Monday, September 20, 2010

TAG CLASSIC Notes, Salute to Jim Kettner, Worcester Debut

NECW's 2nd Annual TAG TEAM CLASSIC was a great event, in my not-so-humble opinion and really delivered a ton of action and excitement for the money. 

The Logan Brothers made an auspicious return to NECW. "The Talent" T.J. Richter and Mr. Mini-Roe found themselves in the unexpected position of being the fan favoriotes in their opening round match with the G3 Network.  The Red Devil Fight Team looked great in their journey to the finals for the 2nd time in a row.  Even undercard teams like "H2O" Rayan Waters and Matt Magnum, stepped up their game to where they performed as well as any team in the tournament.  Da Hoodz turned a lot of heads in winning the Classic, even if they didn't win the NECW Tag Team Championship at the end of the night.

The TAG TEAM CLASSIC is a great device to put the spotlight on tag team wrestling, which is often an afterthought on the independent scene.  It's also interesting to see talent from outside the regular roster (a la another signature NECW event for singles competition, the IRON 8 Championship).  It gives our fans something new and different on a card and that something promoters have done for decades to keep things fresh.

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What a lot of promoters will not admit is that the "tournament concept" was really the invention of the greatest independent promoter in American pro wrestling, the recently retired, Jim Kettner of the ECWA (East Coast Wrestling Association) who had been promoting shows since 1967.  Jim's ECWA introduced the annual Super 8 Tournament, which became "THE" event of the year for independent wrestling.  Kettner would bring in the top independent talent from around the country and put them in a one night, single elimination tournament.  People would come from far and wide to see it, and it still gets coverage every year in the national wrestling magazines.

Jim Kettner also holds the distinction of being one the nicest and classiest men in our business.  His retirement is a remider that nothing is forever, but the legacy of what he built will continue under new owenership.  I personally learned a great deal from Jim - much of that from a distance - but if NECW is thought of as a promotion in the same league with Jim Kettner's ECWA, it's because I tried to follow much of his example.

I wish my friend Jim Kettner the very best and I will always be grateful for what he's given our business.

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This Saturday night, NECW is presenting a very special event, making our debut in Worcester, MA at the Central Community YMCA.  It's a benefit for TEAM FOX, which is the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. 

NECW Triple Crown Champion, "The Real Deal" Brandon Locke takes on former WWE Tag Team Champion and Worcester native, Kenny Doane (the former Kenny Dykstra), plus 2 more title matches and much more, including a huge raffle of great memorabilia donated by WWE and Florida Championship Wrestling, as well as gift cards from from some great local merchants.

There will be a special after party as well, where you can get up close and personal with the stars after the show.

Click on over to for all the details, including how to order tickets.

I expect a great crowd and a great night of action and I hope you will see fit to join us.  These are the kinds of events where NECW often shines the brightest.  I hope to see you in Worcester this Saturday night.

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Sheldon's DVD Picks:

If you were a fan of wrestling in the 80's, most likely you saw World Class Championship Wrestling out of Dallas, TX.  WCCW and the Von Erichs revolutionized pro wrestling and took their company to dizzying heights only to suffer tragic fall after tragic fall.  It's a fascinating story and one no true student of the business shouldn't study.

There are two great DVD's available on the subject.  Heroes of World Class, produced and directed by Brian Harrison with the help of Kevin Von Erich priror to the sale of the World Class tape library to WWE, is a haunting and powerful epic.  All the great angles and clips are here, along with very unique insights from Gary Hart, Skandar Akbar and others.  The commercial edition is two discs and has some great extras on disc two.

WWE's version is called The Triumph & Tragedy of World Class Championship Wrestling.  Equally powerful in its own way.  The WWE version has comments from Michael Hayes, Jimmy Garvin and Buddy Roberts that Heroes lacks.  This is also a 2 disc set, with disc 2 containing a lot of memorable matches from the early years, as well as the heyday of the Dallas promotion.

Much like WWE's Rise & Fall of ECW and the independentlky produced Forever Hardcore DVD's.  Each one compliments the other and both are worth going out of your way to add to your library.

I can also highly recommend the auto biography of Gary Hart, which I beleive is out of print, but you may be lucky enough to get a copy on or eBay.

This is the best wrestling book I've ever read, bar none.  Hart takes you through his life with keen insight and no stone left unturned.

Hart was the booker for much of the heyday of WCCW and his take on that period is even more detailed in the book than it is on either the Heroes of World Class or Triumph and Tragedy DVD's.

I can also recomend the Gary Hart Guest Booker DVD from, which contains even more great insight and historical perspective.

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