Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On December 15th, ECCW runs on CABANARAMMA time!

On December 15th, at the Sapperton Pensioners Hall (318 Keary Street, New Westminster, BC 8pm Bell Time Doors Open at 7:30pm) get ready to experience ECCW history!

Have you ever had a dream?  An aspiration?  A passion?  Have you ever had an undying love for something that would drive you to the ends of the earth, literally and figuratively, to satiate your hunger for more?   If so, then you understand Independent Wrestling.  And if you understand Independent Wrestling, then you know Colt Cabana.

As a fan and student of pro wrestling for the past 25 years, I’ve seen a lot of things.  As a fan of ECCW for the past 13 years, I’ve gotten to witness a lot of incredible moments that the rest of the world missed out on.  There is an intangible rhythm and heart beat that permeates the world of Indie Wrestling.  There is a connection that us fans get to make with the wrestlers 5 feet in front of us that the big TV Sports Entertainment companies completely ignore.  It’s an unforgettable high.  It’s an addiction.  It’s the purest form of The Art Of Wrestling.  I’m sorry…  Did I not mention The Art of Wrestling and Colt Cabana in the same sentence?  That’s not a mistake I shall make twice.

Cabana grew up a wrestling fan in Chicago.  His motivation for playing football in high school and college was simple.  He had heard countless stats recited by Jim Ross on WWF/E programming regarding their Superstars.  I mean, if the Hip Hop Hippo’s helmet size is important enough to be stated on national television, I can understand the logic that football might open a door into the world of wrestling.  Colt graduated college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing (self-promotion being an invaluable tool for any pro wrestler to carry with them).  Post-secondary education was the last hurdle he had to jump before his parents allowed him to pursue his dream.

He signed up at the Steel Dominion wrestling school ran by Ace Steel and Danny Dominion.  It was there that he would meet someone who couldn’t have been a more polar opposite on a high school social scale.  You might have heard of him?  His name is CM Punk.  Football dudes and punks don’t generally mingle.  But if there is one thing all of us wrestling fans know, Pro Wrestling creates a undeniable bond between all of us that love and respect it.  Colt and Punk finished their training and began wrestling all over the Midwest United States, many of those matches were against each other.  As young and hungry competitors, having missed out on the old territory days, they struck out into the independent wrestling scene like a brush fire.  The goal?  To work as much as they could, anywhere they could.  That included driving through various states such as Minnesota, Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan…  to name a few.

The Cabana/Punk match became a well known attraction among promoters.  And so they racked up the miles on the open road.  IWA Midsouth became a bit of a home promotion for a time.  In a promotion predominately known for it’s ultraviolet death match style, Colt Cabana and CM Punk became this generations Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko, putting on wrestling classics to the delight of the fans.

He got his first real television exposure wrestling for Ring of Honor.  The Fight Network in Canada had picked up the show from when the network launched and soon we were getting a regular dose of Cabanaramma.  But, let’s fast forward a bit, shall we?

I was fortunate enough to have made my way to Chicago to attend Wrestlemania 22 and Raw the following night.  I have a few fond memories of that trip.  The fans at the Hall of Fame ceremony booing John Cena so loudly and with so much animalistic hate that I’m shocked there wasn’t a riot,  Edge vs Mick Foley in their WM classic,  Lita’s driver almost hitting me with her car… and the dark match before Raw on the Monday.  Now I should preface this by saying, I’ve seen a number of dark matches over the years but this one was special.  It was a tag team match.  I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head who three of the participants were but there was one that stood out.  I have never heard ANYONE in a WWE dark match get an arena full of people to chant their name.  That night, Colt Cabana did.  His charisma, his style, his Boogie Woogie Man leg jive…  WWE fans and Pro Wrestling fans are not ALWAYS the same creature.  But that night, we were ALL Colt Cabana fans.

He got a developmental deal from WWE and wrestled down in Ohio Valley Wrestling for a time.  He became a Superstar on Smackdown for a time as well (under a name I shall not utter here.  If you’re curious enough, you’ll find it) where he wrestled the likes of The Great Khali, Koslov and THE Brian Kendrick.  But, as seems to happen when art becomes corporatized, the most unique specimens slip through the cracks because they don’t fit the mold.  Colt Cabana found himself out of a job.  But, may I say… WWE’s loss has been Independent Wrestlings gain.  Cabana came home.

And what a homecoming it’s been.  He returned to Ring of Honor on HDNet to much fan fare.  He returned to the road, working wherever he could.  Oh, and have you heard of Podcasts by any chance?

Starting out as a fan of podcasts himself, Cabana decided to tackle that medium as well.  And it has been nothing less than extraordinary!  The first one was released on July 28th, 2010.  And he’s been rolling them out every Thursday since.  The list of guests is a who’s who of the wrestling world from TNA, WWE and on the Indie level.  Names like Lita, Sami Callihan, CM Punk, Mr. 18/59 Super Domino, Daphne, Bill Apter and a double shot with William Regal.  These aren’t interviews per se, they are conversations between two friends that Colt allows us to sit in on.  When I went in to the hospital to have ankle surgery at the beginning of 2011, I loaded up the first 29 podcasts on my ipod to pass the time.  I ended up spending two nights in that hospital bed and the only thing that got me through was Colt Cabana’s The Art of Wrestling podcast.  When I told him that tale on The Art of Wrestling Facebook page, he responded by telling me, if I thought about, HE was the one who healed me.  Dr. Colt Cabana indeed!  (if you’re not getting The Art of Wrestling delivered to your iTunes every thursday already, go on over to iTunes and subscribe or go to ColtMerch.com for info)

On the back of his mega successful podcast and through his sheer perseverance, grit, talent and love of pro wrestling, the former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Colt Cabana has spent the last bunch of years traveling the world wrestling in Japan, Australia, England, Puerto Rico, among other countries as well as taking on bookings all over the United States and Canada, even having a prominent spot in CM Punk’s recent DVD release.

Now he’ll be making his way here, to the Sapperton Pensioners Hall, 318 Keary Street, New Westminster, BC on December 15th adding to ECCW’s rich legacy of hosting international Pro Wrestling Stars.  We’ve had Sabu, we’ve had Tommy Dreamer, we’ve had Christopher Daniels, we’ve had Daniel Bryan (Danielson), we’ve had Davey Richards…

ECCW and Pro Wrestling fans, are you ready for Colt Cabana?  I know I’ve been waiting for this for a looooong time.  Let me hear a “BOOM! BOOM!”

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