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The CWF (Championship Wrestling Federation) is returning to the area to present the "Ridgway Rumble" Saturday night, with bell-time slated for 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.
"I'm so excited for the show to take place," Bill "Powerhouse" Hughes said. "The Elk County region is our home away from home. We're hoping to get up there more often."
The show is a benefit for James Bodien and his family. He was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, a disorder passed down through families in which certain nerve cells in the brain waste away or degenerate.
"Jim has been a loyal CWF fan ever since our first show in the area," Hughes said. "Several of us have gotten to know him, he's a good guy. We want to help him out, help his family out."
CWF has done shows at Pitt-Bradford, Port Allegany and Johnsonburg in past years, and visits Ridgway this Saturday.
Hughes is excited about the quality of the wrestlers who will be performing. "The Solution" Scott Fowler faces Brock Singleton for the CWF Heavyweight Championship. Fowler is coming up from Hagerstown, Md. and has worked with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in the past, appearing on "WWE Velocity," "WWE Heat" and "WWE Smackdown," where he wrestled Vito.
"It should be an exciting night for everybody all around," Fowler said. "There's a lot of good talent on the show."
Hughes said Fowler is a strong part of the talent and wouldn't be surprised to see him get an offer from WWE soon.
"Scott is phenomenal, he is absolutely phenomenal," Hughes said. "He is the best wrestler in CWF history that has yet to hold the CWF Heavyweight Championship."
Both wrestlers have much respect for one another and together create high-quality wrestling matches. Both Fowler and Hughes cited an example of that with the same match. In November 2007, the two wrestled each other in a Last Man Standing match in Altoona and both called it the best match of their careers.
"I appreciate Powerhouse saying that, actually," Fowler said. "He and I have a pretty storied history. He probably was in the best match I ever had. We wore each other out in that one. The crowd was electric."
"The match was 26-27 minutes long," Hughes said. "When the match ended, we literally got a standing ovation for several minutes. You had to be there to feel it, believe it. It was something that I'll never forget. It was an amazing match. The crowd was standing on their feet."
Hughes said the show is not just something the fans want to be a part of. He said wrestlers interested in performing here had to be turned away.
"People are paying their hard-earned money to watch the show and be entertained," Hughes said. "It's our duty and our obligation to entertain the people. Everybody gets amped up for the show. We haven't been to the Elk County area since last March, 16 months ago. I told the guys we were going back up. Everybody was so, so happy. We literally had to turn wrestlers away because they wanted to be a part of it, they know how special it is up there. I can't say enough, we love it there."
At the show, fans will have a chance to talk and interact with the talent who will be part of the show.
"We make sure that we get out there and talk to the fans," Hughes said. "They're spending their hard-earned money to buy a ticket to get in. They are spending their hard-earned money on merchandise and buying our shirts, our posters, programs. We appreciate them. It's our way of thanking them. We want them to see us. We go out there and shake hands. I'll sign autographs and take pictures all day-- every single fan in the building if they wanted. It's about the fans, it's not about us. The fans leave after the bell rings with the last match of the night. We want the fans to say, 'Wow, we got more than our money's worth.' We want them to go home happy because the wrestlers they like won their match or to go home upset because the wrestlers they don't like cheated or did whatever they could to win."
Kato wrestles "The Future" Calvin McGrath. Kato is undefeated in over 45 career matches with just two draws on his ledger, both to McGrath. McGrath was part of a CWF show in 2008 in the area. McGrath has recently signed a WWE contract.
Nick Mirra defends the CWF Allegheny Mountains Championship against "Hot Stuff" Chris Marx. "The Specialist," a CWF Tag Team champion, will take on "Big Time" Bill Collier. "Sniper," the other half of the CWF Tag Team champions, faces "Flex Lee."
A women's match has also been put on the card.
"We are bringing up a women's match," Hughes said. "Our shows up in the area, we've never had a women's match. Let's give the fans something different. We're excited to be having a women's match. We're having a battle royal. The fans are going to pick a match. We're so excited. We want to leave the fans with something that they're going to remember for the rest of their lives."
Thunder, Hughes, Dan Sandwich, Brittany Force and the Masked Duo are also scheduled to appear.
There will be a meet-and-greet at Joey's Bakery from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday.