Fighting

PRO WRESTLING: Meet ECW originals Justin Credible, Shane Douglas, Joel Gertner, Raven, Rhino, more at War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale

Ronin Pro Wrestling brings an ECW feel to the War Memorial Auditorium, ECW’s old stomping grounds, on Saturday, Dec. 6 in Fort Lauderdale.
Ronin Pro Wrestling brings an ECW feel to the War Memorial Auditorium, ECW’s old stomping grounds, on Saturday, Dec. 6 in Fort Lauderdale. Photo Courtesy Ronin Pro Wrestling

The Triple Threat is one of the greatest factions in pro wrestling history which probably doesn’t get the kudos it deserves because it starred on a smaller scale in the original Extreme Championship Wrestling.

ECW with its edgy, hardcore, in your face, pro wrestling style changed the face of the business, making hardcore fashionable in WCW and WWE while inspiring WCW’s nWo and WWE’s Attitude Era.

The Triple Threat featured Chris Candido, a skilled smaller wrestler and amusing character; Bam Bam Bigelow, a tough, tattooed agile big man; and The Franchise Shane Douglas, the wrestler, the mouthpiece and the quarterback of ECW, with Francine, the prom queen of the company by his side.

Paul Heyman, the coach of ECW, ran the show, giving everyone a chance to shine and welcoming and using their input/suggestions.

Featuring a diversified talent base, including those who did not make it in other places, ECW became the land of misfit toys, but it built quite a following in the Northeast. Even the music, meshing its unique style with metal, punk, rap and hard rock, worked. Its success extended into Florida, running shows in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, a haven for Northeastern transplants.

And what better place for a pro wrestling company, like ECW, to invade than the War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale. The company and the venue was a match made in Heaven, well, %$#@.

Fans packed the War Memorial Auditorium to see their favorites like Rob Van Dam, The Franchise Shane Douglas, Sabu, Francine, Taz, Tommy Dreamer, Bill Alfonso, Beulah, Raven, Al Snow with Head, Joel Gertner, The Dudley Boys, The Gangstas, Rhino, Mikey Whipwreck, Justin Credible, The Full Blooded Italians with Little Guido, Sandman, Spike Dudley, Stevie Richards, Dawn Marie, the Angry Amish Roadkill and Dastardly Danny Doring, Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten, Mike Awesome, Simon Diamond, Lance Storm, Perry Saturn and John Kronus, the Public Enemy, Masato Tanaka and Terry Funk. Joey Styles the voice.

ECW is no more, but its memory lives, especially with those in South Florida who first watched on the Sunshine Network and attended shows at the War Memorial Auditorium. Frying pans allowed.

Well, fans can pack the War Memorial Auditorium again to see some of their ECW favorites like Justin Credible, Raven, Rhino, Joel Gertner and Shane Douglas when the new Ronin Pro Wrestling, www.roninprowrestling.com, brings its hard hitting, high-flying action to The War Memorial Auditorium for the organization’s Fort Lauderdale debut on Saturday, Dec. 6.

This will be Ronin Pro Wrestling’s third live event, following two over the top shows at the Miami Airport Convention Center. During September and November, many superstars, legends and talent have been announced for the Fort Lauderdale show like the ECW originals as well as Booker T, Bobby Lashley, Alex Chamberlain, Crazy Mary Dobson, Donovan, Jesse Sorensen, Mad Man Pondo, Edward Malken, Leva Bates, Romeo Roselli, Mikaze, Shawn Prime and more.

Douglas, 50, was in town on Thursday to help promote the show.

He recalled those trips to Fort Lauderdale for ECW shows at the War Memorial Auditorium. Good memories. Good times.

Douglas always looked forward to doing media for ECW shows in Fort Lauderdale, because that meant he would arrive a few days before the show. Who wouldn’t look forward to that? The fun, the sun, a vacation hot spot.

The Triple Threat actually got their Triple Threat tattoos together in Fort Lauderdale during one of those ECW tours. Douglas often stayed at the Intracoastal Marriott. Unbeknownst to him, his high school friend, Don Herr, was the general manager of that hotel. Checking in with Francine one time, he glanced at Doug, and Doug looked at him, because they hadn’t seen each other in a while...let the reminiscing begin. A surprise reunion.

The last time Douglas stood in the ring at the War Memorial Auditorium, he was holding the ECW title, after winning the belt in a triple threat match with Sabu and Terry Funk. It marked his second of three title reigns.

A smart man, Douglas offers a wealth of professional wrestling information and knowledge. From Douglas and Jeff Jarrett and D-Lo Brown and Al Snow and Bubba Ray Dudley and Simon Diamond and Tommy Dreamer and pro wrestling figures like Jim Ross, you can learn a lot about the business.

Trained by Dominic DeNucci, Douglas has wrestled for every major promotion (ECW, NWA, TNA, WCW, WWE), worked behind the scenes in some.

You have a question, he will answer, and whether you agree or disagree, he puts experience and thought behind it.

A full day of events planned on Dec. 6 at the War Memorial Auditorium, starting with a FanFest from 4-7 p.m., followed by a main show with bell time 7:30 p.m.

All talent booked for the event will participate in the FanFest (signing autographs and posing for photos). There will be exclusive wrestling matches during FanFest. Joel Gertner will serve as host, announcer and the voice of Ronin.

Matches include:

Donovan vs. Bobby Lashley.

Rhino vs. Alex Chamberlain vs. Romeo Roselli

Edward Malken vs. Shane Douglas

Leva Bates vs. Crazy Mary Dobson

Justin Credible vs. Mad Man Pondo vs. Jude Mackenzie vs. Milo Beasley

Mikaze vs. Mr. 450

The Savages vs. Maxx Stardom and Dash Maverick

Shawn Prime vs. Jonny Vandal

T.E.C.H. (TC Read and Mike Monroe) with Jim Sherbert vs. The Fanboys (Jaison Moore and Shane Swyft)

Oliver Cain and Jesse Sorensen vs. Joey Bricco and Swole Buff Swellington

Ronin Pro Wrestling is brought to you by the team behind Florida Supercon, www.floridasupercon.com, Magic CIty Comic Con, www.magiccitycomiccon.com, and Animate! Miami, www.animatemiami.com, which includes their Florida Super Championship Wrestling events, www.facebook.com/FSCWrestling.

Florida Supercon, Magic City Comic Con and Animate! Miami are the three largest comic-con type events in South Florida, with more than 43,000 individuals in attendance for Florida Supercon 2014. For the past five years, the organizers have presented Florida Super Championship Wrestling events at their conventions and partner events, with more than 30 wrestling cards booked.

The War Memorial Auditorium is a historic venue for wrestling, having hosted promotions such as ECW, NWA, MLW, ROH, dating to the 1960s.

Tickets for Ronin Pro Wrestling are available on Ticketmaster and The War Memorial Auditorium box office.

The War Memorial Auditorium is at 800 NE 8th St, Fort Lauderdale, 33304.

For complete information visit www.roninprowrestling.com

Twitter @RONINpw

Twitter @TheFranchiseSD

PRO WRESTLING ON THE WEB

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/fighting/

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