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Long Island pro wrestlers in fan vote for match on Spike TV
One of pro wrestler Adam “Big O” Ohriner’s favorite catchphrases is “Get Outta My O-Zone.”
But rather than leave him alone, the 2004 Mepham High School graduate wants Long Island to get all up in his business by voting for him to compete on Spike TV’s “Impact Wrestling.”
North Bellmore’s Ohriner, 27, is one of two Long Islanders involved in a TNA Gut Check Challenge online vote that started Sunday night at midnight and lasts through Wednesday at midnight, with the top vote-getter receiving a tryout match on national television.
There are 10 wrestlers/tag teams on the ballot, and one of Ohriner’s competitors is Oceanside’s Dimitrious Papadoniou, 35, who wrestles as “The Greek God” Papadon and has spent more than a decade in pro wrestling’s independent scene chasing his dream of making it to the big time.
Papadoniou’s reputation received a boost last year when he won the East Coast Wrestling Association’s prestigious Super 8 Tournament in Newark, Del.
“I want to be one of those small percentage of people who do what they want for a living,” Papadoniou said.
Ohriner’s route to the vote was quite different. He wasn’t pursuing a wrestling career in 2011, when friend Zack Ryder, a Merrick native who competes for the WWE, asked him to help with a YouTube project he was working on. The result was “The Z! True Long Island Story,” which went viral and jump-started Ryder’s career.
“At first I was just going to help write and edit it, because that’s what I went to school for,” explained Ohriner, a 2008 Binghamton University graduate. “But then he asked me to make cameo appearances, so I said sure. I made some cameos, and after a few months the show blew up. People took note of me . . . It kind of rekindled the wrestling spirit I had as a kid.”
Subsequently, Ohriner trained under former Extreme Championship Wrestling mainstay Mikey Whipreck at Deer Park’s New York Wrestling Connection, a pro wrestling school and promotion.
Ohriner won the NYWC title at February’s Psycho Circus show and will defend the belt June 15 at the Going the Distance show at the NYWC Sportatorium in Deer Park.
To see videos of Ohriner and Papadoniou in action and vote, visit http://challenge.tnagutcheck.com/