Johnstown wrestler promotes Saturday show

JOHNSTOWN — Miss Elizabeth, she isn’t.

While Brandy Way — a professional wrestler known on several independent circuits as Brittany Force — grew up watching and admiring Miss Elizabeth — the gorgeous valet of WWF star Randy “Macho Man” Savage — her tough side told her that if she ever broke into the business, she wouldn’t just be standing at the side of the ring, all dolled-up and fragile.

“When I was in high school, I played baseball, volleyball — the athletic side of me,” said Way, who works as a pharmacy technician in Johnstown when she’s not wrestling on the road. “When I was asked to manage, I said I will just do this, because I’d rather be in the ring.”

Having wrestled for four years, Way is taking another step into the wrestling business as a promoter, specifically the debut event of NEXGEN Wrestling at 7 p.m. Saturday in Hastings.

“A promoter does everything you see at the show: Books the talent, gets the ring, the doctors, the licenses, set-up and tear-down, the production — security cameras, commentators, the refs, sets the matches,” she said. “Everything that you see from the second you walk through the door.”

Way and others had been wrestling with another independent promotion for a few years when the owner sold the company.

“So the majority of us decided that we’ve always done really well, and the fans are 100 percent, so we didn’t want to take it away from there,” she said. “The biggest thing is to get the fans out there and make sure there will be people they will know.”

The hardest part of promoting a wrestling event: “Getting everybody on the same page at the same time,” Way said. “The original date we had, we got the building and contacted guys, but we had to find another date with the building.”

There are also issues of booking talent for the show and other details, such as deciding which stars will appear on posters, advertisements and Web site information.

Way was training to become a wrestler while serving as a manager.
“I was a manager for maybe six months and training the whole six months,” she said. “I trained until a year ago. The thing about wrestling is you never stop learning. It’s nice to get refreshers and learn new things.”

Way said she enjoys the freedom of the independent circuit, where talent can perform in other areas and not be bound to any one single entity. She also enjoys the competition on the independent circuit, as opposed to the pin-up types on World Wrestling Entertainment (the former WWF).

“I think all our dreams are to get to one of those companies, but from a woman’s perspective, the girls are more talented down here,” she said. “I really enjoy being around them and work with girls who are more wrestler than just eye candy.”

Some of Way’s career highlights include working for WWE about a year-and-a-half ago, wrestling WWE Diva Beth Phoenix, and in 2010, Pro Wrestling Illustrated named her among the Top 50 Female Wrestlers in the World.
Her wrestling shows, mostly on weekends, have taken her to New York, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Chicago, West Virginia, Michigan and elsewhere.
She said the bright lights are dazzling, but she’s happy with her current career, as well.

“I am very happy here,” she said. “If an opportunity comes up, then absolutely, but I am very happy here.”

NEXGEN Wrestling makes its debut at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Hasting Community Center, 280 Beaver St., Hastings, Cambria County.
Stars on the card include Brittany Force, Kato, Jimi the Hippie, “Bigtime” Bill Collier, Zubov, Brock Singleton, “The Notorious” Shane Taylor and more.
Doors open at 6 p.m., and tickets will also be available at the door.
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