Hack-Man Foley Heads Beach Blast Lineup

Last updated 5 March 2005

Foley Heads Beach Blast Lineup

By Mike Mooneyham

It may seem like 1980 once again when Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine step inside a steel cage to do battle Saturday night at the Conway High School gym. But the time warp will quickly fast forward when hardcore legend Mick Foley joins the festivities as special referee.

Snuka, Valentine and Foley are just three of the many past and present stars scheduled to take part in the first CFE For Kids Beach Bash wrestling event.

The show is expected to draw a healthy contingent of longtime Mid-Atlantic wrestling fans who hope to turn back the clock if only for an evening. Making the program even more appealing is that it's for a good cause, with proceeds going to the McLeod Children's Hospital in Florence.

It's also a personal crusade for event organizer Wayne Cribb. He and his wife, Sarah, lost a child last October. Their son, Ryan Andrew, went 26 minutes at birth without a heartbeat, suffering severe brain damage. Although doctors initially didn't expect the newborn to live 48 hours, the Cribbs rushed their baby to McLeod, where he beat the 48-hour deadline and learned to breathe on his own.

Ryan spent nearly a month in McLeod's neonatal intensive care unit, but was eventually able to come home. Although he passed away at 7 months old, the Cribbs are eternally grateful for the time they were allowed to spend with their son.

Cribb, an event planner by trade and a longtime wrestling fan, wanted to find a way to express his heartfelt appreciation to the Florence children's hospital.

"We were blessed to have him for seven months," says Cribb. "We wanted to find a way to give back to the hospital, but we wanted to do it a little differently. Down here (in the Myrtle Beach area) you have all the big-dollar dinners and golf tournaments. But what about something for the common fan?"

McLeod quickly came up with the answer.

"Let's bring wrestling in. I'm not a promoter or a booker. I'm a dad. Plain and simple. But I've done all the work putting this show together, and hopefully there will be a good turnout."

To get his feet wet in organizing such an undertaking, Cribb called Marvin Ward, who was promoting a "Night of the Superstars" wrestling event for the Children's Medical Center at the University of Virginia. Cribb offered his services for free, took on some announcing duties at the show and struck up a friendship with Ward.

If it could be done in Virginia, it could be done in South Carolina, Cribb concluded. At that point Cribb Family Entertainment For Kids was born, and his own wrestling show was set into motion.

"My wife and I have taken it from here," said Cribb, adding that Ward is coming down from Virginia for the show, "just to make sure we do it the right way."

Some of the money raised in ticket sales will cover amenities not paid for by insurance such as a hotel room, board and food for parents who travel from out of town to be with their newborn children. In addition, the money raised will go toward funding research to help find more cures for childhood illnesses.

Cribb also sees the show as an opportunity to bring "family entertainment" back to wrestling, and he promises the evening will be a fan-friendly one. There's something for everyone on the show, and Cribb has spared no expense in bringing in some top talent that should cater not only to fans of nostalgia, but also to those who follow the current product.

Main-eventers Valentine and Snuka will renew a rivalry that began a quarter of a century ago in the old Crockett territory, and the cage will provide an interesting backdrop for the match. One of wrestling's most memorable moments occurred when Snuka made a spectacular dive off the top of a cage at Madison Square Garden in a 1983 match with Don Muraco. It also was a life-altering experience for an 18-year-old Foley, who had hitchhiked to the Garden to witness the bout, and provided the inspiration that would eventually catapult Foley into his own stardom in the business.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the show will feature Foley, who is scheduled to serve as guest referee for Saturday night's cage match, going face-to-face with David Flair, son of "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, concerning a much-publicized incident with the 16-time world champ that occurred in a WWE locker room last December.

The heat between the two stemmed from comments Ric Flair made in his book, "To Be the Man," published last summer. His pointed remarks were what he called a receipt for statements Foley made about him in his 1999 autobiography, "Have a Nice Day."

The show also features women and midget wrestlers. With a combined age of more than 165 years, The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young will join forces against The Dirty White Girls, who will be managed by Korean beauty and former WWE women's champ Gail Kim. Midget wrestlers Mini Undertaker and Mini Kurt Angle will lock horns in a match sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Other bouts include The Barbarian meeting Stro, Buff Bagwell and Rick Steiner tangling for the American Federation Entertainment heavyweight title, and a 20-man over-the-top-rope Bunkhouse Stampede.

Cribb anticipates a big house, and cites the convenient location as an added plus.

"It's a great location being on Highway 501. The building is also a good size and holds up to 2,400 people."

Cribb, 37, who fondly remembers when pro wrestling was a semi-regular stop along the Grand Strand, started watching wrestling at the ripe old age of 3. Living in Lancaster at the time, he remembers his father taking him to the old Charlotte Coliseum. His first vivid memory of a wrestling show, he says, was around 1980 when he saw Big John Studd and Blackjack Mulligan square off in a Russian chain match.

"I was very hooked from that point on. From then to about 1988, I never missed a show if it came around here."

Cribb hopes to expand the charity event into more states and thus help more hospitals.

"Because I'm a wrestling fan, I know what the wrestling fans want. It's been a long time since we've had shows like this down here. I think the fans will really enjoy it."

Ringside is $20 in advance, $25 the day of the show. General admission is $15 advance, $20 at the gate. VIP front-row tickets have sold out. All active duty military personnel will be admitted for $10.

Bell time will be 8 p.m. A special tailgate party open to all ticket holders will begin at 6 p.m. For more information, call toll-free 1-866-215-4466 or visit www.cfeforkids.com.

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