Thursday, April 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Damon Feldman looks to combine boxing, WWE in new World Xtreme Entertainment

“Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, Damon Feldman and Jim Fullington, (a.k.a The Sandman).
“Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, Damon Feldman and Jim Fullington, (a.k.a The Sandman). Darryl Cobb, Jr./For Philly.com
“Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, Damon Feldman and Jim Fullington, (a.k.a The Sandman). Gallery: Damon Feldman's WXE

In 1995, a short portly New Yorker came to Philadelphia and took a gaggle of misfit toys, discarded by others, and had the nerve to believe a revolution would be sparked with one word: extreme.

Fast forward 19 years and we find a native Philadelphian looking to repeat the same success as his predecessor. Damon Feldman, of Celebrity Boxing fame (or infamy), isn’t just trying to outdo Paul Heyman’s brainchild, Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).

His goal with World Xtreme Entertainment (WXE) is no less than to compete with Vince McMahon himself.

How does Feldman plan to do it?

By hosting a Philly-style event with colorful everyday, folks mixing it up with celebrities. On Thursday night at Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia, there was no shortage of people willing to pump fresh blood into this new vein of sports entertainment.

There were 13 people in all (10 women and three men), who signed up to be boxers, ring girls and dancers. Feldman is providing training for those who are inexperienced and the fighters’ gloves will be larger than regulation in order to limit injury.

After all, this is entertainment.

Set to take place on April 12 at The Marple Sports Arena in Broomall, Pa, Feldman’s main event includes two proven fighters: two-time world heavyweight champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon and ECW icon The Sandman (a.k.a Jim Fullington), with his signature Singapore Cane.

“If anybody is involved in a positive thing, that’s all that counts. You can do something that makes people smile, laugh and no violence? That’s what I want to be a part of,” Witherspoon said of his decision to join WXE.

And when asked of his opponent, who is more known for wrestling than boxing: “He’s an old, rugged … tough go-getter,” Witherspoon said.

The Sandman, however, was less than gracious in his assessment of his opponent, saying, “’Terrible’ Tim should be ‘Mediocre’ Tim!”

He was much kinder to his promoter, calling Feldman “the Mad Scientist Promoter.” He also went to school with Feldman, who gave him his first job in boxing and taught the wrestler how to box during sparring sessions.

One of the most anticipated matchups, outside of the main event, is the Battle of the Dancing Divas, featuring Rage N Raven and Princess Sammi and scheduled to be aired on The Howard Stern Show.

Raven is no stranger to contact. She possesses a martial arts background in Tae Kwon Do and used to compete in tournaments before taking up dancing fulltime. However, Princess Sammi is brand new. She’s hoping her never-ending supply of charisma and enthusiasm will carry her to victory in her first WXE bout.

When asked what made her sign up, the Scores Gentlemen’s Club entertainer said, “"It's something new and I've been in anything like this before."

Among the celebrities in attendance was Ryan Banks, who has a popular single out called Delicious; promoter and cut man Joey Eye; the official WXE DJ and local hip hop legend DJ Too Tuff; special guest referee Phil Margera of MTV’s Viva La Bam; and local actor Ricky Roma.

Roma will be a participant in WXE’s first ever tag team match with his partner and uncle, Fonso Roma. Things got playfully heated between Roma and one of his opponents, Derrick “DMac” McIntosh, but cooler heads prevailed.

In the second tag team match, Lou Turk’s Gentlemen’s Club will be represented by the statuesque, yet inexperienced, Alexis Steel and the energetic Isabel Gold, who has 6 years of boxing experience under her belt. Both exude “Philadelphia,” which was a common theme for Feldman, calling upon the city’s various neighborhoods as a source of pride and strength. Their opponents are not yet set as WXE continues to flesh out its roster of fighters.

Feldman definitely has an innovative idea, entertaining talent, and the will to pull it off.

But will the stars align for WXE? On April 12, all our questions will be answered.

Tickets are available on webtix.net.

Reach Darryl on Twitter: @darrylcobb

Darryl Cobb, Jr. For Philly.com
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