It’s not often I get to write about pro wrestling on this site. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I ever have. But the world of pro wrestling reached into the local baseball scene Monday night in a very weird way.
On Monday night, WWE performed their weekly WWE RAW show at Amalie Arena in Tampa. The show travels all over the country every week entertaining wrestling fans. When they arrive in a city, it is not unusual for the WWE to contact a smaller local wrestling organizations and use their wrestlers as extras – fill-ins for segments they don’t want to use any of their established stars.
This was the case during Monday night’s show when WWE Superstars Enzo and Big Cass took on unknowns Mitch Walding and Carlos Tocci. The match lasted less than 3 minutes and was designed to give the WWE stars an impressive showing without having to exert too much energy.
But Mitch Walding and Carlos Tocci are not unknowns, at least in baseball. They are both names of Phillies prospects currently playing for the Clearwater Threshers. Third baseman Mitch Walding recently won the Florida State League home run derby and Carlos Tocci is the Phillies 14th ranked prospect.
And the two ballplayers let it be known that their names were used. While the WWE show aired, Walding sent out this tweet of he and Tocci.
— mitchell walding (@MitchWalding) June 28, 2016
I have no idea how the WWE picked those names for the two wrestlers. Perhaps one of the backstage hands is a Threshers fan. What I can say is that I do know the unknown tag team that were beaten by Enzo and Big Cass. They both wrestle for WxW, a promotion based out of Minneola, Fl about an hour from Tampa. The promotion is run by WWE Hall of Famer Afa the Wild Samoan.
On Monday night, “Mitch Walding” was played by a wrestler who more commonly goes by the name Nick Nero. “Carlos Tocci” was played by a wrestler who goes by the name Ernest Randall Alexander, or more commonly, the very baseball friendly nickname “E.R.A.”.
Monday night was the first time “Walding/Nero” and “Tocci/ERA” had ever wrestled in a WWE ring. So it was a huge deal for them. And it was a night the real Walding and Tocci will probably boast about for some time.