MEDIA: As pro wrestling grows in Butler County, one group prepares for its biggest show (Journal

Posted on 7/07/119 by Mike Informer

FAIRFIELD The Northern Wrestling Federation, which puts
on shows in Fairfield and elsewhere in Greater Cincinnati
and Northern Kentucky, has hosted almost 200 wrestling
events in 16 years at the UAW Local 674 hall on Symmes Road
in Fairfield.

Its biggest show of the year Fan Fest 13 will happen
Saturday, Aug. 17.The all-day, fair-style event starts at
2:30 p.m. and will feature games, a grill-out and a booth
where fans can dunk the wrestlers, pie-throwing at
wrestlers, with the wrestling starting at 5 p.m.

"Thats like our big 'Wrestlemania', and all the big feuds
come to a head," said Roger Ruffen of West Chester, who
trains the athletes at his BoneKrushers training center in
Elmwood Place. "Its definitely our fans favorite show of
the year."

Before that, another show will happen July 13, with doors
opening at 6:30 p.m.

"I try to keep it pretty black-and-white good versus evil
and I like for everyone to be comfortable bringing their
kids here," said Ruffen, who has been training wrestlers 25
years. One NWF star is Austin Crane, 21, of Fairfield, who
competes under the name Star Rider.

Crane, a 2016 graduate of Badin High School, said he enjoys
"everything about it high-flying, the hard-hitting, the
wrestling itself, the entertainment, the stories. Its
obviously dangerous" Crane said. "What we do is real. Its
scripted, if you want to call it that, but when you get hit
with a chair, it hurts; when you jump off a ladder, youre
actually jumping off a ladder. So everything we do hurts.
Its not fake, as people want to call it."

He has trained about three years, appearing in public events
about half that time. So far, he hasnt had to visit the
hospital. "One day, I want this to be my job" Crane said. "I
wake up and go to the show, and thats my living." Theres
precedent for that with this organization. Ruffen and one of
his wrestlers, Tim Minnelli (Hamilton High School Class of
2000) have trained several who have gone on to fame.

They include Karl Anderson, who wrestles with the WWE on
Monday Night Raw, wrestled in the Fairfield venue "many,
many, many times" Ruffen said. Chris Parks, who wrestles
under the name Abyss, wrestled all over the world, and now
is an executive with the WWE, and wrestled in Fairfield "no
more than a year or so ago" he said.

Also, "Wildcat Chris Harris" was a seven-time NWA champion.
"He actually retired from there, and is back with us now,"
Ruffen said.

This years launch of Future Great Wrestling in Hamilton,
with weekly Friday events at 190 N. Brookwood Ave., hasnt
hurt the NWF, Ruffen said.

"They run every week. We just run monthly," in Fairfield,
Ruffen said. Over the years, some of their guys have
wrestled here. I know some of their fans come here and some
of our fans go there."

"Were one of those type of businesses that if they do good,
we do good. If we do good, they do good," Ruffen said. "Its
better for everybody to do good than somebody to do poorly
and one do good. We thrive off of all that." Both wrestling
groups work to appeal to families.

In his 25 years of wrestling training, little has changed,
Ruffen said, although, "I think we have a lot more high-
flying type action, a lot more acrobatics. I think the
athletes weve got now are really top-notch athletes."

Also, women wrestlers are popular now, he said. The NWF has
four women who wrestle in shows, and a couple more who
arent quite show ready, he said.

The Fairfield shows average 200-300 people, Ruffen said.
Shows in Fairfield happen every 4-5 weeks, with 20-30
wrestlers performing in each event. The best way to know
when upcoming shows are is by going to the Northern
Wrestling Federation on Facebook.

NWF shows cost $8 in advance for general-admission tickets,
with VIP tickets costing $15. Tickets at the door cost $10
for general admission.

"Most people will definitely say they get their bang for the
buck," Ruffen said. "Were cheaper than the movies, and most
of our shows are two hours, 2-1/2 hours. And most of that
time is action."

We also have intermission, where most of the wrestlers will
come out and greet the fans.

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