Getting ready to rumble

PLATTSBURGH Lights. Camera. Total Nonstop Action. The North Country will soon be taken by storm as some of the biggest names in professional wrestling take to the unique hexagon ring at the Crete Memorial Civic Center Saturday, May 10. The center will host Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, the second-largest wrestling organization in the world, which offers a unique style of wrestling that features a blend of traditional wrestling with high-flying athleticism and cutting edge action. The live event has been six months in the making and one the North Country wont soon forget, said organizer John Lahart. This is the first time in a long time weve brought a major event like this to Plattsburgh, said Lahart. Ive always wanted to have wrestling back in the area and to headline at the Crete is a dream. The last time a wrestling event of this magnitude was held in Plattsburgh was when the former World Wrestling Federation, now known as World Wrestling Entertainment, hosted an exhibition at the civic center in July 1993. The upcoming event came about through connections Lahart and business partner Gary Hathaway have made during their career in professional wrestling promotions, said Lahart. The two have been booking and coordinating independent wrestling shows and personal appearances with professional wrestlers in New York and Vermont for several years, which led to their coordinating with the Nashville-based wrestling corporation. The two also proudly promote TNA Wrestling for itsfan-friendly approach, said Lahart. The organization involves more interaction with the people than with traditional wrestling events, he said, with fans having more opportunities to meet the wrestlers, get photos with them and get their autographs. Its more of a relaxed situation, said Lahart. These guys are here for the fans. Its not just about a paycheck for them. Those who have followed wrestling through other organizations over the year will recognize several familiar faces at the May 10 event, said Lahart. Among those headlining at the civic center will be Kurt Angle, a two-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion billed as the only Olympic Gold Medal winner in professional wrestling history. Angle, who has also held the TNA World Tag Team Champion and X Division Champion titles, will be joined by rival The Samoan Submission Machine, Samoa Joe, who recently won the Heavyweight Championship away from him in the organizations Pay-Per-View Lockdown event held two weeks ago. The card, which is subject to change, is also expected to include wrestling superstars Booker T, A.J. Styles, Tomko, The Latin American Exchange, Robery Roode, The Motor City Machine Guns and several other well-known personalities. Theres also a possibility at this event there may be some surprises, said Lahart. I cant say exactly, but since this event is being held right before a big Pay-Per-View match, there might be something extra in store for the fans. The Plattsburgh venue, said Lahart, will be the precursor event to TNAs Pay-Per-View special, Sacrifice, which will air live from Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., the following night. The civic center will also be one of three locations TNA Wrestling will be hosted in the Northeast. Shows in Vermont are scheduled in Barre and Derby May 8 and 9, respectively. The events also promise to be full of action and have less talk than other wrestling events, Lahart added. Depending on the response the Plattsburgh event receives, said Lahart, TNA Wrestling could return to the civic center, with the possibility of Pay-Per-View events being held here in the future. Its his intention this event will not only be the catalyst for future TNA events, but for other major events as well. Were trying to put Plattsburgh back on the map as a major attraction, said Lahart. With the success we expect this will be, who knows whats next? General admission for the May 10 event is $33 or $50 for ringside seats. Tickets are available at Music and More at the Champlain Centre mall, 563-6130, and through the Flynn Center in Burlington, Vt., by calling the box office at 1-802-863-5966 or visiting www.flynncenter.org. The event will also include a 50/50 fundraiser for the Au Sable Valley Central School chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions. Students representatives from the club will be at the event selling tickets to support future activities. TNA Wrestlings two-hour television program, TNA iMPACT!, can be seen Thursdays at 9 p.m. on SpikeTV. Win tickets to the show Want a chance to win tickets, TNA merchandise or a chance to meet the wrestlers backstage at the Crete? Denton Publications has teamed up with TNA Wrestling to award the following prizes: Grand Prizes (2): Two tickets to the event, two TNA T-shirts, two TNA DVDs, AND two backstage passes to meet TNA wrestlers Second Prize (1): One ticket to the event, one TNA T-shirt and one TNA DVD Third Prize (1): One ticket to the event and one TNA T-shirt How do you enter to win? Simply look for the TNA Wrestling promotion entry form in this publication, fill it out and mail it to us marked TNA Wrestling Contest, in care of Denton Publications, 24 Margaret St., Suite 1, Plattsburgh N.Y. 12901. See entry form for rules and limitations.

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