Melee at MCU Park! Indie wrestling comes to Coney

The Brooklyn Paper
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There was a time when seeing two grown men fighting in Coney Island was undoubtedly a bad sign — now it’s a toss-up.

Independent wrestling organization Ring of Honor held a knockdown, drag-out tournament at MCU Park on Aug. 15 that drew fans from all over the city, and a longtime Bronx resident there said seeing Coney Island’s resurgence nearly knocked him out.

“It’s so much better — I’m going to be going there a lot more now,” said Eddie Martinez, who went with his son Eric. “I hadn’t been to Coney Island since the mid-80s and the crack epidemic.”

During the tournament, there was a four-man free-for-all match, a tag-team cage battle, and six one-on-one throw-downs. And wrestlers signed autographs and posed for photos after the matches.

But the pugilism wasn’t confined to the ring, and one fan brought a little Brooklyn bravado to the stands.

“This lady in crowd was hyping everything,” said Eric Martinez. “She was rowdy and loud — cursing and stuff. I’m assuming she was tipsy.”

From the cheap seats, the overzealous fan picked verbal fights with the pricier rows, and when park security tried to quiet her down, the crowd harangued the hired guns until they let her have her say, said Eric Martinez.

“The crowd turned on security and started chanting ‘Let her speak,’ ” he said.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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