Christmas trees and decorations are up everywhere. Hallmark Channel is in the middle of its Christmas mega-movie marathons. The retail cyber-universe is busy. The party season has started in full effect.
As we go to have fun at holiday parties, or at our wrestling shows in the coming weeks, there is often one small thing we can do while having our fun. One small thing that, to you, "wasn't any big deal"....was just "one small thing".
Independent wrestling promotions of various sizes and types throughout the United States and Canada run such events helping communities with Toys for Tots collections, canned and non-perishable food collections, warn coat and clothing collections, and other charitable efforts. They get get a rap from some fans who don't know better. They're dismissed as "not WWE", "too boring", "all blood and guts", "not professional", and a hundred other things. Even a major wrestling website (note: not Dave Meltzer, who had been very helpful over the years with posting events) decided independent events that help their communities weren't important to be on his site.
These promotions provide live entertainment for their communities, and at this time of year, they serve the communities they run shows in...and provide help that no one else does to those in need.
64 such events have been announced for the Holidays or already held:
* Hoosier Pro Wrestling raised $775 cash, 10 new bikes valued at $800 and $500 in toys (total donation of over $2000) at the November 4 19th anniversary show (as well as collected toys at the October 7 show)
* Cassidy Christie Memorial Show raised $2,300 for the Cassidy Christie Memorial College Scholarship Fund. Cassidy Christie is the 11 year old daughter of longtime Michigan wrestler Pete Christie who died from a rare form of cancer in November 2015.
* Smash Wrestling held a show in Cobourg, ON in support of Fighting the Truth on November 10. Fighting the Truth is a non-profit organization which raises awareness for mental illness and alcohol and substance abuse in sports.
* UWE Pro Wrestling presented its annual Headlock for Hunger on November 11 at The Wex in Cadillac, MI. Just over 200 pounds of canned and non-perishable food was collected for Shepard's Table.
* Fighting for Autism partnered with Dynamo Pro Wrestling in a benefit show on November 11 in St. Charles, MO.
* Northern Tier Wrestling presented Fight for the Cure on November 12th in Towanda, PA and raised $320 for the Janet Weis Children's Hospital helping children with pediatric cancer.
* Tommy Wildfire Rich's Wrestling School in Myrtle Beach, BC did a food drive from November 6-14. Numerous boxes of non-perishable and canned food were donated to local charities along with fresh chickens from a local merchant, Fieldale Farms.
* Primal Conflict Wrestling held it annual food drive at its November 18 Harper's Ferry, WV event and collected 113 pounds of food for Jefferson County Community Ministries.
* IWA Vintage Pro Wrestling and DAWG held a benefit event on November 18 at The Alms Center in Bridgeton, NJ for CASA. Nearly $100 was raised that will help the organization that advocates on behalf of abused and neglected children who are struggling in foster care.
* All Pro Wrestling and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada again held Headlock on Hunger on November 18 at the Edward C Reed High School, Sparks, NV. They EXCEEDED their goal of enough collected for TEN THOUSAND MEALS.
* NOVA Pro Wrestling again helped the Jewish Community Center of Fairfax, VA on November 24 with its FACETS Toy Collection at its "11th Dimension" show at the JCC in Fairfax, VA. 300 toys were donated.
* Appalachian Mountain Wrestling presented "Thanksgiving Turmoil 2" on November 23 in Hazard, KY at AB Combs Elementary School, AND presented "Blue & Black Friday" on November 24 in Jackson, KY at Breathitt County High School, collecting toys for their annual Toy Drive. At least 500 toys and $500 were collected.
* Vancouver Island Pro Wrestling presents "Headlocks for Hunger" on November 25 for the fourth consecutive year at the Departure Bay Activity Center in Nanaimo, BC, VIPW collected 3 huge canned and non-perishable bins of food for the local Loaves and Fishes food bank.
* All Star Wrestling/West Virginia returned to Madison, WV on Black Friday (November 24th). Santa again collected numerous bags of toys and $100 for The Nice List.
To add to what was raised, "Santa" actively participated on Black Friday, as he carried "The List of Santa" which had papers on it that were divided in half for the Nice List and the Naughty List. As kids, approached Santa asked them for their name and put them on the Nice List. On the Naughty List were most of the heels of the show (faces on the Nice List). During some of the matches, Santa walked up towards the entrance ramp and would "take notes". It led to heel Rocky Rage making a crotch chop at Santa and the crowd chanting "Rocky's on the naughty list" At the end of the show, Rocky and his faction #SRO was presented with some coal for being on the naughty list.
* Classic Championship Wrestling returned to Lebanon, PA on November 24 for Blood, Sweat, and Chairs, collecting toys for Toys for Tots.
* Pro Wrestling Eclipse presented November Bash on November 26 at the Oshawa Legion Branch 43, Oshawa, ON. This year's November Bash supported Feed The Street and Cold Foot Canada, with non perishable goods and clothing collected at the show. The effort will continue in January as well.
* Delmarva Wrestling Digest and Kentucky Fried Chicken of Seaford, DE presented their third annual Toys for Tots Toy Drive featuring Ring of Honor Superstars "Dem Boys" Jay & Mark Briscoe and some of Delmarva's top independent on Wednesday, November 29 which produced nine industrial size trash bags full of toys...and counting.
* Christian Wrestling Association International and Cody Hawk Pro Wrestling Training Camp presented Warehouse Wars on Friday, December 1 at 1930 Fairgrove Ave, Hamilton, OH. 25 to 30 cases of food were collected. The promotion will do another collection in December, and hopes to collect 100 cases by the end of December. The event featured live pro wrestling with the stars of the CWAI & the students of Cody Hawk's Pro Wrestling Training Camp.
* Eastern Panhandle Pro Wrestling presented HARDCORE Christmas in Kearneysville, WV. in cooperation with Ghostbusters Tri-State Division, as part of a Christmas Toy Drive for Community Children.
* Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling returned to Pitt Meadows, BC on December 1 with proceeds benefiting Diabetes Canada.
* MCW Pro Wrestling presented "Season's Beatings", its annual Toys for Tots show in December 1 in Joppa, MD, and hundreds of new toys and games.
* Harley Races World League Wrestling presented Christmas Bash 2017 on December 2 in Troy. MO, raising both monetary and food donations for the local community food pantry The Bread For Life Food Pantry.
* Hoosier Pro Wrestling did its final Firemen's Cheer Fund Toys for Tots show (of three shows yearly) in Columbus, IN on December 2. Despite the Columbus Festival of Lights which drew around 10,000 people, $400 cash, $600 in toys was collected with more from a local sponsor who collected at their business. For the year as a whole (3 shows), Hoosier Pro Wrestling collected over $3000 in toys and cash.
* Crossfire Wrestling returned to St. Catharines, ON on December 2 for Jingle Bell Brawl, $1740 was raised for the Niagara Peninsula Children's Foundation.
* Wrestling for Charity presented "Fight for Daniel" on December 2 at the Claremore Community Center, Claremore, OK to benefit the families of children fighting childhood cancer.
* Monster Factory Pro Wrestling returned on December 2 to the Monster Factory in Paulsboro, NJ, and got at least a box of toys for the Toys for Tots collection at the show.
* United Wrestling Coalition of Wrightstown, NJ, held its annual Toys for Tots event on December 2. 12 dozen full boxes of toys and 9 bikes were collected, as well as 30 stockings for the people of the Houston and Puerto Rico regions. The promotion also began a clothing drive to help the homeless.
* The Delaware/South Jersey based ECWA held its annual Toys for Tots show on December 2 in Woodbury Heights, NJ. Two Toys for Tots boxes, plus one big bag were collected.
* Chinlock Wrestling returned to Kingston, ON on December 2 for its annual holiday charity show to benefit Youth Diversion and Family and Children's Services' Tree of Hope campaign, raising what was estimated by the promotion as "thousands". The event featured Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat.
* Ring Wars Carolina returned to Lumberton, NC on December 2, collecting donations of gift cards were accepted as admission, and donated to area flood victims.
* Keystone State Wrestling Alliance presented Fan Fest/Toy Drive 2017 on December 2 in Pittsburgh, PA. Hundreds of toys were collected.
* American Premier Wrestling presented BRAWL 30 - Toys for Tots on December 2 at the APW Slam Center , Statesboro, GA, collecting over 300 toys.
* Aspire Pro Wrestling returned to action on December 3 at the Pennsauken Youth Athletic Association, Pennsauken, NJ. Donations of canned goods and non-perishables were collected for the South Jersey Food Bank.
* Brew City Wrestling has scheduled its annual Headlock for Hunger food collection at its December 8 show in West Allis, WI. Featured matches: Champion Evil Sierra vs. "Golden Goddess" Lina De' Oro vs. "Midwest Slayer" Stacy Shadows vs. "Blue Phoenix" Vanessa Azure', and Beer City Bruiser (with "Mouth of the Midwest" JP) -vs- Brandon Blaze
* California's Big Time Wrestling returns for "Rock The Bells", their annual holiday toy drive in Newark, CA on December 8.
* Adrenaline Championship Wrestling returns to Denton, MD on December 8 for their annual Toys for Tots show.
* H20: HardCore Hustle Organization returns on December 8 for HOSS, a 16 person tournament at the Monroe Business Center, 1041 Glassboro Road/Building C/Suite 1 in Williamstown, NJ. The show will feature a Toys for Toys collection.
* United Pro Wrestling teams up with Ultimate Championship Wrestling on December 9 for a Toys for Tots Toy Drive at the National Guard Armory in Bowling Green, KY.
* Northeast Wrestling returns to the NEW Arena, 40 Peck Road, Bethany, CT on Saturday, December 9 for King of Bethany. This is Northeast Wrestling's annual holiday spectacular and a Toys for Tots - Fundraising event. The Marines will be in attendance that day. The promotion asks all of its fans to help those in need to bring an unwrapped toy and support Toys for Tots this holiday season.
* Nueva Revelacion de Lucha Libre returns to Be A Sport Gym, 320 Etta Lane, Thomasville, NC on December 9 as Nueva Revelacion de Lucha Libre's presents the fourth annual Lucha 4 a Toy show.
* Grand Slam Wrestling returns to the GSW Arena, Old Forge, PA for Jingle Brawl on December 9. A Toys for Tots collection takes place at the show.
* All State Championship Wrestling returns to New Egypt, NJ on December 9 at New Egypt High School with a 7:00 pm bell time to benefit Toys for Tots. $5 off your ticket with a new, unwrapped toy.
* 3Count Pro Wrestling returns to Liberty High 124 Red Devil Dr, Liberty, SC on December 9 for Country Santa Clash 5 as they raise money and collect toys for Country Santa. WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson will be there for a VIP meet and greet at 5:30 pm.
* Combat Zone Wrestling and DJ Hyde have agreed again to do the annual Toys for Tots collection (in conjunction with the Marine Corps Reserve) for the thirteenth year in a row at Combat Zone Wrestling's Cage of Death 19 on December 9 at the Rastelli Kids Complex, 1855 Hurffville Rd, Sewell, NJ. Matches announced: In the Cage of Death... CZW World Heavyweight Champion Rickey Shane Page vs. Joe Gacy vs. Shane Strickland, and Jimmy Lloyd vs. Matt Tremont Pit of 10,000 thumbtacks match
* DCW Pro Wrestling presents Rumble for Glory on December 9 at the Milford Community Center, 105 NE Front St. Milford, DE to benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
* Xtreme Intense Championship Wrestling returns to Warren, MI and the Hot Rock Sports Bar and Cafe on December 10 for Hardcore With A Heart with a 5:30 pm bell time. Help XICW bodyslam hunger this holiday season. We're hosting a canned goods drive to help feed the homeless of Detroit. If you donate 5 canned goods at the door, you receive a free GA ticket to the show. We have also reduced prices for advance front row tickets and all VIP booths.
* Golden Corner Wrestling presents Christmas Corner in Seneca, SC on December 10 at the Bounty Land Baptist Church, 1926 Blue Ridge Blvd, Seneca, SC. The event will raise money for a local fan's medical bills, plus acts as a Toys for Tots show (bring an unwrapped toy and receive 1 free student ticket with 1 paid adult ticket) .
* Ontario's Smash Wrestling presents SMASH!STIGMA! together with Wrestling With Stigma to benefit the The Peterborough AIDS Resource Network on December 10 at The Venue, Peterborough, ON. SMASH!STIGMA! will feature top local, Canadian and International wrestling personalities such as Petey Williams The Canadian Destroyer TNA Wrestling Star, Tyson Dux
* Championship Wrestling from Ontario presents "T'was The Fight Before Christmas" on December 10 at The Rockpile in Toronto, ON. Non-perishable foods are being collected for Toronto's Daily Bread Food bank.
* Pro Wrestling All Stars presents Christmas Classic on Friday night December 15th from The Play Atlantis in Melvindale, MI featuring former WWE star Adam Rose. This is the promotion's annual Toys for Tots show. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy to the event. Every child deserves a Christmas.
* Christian Wrestling Association International and Cody Hawk Pro Wrestling Training Camp presented Warehouse Wars on Friday, December 15 at 1930 Fairgrove Ave, Hamilton, OH. The promotion will do a collection of canned and non- perishable food, and hopes to collect a total 100 cases by the end of December. The event featured live pro wrestling with the stars of the CWAI & the students of Cody Hawk's Pro Wrestling Training Camp.
* Tommy Wildfire Rich School Of Wrestling presents "'Twas The Fight Before Christmas" to benefit Toys for Tots on December 16 at the X Gym Sports Mall, 568 George Bishop Parkway, Myrtle Beach, SC. The event features a One Night Tournament with 7 great matches featuring Tommy "Wildfire" Rich and Dangerous Doug Gilbert in a big tag team grudge match; plus Renee Michele, Papa Stro, Tim Zbyszko, and more. Donate a toy to Toys for Tots and get $2 off your ticket.
* DWI Wrestling returns to Riverview, FL on December 16 for a Toys 4 Tots show with a 2:00 pm bell time at the Rivercrest Club House, 11560 Ramble Creek Dr, Riverview, FL as it brings you the fifth Toys For Tots show. Admission is an unwrapped toy or new stuffed animal for a girl or boy.
* Imperial Wrestling Revolution will do a Toys for Tots show at its December 16 show in Admore, OK. They are also working on starting a partnership with Vettix.org, which gives away free tickets to active duty military personnel and veterans.
* Crossfire Wrestling comes to Lincoln Alexander Centre, 160 King Street East, Hamilton, ON on December 16 with an 8:00 pm bell time in a benefit for Mission Services Men's Shelter and Addiction Services.
* Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling presents its annual Wrestling For Hunger show in New Westminster, BC on December 16. 7:30 pm bell time (doors open at 7:00 pm)
* NWL/HoPWF Wrestling returns to Martinsburg, WV on December 16, at The Wherehouse, Martinsburg, WV with a 7:30 pm bell time. The Holiday Season Toy Drive for Children In Need, Inc. collection takes place.
* Georgia Wrestling Extreme presents its first Annual Holiday Throwdown and Toy Drive on December 16 in Albany, GA. Tickets are only $10, ($7 with any unwrapped Toy) kids 5 and under are free. Special appearances by Scott Hudson and Jimmy Rave .
* Miracle in Greektown takes place December 17 in Toronto, ON to benefit the John Howard Society of Toronto, which provides addiction/harm reduction services, domestic violence services and more
* H20: HardCore Hustle Organization returns to action on December 22 for HOSS, for " A Christmas Classic 2" at the Monroe Business Center, 1041 Glassboro Road/Building C/Suite 1 in Williamstown, NJ. The show will feature a Toys for Toys collection.
* Keystone Championship Wrestling presents "Slay Bells Ring", a Toys for Tots show, on December 23 at the Darby Recreation Center, 1022 Ridge Avenue, Darby, PA.
* Great Canadian Wrestling returns to Oshawa, ON on December 27 for "Season's Beatings", to benefit Simcoe Hall Settlement House with a 6:00 pm bell time. Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door. Bring cans of food and get one raffle ticket for each can you bring.
For those of you readers who see giving a toy, a can of food, or a warm coat as just one small thing, please understand this: a can of soup means that gets a meal for a day, a box of rice means that a family is fed for a week or more, a warm coat meant a child won't shiver uncontrollably when they walk to school, or a toy meant that a child is allowed a moment of innocence and joy, often after they've gone through fear and deprivation for far too long. Just like the people did and are doing for those in need in Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida...now it's your turn to do that one small thing.
As always, I'll plug and report on these events here to the point you can recite them in your sleep. Please send them to me ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.