A Night of Masked Mayhem

The Blackwell Community Center was the epicenter of the Richmond sporting world on Friday night (whether anyone knew it or not) when Ground Xero Wrestling set up in the Southside gymnasium.


The Blackwell Community Center was the epicenter of the Richmond sporting world on Friday night (whether anyone knew it or not) when Ground Xero Wrestling set up in the Southside gymnasium.

Ground Xero Wrestling is pro-am wrestling in WWE style: chracter-driven, dramatic, loud, and fast. Run by the triumvirate of Ron Cromarti, David McClough, and Tim Stewart, GXW is a professional presentation with all the trappings of the big boys. The black-clad stony-faced security guards, muscled and tattooed wrestlers, sound-system pumping hip-hop and 80s metal, and folding chairs to be grabbed and brought into the ring all set the scene for a night of quality indie wrestling fun.

Like the bicycle races in Bryan Park, the GXW matches are a secret jewel of the RVA-area sporting world. The kid-heavy crowd of maybe 70 folks definitely got their $5 worth at the 3-hour show, with 6 matches featuring more than 20 performers keeping the drama coming.

You don’t have to go to the show to get yr GXW shwag


GXW has a stable of stars that show up for the different matches. Some of the personalities are solo talents, some are tag-team duos. Friday’s fun kicked off with a 10-minute match between “Da New Bloods” and two lucha libre-style masked wrestlers. The wrestlers came into the “arena” to kids yelling “you suck” and “pull his mask off” for the bad characters, or to little hands outstretched for high-fives for the good guys.

Later in the evening the team of Standards and Practices, Kevin Daniels and Gordon Braswell in matching crisp white button-ups and dark ties, battled another set of masked wrestlers. A mini-brawl that wasn’t quite a match moved the story along for Shorty Smalls, the “Boss Hog”-like Martin Stanley Fuqua, the built&tattooed Deimos, and crowd-favorite Phil Brown. Smalls and Fuqua came in talking trash and then ganged up on Brown, only to be chased out of the ring by Brown’s former nemesis Deimos. Smalls and Fuqua fled the ring to the crowd chanting “sissy” and other remarks about their girth, setting up a dramatic showdown sometime in the future.

Another of the GXW stable of stars that made an appearance at Blackwell was the very-small-panted Mitch-a-palooza

Short Smalls makes his entrance to boos and cat calls


Shorty Smalls and Martin Stanley Fuqua gang up on Phil Brown


It made me a little uncomfortable seeing the two beefy white southern guys jump the black man like that. The mixed crowd didn’t seem to get that read, though: the banking just made’em hate Shorty Smalls and Fuqua even more.


Standards and Practices battle Mr.Saturday Night


The short take is that this really was a lot of fun. The kids were going nuts and so were some of the adults. Believable enough to be engaging, the wrestling wasn’t overly violent. The show is more affordable, lasts longer, and is more unique than a movie, and kids under 10 get in free. Whether you’re into wrestling or not, a GXW performance is worth going out for (perhaps even to Hopewell).

Friday’s show was the first half a double header, with the drama and mayhem continuing the next night in Hopewell. GXW has at least one summer match set for their home base at the Hopewell Community Center and will be appearing at the Powhatan County Fair in late August. Keep an eye on the GXW site for more specifics.

Wanna see more pictures?

  • error

    Report an error

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. That last picture is nuts!

  2. The younger, more athletic dudes were all over the place. Shorty Smalls wasn’t leaping like that.

  3. The Shows GXW put on are amazing for the local area. I was in attendance and feel GXW is the best local promotion hands down. The crowd definatly feels a part of the action and each talent comes out to sign autographs, the one on one time you get really gets you into the action. The next show is July 18th at hopewell community center. 2 weeks of Radio ads and 1 week of televison Ads will be running soon to let people know they can also train to be a part of GXW. I encourage everyone who is looking for afforadble, quality entertainment to bring there family to a night of GXW Action

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

Or report an error instead