Saturday night you might have heard the sound of people being slammed to the ground, fans screaming or the loud grunts of hulking men at St. Sebastian Parish in Woodside. Don’t worry. It was only the Pro Wrestling Syndicate, a New Jersey-based wrestling promotion, putting on a return show in the neighborhood.
Promoted under the title “The Empire State Strikes Back,” hundreds of fans, some taking a bus from New Jersey, looked forward to seeing veteran former stars of WWE, PWS’ homegrown talent and their favorite stars on the independent scene.
Some of the well-knowns who competed include Scott Steiner, Marty Jannetty and Davey Boy Smith Jr.
As there are many independent wrestling promotions in the northeast, PWS does its best to appeal to every type of wrestling fan, said co-owner Eric Pleska.
“A lot of promotions cater to a niche audience, whereas at PWS we have everything. You like hardcore we got that; you like high-flyers, we got that, you like comedy, you like legends, we got that; you like international, we got that too,” he said. “We’re highlighting every best possible niche of wrestling under one banner.”
Pleska also said that PWS tries to be accessible to their fans.
“We talk to our fans like they’re our friends. Our fans are just as much a part of PWS,” he added.
At every show before the bedlam begins, fans have the opportunity to meet the wrestlers and get autographs and pictures.
Co-owner, roster member and PWS school-trainer Pat Buck echoed Pleska’s thoughts.
“We’re better in every single way,” he said. “We just do it better.”
Buck, who is a native of Bellerose, but now lives in Rahway, NJ, fought in the six-man match.
During the contest, he suffered a broken nose after taking a body splash from The Lifeguard, a PWS original wrestler.
Longtime fan, Gerry Saracco, 47, of Flushing, enjoyed seeing favorites of the past and the future.
“I think they have a great a mix of old- time wrestlers like 2 Cold Scorpio, Scott Steiner and Marty Jannetty, but they have a lot of ingrown talent they are developing through their wrestling school,” he said.
“They respect the people who came before while building the stars of tomorrow,” he added.
His favorite grappler for PWS is the heavyweight champion, Kevin Matthews, who fought former TNA Impact tough man man Homicide in the main event.
Saracco’s friend, John Sinner, 50, of Maspeth came for the hardcore match between Necro Butcher and Bonesaw. After he was introduced to PWS, he immediately became a supporter.
“There ain’t anything better,” Sinner said. “This is what wrestling used to be. Not what it has become.”
Wrestler Brian XL, who competed in the six-man match, said that he always enjoys performing for PWS as “it’s a top entity,” on the independent scene. XL also runs a wrestling school in Ridgewood.
“It makes me on top of my game,” he said. “When I do Pro Wrestling Syndicate, I give it my all.”
For information on future PWS shows, go to their website at bedofnailz.com/