Once in a while, something lines up with a writer’s life so perfectly that not covering the story would feel almost criminal. Such is the case for the upcoming wrestling show and fundraiser, Dropkick Diabetes V. I saw an advertisement for a show benefitting children struggling with diabetes, (a disease I have) featuring AIW, (a company I love) that will take place less than ten minutes from my childhood home. I knew I needed to learn more and share it with the BIGPLAY family.
Event organizer, Kevin Koppel, graciously provided me with information as well as the thoughts of some of the wrestlers who are taking part in Dropkick Diabetes.
The event has its roots in a genuine desire to give back while paying forward. Dropkick Diabetes started in 2015 when Matt Galchick (who wrestles under the name Max Alexander) wanted to do something special for Akron Children’s Hospital for all they have done to help his son, Timmy. Timmy is a type 1 juvenile diabetic, and ACH has helped to save his life and give him as normal of a childhood as possible. When Kevin Koppel (who wrestles under the name Kip Paige) heard about what Matt was doing, he knew he wanted to help out because Kevin lost a friend to complications caused by juvenile diabetes when she was just 18 years old. The Dropkick Diabetes show was meant to be just a one-time thing with all of the money raised from the show going to Akron Children’s Hospital. That show utilized only local wrestlers.
After the success of that first event, it was clear that Dropkick Diabetes was something special, and it set in motion an annual event dedicated to Akron Children’s Hospital. The following year, Matt and Kevin set their sights higher, hoping to raise more money. They welcomed wrestlers with higher profiles such as former ECW and WWE wrestler, Tommy Dreamer, and former ECW and current WWE superstar Rhyno. That show was wildly successful surpassing Matt and Kevin’s expectations. Since then, the show has gained size and notoriety. Other wrestlers appearing in past shows include former ECW wrestler Shane Douglas, Impact wrestler Abyss, former WWE wrestlers Mosh and Thrasher, collectively known as The Headbangers.
To date, the show has raised just shy of $15,000 on behalf of Akron Children’s Hospital.
This year marks the fifth Dropkick Diabetes show. They have a superstar lineup including Former WWE/NXT and current Impact wrestler Madman Fulton, current Impact wrestler Kongo Kong, Lucha Underground wrestler Matt Cross, and former ECW and WWE wrestler Nunzio, as well as many other local and internationally known wrestlers.
As you may or may not know, Northeast Ohio is home to some outstanding independent professional wrestling promotions as well as first-rate wrestling academies. Two of the best, AIW and MEGA, are sending wrestlers to Dropkick Diabetes to represent their respective wrestling schools. This battle of the brands will take place in Survivor Series style to see which team reigns supreme over Cleveland’s wrestling scene.
Fans can expect action from other wrestlers including the first-ever Dropkick Diabetes women’s match featuring Zoey Skye and Ray Lyn. There will also be a tag team melee match and a royal rumble -style contest, Timmy’s Transformers Turmoil. The rumble kicks off the pre-show action at 4:30 with bell time scheduled for 5:00 p.m. I encourage you to support Akron Children’s Hospital and enjoy an evening of great wrestling at Dropkick Diabetes.
The event is Sunday, July 21 at The Saxton Club 710 South Meridian Rd, Youngstown, Ohio. Doors open at 4:00 p.m. Bell time is at 5:00p.m . Advance tickets are $12 (available at The Saxton Club) Tickets are $15 at the door the night of the show.
I extended an open invitation to any participating wrestler to share their thoughts on being a part of Dropkick Diabetes. I will leave you with their words.
I initially wanted to be involved with the show because I was friends with Matt and Kevin, and as a father I respected the work, Matt was putting in to raise awareness for a disease that’s affected his son. I thought it would be the very least I could do to offer my services for their show.
What I’ve learned in the three years working the Dropkick Diabetes show; is how absolutely rewarding the feeling is raising money for an incredible cause. Using whatever celebrity I’ve accrued over the years to help raise thousands of dollars each year is truly the best feeling I’ve had as a professional wrestler in 16 years.
I am honored to live my passion and help fight the good fight against diabetes. This event is personal to me as I have many family members who deal with diabetes and feel that all of us are honoring them and letting them know that we care.
I love being a part of this charity event, that helps those in need. Especially when it’s for the kids.
In wrestling, these shows are how we bring together the community to support a variety of causes. Dropkick Diabetes brings together family, friends, and anyone in our area to enjoy a night of entertainment while assisting Akron Children’s Hospital; a company that helps so many children and their families battle through many health issues. I’m honored to be asked to be a part of an event that has such a positive impact on so many people.
I look forward to helping share this experience with fans, new and old, and show that we are people who care to help others and raise money for a great foundation. -Zoey Skye