‘Are you not entertained?’
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.
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.
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.