On August 18th, 2005, the CZW family suffered a loss that still aches to this day. A wound that has never fully healed begins to reopen towards the end of every summer. Christopher Bauman, better known to the wrestling world as CHRI$ CA$H, & his cousin were tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. Anyone who knew Chris & of his work fondly remembers him as an energetic young man who put his heart and soul into his matches. Chris was also gracious enough to take time to talk to his fans before and after CZW events. From redefining the ladder match at "Cage of Death V" in his epic encounter with Joker to capturing the CZW World Tag Team Championship at "Cage of Death VI" to his final match in CZW at "Only the Strong", it was clear to everyone that Chris was a rising star. Every September since 2005, our live event has been dedicated to his memory.
The CZW family suffered two more painful losses in the summer of 2010. On June 18th, Michael Verdi aka TRENT ACID passed away at the age of 29. One of the Combat Zone's true homegrown stars, everyone remembers Acid's trademark smile and charismatic presence inside the squared circle. Winning championships & accolades worldwide, Trent's greatest success was in the world's most infamous bingo hall...a building he helped to keep on the map when CZW became the new occupants in 2001. Trent also gave back to the business he loved outside of the squared circle. As a mentor to the next generation of professional wrestlers, "the International Superstar" gave priceless advice so those who sought to be the best at their craft. There is no doubt that Trent Acid will go down in history as one of the greatest independent wrestlers of our time.
A little over two months later, after just having turned 27, Joseph Carl Bailey Jr. aka JC BAILEY was taken from the CZW family. A genuine pleasure to have in the locker room, JC bled buckets for CZW. Yet no matter how much he was hurting after a match, he always found time to show love and appreciation towards his fans. Gaining worldwide notoriety in the ultraviolent style of professional wrestling, Bailey will always be remembered as one of the undisputed kings of the deathmatch.
"Down With the Sickness" has become a time to honor all of CZW's fallen brothers. As we head into the event this weekend, I encourage everyone to watch matches featuring Chri$ Ca$h, Trent Acid, & JC Bailey. Reflect on what they did to make you smile,
cheer, or jump to your feet. Take time to remember your encounters with them outside the ring. On Saturday, September 8th, make sure you're at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ chanting their names loudly. They'll be watching from the best seat in the house from up above.
In Loving Memory
Christopher "Chri$ Ca$h" Bauman || Michael "Trent Acid" Verdi || Joseph Carl Bailey Jr.
While you may be gone, you will NEVER be forgotten.
Written for CZWrestling.com by CJ Becker