2003-08-07 / Arts & Entertainment

Through The Ropes

By Josh Stewart
Through The Ropes By Josh Stewart

By Josh Stewart

I know public access television can be pretty stupid. The programming usually consists of some 70-year-old woman named Stella playing the xylophone while her trusty St. Bernard, Fluffy, barks the theme to "Old Yeller."

But Staten Island public access officially went mad when backyard wrestling hit the airwaves.

It was called Insane Champion-ship Wrestling, a promotion that proved if enough 17-year-old dropouts call-ed in sick from Wendy’s and stole their mothers’ Serta Sleeper mattress-es – presto – a wrestling show could somehow happen.

Now, I’ve engaged in a backyard war or two over the years, so I’d be two-faced if I went off on the danger aspect and screamed the "Don’t Do This At Home" mantra WWE preaches (which I happen to agree with).

Instead, allow me to say that if backyard wrestling can get a spot on television, I’m calling cable access next week to get my own show. I haven’t decided if my talent will be cleaning my toenails or taking out the trash.

The first match I caught featured "Bald Teen in Confederate T-shirt" vs. "Mr. Baggy Jeans". Baggy looked so intimidating in his oversized GAP sweatshirt and backwards Texas Ran-gers cap – it raised the hair on the back of my neck.

The special guest referee for this mat classic was a masked ninja who mysteriously only came into the picture when it was time to count. I couldn’t confirm his identity, but I figure his concealment had something to do with a bench warrant from the NYPD.

As for the announcers, who were heard but not seen, they boldly predicted that the winner of this bout would someday grace the cover of a Wheaties box. I can envision the mar-keting slogan now:

"Have you seen this kid? If so, call someone who cares!"

The next match was even better. Somebody came out wearing a New Orleans Saints jersey and showed his martial arts prowess by delivering thrust kicks at a Nerf basketball hoop. After four attempts, he actually managed to make contact. He then quickly squashed his opponent, literally named "The Special Olympics Silver Medallist."

Eventually, it was main event time, as the ICW World Heavyweight Title was up for grabs in a barbed wire match. Two-time champion "Super-star" Billy Grant powerwalked to the ring, holding high his replica championship belt, which must have set ICW back at least $4.

His opponent, the dark Philly Bluntz, quickly wrapped the barbed wire (part of an old fence) around himself and tried to open Grant up. At some point, the announcer said somebody was busted open, but since Mom wasn’t going to the store until the next day, there was no Heinz Tomato Ketchup available to make this a reality.

I was moving out of Staten Island anyway, but their show was enough to expedite my departure. I don’t know if these lads are still on the air, but if you want to check out this lunacy, their Web address is: www. angelfire.com/ny4/iCW/index.html.

It wouldn’t be fair to talk smack about them and then not give them a plug. Check it out for yourself.

Then gag.

You can contact Josh Stewart at throughtheropes1@cs.com.

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