Local wrestlers put their bodies on the line this weekend to help raise money for a noble cause.
Ring Wars Carolina held its first wrestling match in Dunn on Saturday to raise money for Spartan Racer and breast cancer awareness activist Susan Espinoza. The event raised $420, enough for Espinoza to register for another race and to help with her travel expenses.
Espinoza runs in the obstacle course Spartan Races to raise money for breast cancer awareness. She was diagnosed with breast cancer herself, ran the races throughout and is still undergoing treatment.
The first match featured Travis “Mason Jar” Dixon versus Gem Stone and it ended with Stone pinning Dixon. Dixon then attacked Stone after the bell. Dunn’s own Flex Simmons came out to rescue his friend and would-be teammate.
Simmons won the next match versus Kris Nemesis after Dixon climbed back into the ring and attacked him. Stone returned to save Simmons, and the event coordinator commanded a Dunn Street Fight took place later between the four wrestlers. Simmons and Stone won that match.
James Anthony beat Chance Lebeaux in a high-flying, top rope tactical match. Then Lynzee Pike defeated Devin Worthy. Lastly, was a championship tag-team match between the Airtime Rockers, Hangtyme and Joseph Everhart.
Fit 4 Life trainer, Matthew Ennis, said the wrestling troupe presented the $420 to Espinoza at wrestling practice on Sunday. There is a promotional video on Facebook.
Ennis said the owners of the food truck Tacos El Corral really enjoyed themselves. Ring Wars Carolina organizer Eddie Brown said the caterer donated 10 percent of their profits to Espinoza’s campaign. Ms. Espinoza was not at the event, she was running the national race in West Virginia. She finished sixth out of 60 women and qualified for the world championships in Lake Tahoe.
“It went really well,” Ennis said. “We loved it. It was so much fun. It was a really warm welcome for Ring Wars Carolina.”
Both Ennis and Brown said they would like to have seen more people in the crowd, but they are happy with the attendance at its first wrestling match in Dunn.
“I’ve had people inquire if were going to have another event,” Ennis said. “The City of Dunn can expect another wrestling show.” Ennis expects to host another in October or early November.
“We had people that donated money that didn’t show up,” Brown said. Hopefully the next one will be a little bigger.”
Brown and Espinoza work out together in Hope Mills. Brown became interested in her story after learning that she ran Spartan races for breast cancer awareness. His mother passed away from the disease and he wanted to somehow help.
“I told her, ‘The only thing I know is pro wrestling. I’ve been doing it for 20 years. I don’t know fundraising.’” Brown said. That’s where Ennis came in.
“Ennis started telling me he wanted to do an event at (the) gym and the three of us put it all together. The gym donated the time and the space,” Brown said. “It took about six weeks worth of communication. Matt was the point of contact for the building and promotion. I did the match making and planning. It was a team effort. Sometimes it takes a team effort to get it going and to be successful.”