Wrestler William “Spartan” Ferrara never thought he would have a chance to slam down in a ring in his neighborhood.
So the Middle Village resident immediately agreed to join former stars and entertain local fans on June 9, when independent wrestling organization Showcase Championship Wrestling (SCW) comes to St. Margaret’s Catholic School – in walking distance from his home.
“That’s the best of both worlds,” he said. “Not only do I love to entertain, but to give back to my community all in the same event, it feels great.”
He was influenced by the high-flying, muscle-bound figures that appeared on television screens in households around the country every week on programs such as “WWE” and “Monday night RAW.”
“As a kid I was into superheroes, and wrestlers are like people who are larger than life,” Ferrara said.
Ferrara wrestled for Francis Lewis High School and not long after, in 2006, he began training to be a professional. Now he travels all over the East Coast wrestling for leagues such as National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) Fusion in Virginia and NWA Costal in New Jersey.
Last year while training at Team Taz Dojo, founded by former grappling superstar Peter “Tazz” Senerchia, he befriended the creator of SCW, James Smith.
Smith founded the independent wrestling league to bring shows to schools, youth camps, churches and other organizations, helping to raise money for the groups and entertain fans with quality wrestlers.
“A lot of people who have been to independent wrestling shows see a lot of garbage out there,” Smith said. “[SCW] gives us one chance to show you that it’s not the same and erase that black eye that somebody might have left.”
After discussing the league’s second appearance in Queens with St. Margaret’s principal, Dr. Philip Franco, Smith called Ferrara and other wrestlers, including former superstars for major organizations like Braden Walker and Stevie Richards.
“Every time I get a chance to wrestle in front of fans who pay their money to see me wrestle, I give my best,” former ECW, WWE and TNA wrestler Stevie Richards said. Richards agreed to wrestle at St. Margaret’s saying, “I think we’re good-will ambassadors. Wrestling puts smiles on people’s faces.”
The upcoming show will feature several matches and some will follow story themes reminiscent of the WWE.
Richards will take part in a “First Time Ever” match facing Marty Jannetty, a former WWF grappler, whom Richards has trained with but never stepped in the ring against.
Fans that arrive early before the show will have a chance to meet the wrestlers and get autographs.
Ferrara, who aims to be a star for a major organization in the future, says right now he’s just happy to excite fans from his neighborhood and help the church where he received Communion.
“I was one of those kids who grew up in this community and lived up to my dreams,” he said. “And if I can do anything to help them I would be more than happy.”