Brawl Under the Bridge: Demolition Ax takes final bow
Bill Eadie battled in his first wrestling match in 1972 in Pittsburgh. After wrestling around the world and for more than three decades, Eadie returned to Pittsburgh for his last singles match in Homestead.
"I won't miss this part," says Eadie, slipping on and clasping his boots before donning his silver makeup, made famous by his appearance as Ax in the tag team called Demolition. His partner Smash, AKA Barry Darsow, held the WWF World Tag Team Title from 1988 to 1990, and won the championship three times.
Bill Eadie, or Demolition Ax, puts on makeup behind the scenes before stepping out to meet fans at the Brawl Under the Bridge III on July 22 in Homestead.
Born in Brownsville, Eadie's career took him all over the world.
As The Masked Superstar, he battled wrestling legends Hulk Hogan, Bob Backlund, Sgt. Slaughter and Jimmy Snuka.
After leaving the World Wrestling Federation in 1990, Eadie continued on the independent circuit, touring with New Japan Pro Wrestling, competing in the Southern independent circuit and other "legends" matches across the United States.
Bill Eadie slips on and clasps his boots while getting ready for his last singles fight at the Brawl Under the Bridge III.
In 2009, after Eadie's first Keystone State Wrestling Alliance tag-team match against Shawn Blanchard at the FanFest in December 2008, Eadie was inducted into the KSWA Hall of Fame for his tie to Western Pennsylvania and his illustrious career.
A career which is now coming to a close. While Eadie has one more team match in August, he stepped into the ring alone for the last time on July 22.
Demolition Ax and Bill Vallecorsa, from Pittsburgh, share old wrestling stories.
"I have had a good career and have enjoyed it very much," says Eadie, "I feel the support of the fans and thank them for all of their support over the years."
Eadie explains that for him, it's all about the fans. He says without them none of it would be possible. Before the match, he greeted and posed for pictures with many of them. Some passed by just to shake his hand, while others wanted to talk about old fights and other legends like André the Giant.
A crowd gathers next to the wrestling ring to watch a match at the Brawl Under the Bridge III.
Before the match started, announcers presented Eadie with a letter from Governor Tom Wolf, congratulating him on his success and thanking him for representing Pennsylvania so well.
As Demolition Ax stepped into the ring, the sun began to set and the crowd cheered in support. In the end, Ax took the title from reigning Brawl Under the Bridge Champion, Shawn Blanchard, and made a quiet exit.
Demolition Ax exits the arena under the bridge after defeating champion Shawn Blanchard for the title.
This year marks a year of great change for the wrestling star, as it is also his last year in a more than 20-year career as a special-education teacher for juvenile offenders in Georgia.
"It was a little moving having my final match but also a little relaxing knowing it is over," says Eadie. His last singles match may be done, but he will still continue to make appearances at comic conventions and other events.
Kyle Hodges is a Tribune-Review photographer.