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Friday, Mar 27, 2015

Rookies Bar & Grill to host charity pro wrestling event

Hernando Today correspondent


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Pro wrestling is as traditional to American culture as fireworks on the Fourth of July. And with the help of James Richartz of Brawl USA, Hernando County residents will get the opportunity to experience pro wrestling in their own back yard. Best of all, the event is free.

Tomorrow, the parking lot at Rookies Sports Bar & Grill will open up its parking lot to 16 professional wrestlers who will compete in six brawls, all to support West Hernando Little League.

Participating wrestlers are considered pro but independent, Richartz said. A group of five wrestlers will be traveling from Miami. One is flying in from New Jersey.

"They are all trained professionally." he said. "These guys are doing it to get noticed and for the love of wrestling."

Richartz said the events are not new to Hernando County.

"About two years ago we were pretty regular," he said, holding pro wrestling matches at the Small Business Expo on Commercial Way near Timber Pines.

He operated under a different company name then.

"We have been doing events in Tampa," he said. But Hernando County is his home. "I want to give something back to my community."

Richartz was also motivated by a need to find activities for local children whose options he felt were few, especially during the summer.

"I drive around and see kids walking the streets at random and I think it's terrible," he said. "I grew up in New York where there was always something to do.

Saturday's event will be the first of what Richartz hopes will become monthly events. They will support a different charity or organization each time, at no cost to the public, sponsored by local businesses. Donations will be accepted at each event for the charities they sponsor.

Sponsors ithis time around include Anew Dawn Salon, All Web N Mobile, Universal Soil Solutions, Topline Tire & Auto, R Tates Autobody, Elegant Events & Merchant Network Group.

"This will give children and their parents an activity where they can come together and bond in an environment that is family friendly."

Brawl USA is proud of its family-friendly focus and refrains from harsh language or violence during these events. They are more like an "athletic play," Richartz said. "It's like watching a story unfold in the ring."

The event will open with the bell ring set for 7:30 p.m. But Richartz suggests those who plan to attend should get there early and take advantage of preshow activities. Seating will be limited. Once they are gone, there will be standing-room only.

Brawl USA commissioned a Tampa comic book artist to create a comic sketch special for the event. It is a limited edition, with just 100 autographed that will be given away during the night. There will also be other giveaways and raffles at the event.

"Rookies has been a big help with us in getting sponsors," Richartz said. "They have been a big sponsor in getting everything the wrestlers need and for the West Hernando Little League."

The Brawl USA pro wrestling will appeal to all age groups, Richartz said. "It is such a weird dynamic because so many people grew up watching wrestling."

Rookies Sports Bar & Grill is located at 3095 Anderson Snow Blvd., in Spring Hill. For more information about the event, visit Brawl USA on Facebook at or contact Rookies Sports Bar & Grill at (352) 593-4114.

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