National Wrestling Superstars come to Bloomfield

Photos courtesy of Joe Panzarino/ Crowbar and Short Sleeve Sampson will deliver athleticism in hopes for raising money for Bloomfield charities.

Pro wrestling show to benefit Bloomfield charities

By Jeff Bahr

The National Wrestling Superstars (NWS) All- Star Pro Wrestling show is coming to Bloomfield High School on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 7:35 p.m. For local fans of professional wrestling, this annual pilgrimage of oversized warriors with matching egos is long anticipated. For those not yet acquainted with the kicks, stomps, punches, throws, and over-the-top trash talk that define the sport of professional wrestling, the event makes for an ideal primer.

One of this year’s original headliners, Fit Finlay, known simply as Finlay during his headlining days with Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), has been replaced by Tommy Dreamer of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and WWE fame due to a scheduling conflict, according to NWS Events Manager Joe Panzarino.

Put another way, fans will now miss out on the “Celtic Cross” – a finishing move where Finlay hoists a competitor behind his back up to shoulder level and promptly drives him fullforce into the mat. Instead, they will see Dreamer, the self-billed “Innovator of Violence” as he attempts to execute a “Tommyhawk” – a floor drop move that produces a whiplash effect to an opponent’s head.

In addition to Dreamer, four other former and current TV wrestling stars are scheduled to headline the event in the school’s gymnasium – with each bringing his own brand of bravado and wrestling expertise to the party.

Marty Jannety, an alumnus of the WWE, and ECW hardcore icons the Sandman and Crowbar will work their violent magic for fans, while Short Sleeve Sampson, a wrestler of diminutive stature who appears on “Hulk Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling” TV show, will deliver similar elements of athleticism in a pint-sized package.

Finally, Danny Inferno, the self-proclaimed star of the National Geographic Channel pro wrestling documentary “Slammed,” promises to ignite the crowd with his wrestling skills and oversized ego.

The event which helps to raise money for Project Graduation, the Foley Field Foundation and various Bloomfield UNICO beneficiaries, has been coming to Bloomfield for “five or six” years now, according to Panzarino, who said that the events are “well received” in the Township. “They (the shows) are always very successful and very entertaining,” said Panzarino. “I know one year the show raised $16,000 – last year the show raised $10,000… If you get four-, five- or six-hundred people in there (the auditorium) at those ticket prices, it’s a pretty good fundraiser for them.”

Aside from the headliners, the event will also feature an eclectic group of wrestlers from assorted wrestling companies. Mor-ta-da (a “tribute” to the former WCW “Mortiss” character) will appear with newly crowned NWS Tag-Team Champions “Bounty Hunter” Johnny Ringo and “Hockey Goon” Rocco Dorsey. The Two Rick Rudes (“Corrupted” Corey Havoc & “Rampage” Rogers), Team Casanova (“The Love Machine” Nicky Oceans & Damian Darling), Mister Stars and Stripes, The Atomic Dog, Smiling Smith James, Fast Eddie Franken, and many more will round out the bill. Bloomfield’s own “Vicious Vinny” will return in the role of “special enforcer” referee.

Photo courtesy of Joe Panzarino/ The Sandman (l) and Tommy Dreamer will continue their vaunted rivalry when the NWS comes to Bloomfield on Saturday


“It’s a top notch show,” said Panzarino of the event. “It’s a lot more intimate than the large arena-type shows, even though it’s (held in) a large gym. The wrestlers meet and greet the fans prior to the show and during intermission. You can come up, shake hands, and get a picture with them.”

Memorabilia including Tshirts, autographed photos and the like will be available at the show, according to Panzarino. Tickets are priced at $25, for a limited number of “golden ringside” seats, and $20 for bleacher seats. Tickets are available by calling the NWS box office at 732-888-1704 or by visiting the following area businesses.


•Power House Gym 465 Bloomfield Ave.

•Vinnie’s Pizzeria 414 Broad St.

•Hot Bagels Abroad 1129 Broad St.


•Rosebuds 52 Joralemon St.

•Maniero’s Sports Shop 465 Franklin Ave. (behind Nutley Diner)

Learn more about the writer ...

+ posts