AS I SEE IT 10/22: Remembering a NWA celebration 20 years ago, and helping at the holidays

Oct 23, 2018 - by Bob Magee

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets


For the sake of my sanity, I’m going to take a one week break from commenting on the highly profitable WWE PR dumpster fire, otherwise known as Crown Jewel.

Last night saw the NWA’s 70th anniversary celebration with two title changes, including the big one, as Nick Aldis regained the NWA Title from Cody (Rhodes) and Willie Mack defeated Sam Shaw to win the NWA National title.

But my mind goes back to 20 years ago in my very home, Cherry Hill, NJ as the NWA celebrated their 50th anniversary. Looking back at the names who were then still with us makes me feel even older than I already do on cold autumn mornings like this.

The NWA 50th Anniversary Celebration Weekend kicked off with a Fan Convention on Saturday morning that Saturday morning. I enjoyed the Conventon and the informal parts of the Weekend, meeting Gordon Solie (and being reminded by him that I look something like old Southern wrestler Buck Robley), Lou Thesz, and Danny Hodge for the first time. Anyone who reads this blog who has no idea who Danny Hodge really was…your homework assignment is to do some serious searching and reading over the next week.

Honored and/or appearing at that Fan Convention were Jim Cornette, Abdullah the Butcher, Missy Hyatt, Stevie Richards, Tod Gordon, former National Heavyweight Champion Doug Gilbert, Harley Race, Killer Kowalski, and Classy Freddie Blassie, Barry Windham and Tully Blanchard, current NWA World Heavyweight Champion Dan “the Beast” Severn, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, and the 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle. Wonder what happened to him?

Former PWBTS contributor and longtime wrestling staffer Kathy Fitzpatrick had a major hand in that Convention, likely spending hundreds of hours helping put it together.

There was also a annual Cauliflower Alley Club East Coast event with honorees “Classy” Freddie Blassie; Dory Funk Jr.; Danny Hodge; Harley Race; Gordon Solie; and Lou Thesz. Jim Ross and Kevin Kelly were there to present awards.

Then, the NWA 50th Anniversary Show with names like then NWA Champion Dan Severn Steven Regal, Barry Windham and Tully Blanchard, Reno Riggins, Steven Dunn, The Headbangers, Steve Corino, Rik Ratchett, Stevie Richards, The Pitbulls, Too Cold Scorpio, Giant Silva, Andrew Martin, “Fallen Angel” Chris Daniels, Tom Pritchard, and Abdullah the Butcher .

Being a wrestling event with that many egos, at least one problem was inevitable as But Tod Gordon, who was originally part of the “Rage in the Cage” main event match at the NWA 50th Anniversary show walked out because he didn’t like the finish from Jim Cornette and others involved in booking the show. Along with The Sandman. he walked out on the event, resulting on the main event having to be re-booked on the fly.

The journeys all these names took, both in joy and sadness, are amazing to consider 20 years later.


As we turn the page to the last months of 2018, rather than engage in the yearly retail orgy known by corporate America as “The Holidays”…we remember the real reason for this time of year.

In keeping with the actual spirit of the seasons… the season of light that is Hanukkah and the season of the Christchild, the wrestling community will reach out to those in need. Independent promotions hold a wide variety of events to benefit or do collections for various food pantries, fundraisers for homeless or domestic violence shelters…and lots and lots of Toys for Tots drives, as well as events benefiting other charities.

The wrestling community will reach out to those in need with benefits or collections for various food pantries, fundraisers for homeless or domestic violence shelters…and lots and lots of Toys for Tots drives, collecting warm coats and events benefiting other charities.

Over the years, promotions in my Philadelphia/South Jersey area ranging from the family-friendly United Wrestling Coalition (FOR TWENTY YEARS) to the hardcore themed Combat Zone Wrestling (FOR FOURTEEN YEARS) to indies of various sizes and types throughout the United States and Canada run such events from October to the Holidays and beyond.

37 events have been officially announced or held so far, with others agreed to but yet to be announced:

* Tri City Wrestling presented the fourth annual Cassidy Christie Memorial Cup event on October 6 in Bay City, MI. The show benefited the Cassidy Christie Memorial Scholarship and raised $3,334…well over $1,000 more than last year.

* PWA Canada raised $2600 at their October 13 show for the Hunter Costello Memorial FUN-dation in Goderich, ON which raises funds to build an accessible playground and to defer pediatric health care costs.

* Classic Championship Wrestling returned to Camp Hill, PA on October 14 for “It’s Good To Be The Queen”. The promotion will begin its yearly toy drive in conjunction with the local Elks Lodge, with collection barrels at the Lodge through December.

* Dynamo Pro Wrestling/Glory Pro Wrestling will be part of the annual Eat and Treat event on October 19 at the Chesterfield Amphitheater in Chesterfield, MO, with Dynamo Pro Wrestling and Glory Pro Wrestling matches plus food all to benefit Maryville University’s Kids Rock Cancer.

* Supreme Wrestling presented a fundraiser on October 19 at Christ’s Way Christian Church, North Vernon, IN for Logan’s Koala Heroes, to help bring warm clothes and blankets to pediatric cancer patients at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.

* Showcase Pro Wrestling will hold food drives at its six scheduled shows from October 6 through December 15 ; in Woonsocket, RI (October 6, November 2, December 7) and Taunton, MA (October 13, November 3, December 15), collecting food for Harvest Community Church.

* Appalachian Mountain Wrestling will do their annual toy collection for the underprivileged children of Boone County at both their November 3 at Knox County Middle School, Barbourville, KY; and Miller Family Fun Center, Hazard, KY on November 10 Holiday Tour shows

* Hoosier Pro Wrestling will hold the first of their two annual Firemen’s Cheer Fund Toy Drive shows on November 3 in Columbus, IN.

* Live Pro Wrestling returns to Renfrew, ON on November 3 in a taping for Yourtv Ottawa Valley, non-perishable food and money are being collected for the Renfrew Food Bank.

* PWX Wrestling will hold Headlock 4 Hospitals on November 9 in Shelby, NC to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

* UWE Pro Wrestling presents its annual Headlock for Hunger event on November 11 at The Wex, 1320 N Mitchell St, Cadillac, MI. The event benefits local Cadillac service agency Shepherd’s Table, which cooks and serves over 35,000 meals a year. The promotion and its talent collect food for two months prior to the event for donation.

* Brew City Wrestling holds its annual Headlock on Hunger show on November 17 at the Waukesha Elks Lodge, 2301 Springdale Road, Waukesha, WI.

* All Pro Wrestling and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada will again hold Headlock on Hunger on November 17 at the Edward C Reed High School, Sparks, NV. Last year, they EXCEEDED their goal of enough collected for <b>TEN THOUSAND MEALS</b>

* AWC Wrestling will hold their annual Toys for Tots benefit on November 17 in Morganton, NC.

* NOVA Pro Wrestling will again help the Jewish Community Center of Fairfax, VA on November 23 with its FACETS Toy Collection at its “11th Dimension” show at the JCC in Fairfax, VA.

* Vancouver Island Pro Wrestling presents “Headlocks for Hunger” on November 24 for the fifth consecutive year at the Departure Bay Activity Center in Nanaimo, BC, VIPW will be collecting for the local Loaves and Fishes food bank. Fans get one raffle ticket for each food item for some awesome prizes.

* All Star Wrestling/West Virginia returns to the Madison Civic Center, 261 Washington Ave, Madison, West Virginia on Black Friday (November 23). Santa will for the second straight year, be collecting bags of toys and cash donations for The Nice List.

* Hoosier Pro Wrestling will hold the second of their two annual Firemen’s Cheer Fund Toy Drive shows on December 1 in Columbus, IN.

* United Wrestling Coalition will hold their TWENTIETH ANNUAL Toys for Tots show on December 1 in Wrightstown, NJ.

* MCW Pro Wrestling holds its annual Toys for Tots show on December 1 in Joppa, MD.

* ECWA Pro Wrestling has scheduled its annual Toys for Tots show on December 1 at Asbury United Methodist Church, New Castle, DE

* Chinlock Wrestling returns to Kingston, ON on December 1 to benefit Youth Diversion Kingston and Kingston Military Family Resource Centre.

* Ontario’s Crossfire Wrestling will hold its annual Jingle Bell Brawl on December 2. In past years these events have benefited the Niagara Children’s Foundation.

* Harley Race’s World League Wrestling will again present their December holiday show (date TBA) in Troy. MO to raise monetary donations for its local community food pantry, The Bread For Life Food Pantry, that helps those in need in their local community in Lincoln County.

* Eastern Panhandle Pro Wrestling will hold its Christmas charity event on December 7 at Middleway Volunteer Fire Company, Kearneysville, WV to benefit a local charity to be determined.

* Combat Zone Wrestling and DJ Hyde have agreed again to do the annual Toys for Tots collection (in conjunction with the Marine Corps Reserve) for the fourteenth year in a row at Combat Zone Wrestling’s Cage of Death 20, scheduled for Sunday, December 9 at the legendary 2300 (ECW) Arena)in Philadelphia, PA, as part of the Icons of Wrestling weekend on December 8-9.

* AWA New South returns to Bowling Green, KY on Saturday December 8th for a Toys for Tots toy drive event. The event will take place at the National Guard Armory located at 920 Morgantown Road. Doors for the event open at 6 PM with a 7 PM bell time. Admission is $10 for all seats. You can receive $2 off admission price if you bring a new unwrapped toy for donation.

* Championship Wrestling from Ontario presents “T’was The Fight Before Christmas” on December 9 at The Rockpile in Toronto, ON. Non-perishable foods are being collected for Toronto’s Daily Bread Food bank.

* UWE Pro Wrestling and Santas Helping Hands come together on December 15 at The Wex, 1320 N Mitchell St, Cadillac, MI to collect gifts for the underprivileged kids in town. All seating only $5. Bring a gift for someone less fortunate.

* Ring of Honor Wrestling will be holding a Toys for Tots collection at its December 15 Final Battle Fallout TV taping at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Bell time is 6:00 pm.

* Pro Wrestling All-Stars of Detroit and Metro Pro Wrestling will present Christmas Combat on December 15 at Hero’s Hall/Victory Gym, 23156 King Rd. Part of the proceeds will benefit Hero’s Hall/Victory Gym. which works with veterans dealing with PTSD.

* Blue Water Championship Wrestling will return to Port Huron, MI on December 29 for Headlock for Hunger, to benefit Midcity Nutrition Soup Kitchen in Port Huron, MI.

Until next time….

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