New promotion brings family friendly wrestling to Macon

Professional wrestlers are illusionists, performing physical theatre that leaves real welts and bruises while convincing an audience that what they’re seeing is reality. 

At least that’s how Anthony “Slam Shady” Colletti sees it. 

Colletti has wrestled for 25 years and is bringing that love of wrestling to Macon in the family friendly event, Heroes of the Ring, this July 24 at the Macon Arts Center. 

Colletti had a non-traditional path. He went to college to be a mechanical engineer but started wrestling in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Penn. after he dropped out.  

“I always loved acting,” he said, “I loved working out and I thought, how do I make money at that?”

In those early days, Colletti’s mom was more supportive than his dad. “Mom said, ‘We were gonna pay for your college, now your college is learning to be a pro wrestler. So you eat, sleep, and train to be a pro wrestler. That’s your job now,’” Colletti said. 

With some help from friends, an 85-year-old gym mate, and wrestler Skandor Akbar, Colletti was able to make it as a wrestler in Dallas, Texas. He donned the ring name “Slam Shady” and has wrestled for 25 years, including stints with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) from 1999 to 2001 and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) from 2001 to 2006. 

Colletti was living out of hotels and suitcases until it all stopped in 2020. 

“Everything that I do is entertainment based and needs crowds, and no crowds were allowed to come, “said Colletti, “In just an instant, it was cut off and I went from making money to making zero money.” 

Before the pandemic, Colletti was on the road anywhere from 270 to 330 days a year. But in 2020, he only wrestled six times. 

“I’ve hardly wrestled at all this year too, but it is starting to pick up,” Colletti said. 

As people start to venture out of their bubbles, and feel more comfortable at events, Colletti is returning to work too. He is vice president of operations and will be a featured wrestler at Heroes of the Ring Championship Wrestling this July 24.

President Bryan Stone founded Heroes of the Ring back in 2013 to not only entertain kids, but to teach them values like honor and integrity as well. The brand includes boxing, mixed martial arts, and plans for an animated series. Colletti will be part of the first wrestling show. 

“There’s just so much stuff going on in our country right now that it’s starting to look a whole lot different than when I grew up, and I’m 64,” Stone said. 

Colletti echoed Stone’s sentiments, “I wanted it to be something that people aren’t just excited for because it’s wrestling. They’re excited because they know they leave feeling better.”

Stone encourages people to bring their families. “It’s gonna be a lot different than the big boys,” he said, “We’re more family oriented.” 

The event is scheduled for July 24 beginning with a car show at 3 p.m. with a 5 p.m. bell time for matches. 

Tickets and other information about Heroes of the Ring Championship wrestling can be found on their facebook page.