It was 20 years yesterday...September 8...that marked the 20th anniversary of Brian Hildebrands passing after fighting a two year battle against stomach and bowel cancer. There are few people within wrestling who were held in such universally high regard at the time of their passing. When people eulogized Brian, the words they used werent the kind that social obligation or courtesy often require. Lots of people become posthumous heroes. But Brian was a real hero for the two years of his fight, and was an inspiration to many within wrestling for all the years her worked within the business long before that.
The words used by all who knew him, worked with him, and were fans of him, were deep and heartfelt, epitomized by Mick Foley, when he said about Brian in his best-selling book Mankind: Have A Nice Day: Brian brought out all the better angels of our nature.
Back at the time of his death, it was said that there were only two people in the entire wrestling business without enemies: Brian Hildebrand and Owen Hart. Neither are with us today. Brian was such a special person that he inspired everyone who knew himwhether friends, family, fans, or co- workers to frequently share our feelings on such a funny, dedicated, committed individual who was and always will be an inspiration to live each day of our lives to their fullest and to follow our dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem.
Then, there was Nathan Kehner, known by all in wrestling as Nate Hatred, who died a year ago in a car accident. Hatred was best known in the 2000s as part of the H8 Club with Nick Gage, who were three times CZW Tag Team Champions in 2001, 2002, and 2004.
In gimmick, Hatred looked like the type of person you warn your kids about, or becoming. The entrance to "Voodoo" by Godsmack added to the whole illusion. But that couldn't be farther from the truth. He was known as being very loyal. After being out for years with a back injury, he came back, working shows including the first Nick Gage Invitational in May 2015, and always included Dewey Donovan, who managed H8 Club in CZW. He never forgot people. People knew it and loved him for it. In a touching moment even on WWE's 205 Live, Drew Gulak wore "Hatred" on his wrist/arm tape and made sure it was seen. He was also remembered at this weekend's CZW Chris Ca$h Memorial Show and GCW's Nick Gage Invitational shows.
But well beyond the psychopathic looking wrestler, Nate had a second degree black belt, Kehner was a talented artist and, believe it or not, studied tap and jazz dancing. As seems to always be within wrestling, behind a monster, is a very real human being, who won't be forgotten.
Coming up as well this week is Combat Zone Wrestling's Chris Ca$h Memorial Show on FRIDAY (note different day of week), September 13 with a 8:00 pm bell time at the Colossal Sports Academy at The Coliseum in Voorhees, NJ. Featured matches are CZW World Champion John Silver defending his title vs. Conor Claxton and. Joe Gacy , the annual Chris Ca$h Memorial Ladder Match, and Anthony Gagnone/Matt Tremont vs. THE REP (with Maven Bentley).
One final note...for those of you who run independent wrestling promotions, it may still be summertime, but schools are open and the NFL season just started. Fall is only days away... and after fall, comes the Holidays.
During that season, the wrestling community will reach out to those in need with benefits or collections for various food pantries, fundraisers for homeless or domestic violence shelters...and lots and lots of Toys for Tots drives, collecting warm coats and events benefiting other charities.
Last year I managed to find 86 different events in communities through the United States and Canada. Keep in mind that these were the shows I had information for. There were certainly far more held. here is what those promotions did:
* $74,718.94 raised (US and Canadian) * 5,683 toys collected * 4,750 pounds of food (equivalent of cans, non-perishables, etc.). That's over TWO TONS of food. TONS. * 32 blankets and 30 winter coats, plus personal items including socks, underwear, soap bars, disposable razors, gloves, shaving cream.
Please email me your events, or message me at the PWBTS Facebook page. I want to start listing these events as soon as possible.