If you’re a wrestling fan and live in the vicinity of Philadelphia, you should be at the 2300 Arena tonight for WildKat Wrestling.
The NBA FInals aren’t on, the Phillies are on the West Coast so you’ll be home in time for them and who wants to see the Washington Captials play hockey?
Instead, you could watch a great card of wrestling slated for the former ECW Arena.
The main event is a match that has been building for nearly 20 years when Luke Hawx takes on his nemesis Shane Douglas in a dog collar match.
Douglas is a legendary figure, especially in Philadelphia where he was dubbed “The Franchise” of ECW. Hawx, the owner of WildKat, has been brutally attacking Douglas during interviews for more than 15 years.
The most interesting thing tonight could be to see who the fans side with in the grudge match. Douglas could get a lot of respect from the Philly crowd because of the years he gave to them in ECW, but Hawx epitomizes Philly wrestling.
Hawx might be from New Orleans, but he became a star in Philadelphia in the early 2000s. He then returned during the short-lived Extreme Rising, where he had great matches with Stevie Richards and Matt Hardy.
Hawx also became a man of the fans when he openly called for refunds for the fans when some struggled to get their money back after Extreme Rising canceled shows.
Hawx should also be loved in Philly because each year, he brings WildKat to Philadelphia for blockbuster shows. Last year, his show at the 2300 Arena was a success, and every fan there left happy.
Hawx is a wrestling promoter and he wants his shows to be a financial success, but even more so, he wants fans to leave happy. It’s why he stacks his cards with as much talent as possible.
While Hawx and Douglas will be the main event, there are plenty of matches on the 10-bout card (plus preshow matches) that look to be show stealers.
One is a three-way dance between Matt Tremont, Danny Flamingo and another ECW legend, Sabu. Flamingo is a star for WildKat, while the other two are hardcore warriors. Tremont, who runs H2O Wrestling in South Jersey, has become one of the most hardcore wrestlers in the world. Last summer, Onita, the Japanese legend, wrestled Tremont in an exploding barb wire match.
He might be the future of hardcore, but Sabu is probably the best-known hardcore wrestler in the world. It will be interesting to see these two battle it out, but they better not ignore Flamingo, who could steal this match.
A Philly wrestler could also end the night with the WildKat heavyweight championship when Blk Jeez gets his chance to win the belt from J Spade, the current champ. Jeez has the experience, but Spade has been tearing it up for WildKat since winning the title and he probably doesn’t want to head south without it.
The man who Spade beat for the title, Stevie Richards returns to the 2300 Arena tonight. He will battle WildKat’s Edgrin Stone. Last year Richards, who has starred in ECW, WCW, WWE and TNA, defeated Hawx in the main event of the show and since then has been one of the most consistent wrestlers in the promotion. The cat lover is returning to his hometown and he doesn’t come back to lose. He should receive a hero’s welcome in the match because he’s probably the most consistent performer among all of the ECW originals, and gives the same effort he did when he was fighting for a spot in that building 25 years ago.
And the match I’m most looking forward to is Rory Gulak against P.J. Hawx. I’m a huge high school wrestling fan and both of these guys were stars at that level. Gulak is the brother of WWE star Drew Gulak, and he too has done it all in pro wrestling. When he’s not turning out great professional matches, he’s helping groom high school wrestlers where he’s one of the best coaches on the East Coast. His opponent is the son of Luke Hawx, but P.J. is carving out his own name. He graduated high school last year, where he was one of the top wrestlers in the state of Louisiana, but now he’s becoming one of the hottest young stars in pro wrestling. Neither one of these guys is going to want to lose. Gulak, who went to Northeast High School, will have his fans in the building he’s wrestling in many times, but P.J. is making his debut in the vaunted arena. Expect a classic.
Also appearing will be stars like Dann Maff and former WCW and ECW star Crowbar.
It’s hard not to get excited about the card when you talk to Hawx, because he truly loves bringing his baby to Philadelphia. He stacks the card because he wants “his guys” to wrestle in front of the hardcore Philly fans. He truly believes in his product and his guys do everything to make his faith in them valid.
Hawx is your typical pro wrestler in that he loves to gloat, but unlike many, he doesn’t gloat about his abilities. He instead talks about the greatness and the hard work of his wrestlers. He only books guys who can perform at a high level, and he brings his shows to Philly because he respects the lineage of Philadelphia wrestling. Philly fans can be harsh critics and he knows that. He doesn’t want his guys to go easy. He expects greatness every show, not just from his guys but from himself as well.
Tonight’s show will be fun. It will be entertaining and it will be memorable.
If you want to see the stars of ECW return to their building, you’ll see that.
If you want to see the stars of tomorrow before they’re on TV, you’ll see that.
And if you want to see the stars of today, stars who have made WildKat wrestling destination events in New Orleans, you’ll see that.
Tickets are available at the door, and you’ll get 12 matches with your ticket.
Hard to beat that.