*Former ECW World champion Shane Douglas, who will be inducted by Arena General Manager Roger Artigiani and Zac Connor. During his time working the venue, Douglas transformed himself from a former WCW mid-carder to the verbose "Franchise" of ECW and famously threw down the NWA title to create ECW's World championship and transform ECW into "Extreme Championship Wrestling." Douglas also held the ECW TV title. Douglas was scheduled to be inducted several years ago, but no showed. Expect a great speech here as Douglas will privately admit that if he could, he'd travel back in time to that ECW era, which was undoubtedly, the best era of his career.
*The Pitbulls, Gary Wolf and the late Anthony Durante, who will be inducted by their former ECW manager Jason Knight. During the early ECW era, Wolf was the TV champion until he was joined by Durante to become one of the cornerstone teams of ECW, famously feuding with The Bad Breed, The Eliminators and The Public Enemy. A legitimate broken neck for Wolf led to an incredibly heated singles run for Durante, a renowned tough guy against Shane Douglas, including an ECW TV title run. Wolf, always an underrated talker has continued to wrestle locally in the venue for a number of promotions, including 3PW. Durante passed away in 2003 and has been one of those names who worked hard and has quietly been forgotten by the passage of time among the masses, but not in South Philly. This will be a chance for those who remember to pay respect.
*The Blue Meanie (inductor unknown at press time). A local fan who grew up in the area, he was trained by Al Snow and after some time on the indies, was discovered by Raven and soon debuted in ECW as Stevie Richards' personal lackey. Richards and Meanie soon endeared themselves to fans with parodies of other wrestling stars and after being joined by Mike "Super Nova" Bucci, crystallized that into becoming one of the most popular acts in late 1996 through the summer of 1997 when the BWO was formed at the 1996 November to Remember. Designed to be just another one night parody, it turned Stevie Richards into one of the first ECW PPV main eventers. After Richards left the company, Meanie and Nova remained as an undercard team, often feuding with the FBI. Meanie would go on to have a WWF run, drop a ton of weight and return as Jasmin St. Claire's Blue Boy and after ECW shut down, promoted 3PW with St. Clair. He's remained a staple of the venue and neighborhood since, a true local folk hero. It's surprising that he isn't going in with the BWO as a trio.
*2 Cold Scorpio - One of the most gifted athletes ever in pro wrestling Scorpio was a bonafide main event player from 1994 through 1996 in ECW. He will be inducted by ECW founder and local legend Tod Gordon, one of his closest friends. His time in ECW found Scorpio holding the TV title numerous times and the Tag titles with The Sandman. Whether it was high flying brawls with Sabu or classic wrestling with Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero, Scorpio was at his career best in that promotion and venue. He worked with everyone from Taz to Sandman to Public Enemy during that run. After a WWF run, he returned and had solid matches with Rob Van Dam and Sabu and has appeared in the venue on occasion since, always having a good match. There's no doubt that from a pure wrestling standpoint, he was at one point, one of the best ever in that building.
The Wrestling with Disaster event will be preceded by a signing event at 3 PM with Jimmy Snuka, a reunion of Da Baldies - Angel and Devito, and everyone scheduled for the live card (which I am told will have at least two surprises). The live card features:
*Gary Wolf vs. Shane Douglas
*Sabu vs. Afa Jr. (Manu in WWE) vs. 2 Cold Scorpio.
*The Powers of Pain (Warlord & Barbarian) vs. Samu & Alofa
*Blue Meanie & mystery partners vs. The Monster Factory.
*Bilvis Wesley vs. Danny Doring.
*Lance Anoia vs. Cory Kastle.
For more details, visit www.WrestlingwithDisaster.com.
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