There will be a new twist to the third annual Throw Down for the Pound, to be held Saturday in the Marietta Middle School gym.
"We're calling it a 'Throw Down (Hoedown)' because this one has a country theme," said Adam Johnson, manager of the We Lov Pets store on Pike Street.
The Remix Pro Wrestling event is the third of its kind to benefit the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley. The first two Throw Downs for the Pound were held last year and generated nearly $10,000 to support the local animal shelter.
Wrestlers take part in the Throw Down for the Pound event in Marietta last year. The 3rd Throw Down (Hoedown) for the Pound, featuring a variety of pro wrestling stars, will be held at the Marietta Middle School gym Saturday. Event proceeds benefit the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley.
Photo courtesy of Adam Johnson
Johnson, along with pet store staffers Joe Offenberger and Sam Smith, are coordinating this weekend's event, which will feature TNA (Total Nonstop Action) network wrestlers Mickie James, knockout champion Madison Rayne and Sara Del Rey.
"Mickie James was originally scheduled to face Sara Del Rey, but Mickie injured her shoulder at a recent TNA House event, so Madison Rayne will take Mickie's place against Del Rey," Johnson explained.
He said James will still be on hand to sign autographs and meet fans during Saturday's Throw Down.
If you go
What: Throw Down (Hoedown) for the Pound 3
Where: Marietta Middle School gym, 242 N. Seventh St.
When: Saturday Doors open 5 p.m., show begins at 7 p.m.
Cost: General admission tickets still available at $10 apiece at We Lov Pets, 450 Pike St., Marietta or at the door Saturday.
For information: www.hsov.org
On the list of other pro wrestlers slated for Saturday's contest are former World Wrestling Entertainment stars Zach Gowen, Jimmy Yang and Tracy Smothers.
"We also try to bring the best of the best independent wrestlers, as well as the TNA stars," Johnson said.
"This year we've brought in some of the biggest name talent we've ever had and we've expanded the event."
Johnson said he, Offenberger and Smith have always been big pro wrestling fans, so when they began considering a fundraiser for the HSOV, the idea of a wrestling event sounded like a great idea.
"We're all very passionate about pets and we also have a passion for what the shelter does for animals," Johnson said. "It's a lot of work, but it's worth it."
Humane Society manager Steve Herron said such fundraisers are vital to continuing operation of the shelter.
"This is our third wrestling event, and it costs the shelter nothing -we get 100 percent profit, thanks to local sponsors Adam is able to find," Herron said.
When Johnson proposed the first event last year, Herron said he was not sure what would happen.
"I thought, are people really going to come out to watch pro wrestling?" he said. "I decided to at least try it once, and that first event brought in around $5,000."
A second match in the fall earned the shelter just under $6,000.
"This is good, clean family fun - even if you don't follow pro wrestling," Herron said. "There's no cursing, spitting or blood and you don't have to worry about scantily-clad women."