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A Matter of Respect
Monday, February 7, 2011 @ 01:45pm EST

I would like to begin this piece by stating that the thoughts and opinions expressed within are my own and not that of my employer, Combat Zone Wrestling LLC. The bosses of CZW have graciously allowed me a place to voice my opinion on the state of the company as we approach TWELVE. 2010 saw a lot of positives. Among them, CZW expanded to new markets, forged new business relationships, and was the ONLY wrestling promotion to sell out the Asylum Arena. The beginning of 2011 has seen a step back. An incident occurred at our January event, From Small Beginnings Come Great Things, which enraged both the CZW fans and members of the CZW staff alike. I feel that by keeping quiet and not giving my thoughts on said incident, I would be neglecting an obligation to you, the CZW fans.

The professional wrestling industry is an industry based on respect. There are many things I have been taught over the years. Among them: wipe your feet on the apron when entering and exiting a ring. Shake the hands of your brothers in the locker room. What I feel is most important though is respecting the past. If not for the sacrifices of the men and women who came before you, you would not be able to enjoy the success you have. If not for the sacrifices of men like John Zandig, Wifebeater, Lobo, NICK GAGE, etc., men like DREW GULAK would not be where they are today.

Let me take you back in time to around 2003. It was a time when guys like DJ Hyde, Joker, and Sabian were featured in opening matches on live events. It was a time when people like Senior Combat Zone Official Nick Papagiorgio, Little Mondo, Drew Gulak, and myself were just like you; fans in the crowd. I took some time away from attending shows to complete my education and to my great surprise, when I joined CZW as a staff member in 2009, I saw those same people who were fans back then going on to referee and wrestle in the promotion we all love. I smiled and realized that if we could do it, anyone could.

Things are different now, and I can't say that I like it very much. We are all well aware of what Gage allegedly did as 2010 drew to a close. I am NOT excusing what was allegedly done. It is wrong and it is likely that we will not see the King of Ultraviolence for some time.

What Drew Gulak did at our January event is beyond disrespectful. It was a slap in the face to the CZW fans, who threw garbage into the ring and turned their backs on the Wired TV Champion. I counted close to 20 who got up and left the Asylum Arena during the escapade. That is how angry the CZW fans are. It was a slap in the face to many in the back, who feel that to err is human and situations like this should not be made a mockery of. But most importantly, it was a slap in the face to a man who has bled buckets in that ring while helping to carry CZW on his shoulders for over a decade. Members of the CZW roster had no problem expressing their opinion on what unfolded in the ring:

"Man was I shocked. I've been in the ring with 'The King' plenty of times. If it wasn't for guys like him, Justice Pain, Trent Acid, and Zandig, we wouldn't be here performing under the letters 'CZW'. Just bad taste." - Devon Moore

"I think it was very bad taste. Nick is one of the most humble guys in the business. He always helped me out and was NEVER fake unlike some people I know in the locker room. What Gulak did went BEYOND storyline. That was straight disrespect & bullshit!" - Rich Swann

"NOBODY got along with Nick Gage worse than me. But a punk bitch like Drew Gulak shouldn't be acting like he's even on that level. He'll end up paying for that crap." - CZW World Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley

"Disappointed. This is the first word that comes to my mind when asked about my thoughts on Drew Gulak's recent decision to deride CZW cornerstone Nick Gage to the fans and the locker room. Gulak & I have been friends for many years, coming up together as we did through the CZW school, & while we'd sort of fallen out of close contact of late, I have to admit that the transformation he seems to have made since breaking up with our old running mate, Andy Sumner, was both startling & disheartening to me. The man I saw out in the ring making a mockery of the all-too-real life situation of a man who was supposed to be our comrade (or, at the very least, "one of the boys") was not the same hard-working up-and-comer who I remember training with; the man whose work ethic put mine to shame and whose dedication to CZW was always evident. The man I saw in the ring in a couple weeks ago was an opportunistic bully, thinly disguising his cowardice as "free speech." I, of all people, am the first to defend freedom of speech, but running down a man who's at the lowest point in his life when--just a few years earlier--you'd been shelling out your [dad's] hard-earned money to buy tickets just to see him...that's low, that's tasteless, that's gutless, and it's disappointing." - Daniel Tiberius Havoc

Drew Gulak, you've clearly forgotten where you came from. If not for men like Nick Gage, there might not be a CZW where YOU are currently a champion today and help to train the stars of CZW's future. You spat in the face of a man whose sacrifices have helped lead to your star rising. Perhaps though, it is oddly appropriate you decided to enter to Gage's music a couple weeks ago. John Donne said it best: "Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee."

Could I get fired or get my ass kicked in February for expressing my thoughts here? Possibly. But I will take satisfaction in knowing I did the right thing. In closing, Drew Gulak, you will reap what you sew. There are MANY who have an issue with you; especially those partake in the art of the deathmatch. I would even venture so far as to say you might have even written a check your body, or that little sellout who is currently managing you, can't cash. You're a marked man, and not because of your championship; that's just a bonus for whoever puts you in your place. You have been singled out by everyone who has respect for their predecessors. Hell, you might even find the faces of CZW's past knocking at your door, calling you out in the hallowed halls of the Asylum Arena, or finding you in the parking lot.

Make your peace with whatever god you believe in Drew. Karma is a bitch. You will get yours.

Written for by CJ Becker

tagKeywords: czw, nick gage, drew gulak

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