Wildwood trips sure have changed for Danny Morrison.
Morrison, the former champion in Extreme Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment star, first wrestled at his favorite shore point when he was with ECW.
But he was coming to the town long before that.
“I have a lot of history and a lot of wrestling history in Wildwood,” said Morrison, who went by Danny Doring during his days in ECW. “My first vacation with my mother was in Wildwood. I spent prom weekend in Wildwood, then me and the guys I hung out with would do a Wildwood trip until we were about 30. I would get off the plane from ECW and go right to Wildwood.
“There’s a lot of weird history that relates to wrestling in Wildwood. My first tag team match with my longtime tag team partner (Roadkill) was in Wildwood, and my first independent match was in Wildwood. It was against Jerry (Tuite, known as The Wall) and Ken Shamrock was the special guest referee. I always love wrestling in Wildwood.”
While Morrison has been busy wrestling all over the East Coast, he hasn’t wrestled in Wildwood in a few decades. In fact, nobody has since the pandemic.
World Wrestling Entertainment hasn’t returned to the Wildwood Boardwalk since 2019, and no other promotions had run Convention Hall since. That changes Aug. 26 when Independent Superstars of Pro Wrestling comes to the boardwalk for the Saturday night card.
Morrison’s got his work cut out for him, he’ll battle former ECW star and WCW tag team champion Crowbar (Devon Storm) in a match that could very well steal the show.
The main event is Scott Taylor, known as Scotty 2 Hotty, taking on Dirty Dango, who wrestled as Fandango in WWE.
Also appearing will be Brian Myers, who was Curt Hawkins in WWE, Sandman, Maven, Brian Kendrick and Gillberg. The card, which starts at 7:30, features three men’s title matches, a cage match and a women’s championship match.
While Morrison’s match isn’t for a championship, it’s one of the most anticipated matches for fans. Also for the wrestler.
“It’s a big, very big deal to me, it’s the first time in that convention center since they rebuilt it,” said Morrison, referring to Wildwood relocating its convention center from the west side of the boardwalk to the east side. “In WWE, I wasn’t on the Wildwood show, so it’ll be the first time since 2003. First time in a long time. I did one show on the beach, one or two shows, but I haven’t been in the convention center since the old convention center.”
It’s not just special to him. It’s also special to promoter Tommy Fierro.
“It’s special because it’s me and Tommy, and when he started (promoting wrestling), we bonded over talking about the Wildwood shows and how cool it’ll be to run there.
“It was like a dream, like talking about being a shortstop for the Yankees or the quarterback for the Cowboys. It’s as cool as my first ever wrestling pay per view and the first time I wrestled in Madison Square Garden. A lot of excitement and it’s just special. Very special night for me and Tommy.”
Wrestling has been a huge part of Morrison’s life since he attended the House of Hardcore, which was ECW’s training program.
Prior to that, he was a star football player growing up, at John F. Kennedy High School in Iselin, New Jersey. He also played semi-pro, before giving up the sport to focus on his professional wrestling training.
“I hurt my knee, took a year off, then did four years of semi-pro football,” Morrison said. “Instead of trying out for the Arena league, I went on the road for ECW. It was a nice run, but wrestling was my future.”
Now, he’s loving life, keeping his toe in both waters.
On top of being a professional wrestler, Morrison is coaching football. He previously coached high school ball, but now he’s working with his son’s team.
“I swore I would be a bleacher dad, I wanted no part of it,” Morrison said. “They needed an assistant, we’re six or seven years in now, but it’s been a blessing. I reunited with a high school teammate (Brian Meeney), he got hired at a local high school, we coached for years. I would be there, then rush from one football field to another. I’d get home in time just to shower, eat and do it all over again.
“Unfortunately my friend passed away. It was very difficult. My son was close to him. I think it helped him get into the X’s and O’s. Now he’s a coach on the field. I credit my friend Brian for that.
“Now I’m with the youth league, but I’m the vice president of football, so I handle the operations of the whole organization. It’s a lot and it’s all volunteer. It’s a full-time job on top of a full-time job, but I love it.”
Work and football are going well, but now he’s ready for a nice vacation with his family.
Trips to Wildwood are different now. Instead of his boys, he’s going down the shore with his wife Mia, son Hayden, 12, and twin girls, Kylie and Evaleigh, 9.
They’ll be there for the wrestling. But they’re going for Wildwood.
“My two daughters, one gets upset when daddy is getting beaten up and I think the other one is happy when daddy’s getting beaten up,” Morrison said. “They’ll be there. I would be castrated if I took a trip to Wildwood and didn’t bring them. Maybe worse.
“And my son is friends with all the guys, he knows everyone. Him and Crowbar’s son are bff’s. Bull James is on the show, he’s my daughter’s godfather, my family is hyped.”
Even if he has to beat up Crowbar.
Morrison and his opponent are very good friends. In fact, they recently took their families to Disney. That doesn’t mean he’ll take it easy on his buddy.
“We just went on vacation, stayed at Disney World, same two levels, but we are also favorite opponents. We lay into each other. It’s a special weirdness, when you’re friends and have a deep admiration for each other, you hit them a little harder.”
Expect a big night.
A big night for fans, ISPW and Morrison.
“I don’t know what the convention center fits, but it could be the biggest crowd that ISPW had, which makes it a special show,” he said. “And if you fill it, the wrestlers will be even more pumped up. Ultimately a better project. It’s better than anything you’ll see Monday night. Hopefully we’ll knock ’em dead and they’ll want us back.”
For tickets, visit ispwwrestling.com.