AS I SEE IT - 9/20/2001:
The Wrestling Community Comments and
Continues to Respond
The wrestling community has commented on, and continued to respond to the events of September 11th.
Many involved online and in wrestling offered their thoughts on how the events of September 11th have affected them. Here are excerpts of just a few of these comments:
Dave Scherer, Daily Lariat, September 12th
"...For all of the horrible things that occurred yesterday though, the events also put on display for the world something that makes Americans what they are, and that is the incredible heart of the American people. It's a character trait that should make us all proud of where we live.
During the most horrific series of events this country has ever seen, the American people stood up to help their own. They went into crumbling buildings, knowingly risking their lives to help people in need. They offered their services to authorities. They stood in line at blood banks to make sure they could donate the liquid of life. People came to the aid of their brethren in their time of need, and that is exactly what being an American is all about...
...We were sent a wake up call yesterday. We were told that we need to appreciate what we have a little more than we have. When you see your loved ones, cherish them. Hug them. Kiss them. Realize how important they are to you and your life. When you get in your car and go to your job, realize how much you have. Don't take it for granted. We all have so much. We can't take it for granted because as yesterday showed, it can all be taken away in a moment."
Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer, September 12
"...Yesterday was a day like no other, in all of our lives. It's a numbing feeling, knowing that our world has changed while watching a nightmare that few or us probably ever even considered was a possibility.
To those of you who lost friends or family yesterday, my heart goes out to you... I hope everyone took a moment out yesterday to reflect and thank those who are closest to you for being close to you. There are so many people who are in our lives, loved ones, close friends, business relationships, that are there, day in and day out. Sometimes you take them for granted. We've all had our good times and our bad and are somehow linked together by a strange industry, that most of us no doubt spent very little time thinking about yesterday..."
Bill Goldberg, Goldbergbook.com
"...I was watching something when -all of a sudden- the Special Report came on, showing that the first tower at the World Trade Center had been hit by an airplane, and was on fire. I then witnessed the second tower hit live on TV, like millions of others.
I first thought it was fiction.
I thought someone, somehow was playing a trick on television because it was, and still is, too surreal. I couldn't grasp what I was seeing. I continued to watch, just hoping and praying that it was a hoax. Sadly, it was true. I was riveted to the TV on Tuesday, and have been every day since.
Even though I knew no one involved in the tragedy, a huge feeling of grief took over me. And whether you are directly effected or not, you still are directly affected ... we are all Americans.
Watching the tragedy unfold on TV, I felt helpless. This guy who is revered by people around the world as being Superman-like ...but I didn't have the ability to get up and help; I had to watch it unfold like the rest of America.
You can't even imagine what those people have been through. From the firefighters and policemen to the doctors, nurses and volunteers.
This not only is a time of great grief, it also is a time of intrusion. But, when someone comes in our backyard and does something as horrendous as this, Americans seem to rally and combine for the common goal. Right now, Americans must come together as a whole, as one.
Even though we want swift justice, everyone must understand that patience will overcome.
These are times when every American must band together and show the world that, in our unity, we do possess, as the largest Super-Power on the planet, the ability to right the wrongs that have occurred.
If there's anything I can do, I hope it becomes apparent. And soon...."
Those are thoughts from three well-known names from around wrestling.
The last story is from WrestleLine.com writer Alfonso Castillo, less known within wrestling than those above.
But his is a very personal perspective on what happened on September 11, and the need for us all to treasure the simple pleasures we're given.
"...I spent Monday night as most of us did - watching WWF RAW on TNN. As I often do, I made the trip to Times Square to catch the show at WWF New York with my fiancée Dana. After dating for six years, the last had been a very trying one for us and we had been trying to work some of the kinks out of our relationship.
We had a great night enjoying a fun show, getting pictures and autographs of Al Snow and the Tough Enough gang, and dining on some good food. I dropped off Dana late that night and as we said our good nights, Dana jokingly suggested we play hooky from work Tuesday and spend the day together. We both concluded that we'd be better off going to our respective jobs come Tuesday. For me it would mean heading out to Suffolk County to write about local primary elections.
For her it would mean researching financial documents at the Deutsche Bank building, located on Liberty Street in Manhattan, directly across the street from the World Trade Center....
...Shortly before 9:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing. On the other side of the phone was Dana, but this wasn't the usual light and airy Dana I had come to know. Her tone was high, her speech fast and frenetic.
"I'm just calling you because I don't want you to freak out," she told me, her voice trembling. "A plane just hit one of the Twin Towers, but I'm OK," she told me. Her words seemed so ridiculous, I thought I might still be asleep and dreaming. I spun over quickly in my bed and reached for my neon green TV remote and clicked on the set.
The sight was just unreal. Fire shooting out of one of the massive Twin Towers as television anchormen and women scrambled to make sense out of what had just happened....Within minutes of our conversation, I witnessed the second huge aircraft drive right through the massive adjacent tower. I tried calling Dana's job. No answer. I tried her cell phone. No answer.
I did quite the double take when the first tower collapsed. I thought the camera must be positioned in a way that one of the towers was obscured. I tried to rationalize what I had just seen a million different ways. There was no way one of the Twin Towers was simply not there anymore.
I tried reaching Dana again... and again... and again. Flash, redial, flash, redial, flash, redial at a frantic pace. Then it happened. With a huge cloud of smoke, the Twin Towers were no more.
I thought back to just days earlier when I enjoyed a salsa concert in the courtyard of the World Trade Center and was probably fixated more on the awesome skyscrapers than the stage. After living in New York for 24 years, the Twin Towers still took my breath away every time I was near them...
I remembered a few years earlier waiting on a long line to get through the fairly intense security to hop on an elevator en route to the top of the World Trade Center for the first time in my life. I remember pressing my nose up against the glass and marveling at the view. Somehow, some way, the Twin Towers, which had served as a security blanket for all of New York, if not the entire country, had vanished. And it wasn't even noon yet.
But before I could even process these thoughts, I thought about Dana. I thought about her walking away from the scene, but perhaps still being within blocks of the World Trade Center as gigantic pieces of rubble crashed to the ground. And I called and I called. And I panicked and feared the worst, all the while dealing with phone calls from her friends and family who also wondered about her whereabouts. It was one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced.
More than an hour passed before Dana finally called me from a payphone at Greenwich Village and told me she was safe. The sound of her voice on the phone gave me a sense of relief I have never before felt, and hope I will never be in a position to feel again...It would be several hours before Dana would finally get home. In total she consumed three bottles of water during her exhausting seven-hour hike in all over the borough of Manhattan and across the 59th Street Bridge, at the end of which she was finally able to get on a train....
This may be the first real crisis our generation has ever known, and I am taken aback by how everything else in life seems so irrelevant when contrasted against the televised images of a dark, winged silhouette colliding with one of our country's greatest symbols of freedom..."
For those of you reading this who can attend, here are promotions and wrestling-related companies that are contributing to the relief efforts in New York City this weekend:
Chaotic Wrestling will move its previously scheduled show to the Knights of Columbus Hall (due to the inability to use National Guard Armories during the national crisis) at 1 Market Street in Lawrence, MA. As a special attraction for this great cause, making his Chaotic debut will be former WWF Tag Team Champion, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake.
Chaotic Wrestling and Boston Harley-Davidson support the United Way's "September 11th Fund" this Friday night at the Lawrence Knights of Columbus.
As a result of the events of the past week, Chaotic Wrestling, its performers, and its sponsor, Boston Harley-Davidson are also making contributions to the "September 11th Fund" by:
* Asking all attendees to bring $5.00 donations to the "United Way September 11th Fund." In return for their donation, fans will receive a FREE Chaotic Wrestling T-shirt.
* Donating a portion of ticket sales to the Fund.
* Many performers donating their evening's pay toward the fund.
Contributions will be used to respond to the urgent needs of the victims and their families, and 100% of every dollar donated will go directly to providing service to those people affected by the disaster in all parts of the United States.
Liberty All-Star Wrestling
Liberty All-Star Wrestling is continuing a the "Liberty For All" Drive. The promotion's stars will do appearances each week at LAW's different ticket locations across the Delaware Valley. In these locations, they be accept donations for 2 relief funds; the September 11th fund, and the World Trade Center Relief Fund.
The drive continues this weekend at the following locations:
Saturday, September 22nd - 1:00 pm
Ontario Street Comics
2235 Ontario Street, Philadelphia
Saturday, September 22nd - 11:00 am
L.A.W. will have more locations each weekend, so please spread the word, and come out and support in this fight to raise the much needed funds for this horrible tragedy.
Jersey All Pro Wrestling
Jersey All Pro Wrestling's previously scheduled September 21st show at the Charity Hall in Bayonne, NJ will now be a fund raiser for the American Red Cross.
All proceeds from the show will be donated to the American Red Cross to help the relief efforts in New York City. All wrestlers and workers will be donating their time to help the cause.
Admission is $12, and the Charity Hall has a small capacity, so fans looking to reserve tickets should call 1-888-478-0667 or email promoter Frank Iadevaia at FATFRKJAP1@aol.com.
Jersey All Pro Wrestling is attempting to secure a larger building in Bayonne, but at this time the show is scheduled for Charity Hall. Wrestlers on the show will be announced this weekend.
Any wrestlers who would like to donate their time and take part in the show can also contact Frank Iadevaia at FATFRKJAP1@aol.com or Buck Woodward at BuckWrestling@aol.com.
This includes actually wrestling, or just taking part in an autograph session to raise additional money for the American Red Cross.
Directions to the show:
The Charity Hall is located at 820 Broadway in Bayonne, NJ between 36th and 37th Streets.
From New Jersey Turnpike:
Take NJ Turnpike to Exit 14A. After exiting the NJ Turnpike, continue straight on to Avenue E (Do not go on to the Bridge). Continue straight ahead on Avenue E till you reach 37th Street, make a right turn on 37th Street continue down to the light at Broadway. Make a left at traffic light onto Broadway. The Charity Hall will be on your left side, between 36th and 37th Streets, next to the Quick Check.
From Staten Island and Brooklyn:
Take the Bayonne Bridge into New Jersey. Follow the numbered cross streets to 37th and 38th Streets.
From Jersey City, North Bergen and Union City:
Take the Number 10 Bus at Journal Square Get off at 37th Street and Kennedy Blvd. Cross over the street and walk four blocks to Broadway.
Combat Zone Wrestling
CZW will run its show originally scheduled for September 15th....next weekend in Smyrna, Delaware on 9/22 at the Break Away Tavern with business as usual. All matches will take place that were scheduled for the 15th, including the much anticipated main event.
CZW will hold a raffle at the show for two tickets for the 29th, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross. Minimum donations begin at $1, but feel free to contribute as much as you would like. The show will begin at 3:00 pm promptly.
Smart Mark Video
For the month of September, $1.00 from every tape that Smart Mark Video has sold will be donated to the American Red Cross Relief Fund. This comes after the terrible bombings that terrorized the entire nation on Tuesday.
We send our condolences to the entire nation, and of course to the friends and family of the victims.
Special Events Promotions of North Carolina
Special Events Promotions is offering a special tape, which will be titled "Ring Angels," will be available for sale only for a limited period. "We'll only be offering it for a brief time, We want the Red Cross to receive this money as soon as possible, so fans will have to take advantage of this opportunity quickly," Special Events declared.
This tape will consist of a never-before-seen match between two of today's most popular female wrestlers, Sweet Destiny and Brandi Collins. "Babydoll" Collins was the PGWA's 'Rookie of the Year' for 1997, and Destiny earned that honor in '99. Both women have gone on to prove themselves worthy of that distinction in the years since.
This special tape will sell for $30.00. Fans may be assured that the majority of that sum will be donated to the Red Cross; a small portion will be kept by Special Events only to cover postage and handling.
The tape will be available for sale via the company's official website at www.LadySports.com, as well as by writing to Special Events, PO Box 453 Wilkesboro, NC USA 28697. For further information on this video, please contact Special Events via either method.
Virginia Championship Wrestling
The Virginia Championship Wrestling show at Mitty's Nightclub on September 23 will now benefit the relief fund for the tragedy in New York. VCW will not make one cent from the event; all money received goes to the fund.
Tickets for the show are a $5 donation to the fund. Fans will not only get to see 90 minutes of VCW action, but will also get to see WWF Unforgiven on the big screen absolutely free. Doors open at 5:30 pm, with the wrestling starting at 6:15. The show is 18 and up, but those ages 16 to 18 will be allowed in with a parent or a guardian.
If your promotion or wrestling-related organization has similar events scheduled to benefit the New York relief effort, please forward the information to me through this link.
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com)