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Professional wrestlers put on a show

May 25, 2007|By PEPPER BALLARD

South Hagerstown High School wrestling coach Ralph Stottlemyer slammed a briefcase over the head of "Corporal Punishment" Friday night, helping one of his former wrestlers, "Cocky" Rocky DiCola, win his first professional wrestling match.

About a dozen local and national professional wrestlers put on their best clotheslines and body slams for a jeering crowd gathered in South High's gym for the six-match event, a fundraiser for South High's wrestling team.

DiCola, 24, wrestled for South, but didn't get to put on the "flash" he brought to the mat Friday. In his "baby face" character, DiCola wore all black - from skullcap to boots - and yelled at Maryland Championship Wrestling's "Corporal Punishment," who made fun of his father, Vinny DiCola, the owner of Rocky's Pizza downtown.

"I like to go out there and entertain fans and give them a show," DiCola said before his debut match. Although he fought Corporal Punishment in the ring, DiCola ended up taking a body slam on the gym's wooden floor. He rubbed his head as he walked out the victor. Corporal Punishment remained on the mat and then - when he awoke - took a beating from the referee.

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Best friends Dalton Kline, 11, and Lasher Urciolo, 10, said they watch professional wrestling at their homes, but liked being ringside better. Dalton wants to be a professional wrestler when he gets older. His character will be both a good and a bad guy, he said.

Logan Nelson, 13, also is a big wrestling fan. He attended the match to see Gangrel, a former WWE wrestler.

His mother, Lorrie Nelson, said she easily is pulled into her son's wrestling passion. Wrestlers show "real athleticism, she said.

"Large, bulging men in tight tights, where is the wrong in this?" she said.

Logan, who has a long list of favorite wrestlers, doesn't try his idol's moves at home.

"As much as it can be fake, it can be really real," she said.

Some of the wrestlers with Hagerstown-based National Wrestling League - the event's sponsor - said they often leave their matches with bruises and sore muscles, but love the excitement that goes with it.

"It's a lot more physical and demanding than people realize," said John Kreczman, who wrestles as "John Rambo." Kreczman is the National Wrestling League's booker and instructor and is president of the league's sister league, House of Pain.

Wrestlers perform at National Wrestling League's headquarters, at 237 E. Franklin St. on Tuesdays and Saturday nights.

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