Some kids grow up wanting to main event Wrestlemania.
Tommy Fierro grew up wanting to hold his own spectacular event.
Essentially, he’s living his dream.
Fierro, a Lincoln Park, New Jersey, native who grew up in Paterson, has been a wrestling fan his whole life. And he remembers the wonders of seeing the sport live.
“I was the biggest fan growing up,” Fierro said. “My parents would take me every month to the Meadowlands Arena to see WWF. I had every magazine, figure, picture, poster and T-shirt imaginable.
“I first discovered pro wrestling in the fall of 1985. The second my eyes connected with the TV while I was sitting on my grandparents’ living room floor, I was hooked.”
Wrestling has that impact on people, and Fierro is proud the wrestling he promotes can have the same impact on kids.
On Saturday, Fierro is bringing Independent Superstars of Pro Wrestling to Wildwood Convention Hall. It’s the first time since 2019 the building will host wrestling and it’s a night Fierro is looking forward to. It’s also a night that will make him nostalgic.
“This area is a hotbed for not only professional wrestling but more importantly independent wrestling,” Fierro said, referring to wrestling that isn’t one of the major organizations. “My only gripe about that is the oversaturation of events in New Jersey and the lack of quality events being presented. For example, the average wrestling fan doesn’t know the difference between (a generic wrestling promotion) and ISPW Wrestling. So when they go to (some shows), which is literally being promoted by wrestling fans that have no insight on the inner workings of the wrestling business. They get a less than lackluster show with untrained talent and guys that look like they should be sitting in the first row watching the event.
“Well those fans leave there saying, ‘I’ll just stay at home and watch WWE and AEW for free,’ so it’s an uphill battle before you even print your posters and tickets.”
That being said, this job is everything Fierro wanted to do, and he’s been doing it and doing it well since he got into it.
This summer marks 25 years since Fierro ran weekly shows in Wildwood. Those shows were loaded with star names, coupled with some of the up-and-coming stars who grew into household names in the sport.
This weekend, it’s back to 1998!
“In the summer of 1998 and 1999, I lived in Wildwood and promoted weekly events at the Wildwoods Convention Center,” he said. “In the early 2000s, they knocked down the old convention center and built a new one that is triple the size. At that point, WWE took the building over and has run events there for the better part of the past two decades.
“I have been going to Wildwood on vacation since I was a kid. My family still goes every year. My daughter Emily is 7 years old and loves Wildwood even more than I do. When I was a kid, my grandmother took me to the convention center a few times when we were on vacation. I remember seeing King Kong Bundy vs. Hillbilly Jim. So every year since the new convention center has been up, I would always walk past it and imagine what it would be like to be 25 years older and wiser and run an event there.”
This show might be even better than the ones he promoted before Y2K, and ISPW has been making noise all over New Jersey for its shows.
This weekend, Wildwood is ground zero.
The main event is Scott Taylor, known as Scotty 2 Hotty, taking on Dirty Dango, who wrestled as Fandango in WWE. Another marquee match is former ECW stars colliding when Danny Morrison takes on Crowbar, who was also a former WCW tag champ.
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.
It’s a fun card, but it’s been a lot of work.
If you follow the promotion on Facebook, you’ve seen how much work Fierro has done in promoting the show. He’s hoping the show is a success for many reasons.
He wants the fans to have fun.
He wants his hard work to pay off.
And he wants to keep bringing ISPW to Wildwood.
This weekend is a great first step.
“I have been grinding very hard the past three years since wrestling has become my full-time job,” said Fierro, who is still a huge wrestling fan and has some of his favorites on the card. “I’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of really cool opportunities come my way lately and I don’t take any of them for granted.
“It makes it a dream come true. … I’m so heavily involved in it now on a daily basis that sometimes I have to remember to stop and realize why I started doing this in the first place. If you are involved in the wrestling business, chances are you were a big fan of it before being a part of it.”
He’s more than part of it. He’s running it. And he’s really looking forward to a fun night on Saturday.
“It was on the very top of my bucket list. I’m extremely excited to say that I am bringing pro wrestling back to the Wildwoods for the first time in over four years since the pandemic.”