My 1st WrestlePro Title Defense & Wrestling in the Dark

Wrestling in the DarkWrestling on events that are outside can be fun, but they can also be tricky dependent on weather and the time of day.

That was the case when I defended the WrestlePro Championship against Mario Bokara at the Edison Fall Family Spectacular. We were the main event of the 2nd show that started at 5:30 pm and there were some long bouts earlier in this card.

This lead to a race against time since Mother Nature will always win. It was almost 7:30 pm when our match began and the sun was already down. We had some street lights on, but we were losing light by the second.

Having proper vision is essential when wrestling and knowing from your own life experience that it takes time to adapt to seeing without light to help.

For me, it was easy to adapt once I got in the ring since you’re in a set square space and I train enough to feel where things are, like the ropes and corners. The match was just the second time the fans cheered me in almost 3-4 years, so that was another shift. But like the darkness, I will adjust and adapt.

Wrestling on Private Events Like Bachelor & Birthday Parties

Most of the time, I wrestle in events that are advertised. Some are advertised well and others are done very poorly to the point where virtually nobody knows an event is occurring that day in the town it’s in.

However, there are some events I wrestle on that are not meant for the public. In fact, they are attended by 30 or fewer people since they’re for private parties. The crowd may be small, but the reward of wrestling in front of an audience who loves wrestling so much that they’d ask for a wrestling event is big. Sometimes, doing smaller events can be more fun than larger ones since they tend to take less time while still getting experience in the ring in front of a paying audience.

My first private event was as a referee for a birthday party thrown by ECPW owner Gino Caruso for his young son. From there, I’ve done ring crew for events at camps and wrestled for people’s birthdays & during bachelor parties. Sometimes, I would wrestle twice at a given event.

There are plenty of opportunities to get a private event for yourself or a loved one for a special occasion. Or if you want to treat some kids or kids at heart to a fun time. The two companies I’ve been doing them with lately are WrestlePro (out of NJ) and Create a Pro Wrestling (out of Long Island).

Book a Private Event in NJ | Book a Private Event on LI

When My First Main Event Was Postponed Due to Weather

The postponing of tonight’s GFW vs PWS event due to inclement weather inspired this blog post. Don’t worry, the event is rescheduled for next Saturday Jan 30, 2016 with the matches starting at 8 pm & doors opening for a meet and greet at 6 pm at the Rahway Rec Center (275 East Milton Ave, Rahway NJ).

ECPW Budd Lake NJSome wrestlers don’t ever get the opportunity and privilege to ever main event a wrestling card. I’ve been honored enough to take that spot on several events I’ve been a part of.

My first main event, however, almost never happened. It was a match put on by ECPW scheduled for February 27, 2010 in Budd Lake NJ, but a snowstorm came. It wasn’t as severe as this most recent one, but it was still enough to cancel the show. Luckily, it was back on and rescheduled for a month later on March 27 for the same building.

This was also the first time I ever wrestled a former WWE superstar: Doink the Clown. No, not a fake Doink or Famous TV Clown but the real deal. I was nervous to say the least because this was (at that point) the most important match of my career & it was only my 50th match.

The 49th happened that same day, so I had to worry about 2 matches. The “Plus a 2o Man Battle Royal!” on the advertisement… I won that, but I digress.

I was a fan of Doink when I was a kid, enough that I made my father buy his T-shirt. It came full circle when I still had the shirt of Doink throwing a bucket of water in my dresser & I tore it up during my entrance that night.

It turned out better than I thought it would and it was quite the learning experience. See it for yourself.

Now Accepting Pro Wrestling Bookings: Dr. Acula

Doctor Acula

Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein

2015 was an eventful year for me for sure. One of those events was receiving a gimmick makeover by wrestling legend Raven, which I talked about briefly in a previous blog post.

And that new persona is Dr. Acula. Dr. Acula was unveiled to the pro wrestling world by former WWE, WCW and ECW legend Raven on October 24, 2015 as a part of the Monsters Island faction in Pro Wrestling Syndicate.

Dr. Acula is a vampire doctor who hypnotizes people, spits red blood mist and wrestles in a hard-hitting, powerful style. He’s a man of a few words, but gets his message across with or without them.

If you want to book pro wrestler Dr. Acula for a match and/or appearance, please email bigbencromwell@yahoo.com. Please feel free to view my résumé to see where I’ve wrestled, who I’ve wrestled and the accolades I’ve already received. You can also like Dr. Acula on Facebook.

The Devil is in the Details

Arn Anderson Pro Wrestling SeminarThis past weekend, I attended a pro wrestling seminar where I learned a lot from WWE Hall of Famer and (more importantly) current WWE road agent/producer Arn Anderson.

I’m not going to do into detail about what exactly he talked about since you could have attended the seminar and learned for yourself. It really opened my eyes about a lot of things that are being looked for when you go to a WWE tryout.

Arn Anderson even went into detail about his thoughts on certain things bigger guys do in the ring that are considered outdated, which blew my mind. A lot of small things he taught and said really opened my eyes to see the next level of understanding the wrestling business, where I need to get to.

At this point, I’m working hard on getting the nuances done pat. I want to become the best wrestler I can be. I’m working to get some more bookings (like UPWA next Saturday in Parsippany) and I know that getting more ring time in front of crowds will help me get even better.

Coming in 2016: Me on Kayfabe Commentaries’ Raven’s Restler Rescue

Raven's Restler RescueI hinted at a big change coming in one of my most recent blog posts. Now that it’s been announced with photos by the company behind it, I figured I would formally declare that I will be on Raven’s Restler Rescue.

What is that, you may ask? Kayfabe Commentaries, who plans to release this on DVD in 2016, describes it as “watch Raven swoop in, grab an indy talent, perform his makeover, and drop them back in a ring in front of a crowd!”

I won’t go into much detail about this at the moment since I don’t want to encroach on what the DVD will cover, but it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience learning from one of the Doctor Acula Ravenbest minds in the wrestling industry.

This all happened this past Saturday at the PWS event in Rahway. Want to know more? Come see me wrestle and buy the DVD!

Photos courtesy of Kayfabe Commentaries.

My 1st Wrestling Convention: Legends of the Ring 2015

Pro Wrestling ConventionIt only took me 6 years to make my way to a pro wrestling convention. I was helping out at Legends of the Ring 2015 at the PWS table this past Saturday.

I wanted to see how this aspect of the business worked since I want to start making more money out of it. And there was a plethora of opportunities and a good crowd of fans to buy their wares. It varied from lines for guys like Bob Backlund to a sad Virgil-like story in Lonely Oscar who seemed to have nobody come to his table.

We had Colt Cabana at our table all day (except when he left to record a podcast) and 2 other wrestling personalities in the morning (Kevin Matthews & Vampiro) & 2 in the afternoon (Brian Myers & Vince Russo). It was interesting to see the lengths fans would travel (2 came from Ottawa to meet Vampiro) and the type of people browse & buy.

There was even 1 fan who I couldn’t place at first until he said his name & I remembered him instantly as being an incompetent coworker back when I was in the deli department on Long Island 8 years ago.

Speaking of people I knew, a tag team I know called the Fallen Angels were in attendance recording episodes of their Blind Tag Podcast at the event. I had to work the table & meet with some people about an upcoming project I’m taking part in, so I wasn’t able to be a part of it. Hopefully we can do it one day.

That wraps up my 1st pro wrestling convention experience.

Teaching a Wolfman Proper Wrestling Etiquette

I’ve run into many idiots in my time in pro wrestling, but there’s one unique case of a “student” at the ECPW Training Center who is known as the Wolfman. You know something’s a little off by a guy who sends money orders for $2.37 to pay for wrestling training and trains for literally 10-15 minutes in a jock strap before exiting the building just as mysteriously as he came.

Since I was one of the only people consistently setting up the ring & arena at shows, it was nice to have a little help. That’s when the Wolfman stepped in. He was told to help me number chairs since someone thought of the bright idea to number the seats. Not my department.

Cowboy Bob Orton JrAs the Wolfman is helping me, the student of the game asked me who was wrestling tonight. I told him that as a trainee (or whatever he is) that he should always know what’s scheduled for a show his school’s federation was putting on.

One of the featured names on the card was Bob Orton Jr. When talking about the Cowboy, the Wolfman asked me point blank, “how can he still wrestle? He’s so old!” I shook my head in disbelief and told him that he should never call any wrestler old.

Especially since Orton looked younger than the Wolfman, who had to be in his 50s.

But I digress. You never know who is listening to your conversation and what impact that’ll have on your career. In a shocking development, the Wolfman came once in a while for 10-15 minutes over the period of a couple of years. And he never came to another show again.

Please comment or tweet me @BigBenCromwell & tell me about some idiots you’ve encountered in the wrestling business!

What’s New Since My Site’s Been Down

You haven’t heard from me in a while because my site’s been down. I was forced to switch hosts and that process took a long time. But, that’s not why you’re here.

It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve been able to do anything on my site. Just in time for sending out my resume and matches to companies in an effort to get more matches. I’ll get to that more later since I want to go in chronological order.

PWS Parade of Champions

PWS Parade of Champions: 3/28/2015

I was going to write a preview blog post about this event, but my site went down before that. This was a huge event since it was the first one that used purely PWS homegrown talent. It was also the first PWS event that my friends from high school attended.

It was a great success since about 1,000 people, if not more, came down to see the matches. I thought it was an excellent event overall with a lot of standout performances. My high school friends agreed & want to come see another PWS event in the near future.

Tragic Passings

A wrestler who I knew from a while back at ECPW, Robert “Spike” Norton, passed away in a car accident. I wrote about my memories of him here.

Steve Rickard, the prominent figure associated with wrestling in New Zealand, also passed away on April 5. I’ve never seen him, but I’ve read all about him in books and articles. You can read more about him here.

Right Coast Pro 2015 Hall of FameMy Right Coast Pro Debut: 4/11/2015

I’ve been reaching out to a few select companies that I want to wrestle for. On Saturday night, I had my first match at Right Coast Pro, or RCP, in Newark DE. As you can tell from the photo on the right, I wrestled in a handicap match with Ruby Rubino against Ryan “Adrenaline” Rush.

I enjoyed myself at the RCP 2015 Hall of Fame event where the Chick Magnets were inducted by surprise guest Jim Kettner of ECWA fame. I remember reading all about ECWA and the Super 8 in Pro Wrestling Illustrated & always curious about the goings on of the tournament.

I’m glad I was able to meet him, along with the rest of the RCP roster & management who were all professional. The Hall of Fame speeches by each Chick Magnet really made me think about my own career and where I want to go from here.

I also had some fun on the road with some of my good wrestling friends & made some new ones as well. Shenanigans were aplenty between the Waffle House, laugh-out-loud stories about an infamous wrestling promoter and a certain wrestler who couldn’t hold it in.

That Time a Former WWE Superstar Almost Broke My Car

I’m going to start writing about some of the happenings I encounter on the road, whether I’m going to and from an event or doing something related to an event I’m on or during training.

Such was the case of this story when I went to pick up former WWE superstar Trent Barreta from the airport the day of an event. Trent?, as he’s called sometimes, flew in and there was some terminal confusion. The phone service was also lousy at the airport, which did not help especially since there was a 2nd person I had to pick up whose flight was delayed.

After driving around, parking and making sure I found him, we talked while waiting for her to land and deboard. We then decided to do laps around the passenger pickup areas so we didn’t have to remain parked. Trent? somehow dropped his phone into the little crack between the center console and my seat.

Not his seat of course. He wanted his phone back (I don’t blame him) and went to reach for it. In the process, he somehow knocked my car out of drive and into neutral. Of course, this results in my car slowing down inexplicably (until I saw I was in neutral) and all of my car’s instrument panel lights went on.

I thought my car was going to die, adding to the stress of the afternoon already. Fortunately, I just had to turn the car off and on again in the middle of the highway & everything worked just fine. That happening makes me smile even now since it actually took all the stress away knowing that we could get to the building.

We wound up having the move the seat up and use a pen to push the phone out once we got to the venue. Everything worked out in the end.

Please give Trent? a follow on Twitter @trentylocks (he’s a good guy) and feel free to follow me on Twitter @BigBenCromwell as well!