Friday, 28 January 2011 06:41
UWC: Toys for Tots DVD
United Wrestling Coalition
December 4th, 2010
Reviewed by Joe Babinsack
One of the great traditions of professional wrestling on all levels has been fund raising. With the WWF in the 1980’s and throughout the history of the sport, drawing fans to raise money for worthy causes has been an aspect of getting local fans to watch the talent inside the ring.
That tradition continues with the United Wrestling Coalition at the Burlington County College in southern New Jersey, as the promotion teams with the local Toys for Tots Christmas campaign. Of course, Toys for Tots is officially sponsored by the United States Marine Corps, for the benefit of children in need. More information can be found at toysfortots.org.
Obviously this is a seasonal charity, but keep them in your minds for this year’s donations.
The UWC is a “family friendly” promotion in New Jersey, filled with a talented roster and an excess of creativity. While some of the names are a bit above the expected age level of a family oriented product, there’s a decidedly traditional pro wrestling product on display at the Burlington County College gym.
Reports indicate that a thousand toys were collected, and $1400 of prizes were provided at the event. One ticket scheme was to provide five reserved seats for anyone donating a new, fully assembled bike. The promotion received 14 bicycles, including six from the family of Prentice O’Kane, who has celebrated his past three birthdays at UWC events, and is touted in an article at Philly Burbs (http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/burlington_county_times/bct_news_details/article/2465/2010/december/03/annual-wrestling-toy-drive-set-for-saturday-at-bcc.html) for asking not for birthday gifts, but for donations to the charity instead.
The event was organized by Lois Thomas, and the promotion is geared to avoid the use of profanity and weapons – thus enhancing the family appeal and eliminating the typical nonsense involved in some promotions. Ironically, I’ve been trying to screen those requests for my reviews, and I’m almost embarrassed to have pressed the request for such details….
Featured on the event was the first ever BCC Toys for Tots Championship/Battle Royal, and the main event brought the return of Reckless Youth to the squared circle, a man once called “The King of Independent Wrestling” by manager Dave Prazak. Reckless Youth was heavily involved with the formation of CHIKARA pro wrestling, tagging with Mike Quackenbush in the Black T-shirt Squad (along with Don Montoya), and reportedly co-founding the promotion that sets the highest of standards on the indy scene.
While the UWC may not be setting the highest of standards, it’s efforts and family friendly environment provide for a fun atmosphere. The cheers and screaming of not-so-reckless youths at the event are one indication. The Old School, simplified and mostly contained-in-the-ropes action is another.
With names like “The Unholy Alliance”, The Big Unit, Legion and Twiggy Ramirez, I wasn’t so sure about the family oriented part, nor with the initial images of outlandishly garish costuming, and the promos may not have been profane, but they had a decidedly heated attitude.
But in the end, it was all about having a fun time, with a worthy cause, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The opener was a six man Tag Team match, with the aforesaid Unholy Alliance taking on The Secret Society. There were announcements of the participants, and a rather interesting pair of locker-room promos filled with heat and passion, but the confusion of no announce crew and a single, mostly steady camera did pose for some limitations.
But with a one month turn-around on a DVD, that’s pretty impressive.
The opener was standard indy fare, albeit contained in the ring and with far less high spots and far more opportunity for the crowd to rally for the faces and cat-call the heels. Like I said, a fun time for all.
In what was a really interesting angle, there was a husband/wife feud that culminated after a year of bickering, between resident heel Joe Rules (how’s that for a name!) and his wife, Taylor Nicole Rules. This one could have gone crazy, especially with Lumberjack rules, but it was decidedly at the fun level.
When your wife puts you in a sidewalk slam, when you’re both in that weight class, you better call it quits!
A grudge match ensued between the demonic Legion (looking much like a cross between The One Man Gang (pre Akeem period) with the hair of Kendo Nagasaki’s Kabuki costume), and the Sgt. Slaughter-like Warhead.
This one was a bit slow, and a bit hard to follow with the girth in the ring, but again a simple styled fun match.
The UWC Tag Team titles were next defended by Blackhearted Justice as they took on The Big Unit. All four looked like standard indy wrestlers, with the latter team displaying a bookish theme, and the former team looking the most of a typical indy level tag team championship team, a little light, likely fast and with a odd sort of dress code. We started with locker room promos and then were sent to the ring for a match that, as expected, was a bit more involved than the other conflicts. Unfortunately, there’s an issue with the sound on this match, which I confirmed with the promoters. The full match, with sound, is available on YouTube.
Wow, those Tag Team Title belts are decidedly Old School!
Now, we’re ready for the Rumble style match for the first crowning of athe BCC Toys for Tots Championship. Lots of guys that aren’t easy to identify don’t make for an easy-to-follow match, but there’s plenty of action and lots of, well, fun involved, including the babyface grabbing a Santa Claus hat to clean up the Convict dressed heels (yes, looking like Kevin Nailz, but I’ll avoid any family-unfriendly remarks to maintain the promotion’s theme.)
Nifty set of promos to introduce the three-way for the UWC Championship. Tom Carter referencing the need to channel Reckless Youth, accompanied by Joe Rules in the locker Room. Biggie Biggs, looking like a Florida (Ft. Lauderdale T-shirt) Trucker character, talking about a need to make decisions. And then a manager type declaring the end of someone’s road in the UWC, obviously representing Twiggy Ramirez.
Nice in-ring promo by the Reckles Youth. Funny how the big time doesn’t know how to do it, but the long time indy star can rile up the crowd just with words and an attitude.
Nice, slow-moving approach to the main event, and boy are Biggie Biggs’s pants, well, big. Again, this is a trucker guy, not a rap star, and Twiggy Ramirez isn’t the tall, ghoulish member of the industrial music band Marilyn Manson, but the local babyface who sports a moose hat and wears the championship belt.
Wow, Reckless Youth’s back must be good, otherwise attempting some form of a lungblower and a senton on Biggie Biggs was just insane, but then he goes and gets the top spot of a tower of doom superplex! And follows things up with a shooting star press (hey, those indy ring ropes aren’t easy) that defies ring rust.
Fun stuff seeing Biggs and Ramirez trade punches, only to join up and deck Youth when he mocks them.
Nothing wrong with the get-the-crowd clapping by slapping the canvas spots and paring down the faces and heels, and doing enough run-ins to keep everyone on their toes, especially when it’s all for a good cause, even though there was more in-and-out of the ring action in the main event, seemingly, than the Rumble match!
Yet I just can’t get enough of seeing Taylor Nicole Rules slapping around her husband and pushing him back to the locker room.
And how does it end?
Hey, I want you to buy the DVD. Why would I spoil that?!? Let’s just say there’s lots of action and a nice display of sportsmanship.
Wow, that final promo by Reckless Youth, though, was priceless. “I’m not Reckless Youth anymore”.
No, Tom Carter may not be Reckless Youth at 38, but catching a glimpse of what he once was, what he had to offer, and what he can pull out of his hat after a hiatus was really the funnest part of this DVD.