There’s an old adage that says “all good things come to an end.”
There’s another that talks about going out on top.
Both of these can basically describe the end of 2CW.
For those who wonder what 2CW is, it stands for Squared Circle Wrestling, an independent wrestling federation based in Syracuse, New York.
Some of my regular readers know that I’m a wrestling fan. I’ve blogged about it before. There’s a lot to the world of professional wrestling — from the story telling to the athleticism, to the crowd and the personalities.
It truly is one heck of a fun atmosphere.
For those of you who might be reading this one and are thinking down on the world of professional wrestling, you might not want to read much further. This post is about celebrating one of the finest federations I’ve ever witnessed.
Finding 2CW for me was almost accidental.
In 2010, I wanted to find something different to take photos of and I had always been a fan of wrestling. A brief online search took me to a calendar of independent wrestling events and the closest was in Binghamton.
And it was 2CW.
Two of us went to the event that night. We sat about five rows back and enjoyed the night. Former ECW/WWE star Raven was on the card. We saw some amazing talent and moves. The end of the night featured somebody getting power bombed through a flaming table — which happened close enough to me so I could snap one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken.
I was hooked.
I hit a couple of other indy shows for photo purposes before getting back to 2CW. Every show I went to became better.
And then there’s my “2CW story.”
In February 2011, my position at the newspaper I was working at was cut. For the first time in my life, I was laid off and was on the job hunt. Of course, this happened in the middle of the recession, which meant finding a new job wasn’t easy. In fact, it took me 2 1/2 years to land on my feet.
But during that time, I didn’t do a lot of “entertainment things.” Spending money on that wasn’t always the brightest move. But I needed some entertainment, and 2CW was it for me. I went to many shows over that time and it allowed me to escape reality, if even for just a small window.
That’s the thing about professional wrestling. The days of kayfabe (selling it all as “real) have been long over. People know the truth about it. But to think these guys aren’t amazing athletes who can tell incredible stories … well, then you just don’t know the world of pro wrestling.
Here’s my thing when I go to an event. I know the truth. I know how things work. But for the 2-4 hours I am there, make me believe. I want to believe in the show. What’s happening. How it’s happening. Bring me into the show and make me totally lose reality.
2CW does that.
I’m an old-school wrestling fan. I cheer for the good guys. I boo the bad guys. Good over evil is always the way to go for me. There’s a few “heels” I’ll cheer for, but for the most part, I’m a fan of the “baby faces,” even though I’ll always appreciate that good heel.
I’ve had the chance to see many up-and-comers, such as Brodie Lee (now Luke Harper in WWE), Claudio Castagnoli (now Cesaro), PAC (now Neville), and Kevin Steen (now Kevin Owens). I’ve had the chance to see some amazing athletes like Eddie Edwards. There’s been some great performers like Samoa Joe. How about some of the greats like Hacksaw Jim Duggan or Terry Funk (and there’s been more that I’ve missed!).
But the talent that is grown “on the farm,” so to speak, is just as awesome. Or guys who compete in the northeast and make 2CW their home. Some of the ones I’ve been able to really enjoy over the years include people like Sean Carr, Slyck Wagner Brown, Kevin Graham, Brute Van Slyke and Jay Freddie, to name a few.
I can get behind the 2CW faces. And the heels are great. And they bring in a good mix of big-name talent and those well-known on the indy scene.
But, as I noted above, all good things come to an end.
Recently, 2CW management announced the federation would be closing the doors, but not before three final shows at the hot spots — Watertown (Nov. 29), Binghamton (Dec. 17), and Syracuse (Dec. 20).
The group is going out on its own terms — and doing it in a way that only 2CW could do.
Pre-sales for the final shows were strong.
The names being brought in — to be mixed with their own guys — are incredible. Fans are talking. This is going to be big.
But why close? Why leave?
The group posted this on Facebook:
2CW Statement :
A few weeks ago I got together with some of the crew in 2CW to talk bluntly about the feelings I’ve been having regarding 2CW running its course and that we should end it now while we have a chance to do it on our own terms. When we began talking, it became fairly obvious that the other guys feelings, while not all exactly the same, were similar in many ways – most meaningful was that we love and respect 2CW and the 2CW audience too much to idly stand by and allow it to drag on pass the point of health and vibrancy.
At meetings end, we realized that after ten years together we were faced with a tremendous opportunity to graciously step away, united in our feeling of gratitude. 2cw ?#?2sets on Sunday, December 20th, in Syracuse will be our final show. We are thrilled and proud that our final show can be held at the Pastime Athletic Club, where 2CW began about ten years ago. We are also immensely excited about the shows in Binghamton and Watertown. These will be our final three shows together. 2CW is done. It’s been an incredible journey. We thank everyone over the years for all the love and support that you have shown us.
& The 2cw Crew
2CW leaves its mark
On Dec. 20, as the final card comes to an end, many will discuss the legacy of 2CW, which has lasted more than 100 cards and has been a mainstay for a decade.
It’s legacy is one of quality. As far as I’ve seen, the federation has never screwed its fans or put on crap shows. It’s all been top-notch, so it will be sad to see them shut the doors.
In the indy wrestling world, the fans spoke loud by naming them the independent federation of the year for three straight years and voting one of the matches three times. This was on an “insider” website, who also reported the news of the closing recently (though, to be fair, it was almost condescending with how it reported some of the news, specifically by saying “The promotion has always had good reviews on their shows and had a pretty vibrant core fan base that went nuts during our Year-End Awards to insure their matches and events were well represented.”)
But, we don’t need to worry about things like that — instead, we focus on what we know — that 2CW is an amazing experience with fans who are loyal and passionate.
The fans who came out to support the federation knows just how good things are at a 2CW show. The fans who go time and time again know. Those who support the group know.
Honestly, that’s what matters.
Three shows. That’s all that remains. Names are being announced. Matches are being announced (though 2CW isn’t announcing any matches for the final card — fully a surprise, which is pretty damn cool).
Front row is sold out for the final event. Tickets are selling for all three shows. If you want to see this group, make sure you get to one of these shows!
Over the five or so years I’ve followed 2CW, I’ve had the chance to make some friends. I’ve talked to many people about all of this and I’m honestly happy for them to be able to make this decision and do it without any regrets and go out on top. Not many people get the chance to make that decision.
Three shows and then it’s done.
But 2CW’s legacy as one of the finest independent federations will live on through the fans who had the chance to experience what 2CW was all about.
Note: Over the course of the next couple of months, I’ll probably have a few more posts about my experiences with 2CW and having the chance to watch so many cool things.
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!