Long Island’s own New York Wrestling Connection returns to Deer Park Saturday night for what is traditionally its biggest show of the year: Psycho Circus.
Now in its eighth year, the event features one of the craziest stipulation matches you’ll ever see. The Psycho Circus match features two teams of five competing in a steel cage—half of which is covered in barbed wire. Tables, ladders and chairs are aplenty. A team wins when it has eliminated all members of the opposing team by one of two ways: making them submit or putting them in a giant jack in the box. (I kid you not.)
The event takes place at the NYWC Sportatorium at 435-13 Brook Avenue in
Deer Park. Doors open at 6, with a 7 p.m. bell time. Tickets are $15 and are available here.
The card is loaded with several other fun, innovative matches featuring the stars of NYWC. Chief among them, an old friend of mine, “The "Greek God" Dimitrios Papadon.
The veteran of the Northeast independent scene, and former NYWC champ, took the time to answer some questions about Saturday night’s show and about his storied career.
Q: You’re involved in a “Masters of the Mat” four-man iron match tomorrow night with Bruno Marciano, Tony Nese and Quiet Storm, in which a points-system will decide the winner. What can fans expect to see in this unique match?
A: You can expect to see four of the very best, skilled pro wrestlers give it their all in order to prove that he is the best—the “Master of the Mat.” A fan can expect anything in the match because anything can happen in 30 minutes.
Q: The NYWC has produced several graduates that have gone on to reach national fame, including WWE Superstars Zack Ryder, Kurt Hawkins and Trent Baretta. What kind of preparation does NYWC give its wrestlers to prepare them for the big time?
A: NYWC is hands down the best training school around. The WWE and TNA has the company on its radar. NYWC teaches what every pro-wrestler/sports entertainer needs. That is a solid base in fundamentals in and out of the ring. The NYWC takes great pride in their students. The trainers teach the students what the WWE & TNA is looking for, psychology of a match, professionalism, and respect for yourself and the business.
Q: What’s it been like watching your former colleagues, such as Ryder, compete on WWE pay per views and even win championship gold?
A: It has been amazing to see a bunch of my good friends on TV with the WWE and TNA. It is also very mentally frustrating because I want to be there with them. But my time will come and you will one day see the "Greek God" Papadon on a national pro wrestling/sports entertainment company.
Q: What’s it like working with former ECW champion Mikey Whipwreck?
A: Working and being trained by Mikey Whipwreck is a blessing. He is well respected in our business because he is a great person with a great mind for this business. I am very blessed to have been trained by Mikey Whipwreck and Homicide. I always said the very best pro-wrestlers out of the NY, North Eastern area were trained by Mikey and Homicide and I have had the distinct honor of having them both as my trainers. Mikey Whipwreck is my mentor and the "Messiah of Madness!”
Q: For eight years now, the Psycho Circus has been the biggest show of the NYWC’s calendar—sort of like your own version of WrestleMania. Is there a different mood in the NYWC locker room in the weeks leading up to the big show?
A: Oh yeah, before every show there is a great vibe in the locker room because NYWC and its roster of pro wrestlers and students want to always give the fans 100 percent. So before every show everyone is excited and everyone is on a mission to deliver what the fans want—especially before the Psycho Circus because it’s NYWC's annual main show that ties in all the situations that have been going on within the company. Everyone in the locker room is amped up and excited before the Psycho Circus. Pound for pound NYWC delivers the best in pro wrestling/sports entertainment for the fans.
Q: With many fans not being happy with what they’re getting from WWE and TNA, independent promotions, like NYWC, could be a good alternative for them. What do you think fans get coming to an NYWC show that they wouldn’t get from the larger national promotions?
A: Fans will get less talk and more action for their money. They will see the very best show on the independents today because NYWC provides the fans with a variety of pro wrestling styles, from Lucha Libre to Japanese Strong Style to traditional American pro wrestling. They also provide great family entertainment with great personas and characters that the fans can enjoy. Also the fans are closer to the action and they can feel like they are part of the show.
Q: The “Psycho Circus” match is one of wildest in the sport, featuring lots of tables, ladders, chairs, barbed wire and even a giant jack in the box. Having competed in the match before, can you tell me what it’s like?
A: Psycho Circus is the brainchild of the "Messiah of Madness" Mikey Whipwreck. It is a match that has no rules, anything goes, anything can happen—and it always does. It is the most sadistic, barbaric, hardcore match every constructed in pro wrestling. It is physically and mentally exhausting to compete in this match because it takes a toll on you. It is an intense feeling to be part of this match.
Q: You’ve competed for WWE, TNA and ROH in the past. Can you tell me something about the experience working for those companies that most people would never know?
A: Working for these companies is a great honor. I enjoyed my opportunities with each company. Both ROH & TNA had a great atmosphere backstage and are tremendous companies with tremendous talent. Working for WWE was an amazing feeling. I had the honor of working 3 live TV tapings— two Smackdowns and one Raw. And the vibe you get of being there is such a rush. Seeing such a huge corporate company and seeing the inner workings backstage was amazing. Also wrestling in MSG was a dream of mine and hopefully one day I will relive it while the TV cameras are on and I am working for Vince McMahon.
Q: What’s the favorite match you’ve competed in?
A: That is a hard question to answer I have been wrestling for 11 years now and have wrestled all over the USA and the UK and had a lot of matches. So picking just one is too hard because every match I'm in I learn something new that contributes to my skills in and out of the ring. So I guess you can say every match is my favorite match because it makes me a better pro wrestler/sports entertainer.
Q: What made you want to become a professional wrestler?
A: I have always been a fan since I was little and always wanted to be a pro wrestler/sports entertainer since I was little. One day after I graduated college I said to myself, “I don't want to be 60 years old and say ‘should’ve, could’ve, would’ve.’ ” So I decided to follow my dreams. I encourage every one out there to do so, because if you don't do what you love you aren't living. You are just surviving. So it is written let be told, your Greek God has spoken!
For more information about NYWC events and its training facility, visit www.nywcwrestling.com