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|Wrestling returns to Twin Cities|
West Monroe native
to Civic Center
Xcess Wrestling will kick off its inaugural event at Monroe Civic Center Saturday, May 16, with a host of special guests, including former WWE superstars Ted Dibiase and Al Snow.
West Monroe's Cassidy Riley is launching the new independent promotion. Riley has wrestled for WWE, WCW, TNA and a number of other promotions since entering wrestling at the age of 17. He hopes to make XSW a signature event for the local region.
"We're trying to do it relatively cheaper, trying to keep ticket prices as low as possible because we are aware of the financial crunch that everybody is in," Riley said. "Plus, we want to give back to the community some."
"I want to bring everything I've learned in the past 15 years and put on a quality show and wrestle in front of my hometown," Riley said.
Other wrestlers featured during the event will include Bam Neely, The Naturals, Orlando Jordan, the Spirit Squad, among others.
"The quality of guys we have here is outstanding," Riley continued. "Everyone we have booked at one point in time has been with a major company somewhere. So, we're using the top, unsigned talent in the world today. And Al and Teddy are WWE legends."
"It's also good for Teddy because he started out here in Mid-South Wrestling, so he's excited to come back to his roots where he was made a star," Riley added.
Dibiase also will preach at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 17, at Life Church in West Monroe.
Wrestling promotions have not held shows in the area for some time, and so far, Riley says people are excited to hear XSW will offer events.
"WWE came around last year, but since then, there hasn't been anything," Riley explained. "So, we're looking at doing something on a regular basis. If we have a good turnout for this show, which I feel we will, then we can run it on a continual basis.
"We want to bring the old school wrestling style back here like the days of Mid-South Wrestling. That's what I grew up watching and loved. I can't tell you how many times people around town stop me and ask when we're going to bring wrestling back. Well, now we are, so we want everyone to come and check it out.
"There's a fantastic buzz about the show, so I feel like it's going to be a special night. This is the first of what we anticipate to be many shows, so you don't want to miss the inaugural event. We've got a star-studded lineup, and we're just happy to be able to do it. The town has been begging me for a long time for this, so now, here it is, so come out and support us."
Riley hopes to conduct four shows each year. XSW also plans to tour nearby communities to provide wrestling shows for some of the smaller communities. The four big annual shows most likely will be held at the Monroe Civic Center.
"Eventually we will cover the whole state, and maybe branch out into Texas and Arkansas," Riley said. "That same territory that Bill Watts used to run in Mid-South is what we would like to have."
Doors will open at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 16. General admission is $12.50. Reserve seating is $18.50. Ringside seats are $25. For $45, patrons will get a ringside seat and a chance to meet the wrestlers featured that night.
Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com, or at the Monroe Civic Center box office.