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Controversial Local Pro Wrestling Event Features Star Matt Hardy, Raises $2000 For Charity

Matt Hardy regarding his controversial past: "People make mistakes, and either you fall from your mistakes or you learn from them."

Matt Hardy, a controversial former WWE and TNA Impact Wrestling star, headlined a show in the area on Saturday, which caused some contention, but delighted local fans.

The show, organized by the Mariners Lodge Free and Accepted Masons, the Barnegat PBA, and National Pro Wrestling Superstars, featured local and national wrestling heroes for a crowd of more than 250 at Barnegat High School on June 2.

The show raised more than $2000 for the PBA and the Masons, the organizers said.

Prior to the show, some regarding Hardy's run-ins with the law, which included DWI and drug charges.

Hardy faced at least three different arrests, reports say, the most recent in September 2011 after a police raid of his North Carolina home revealed he had been possessing 20 vials of anabolic steroids and one hit of ecstasy, police said.

But the wrestling company sponsoring the event contended that Hardy had cleaned up his act.

“As far as my mental state of mind I’m great, regardless of whatever issues I've had," Hardy told Patch on Saturday. " People make mistakes, and either you fall from your mistakes or you learn from them.” 

Hardy has performed for more than 18 years. Together with his brother Jeff he formed the “Hardy Boyz” tag team in the WWF/WWE, capturing the companies' tag team titles six times. Perhaps his best-known involvement with the WWE was in the company’s first ever “Tables, Ladders, and Chairs” match at WrestleMania which later became one of the defining moments of the WWE’s famous “Attitude Era”.

Hardy had recently adopted a new slogan, "Stronger Than Death," as part of his act.

“I feel good, I’m happy about life, I’m happier than I’ve ever been," he added.

The fans said they were not bothered by the controversy.

“That’s life, out of the ring activities [are part of] life, it can also happen in major league baseball [or] football,” said Artie Corr, 63 who attended the show with his grandson Michael who is 10.

Corr is a supporter of NPWS having attended over 15 shows with his grandson. Corr likes the personalized nature of the shows and the affordable entertainment value they provide, he said. The NPWS’ shows have bridged a gap for Corr and his grandson so they can bond together, he added.

“We see sports figures now who are on interview shows and stuff, who have had controversial backgrounds,” said Corr. “I like to give everybody a second chance because I believe that it is important. If you blow it or you mess it up or you fall back [and] the demons reach out and grab you again then you can’t complain to anybody.”

Hardy competed in the show in a tag team main event while also staying around during intermission to sign autographs for the local fans. A line wrapped around the outside of the ring area filled with fans flocking to meet Hardy.

"I actually enjoy these small shows because there’s no politics, there’s no pressure," Hardy said. "Doing one or two shows a week my body is fine, it’s not the grind of doing five shows a week and wrestling 250 shows a year.”

Also appearing on the card was Hardy’s former TNA coworker known as “Robbie E” who plays a Jersey Shore reject character.  The wrestler himself is somewhat of a local legend having grown up in New Jersey and competed on the Indie Wrestling scene. The former TNA Impact Wrestling Television Champion competed in a triple threat match while also offering a seminar to the local wrestlers on how to improve their technique.

“This [character] isn’t that much different than what I was doing on the indie scene, I’m still the same kind of wacky guy or whatever granted it’s changed to more the Jersey Shore, but I go to those clubs regularly so it’s kind of like who I am,” said Robbie E.

The event featured a number of local talents including: The Equalizer, J.D Smoothie, Jersey Kidd, Nicky Oceans, and Corey Havoc among others.

The NPWS continue their tour of the tri-state area in July as they will head to Island Heights for another star-studded show. The full lineup is yet to be announced, but information on the show can be viewed at www.nwswrestling.com or www.facebook.com/nwswrestling

Eric Thomas June 05, 2012 at 08:11 PM
No one is "jamming" anything, Mr. Rahtjen. And since it was you who openly confessed that you organized this event, perhaps you have a biased interest in defending what went on. Please, tell us how what is shown in the photos is justified. When was the last time you hit someone with a chair, sir? Have you wrestling events, play with guns, do whatever you want to do; I am not your keeper. Just stop sending mixed messages to kids. They have enough on their minds nowadays. BTW, you have no earthly idea how much (or little) I or anybody else in Barnegat donates to worthy causes in this town, do you, Mr. Rahtjen? So long as I choose to, I will speak my mind. Certainly, you are free to do the same.
Eric Thomas June 05, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Fair enough, David. And spoken like a gentleman.
Eric Thomas June 05, 2012 at 08:14 PM
In closing, I invite everyone to review the following website. I think it will open your eyes; albeit it tragically: http://prowrestling.about.com/od/whatsrealwhatsfake/a/wrestlersdeaths.htm
David June 05, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Great job by you Mr Rahtjen. I hope we see more fun events in our town to raise money for worthy charities. Ouch...my coworker just hit me with a chair....I will be back.....
Pete June 05, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Yes I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion for sure. Yes I biased, I am a fan. I also will leave it as agreeing to disagree, the only difference is I wouldn't expend so much energy demanding this and that from people who approved the event. I wouldn't do.it to someone else, I just wouldn't support it, simple as that, but that's me.
Eric Thomas June 05, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Mr. Rahtjen, I am not in a position to "demand" anything from anyone, now am I? Besides, you and I are gentlemen and "demanding" is not a gentlemanly manifestation, is it? My one point of consternation is that you insinuated I am a "buddy" of your competitor; which is simply untrue. And while we are on that subject, I respectfully suggest you read Mr. Wise's comment as relates to the person with whom you elected to partner to produce this event. Mr. Wise's comment is quite correct in my opinion and that of others who spoke out in this forum. That said, I wish you well, sir. I know your heart is in the right place and thank you for your charitable work in benefit of those who might be less fortunate than you or I. It is good to know we have people like you living in Barnegat.
donald hinman June 05, 2012 at 10:35 PM
This guy is a steroid using bum. How anyone would have him and charity in the same sentence is beyond me.
Frankie 5s June 06, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Anybody with a even a half a head on their shoulder knows that Pro Wrestling is make-believe fantasy. The verbal assaults upon it as posted here are simply unfounded. You guys would do better to attack the real threats that Americans face now-a-days, beginning with clock stopping ignoramouses (or is it ignorami) just like yourself!
Philip Martine June 06, 2012 at 10:59 AM
So all those drug related deaths of pro wrestlers are fake? Chris Benoir slaughtering his wife and baby son was fake? Matt Hardy arrested for drugs was fake? The only thing that is fake Frankie is your brain.
Frankie 5s June 06, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Such is life and such is death. The professional occupation that has the most suicides of any other profession or occupation is being a dentist, shall we ban dentistry? Of course not, besides Chris Benoit was a crumby wrestler with a corrogated left wing liberal minded, condone and condemn everthing simultaneously attitude ... so there, you simple, narrow minded empty headed pain in the neck!
Jonathan Cioffi June 06, 2012 at 12:37 PM
What has happened to our society? If the man paid his debt for his crime, how is any different than Plaxico Burress, Warren Moon, Michael Vick, Charlie Sheen, Darryl Strawberry, etc. getting a second chance at life? I would not invite any of these individuals to babysit my children or teach them morality, but in a controlled environment, such as a sporting event or concert, there are being paid to do a specific task and should be able to do so. Secondly, there are plenty of individuals in our day and age that cannot afford to go to an event held at a stadium. If affordable entertainment can be brought down to our communities, I view it as a positive. If this isn't your brand of entertainment, you do not have to go. To address a comment about selling cookies. I'm surprised all the concerned citizens worried about the well being of our children didn't jump on this one. Here's some scary statistics about childhood obesity: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm So I as a citizen and parent, I have the right and obligation to do what I feel is good for my children. My choice is to go to events that interest them, discuss with them the difference between real and make believe, and get them out of the pantry, where those cookies are waiting, and in the backyard playing cops and robbers, army, tag, basketball, scootering, etc. The sole truth is if you are looking for role models for your children, start with yourself and work your way out.
donald hinman June 06, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Jonathan I think we all can say, we feel much dumber after reading all your nonsense. Thank you for making no sense what so ever.
David June 06, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Such positive people on this thread.
Peter Myers June 06, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I want to thank Frankie for giving Patch readers a living, breathing definition of just what a moron sounds like.
Peter Myers June 06, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Hey Jonathan, move to New York. Lord Bloomberg is legislating obesity away. He won't put daily gym workouts back in NYC schools but he will ban large soda portions. Remarkable he became a millionaire. If I want a 32oz soda and can only buy a 16oz bottle I simply buy two bottles. You miss the point Pal. The website Eric provided illustrates the number of pro wrestlers who died as a result of drugs and very many were under 35. Do some research on this insignificant creep Matt Hardy. He used and sold drugs. His girlfriend turned him in to the cops because she feared him. Are we now welcoming convicted drug users and sellers into our schools. Are those the role models you want your kids to latch onto. There are hours of free TV that show wrestling. You don't have to go to an arena that charges admission.
Peter Myers June 06, 2012 at 02:12 PM
If being positive means supporting what took place in the school. After looking at the photos and reading the web links, please label me NEGATIVE.
David June 06, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Mr Myers, I labeled you negative from the moment you called another reader a moron.
Frankie 5s June 07, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Mr. Panzarino produces a product that thousands of American gladly pay to see with their hard earned American working man dollars. Try talking to these people instead of instigating a self serving campaign to degrade and slander those who appreciate this centuries old art form that is loved by billions of people in every continent including Antartica. You'll find them to be the salt of the earth, the backbone and heart of real American folk culture. You will never succeed in denying them that which warms their souls and tickles their funny bones, they will go on, pro wrestling will go on, while you and all who attempt to impose their code of what's good for our children will surely fade way to nothingness. Long live Mr. Joseph Panzarino, long live Indie Pro Wrestling, long live America, long live freedom!
Andrew Hemphill June 07, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Long live your psychiatrist. He has lots of work to do.
Andrew Hemphill June 07, 2012 at 11:11 AM
If expressing an opinon is negative, look in your mirror. Should you have the courage to apply that definition evenhandedly, you probably will not like what you see. Have a positive day.
David June 07, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Hemphill, insulting people is an opinion? Sad. Sad indeed. I look in the mirror everyday and smile. I feel sorry for you. So much negativity in you.
Frank Lanzeti June 07, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Insults cannot be given, they can only be taken. Narcissism is a trait they beckons the self-inflated, egoistical, greater-than-thee types. If another thinks you are wrong, that is an opinion. It is not for anybody else to judge. Posting under a pseudonym or omitting a last name is a manifestation of cowardice, not an opinion, just the truth.
Frank Lanzeti June 07, 2012 at 12:33 PM
The people who seem unable to allow this non-story to die would appear to have an excess of time to spare. Time that might be used productively if they had the sophistication to learn how to do so. I firmly support the outcry concerning this exhibition. Money for charitable causes can be raised anyplace. Using one of the schools my child attends for nonsense like this is not acceptable. That is my opinion and I do not make the policies. It is best left to the overseers of education to decide if the type of spectacle that is depicted in the photographs is appropriate in a school. It does not matter that class was not in session. This article memorializes a display of brutality that was allowed. I will not fault the school superintendent. I do not believe she was aware of what was going to take place. I do not think an educated woman endorses what is shown in the pictures. I would like to think she has learned a lesson and will be more alert and investigate before the fact in the future.
Frankie 5s June 07, 2012 at 12:39 PM
I don't need no stinkin' psychiatrist, they're for weaklings who have lost their way, my love of freedom and my duty to stand by and protect it from those who wish to impose restriction after restriction until nothing's left by emptyness is all the so-called psychiatry I require. So pack your bags, pick up your stakes and relocate to Communist China, Enslaved Commie Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Somalia or any other gigantic waste land prison where freedom is despised and tyranny is embraced!
Frank Lanzeti June 07, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Agreed. You need a straitjacket.
David June 07, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Support what you want. The event happened. Move on.
Frankie 5s June 07, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Ah yes ... the Straight Jacked, the Ultimate Symbol of those whose ambition is to retrict, prohibit, subdue and eliminate all forms of Freedom of thought and expression that does not fall in line with their 'I know what's best for you' way of thinking.
David June 07, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Frankie 5s is on the money!!!!
David June 07, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I am done with this thread. Here is something for you all to enjoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2OR6Kjo5m4 for those that arent familiar with youtube...you can click the corner in 5 seconds to avoid the whole commercial......
Abraham Kennedy June 29, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Astounding professionalism.

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