When the doors opened at Camp Mitchell, young boys, men and ladies of all ages anxiously entered the building for an evening of new excitement in Craig County.
On Saturday, August 25, Club Camp Mitchell (CCM) hosted a live wrestling event, with six matches of some of the biggest names known in its league.
The matches consisted of: Karl and Kayden Phoenix vs. Jim Love and Jeff Flower, Thunderfoot vs. Ken Steel, Bruiser Graham and Aubrey Wright vs. Josh Valen and Lance Striker, Bobby Yela vs. Scott Lee and Ivan Ali vs. J.P.J. The elimination match featured Project Annihilation and Robbie Cruz vs. Spud Wade and Crash Cassidy. Ed Maxey, Jr. with The International Wrestling Coalition hosted the event.
Robin Nobles, Chairperson and co-founder of CCM, said she was excited to bring wrestling back to Craig County. “I hope people really enjoy this event,” she noted. “If they do, we will bring them back again.”
Maxey shared that he was more than happy to help CCM to raise funds for the kids. “This is a part of what I like to do, and this is our first time here but won’t be our last,” he said.
Books, masks, DVDs, T-shirts and many other items from each wrestler were available for purchase. Kids wore their masks and pretended to be wrestlers while adults seemed to be just as excited as well.
As soon as Maxey, the Director and emcee of the International Wrestling Coalition, started announcing the first contenders, yells, claps and even a few cheerful hollers began reverberating in the auditorium.
The security guards were then positioned, and the referees took their place in the ring.
The audience was more than ready for the first match between Karl and Kayden Phoenix vs. Jim Love and Jeff Flower. Many stood up immediately when they were called and chanted their names throughout the match.
As the match progressed, Jim Love stomped his feet while simultaneously clapping his hands, getting the crowd more excited. As one had another’s arm in a backward hold, he yelled, “Do you want me to break it?” An elderly lady yelled back, “Yeah, break it!”
Luckily, nothing was broken and the matches continued.
The wrestlers gave great shows by conversing with the crowd, jumping up on the ring ropes and messing with the referees every chance they got. Some even tried to double-team their single opponent as the referee was busy trying to get the opposite team wrestler out of the ring.
Some attendees weren’t fond of Bruiser Graham, so they repeatedly chanted, “Loser Graham.” Despite that, Graham gave them a show to remember as his opponent gave him a tough match.
As the matches progressed, so did the intensity of the evening, until Spud Wade and Crash Cassidy hit the ring.
Kids and adults alike were pumped to see both athletes compete against each other. Chants for each rang throughout the building, in addition to yells of strong encouragement, echoed in the ears of the wrestlers as they roughly brought their opponents down.
After it was over, attendees seemed excited that they got to experience so much excitement for under $10.
“We couldn’t believe they only charged that much,” one man said. “We’d have to pay $60 easy in Roanoke for something like this. It was great because I was able to afford to bring my whole family.”
After the matches were over, Will and Jadeon Huffman were among the many attendees to pose with one their favorite wrestlers, Crash Cassidy.
“The International Wrestling Coalition was honored to raise money for Club Camp Mitchell,” Maxey said. “Thank you fans for a great evening of family fun entertainment and we look forward to seeing the wrestling fans again.”
Later he sent a message to Nobles that he booked Craig County for another match on November 17. “I wanted it to be clear of all the holidays so as many people could attend as possible,” Maxey said.
Nobles added that she was very grateful to Maxey and the Coalition for their kindness and support. “Thank you to everyone,” she said. “It was a great turn out and lots of fun and we hope to see you at the next one, so tell a friend.”