Most companies celebrate an anniversary with a cordial company party or something of the like. But Ultra Championship Wrestling-Zero (UCW-Zero) is breaking out the tables, ladders and chairs for theirs.
Utah’s most successful pro wrestling promotion UCW-Zero will present their 14th anniversary show on March 19.
In 2002, UCW-Zero began its journey to become Utah’s premier pro wrestling promotion. Using an old boxing ring, founder Steve Neilson began the promotion in his basement. Neilson’s children had begun dipping into the dangerous world of backyard wrestling and he wanted to create an environment where they could train safely.
Now, 14 years later, UCW-Zero has transformed into a noteworthy name in pro wrestling. “We’ve had a chance to work with some of the bigger names in pro wrestling and be on some of the bigger shows. Some of our guys have made it to places like WWE,” said Neilson.
Blazing a trail for Utah’s pro wrestling scene, UCW-Zero has launched the careers of many successful pro wrestlers. “Currently we have one guy, Marin Casaus, that’s a mainstay on Lucha Underground. He’s doing real well there,” Neilson said.
El Ray network’s hit show, Lucha Underground, employs some of the top talent in the pro wrestling industry.
Cast in the show as Marty “The Moth” Martinez, Casaus said, “Everyone needs a foundation. UCW-Zero was my foundation so I could grow and do the television shows that I am doing now. It helped very much. It’s where I started. It would have been far harder to do what I have done without a ring to practice in and what I learned in UCW-Zero.”
Casaus is not the only rising star ignited by UCW-Zero’s spark. Known simply as Bronson, the current UCW-Zero Heavyweight champion is on his way to pro wrestling superstardom.
“I owe almost all of my success to UCW-Zero. It’s where I got my start, and it’s helped me to travel and spread my name across Colorado and Nevada. There’s nothing I’m more proud of than being the champion of this organization,” said Bronson.
Bronson has been a mainstay as part of UCW-Zero’s namesake episodic show. Formally featured on Comcast television, UCW-Zero has been able to reach a broader audience by switching to an online platform.
“YouTube’s growing like a weed. Now they’re getting onto streaming devices and all the smart TVs and that’s the way television is going. WWE was the first big company to jump into that and there’s going to be a lot that follow,” Neilson said.
Since the advent of HD, independent pro wrestling promotions have been scrambling to up their production values.
“I put a lot of money into switching equipment with new cameras, microphones and editing. There’s a lot of money that goes into the production of the show,” Neilson said.
Bronson will defend his heavyweight title against five other men in a barbaric match. “The match is going to be a five-way, Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the heavyweight title. So it’s going to be Bronson’s type of match.” Neilson said.
Bronson is known for his hardcore fighting style and death-defying moves. “Expect a lot of mayhem to ensue; it’s going to get violent,” said Bronson. “The best of the best that UCW-Zero has to offer are in this match, which excites me. I know that we’re all going to put everything our bodies have to offer into this match, which is what you have to do to become the UCW-Zero Champion.”
Bronson expects to walk out of the event the way he enters—as champion. He has also guaranteed a lot of violence and broken furniture.
The event will be held on March 19 at 47 S. Orange St. in Salt Lake City. Doors open at 6 p.m. Bell time is 6:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $15. VIP tickets are $20. Children 10 and under are free. All ages are welcome.