tampabay.com

No runs, no hits, no holds barred

By Sharon Kennedy Wynne, wynne@tampabay.com
Published May 14, 2007


You wouldn't normally look for a wrestling match in the outfield, but the rules are different when you have an indoor baseball stadium.

On Friday, May, 18, the Devil Rays game will also be "Legends of Wrestling" night with former WWE stars making appearances beforehand and three matches on the field after the game against the Marlins.

It's not merely a ploy to reach fans of a different sport and appeal to little kids, said Rick Vaughn, vice president of public relations

"Wrestling is Tampa Bay, and so many of the professional wrestlers live in Tampa Bay, so it seemed like a natural theme night, " Vaughn said.

Some of the beefy legends who will be wielding Sharpie pens for fans are Bret "The Hitman" Hart, "Mean" Gene Okerlund, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and B. Brian Blair.

They will be signing autographs from the field from 5:10 p.m. to 6:10 p.m.

Following the game, there will be three matches on the field that sound like titles to old horror movies:

King Haku vs. Tatanka

Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine

The Return of The Nasty Boys vs. Rick Steiner and The Cuban Assassin.

Who knows? Maybe this could inspire the Devil Rays to add sequins and a cape to their uniforms. Look for similar pandering to different fan bases on Country Night (Saturday, May 19) and NASCAR Night (June 22).

Tickets start at $8. Information, toll-free 1-888-326-7297; www.devilrays.com.