Despite what many may think about professional wrestling — and it’s been called many things over the year — there is real emotion that comes out of it.
Whether you look at it as something corny or top-notch entertainment, those who perform have a lot vested in what they do. No matter if it’s in the WWE or smaller independents, there are times when the emotion can truly fly.
See, in some federations — such as lower independents and such — championships are just shiny belts. In others, they can truly mean a lot. If you are a top champion in WWE, for example, you’re likely a drawing power, which equals more money. In the independents, it can often be the same thing.
But when you work for a top organization and earn a championship — especially your first with said company — fans often get to see raw emotion. No matter what this sport is and how it’s run, it’s still shows what somebody means to a company when there are championships are involved.
In all the years I’ve watched wrestling, I’ve been enamored with championship titles. The look, the meaning and everything in between. I’ve understood why in the older days, wrestlers such as Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan held titles for so many years — because they drew people. In the more current day, people like John Cena — whether you like him or hate him — are top dogs because they draw people and sell a ton of merchandise.
But that’s at the top.
Then we hit the independents. Sometimes championships are show pieces. Heck, sometimes they aren’t even custom titles, rather replicas of old WWE or WCW titles with electrical tape covering the logo. I’m not kidding there — it happens more often than people may think.
Then there’s 2CW.
One of the top independent promotions around, the Syracuse-based federations has quite the lineage when it comes to its championships. These aren’t toy belts (they are some of the finest custom championships I’ve seen) and those who have held the titles — be it the heavyweight or tag — have been some of the finest performers out there.
This past Monday, the company held a special card in Binghamton. The spot they hold their card — the Legion Hall — is always hopping with some great fans. The card was headlined by Rob Van Dam, who has recently re-signed with WWE, taking on Sami Callihan, who also recently signed a WWE contract.
The match was a doozy, but not the match of the night.
That goes to the tag team championship match, which featured champions Kevin Graham and Punisher Van Slyke taking on Binghamton locals Sean Carr and Kage.
If you read my blog, you might remember the names Carr and Kage as they were the two I ventured with to see a pro wrestling training session.
Over the past year and a half or so, I’ve had the chance to get to know these two and watch them as they grew within the 2CW organization. They are a solid tag team, combining power (Kage) with high-flying skills (Carr). Kage has been in the profession much longer than Carr, even getting his cup of coffee with the WWE. The two have paid their dues in 2CW and they were rewarded this past Monday.
In a hardcore match that featured chairs, baking pans, ladders and whatever else, CK as they are known, had one heck of a battle with Graham and Van Slyke. I couldn’t see all the match as people were standing throughout, but what I saw was insane.
I’ve long been a fan of all four of these wrestlers as they epitomize what local independent wrestling should be all about. They can all tell a story through a match and this one was one of the best I’ve seen.
In the end, Carr and Kage had their hands raised, dethroning the two-time 2CW champions. There was emotion in the air, too, as you could see it on their faces as they had the chance to win the championships in front of more than 400 people packing the Legion Hall.
And that’s what it’s all about.
There’s something to be said about that raw emotion when one is rewarded for hard work, professionalism and everything else. Carr seemed like he fought back some of that emotion, but that lasted for only so long. The look on Kage’s face showed how important this was to his career.
So no matter how you look at the world of pro wrestling, there’s a lot of real with it and emotion is part of it. These guys put a lot of heart and soul into their profession to entertain as many people as they can and when it all pays off, it’s as real as it comes.
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