AS I SEE IT 8/26: Remembering Chris

Aug 26, 2019 - by Bob Magee

AS I SEE IT
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
PWBTS.com
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Colleen Bauman reminded those on us on social media in and around the orbit of Combat Zone Wrestling, whether worker or fan… that it was 14 years ago, on August 18, 2005, that CZW wrestler Christopher “Chris Ca$h” Bauman Jr. was killed as the result of a motorcycle accident near his home. Bauman had been riding a motorcycle on Ellis Street in Glassboro, NJ when a Ford Taurus turned in front of it from Higgins Drive, with the bike striking the car on the driver’s side of a vehicle driven by Daisy Gwin of Glassboro, NJ.

Christopher J. Bauman Jr., 23, died at the scene, as did the driver of the motorcycle, his cousin 27 year old Jeremy Bauman, 27, of Franklinville, NJ. Gwin, 68, of Glassboro, died en route to Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Washington Township, NJ of what was believed to be a heart attack.

Please keep the Bauman family in your thoughts and prayers as they go through this yearly remembrance… even 14 years later.

Chris was always genuinely friendly in a way that a lot of wrestlers aren’t, but had the wild side we all had at age 23. He was a nice young man, in every sense that the phrase used to (and still should) mean; and always felt obligated to call me “Mr. Magee” when I came to a show (even when I told him he didn’t have to), would always say hello when I saw him at a CZW show and tell me he’d seen something or another on my PWBTS.com site.

Bauman worked for CZW from 2001 through 2005, with many non-CZW fans even taking notice of him at Cage of Death 5 in his absolutely psychotic ladder match with BLKOUT’s Joker (who left the promotion shortly afterwards to serve in the US military).

The oddest thing is that this match wasn’t even supposed to happen in the way that it did; as it was originally scheduled as a tag team bout, involving Deranged and Azriael, who were supposed to work the Jersey All Pro Wrestling show in Rahway, NJ, then come down to Philadelphia for Combat Zone Wrestling.

But in an almost unprecedented moment for those who know CZW… the show was actually running ahead of schedule. As a result, Deranged and Azriael were not yet at the building. Another version of the story had the two calling the building, telling CZW they were just leaving, and being told not to bother because they’d never make it in time.

In any event, this forced the promotion to go ahead with a singles ladder match, which turned out to be the best thing that could have happened, as it made two stars for CZW in one night with Ca$h and Joker nearly stealing the entire show.

Psycho spots in this match included Ca$h bulldogging Joker while his head was inside a rung of a ladder off the ropes onto a chair, a top rope superplex onto a ladder stuck at a 45 degree angle into the rungs of another ladder; ending with one of the sickest spots I’ve ever seen in my years of shows at the ECW Arena, as Joker hit his Joker Driver (tiger driver from an electric chair position) off the top of a high ladder with Ca$h through a table for the pin. If you search some, there is still a three-minute highlight video on You Tube of this match, including the spot in question.

Cash also main evented Cage of Death 6/War Games, as part of the babyface Team Ca$h (Nate Webb, Sexxy Eddy, Cash, JC Bailey) against heel team (turned babyface and heel again) BLKOUT (Ruckus, Sabian, Kingston), and Jack Evans. As usual, the match featured the daredevil spots for which Ca$h was known throughout his all-too-short career; including dumping Jack Evans via backdrop off the COD to the floor, and giving Sabian a Cashflow off of the scaffold through four tables, landing in the second row of the ECW Arena.

All I could think when I heard the news that day 14 years ago was: God…Chris was easily young enough to be my son. Sons aren’t supposed to die before their parents…or their contemporaries. At the same time, I can’t imagine Chris as a 40 or 50 year old. His spirit was too free and wild to ever have been anything but young.

So now… it’s 14 years later. Watching the memorial video done back then by CZW for Bauman on social media or You Tube still gets me choked up…even 14 years later.

As they do each year in Chris’s memory, Combat Zone Wrestling will present its annual Chris Ca$h Memorial Show on Friday, September 13 with a scheduled 8:00 pm belltime. For tickets, go to CZW’s ticketing website. Officially announced is:

Matches announced thus far:

* Chris Ca$h Memorial Ladder Match (winner to get CZW World Title shot at time of choosing)
Alex Reynolds vs. Anthony Greene vs. Jimmy Lloyd vs. the returning G-Raver

* Anthony Gagnone/Matt Tremont vs. THE REP (with Maven Bentley)

* Jordan Oliver defends his CZW Wired Title against Dan O’Hare

Other matches will be announced imminently.

Tickets are available now at http://czwrestling.eventbrite.com/

For updates on the show, check CZW social media on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CombatZone, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/officialczw, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/combatzone/?hl=en, You Tube at https://www.Youtube.com/user/CZWNews

Whatever you think of Combat Zone Wrestling…their style…or anything else, take a moment to come and honor Chris’s memory on September 13.

Until next time….

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