There is something to
be said for a wrestler who begins bleeding a full two hours before his match is scheduled to begin. I've always had a certain
fondness for those athletes who choose to suffer for their art and John Kronus has suffered worse than most casualties of
five car pile-ups.
"Look at this, I'm bleeding
already," he said while dabbing away at small spots of blood that had begun to trickle down his war-scarred forehead. "If
you think this is bad, just wait 'til my match. I'll look like I'm half dead."
Years of watching Kronus
ply his trade in ECW and on the independent circuit have taught me to never doubt his word. Some wrestlers blade to put an
exclamation point on a heated feud, some wrestlers blade because they think it will help them win over the hardcore crowd,
and some wrestlers blade because it's as integral a part of their repertoire as the most awe inspiring finishing maneuver.
Count Kronus in as a member of the latter group.
"All you have to do is
look at Kronus and he starts gushing blood," remarked Chaotic Wrestling heavyweight champion Gino Martino, Kronus' opponent
last Friday evening.
Martino was excited about
the prospect of once again facing Kronus and why wouldn't he be? The last time the two men had faced each other at Johnson
& Wales College in RI, they wreaked such bloody havoc on each other that the show was stopped before headliner Tony Atlas
could even make his way to the ring for the main event. Now they would square off as part of a Chaotic show at the Wonderland
Greyhound Park in Revere, MA, a town known for its sheer unmitigated lust for violence. Revere is the town where New Jack
carved Mass Transit like a Thanksgiving turkey, where mob hits are as common as the ticking of a clock and where weapons are
a fashion accessory no self respecting citizen can afford to live without.
If the crowd had paid
to watch two men beat each other to the point that dental records were needed to prove their identity, they certainly got
their money's worth. The match started off routinely enough with Kronus playing to the crowd by dancing around the ring while
Martino traded insults with the ringsiders. Within moments, however, comedy was replaced by music as Kronus played a sonata
on Martino's forehead with a sheet of plywood outside the ring. Martino responded in kind with a flurry of punches, kicks
and headlong tosses into the ringpost. After five or six minutes of action, both men looked like a medical experiment gone
awry and, wonder of wonders, the crowd couldn't have been happier if free Tupperware had been given at the door.
I'll have to admit that
I was enjoying myself quite a bit too.at least until Kronus landed at my feet and deposited a pint of Type O Negative on my
wife's jacket. While she bravely moved my work coat safely beyond the two combatant's reach, I wondered whether cool water
and hydrogen peroxide really could remove the toughest of stains. I guess we'll have to find out later on this week as neither
one of us has had the heart to move her jacket from the back of the car. Any would be car thieves can't help but be deterred
by the bloody garment in a heap in the backseat.
With that bit of drama
out of the way, Martino and Kronus returned to the ring where they unveiled the best surprise of the night - a wooden sheet
covered with nails. Gino had pointed out the instrument of destruction earlier in the evening, but I thought it was more for
show than anything else. It's one thing to show a friend a rusty .38 you heisted from the local pawnshop - it's quite another
to lead an interstate crime spree. To his apparent delight, Gino was tossed into the board of nails probably three or four
times, each time eliciting the much revered "Holy s***" chant. He bled a little, and then bled some more, but still seemed
to be enjoying his part of the fray. As for Kronus, it was a wonder that he could even see his opponent - his blood had coagulated
into a weird sort of hair gel that if ever marketed correctly, would put Vidal Sassoon out of business for good.
After 25 minutes, fourteen
pints of blood and two concussions, the suffering finally came to an end as Martino vanquished Kronus, thus retaining his
title. Both men shook hands and the crowd gave them a richly deserved standing ovation. Kronus was all smiles after the show,
taking photos with fans who were no doubt delighted to embrace the blood soaked hometown boy. Back in the dressing room, it's
safe to say that Martino was smiling too. In a day when the term "hardcore" is attributed to anyone who simply picks up a
chair in anger, these two men redefined the word.
Is hardcore wrestling
alive and well in Revere, MA? It sure is.just ask my drycleaner.
cannot speak highly enough of the professionalism displayed by the Chaotic Wrestling promotion. From the moment fans come
through the door until the time when the last match leaves the ring, they are made to feel welcome. During last Friday's show,
fans were thanked for their patience (the show started a bit late because the ring was slow in arriving) and they were thanked
for keeping the enthusiasm level up throughout the night. The Chaotic staff has certainly learned how to build a fan base
- offer quality action and don't act as if you're doing the paying public a favor by putting on a show.
the way, the Martino/Kronus show stopping brawl at Johnson & Wales did not take place under the Chaotic banner. It was
actually for another local New England indy.
Rich Palladino and Milo played off each other very well on Friday, lending a special touch to the proceedings. You don't often
go to an indy show and hear play by play while the action is taking place.
will soon take to the airwaves each Saturday evening/Sunday morning at 1:30 a.m. on WUNI Channel 27 Worcester-Boston. New
England fans will remember this cable outlet as the former home for ECW's syndicated show.