NUTLEY, NJ – Montclair State University graduate Kareem West is preparing to hit the mat all in the name of charity. The class of 2005 alum, with a degree in physical education and health, is ready to face any and all competition.
West joins four of the most recognizable professional wrestling legends for the adrenaline-charged excitement as IWF presents a family-friendly Live Event on Saturday, April 13, 7:30 pm to benefit American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. It happens at Parks and Rec Center, 44 Park Avenue, Nutley.
“Relay For Life of Nutley is having LOUD & PROUD once again with IWF, who have done more for Relay than just about anyone,” said Nutley Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci, Director of Parks and Recreation. “It’s a wonderful night full of excitement and cheering, and for what better cause than to eradicate cancer in our lifetime.”
West, a physical education and health teacher at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Clifton, is also a fifth-degree black-belt in Tae Kwon Do and nine-time state champion. He’s competed in tournaments across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Dominican Republic.
“I’ve been kicking within the world of martial arts for 25 years – now I’m ready to help kick cancer,” West told TAP. “The focus and discipline that I’ve learned in Tae Kwon Do helped me transition into professional wrestling in 2008. The two sports go hand-in-hand and are the perfect complement to each other.”
West, a former IWF American and Tag Team Champion, will also be inducted into the federation’s Hall of Fame at the April 13th event.
Headlining IWF’s star-studded 22nd Annual LOUD & PROUD extravaganza are WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana, Tag Team Legend B. Brian Blair of The Killer Bee’s, Former WWE Light-Heavyweight Champion Gillberg, and Legendary WWE and WCW Ring Announcer Gary Michael Cappetta.
“I am so honored to be back in the place that made myself and The Killer Bees so famous,” said Brian Blair. “Hey Jersey and my New Yorkers...you guys are always buzzing and together we’ll sting the evil of cancer!”
Santana and Blair are international WrestleMania megastars from the 1980’s and 90’s, with Blair making his first area appearance in five years. Gillberg made his mark nationally in the 1990’s and 2000’s on Monday Night RAW. Cappetta, from Kearny, traveled worldwide providing introductions for Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant.
“I'm psyched to return to my home base of North Jersey to join IWF for a super event to benefit American Cancer Society,” said Gary Cappetta. “Looking forward to reuniting with B. Brian Blair and Tito Santana to bring you a fun night of pro wrestling.”
Nutley's Master of Chaos Kevin Knight is slated for action. Knight, recipient of Jaycees 2018 Distinguished Service Award, wrestled for WWE in Madison Square Garden and was featured on CBS News, NBC News, FOX 5 Good Day New York, ABC News, WOR 9 News, PIX 11 News, MTV, TMZ and MSG Network.
Also scheduled are Fifth Element Roman Zachary, Outlaw Shane O'Brien, First-Class Justin Adams, Southside Slugger Tony Graves, The Atkins Brothers, Heartless Hellraiser Dracko, Dark Oracle Sage, Soul Train Nick Shin, Eloy Fiesta, Mr. Mike Winner, AJ Sparxx, Victor Celi, Barry Delaney and The Weasel.
Witness unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable moments as the best of sports and entertainment collide to create a memorable family event. Fans of all ages will enjoy the hard-hitting, high-flying energy.
Special guests include Hall of Fame Broadcaster Bert Baron from Jersey Central on 1450 WCTC-AM, East Side Dave McDonald from Compound Media and 95.9 WRAT-FM, and David LaGreca from Busted Open on Sirius XM.
“WCTC is honored to take part in LOUD & PROUD once again,” said Bert Baron. “This is a special community event that positively impacts the lives of so many people, and we’re excited to partner with the organizers, sponsors, and of course the wrestlers.”
All Access Pre-Event FanFest, included with event ticket, begins when doors open at 6:30 pm. Supporting the event are Nutley Recreation Department, and Ocean Beach Sales and Rentals of Lavallette.
This experience delivers edge-of-your-seat thrills and is affordable for the entire family. The jaw-dropping displays of power and gravity-defying feats promise to be long-remembered.
Tickets are $26 and $20, and available at CampIWF.com, Nutley Parks and Rec Office during business hours, or at the door.
“While it’s only been eight years for IWF with Relay, it’s been 22 years IWF is raising funds for local charities – that’s quite an accomplishment,” Tucci added. “We couldn’t be prouder of Kevin Knight and the wrestlers – we will be eternally grateful.”
Each spring, IWF’s anniversary event supports a charity, with American Cancer Society being the beneficiary over the past seven years. Prior to 2012, events benefited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Tomorrows Children’s Fund, Twin Towers Orphan Fund, American Red Cross, United Way, and Nutley Policemen and Firefighters’ Benevolent Associations.
Established in 1998, award-winning IWF produced 705 Live Events in 29 cities throughout New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Nationally-accredited IWF Wrestling School, based in Woodland Park and Nutley, saw 50 graduates receive WWE tryouts with 11 employed.
13th Annual Relay for Life of Nutley, the signature event for American Cancer Society, is Friday, May 17, 2019, 6 pm at DeMuro Park. For information, visit RelayForLife.org/NutleyNJ.