from the ECW Arena/New Alhambra, which makes for a short cab ride to and from King of Trios. You can call 1-800-682-4087 to make reservations and book your room. You may be able to find discounted room rates through online websites, but Marriott locations near airports rarely show much deviation from the established prices. The second floor of the hotel connects directly to Terminal B of the airport, so you do not need transportation to get there.
Transportation:As stated above, the Philadelphia Airport Marriott is located just over 10 miles from the ECW Arena, accessible via a short cab ride. You will be able to arrange a rental car, or have the Marriott front desk call you a taxi cab.
If you are staying elsewhere, call any one of the companies on this list to get a lift to the ECW Arena. Remember, the Arena is at the corner of Swanson and Ritner in South Philadelphia. For the purposes of some cab drivers who may not be familiar with the corner (see map below), you may wish to tell them to look for the Forman Mills store (a block from the ECW Arena), painted bright yellow on the outside.
Parking: The Arena has a fenced-in parking lot behind the facility. You can park there free of charge, but you will not be able to enter through the rear of the building. There is also parking around front where the main entrance and the blowing garbage is typically found. As Philadelphia is rather liberal about where people can park, don't hesitate to get creative, but we're not paying if you get a ticket. Besides, the lot around back can hold almost 200 cars, so you're better off back there.
Admission: CHIKARA tends to open the doors to the general public about 30 minutes prior to belltime. For events like this, you can expect to see a line forming even before that, even in the worst weather. Those holding an official CHIKARMY membership card will be allowed in 15 minutes prior to the "official" opening of the doors. It will be possible to buy tickets at the door the day of the event(s), at no extra charge.
Food: The Arena has a concession stand open during the shows with basic food and drink items, including pulled pork sandwiches, pretzels, soda, water, beer, and muffins.
Other restaurants within a short walk for pre-show and post-show meals include the Oregon Diner, Tony Luke's cheesesteak stand (and the Tony Luke's Beef and Beer sports bar across the street), as well as McDonald's, KFC, and Dunkin Donuts are located about 3 blocks away from the Arena on Oregon Avenue. 2 blocks NORTH of the Arena on Snyder Avenue are several restaurants, including John's Roast Pork (reported as the best pork sandwich in Philadelphia), a Boston Market, and City Pizza.
Slightly farther away on 330 West Oregon Avenue is the Empire Buffet with many Chinese, seafood (and some American) items (Note: it's my personal favorite for pre-ECW Arena dinner). There are lots of neighborhood bars, including Nickel's Tavern, a favorite for some wrestling fans, inbetween the Empire Buffet and the Arena on Oregon Avenue.
TicketsTickets are available online at the CHIKARA international online store, or at CHIKARA events.
Directions from I-95 north (New York/New England/Central New Jersey)
- Take 95 South to Exit 19 (Front Street exit)
- Make left at light (Front Street)
- Go to next light (Oregon Avenue) make right
- Go under 95 underpass and make first left (Swanson Street)
- Follow Swanson St. 3 blocks to Ritner St.
- Make left at Ritner & New Alhambra is on the corner
Directions from I-95 south (Delaware/Maryland)
- Take I-95 North to Exit 20 (Washington Avenue)
- Make right at light (Columbus Boulevard) (Staples is on the right side)
- Stay on Columbus to fourthh light which is Snyder Avenue and make right (Bank of America is on corner)
- Go to second stop sign (Swanson Street) and make left (Boston Market on corner)
- Take Swanson Street south 3 blocks to Ritner Street
- New Alhambra is on the corner of Ritner and Swanson
Directions via I-76 east (Schuykill Expressway)
- Take last exit (before Walt Whitman Bridge) exit to Packer Avenue
- At light make left (Holiday Inn across the street)
- Take Packer Avenue to end and at light (Front Street) make left
- Go to second light (Oregon Avenue) and make right
- Go under I-95 underpass and make first left (Swanson Street)
- Follow Swanson Street 3 blocks to Ritner Street
- Make left at Ritner Street
- New Alhambra is on the corner
Until next time...
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