We normally celebrate the anniversary of Northeast Championship Wrestling in May with our REUNION event, the truth is that today (March 15th) is the real anniversary of NCW’s humble beginnings.
To be more precise we can rewind one day earlier to March 14th, 1997 when I attended a New England Wrestling Alliance (NEWA) event at Davies High School in Lincoln, Rhode Island alongside my childhood friends Sean and Josh, looking to check out the action and see the ‘stars’ of the NEWA live and in person. I had spent countless nights watching NEWA on the Rhode Island Interconnect (the local public access channel based out of the Ocean State), loving the stripped down aesthetic and the colorful characters littered throughout. Kid Liberty, “Gorgeous” Gino Giovanni, El Diablo, Dragonfly, and Rex Havoc? They were the tits. WWF, WCW, and ECW were larger than life, but the NEWA? That was in my own backyard, pun not entirely intended. By 1997 the NEWA airing on TV and the NEWA running live events were vastly different however, and this version of the NEWA was dominated by Wolverine (not of X-Men fame), “The Danger Boy” Alfredo (not of pasta fame), Danny Boy O’Callahan (not of… uh, Irish fame), and “WWF Superstar” Pierre The Mountie.
Now you might think a guy being advertised as Pierre The Mountie AND a former WWF Superstar would in all likeliness be Carl Ouellet aka Jean-Pierre Lafitte aka Pierre of the Quebecers. Well you would be absolutely wrong and a fool for thinking such a thing. No, Pierre The Mountie was actually local job guy Roy Raymond, ripping off Jacques Rougeau and doing a half-assed Mountie gimmick. Raymond actually appeared on the March 10th debut of WWF RAW is WAR in Worcester, Massachusetts getting absolutely destroyed by Ahmed Johnson in a one sided squash. I took great pleasure in heckling Roy that night, and the beefy stooge nearly jumped the guardrail to shut me up.
After the show ended the three of us waited for my Mom to come pick us up. Sitting there in the parking lot, we began bragging about how if we wanted to, we could easily do what the NEWA was doing. Jacked up on testosterone, pizza, and Diet Pepsi I casually suggested we have our own wrestling show in my backyard that would easily outshine what we had just seen. I called up my cousin Michael that next morning and told him to come over as soon as he could. That afternoon we rigged our ‘ring’ together using some plywood (the base), flowered sheets (the canvas), a kitchen chair (the ring post), and a Super Mario Bros 2 trash can (the weapon).
That was the birth of NCW, then called New England Championship Wrestling. The E was Silent.
While that may have been the beginning, every moment since has been a roller coaster journey that completely changed my life.
Starting NCW led me down paths I never could have imagined. It was never easy, and to this day it’s still not an easy thing to do. I started this gig at 14 years old, and here I am 33 and just starting to figure things out.
NCW wouldn’t be here today without a lot of help from a lot of different people. At sixteen Carlos and Tommy D took a dumb kid under their wing and pushed my obsession with independent wrestling to another level. Maybe I reminded them of their own slight beginnings in Power League Wrestling, but they opened me up to the larger world of New England wrestling and I’ll be forever grateful. There’s never been a better tasting pizza than the one Carlos & I had after a tremendous NWA-New England event headlined by Kane versus Prince Albert w/ Jim Cornette.
I got to live my dream of being involved with the business I loved so much as a ring announcer and manager, and if it wasn’t for Gino Martino and Matthew West suggesting I fill in for a sick RA (thanks Templeton Peck!) at the Barton Street Community Center in the summer of 1999 for a UCW show in Pawtucket there would be no NCW or JC Marxxx. So remember to blame them next time you see em.
My Mom Paula has supported me and my ridiculous dream from jump street, and has wasted more of her hard earned money then any sane or rational parent should have. To this day you can still find her at the concession stand helping out, and has always encouraged me to chase my passion. Thank you for everything you do for me.
As we got older our inner circle grew, and so did NCW’s. The SCW group (Cinna, Onyx, Moco, and Eric) quickly became a part of the family as NCW attempted to legitimize itself in 2000 (Did we succeed? The jury is still out on that one when it comes to the eternal sandbox debate). “Primetime” Randy J selflessly helped NCW when we needed it the most and introduced the Loomis family into my life, which is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. It would take a thousand years to pay back the Loomis Family for all they’ve done for NCW and especially for me. All I can say is thank you.
I met my best friends in life through wrestling. Guys like Heriberto, James, John, Richard, Sean, Tim, Thornhill, David, Dean, Kellan, Michael, and Jake (to name just a few, this entire post could be filled with the names of the ones I love). These are guys I never would have known if not for professional wrestling and NCW. I hear regular folk (I call them normies) talk about High School friends or College pals, but for me it’s always been “the wrestlers”.
There are many out there that hate me because of the very serious business of professional wrestling. They won’t see this note because I’ve been deleted from their Facebook* long ago (The ultimate deletion in life). But the truth is I couldn’t have done it without them either. Life’s too short to hold grudges, and I’m eternally grateful for every sacrifice made by these people. Thank you.
Next March is twenty years of Northeast Championship Wrestling.
I’m not sure how much more I have left in me. I love wrestling, I love the NCW fans, and most of all I love NCW itself. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t getting harder or if I didn’t wonder “What If” on many of my choices in life. What I do know is that next Season will be two decades of doing this and it’s going to be a helluva ride to get there.