Coastal Championship Wrestling set for Kissimmee debut – Orlando Sentinel
Coastal Championship Wrestling has been a fixture in South Florida for most of the 21st century. But this Friday, the promotion that calls itself the Last Territory is ready to make its mark on Central Florida as well.
On July 8, CCW presents “Conquer Kissimmee,” beginning a run of monthly shows at the Sun on the Beach nightclub in Old Town. For ticket information, visit www.coastalchampionshipwrestlingfl.com.
As the promotion celebrates its 18th anniversary, it’s ready for the expansion from its Coral Springs base, said co-owner Nelio Cuomo Costa.
“The Orlando area is no stranger to pro wrestling,” Costa said. “There’s plenty of shows right out their back door every week, some of them free. But we’re giving fans something different and something special. We’re doing well enough as a company to make this step, and we can already tell it’s a success.”
Costa described CCW shows as “a very good mix of the future and the distant past,” with talent on the rise and storylines that old-school fans can appreciate.
“My favorite era of wrestling was around (the NWA’s) Starrcade 1985 – Tully Blanchard and Magnum T.A., Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair. Blood feuds that had clear heels and babyfaces, smart stories that took their time to unfold. And our wrestlers can bring it in the ring.”
Wrestlers in the promotion get a good education in the nuts and bolts of the business. The head trainer at the training facility is former WWE superstar David (Gangrel) Heath, and AEW star QT Marshall conducts regular seminars for talent.
One of those up-and-coming wrestlers, Northeast independent veteran Jonny Nova, compared CCW to punk rock and said he can’t wait for the Central Florida debut.
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“I don’t get to wrestle often in front of people I know personally,” said Nova, who lives in Orange City, “so this will be amazing. I love that we call ourselves ‘the Last Territory,’ because it really is a nod to classic wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, that sort of thing.”
Nova debuted for CCW after moving south from Pennsylvania – he had come to Florida looking for a fresh start, but those plans were sidetracked by the pandemic.
“I had been teaching, but after the shutdown, I couldn’t get any work,” said Nova, who is a CCW tag-team champion with E.R.A. “When CCW and other companies started running shows, I thought to myself, ‘I need wrestling right now.’ … I seized [an opportunity] with CCW, and it’s so great to be part of the wrestling resurgence.”
Costa pinpoints this weekend as a huge turning point for CCW, not just in Kissimmee but across the state – there will be three CCW shows during the weekend, with stops in Ocala and Homestead as well.
“We’ve built up a great roster to have a weekend like this,” said Costa, who works as a backstage producer and wrestles as well. “I’m not worried about failure; I just know there’s a lot of moving parts, but we’re ready.”
Costa plans to make Kissimmee a regular stop, with shows scheduled for the second Friday of each month. Tickets for the July 8 show are $10-20, with VIP packages available.