Primal wrestling 'Unleashed' on local broadcast
Professional wrestling isn’t much more than entertainment for some, but for Tyler Cates it has been a labor of love.
In 2007, the Charles Town, W.Va., resident founded Eastern Panhandle-based Primal Conflict Wrestling, which has survived humble beginnings like hosting live shows for a few hundred fans at fire companies before growing into larger venues such as the Ranson Civic Center.
PCW will soon have the potential to multiply its viewership by thousands of people as TV10 will air a live taping beginning at 9 p.m. Oct. 1 and continuing on several Tuesdays. TV10 is available to more than 50,000 Comcast subscribers in Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia.
The organization’s first-ever television taping for its program “Unleashed” will take place on Sunday, Sept. 22, at Club Aura in Martinsburg, W.Va. Doors open at 3 p.m. and the card begins at 4 p.m.
“The locker room is very excited, but we have to up our game a bit. TV can be unforgiving,” Cates said.
Cates said Club Aura is a great location for filming because of its lighting and black walls. However, since it is an 18-and-over venue, a lot of PCW’s younger audience will not be able to attend.
“Obviously the age restriction and the fact that we are hosting the live event on an NFL Sunday is a drawback, but it is still a great opportunity for our brand and our fans,” Cates said.
Cates has been promoting PCW live events throughout the Eastern Panhandle for more than a decade, and in recent years has even booked shows in Philadelphia, Richmond, Va.; Northern Virginia and Morgantown and Clarksburg, W.Va.
A television taping is a big deal for Cates, after investing 12 years into growing the local product.
He had wrestled for 20 years and said he felt there was an opportunity to bring local professional wrestling into local venues.
“There was no good wrestling here,” Cates said. “I wanted to start something that was a good product.”
PCW has developed a talented roster and has also served as a springboard for some of its competitors, leading to careers with professional wrestling giant WWE.
Lio Rush, currently signed to the WWE, where he performs on Monday Night Raw, wrestled with PCW earlier in his career. Patrick Clark, known as Velveteen Dream in the WWE’s NXT brand, also starred for PCW.
“It’s gratifying when you see talent go on to bigger and better things. It’s a testament to the product we put out,” said Cates, who also has attracted WWE throwbacks Jerry “The King” Lawler, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Greg Valentine and Hillbilly Jim to live shows.
He believes current PCW Television Champion Dirty Money and “Maniac” Joe Gacy, who will each star in the upcoming program, could also land in WWE down the road.
“Dirty Money is our best wrestler right now that doesn’t have a contract with a major organization,” Cates said.
In addition to his talents in the ring, Dirty Money is celebrated by PCW fans who often display and shower venues with $1 bills with his face on them during his matches.
PCW’s upcoming show will also feature tag team champions Black Wallstreet, DeMarcus Kane, Logan Easton LaRoux, Ken Dixon and Rush Hour. A women’s match between Aria Palmer and Gia Scott is also carded for “Unleashed.”
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.primalconflictwrestling.com.
Top photo: Dirty Money shoulder tackles Ken Dixon. (Submitted photo)