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Mike Pankow

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Frontline Pro values family, charity

Frontline Pro values family, charity

By Mike Pankow

July 26, 2019

Ben McCoy and his troupe representing Wisconsin-based Frontline Pro marched upon Oak Lawn’s Pavilion last Saturday night to make the company’s first appearance in Illinois.

It was a good, fun show geared mostly toward families, but with just enough edginess and action to captivate adult fans alike.

“(This) was the type of show we wanted to bring to anywhere we run,” said McCoy, who started Frontline Pro in early 2018. “Demographic-wise, we cater to the 10-to-21 age group. We want to have the combat and battle of wrestling contests be where it draws in older viewers and the epic storytelling of Good vs. Evil for the younger viewers. Trying to have something for everybody is a big goal for us.”

Oak Lawn native Joe Alonzo hits Robert “Ego” Anthony with a cutter during the main event match which Alonzo won.  (Photo by Mike Pankow)

Oak Lawn native Joe Alonzo hits Robert “Ego” Anthony with a cutter during the main event match which Alonzo won. (Photo by Mike Pankow)

Frontline Pro #12 ended with hometown boy, Joe Alonzo, celebrating in the ring with family and friends after defeating local veteran Robert “Ego” Anthony.

Alonzo graduated from Oak Lawn Community High School, which is located about a mile and a half from the Pavilion. The former Spartan hit a Death Valley Driver that led to the pin on Anthony in the main event.

The two battled around the outside of the ring and the bleachers for several minutes before getting back into the ring. Anthony threw all kinds of heel tactics toward Alonzo and put him in a single-leg Boston Crab, but he could not get the submission. Alonzo came back and finally got the hard-earned victory.

In the semi main event, local wrestlers Ruff Crossing and his girlfriend, Melanie Cruise, were the sole survivors of a 10-man elimination tag team match and celebrated in the ring with their 2-year-old son, Ricky.

Crossing and Cruise teamed up with Backwoods Brown, E.J. Jensen and Mojo McQueen, known as the “Northern Lights All Stars,” outlasted the team of McCoy, Vic Capri, Justin Dredd, Nick Colucci and TW3, collectively known as “Mad Dog Club Worldwide.” Cruise was the mystery partner for the All Stars.

McCoy, the Purple Heart Award winner who survived a bullet wound to the face in Afghanistan eight years ago, played the heel along with the rest of his cohorts.

His wrestling character notwithstanding, McCoy’s mission is to raise money and awareness to veteran and military causes, through proceeds from admission and 50/50 raffles at the shows.

Combat veteran Ben McCoy speaks to the crowd at Frontline Pro 12 in Oak Lawn.  (Photo by Mike Pankow)

Combat veteran Ben McCoy speaks to the crowd at Frontline Pro 12 in Oak Lawn. (Photo by Mike Pankow)

“With Frontline Pro, we specifically help a charitable event every single time it runs,” McCoy said. “Every single show has donated money to a veteran or a charitable cause and it always will.”

Despite his big heart outside the ring, Wisconsin native McCoy took the mic and ran down Illinois and the crowd before the match.

Not liking how things were going mid-match as Backwoods Brown started single-handedly dominating MDC Worldwide, McCoy smacked the big man across the back with a steel chair. McCoy was disqualified and took off toward the back as Brown chased him back and was subsequently counted out.

The match came down to a 3-on-2 situation with Dredd, TW3 and Capri facing Crossing and Cruise. Crossing battled back from the deficit, eventually eliminating TW3 with a tombstone piledriver and hitting Dredd with a curb stomp. That left the veteran Capri in the ring with the Crossing and Cruise.

Cruise took all that Capri handed out before she started getting in some hard-hitting offense on the “Ice Pick.” Crossing came in and gave Capri a curb stomp, leading Cruise to gaining the match-winning pinfall.

At the end of the match, McCoy and Backwoods Brown returned to the ring, continuing their brawl from earlier. With help from Brown, Crossing and Cruise, little Ricky performed a splash onto McCoy, eliciting a pop from the crowd.

Logan Lynch continued his Frontline Pro Championship reign, which has surpassed a year, with a successful title defense by defeating J Ca$h after outside interference from Aaron Arsenal, which Lynch didn’t detect before hitting a spear on J Ca$h for the victory.

After the match, both Lynch and J Ca$h beat up Arsenal, who earlier in the evening became the No. 1 contender to the King of the Cruiserweights Championship held by “Filth King” Brubaker.

In the first half of the show, “The Wanderer” Alex Riley defeated “The Greatest Spectacle in Pro Wrestling” DDS in the opening match. The masked Riley played the babyface and entered the ring with a cool set of shoulder pads made up of various states’ license plates. DDS played the role of the grizzled veteran heel, employing dirty tactics throughout, in a really cool old-school-type match.

In the second match, Arsenal outlasted “Slumgod” Quinn Whittock, “Working Class Hero” Jack Carpenter, Jake O’Neill, Randy Fitzsimmons and “Chicago’s Sweetheart” Missa Kate in a six-person scramble match. There was a cool six-person suplex spot at one point, then later in the match Missa Kate executed a powerbomb out of a Tower of Doom.

The match concluded when Arsenal pinned Missa Kate with his feet on the ropes. Arsenal earned the future title match with Brubaker, but Missa Kate was the star of the match. She originally was supposed to be part of a previously-advertised three-way women’s match, but was inserted in this match with five male opponents.

“The Four Star Heroes” Matt Knicks, left, and Chris Castro celebrate the victory with a Queen Elizabeth cardboard cutout.  (Photo by Mike Pankow)

“The Four Star Heroes” Matt Knicks, left, and Chris Castro celebrate the victory with a Queen Elizabeth cardboard cutout. (Photo by Mike Pankow)

The last bout of the first half of the show featured an entertaining tag team match with four local veterans as Matt Knicks and Chris Castro of “The Four Star Heroes” defeated Bryce Benjamin and Acid Jaz. The finish of the match occurred after nefarious tactics backfired on Jaz and Benjamin as Jaz blinded his partner with a powdery mist and “The Four Star Heroes” capitalized for the victory.

Hilariously, Benjamin and Jaz brought out a cardboard cutout of Queen Elizabeth and kept integrating the cutout into the match for comedy spots. When Knicks and Castro scored the victory, they lifted Queen Elizabeth on to their shoulders a la “The Mega Powers” with Miss Elizabeth circa 1988-89.

At the end of the night, McCoy felt the show was a success and wants to grow the product in Illinois, revealing Frontline Pro will run four shows in Oak Lawn in 2020 with a possible return before the end of 2019 in November.

“We excited for our future and we’re proud of what we’ve built,” McCoy said. “The whole point going forward is to continue to help people around us and raise awareness. As long as we’re doing that, we’re doing the right thing.”

 

For a gallery of over 100 photos from the event, plus others Windy City Slam has covered, go to https://www.windycityslam.com/photos.

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