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Worlds Collide: Collision 1 Miami

Fighters Announced. For the first time ever: 6 Pro Boxing Matches, 6 Pro Mixed Martial Arts Matches (MMA), and beautiful Women in the same night, with World Wide Exposure via Television and Internet.

Miami, FL – A historic night of fights will be held Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007, at the Crazy Horse Saloon in Miami, FL. For the first time in history, a World Championship MMA match and World Championship Boxing match will be held in the same ring on the same night. To add to the entertainment, the beautiful Women of the Crazy Horse Saloon will host the Live Crowd and the Internet Audience.

The MMA bouts are headlined by a battle for the World Fighting Organization Heavyweight Championship between Mario Rinaldi of Fort Pierce, FL and David Oliver of Indianapolis, IN. In a special feature attraction, International MMA star Jorge Masvidal of Miami, FL battles Brant Rose of Lafayette, IN. In a pair of local grudge matches, Cruiserweights Tony Crothers takes on Brent Carraway and Todd Duffy faces off with Mark Haniger. A Women’s bout pits Jessica Aguilar of Miami, FL against Stephanie Palmer of AL. Also, Wrestling Olympic Gold Medalist, Alexis “El Monito” Vila, makes his Pro Debut.

Once the Boxing begins, undefeated Hector Sanchez of Puerto Rico (12-0, 5 KO’s) will take on Cuban star Jose Antonio Izquierdo (16-1, 13 KO’s) for the IBA Jr. Welterweight Championship. In addition, unbeaten World-rated Heavyweight Malik Scott (29-0, 10 KO’s) takes on Damien Norris (10-4-1, 7 KO’s). The Undercard features the sensational Velasquez Twins, Juan Velasquez (5-0) and Carlos Velasquez (4-0). Local boxers include Welterweight Ed Paredes (16-2, 9 KO’s), Heavyweight Kevin Burnett (9-1, 6 KO’s) and Anthony Fraguada (Pro Debut).

Worlds Collide: Collision 1 Miami is an exclusive VIP event with limited seating. VIP packages and General Admission tickets can be purchased by calling 1-877-24-FIGHT or by going to the event website: www.worldscollidefights.com. Doors open at 5 pm and the action starts at 7. The Crazy Horse Saloon is located at 17800 NE 5th Ave., Miami, FL.

Fans who cannot attend the live event can buy the Live Webcast at www.worldscollidefights.com for only $9.99.

Open letter to Vince McMahon

An Open Letter to Vince McMahon and the WWE
By $Bill

Photos Courtesy of $Bill

Vince McMahon and the W.W.E.,

I have been a dedicated fan of your brand of entertainment sinceWrestlemania 2. This recent tragedy involving Chris Benoit and his family has torn at my emotions to the point that I can no longer support you and your product unless changes are made within the industry. I was already becoming disgusted with the way the “Demise of Mr. McMahon” angle was going. It was mildly entertaining in the beginning until yourself and your so-called creative department didn’t seem to find it to be the least bit disrespectful to the memories of your fallen performers by having your current superstars pay video tribute to your “memory” as they have had to in the past for real losses of their brothers of the squared circle. You pissed on their memories and didn’t think twice about it. Just as you did when you turned Eddie Guerrero’s death into a storyline. To make your performers participate in such an angle, when they have shed real tears for REAL tragedies in the past is unforgivable. But then unfortunately, as fate would have it, another REAL tragedy took place within your organization. I believe it was Dave Scherer on pwinsider.com that wrote in his article also opposed to the “apparent death of Mr. McMahon angle” something along the lines of “heaven forbid a REAL tragedy takes place during this angle” which your television shows and website was pushing as 100% legit. I’m sure that Mr. Scherer wishes he would have been wrong as well as the millions of Chris Benoit fans all over the world. I tuned in Monday night June 25th to Raw, to see which direction you would be taking the memorial service, since rumors had suggested a comedic direction. It was then that I received the news on the deaths of Chris, Nancy, and Daniel Benoit. My heart sank and I watched the 3-hour tribute to one of the greatest in-ring performers of all time. I cried along with Chavo Guerrero and Dean Malenko especially with the memories of Eddie Guerrero’s death coming back in to view. I saw some of the most REAL emotions and statements ever come out of these wrestlers mouths. As well as some of the most insightful information about the man, Chris Benoit.

Now I am in no way, shape, or form condoning what this man apparently did. But what the mainstream media is doing is disregarding the human face that was Chris Benoit, the type of man that was Chris Benoit and not just on his final hours. Reporting allegations and rumor as fact, focusing on everything that allegedly happened, but not on the why. Steroids and “Roid Rage” are the quick and easy answers. Everyone has their suspicions that there is a major steroid problem in the W.W.E. and unfortunately one look at Gene Snitsky’s back doesn’t do much to deter those suspicions, but I can’t just sit here and think that, given the evidence on top of the type of man that Benoit was, that steroids are the only contributing factor. I think there should be more investigations and studies into not just Chris Benoit’s toxicology reports but on his brain. What could be found there that can possibly provide an answer on why he may have snapped? I think some medical professionals should also look at the effects of stress on the body and brain. I have personally been doing some research on this subject for my own health. I am a U.P.S. package car driver and consider it to be a very physical and stressful job. I learned a lot about the affects on a person by reading this independent studyhttp://www.homestead.com/PUPSInc/Univ_of_IL_study_on_UPS_Package_Car_Drivers.pdf.

I think the W.W.E. should open up their doors to a similar independent study group that’s allowed to travel along with the W.W.E. superstars for several months, with full access to the on-road lifestyle, the constant travel, time away from family and loved ones, injury after injury and having to work through it day after day. The constant pressures to be the best, look your best, and fill the most seats. Since the W.W.E. and Vince McMahon have always seemed to have a big man fetish, did that make it even harder for someone like Chris Benoit to try and fill a top spot within the organization? Did that factor drive him to push his body and mind farther than it could go? As a wrestling fan, Chris’s skills in the ring were enough for me to be a fan of his. Unfortunately, that isn’t enough for the powers that be within the W.W.E.

So add all the pressures to be a champion in a land of jacked up freaks, the constant politics and backstabbing amongst wrestlers, the travel, the injuries, etc. Then try to include some semblance of a family life, domestic issues, and a child with a disability. Being pulled in so many directions with neither side willing to bend a breaking point would be found in any man, regardless of steroids or not. In a world where all we are to our employers are production numbers and dollar signs to be used up until we are exhausted, burned out, and broken, so then the next young body can step up to take our place. Until something changes within the corporations and our own government, expect more of the same tragic situations to take place within this country.

Now here’s what I suggest that Vince McMahon and the W.W.E. do, instead of going along with the media and placing everything on Chris Benoit and labeling him a “monster”: maybe Vince should start taking more responsibility for his athletes’ welfares and hold more people accountable within his organization. Changes that I feel should be made to protect your investments (the wrestlers) would include a less taxing travel schedule for your wrestlers. Maybe just run Sunday house shows, Monday Raws, Tuesday ECW Smackdown tapings, only run Saturday house shows on weekends of a PPV just to keep the wrestlers fresh and guarantee their attendance for the big events. This way the wrestlers have more time to be home with family and take care of personal business. But most importantly treat, rest, and heal injuries, keeping them fresh and energized for T.V. and P.P.V.

I also suggest hiring more traveling medical staff and a few psychologists or counselors to be available for the wrestlers to help deal with issues including stress, burn-out, and fatigue. Maybe even assimilate natural and alternative therapy into your wellness program. Stuff like mandatory Yoga, good for the body and the mind, as well as massotherapy and reflexology.

Seriously Vince, I am tired of watching these great superstars, but more importantly these human beings, die so young and so tragically. Although we may never know the truth behind these horrific events that took place in Chris Benoit’s home, you can take the steps necessary to try and prevent future incidents within your organization and the industry as a whole and at the same time save the face of your company in the public eye and from the scrutiny still to come. As you said on Tuesday night June 26th “this evening marks the first step of the healing process”. Please don’t let those words be shallow. True healing starts from within. The WWE needs to be healed and you must be its healer, Vince, if you are truly ready. Don’t let us down Vince; this must happen now. We’ll worry about the creative department later.

Sincerely, former W.W.E. fan Bill Bailey

$Bill
odb13@domaincleveland.com

$Bill talks with MMA Fighter Bobby Friend.

$Bill recently sat down with former Cleveland Golden Glove champion and current rising star of Mixed-Martial Arts, Bobby “The Sicilian Assassin” Friend to talk about his Cleveland upbringing and upcoming fights.

Photos Courtesy of $Bill Bailey / Bobby Friend

$Bill: Alright Bobby, first of all, thanks for taking the time to sit down this me.

Bobby Friend: No problem at all bro.

$B: Why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background.

B.F.: My name is Bobby Friend; I graduated from John Hays High School. And I am a native of Cleveland, Ohio. I love my city.

$B: Now tell us what you do.

B.F.: I’m a full contact fighter.

$B: Can you give us a brief background on what it was like for you growing up in Cleveland.

B.F.: I grew up off West Blvd. Projects. Only Sicilian kid in there with a lot of Puerto Ricans, blacks and whites. I had a lot of friends. I am the ONLY 6-time Golden Glove champion consecutively, out of Cleveland, Ohio. As far as Caucasian goes, there are only 2 more. And I grew up with a bunch of great dudes and this is my home. I’m very proud of it.

$B: Cleveland is known for a lot of people who basically talk A LOT of shit. Whether it is in the music scene, the cage or just on the streets in general. We both know a few of those people.

B.F.: YES, we do.

$B: I’d like you to go ahead and give us your resume that proves you back up what you say you can do.

B.F.: November 20, 2004 Pride fighting championships went around the globe for unsigned free agents in full contact fighting. They received over 4200 applicants. Only 137 fighters were invited, I was one of them. There was only one pair that was asked to go through twice, and I was one of those dudes.

$B: Nice! So what made you decide that you wanted to be a fighter?

B.F.: My Mom. My Mother and my Grandmother, their courage and their bravery. They give me everything, absolutely. And my son, I love my son. I got to do something for him.

$B: What kind of music did you listen to while you were growing up?

B.F.: A lot of rap actually. LL Cool J. Right now the only rap that I listen to is DMX. I listen to mostly heavy metal. Slayer, Pantera, Metallica, and actually there is a local band called Seven and I come out to one of their songs and they are from Cleveland. And I’m coming out to American Hero. And I support my people, you know what I mean?

$B: Yeah Definitely. Those are good people. So is there anything in particular that you listen to while you are training or getting ready for the big fight?

B.F.: Anything that can influence me or influence my people around me. I don’t have friends, I have family. I don’t have acquaintances, I have family. If you get around me your around me. If not then I can do without you. You know what I mean? If somebody is going to influence me I look at my people, I look at my brothers and they influence me to do what I got to do. To take them up, pick them up, and move them out. That’s where I’m at.

$B: What kind of fight styles are you trained in?

B.F.: Well mainly as everyone knows, I’m a golden glove boxer six times. My stand up though is Muay Thai; it’s the most disciplined in the world. And I feel it’s the most lethal. Brazilians even train in because they know if you don’t have Muay Thai standup, then your garbage. On the ground it’s Brazilian Jujutsu or submission wrestling. I have a couple wrestlers that work with me right now and they help me out because I suck on the ground.

$B: So that’s what you prefer to fight in, the muay thai?

B.F.: Oh yeah, oh yeah! I love to stand up and bang, absolutely!

$B: What would you say that your strengths are?

B.F.: That I have no weaknesses!

$B: Well that answers my next question. Alright well what has been your biggest and most memorable fight so far?

B.F.: My first fight. Beating him down the way I did and losing. The loss, I broke my right hand about a minute and 15 in the first round. And I fought with it and didn’t want to give up, but I did and it broke my heart. Let’s put it this way, I won’t be tapping out again any time soon.

$B: So when is your next fight?

B.F.: June 3rd Lafayette, LA Rampage in the cage volume 2!

$B: And what is your future plans?

B.F.: I just wanted a piece of the pie, now I want the whole fucking pie. I want everything.

$B: So where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

B.F.: World Champ! Or fighting for one at least. Either way I’m going to be there. I’m already signed with Deniro sports, so I’m there.

$B: And will you be representing the 216 on your way up the ladder.

B.F.: Absolutely! It’s my hometown. All my brothers are in Cleveland, Ohio. Ohio period! This is where I’m from; this is where I was raised.

$B: And where can people see some of your fights?

B.F.: You can go to rampage in the cage, King of the cage, or I just signed with UFC March 11th right before my fight. American fighter, damage wear, lefthookpromotions.com

$B: Where can people find out more about you on the web, same places?

B.F.: Same places, same places. I can reiterate this enough. I love my hometown. This is what it’s about. People take us for jokes and we’re not jokes! We got a lot of hardworking people here and we deserve a lot of respect. And I’m going to go get it!

$B: Alright, great to hear. Thanks a lot for taking the time out of training to do this interview for us.

B.F.: Anytime $Bill, take care brother.

Have You Hugged A Pro-Wrestler Today?

The not so normal life of a professional wrestler
By Molly Dempsey

Photos Courtesy of Shane Michael Kidder / www.mdogg20.com

Back in 1999, Backyard Wrestling let a few boys from Brecksville make a movie featuring them at their brightest. You know, jumping into trees, dancing almost naked in a cardboard box named “the party box” with bums, throwing each other on barbed wire, and having three completely straight men go into a tanning booth with each other. The results? The DVD can be found at Best Buy, and has made two amateur wrestlers, professional. M-Dogg 20 and Josh Prohibition would rise from the streets of Cleveland and see the world.

I never really considered professional wrestling a real sport, just like many jocks don’t consider cheerleading a sport. For the most part it looks like a bunch of long haired, single middle aged men on steroids, bouncing each other around while the crowd of mostly toothless individuals with an income under $20,000 scream in over excitement. Little did I know that was all about to change?

I started seeing these ridiculous shirts with a short buff kid on them with the name M-Dogg 20 pasted in red. At first I thought nothing of it, until I saw the short buff kid standing next to the legendary Misfits front man, Danzig with a stern face and a raised first. My curiosity led me to this website, and there he was straddling his friend and colleague Josh Prohibition, in the wrestling ring with the line, “There is nothing wrong with dudes hanging out,” bordering the web page.

M-Dogg 20 started growing an ambition for doing some crazy stunts that led to amateur wrestling when he was 18. Now 6 years later you can find him traveling from city to city in the United States, Germany, Mexico, Ireland, England and leaving in May for Japan for the second time. “Go up to your stock broker or fireman and they haven’t even been out of the country. I’ve been fortunate to see a lot, and it’s priceless. I’d never give it up,” said M-Dogg 20 seeming genuinely grateful for his spontaneous life.

How’d it get that way? M-Dogg 20 started doing gymnastics at the age of 10, with two problems he was confronted with. One, he was a little old to just be in the beginning stages of gymnastics. Two, he had a problem with fear. “Oh ho, gymnastics, that’s gay. I started late anyway and people do think gymnastics is gay for dudes. Then I had my new found mentality,” With M-Dogg 20?s new found mental state, he would turn into one of the world?s greatest acrobatic and flipping masters of wrestling.

With no time to lose, M-Dogg 20 and some local chums made a movie entitled, A Passion for Pain that started pushing his name internationally. The movie was advertised on Howard Stern, and Pay Per View. The movie gave wrestling the fun and goofy look rather then just the fake lame persona. “You can’t be some fat potato couch dude and be a successful wrestler. It does take skill, you have to have excelled at something athletic before,” said M-Dogg 20 as he bit into a mouthful of protein provided by Chipotle.

If you stand in a room with M-Dogg 20 you can literally see the veins in his biceps from yards away. I asked him what his diet was like and he seemed to chuckle to himself. “I used to drink a carton of egg whites a day, and that is partially why wrestling is 24 hours a day. Not once a week or once a month,” and continued to say that he wakes up around 3 p.m. on average.

With a back round in gymnastics, M-Dogg 20 proved that it takes talent and ambition to put on the tight pants and throw people around. M-Dogg’s gymnastics coach was not pleased with the abuse of talent, and neither were his parents after paying for years of gymnastics. Three men that M-Dogg 20 practiced gymnastics with went on to the Olympics. So, what about M-Dogg 20?

One of the biggest names in Cleveland, JT Lightning picked up M-Dogg 20 and Josh Prohibition and began training them. “It was and is my job. Every weekend I’m out there doing it for shock value,” said M-Dogg 20 with a grin knowing that he has a reputation of doing the craziest tricks known in wrestling. One among many reasons why M-Dogg 20 is a respected and successful wrestler is because of the acrobatic moved he performs in the ring that can be viewed on his website at www.mdogg20.com.

Without even being in the WWE, M-Dogg 20 was made into a video game character for the game called, Backyard Wrestling: Don’t try this at home. “All of it never hit me and I never thought it would happen. Anyone can get thrown into a game, but life for me is frozen in time in 1989, if I could be Mario that would be cool,” With his name forever etched into time, what else is there to do?

“Of course I want to be in the WWE. If you want to make a living doing this, you have to be there. Ultimate goal. I do a hundred gay interviews all the time and I’m sure one of the scouts have seen me, but it’s still a goal for me.”

The name M-Dogg 20 has been published world wide in every wrestling magazine imaginable. “It is really cool to see an entire article about yourself that you can’t even read because its in a different language,” said M-Dogg 20 describing his reaction to an article about him in Gong Magazine, a Japanese publication.

As successful as M-Dogg 20 is he still makes a ton of time for his fans. “I do have fans, and rather than thinking they are mostly girls most of them are homosexual dude,” On his international travels he find fame, “When you’re about to go out and wrestle and you hear 600 people yelling “M-Dogg” in funny little accents, it’s awesome to me. It was all so surreal. My neighbors don’t even know my name but these people do.” At M-Dogg 20’s website you can see some of the art that his fans young and old have created for him. An appreciated M-Dogg 20 takes all the time to reply to each and every e-mail.

At that point in M-Dogg 20’s life he became his own boss and determined his own fate in the wonderful world of wrestling. Everyday M-Dogg 20 waked up late, (only wakes up early if he has an international flight to catch) eats his protein packed diet, wrestles if he has an even schedule, and if not he hangs out with his girlfriend or “dudes”. Everything seems out of the ordinary when it comes to M-Dogg 20’s life. M-Dogg 20 has never filled out a job application, or filed for taxes. Instead he makes t-shirts to sell at shows or to mock his friend, and hangs out with celebrities when out of o town.

Everyone forgets that wrestling is all real. M-Dogg 20 has had three concussions and is still wrestling despite doctor’s advice. “When I went to the doctor that knew me from seeing me on T.V. I had a cut finger and it was completely unrelated to wrestling just doing something else dumb, he advised me to stop wrestling. Of course, I didn’t even think about listening,” said M-Dogg 20. There are dangers of wrestling just like any other athletic event that people forget about. “You are not 100% in control of your boy when you’re wrestling. Every time I get in the ring, I know it could be my last,” said M-Dogg 20 realizing the dangers of wrestling.

It’s no lie; people go crazy for professional wrestlers. How many people do you know are adored by the guys of Jackass such as Chris Pontius because of their crazy lifestyle? A lot of professional wrestlers actually get invited to some of the premier events in Hollywood. Again on M-Dogg 20’s website you get to see him with Anna Nicole Smith at a release part. Even the guys of Against Me! And other punk bands love M-Dogg 20 and friends for their outrageous stunts. “I think that there are a lot of parallels between punk rock and wrestling. A lot of us wrestlers would be doing something with punk rock if we couldn’t wrestle. If not we just like sharing experiences,” said M-Dogg 20 with a serious tone in his voice because of his true love for punk rock.

I’m sure that you have personally walked by a professional wrestler and you never realized it, but if you did know you would have made a disgusted face because wrestling is lame right? Wrong. The huge kid that threw you out of the punk show you saw last week for underage drinking was a professional wrestler named Raymond Rowe. That really tall kid that you always see bike riding around down town Cleveland was a professional wrestler named Josh Prohibition. The short buff kid that you saw at The Exchange holding the CD that you wanted was a professional wrestler named M-Dogg 20 and you probably have something in common with each and every one of them.

Not too many people can see a parallel between professional wrestling and Disneyland, but somehow, Billy Hopeless the front man of the punk band, The Black Halos put it all into perspective, “Wrestling is fun, and I still enjoy going to matches all the time. It’s like Disneyland, and everyone who says Disneyland isn’t fun is a liar,” replied Hopeless as I sat next to him on the stage of Peabodies Down under a few weeks ago. Believe it or not, even your favorite band member is probably professional wrestlers like Hopeless or is a big fan of one.

To this day M-Dogg 20 still gets excited for wrestling events and still gets a trill from flying in airplanes to wrestle in another country. His parents share the same feeling, “I hear my Mom, she brags on the phone that she doesn’t even know where kids are in the world, but they are getting paid to do something,” said M-Dogg 20 definitely making his Mom proud.

What can we expect form M-Dogg 20 next? “Lots of ridiculous crap and not making any sense,” said M-Dogg 20 with a solemn face looking about to bust out laughing. So, the next time you have some free time on your hands on a weekend night go support your local wrestler. Make sure to make a funny accent when you chant M-Dogg 20.

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