By Meagan Ramsay
Fans of the most adrenaline-rushing and forehead-sweating entertainment event on campus will have to wait until next year for their fill of testosterone-laced drama.
The lack of participation and small time frame for planning led to the cancellation of Tiger Championship Wrestling, otherwise known as TCW, an event for men to “wrestle each other” like something straight out of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).
The event was originally scheduled for March 19 in Chalfant Hall.
Alex Ripberger, VP of Men’s Residential Life (MRL), said the problem was not necessarily getting people to sign up, but getting them to commit to practices. With only three actually showing up to practice, there were not enough participants to produce a good show and not enough time to put together quality matches.
Ripberger said TCW is a campus favorite because it is a different type of event that pushes against the boundaries of what Olivet usually allows. It is a risky and dangerous show that the guys take a strenuous amount of time preparing an impressive performance for the audience. Unfortunately that time was not available this year.
“I felt it was in the student body’s best interest to cancel TCW,” Ripberger said. “I didn’t want to charge students who were expecting this big [event] and then have them feel it was a waste of their money.”
Student Body President Evan Karg said, “I’m disappointed that MRL decided to cancel TCW because it’s been a success for the past several years. But, I trust Alex’s judgment.”
Major promotion started in January with posters, sign-ups in Ludwig and email notifications, but Ripberger said there was not a good response to the efforts.
Senior Tye Taylor was one of the few who confirmed his participation. He blames the low turnout on the delayed planning.
“It was planned so late,” Taylor said. “Meetings usually start [during] first semester. They tried to plan it in one month, which isn’t right because people had already made other plans.”
But Ripberger said planning was in motion first semester to a small degree with 10 men already signed up to wrestle. Upon returning from Christmas break, participants had either forgotten or had to quit because they did not realize how demanding their schedules would be for spring semester.
“In waiting [to begin the major planning], we had hoped to allow the guys to get used to their schedule and for them to be pumped up right after the informational meeting and promotion of TCW,” Ripberger said.
“Unfortunately it just wasn’t an effective strategy.”
Junior Michael Bishop had been involved with TCW for the past two years. He said the event is one of the most unique on campus and if it cannot live up to expectations, then it should not be done at all.
“We just didn’t get enough participation, which is really a shame because I don’t think the guys on campus understand how fun it really is,” he said.
So was there enough interest but not enough guys able to commit to the March 19 date?
“That’s what confuses me—whether it was a lack of interest or a lack of awareness,” Ripberger said.
He plans to do more next year, as he has been reelected for the position of VP of MRL, to ensure the problem is not a lack of interest. A “big media rush” is already in the works to promote the event, Ripberger said.
The council is hoping to build up MRL so something like this does not happen again.
“Hopefully the year off will help build up anticipation for TCW 2012,” Bishop said. “It is sure to be a show that no one will want to miss.”