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Wrestling can bring lift to U.S. troops

March 04, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

BLUE RIDGE SUMMIT, Pa. - It may not be the "Thrilla in Manila," the touted fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier some 30 years ago, but professional wrestling fans can see two aging grapplers take on the youngsters Saturday at the Blue Ridge Fire and Rescue Hall.

Wrestling fans in the Armed Forces in Iraq also can see the matches, dubbed "War on the Mountain," on VCR tapes that Mike Pryor, owner of Mountain Shadows Restaurant in Blue Ridge Summit, will tape and send overseas at the request of relatives and friends of the GIs.

As of Thursday, Pryor said he has had requests to send tapes to sons, husbands, nephews and friends fighting in Iraq from a dozen area residents from Hagerstown, Smithsburg, Clear Spring, Hancock, Frederick, Md., Chambersburg, Pa., and Waynesboro, Pa.

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To request a tape to be sent to Iraq, write to Mike Pryor, P.O. Box 183, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214. There is no charge to the families of military personnel in Iraq.

Pryor manages several professional wrestlers part time, an avocation he picked up over the years as an avid enthusiast of the sport-entertainment enterprise.

Saturday's card, which gets under way at 7:30 p.m., will feature Nickolai Volkoff, a semi-retired wrestler who was a major contender in the 1970s and '80s. The Moscow-born Volkoff would sing the Soviet Union national anthem before matches, an act that infuriated American audiences, Pryor said.

Volkoff has been inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame.

"The Patriot," another old-timer who performs part time, will headline Sunday's event with Volkoff, Pryor said.

Featured wrestlers Sunday include Joseph Brooks, Spazman, Dorian DeVille, Pinnacle Shaw Patrick, Tank Thomas, McNasty, Johnny Glitter, Snatch Haggis and Nightmare.

Saturday's competition will involve singles matches and tag-team events.

Professional wrestling will be held one Saturday a month all year at the fire hall in Blue Ridge Summit, Pryor said.

Volkoff, who lives in Baltimore, will be featured every month through 2005.

"He agreed to work with us all year," Pryor said. "A hall-of-famer ... will draw people in."

For more information about pro wrestling at Blue Ridge Summit, check out www.kyda.com.

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