Josh Boutwell on Extreme Rising canceling events

Extreme Rising Cancels Events Again, Another Black Eye on Wrestling
April 23, 2014
By: Josh Boutwell of

Today Steve O’Neil and Extreme Rising officially cancelled their scheduled events in Philadelphia, PA this weekend at the ECW Arena along with a planned event in Pittsburgh next month. O’Neil also deleted all of the social media accounts for Extreme Rising before the announcement was made. How did Extreme Rising do this?

With this “statement” released to



That’s it, no explanation and what’s worse notice the end of that statement. Extreme Rising won’t even be handling the refunds to the fans that paid their good damn money for these shows. They will have to go through their banks and credit card companies to dispute the charges, that’s an even bigger insult than canceling yet another event just days before it is supposed to go on. How was the talent informed of the cancelation? According to Axl Rotten and other performers through a text message much like the statement released, with no explanation.

The “Extreme Rising” events were not my cup of tea, though I did enjoy the luchadors that they brought in from time to time, but there are a ton of wrestling fans out there that did enjoy the product. A lot of it has to do with nostalgia and reliving those ECW memories sure, but who’s to tell someone what they can and cannot like? Even after the first show was universally looked at as a horrible show and a disaster, the fans still showed up in droves for the next events. Even when Extreme Rising cancelled three WrestleMania weekend events in 2013 with hundreds of pre sold tickets, the fans still showed back up when the events were put on again. Even after Extreme Rising has canceled more events earlier this year, fans were still going to show up this weekend.

“Extreme Rising” was a place where old ECW stars got a chance to relive their glory days in ECW in front of fans that truly loved them, but it was also a place where stars like Matt Hardy got a chance to reinvent themselves. It was also a place where young stars like Luke Hawx, Bestia, Hijo de Rey Misterio, Façade, Papadon, and others got a chance to show what they can do in front of the biggest audience of their careers. The fans loved to see this style of wrestling and now they got taken advantage of again. The talent which busted their asses for those fans were also taken advantage of yet again.

Promoters have a long, long history of being scumbags in the wrestling business, something that many promoters out there are trying to change the perception of still. When you refuse to answer calls from talent, don’t send flight information, blast the talent on Facebook for the world to see, and cancel shows days before they are supposed to go on what else can you say than it’s just bad business, and morally pretty lousy as well.

The “Extreme Rising” promotion has been an absolute train wreck from the start, something I haven’t been able to keep my eyes off of because of this. A few months ago Extreme Rising canceled events because of a massive snow storm and then later canceled another event blaming the people of the ECW Arena. That last weekend may have actually been the straw that broke the camel’s back for Extreme Rising. ER World Champion Stevie Richards and Luke Hawx were both already in Philadelphia for the event that weekend so they took another booking at another show, and that night Stevie dropped the belt to Luke Hawx in a match that was not supposed to be for the title. Steve O’Neil was very unhappy and attempted to make a storyline out of the situation saying that Hawx had screwed over Richards, and the loose ends were supposed to be tied up this weekend.

Then all hell broke loose. Hawx had been texting and calling O’Neil for flight and show information with no responses so he blasted the promotion on Facebook, and O’Neil responded in kind via Facebook trashing Hawx in a pretty classless demonstration. All of this boiled over into both men making statements on PWInsider making accusations against each other. Hawx ultimately pulled out of the ECW Arena shows and now those shows have been canceled. The talent and the fans have been mistreated here and Extreme Rising does not deserve the trust of either going forward. If they honestly try to start this thing up again in the future and anyone falls for it you have to blame yourself at that point, no one should be led into this trap again.

If you’re a wrestling fan and you planned to go to those Extreme Rising events and you still want to check on some wrestling the people over at Big Time Wrestling are offering all fans that bought tickets (with proof of the purchase) a discounted $10 ticket to their events in Ford City, PA on April 25 & 26, 2014 which will feature Jeff Jarrett, Jake Roberts, Ted DiBiase, Sabu, Shane Douglas, Karen Jarrett, The Nasty Boys, and others! For more information:

Also, the lucha libre event “Masked Mania” which is being put on by Kevin Kleinrock and Masked Republic WILL be going on this Sunday April 27th from the ECW Arena as well as live on iPPV (Highspots.TV). L.A. Park (original La Parka), Dr. Wagner Jr., Damian 666, Sabu, Homicide, and others will be appearing! For more info on it: