Glassport's Lord Zoltan, friends aid school with Deaf WrestleFest
A professional wrestling legend is bringing together local talent and a Hall of Famer for an extravaganza at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.
Glassport resident Ken Jugan, who is known in the wrestling world as Lord Zoltan, created Deaf WrestleFest in 1994, and the 2011 version of the annual event is set for Sunday at 6 p.m. at 300 E. Swissvale Ave. in Edgewood.
General admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Limited front-row seats are available for $25. The event is sponsored by the WPSD Parent-Staff Organization and is a key fund-raiser for the school.
'We look forward to the event every spring and it is a great fund-raiser for the school,' said WPSD marketing director Vicki Cherney.
Deaf WrestleFest has featured some of the biggest names in professional wrestling, ranging from 'Superfly' Jimmy Snuka to the Honky Tonk Man and Mick Foley.
This year`s event promises to be one of epic proportions as World Wrestling Entertainment`s Hall of Famer 'Mr. USA' Tony Atlas is putting the show on his shoulders and performing in the main event alongside Pittsburgh`s own Shane Douglas and Dynamite Dean.
The trio takes on STAR 100.7 FM`s Bubba the Bulldog, Sean Alexander and Bill Collier.
Atlas began wrestling in the 1970s. The journeyman performed for a variety of promotions, and is best known for his time in the World Wrestling Federation, now WWE, where he was a world tag team champion alongside fellow WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson.
Atlas` story is one of riches to rags and back to riches. He gained much success through wrestling and eventually lost it all along a drug-filled path and was homeless for a time on the streets of Boston. He has since married, and gives motivational speeches based on his experiences.
Former WWE superstar Zach Gowen is scheduled to take on Bobby Shields. Gowen, 28, of Michigan, lost his left leg to cancer at age 8. Despite that, Gowan can perform an arsenal of wrestling holds and maneuvers, including amazing aerial attacks.
'When I was deciding which wrestlers would participate in this year`s Dead WrestleFest, Zach Gowan was an easy choice,' said Jugan. 'Not only will he put on an impressive visual performance, but he also is a role model for WPSD students. Both Zach and Tony Atlas have overcome a lot of obstacles in their lives, and I think that people of all ages will find them both to be very inspirational.'
Jugan reanimated Deaf WrestleFest in 2009 after a seven-year hiatus. Its return was in conjunction with the school`s 140th anniversary.
Jugan has two sons, Adam and Blaise, both of whom were born deaf and attended the school. Both boys were on championship soccer teams in separate years.
Mia Yim, one of the top women wrestlers in the country, will make her Deaf WrestleFest debut.
Organizers said Yim`s boyfriend is deaf, and so the event holds personal meaning to her. She volunteered to be a part of the show.
The stars of GOUGE, a North Carolina-based wrestling company, will make their first appearance in Pennsylvania Sunday. Vordell Walker will battle Damien Wayne for the GOUGE heavyweight title, and Bad Romance takes on The Ciceros for the GOUGE tag team titles.
Other matches on the card include Seymour Snott vs. Jimmy Jack Funk Jr., The Latin Assassin vs. Anthony Alexander, Kris Kash and Justin Sane vs. The VIP`s Lou Martin and Shane Blanchard, Doink the Clown vs. Nasty Nick Crane, Brittany Force vs. Mia Yim, and KDKA-FM 93.7 The Fan`s Jon Burton vs. NWA East star Crusher Hansen.
Patrons are urged to arrive at the event early to maximize fan/wrestler interaction. For more information and to reserve tickets, go online to www.deafwrestlefest.vze.com .