Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More Benoit Notes and GLOBAL IMPACT This Saturday Night in Quincy, MA

Thanks for all the positive responses I've received on the Benoit tragedy. As news reports reveal more details on this situation, the darker and more heartbreaking it becomes. I watched Vince McMahon's statement that was played at the start of the ECW TV show last night and I have to say he was right on target. I applaud the WWE for their public handling of this terrible ordeal.

I made a decision yesterday not to do any sort of ten bell salute or acknowledgement at Saturday night's NECW event. As much as all of us are deeply moved by this senseless loss, I see no need to call more attention to something that has been so exposed in the media. The most important thing we can do as a company is to move on and present our fans with another great event in Quincy.

New England Championship Wrestling has a very special night of wrestling in store this Saturday night, June 30th at the National Guard Armory, 1000 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA with a 7:00 PM bell time. It's an international extravaganza called GLOBAL IMPACT.

The main event is one of the most intriguing match ups ever presented by NECW. The NECW Triple Crown Champion, D.C. Dillinger defends the title against giant-like Big Rick Fuller. Fuller was the man who cost "The Human Nightmare" Evan Siks the championship last February, when he turned on his former friend and that interference gave Dillinger the opportunity to score the pinfall on Siks and claim the Triple Crown. Fuller is now calling in his marker and will face Dillinger one-on-one for the gold.

The new NECW Television Champion, "The Real Deal" Brandon Locke was set to battle 2007 IRON 8 Champion, "Die Hard" Eddie Edwards in his first title defense. However, Locke is out of action with a severe virus and Edwards has issued an open challenge for Saturday night's event. Who will step up and challenge the 2007 IRON 8 Champion and NECW Tag Team Champion?

In another first round match in the NWA World Heavyweight Championship Tournament, Ireland's Fergal Devitt makes a triumphant return to New England Championship Wrestling. Devitt has risen to become one of the world's top competitors since NECW fans saw him some 18 months ago in our ring. The former NWA British Commonwealth Champion faces the pride of West Perth, Australia in Mikey Nicholls. Nicholls, who is the top star for NWA Australia, has also appeared for New Japan and has trained at the Inoki Dojo in California. This is a rare opportunity to see two of the world's best head-to-head as they try to win the legendary "ten pounds of gold."

In other bouts, Big Max Bauer takes on "Straight Edge" Brian Fury as Fury continues his campaign to win a title shot against D.C. Dillinger. Bauer has been known to accept bribes from Sean Gorman to run interference on Brian Fury to keep him from getting to D.C. Dillinger. Can Fury chop down the big man?

"The Golden Greek" Alex Arion continues his battle against the faction known as DNA as he faces "Sensational" Scott Reed with T.J. Richter and Max Bauer in his corner. This is a heated feud and Alex Arion has held his own against DNA.

Former NECW Triple Crown champion, "The Human Nightmare" Evan Siks takes on Handsome Johnny. Siks is still looking to resolve his issues with Rick Fuller and The Handsome One, who is a force to be reckoned with, could be the spoiler who send Siks' gameplan off course.

In a special 6 man tag team grudge match, 2D Edge and Triplelicious collide with The Canadian Superstars and Scott Osbourne. Is Osbourne finally taking on Brian Cairo as his manager? Cairo has been courting the up and comer for months now. This is one to watch.

All this, plus a World Women's Wrestling feature match pitting WWW Champion Tanya Lee with manager Sean Gorman in her corner against Lexxus in a non-title match. In order to counteract the antics of Sean Gorman, Lexxus has received permission to have former WWW Champion, Nikki Roxx in her corner as her manager for the evening.

Advance tickets are available at all FYE & Strawberries locations, K.C.'s Sports Cards, 3 Temple Street in Quincy Center and online at

I hope you will join us to enjoy a great evening of professional wrestling.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Making Sense of the Senseless

I have been sitting at my desk today trying to wrap my head around the Benoit family tragedy. No one can make sense out of this senseless turn of events, and yet we all have a need for answers at a time like this.

I don't have a personal connection to Chris Benoit. We met once, briefly, backstage at a WCW event in Boston. We didn't even speak long enough to form any mutual personal impressions. Like most of you, I knew Chris Benoit by reputation - and what a sterling reputation it was until the past 24 hours.

A shower of facts and innuendo have cascaded over TV, radio and the Internet about exactly what happened. Fans are shocked. The industry is reeling.

One thing is certain to me. Anyone who blames WWE or the wrestling business in general is flat out wrong. While Vince McMahon may be guilty of bad taste and poor timing, he is innocent of anything else in this matter. Some media outlets are citing steroids and the condition known as "roid rage" as a possible cause of this tragedy and are trying to implicate the business of pro wrestling in the process. This is just the media's thirst for easy answers in a time and place and circumstance that is anything but easy.

Wrestling has always been a brotherhood with complex contradictions. When tragedy befalls one of our number, we are saddened, stunned and grieving. But the show must go on, because this is our life. And if that sounds callous or unfeeling, you are someone who has never made the sacrifice required to be a part of this thing we call professional wrestling. Those who have understand completely.

The best thing we can do to honor the memory of Chris Benoit, the wrestler and for his contributions to our business, and the brothers and sisters in wrestling that he left behind, is to let the show go on. As for Chris Benoit the man, that is someone that apparently we didn't know. God will judge him now. I pray for him, his wife and innocent child, and his family and friends.

Friday, June 22, 2007

McMahon Death Angle & Effects on Indy Wrestling

The one question I've been asked more than any other in recent days is my opinion on the McMahon death angle currently going on in WWE and what effect, if any, it will have on independent wrestling.

Ever since I started promoting wrestling, I've tried to make it a point not to publicly criticize other companies. I am going to make an exception here, because this is one time that a very important line has been crossed by WWE.

What makes pro wrestling unique is that while we present a form of entertainment with a dash of fiction, our participants are real to our fans. Many work under their real names and their in ring personas are simply exaggerations of their own personalities. What makes wrestling really work is creating the credible combination of action and emotion that makes you care enough to buy a ticket and keep coming back to watch.

The staged death of Vince McMahon is a story with no payoff. It has played with the very real emotions of its most loyal fans and they have been made to feel like fools for it. It is not good business for the company and its shareholders.

Does this effect the independent wrestling scene? Everything WWE does has some effect. For the average person, WWE is pro wrestling. Everything else that calls itself that will always be compared to it. This is certainly not going to bring our business more respect. In fact, it makes the job of a company like ours more difficult, because we have to live down the negative stigma that this kind of bad taste creates.

The silver lining to this cloud is that perhaps this underscores the idea that choice is good and if you live wrestling, but hate WWE's version of it, seek out the alternatives - whether it be TNA, ROH, NECW or something else. Wrestling does not begin and end with WWE.

Friday, June 15, 2007

RIP Sherri Martel, Special Return Tomorrow in Danvers

I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Sherri Martel this morning. Sherri was one of the greatest female wrestlers of the modern era. She was a woman who rose to the top in what was very much a man's world. It's nice to know that she lived to experience the honor of being inducted into WWE's Hall of Fame this year, because she truly deserved that distinction.

As a women who was both a great wrestler and a great manager, she is in an elite club of stars who excelled at both.

We actually tried reaching out to Sherri a few months ago about coming up to appear in WWW, but did not connect. I think Sherri would be pleased that our company, along with Shimmer, is making a real effort to open up the business for talented women.

I met Sherri on a number of occasions and she was always charming and fun to be around. We took a picture together at a Cauliflower Alley Club Banquet in Burbank, CA back in 1997 and had a chance to talk some walking from the banquet hall to the hotel itself. I will always remember that conversation because I saw in her a real good hearted person - someone you would admire for who they were and not what they did.

My deepest sympathies go out to her family and children and her many friends.

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In all the press and hype for tomorrow night's NECW event in Danvers, I neglected to mention that it also marks the one night return of one of the most important figures in NECW history.

Former WCW referee, Scott Dickinson, who actually helped me found NECW and was the promotion's first booker, will be donning the zebra stripes tomorrow night. Scott has been living in California and it will be nice to have him in the house tomorrow night.

I hope to see you there.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Gary Cassidy, Weekend Thoughts, NESN, Memo to Chris Collins

I had coffee yesterday with Gary Cassidy, who comes to us from Ireland for this year's IRON 8 Championship.

We had our first look at Gary this past Sunday at the HOT DOG SAFARI, as he managed to score a fall on "The Talent" T.J. Richter, which is no small feat. Gary made quite a positive impression on us both in and out of the ring.

Gary wrote to me earlier in the year letting me know that he was planning this trip and that he was interested in being booked. He was trained by the great Irish star, Fergal Devitt, who makes his return to NECW later this month. Fergal gave Gary his seal of approval and we booked him for this year's IRON 8.

This is Cassidy's first visit to America. His life as a wrestler in Ireland isn't an easy one. He is 5 hours away from the place he trains at. In his area, he works once or twice a month. It is purely his own effort and desire that gets him booked outside of his home area.

Few companies would take a chance on someone like Gary Cassidy, but NECW has always had an open door for talent from overseas. It's the same door the Doug Williams, Sumie Sakai and others have walked through and shined. My theory has always been that the Gary Cassidy's of
our business bring a different kind of appreciation to the locker room, as well as a different style and set of experiences. It helps the roster to grow by seeing that there is wrestling beyond our area. It is also one more thing that makes NECW stand out from other area promotions.
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Tomorrow night is the IRON 8 and the excitement is building. There has been and will be a lot of mainstream newspaper mentions of Saturday night's show and Sunday's World Women's Wrestling event, which is very gratifying on a lot of levels.

Both the IRON 8 and World Women's Wrestling are great examples of how New England Championship Wrestling is the true innovator of independent wrestling. If you are in the area and a wrestling fan, you owe it to yourself to give us a try.

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We'll be having a film crew from New England Sports Network (NESN) at tomorrow night's show filming scenes for the reality show SOX APPEAL. Antonio "The Promise" Thomas is the crew's subject and we look forward to seeing both Antonio and the NESN crew!

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I ran into Chis Collins from New England Cable News this morning. I had been on Chris' show years back before I started NECW and have been trying to get him to an event for the longest time. Chris is a good guy and one of the area's brightest sportscasters and it's nice to see him thriving in a market as tough as Boston. (Memo to Chris: NECW and WWW are a hell of a story. Hint, hint.)

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See you all tomorrow night and Sunday night !

Monday, June 04, 2007

Hot Dog Safari Notes and IRON 8 Preview

Yesterday was one of those days that makes all the hard work and sacrifice worthwhile.

NECW & World Women's Wrestling were part of a day long charity event called The Hot Dog Safari, which took place at the Suffolk Downs racetrack in East Boston, MA. This event, which benefits The Joey Fund (to battle Cystic Fibrosis), raised over $500,000, which was then matched by one of the track owners. So, in excess of $1,000,000 was generated for a very worthy cause yesterday!

Our gratitude goes out to the people responsible for this wonderful event: Eddie Andelman, the O'Donnell family, Anthony Pepe, Jo Ellen Coen, Bill McColgan and many, many others. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be part of this extraordinary event. We will always be in your corner whenever you need us.

The stars of NECW and WWW really stepped us yesterday. Everyone gave 110% and a few went way beyond the call of duty. Congratulations to Handsome Johnny who won the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest and to Nikki Roxx who actually came in second! Both took a dietary hit for the team and it is appreciated beyond words.

Most importantly, we are grateful to all the fans who came out to support this great cause and enjoyed tons of free food and drink and great NECW and WWW action. A lot of our regulars were in attendance and I was thrilled to make a lot of new friends who will hopefully become fans.

The weather may not have been the best, but that did not deter anyone. Thank you all!
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This coming Saturday night is the 4th annual IRON 8 Championship. It takes place at the National Guard Armory, 98 Montauk Road in Brockton, MA with a 7 PM bell time.

The IRON 8 is one of my favorite NECW events of the year. It is a unique twist on the 8 man tournament that has sort of become a cliche after ECWA's Super 8 started the trend. What's different about the IRON 8 is the structure of the tournament. 8 men are chosen and paired into 4 one on one match ups. The winners then go on to face each other later that night in 4 way, 45 minute iron man match, with the wrestler scoring the most pinfalls or submissions declared the winner and that year's IRON 8 champion.

The IRON 8 is a real athletic test. You have be able to go for an hour and be able to out think and out maneuver your opponents in the finals. The final is guaranteed to be a classic match up just by the nature of what it is. Add a skilled field of contestants and you have something very special.

This year's field is one of the strongest in the brief history of the tournament. "Die Hard" Eddie Edwards, last year's winner, is on his way back from Japan. Edwards is a tremendous, tremendous talent and if he can focus himself on the task at hand, could walk away with this year's trophy. "The Infamous" Bobby Fish, another strong contender, has shot up the ladder in NECW like a rocket and is one of my favorites to win it all. Jason Blade has all the tools, but his recent spate of injuries could hold him back. If Blade is healthy, he is a favorite. "Straight Edge" Brian Fury might be the man with the most desire to win, because a victory is a shortcut directly to a Triple Crown title match with D.C. Dillinger. Antonio "The Promise" Thomas was a finalist last year and, in my mind, the most underrated singles competitor in the field. "The Real Deal" Brandon Locke, fresh off a non-title pinfall victory over D.C. Dillinger this past Sunday, showed me that he is a real threat to win this year. If anyone is rapidly coming into his own in NECW, it's Locke. Handsome Johnny is the biggest competitor in the tournament and conditioning might be an issue, especially after winning Sunday's hot dog eating contest, but the Handsome One is a true talent and this will be a great showcase for him. Last, but not least, Gary Cassidy, representing NWA Ireland, made his American debut yesterday with an impressive win over "The Talent" T.J. Richter. Cassidy beating Richter is no small feat. Cassidy is young, but in great condition and very skilled and will be a great addition to the IRON 8.

More later in the week.