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The Doctor's Note: Remembering Chris Candido and Returning to the ECW Arena

By Dr. Tom Prichard Apr 27, 2006 - 12:42 PM print

I haven't felt like writing much lately. Every time I'd get started on a column I'd get halfway through and lose all motivation. I've been promising James an updated column for a while now and it just hasn't matererilized. So here I go with another shot.

It is hard to believe it's been one year since Chris Candido passed away. April 28 will always be a very special and sad day for me. I think about that night and the turmoil I was going through.  It's a constant reminder that we never really know when we will see or talk to each other for the last time. I think about Chris every day. His outlook on life was infectious and I miss his phone calls still.

It's funny because as this business is constantly changing at what seems like light speed, there are still some promotions running and giving fans a solid old school product that they appreciate.

Pro Wrestling Unplugged had an event at the old ECW arena (now named the New Alhambra) in Philadelphia on April 22. They pulled off one hell of a show! I was honored to be in a tag match with "The RAW Superstar" Nick Berk against Balls Mahony and Johnny Candido, Chris's younger brother. The last time I was in that arena was for ECW and it was a match against Chris.

I remember the old ECW arena as a dirty, grimy, dingy place where only real hardcore wrestling fans went. When I got there Saturday, I found it had been cleaned up, had a nice dressing room with showers upstairs and boxing and wrestling posters all over the arena. I liked the old arena because I thought it had character. The fixed up Alhambra was just as good and the fans were just as passionate. One thing about northeast crowds; they let you know when they're being entertained and when they're not.

Being in the ring with Nick, Balls and Johnny was pretty cool on many levels for me. I think Nick Berk has a tremendous future in this business. Once he finds his confidence he will be a hot commodity sought after by every office. Balls is headed to the newly reformed ECW and Johnny will get seasoning and eventually find his place in this business. I was impressed with his poise in the ring and he will only get better. I'm all for giving the young guys a break and help them learn what they need to work on.

Sitting in the old ECW arena made me think about how many of the famous buildings wrestling fans flocked to years ago. Many are now gone. Demolished, or just sitting there vacant not being used. The Dallas and Tampa Sportatoriums, The Cow Palace, The Olympic Auditorium, The Sam Houston Coliseum, The Boutwell Auditorium, Kiel Auditorium, The Checkerdome, the list could go on I'm sure.

I was happy to have the chance to work with Johnny and Balls. Nick Berk is an upcoming Superstar and he will only get better. Balls has always had the talent and element of danger. Johnny is raw talent waiting to be molded. I know Chris was watching and coaching from the sidelines.

PWU are always great hosts and I look forward to doing more stuff for them in the future. I will try and write more current columns but I go thru these dry spells of writer's block that can't be helped. I have a lot of emotions going thru me with the one year anniversary of Chris's passing but I think we should all remember the good times.  We should keep Chris and his family in our thoughts.

I am still doing seminars and camps and would like to invite anyone who's interested to email James and he'll get the message to me.

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