Fresh off the heels of the Extreme Wrestling Corporations mega event – WrestleFest, comes news about next years StrangleMania pay-per-view extravaganza.
It has been confirmed that Ace King will indeed cash in his re-match clause and will battle the new EWC Undisputed Champion; Killjoy Ito, in a one on one match at the Narendar Modi Stadium for StrangleMania XVII.
The Narendra Modi Stadium, formerly known as the Motera Stadium, is a cricket stadium situated inside the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Sports Enclave in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. As of 2021, it is the largest stadium in the world, with a seating capacity of 132,000 spectators.
Known for its extreme brutality, StrangleMania debuted back on March 3th in 1997. StrangleMania is to EWC as the World Cup is to FIFA, Super Bowl is to the NFL, the World Series is to MLB, the Stanley Cup Finals is to the NHL, and the NBA Finals is to the NBA in the sense that it is the most important event of the year in sports entertainment. It is truly “The Grandaddy of Them All” or “The Showcase of the Immortals”. The show often displays the biggest over the top / hardcore matches possible in a blood bath of both amazing talent and sheer violence. It was for this reason StrangleMania was banned for 4 years before making it’s triumphant return in 2005.
While the match type is, is not yet known, however the EWC Network did have a chance to reach out to both Ace King and Killjoy Ito about this historic announcement.
Via a series of text messages, we received the following statement from former EWC Undisputed Champion, Ace King:
“Being the EWC Undisputed Champion for most of last season was the greatest honour of my career. It’s the kind of emotional roller coaster you couldn’t make up if you tried, but it’s worth every second of the work that goes into getting there. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t still a bit raw right now, but Ito-san did what he had to do in Rio, and I tip my hat to him, because I understand how hard his road in EWC was to reach the top. In saying that, I also know how much harder it is to stay at the top, and what separates the greats from the legends is the ability to do it on the absolute biggest stage.
StrangleMania is the standard for this industry, where mortal men become immortality. It’s the one night above all others where you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, but when that weight finally comes off, as it did for me at last year’s StrangleMania, there’s nothing like it as a competitor. 2021? It’s done, so it only makes sense to look forward.
There’s no doubting Ito and I share similarities, but above all else, we understand each other through the language of professional wrestling. I know what this opportunity means to both of us, and I will do whatever it takes to make sure I don’t waste it, because there may not be another chance if I do. Come Hell or high water, I will be ready for March 28, and while younger talent may be knocking at the door, I’ll prove I’m still the standard.”
Certainly the former EWC Undisputed Champion will be hungry and motivated to get back what he lost this past Monday. We reached out to Killjoy Ito, who was back home in Tokyo, Japan and through his interpreter had this to say about the StrangleMania XVII announcement:
“Ace King was great Undisputed Champion and earned right to rematch. I look forward to facing him at EWC’s biggest event of the year StrangleMania. It will be great honor to face man who’s been face of the EWC, EWC’s true ACE for past 3 year in my first title defense. StrangleMania is where legacy is forged and I look to forge mine and become new ACE of EWC. Ace King is legend here in EWC, so to become legend I must defeat legend“.
Killjoy’s manager, ‘The Prodigal Son’ Buddy Love also had some comments of his own:
“Look, we understood that Ace had the right to the rematch, he defended the Undisputed Championship 5 times in 2021, that’s an amazing feat, so we are not surprised at this news. We are happy that the EWC came out so soon and made this announcement so we wouldn’t be looking over our shoulders and wondering when this rematch would take place. We can now enjoy our offseason, rest up and be ready to kick off the 2022 season with a firm date in front of us. March 28th, 2022 at StrangleMania. ‘StrangleMania is our Super Bowl, the BIG one and this year it’s taken up a notch, the 25th Anniversary of the EWC so the sakes couldn’t be bigger…this one will be played back again and again in the historical aspects. Ace King had an amazing 2021 but we are turning the page to 2022 and right now Killjoy Ito stands atop of the EWC as the Undisputed Champion but to solidify that spot he MUST beat Ace King one more time and what better place to do so than StrangleMania…we look forward to ushering in new era here in the EWC”.
While Season 23 of Extreme Wrestling doesn’t kickoff until February, we can confidentially say that the hype and buildup towards StrangleMania XVII is already in full swing. 2022 also marks the 25th Anniversary of the EWC, and we cannot wait!
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