A Beginner's Guide to ACW Wisconsin WaterCity WrestlingCon 2019, Part 4: McCoy vs. Douglas
In Part 4 of our series to get first-time attendees to an ACW Wisconsin event caught up on all that is happening prior to ACW Wisconsin WaterCity WrestlingCon 2019 (which we are thrilled to be a part of), we take a look at the match-up between Ben McCoy and ECW legend Shane Douglas.
Patriotism is a theme that has been used for decades in professional wrestling. It is one of the easiest ways to create a positive reaction from the crowd. A good old fashion “USA” chant is one of the easiest things for a wrestling crowd to get behind. If a wrestler has any tie to the military, they are almost immediately booked as the “face” (a wrestling term used to describe the “good guy” in the match, or the wrestler that is supposed to be supported by the crowd). Supporting those in the military is practically an involuntary reaction for many people, which is why it is always so easy for wrestlers that are associated with the military to receive support from the audience.
Ben McCoy is not a wrestler who is playing the part of a veteran, he is an actual Purple Heart recipient, having fought in Afghanistan as part of the 10th Mountain infantry Division. Normally, McCoy would be booked to be waving the American flag, kissing babies, and soaking in the support from an admiring crowd.
But to say that this tune has a different melody to it would be a great understatement.
McCoy has grown frustrated in the way that people, including the ACW Wisconsin faithful, support not only him but other veterans. He has grown tired of being told that people support him, but when push comes to shove and support means doing more than saluting a flag, that support evaporates. He has grown tired of fake patriotism, and he’s not afraid to call people out on it.
He brought that message to ACW #29, and those in attendance did not take this criticism of their character very well. The crowd quickly turned on McCoy (who, may I remind you, IS A PURPLE HEART RECIPIENT AND COMBAT VETERAN) and jeered him throughout his entire match (a match against Justin Dredd that, I can’t emphasize enough, was stellar from beginning to end). When McCoy pulled off the victory, he demanded that he be challenged by one of the best fighters in wrestling today, ECW legend Shane Douglas (a man that has never had trouble going into a fight with fists blazing). ACW Wisconsin Commissioner Josh Weimer was beyond willing to book the match, and mocked McCoy while doing so.
And the crowd cheered for Weimer and hoped for Douglas to come to Oshkosh to teach McCoy a lesson.
Let break down what has taken place in ACW Wisconsin: A Purple Heart combat veteran was mocked by the head of a wrestling promotion, and that promotion’s crowd sided with the person who was mocking A FREAKING PURPLE HEART RECIPIENT…all because he called people out for not truly supporting our veterans.
This may be one of the boldest story lines I have ever witnessed in professional wrestling. Sure, there have been many angles that have been shocking or controversial, but usually the bad guy is doing bad things. When Sergeant Slaughter became an Iraqi sympathizer during the height of Operation: Desert Storm, he was clearly the “heel” (aka: bad guy) of the story. When Chris Jericho mocked CM Punk for having an abusive alcoholic father, Jericho was clearly the heel in that scenario as well.
McCoy has become the heel in this story because he put a mirror the crowd’s face, and while not very diplomatic about it, told them that they were not truly showing support for veterans in their community (side note: the Fox Cities area of Wisconsin has seven times more veterans than the national average), a point that is factually correct, and he is somehow the villain.
This is not a conventional storyline in the realm of professional wrestling by any stretch of the imagination, and the potential climax of this story will take place at ACW Wisconsin’s potentially largest event in the promotion’s history. This is an arthouse film-like story twist being presented in a megaplex to an audience expecting a blockbuster popcorn film. I am beyond fascinated on how the payoff of this story will play out. If Douglas wins, will he be seen as the hero in this tale for having beaten a veteran? Will the crowd boo if McCoy is the victor? I truly don’t know.
This has the potential to be one of the most talked about matches on the card, and I cannot wait to find out how it all unfolds.
Come back for Part 5 of this series, where we look at the Vampire’s Ball match between Raging Dead Nathan Gust and WWE legend Gangrel.
Originally published on April 22, 2019