Pro Wrestling Radio Diary: Week of March 04, 2007

The following is a republished diary/commentary from

My first experience with Pro Wrestling Unplugged was just fantastic. It was a bit unnerving in a lot of ways, but exciting at the same time. My biggest regret after the evening was not joining the family sooner.

The day started with my radio show as always which featured a reunion with my former CZW broadcast partner John House. John and I have not shared a microphone since last January in which we taped something for CZW that has never been released. John and I stayed in touch over the year but lately we have become closer as friends. John was the first to invite me to the PWU show simply as his guest. I recently watched Cuffed and Caged and really began to appreciate what a motivated John House can do on the stick.

The radio show was a blast. The intention was it not to be a bash CZW session in any way shape or form. I went out of my way to make sure that wasn’t the case. My feelings towards CZW are that I would like to feel I made a big contribution when I was there behind the scenes and of course on commentary. I would hate to see anything ill happen to something I spent so much of my life and time on. I want nothing but the best for everyone in Combat Zone Wrestling.

I received tons of emails over the last year asking why John left CZW. That was the initial purpose of bringing him on the show. I never wanted to answer for him and I would always tell fans to contact John and ask him themselves. So I wanted to bring John to answer the questions for the fans that continue to ask about him. I also felt it would be both a bit of closure for John and I. We could happily turn that page in our career by reflecting on the great memories we both experienced over the years as broadcast partners. One of the most fun parts of the show was going back through my archives and pulling clips of the two of us working together. Like my time at ROH, I can appreciate our peak years together more in CZW now then at any other time.

John and I drove to the PWU show together immediately following the radio show. We both seemed to really like the show and feel that the response would be good from the listeners. Thus far I have received a lot of positive feedback on the show and I encourage those who haven’t to check it out.

I was a bit nervous walking into the PWU locker room for the first time. It was almost the exact same feeling I had walking into the locker room during the first ROH show. CZW drives a war like mentality into you where an immediate stereotype of other companies who are seen to be competition is already placed in your mind. Zandig and some others in CZW are so outspoken against over companies that I never know what kind of reception I am going to receive when I walk into another locker room or who we are told are the “enemy.”

At the time of the first ROH show the “enemy” was Jersey All-Pro due to the head to head battles of 2000 and 2001. I made a joke with Doug Gentry at the time about getting jumped form the JAP guys. I forget if it was Gabe or Rob but one of them told me before the show not to worry, etc. I had to remind them that I was just kidding…..or was I?

Not that I expected anything of the sort at this stage of the game but you really just never know. The way I see it is that we are all in the same business together and let’s just go out there and have some fun and make some money together. Other people see it differently and that is unfortunate as after all this is professional wrestling and ego, greed, and jealousy can be your three biggest enemies no matter who you are in accomplishing your own set of goals.

I was impressed at the classy atmosphere of the PWU locker room. Everyone from students to umpteen year veterans was respectful, cordial, and genuinely happy to see me there. Ironically the first people I ran into were Luke and Lucky. Luke has gone on to become one of my best friends and we are both just ecstatic about the opportunity to work under the same roof once again. Lucky remarked how ironic it was that the first people he saw were the two of us. We all caught up for a bit and I immediately made the rounds.

It truly felt like a high school reunion. It was surreal seeing everyone from Tod Gordon, to Angel, to the Briscoes, to Bob Artese, Pondo, Jon Finnegan, Mike Kehner, Homicide, Hansen, Barr, the Backseats, SATs, Quiet Storm, and Joker. It is crazy to say but I felt more at home here in such a short time than I had in the last two years. These were all friends and guys that came up in the business together and while everyone has gone on to their own success, we all started in the same places and crossed paths many times over the years. It is sad to say that I had more friends and knew more people in one night in one locker room than I have in quite some time.

Tod, Johnny, and I discussed House and me calling a match together. We all unanimously agreed that it would be a lot of fun for us to call the Briscoes-SAT 4 Way. The nostalgia factor had me ecstatic about calling the match. The thinking behind this being that John and I called the very first match ever between the two team six years ago in Sewell, NJ. The SAT who were recommended by Rob and Doug over at RF Video and came up with Mikey Whipwreck not booked and looking for a job. Zandig decided to book the two teams against each other and the two teams. One team who was not even booked stole the show together. Of course since that time the two teams have wrestled each other numerous times and have gone on each to great success. I was excited and honestly privileged to call the match.

I told both of the Briscoes, Mama Briscoe, and the SATs and they were all real excited. I don’t think I have been that excited to call a match in a long time. Maybe since the Terry Funk-Steve Corino Barbed Wire Match in Florida 04.

I stayed out of the way and watched the show by myself in a corner. I was real impressed and for the first time in a while I could come to a show and just hang out and watch without any stress or pressures. I was real impressed at the PWU graduates both in and out of the ring. The kids are very old school in their demeanor and really have a great grasp on the basics inside of the ring. I got a huge kick out of seeing John House’s live segment. I think CZW really dropped the ball with House Party because he seems to have found his niche with his live segments in PWU. The girls just kicked ass. I know all four very well from WEW. It was one of the best girl matches I have ever seen live and loved every minute of it. The girls just completely tore it up and I am kind of disappointed that I didn’t get to call their match that night.

Bob Artese gave me a very nice introduction to the crowd before I took my seat for the Briscoes-SAT match. Right before I went out Homicide and I shared some words about Doug. It never gets any easier. I of course got the “You Sold Out,” chants as I entered the ring which I found flattering. Overall I thought I got a nice reception. The reception was definitely a lot better than I got the last time I stepped in front of a live crowd during my brief appearance at Expect the Unexpected.

I took the headset at ringside which was very interesting. This was the very first time in my 8 years or more of announcing that I have ever called a match live at ringside. We teetered with it at MLW but it never came to pass. I was a bit nervous about sitting ringside calling a match, but I am always up for new challenges.

The experience was awesome. The crowd was just electrifying. I remarked after the show to everyone how much I loved the PWU crowd. It was old school, respectful, and full of energy throughout the entire night. The match was just off of the charts and I am so proud of those guys for coming as far as they have athletically. Immediately John and I picked up where we left off and the chemistry was back as if it never left. I think the key to a good commentary team is doing commentary like a tennis match. I like to get into a rhythm where I talk, color guy talks, etc without having to tap each other, etc. I know exactly when my color guy is going to speak and he knows what I am going to say. I as the lead try to throw out comments that are open ended so the color guy can feed off of that. The good ones do, and that definitely comes with time and a keen sense of your surroundings. House was right there like the old days, he threw me a few times like the old days, and I just can’t begin to say how much fun I had.

I watched the rest of the show from the back and I am very proud of how far Luke has come. I think he was wasted in CZW and PWU seem to really make the most of his appearances. I don’t see the point of flying someone up if you aren’t going to utilize them to the best of yours and their capabilities. Luke and Vamp had a perfect match at a perfect time coming off of the crazy SAT-Briscoe 4 Way. I see lots of great things for Luke in the future. I am ecstatic he has the opportunity to wrestle with 3 veterans on March 17 at St. Patrick’s Day Massacre.

I haven’t been juiced up about going to work in a long time. I am very excited to call matches with guys I haven’t been able to call in a long time. I am excited to work with some of the younger announcers in PWU and do whatever I can to help out. I am excited to make a contribution to the company and see the company continue to kick ass. This may be a little hard to stomach for some fans that have supported me for so long in CZW. I don’t see it as one vs. the other. I see it as you can support everyone and just have fun being a wrestling fan. Indy wars are silly. The piece of the pie is so small that you really don’t know what you are even fighting over at times. I would encourage anyone that hasn’t to check out PWU. House and I are going to turn it up on the videos and I know the company has a lot of big plans for the year. I hope those fans will continue to support me and enjoy the shows.

PWU have released a line of Eric Gargiulo Pro Wrestling Radio merchandise. The logo is very cool and is available on shirts, hoodies, hats, and a variety of other swag. Check it out by clicking this link. I will be ring announcing a charity event on March 17 for WBCB featuring WBCB’s Big Kahuna boxing Tim Witherspoon, JR with Merrill Reese calling the action. The event will air between 3-5 PM with bell time at 4:15PM. I will also be out live at Senator Tommy Tomlinson’s Kids’ Expo on April 28 broadcasting Pro Wrestling Radio. It is a great family day and a lot of fun for kids of all ages. Check out my website for more details.

Pro Wrestling Radio is now a part of the Pro Wrestling Press Radio Network. PWP are doing something that I always thought of doing but never had the motivation to try. PWP have put together a network of wrestling shows that can give wrestling fans more shows than they can handle. I think they have a real cool vision of where they want to go with it all and I am excited to be a part of it.

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