By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
THE days are winding down and the excitement is brewing as the Gladiator Championship Wrestling gets ready for its big professional wrestling debut in Arawak Cay on Saturday, August 29.
GCW president Nick Cara, back in town, tied up some of the loose ends in regards to the venue and all of the logistics for the show prior to bringing in some of the Gladiators wrestlers for a “meet and greet” next week.
“We are going to be promoting the event here all the way until August 29,” said Cara, who intends to make the Bahamas its major hub for their activities outside of the United States. “It’s going to be one success event.”
Already some 22 competitors, including two women who will clash, are expected to compete in a two-hour show that will be preceded by a Bahamian musical show that will attract some of the top local entertainers in the country. The event is expected to kick off at 7pm and by the time the wrestling starts an hour later, Cara said they intend to attract at least 10,000 people.
“We have a base of spectators who will be coming in from Florida, New York and the Carolinas, who will be coming to spend a week in the Bahamas,” Cara said. “But we are looking for the Bahamian fans to come out because we know that they have not seen this type of wrestling here in a long time.”
Having gotten an overwhelming response from the public so far, Cara said he is more than surprised at the love shown in the Bahamas.
“Whatever was done in the past, was just something small,” Cara said. “We don’t do that. We are the federation, so GCW will give the Bahamas the same type of set up that we do in the United States. We are looking forward to making this the first of a series of events that we will be putting on at least once a month for the rest of the year.”
Two wrestling events and two mixed martial arts are on tap for the Bahamas and Nassau and Andros more specifically, according to Cara. But the viewers on ZSR 103 during an interview on Wednesday said that they want to make sure that the August 29 show gets the kind of support and recognition that it deserves.
“I love it in the Bahamas. What I saw when I came here the first time and then when I came back the second and third time, the Bahamas has some hardworking people, but there is no major entertainment for them,” Cara said. “They don’t have any event on Friday and Saturday to enjoy, so that was why I talked to my sponsor, Rita Grant from Solar Verde Bahamas and we decided and now we are ready to entertain the Bahamas every month with all types of extreme sports.”
During the show, Cara said they intend to introduce 21-year-old Bahamian born Anansi.
“For his first event, for his first match, I think he’s looking good,” Cara said. “He passed the test for GCW and now we have to see if he can pass the test in front of his hometown people. I’m very sure he’s going to do well. We’re not sure yet who his opponent will be, but we know that he will be ready.”
Grant, whose company Solar Verde Bahamas Limited is the major sponsor, said they are very pleased with the process the organisers are making so far.
“We are just rolling forward and getting steamrolled like a roller coaster,” Grant said. “The energy level of the gladiators, the excitement that they have to come to the Bahamas to do this show, I just hope that the excitement continues to grow and that the people in the Bahamas come out and enjoy the gladiator matches coming.
“We want the people to give them a good, warm Bahamas welcome because the gladiators will be coming here to entertain the Bahamian people. This is an event that you don’t want to miss because on top of the entertainment, the public sees a Bahamian who has been training to become a gladiator.”
Grant advised the public to mark down August 29 on their calendar and Arawak Cay as the venue to go to see the beginning of the series of extreme martial arts events coming to the Bahamas this year.
“The matches that will come after this one, we just want it to get bigger and better,” Grant said. “Nick and I have really talked and we intend to have a sports scholarship that we will finance for a Bahamian. The event will be internationally televised as the beauty of the Bahamas is exposed.
“Through our event, we hope that more people will be coming to the Bahamas, so it’s a win-win for everybody. So we encourage and ask that everybody come out and support the gladiators.”
Tickets for the August 29 show will be on sale next week at the box office at the RND Theatre at both the Mall at Marathon and JFK Drive. Interested persons can also contact 449-0894 or 432-7851 for more details.