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Kitchener-based wrestling promotion enlists former WWE Superstar to help local Special Olympians

Former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann jumps on board for November 3rd event/fundraiser
Cross Body Pro Wrestling Academy
Mark Pare/KitchenerToday

The Cross Body Pro Wrestling Academy (CBPW) is getting some top-level help for an event coming to Kitchener this fall.

Rich Swann --- former WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Superstar and currently on the Impact Wrestling roster --- is lending a hand to the Kitchener-based promotion, all in an effort to raise funds for the Special Olympics Ontario - Kitchener Waterloo.

He, and CBPW owner/promoter Ben Ortmanns put out the announcement through social media Monday night and laid out a challenge to local businesses.

"I am challenging you to donate as much money as you can to the Special Olympics," Swann said in the video, "I'm telling you November 3rd, we are going to put smiles on faces and we are going to have an amazing show at Cross Body."

But where does Swann fit into the equation?

Ortmanns says he's been working as a producer backstage for "Impact Wrestling" and was talking about this endeavour with a friend.

Well, Swann overheard the conversation and "he instantly wanted to get on board."

"Obviously Rich loves helping out good causes as well," Ortmanns said, adding this isn't the first time Swann has helped out at the local academy.

That first time came back in July 2015, as part of fundraiser for ALS with Smash Wrestling.

"It was this three-hour gauntlet match for a gentleman named Chris Hero, who wrestles in the WWE now as Kassius Ohno (on their developmental brand NXT)," he said, "He did a three-hour wrestling match, which was I believe a world record, and Rich Swann was actually a part of that."

Ortmanns says while they did put out a challenge to local businesses, he --- along with Swann and the entire CBPW roster --- are also reaching out to anyone and everyone to lend a hand.

"The more local businesses we can get to, whether it be provide and donate any type of merchandise that they can put together towards our silent auction that we will be doing with the Special Olympics, whether they have money that they could donate," Ortmanns added in an interview with 570 NEWS Tuesday.

"What ever it is that we could possibly do to raise as much money as we possibly can for these wonderful athletes and these wonderful people, that is the challenge."

He goes on to say he has the word out to businesses already, and a few friends wrestling in WWE, who are looking through personal belongings to donate.

"There's a lot of talks going on right now," he said, "To make sure that as many people as humanly possible can do their part to make sure that we raise as much money as we possibly can for them."

More announcements are expected over the coming weeks.

If you'd like to help out, you can reach out to Ben at the CBPW Facebook page.

Mark Pare

About the Author: Mark Pare

Mark is a graduate of Canadore College in North Bay in 2011, and his decade-long career has taken him to a number of spots across Ontario in radio, digital and television broadcasting.
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