WWE, AEW, MLW, ROH: Po wrestling takes over Philadelphia
By the end of the week, four major wrestling promotions will have hosted an event in Philly within a month. And one important point: wrestling fans are back in the arenas.
For months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, professional wrestlers struggled over their respective TV shows in front of virtual fans, their co-workers, or no crowd at all.
In fact, one of the last big WWE events before the pandemic closed was in Philly on March 8, 2020.
But now the Square Circle, its superstars and intrigues are back in the city of brotherly love.
In September, Ring of Honor hosted their Death Before Honor show in South Philadelphia.
Last Friday, WWE returned to Wells Fargo Center with Smackdown.
AEW, a relatively new brand with top ratings and mainstream buzz, hosts its anniversary show Dynamite in North Philly on Wednesday. (Former WWE Star Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) spoke to 6abc about his game-changing decision and more – watch this interview soon.)
But ahead of AEW, Major League Wrestling is hosting their Fightland TV taping in South Philadelphia on Saturday night. This is actually MLW’s second Philly event in recent months, having hosted Battle Riot III in July.
MLW fighters will fight inside the historic 2300 Arena, the former ECW Arena, which has hosted countless moments of wrestling since those extreme days in the 1990s.
6abc caught up with one of MLW’s biggest names, National Openweight Champion Alexander Hammerstone, to ask six questions ahead of his title vs. title match in the main event – which is called “The Most Anticipated Fight of the year”.
6abc: 1. Wrestling fans are back to the events. How important are fans to a series like Fightland?
Alexander: It makes all the difference. I credit the energy the fans brought to Battle Riot as the reason I was able to pass and win. I think Fightland is going to be pretty much the same story.
6abc: 2. Philadelphia will host a number of different wrestling events. What makes Philly wrestling fans different?
Alexander: Philly fans tend to be a bit wilder and a bit harder to convince. But once you have them in your corner, they are very loyal to their favorites.
6abc: 3. For fans who only know WWE, what sets MLW apart?
Alexander: I am thinking above all of a fusion of more widespread styles. Not only that, wrestlers have a lot of freedom to present themselves the way they want and I think that really shines through and creates an authentic product.
6abc: 4. Major League Wrestling has made 2300 Arena, the former ECW Arena, its home in Philly. How does it feel to wrestle in a building that has such a rich wrestling history?
Alexander: It’s just the most that adds to the vibe of the event and the night that makes things a little more special.
6abc: 5. At Fightland, his title for title. You against Jacob Fatu. It’s nicknamed “The Most Anticipated Title Fight of the Year”. Does that give you extra pressure to make sure you do your best on October 2?
Alexander: 100% is the greatest pressure I have ever felt for a game. I want to show my best. I want to win. I want to represent the company in a way that makes everyone proud. But the pressure hasn’t broken me yet, and on the contrary, I feel more ready than ever.
6abc: 6. What is Alexander Hammerstone’s ultimate career goal?
Alexander: I tend to take things step by step. At the moment, the world championship is obviously my goal. But realistically, I want to create a legacy that lasts longer than my days in the ring and that I can be proud of for many years to come.
MLW Fightland takes place on Saturday, October 2 at 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. It can also be seen on October 7 on ViceTV.
More information on MLW.com
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