Sep 19, 2015

Mick Foley In Hazleton

Pennsylvania Premier Wrestling
Hard Knocks (September 19, 2015)
Two of our friends will soon be moving to Georgia, so we took them to meet Mick Foley at the PPW show in Hazleton today.  There was a long line, but he met with everybody and was very kind.  He took a photo with each of us, and he signed my copy of his first two books: Have A Nice Day and Foley Is Good.  I'm especially glad to have the first one autographed.  It was a Christmas present from my grandparents in 1999, and having the opportunity to meet the author and hand him the book that I unwrapped on Christmas Eve with my family, and that I've read so many times in the years that followed is special to me.

I've been watching Mr. Foley wrestle as Cactus Jack, Mankind and Dude Love for many years.  Like most wrestling fans, I'll never forget the Hell In A Cell match he had with The Undertaker at WWF King Of The Ring in 1998.  I was watching the show with my dad, and I had never seen anything like that before or since.  That's probably for the best.  I have no idea how the man is still walking after that performance.

I'm not familiar with all of the wrestlers on the PPW roster, but I've seen some of them wrestle before.  In a battle of WXW alumni, "Smooth" Tommy Suede defeated Afa Jr. to win the PPW Heavyweight Championship in the main event.  I haven't seen Afa Jr. since he was around 18 years old.  Back then, he was a high flying babyface,  These days, he's put on some weight and is playing the Wild Samoan character that his father made famous.  It's been about the same length of time since I was at a show with Tommy Suede on the card, but I bumped into him back in 2009 was I worked as an extra on the set of The Wrestler.

The match of the night was David Starr defeating Steve Shields.  I heard good things about Starr, but I haven't seen him wrestle before.  He's a talented and charismatic performer.  I expect that he's going to make it to a televised promotion sooner than later.

The other familiar face at the show was Lance Anoa'i, the 23 year old son of Headshrinker Samu.  I've never seen him in a ring before, but this wasn't the first time I saw him at a wrestling show in Hazleton.  Back in 1999, I was in the crowd at the WXW Owen Hart Memorial Show.  Samu wrestled that night, and one of the other fans pointed out his seven year old son, Lance, who was running around the venue during the show.  Now, he's four years older than I was on that night back in 1999 and he's been wrestling for five years.  This is the kind of moment that really makes you feel old and when you recognize how fast time goes by.