Friday, November 23, 2012

C*4 Wrestling: FIVE (Saturday, November 24th, 2013)

Assuming that my drive doesn't fall through, I will be at this and I would recommend it to anyone who loves wrestling (and to many who don't.) In fact, I would go so high as to say that this is likely to be the best Quebec wrestling show this year, even if it takes place in Ottawa. 

There is a certain amount of (paternal?) pride in this. Mark got his start promoting helping Manny and I put together 3 IWS shows in Ottawa in 2005 and 2006. There was even some discussion about giving him the rights to do "IWS Ottawa" which never really went anywhere because of issues of ego and control. (Honestly, I don't even know if anyone even talked to Mark about it which shows how much of the discussion was driven by ego.) 

Mark started Capital City Championship Combat (or C*4) in the fall of 2007 and it has consistently been my favourite wrestling promotion ever since. 

This isn't because Mark books the way that I do. (Or used to, I mainly kibitz and offer suggestions these days when I am asked my opinion at all.) But when chefs eat out, they don't go to restaurants that serve exactly the same food prepared the same way as in their restaurant and the same is true for me in wrestling. 

Mark does things that I actively hate (intermissions, too many matches) and somehow makes it work better than I ever would have thought. He also tries things that I never would have thought of, surprising and delighting me with his ingenuity.

If Mark's booking style has anything in common with the IWS style, it is his trust in the ideas that the wrestlers bring to the table and his ability to take those ideas and make them work, as well as his ability to seize something that happens by accident and turning into something that really pops the crowd and the gate. (The Hacker O'Shea vs Speedball Mike Bailey feud is the best current example.)

Mark has faced adversity and challenges as a promoter that Manny and I never had to face. We never lost half our card in a snow storm and put on a show anyway. 

More importantly and tragically, we never lost a wrestler and a friend to cancer. Mark's reaction to Phrank's death and the two "Fighting With Cancer" benefits that he staged are his finest moments as a promoter, both creatively and in terms of his ability to raise money (with a great deal of help obviously.) The two benefits raised more than $24,000 without any corporate sponsorships and that is something for anyone to be proud of. 

I am personally proud of what Mark has accomplished over five years, putting together the best regular indy wrestling roster in Canada and one of the best in the world, combining great wrestlers from Ontario, Quebec and guests from everywhere else to regularly put on the best wrestling shows that anyone, anywhere is doing. 

If you can make it, you should go. 


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