Thursday, May 24, 2007

Catching Up: MIT, Mega Month, NWA & more!

I've had a crazy schedule this past couple of weeks so this is a catch up blog.

Monday, May 14, I had the honor of speaking to Sam Ford's MIT class on pro wrestling. I was accompanied by "Mad Dog" Matt Storm, "The Human Nightmare" Evan Siks and the lovely Jen, along with the never popular "Mouthpiece of the East" Sean Gorman.

We had a great time watching matches and talking about many of the business aspects of our business that are seldom discussed in a public forum. I was really impressed with the level of the questions, which is no surprise, considering we were at MIT. This class had also heard from Jim Ross and Mick Foley among others this semester. I remarked to Sam in an e-mail before the class date that these kids have most likely gotten a better education to the business than most people who are actually in it.

I want to public thank Sam Ford and his students for welcoming us and I hope it was half as much fun being there for them as it was for us.

Coming up in June is the biggest month in NECW history - a MEGA month - with 5 huge live events.

We kick it all off with Eddie Andelman's 18th annual Hot Dog Safari at the Suffolk Downs racetrack in Revere, MA. The Hot Dog Safari, for those of you who have never heard of it, is a benefit event for The Joey Fund, which battles Cystic Fibrosis. Andleman, a legendary sports radio talk host for decades in Boston, and a self-proclaimed expert on hot dogs, decided to put on a hot dog tasting event for charity. He got numerous companies to donate hot dogs, sausages, ice cream and other food, all available free along with entertainment and local sports and media celebrities. This day long event (gates open at 9:00 am and the event closes at 5:00 pm) will again feature a live combined event from NECW and World Women's Wrestling. I believe we will be offering a total of 16 matches throughout the day. The admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the gate and their are also VIP tickets on sale. Admission includes all the hot dogs, sausages and ice cream you can eat. You can visit for all the details.

We did this event last year and it was a phenomenal time. Everyone here at NECW is looking forward to being there and if you are at all close to the area, you should make plans to attend what is the hands down most unique charity promotion in America.

This year's Safari is being telecast live from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM on Comcast's CN8. We expect to be showing some of the great in-ring action live on that telecast.

The following Saturday, June 9th is the 4th annual IRON 8 Championship at the National Guard Armory in Brockton, MA. The IRON 8 is just a fantastic event - a true athletic experience that really defines our promotion as a sports entity. It consists of 8 great athletes who square off in an opening round of 4 singles matches. The 4 winners face each other later the same night in a 4 way 45 minute iron man match - with the man scoring the most pinfalls or submissions in 45 minutes the winner and 2007 IRON 8 Champion. Each man has to be able to last an hour and there is a great deal of strategy involved in winning the final. I am really proud of this event, because it is pro wrestling presented at its finest.

The next night, Sunday, June 10, World Women's Wrestling returns to action at Good Time Emporium in Somerville, MA. Another great WWW event is on tap with Tanya Lee defending against Amber, plus Nikki Roxx vs. Alicia, Malia Hosaka, Lexxus and much more.

On Saturday night, June 16 we return to Danvers with a TV taping and a whole host of great matches, including the first one-on-one match up between "The Human Nightmare" Evan Siks and Big Rick Fuller. We will also be hosting an opening round match in a tournament to crown a new National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Champion as Claudio Castignoli faces off against Pepper Parks, who "Mad Dog" Matt Storm tells me is a great hand from the Midwest.

On Saturday, June 30, we make a triumphant return to Quincy looking for our 7th straight sell out at the Armory. The main event will be something to behold as NECW Triple Crown Champion, D.C. Dillinger squares off against Big Rick Fuller. Talk about a Clash of the Champions! Fuller cornered me and demanded a shot against Dillinger. Frankly, he didn't have to do much convincing, because he was certainly entitled by any means you can measure. This does not mean that I approve of what he did to Evan Siks, quite the contrary. But Fuller did make a poignant case, and he gets the nod on June 30. Also on the card, another NWA World Title Tournament bout - an international extravaganza - as Fergal Devitt, the great Irish star, now a standout for New Japan Pro Wrestling, returns to NECW to face Perth, Australia's, Mikey Nicholls, a great competitor from all accounts I've seen and heard.

A lot of people are asking me questions about the tournament. Is NECW now a part of the NWA? How did this all come about?

Well, NECW at this time has no plans to join the NWA. I was approached by NWA Pro Wrestling promoter, David Marquez about hosting these matches. I consider Dave a good friend and would be happy to oblige him in any case. NWA Executive Director, Bob Trobich is also a long time friend and someone I have a great deal of respect for.

They are trying to perpetuate the tradition of the NWA in a changed universe, much like how NECW is trying to redefine the concept of the regional territory for the market conditions of today. I felt that the best way that I could do for our business is to support their efforts and collaborate with them rather than be an island unto ourselves. There has always been an open door here in NECW - a door that is open to those with the talent, creativity and dedication that real success in wrestling requires. We have provided a stage for many great talents to display their abilities. This time we are providing a stage for the tradition of the NWA to be transformed into a window into the future of this industry.

Before I started promoting wrestling, I became known to many through my appearances on A&E and other wrestling TV specials as a historian of professional wrestling. To know and share the history of this great business is wonderful. To make history is even better. NECW has been a true innovator in our business. To truly innovate, you must understand and respect tradition. We look forward to hosting these two historic bouts.

Tickets for all the June events are on sale now.


Sam Ford said...

Thanks for the kind words, Sheldon. It was a pleasure having you and some of the crew come visit, and I think your perspective was a very valuable addition to the course.

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed that I wasn't able to attend the seminar. Was it recorded and might it be available online sometime down the road?