I had two or three very different ideas for this weeks blog, but then, an old friend I haven't spoken to in years hit me up and shared with me a gem he uncovered with all his newly acquired time. An old AAW wrestling event from CADES in Swarthmore.
AAW, which was short for All-American Wrestling was the name I used when I organized and ran fundraising shows for an organization called CADES (Children and Adult Disability and Education Services) in the mid to late 90's. Yes, 1990's.
At the time I was working at CADES to pay the bills, and was just starting my journey in Pro Wrestling. I had the opportunity to organize some wrestling fundraising events, and after a few successful events with my friends at LAW I decided to promote the events myself, and thus AAW was born.
|With my friend Marie|
That lead to a series of fun shows and assemblies that were both successful financially and incredibly popular with families. One of my crowning moments is when I was approached at the show by a legendary ring announcer who attended the show as a fan with his family and said how much he enjoyed the shows and was happy to have wrestling shows he could bring his family to.
|Look Ma, no mask|
Most of the wrestlers donated their time or wrestled at very discounted rates, and we were still able to bring in some great talent, guys like the Headbangers, Tom Brandi, Doink The Clown all appeared on the shows, but in the end it was the local guys, who were the most well received. The wrestlers who took the time to visit the school to promote the shows and support other events. Guys and girls who would visit the classrooms and get to know the individuals. It did so much for the individuals at CADES who loved getting visits from the wrestlers, and I feel it did wonders for the wrestlers as well
|Maverick Vs Mark Mest|
In no way were the shows a solo effort. There are some folks who were so instrumental in the events that I couldn't do it without them. Guys like Norm The Barfly, who was my right hand through it all. Mark and Troy Mest, who were in a lot of ways the backbone of the shows and a big reason we were able to do what we did. First, they were amazing villains, they were the best foils I could have. And since they own one of the best and longest running wrestling schools in the area, they always brought in young talent who were looking for a chance to work in front of crowds. And of course my usual crew of friends who went above and beyond to make the shows a lot of fun. Spallding, Frank Cody, Chris Petra, James Austin, Mike Kehner all were vital to helping to run the shows.
|A classroom visit with the rasslers!|
I really enjoyed watching the old video, catching up with an old friend and looking back at how young we were. I'm proud of the funds we raised and the good we did. I still have our little AAW championship belt in my collection too.
I added a few old pics I found from the shows I was able to dig up. Yes, those are "Pre Mask" days for the old cowboy! I hope you enjoyed the glimpse back.