I attended the charity event in Melbourne last night and came away from it very impressed. I would estimate that there were 750 to 1000 people, with several hundred others that were turned away at the door. There was plenty of food, desserts, vendors and raffles, with all to Hope For A Single Mom to pay debts and expenses to this brave group of women battling this disease of cancer. It was a very family friendly event, as it included a children’s cheerleading troupe. Special attention was given to our veterans, as several who had fought in World War II were honored.
Report author Jalazo gives “Hollywood” a taste of Jalzo as “Hollywood!” Click the red MattJ1 above to see the video
Along these same lines, and from a wrestling standpoint, it was possibly a star-making evening for Sgt. Chris Melendez, a veteran who lost his left leg below the knee while serving in Iraq. He went to the ring and shared his story and his future dream of becoming a professional wrestler. He was then involved in an impromptu match and blew the roof off the Melbourne Arena, as he performed several unbelievable moves on one leg, including a sit-down powerbomb! I would not be surprised to see him on Impact soon (given all of the TNA connections at the event), or even WWE if they end up passing on him. Most of the other matches involved independent talent, including Sam Shaw (previously on TNA Gut Check).
The main event saw D-Von return to the ring, to team with Garrett Bischoff, to face an unknown tag team (with an Italian “Fuhgeddaboudit” gimmick). Interestingly, he was wearing the Aces and Eights gear (as was Garrett), so apparently he is still at least an honorary member of the group … they were also treated as faces in the match. The end came when another independent wrestler (named Armani) interfered on the Italian tag team’s behalf, laying the boots to Aces and Eights. Wes Brisco then ran in and tried to clear the ring… and then… Hogan’s music hit!!! The place came UNGLUED as he walked to the ring, laying waste to Armani on the outside.
So, amazingly, Hogan came to the aid of Aces and Eights. Storyline-wise, this was very interesting. D-Von called out Hogan and said that even though they have been enemies, they were united in the fight against breast cancer. Hogan acknowledged this as well, and gave him major props for his hard work in this fight. He also said that if D-Von was able to secure a bigger building next year and have a larger turnout, he would come back and either be in his corner, or be his tag-team partner! Hogan challenged D-Von to “testify to that,” and D-Von accepted! They then embraced as Wes and Garrett cheered them on (I wonder what Bully Ray thinks of all of this?) Hogan then presented D-Von with an award for his work on behalf of the cancer charity.
There was also a meet and greet after the show, where you got to rub elbows with Hogan, Samoa Joe, Jay Lethal, Garrett and Wes. They were all very approachable and friendly, signing autographs and taking pictures. I had the time of my life, dressing up as Hogan (including nWo face paint) and cutting an old-school promo in front of him!
All in all, it was a great time and D-Von deserves a TON of credit for coordinating this event. I can’t say enough good things about him and the cause that he has embraced. The charity group and local residents of Melbourne adore him and he has well earned it. I will definitely be going back again next year. Testify, my brother!