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Journal 16
by Tony Kozina on 2001-03-20

Greetings to all. So much to write about so I'll touch on a few things before talking about the ECWA Super 8 tournament and the great time I had with the Jim Kettner and his crew...

With ECCW now promoting in Washington state, I've taken a more active role in helping promote the shows. It's been a tremendous learning experience thus far and I'm just getting my feet wet in this aspect of the wrestling business.

Theres alot of things in the works for the months ahead. Some really exciting international stuff that isn't quite confirmed just yet but sounds really exciting. I am also scheduled to be on a show in Idaho next month that will include Roddy Piper and Curt Hennig so that's another thing that I'm looking forward to.

So now let's discuss the ECWA Super 8 tournament and what went down, shall we???

Well... first, and I may have mentioned this in a previous journal, I had been in touch with Jim Kettner about what was going on - who was picking me up at the airport, hotel accommodations, rides to the arena and so forth. Jim is very professional and very organized. So organized in fact that a nervous buffoon like me was even at ease throughout the weekend.

Chris and I flew out thursday morning and believe it or not I think I'm getting used to flying. Oh sure I'm still a little tense at times- you know what I mean, like when your in the dentist's chair and your so damn stiff it's like your entire body has rigga... but for the most part I'm getting comfy with the whole thing so that's good.

WHOOSH- there we go and we land in Baltimore. Jim is there right on time to pick us up. We also picked up Jayson Reign who came in from Chicago about 20 minutes later so I had a chance to get acquainted with him. He seemed pretty cool and we all had a good conversation on the hour drive to Delaware.

Basically the night was pretty relaxing. Jim had all of us fly in the night before the show so we could get rested and settled which was certainly a good idea.

I hung out and mingled with some of the others who were already checked in. I talked with the Haas brothers for awhile. In fact in one of my displays of brilliance, while I was talking with everyone, I was saying something about the Dupp brothers and the Haas brothers, were they the same and who was who, when Jim Kettner kindly pointed out that I was- and had been talking to Russ Haas for the past 10 minutes. Mmm- it's hard to describe that overwhelming sense of sheer stupidity that makes you want to jump straight through the hotel window and over the second story railing to splat on the ice cold cement below.

Needless to say I resisted the strong urge but decided I'd better hit the ol' sack for the night.

So the morning comes and before you know it the festivities begin. We all have brunch and everyone has a chance to get to know each other. We all shared stories about where were from and how the wrestling is in our area. Some of the guys already knew each other so they were telling stories about where they had been and what not. I found it quite entertaining. Keep in mind that it still hasn't been announced who is wrestling who in the first round of the Super 8.

I get a ride to the arena- I believe it's called the St. Matthew's parish hall, and just as Jim had said on the phone, photographers were already set up and ready to start shooting pictures.

I get dressed and get ready, take some pictures, we take the group photo's with the trophy and all that good stuff. Meanwhile it's about 4pm or so. I am told that the first round will have me against Jayson Reign. I was excited about that because I had been talking with Chris Daniels a few weeks earlier and he was telling me about Jayson and what a great talent he was so I was looking forward to a good, hard fought match.

The show starts and the have this HUGE big screen tv. Kind of a mini titantron, and they showed clips of the past winners and then clips of the eight of us. It was really cool. We're brought out and given a medallion by non other than Dawn Marie and the they have the national anthem- everything really professional. It was really nice. You see I always liked pro wrestling showcased as a sport rather than entertainment and this show really did a good job of bringing forth pure pro wrestling. My hat goes off to Jim Kettner for that one because he did an outstanding job of bringing it all together and making it work. The matches were unlike anything I've ever seen. Stiff, hard fought, tremendous psychology. Really just a pleasure to watch. My match with Jayson was a very solid match I thought. We went all out for just over 14 minutes and then he got the win after he hit me with his "Reign Drop" which is like a face buster type of move but it's nothing that I've ever seen. That was another thing... I saw moves, and submission holds throughout the night that I have never Eeeeeeeever seen before.

Low-Ki came away the winner of the Super 8 tournament after the damndest match I've ever seen against The American Dragon. We all went out to the ring to congratulate Low-Ki and Dragon and I stood there with the rest of the Super 8 participants applauding them very proud to be a part of that. It was a tremendous feeling being in there for that and I told Jim later that night that it was no act. It reminds me of something that Bart Sawyer always says about wrestling- "it is what it is". The emotion from the guys in the ring, the appreciative crowd, the whole atmosphere in the building was real and it was unlike anything I've ever been a part of.

I flew home the next day feeling pretty good knowing that wrestling had a new generation of guys who are dedicated to perfecting this art we call pro wrestling. It will be very interesting in the years to come to see these guys make it, and I believe they will one by one. I'm just gonna keep busting my butt and pray that there's a spot for me in there somewhere...

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Quotes from the boys: Ed Moretti says "Hey kid, its already ten minutes in, people are going crazy, and we ain't even tied up yet".
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