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.

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