‘Are you not en­ter­tained?’

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @Tif­fIndyNews

Mary­land Cham­pi­onship Wrestling mem­ber Bruiser greets the Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium crowd be­fore his match against The King Satur­day evening in Wal­dorf. The event was the first time the Blue Crabs sta­dium hosted a pro wrestling event, and fea­tured for­mer WWE su­per­stars Billy Gunn and X-Pac.

Last Satur­day’s Base Brawl at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium in Wal­dorf brought to­gether Mary­land Cham­pi­onship Wrestling fans from across the East Coast — the first such gath­er­ing in MCW his­tory.

Wrestling fans waited in line to meet WWE Hall of Famer Ron Sim­mons and for­mer WWE su­per­stars and tag team cham­pi­ons X-PAC and Billy Gunn be­fore the MCW matches be­gan at 8 p.m. Sean “X-PAC” Walt­man par­tic­i­pated in nu­mer­ous cham­pi­onships in sev­eral wrestling pro­mo­tions and was also part of “The Kliq,” one of the most in­flu­en­tial wrestling groups in the 1990s. Gunn is an 11-time tag team cham­pion with three dif­fer­ent part­ners, and was a mem­ber of leg­endary groups in­clud­ing “D-Gen­er­a­tion X” and the “New Age Out­laws.”

“MCW puts on an awe­some show and we get to the meet and give back to all of these fans,” Gunn said. “We’ve been do­ing this for so long and now by do­ing these smaller shows, the peo­ple get to come and see you and shake your hand and ask ques­tions about the At­ti­tude Era [in WWE].”

“We’ve been on the road for 25 years now and life is good,” said X-Pac. “We’re a lot more ap­proach­able and more laid­back. We’re artists and some are self-serv­ing but for me, my art, I like to be what the peo­ple like. It’s 100 per­cent about them.”

Ron Sim­mons de­scribed his ex­pe­ri­ence at the MCW event in Wal­dorf as hum­bling, say­ing it helped him rem­i­nisce about sig­nif­i­cant mo­ments in his own ca­reer — such as be­ing the first African-Amer­i­can WWE World Heavy­weight Cham­pion.

“I’ve been in the in­dus­try for 30 years and when I first started, some of the le­gends would come back and not only give me in-ring lessons but also lessons about how to carry my­self out­side of the ring,” Sim­mons said. “I said I’m never go­ing to for­get what they taught me. I’m gen­er­ous to the peo­ple who make you and put you where you are in any sport. This is re­ally good for me now to come out and see some of the pic­tures that some of them have from them be­ing a child, and now they’re adults pass­ing it onto their kids. You can’t ask for a bet­ter com­pli­ment than that.”

In a press re­lease, South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs Gen­eral Man­ager Court­ney Knichel said, “The mas­ter plan for our fa­cil­ity has al­ways been to bring in all kinds of en­ter­tain­ment for the peo­ple of South­ern Mary­land and be ground zero for fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment in this re­gion. Pro­fes­sional wrestling has been a sta­ple in Amer­i­can cul­ture since the early days of tele­vi­sion. The clas­sic bat­tles of the good guys ver­sus the bad guys just never seem to go out of style with wrestling fans. Peo­ple just want to cheer for their he­roes and boo for the vil­lain.”

Jonathon Werner, 10, a stu­dent at Mal­colm Ele­men­tary School in Wal­dorf, said it was his first time see­ing Ron Sim­mons, Billy Gunn and X-Pac in per­son dur­ing the meet and greet. Though he was ner­vous about meet­ing them, Werner couldn’t con­tain his ex­cite­ment at their visit.

“This is the first wrestling event that we’ve been to in this area so it’s great to see these fa­mous wrestlers in per­son and watch the matches up close and per­sonal,” said Michael Werner, his fa­ther, also of Wal­dorf. “It’s much bet­ter than a payper-view and I’m glad they brought it closer to home this time.”

Stand­out matches in­cluded Bruiser vs. King McBride “The King” MCW heavy­weight Cham­pion (win­ner); Dirty Money vs. Ken Dixon’s MCW Rage TV Ti­tle (win­ner); and Rayo (win­ner) vs. Jeremiah the Prophet. Rayo jumped off the top rope to fin­ish off The Prophet with a big splash and The Prophet walked away, hang­ing his head in de­feat.

Sev­eral new wrestlers made their MCW de­but last Satur­day in­clud­ing the new tag team, Rock ‘N Bowl, as well as J.P. Cal­la­han’s new­est ac­qui­si­tion, Cousin Clay, whose hill­billy per­sona gave the fans a few stom­ach-hold­ing laughs through­out his match with Bran­don Scott (win­ner). An­other new tag team formed by Aaron Ray and lo­cal wrestler “Q” re­ally brought the heat to their wrestling match. The pow­er­house duo had the strength but still fell to their op­po­nents, Edgardo Colon and Kaz Cameron, who lit­er­ally danced away with a vic­tory.

On Satur­day, Brit­tany Blake de­fended her MCW Women’s Cham­pi­onship ti­tle against Ma­rina. Brit­tany forced Ma­rina to tap out dur­ing a sub­mis­sion hold, ex­tend­ing her reign as the “head woman in charge” once again.

The big­gest match of the night was the fi­nal matchup be­tween the Dixon Line Se­cu­rity, Joe Keys and Rob Locke, with Ken Dixon, against De­gen­er­a­tion X, Billy Gunn and X-Pac, who are al­ways a crowd fa­vorite. Sim­mons cheered the le­gends ring­side. Chaos stirred in the ring as the Dixons played dirty with a few low blows to De­gen­er­a­tion X, but they were no match against the long­time ex­pe­ri­ence of orig­i­nal show­stop­pers Gunn, X-Pac and Sim­mons. In the end, the le­gends walked away with the win.

Gunn said he hopes new wrestlers un­der­stand they are there to en­ter­tain the crowd, have as much fun as pos­si­ble do­ing their jobs and make sure they take ad­van­tage of ev­ery mo­ment they have in the wrestling in­dus­try — just as he, Sim­mons and Walt­man have done.

Ac­cord­ing to MCW, June 18 will be re­mem­bered as the fi­nal event un­der the ban­ner “Mary­land Cham­pi­onship Wrestling.” The com­pany has now launched its new ti­tle: “MCW Pro Wrestling.” On July 16, MCW Pro Wrestling launches the 16th an­nual Sham­rock Cup at the MCW Arena in Joppa, fea­tur­ing a meet-and-greet with WWE Hall of Famer Sting.

STAFF PHOTO BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

King McBride, also know as “The King,” de­liv­ered his fin­ish­ing move to Bruiser in or­der to re­tain the MCW Heavy­weight Cham­pi­onship at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium.

STAFF PHOTOS BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

Last Satur­day, Jonathon Werner, 10, a stu­dent at Mal­colm Ele­men­tary School in Wal­dorf and his dad Michael Werner met Ron Sim­mons, Billy Gunn and X-Pac in per­son dur­ing the meet and greet at Re­gency Fur­ni­ture Sta­dium.

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