By Susan Hallock
LIBERTY March 13, 2007 It was a standing room-only and then some crowd at the Saturday night’s “Smackdown” professional wrestling event which was sponsored by the Liberty Fire Department and held at the Liberty High School.
While waiting for the doors to open shortly before the 7:30 p.m. opening bell, hundreds of fans of all ages braved the rain and stood in a line that snaked around the school. They didn’t seem to mind the weather or the wait, as they excitedly anticipated seeing their favorite Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) or World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) “Smackdown” wrestler.
The event, which will help the Liberty Fire Department with its expenses for hosting the upcoming 2007 Sullivan County Firefighters Parade this summer, turned out to be even larger than the department members anticipated.
“This is an excellent turnout and we have done this before, but this is even bigger than our past events,” Liberty Fire Chief Lynn Morgan said. “We were nervous because the tickets were not selling that fast at first. And then when the event got closer, the tickets were selling like crazy.
“The day of the event we were able to sell an additional 130 tickets and those tickets which went on sale in the afternoon were gone in five minutes and people were lined up at 9 a.m.,” Morgan added. “We appreciate all the support from the public in regards to this event. This is a great year for Liberty because we not only have the Firemen’s Parade, which we are truly honored to host, but it is also the 200th anniversary of Liberty. It is a great year for all of us.”
Tom Hasbrouck, who is also a member of the Liberty FD, said, “We sold 1,800 tickets and there were none to spare. The anticipation here tonight is great. The people are lined up around the building and even though it is raining out, the kids and even the adults are filled with so much excitement it is going to be a great night.”
The “Smackdown” event truly lived up to the fans’ excitement. There were lovely Divas, ECW superstars such as C.M. Punk, Hardcore Holly, Stevie Richards and Mike Knoxx.
Smackdown grappler Chris Benoit battled “MVP” in the final match of the evening, which left the fans standing on their feet.
Benoit administered his famous finishing move, the “crippler crossface” numerous times to MVP. But MVP was not going down easily, no matter how many times Benoit applied the famous move.
However, the match that truly got the house rocking was the ECW Extreme Rules match between Hardcore Holly and Snitsky in which Hardcore Holly slammed Snitsky in the head with a chair that drew some blood and even more fan excitement.
Snitsky, who entered the ring with confidence that he would defeat Hardcore Holly, was truly stunned when he had learned that he lost the match to Holly.
At one point during the match Holly planned on bringing a table into the ring, which the crowd was pleased to see. But in a change of events, Snitsky put the table back under the ring before it could be used as a weapon.