BANK STATEMENT #9 - Marranca vs Creed: Boxing Match
Sorry for the lack of an article over the past few weeks. Life has been busy. I’ve been enjoying the lack of restrictions outside and having fun. I even saw “Sick” Nick Reigota at karaoke a few weeks ago. (He’s tremendous as always). But for the most part, I’ve been busy.
However, when I do have some downtime, I definitely find time to relive “the good old days” and watch pro wrestling. Whether it’s ECW, ROH, the Attitude Era of WWF, or old independent wrestling stuff, I thoroughly enjoy the storytelling aspect of this time. With the exception of waiting for Omos to come on RAW every week, I rarely watch mainstream wrestling…
...except for this past Friday night. My friend and I were hanging out, flipping through channels, when we passed TNT and put on All Elite Wrestling “Dynamite”. Seeing an octagon to kick off the show intrigued me. We sat and started watching Jake Hager vs Wardlow in an MMA rules match.
I don’t know why, but I genuinely believed that Hager, a legitimate MMA competitor, would have found a way to make this type of fight realistic with a pro wrestler like Wardlow. Once I saw Wardlow do a snap hurricanrana in the octagon, I turned it off. If you’re going to perform a match with realistic limitations, then actually ground-and-pound and do the damn thing.
As I sat down on my couch in front of the TV, frustrated, I started to think about those aforementioned “good old days”. The realistic nature of wrestling or gimmick matches that I, as a fan, enjoyed.
And then suddenly, it hit me.
I thought back to American Championship Entertainment in 2008. I thought back to the 2nd installment of the ACE Arena on 725 Sip Street in Union City, NJ. I thought back to a time where there was a Boxing Fight during an Action Zone taping.
I thought back to when Giovanni Marranca got knocked the F out.
I am not a fan of “The Magnificent” Giovanni Marranca. Not one bit.
As you die-hard Bank Statement readers know, I’ve disliked Marranca for as long as he’s been wrestling. Most notably, I wrote this distinct passage in my old blog about him during my “Project: Diverge Operation New Wave Review”:
GIOVANNI MARRANCA’S RUN - As much as I didn’t like Monty Max, I absolutely HATE Giovanni Marranca. “The Magnificent”, or whatever he wants to call himself, showed me NOTHING. He was bland. His posture was annoying and awkward. Most of all, his video that had his arrival into the Operation New Wave Tournament was just too whiny. No wonder why ACE never gave him an opportunity. He used everyone else as his issues instead of just addressing his own shortcomings. I mean, his lack of drive lead to multiple people in the locker room to call him out back in the day. How do I know this? Let’s say I’m people that know people that know Marranca. If he is truly is leaving wrestling, good riddance. For this writer, he’s blander than the pizza box that Black Zemis killed him with in 2008. Arrivederci, asshat.
As you can see, I’m not a Marranca guy. However, the one thing I can respect about him is HIS HEART.
He isn’t scared of trying to go into the ring and do whatever it takes to win. He will cheat, scratch, claw, and do whatever it takes to win a match, a battle, or a fight. Marranca’s heart is so strong, sometimes he uses that over his brain.
In December 2008, Marranca was embroiled in a small rivalry with Damien Creed. Creed was like a pitbull in-between the ropes. He would not stop his onslaught, size notwithstanding, until his opponent was on the floor, suffering in pain or out-cold.
To a lot of ACE fans, Creed was reminiscent of “Iron” Mike Tyson, boxing great and WWE Hall of Famer. So much so that after one match, Creed attacked his opponent and, channeling his inner Tyson, bit his ear.
So after one match with Thomas “the Gate” Rodriguez on December 6, 2008 during Action Zone, Creed got himself disqualified. Creed attacked and continuously beat on Rodriguez, until Marranca, Rodriguez’ best friend, tag team partner, and training mate, made the save. Both men were swinging for the fences, delivering blow after blow on each other until Creed bailed.
Within the next few days, ACE management, seeing the potential of fighting power between both men, decided to make an unique matchup to close out the year. The fans, loving the blow-by-blow impact both men made on the 6th, would bare witness to a first time ever battle.
“The Magnificent” Giovanni Marranca vs Damien Creed on December 20th in a BOXING FIGHT.
Thanks to BergCity316 on YouTube, I was able to replay the match on YouTube and enjoy it for the first time in 13 years.
The atmosphere was incredible. It felt like being in one of those Knights of Columbuses on a Saturday night watching amateur boxing. The fans in Union City appreciated a hard-hitting spectacle, and this was going to be one of those.
Each wrestler was allowed a cornerman to accompany them to ringside. Marranca, of course, had Rodriguez. Creed had Devious in his. Devious, a 6’8, 300+ big man from NYC is a man that is often forgotten about from the days of ACE Pro Wrestling. His biggest claim to fame was being the muscle for ACE Diamond Division champion Shawn Walker in 2009, but he was a credible and immensely talented big man that should’ve done more in wrestling.
The bout was scheduled for three rounds, each being three minutes each. In case of going to a judge’s decision, ACE management had three judges at ringside:
William Wyeth, representing Hollywood Inc.
Mike Donovan, current Diamond Division champion
Rayza, former ACE Tag Team champion and quite possibly the biggest marijuana enthusiast I’ve ever seen in wrestling
ACE Ring Announcer Ken Carrera was the ring announcer, Adolfo Rivera was the referee, and there was even a ring girl, holding up cards of each individual round before the bell. Before the bell even rang, it was already a boatload of fun. THIS WAS SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT AT ITS FINEST.
The bell sounded and both men came out SWINGING. I’ve always heard that a fighter’s mentality always changes once they get hit in the face. Both men got that out of the way immediately. After the first thirty seconds, Marranca was hitting Creed in the head HARD, and Creed, with his hands down like a true badass, was eating them to no effect, practically begging the “Magnificent” to throw another one. One minute in, Creed rocked Marranca with a right cross, and he went down.
Marranca’s heart instantly came into play and willed himself up and back to form after a four count from the referee Adolfo. The fight resumed. Around 2 minutes into the round, Marranca staggered Creed with a sharp left jab to the mush. Seeing a chance for advantage, he went in on Creed with strikes, literally backing him into the ropes, but Creed, a more experienced boxer, tied up with Marranca and forced a break. However, Marranca was persistent, continuously peppering Creed with punches, forcing Creed to lean onto the middle rope. Creed shook out the cobwebs and soldiered on. Marranca kept throwing strikes, but Creed put up his guard, surviving an extra ten seconds until the round was over.
Almost instantly, you could tell both men were worse for wear. Creed was still trying to shake out the cobwebs, but Marranca was already spent. The one thing I’ve learned about wrestling and boxing was the difference in stamina you need for both. The pure wrestler Marranca seemingly looked already spent, while Creed was more fine tuned for this type of battle. Throwing a mass amount of punches tends to do that to untrained boxers.
One of the other things I loved was the attention to detail. Rodriguez kept the bruising down on Marranca’s face in-between rounds with Vaseline. The little things like that popped me huge and was very old school boxing.
The second round began, and just like the first, both men came out throwing bombs. After another tie-up, Marranca started launching haymakers and caught Creed, surprisingly protecting the left side of his face, with a right flush to the chin. Creed went down hard and the fans, as well as the judges, popped huge!
At the count of seven, Creed popped up back to his feet and, suddenly, his swag returned. Even more so, he looked pissed off. The fight continued on. Both men, a little more exhausted, left it all in there. Marranca and Creed laid on some heavy body and head shots and weren’t backing down in the slightest. After the referee broke another tie-up, the competitors went back into battle.
By the end of Round 2, I finally had the realization in my head that both men showcased their legitimate toughness and unwillingness to back down. Even 13 years later, I am fully convinced that this was the closest thing to the Brawl 4 All I had ever seen. Creed, although a more proficient boxer, had his hands full with Marranca. If the fight ended here, even I, an ardent Marranca detractor, would have to admit that “Magnificent” was a man not to be messed with.
The third round began, and Marranca really looked worse for wear. His gas tank was on fumes - he was spent. Creed ROCKED him with some serious blows, and Marranca, leaning on Creed, went down to the mat once Creed backed away.
Like I said before, the one attribute I admire about Marranca was his HEART. Although his brain was telling him to stop, his heart wouldn’t let him. After struggling to get up, he willed his way up at the count of NINE. Unbelievable. Creed looked stunned, but he knew he had it in the bag. Adolfo allowed Marranca to continue, and the fight went on.
Marranca gave one last burst of energy, but Creed slammed that exposed jaw with a right cross and then a hammer shot to the top of his head, and Marranca was OUT. Rivera counted to ten, and Damien Creed won with a third round knockout at the ACE Arena in Union City, NJ.
I really, really enjoyed this Boxing match that night, and watching it back 13 years later, I really, really enjoyed it now. There are not many times in pro wrestling nowadays that make me feel how I felt about this match.
I might not like Giovanni Marranca as a wrestler, but as a man, I respect the Hell out of him. His heart willed him to three rounds against a more experienced fighter in Damien Creed. Creed didn’t last too much longer in ACE Pro Wrestling, as he left the business shortly thereafter, but for his time in the company, he made a memorable moment for a fan like me.
If AEW could only book a match like this, mixing the sports entertainment with the realism of a fight, like they should have with the MMA match on “Dynamite”, I might be watching that program more.
Maybe it’s because I long for the days of the ACE Arena, or for the days of true local independent wrestling, but this Boxing match was a fun moment in time. Two men had an issue, and both men settled it in an entertaining fashion. This is what pro wrestling is all about, and something that is missing today.
Just how I feel...BANK ON IT.