MEDIA: Ready to get back to extreme action (Burlington County Times)
Posted on 3/28/114 by Bob Magee
Ready to get back to extreme actionJoe Mason
Joe Mason can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow me @jmasonnewsbreak | Updated 5 hours ago
Steve O’Neill was riding high.
The owner and chief cook and bottle washer of Extreme Rising had every reason to be happy after his December show at the former ECW Arena.
The wrestlers were happy.
The fans were happy.
His workers were happy.
And that meant he was happy.
Extreme Rising had delivered a great show, top to bottom, and everything was going great.
That meant he had time to focus on his next shows – one in Pittsburgh, the other in Philadelphia.
Then things he couldn’t control played havoc with everything.
The Pittsburgh show was nixed because Pennsylvania was under a state of emergency because of poor weather conditions.
“We had to put safety ahead of everything,” O’Neill said. “The wrestlers probably could have toughed it out and made it, but we had to worry about the fans. The last thing we needed was somebody, a wrestler or a fan, getting hurt or killed on their way. It wasn’t what we wanted to do, but canceling it was the responsible thing.”
That was a downer, but O’Neill then turned his attention to the company’s next show at its home base.
This time, the arena didn’t have proper clearance from the city to open up.
“It was bad because it wasn’t our fault,” O’Neill admitted. “Roger (Artigiani, the general manager of the arena) was great. He said we could do the show, but it would have got it closed down, and then everyone is out. I didn’t want to do that.”
After trying to secure alternative sites for the show, O’Neill begrudgingly had to postpone it.
Now, he’s focused on making good.
Much like the snow, O’Neill’s disappointment has melted away. And in its place is the excitement of a trifecta of shows at the Arena in South Philadelphia on April 25, 26 and 27.
The show on Friday night is the rescheduled show of March 1.
The following show is the regularly scheduled show celebrating the company’s anniversary.
And the Sunday afternoon billing is a Lucha Libre show featuring the best high flyers in the world.
People who have tickets for the March 1 show can exchange them for the April 25 show, and if they’re unable to make it, arrangements can be made.
But O’Neill is doing other things to make it up.
People who had tickets to that show were treated to a pair of wrestling events – one in Delaware, another in New York. And a barbeque will be held before the April 25 show where fans can share a burger with their favorite Extreme Rising superstars.
“We want fans to know that we really care and we’re doing everything we can to make them happy,” O’Neill said. “These events really weren’t our fault, but we understand people can be disappointed. I want people to know that we appreciate their support.”
So much so that O’Neill and some of his wrestlers sat outside the Arena on the night of the canceled show to meet fans and explain the situation.
They handed out drinks, DVDs and signed autographs.
“I spoke with Mike Johnson (wrestling journalist from PWInsider.com and longtime ECW fan) and he told me that back in the original ECW, they had a show cancel at a nightclub,” O’Neill said. “It was the night before and there was no way for them to reschedule. They did the same thing. It’s a way to show everyone that you care, and I wanted to do the same thing.”
O’Neill is doing everything he can to make sure Extreme Rising continues on the momentum it built in December.
And he’s not alone.
O’Neill works around the clock, pouring his heart into Extreme Rising. But his wife, Ann Pineapple, his daughter Morgan and his brother Mike have all done everything in their power to keep the company running.
“They’re all huge,” O’Neill said. “They all do everything. I’m always busy, I work nonstop. Maybe I’ll work a few hours, grab a nap, then reenergize.
“It’s important to all of us. It’s what we do. It might sound like a strange answer, but this is what we do.”
For details on the three upcoming shows in Philadelphia, for details on ticket exchanges or to purchase tickets, visit www.extremerising.com.