Battleground Pro Wrestling: Colorado’s new professional wrestling league

Alpha+Coast+Wrestling+Unified+Champion+Alpha+Zo+holds+up+his+heavyweight+belt+after+winning+against+Gino+Rivera+at+the+Battleground+Pro+Wrestling+fight+night+Sept.+3.

Collegian | Gregory James

Action Coast Wrestling Unified Champion Alpha Zo holds up his heavyweight belt after winning against Gino Rivera at the Battleground Pro Wrestling event Sept. 3. BPW first began in California nearly 20 years ago, and after an eight-year hiatus, it returned in Fort Collins with the original organizer Peter Villano starting it back up again. The debut event was held at the Northside Atzlan Community Center and was in honor of the late wrestler Robert “Foob Dogg” Tenorio, who passed away in July of this year.

Damon Cook, Staff Reporter

Battleground Pro Wrestling promises to deliver fans a unique experience with hard-hitting action. They delivered their promise in their From the Ashes event Sept. 3 at the Northside Aztlan Community Center in Fort Collins. They gave fans everything from drop kicks to suplexes and were even getting members of the audience involved.

The night started off with a 10-bell tribute to Robert “Foob Dogg” Tenorio. In memory of Tenorio, BPW gave out the Robert Tenorio Forever Battleground Award to David “The Bull” Bariola. Bariola is a retired professional wrestler and is now an assistant football coach in Fort Collins. Tenorio was on the minds of everyone during the event. 

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“There was no Battleground without Foobie,” professional wrestler Sam Knight said. “Foobie was actually one of my mentors. The last time I saw him, all he could do was tell me how proud of me he was. … Foobie is the lifeblood of Battleground Pro Wrestling, so without Foob Dogg, there is no Battleground.” 

This was the debut show for BPW in Colorado; however, BPW is not new itself. According to the BPW website, they have been in business for almost 10 years and for that time have “entertained fans in Southern California.” BPW is looking to bring more action and compete around Colorado. 

“I want everyone to go home and talk about the show with their friends and family after the show. It’s always been for me about family fun and excitement.” –Peter Villano, current owner of Battleground Pro Wrestling

Professional wrestler Sam Knight gives a fist bump to a young fan Sept. 3. Knight told the young fan, “You can accomplish anything.” Knight was one of several wrestlers at the Battleground Pro Wrestling fight night held at the Northside Aztlan Community Center.

BPW delivered an experience fans can talk about with their friends and family. After Knight and Sean Black, who make up the tag team called the Black Knights, won their tag team match-up against, as Knight put it, “some nobodies from New Mexico,” they went out into the crowd and brought two young fans onto the stage. The two fans got to share a moment in the ring with Knight, a moment that brought smiles to everyone who was in the crowd. He then followed that up by talking to another young fan.

Crowd interaction was one of the biggest themes of the night. Wrestler after wrestler got the crowd cheering and booing.

At one point, one of the matches had gotten outside of the ring, allowing the wrestlers to get the young fans involved in the fight. The fan helped Knight with the match, ultimately allowing Knight to pin his opponent.

“Fun, entertainment, storytelling,” said Peter Villano, the former owner of BPW. “I want everyone to go home and talk about the show with their friends and family after the show. It’s always been for me about family fun and excitement.”

The night ended with a matchup between the Action Coast Wrestling Unified Champion Alpha Zo and Gino Rivera. It started as many other matches did, with cheering and booing. Zo was by far the crowd favorite, as every time Rivera said something, he was met with boos.

For most of the match, Rivera looked like he would be the champion by the end of the night, but the crowd would not let that happen. As it looked like it was all over, the crowd cheered for Zo to get out of a pin, and he rode that momentum to an eventual win to remain the ACW unified champion. 

Gino Rivera prematurely celebrates knocking down Alpha Zo as Zo sneaks up behind him Sept. 3. Alpha Zo won the main card fight against Rivera, retaining his Action Coast Wrestling Unified Champion belt.

Battleground Pro Wrestling’s next event will be Nov. 5 at the Greeley Recreation Center.

Reach Damon Cook at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dwcook2001.

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Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to say Peter Villano is the current owner of Battleground Pro Wrestling. The article incorrectly cited Villano as a former owner.