Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Church of Southern Wrestling--a requiem

On August 22nd, Anarchy Wrestling held its summer big show, Hostile Environment.  What many did not know, this writer included, was that it would turn out to be the last ever show for Anarchy.  The story that would come out later on was that the owner sold the company and that the new owners will be running in Cornelia, GA starting in October, but with a virtual clean slate.  That means it's a whole new promotion, new name, new creative team, which means Bill Behrens will not be a part of it in any shape.

Those that do not know, Bill Behrens was the man behind NWA Wildside and the creative force behind Anarchy since running in the Church starting in 1999 outside of a hiccup in 2005 when he left to head up the WWE's developmental territory Deep South Wrestling.  And Mr. Behrens has stated he will have no affiliation with the new ownership group that will be taking over in October.  While this is a sad day for wrestling fans in the state of Georgia, instead of mourning, let us celebrate the life and times of Wildside/Anarchy.

When our group of friends started attending the shows in Cornelia, it was in 2001.  We had known of some of the guys there like AJ Styles and Air Paris due to their previous affiliation with WCW, but when we got there, we had our first experience with independent wrestling.  Ironically our first show had a main event of War Games, which was the final match in the Church. 

From then until Wildside's closing in 2005, my life was changed forever.  I got to see lots of talent come through Wildside, learning the ropes of how to wrestle in front of live crowds and to wrestle for television, which, is very different from just wrestling in front of a live crowd. 

On a personal note, I learned a lot myself on how to produce wrestling for television and how to successfully promote a wrestling organization.  Through play-by-play man Dan "The Dragon" Wilson, he helped me realize I had a place inside the wrestling business that I just need to cultivate my abilities. 

As a fan, I got to see some of the best wrestling matches in my life, from the AJ Styles vs David Young vs Rick Michaels title match from Hardcore Hell 2002 to the ONYX vs Ray Gordy match from one of their television tapings in 2003 and so many more.  I got to see a lot of tremendous talent come through Wildside on their way to the WWE, TNA and ROH.  We were lucky to even have one of our fellow fans realize his dream in training at the Wildside school and become a wrestler for Anarchy. 

When Wildside ended in 2005, our group didn't continue attending shows on a regular basis, as we felt when that Wildside held their final show, it was our time to close that chapter in our lives.  During Anarchy's existence went through multiple ownership changes ending with the current one that started earlier this year.  Me and David did go to the first show under that new ownership and saw a lot of the potential in talents there like BJ Hancock and Miss Rachael and hoped to have been able to go to more shows in the future, sadly, that won't be the case. 

To those that were a part of Anarchy over the 10 years in it's existence, I salute you for continuing the tradition of excellence that was started by Wildside. 

To the new owners, I wish you the best, you have some VERY big shoes to fill. 

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